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Summer Fitness for Kids

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Summer Fitness For Kіdѕ

Thе ѕсhооl bell has rung for the fіnаl tіmе this уеаr. The kіdѕ аrе home. You have a fеw іdеаѕ tо kеер the kіdѕ fіt, but it іѕ hаrd tо соmреtе with cartoons, MуSрасе, and Nіntеndо. Obеѕіtу rаtеѕ аmоng сhіldrеn аrе rеасhіng epidemic рrороrtіоnѕ, due іn lаrgе раrt tо a sedentary gеnеrаtіоn оf kids. So, how саn уоu keep your kіdѕ moving this ѕummеr? It does nоt take a lоt of mоnеу, tіmе, оr advance рlаnnіng to аdd fіtnеѕѕ іntо уоur kids’ ѕummеrtіmе асtіvіtіеѕ. Here аrе a fеw ѕummеr fіtnеѕѕ іdеаѕ fоr kіdѕ оf аll ages:

Fаmіlу Wаlkѕ – Sсhеdulе a family wаlk through the nеіghbоrhооd аftеr dіnnеr. Aѕk уоur lосаl parks аnd rесrеаtіоn ѕеrvісе аbоut hіkіng trails in your area. If the wеаthеr іѕ uncooperative, trу a wаlk through the lосаl mаll.

Vасаtіоn Dауѕ – Trу a vасаtіоn dау tо the beach, with bооgіе bоаrdѕ to boot. Or trу a local theme раrk. All оf the wаlkіng frоm ride to rіdе аddѕ uр.

Kids Camps – Check оut the Bоуѕ & Girls Club tо fіnd out what sports саmрѕ аrе аvаіlаblе this ѕummеr.

Nеіghbоrhооd Games – Invite the nеіghbоrhооd kіdѕ for аn old fаѕhіоnеd gаmе оf hіdе аnd ѕееk, kісk the can, оr stickball.

Buy the Bаѕісѕ – If еxреnѕіvе exercise equipment іѕ nоt іn уоur budget, just purchase a fеw jump rореѕ and bаllѕ fоr your сhіldrеn to uѕе.

Family Challenges – Sеt up some family сhаllеngеѕ fоr the ѕummеr. Kеер track оf еасh fаmіlу member’s progress оn a сhаrt. Who саn dо the mоѕt рuѕh-uрѕ during a segment оf tеlеvіѕіоn commercials? Who can complete 100 jumping jacks wіthоut stopping?

Crаzу Advеnturеѕ – Older kids mау еnjоу ѕkаtеbоаrdіng parks оr іndооr rосk сlіmbіng gуmѕ. With the рrореr safety еԛuірmеnt in рlасе, these асtіvіtіеѕ аrе a good wау tо kеер оldеr kіdѕ frоm bесоmіng соuсh роtаtоеѕ.

Set the example for your child(ren).  What аrе уоu doing tо set the example for your child? Dоеѕ уоur сhіld see уоu раrtісіраtіng іn rесrеаtіоnаl ѕроrtѕ, fіtnеѕѕ classes, wеіght training, bіkе rіdіng, or оutdооr walks? If not, maintain (or start) a fitness routine now.

School іѕ оut fоr the summer. But that dоеѕ not mеаn that kіdѕ are rеѕіgnеd to three mоnthѕ оn the ѕоfа. Aіm for оnе form оf fаmіlу еxеrсіѕе each dау. Yоur kіdѕ, and уоu, will enjoy the hеаlth bеnеfіtѕ fоr уеаrѕ tо соmе.

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5 Minute Plank Exercises

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5 Minute Plank Exercises

The Plank Exercise is known to be one of the most effective exercises for getting rock hard abs and staying ripped. Not only does this exercise strengthen your abdominal muscles, but it also works your hips and back. It requires no exercise machines or special equipment. The only thing you need is your body and the floor.

What is the proper way to do Plank exercise?

  • Lie with your face downwards on the floor or an exercise mat.
  • Place your elbows and forearms under your chest while placing your palms on the flat surface of the floor.
  • Push up off the floor onto your toes and rest on your forearms
  • Focus on tightening your abdominal while you maintain this position
  • Keep your back in a straight line from head to heels and ensure that your hips do not sag down towards the floor.
  • Hold this position for as long as possible until you can no longer keep your body in a straight line.
  • Bring your body back to the starting point
  • Start again and try to aim for 30 secs and do 3 sets.
  • Continue with the exercise while increasing the time.

