Apps Are So Out

I know, I know… Apps are the next “It” thing if you are in business. But I am proposing that you NOT carry your cell phone everywhere you go. And hey, especially when you are exercising. Because, if anything, exercise is your hour to yourself everyday. And it should be peaceful and quiet and you shouldn’t have emails buzzing and text messages being sent and you shouldn’t be looking at yet another florescent screen just to follow an exercise routine. No, I’m thinking all you need is your eyes, your ears, your heart, your arms and legs to carry out the most physical part of your day. Forget technology, get in touch with something even more intelligent and complex–your body.

So I’m developing a CoreFit Deck that you can take with you. Get the first of these workouts here and print out so you can just grab them and go to the gym. In fact, why not just take a few in your gym back so all you have to do is follow the pictures and do the routine. Simple. And it won’t even show up on your data usage.



Triangle Pose Break Down

Ever wonder how I get such great abs?

This break down of the Triangle Pose illustrates the usage of the inner thigh and the full abdominal wall. It’s one of my favorite poses to do for an overall toned appearance and it also stretches out my hamstrings really well. A great pose to counter the affects of the forward motion of running.


The Stretch Factor


Flexibility is as important to your health as cardio exercise. There are many doctors who believe that stretching does not decrease your risk of injury, but this is one doctor who does. Lengthening and toning your muscles aids in the ability to respond to rapid muscular changes–so when you slip on the ice, your body is able to catch itself and not tear a muscle. Prepping your muscles doesn’t always prevent injury–you may have a genetic proclivity for injury–but it should change the way your body adjusts to these rapid changes. Try these stretches for flexibility 60seconds each, 1x/day post exercise to increase your stretch factor.

Flexibility is recognized as an important component of physical fitness. Like other components of fitness, flexibility is more important for some sports than others. For example, long distance runners tend to be relatively inflexible because the activity of running does not require large deviations in motion. However, sprinters, and especially hurdlers, require excessive hip motion for sprinting and hurdle clearance. Not only are flexibility requirements sports-specific, but they can also be joint- specific. In general, athletes must have sufficient musculoskeletal flexibility to meet the demands of the sport, otherwise top performance will not be achieved and injury risk will increase.

An individual


You are Beautiful

It doesn’t look like a chiseled Ryan Gosling or a Victoria Secret runway model. Still it’s beautiful, no?

This is the velella (Velella Velella), a small free floating hydrozoan. It’s currently the only known species in the genus.
They’re also known as sea-rafts or by-the-wind-sailors, for the obvious reason that it uses the the “sail” you can see in this image for locomotion. Because of this, they are often found washed up on beaches.


The Virgin Diet; She’s Not That Innocent

By Shayna Robinson, MSPT, PhD
CHICAGO–January is ripe with people trying to sell you something new; how to lose weight in 7 days by standing on your head and eating some obscure fruit one can only attain by trekking through the rain forest in some remote location. Most of these “new” diets have some sort of scientific-sounding “hook” or “secret” that is oftentimes just a re-branding or new packaging of older ideas. Enter The Virgin Diet.

J.J. Virgin–before you make a joke– is a health and fitness expert, and according to her website, “is a Certified Nutrition Specialist, a Certified Health and Fitness Instructor with advanced certifications in Nutrition, Personal Training and Aging and Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition.” She has been a diet and fitness adviser to a number of celebrities including Gene Simmons, Ben Stiller, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Tracie Thoms, Janeane Garofalo, and Brandon Routh.

The “Hook”
The Virgin Diet claims that the weight gain is about inflammation; namely that certain foods interact with our system, stressing it to a point of hormonal release and fat storage. It claims eliminating certain foods, from 7 different groups, will alleviate these symptoms.

The Evidence
About a third of the general population believes that they have food allergies. Research shows that only about 5% actually do. Part of the problem is the confusion about the term food allergy, which is different from a food intolerance or food sensitivity:

  • A food allergy is a very specific immune response to a particular food protein. The immune system responds to exposure of that protein by producing an immunoglobulin called IgE. The body responds by releasing histamine which (depending on the severity of the response) causes itching, hives, difficulty breathing, wheeziness and possibly prophylaxis.
  • A food intolerance is when a specific enzyme necessary to digest a food is absent. This is the case with lactose intolerance or gluten intolerance (gluten-sensitive enteropathy). Symptoms can include GI upset, diarrhea or constipation, rash or nasal congestion. They are usually not life-threatening.
  • A food sensitivity is an unpleasant reaction to certain foods, such as getting heartburn, cramps or nausea after eating a particular food. You do not always get the same symptoms when the food is eaten.

