Get to Work (At Home)

Finding the Right Exercise Equipment for Your Home Gym

First there is Halloween candy, then comes the Thanksgiving turkey and fixings and finally of course there’s the Christmas cookies. All these treats are delicious, but they might get you thinking about how you’ll shed your winter weight. That’s where the right piece of exercise equipment comes in!

There are several options to choose from for both cardio and weight lifting exercise routines. Each has their own benefits and drawbacks. Find the right one for your lifestyle and you’ll find a fitness regimen you can stick with!

Treadmills

A treadmill is a classic piece of exercise equipment for your home. One upside is that they can be used for all levels of fitness. You can use it to walk at a slow pace or to train for a marathon. Treadmills can be the most basic cardio equipment all the way through to models that have pre-set programs with a video screen. For someone with balance problems, though, a treadmill may prove tricky. And the impact on joints may be too much for some people. As with any exercise equipment, be sure to follow safety guidelines.

Elliptical trainers

Elliptical trainers are great for people with joint problems. The foot paddles move without impact to give you a smooth, yet effective, cardio workout. Of course, the movement may take some getting used to, especially if you haven’t exercised in a while. But if you want a routine that’s easy on your joints, ellipticals are a great option.

Stationary Bikes

Another great low-impact option is a stationary bike. You can choose a spin bike, air bike or recumbent model. Be sure you select a bike with a wide, comfortable seat and one that is the correct height to get the most from the workout. These machines are great even for beginners or those with movement limitations. It’s as easy as, well, riding a bike!

Weight equipment

Cardio is a key component to any exercise program. But it’s important to mix in weight training as well. Weight bearing exercises keep your bones strong and muscles toned. And you don’t need a bulky piece of machinery to do weight training at home. There are many options to choose from to complete your home gym. You can get an adjustable set of dumbbells, which will allow the whole family to take advantage of the equipment without needing each individual weight. Medicine balls and kettle bells are other weight training options. Choose the right weights for you to keep at home, and you won’t need to head to the gym!

Don’t go out in the snow this winter. Stay home and get your exercise in! You can get just as great a workout as you could at the gym. You just need the right pieces of equipment!

-Fitness Fanatic

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Back To School

As the calendar flips to August, a parent’s three favorite words can finally be spoken: Back-to-school! That’s right, moms and dads, it’s time to stock back up for the kids’ return to the classroom in a few short weeks. The selection can be a little overwhelming, though. Aside from the normal stuff like pens, pencils and a crispy new calculator, the bigger stuff – like shoes, clothes and backpacks – are often in need of replacing prior to the new school year.

Available at Dunham’s, the Adidas Prime IV and Excel IV are great options and come loaded with features to keep everything organized while looking great as well. With the Prime IV, students will be able to utilize five zippered pockets and an internal laptop sleeve. Also, parents will love the lifetime warranty. The Excel IV also comes with the same warranty as well as a few other bells and whistles.

“This pack has tons of great storage and features to keep you organized all year long,” explains Carrie Najera of Agron Backpacks.   “[It has] four outside zippered pockets, internal zippered organization pockets and soft lined 15.4-inch computer and tablet pockets in addition to LoadSpring shoulder straps for added comfort.”

Once the backpack is taken care of, parents can move onto shoes. And with the amount of time kids spend on their feet, be it walking to the bus stop or running around in gym class, footwear isn’t something to be overlooked. Thankfully, there are plenty of options and tools available to help make the choice easier, including a tool from ASICS to check your child’s foot pronation.

With the variety of ASICS found at Dunham’s, the features are endless. You’ll find their trail running, performance running, casual, volleyball and wrestling shoes to suit almost any need. And with rearfoot GEL cushioning, removable sock liners and AHAR High Abrasion Outsoles, kids will get both comfort and durability.

Another brand with an unbeatable reputation for quality, stylish footwear is New Balance. New to the catalog is the Fresh Foam line, which is a great mix of aesthetics and comfort. And what kid won’t love that?

“The smooth tuned cushioning of Fresh Foam has merged with sleek street styling to deliver a functional yet versatile trainer for the runner seeking comfort and all-day wear-ability,” explains Joel Koviak of New Balance.

While it can seem a little overwhelming when trying to find the right backpack or footwear for your child’s new school year, keep in mind some of the great quality and value that can be found in Adidas backpacks, ASICS and New Balance. With the selection and available features for back-to-school products, parents will undoubtedly make a great decision for their kids at Dunham’s.

-Fitness Fanatic

*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail program at www.dunhamsrewards.com

When is the Best Time to Exercise?

[Written by Peter Nielsen].

People who exercise want to utilize their time efficiently and get the most out of their exercise sessions. Knowing the best time to work out for weight loss can help you get faster results in less time. This is not just for athletes but for the average person who wants to use exercise to lose pounds or get in better shape.

Time is just one of the factors that affect your workout performance

As you will read below, there are studies that show when is the best time of the day to exercise for better fat burning results and for muscle building but time is just one of the factors that can affect your workout performance. Many other factors like the intensity and duration of the exercise play a very important role and these should not be neglected.

Best time to work out for fat burning is the morning

When you exercise in the morning your body tends to burn more fat.

The main reasons why this is happening are:

1. Low blood sugar levels force the body to look for other energy sources so it starts converting fat from the reserves to fuel.