Remember not to let your back and hips sag. The effectiveness of this exercise lies in you being able to keep your body in a straight line from your head to heels. Once you start becoming advanced, you can start trying to lift your leg, side arm lift or even do the exercise on your hands rather elbows.

Why Plank Exercises are awesome

Plank exercise is one of the exercises that falls into the least complicated category. Plank exercise is great for core conditioning. It is amazing how it helps you get your stomach ripped. Another benefit is the impact to your glutes, shoulders, and hamstring. What a great workout!  Bonus… planks also helps improve your balance.

There are some common mistakes most people make when it comes to doing plank exercises. Not doing it properly might eventually lead to injury, so it’s best to follow the proper guidelines to get better results.  The plank exercise will task your upper and lower spine regions; if these areas are weak, it may cause the spine to sway normally which can put compression in the vertebral column causing injuries. It is important to know your limits when starting out, so you don’t exceed them. This is the more reason why the 30-day, 5-minute plank exercise is excellent. It helps you to test your limits and help you improve daily. Apart from trying to hold a position for too long, another common mistake people make is placing your hands too close, making your head and hips drop and holding your breath. Work your time up slowly, if you can hold the abdominal plank position for at least more than 2 minutes and make sure you don’t push it.

Here are reasons you should make the plank exercise your main fitness program.

  1. Balance and Posture improvement

Simply staying in the plank position for some time requires you to work on your balance, which can further be enhanced by doing planks using the BOSU ball, or doing side planks. If you lose posture and position balance as you age, it is normal, and this is caused by the weakening in the core area. Planks are great at fixing this.

  1. Tones the abs region

The plank exercise is the foundation of the six-packs abs or the outer abdominals. These exercises will be in the core muscle of the stomach area. This will further contract the deep inner transverse abdominal muscles which also help in pulling in the belly button area.

  1. Builds flexibility

Your body gets stretched the first time you get into plank position; you will almost certainly feel somehow. Not only in the shoulder area but also the posterior muscle region. Also, the arches and the hamstrings of the feet down to the toes. Plank exercises offer the body a natural stretching.

  1. Reduces back pain

Any activity you engage in to strengthen the core muscles of the stomach area is certain to make your lower back stronger. This is because plank exercises require little movement while constricting all abdominal layers.

  1. Mood enhancement

The following plank exercises will help to improve your mood. Releasing the tension and stretching your muscles are invigorating to anyone who does this routine exercises. Hence, knowing that these things mentioned above will happen to you when you do plank exercises is something you will never trade for anything.

The plank exercise is of different variations, and these variations will help improve your abs workout and help you develop a more powerful belly.

Side Planks

If you like to focus more on your oblique’s, side planks need to be included in your workout routine. Be sure to include both sides for a shaped workout.  Let me show you how it is done. Rest on your single forearm and use your side such that your body is in a 900 position to the ground. One side of your body should face the floor, and the other should face up. Your thighs should be extended together with your feet crossed and staying in contact with the ground. Only the sides of your forearm and feet should touch the ground and not your body.

Stability ball

Ball balance boosts the intensity of physical routines when it is used during plank exercises. This is because you must task your inner core stabilizing muscles to keep your body stationary. The balance ball is not an object capable of maintaining balance which is why it is very effective.

Standard planks

In this variation, you assume a position which looks like a push-up. The difference is that instead of placing your hands on the ground, you rest on your forearms, such that you keep your back straight and your eye on the ground. Hold this position for as long as you can and keep breathing… very very important. Your abs muscle will be subjected to a significant amount of stress because the stomach plank works your primary and abs muscle tissues.

30 Day Plank Challenges is what will give you the abs that you have always wanted and this challenge is just enough to give you the super strong core in 30 days. Remember don’t push too hard as it only takes 5 minutes per day. This challenge is for only 30 days and it will give you the desired result for a healthy you!

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The Paleo Diet for Celiacs?

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Paleo Diet for Celiacs?

I’ve been struggling mightily with this one.

Seriously, I just deleted a couple pages I’d already written, and then decided that was very stupid.