It’s no surprise that the 7 foods that Virgin eliminates also happen to be those which are most likely to cause food allergies (peanuts, eggs) or intolerances (soy, dairy, gluten, corn, sugar). If you have a problem with a particular food, eliminating it from your diet will certainly help with the symptoms (like diarrhea or rashes) it is causing.


You’re Not Dreaming, Toned Abs

Planks are a great way to get toned abs fast. Try hanging out in a plank position for 2 minutes and you’ll understand why… It’s near impossible–well, not quite, but it will feel like it! These two planks are my favorite because they give an extra boost of gravity pushing down on you. Anytime you elevate your feet, your abs have to work harder to support your body. Make sure you maintain a straight spine, keep hips in line with shoulders and round out your upper body by pressing through your shoulder blades. Tucking your chin and looking towards your belly button helps to engage every muscle in your body.



Want this body? Eat This Food.

As I was thinking about the weekend, the first thing that pops to mind is the bachelorette party and that little dress I have to wear this weekend. To make my body look great I always follow this diet secret:

Watermelon. This week I ate an entire watermelon (which made up for 2-3 midweek meals from tues-thurs). I simply followed a clean diet (protein, veggies and light whole carbs) and then substitute 2-3 of my meals with watermelon. Usually my lunch and afternoon snack. It slims you down quickly because it’s mostly water and simple carbs packed into the fiber of the fruit. This means it regulates your blood sugar and metabolism really efficiently and the water and antioxidants protect against free radicals, aiding in reducing inflammation and making your skin look luminous.

Sweet, juicy watermelon is actually packed with some of the most important antioxidants in nature. Watermelon is an excellent source of vitamin C and a very good source of vitamin A, notably through its concentration of beta-carotene. Pink watermelon is also a source of the potent carotenoid antioxidant, lycopene. These powerful antioxidants travel through the body neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals are substances in the body that can cause a great deal of damage. They are able to oxidize cholesterol, making it stick to blood vessel walls, where it can lead to heart attack or stroke. They can add to the severity of asthma attacks by causing airways to clamp down and close. They can increase the inflammation that occurs in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and cause most of the joint damage that occurs in these conditions, and they can damage cells lining the colon, turning them into cancer cells. Fortunately, vitamin C and beta-carotene are very good at getting rid of these harmful molecules and can therefore prevent the damage they would otherwise cause. As a matter of fact, high intakes of vitamin C and beta-carotene have been shown in a number of scientific studies to reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce the airway spasm that occurs in asthma, reduce the risk of colon cancer, and alleviate some of the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.A cup of watermelon provides 21% of the daily value for vitamin C, and, through its carotenoids, 17% of the DV for vitamin A.


CORE Check: Day 4

Grrrrr. Getting frustrated my abs are no better. And I am 4 days in. Maybe I will have to drag this puppy out to 7 days instead of 5. Boo.


Challenge #16: Standing Half Splits

Now a few of you (okay, maybe all of you) will look at the thumbnail STANDING HALF SPLITS image and say to yourself, “Shayna must be on drugs if she thinks I can do that.” While I don’t expect you to fully extend your leg to the sky (like the crazy lady in the picture), you can certainly begin with a HALF MOON POSE.

Try working with a stability ball. Place one or both hands on ball and slowly lift leg up, while bringing upper body down towards ball. When you have your weight and balance figured out, start rotating your outer hip high towards the ceiling for HALF MOON. If you are ready to move on to standing half splits and have the flexibility in your hamstrings, SLOWLY rotate your hip back down towards the floor to square your hip off. Then as you engage your hamstring on the up leg, pull your abdominal wall in and slowly bring your upper body down. This is the full STANDING HALF SPLITS.



CORE Check: Day 3

Not seeing any huge difference before and after exercise today, but I cannot wait to post Monday’s (after beer, burgers) image next to Friday’s!



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