Friday, April 11, 2014

It's the Little Things.

I’ve been struggling a little bit with my diet lately. I simply hit a plateau and just didn’t budge. And I think I know why.

It’s the Little Things.

By that I mean, the little handful of Honey Nut Cheerios I ate straight out of the box this  morning. The three mini-Tootsie Rolls I grabbed at the bank. The Wheat Thins I shoveled into my mouth before I went to bed. You know…those little things that “don’t count”.

Yes, there are all kinds of little things that really DO count and they can make life harder or easier.

Enhance Your Dance!
Or make your workout more effective, like the little things I learned at Enhance Your Dance, a special Jazzercise workshop designed to help us kick it up a notch. Here are a few tips I learned to help burn a few extra calories, work that muscle a little harder and pump up your workout.

  • Your body has two plains: upper and lower. Use them both! You can burn more calories if you use your arms during a cardio routine. You should even swing your arms when you’re on the treadmill or taking a walk. (Personally, I get bored on treadmills. I’d much rather dance.)
  • But when you use your arms, don’t flail. Find a starting point and a stopping point and use your muscles to reach them. During a Strike kickboxing class, for example, think about contracting the muscles in your arms when you do a hook or uppercut. Flailing arms are only helpful when you need to be rescued or summon the waiter.
  • When lifting weights, focus on the muscles you’re working and don’t be a swinger or a rocker. So when you’re doing a curl, think about the bicep and working it up and down. (And welcome to the gun show.) 
  • Breathe! Exercise demands oxygen and breathing deeply will help you work harder. When lifting weights, breathe out like you’re fogging a mirror. Exhale during the most intense part of the exercise and inhale during the easiest part. Just don't hold your breath. You'll turn an unpleasant shade of blue.

  • Power up. If you've been using the same weights for awhile, go heavier. Even just a pound or two will improve results.
  • Lift your knees higher, even if you’re doing a low-impact routine.
  • Don’t cradle your head in your hands or pull on your neck during ab work like crunches. Your elbows should be out flat and you should be able to put your fist between your chin and chest.

We learned a lot more during the class, but the message I took from it is to Pay Attention! Those little things matter. 

Lindsay demonstrates proper knee position...over the heels, not past the toes.

And, while you're at it, check out the bling-y shoes. Just a little Mod Podge and some glitter, I'm told. Gotta try this.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent recap of "Enhance Your Dance" ... I'll share with my customers in Jazzercise Mims!