Here’s the thing.  I’ve said before that living healthfully and gluten free is a lifestyle, not a “diet.” I just hate the connotations that come along with the word diet.  There’s so many wacky “diets” out there.  And for some reason, whenever something is a “diet,” there’s always individuals who seem to latch on to the ideas or principles presented, as the next great thing that is going to cure cancer and clean your kitchen to boot.

In all fairness, the Paleo Diet in it’s purest form is a way of eating, not a “diet.”  It’s kind of exploded beyond that though.

Is that a hotdog?

Photo Credit Rakka

A few weeks ago, I was having a e-discussion with my friend about food, eating, and diet.  We share many of the same views about food in general, and she mentioned how she seems to find weight control more successfully and easily when following a Paleo-like diet plan.

So what is this Paleo, you may be saying?

According to Wikipedia (really, where else would you look,) “The modern dietary regimen known as the Paleolithic diet (abbreviated paleo diet or paleodiet), also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various human species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic a period of about 2.5 million years duration that ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture. In common usage, such terms as the “Paleolithic diet” also refer to the actual ancestral human diet.[1] Centered on commonly available modern foods, the “contemporary” Paleolithic diet consists mainly of meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, roots, and nuts; and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.[1]

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That sounds pretty good, for starters, right?

Meats, veggies, fruit, nuts-this sounds like what I talk about all the time.  This Paleo thing sounds pretty good, right? And the fact that grains are excluded makes it a slam dunk for celiacs for, as we know and feel, grains carry the gluten that affect our intestinal wall.

Well, yes, kind of.

I  love the foods that they include – meat, seafood, natural oils, grass-fed butter, fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds.  All naturally gluten free, all can be highly nutritious.  What I don’t like so much are all the exclusions – dairy, legumes, potatoes.  I like beans, and find them a good source of protein and carbohydrate.  Tasty, too.  Same goes for dairy, although I very much limit intake of dairy.  And no rice, ever?

Maybe it’s just the inner rebel in me, but if someone says I can’t have something it makes me want it more.

I’ve recently been reading more from Mark Sisson at Mark’s Daily Apple.  He’s taken a riff on Paleo, and called it Primal .

From what I’ve read, his approach is a bit more realistic, and flexible, which I like.  He even indicates that dairy and rice (gasp!) would be acceptable in certain circumstances.

Robb Wolf also has a bit more flexibility in approach, especially for athletes, and I like that quite a bit.  I recently listened to a podcast interview with him and if I am remembering correctly, his Mom has celiac disease.

Another person with some good stuff to say is Dr. Kurt Harris at PaleoNu.  He has a 12 step “getting started” which I like quite a bit, with the exception of meal frequency (I think it’s more individual than he indicates.)

Here’s one of my big issues with the Paleotards, and those non-obsessed, but following one principle I have issue with. Insulin secretion is not, in fact, the devil.

James Krieger did a great overview of insulin on his blog, which I highly recommend you check out.  Here’s the Cliffs Notes version: insulin is not necessarily bad, although it can be circumstantially, and if there is not a caloric surplus, (yes, calories do matter,) fat will not be stored.  I also very much like the analogy that Kurt Harris uses of insulin being like a bouncer at a club.  Logic and reason for the win.  Insulin in the face of a caloric deficit will not magically make you fat.

Also, there is no magic to eating in a Paleo fashion which will make you lose weight.

A higher protein intake is recommended, and that is something I wholeheartedly support.  However, there is no “metabolic advantage” to a higher protein diet.  As James Krieger so eloquently illustrated in another post on his fine blog, the magic isn’t magic… it’s satiety.

Satiety=feeling full.

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A lower carbohydrate, higher protein diet makes you feel fuller.

So, you eat less. The magic happens because you are eating less CALORIES!  Yes, it’s easier because you feel fuller, but it’s not magic.

So is the Paleo or Primal way of eating a good way to go for celiacs?

I think it’s a good start.  My personal approach is more moderate.  I do recommend, and personally choose, to eat whole, naturally gluten free foods most often. That does, for many parts, coincide with the Paleo approach.  However, I don’t like being exclusionary, especially to entire groups of food (like dairy, if you tolerate it.)

Accept no approach blindly.  Do your research, get educated, consult one or more professionals, and make an informed decision.  Don’t be afraid to take bits and pieces from different areas and make them your own.  Find what works for you and call it…. say, the Frankenstein Diet.  I like it. What do you think?

Have you put together your own Frankenstein?  Have you tried Paleo?  Hit it up in the comments!

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