Chocolate Cave In

This weekend I gave in to my chocolate craving. Well, actually it wasn’t because of a craving, but more as a favor. (Yes, chocolate consumption can be considered a favor to some people.) Anyway, Alex and I were at dinner and his favorite Heath Bar cheesecake was being offered for dessert. Of course we HAD to get a slice, which meant I’d be eating both chocolate AND candy. Normally I’d resist, but I couldn’t let him eat the entire piece by himself! The best part about the cake: the Heath Bar crust. Yummmm.

This is the closest picture I could find

Breaking my Lent promise aside, I have been keeping up with my running. Today I logged 3.2 miles, but did suffer some major shin splints. So tomorrow I plan to do some recovery stretches and hopefully can get back to a solid ab routine. I’m thinking of trying this set of ab workouts. Some of the exercises include The Teaser, which I find to be super hard, and The Wood Chopper, which I LOVE. Aside from that, I’m hoping to start packing more protein into my meals and less of the junky carbs I’ve been indulging in. I think the warm weather and Tuesday group runs is really motivating me!

Oh and it is super sad that I’ve started re-reading all of Julie’s posts on PBFingers?

My Healthy Tip of the Day Brought to You By the Mayo Clinic: Cut back on ketchup, mustard, sauces and pickles if you need to control sodium. Also, skip salted french fries, chips, ham, sausage, bacon and cheese.

I Think There Are Abs Under There…

One of my biggest fitness problems is finding the motivation to work my abs. I am fine to do 40 plus minutes of cardio, can crank out low weight high reps with a set of dumbbells, but for the life of me can’t get motivated once I hit the mat for some crunches. I usually try to get my tummy warmed up with some planks, but by then I’m bored. After several failed attempts at tightening my gut, I figured out I had to get off the floor.

We all know that supermodel Marisa Miller has a smokin’ bod. She’s tall, lean and very healthy, however she looks this way for a reason: she’s works out hard. So if you want abs like this supermodel, try these ab-exercises that she shared with Shape magazine. I’ve done them and I must say they really work. It’s just a matter of getting up and doing them!

The Plan

How it works Do 2 or 3 sets of each move three times a week. Rest for no more than 30 seconds between sets.
You’ll need
A set of 3- to 5-pound weights, a Bosu balance trainer, and a mat (optional).

1. Triple Delt Duty: Hold a dumbbell in each hand out to the sides at shoulder level. Circle arms forward 15 times, then back 15 times. Next, bend elbows 90 degrees. Rotate forearms down so they’re parallel to the floor, then back up. Do 15 reps. Finally, bring elbows together in front of you, then back out. Do 15 reps.

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2. Plank Progression: Get in plank position on forearms on the round side of a Bosu. Hold for 30 seconds, then turn to the left and balance on right forearm, feet staggered and left arm up. Hold for 30 seconds, return to center, and switch sides to complete series. Repeat entire series once.

3. Standing Crunch: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of your chest, elbows bent and palms facing each other. Pull your abs in and lean forward and to the right, using the same motion as you would when doing a regular crunch. Repeat to the other side to complete 1 rep. Do 15 to 25 reps.

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4. Burpee: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, then squat and put hands on floor in front of feet. Hop feet back, then forward again. Jump up, catching air and raising hands overhead. Continue for 1 minute. (Add a push-up while you’re in plank pose for more of a challenge.)

5. Balance Squat: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart on the flat side of a Bosu (or use the round side if that’s more comfortable for you) and hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides. Squat as low as you can, maintaining your balance and keeping your knees aligned with your toes, then rise up and repeat. Do 15 reps, then step onto the floor and do 5 to 8 jump squats.

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Images courtesy of Shape.com.

My Healthy Tip of the Day: It takes 3,500 calories to gain a pound. If you want to lose a pound per week, reduce your calorie intake by 250 calories and incorporate daily physical activity that will burn 250 calories. Hitting the gym not your cup of tea? Crank up the stereo and dance while cooking dinner, cleaning, or in place of your usual 30 minutes in front of the television.