2. Some hormones that accelerate fad burning (like cortisol) are at high levels in the morning.

Benefits of exercising in the morning

? People who participated in a study about the effects of morning exercise were more likely to stick to a workout after doing their morning exercise. In other words people who can exercise in the morning are more likely to build a routine and follow that for a long time.

? For some people it is easier to exercise in the morning since in the afternoon they get tired and lose their desire to workout.

? It can be a stressful task for the body. This does not apply to everyone but depending on your hormone levels you may find it very stressful to exercise in the morning.

? Intense morning exercise may lead to muscle loss instead of fat loss. If you exercise on an empty stomach and do a very intense workout your body may end up utilizing muscle mass for energy. That’s why it is important to have a good protein breakfast especially if you plan to exercise hard in the morning.

? If you exercise before breakfast, you may not be able to keep the intensity high since your energy levels are low.

Disadvantages of morning exercise

? It can be a stressful task for the body. This does not apply to everyone but depending on your hormone levels you may find it very stressful to exercise in the morning.

? Intense morning exercise may lead to muscle loss instead of fat loss. If you exercise on an empty stomach and do a very intense workout your body may end up utilizing muscle mass for energy. That’s why it is important to have a good protein breakfast especially if you plan to exercise hard in the morning.

? If you exercise before breakfast, you may not be able to keep the intensity high since your energy levels are low.

Best time to workout for performance is the afternoon

Exercising in the afternoon can give you better performance than exercising in the morning. Several studies analyzed the performance of a group of people exercising in the morning and in the afternoon. The afternoon sessions produced better results in terms of performance, strength and power. Participants reported that their bodies’ response was better and that they were able to push more and achieve more repetitions than in the morning.

What is the best time to workout for weight loss for you?

The different studies and theories are useful and can be used for educating yourself about best practices but when it comes to when is the best time to workout it’s up to you to decide. Some tips to help you out:

1. Try to do some cardio exercises in the morning (e.g. walking for about 10 minutes) and see how it feels. If you think this is something you can do for a long time try to add jogging as well (for 3-5 minutes) in your schedule.

2. If you exercise on an empty stomach and feel tired or weak try to eat breakfast first and then do your workout. Learn more about GI and how to control your blood sugar levels through food.

3. You can always combine your morning and afternoon workouts for better results. For example you can do a quick 10 minute cardio session in the morning and then a 20 minute intense session in the afternoon. This will also have a positive effect in EPOC (excess post exercise oxygen consumption) that will help you burn more calories after exercise.

4 Don’t do very intense exercise in the morning without having a good breakfast, this may lead to muscle loss which is not recommended.

5 Have in mind that too intense exercise late in the afternoon may negatively affect your sleep. It is better to exercise at least 4 hours before going to bed.

Exercise is important for health and weight loss and you should allocate some of your time per day to exercise either in the morning or afternoon.

Bottom line, just do it!!

As always, check with your doctor before starting any exercise routine!

*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail program at www.dunhamsrewards.com

The Benefits Of Aerobic Exercise

[Written by Peter Nielsen].

Aerobic exercise pumps oxygenated blood from the heart to working muscles. To accomplish that, it stimulates the heart and breathing rates throughout your exercise session. As a rule aerobic exercise can be light-to-medium intensity activities that can be performed for extended periods of time, such as walking, jogging or biking. Whatever your age, weight or athletic ability, aerobic activity is a health booster that gains efficiency as your body adapts and gets stronger and fitter!

What are the benefits offered by aerobic exercise?

Reduces Fat: A study published in the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism found that vigorous aerobic exercise such as jogging or brisk walking beats weight or resistance training for reducing belly and visceral fat.

Increases Stamina: Increased stamina improves your overall physical health and the power to endure disease, fatigue, and illness.

Protects the Brain: A new study from the University of Washington School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System finds that regular aerobic exercise can protect the brain and even improve cognitive performance in older adults showing signs of mental decline. It’s important to note that the study found that memory gains may take 6 months or longer to emerge.

Boosts the Immune System: Aerobic exercise activates your immune system. This leaves you less susceptible to minor viral illnesses, such as colds and flu. Aerobic exercise may accomplish this by flushing bacteria out from the lungs, and may even flush out cancer-causing cells by increasing output of wastes, such as urine and sweat. It also sends antibodies and white blood cells through the body at a faster rate, allowing them to detect illnesses earlier than they might normally. Additionally, the temporary rise in body temperature may inhibit bacterial growth, allowing the body to fight the infection more effectively.

Strengthens Bones: In a new study, step aerobics offered the greatest gains in leg, spine, and heel bone density, while hip bones health was heightened most with weight training.

Reduces Health Risks: Aerobic exercise reduces the risk of many conditions, including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke and certain types of cancer.

Strengthens the Heart: Regular aerobic exercise increases the heart’s efficiency leading to a reduced risk of developing heart disease. When a person is aerobically active, more capillaries develop as the oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange between blood and cells increases. If for any reason an artery is damaged or blood flow is blocked, the blood can easily be rerouted to deliver the necessary oxygen.

Increases Good Cholesterol, Burns the Bad: Research shows that moderate aerobic exercise increases the number of HDLs in the bloodstream and reduces the number of LDLs by increasing lipid metabolism. Like fat, cholesterol is a lipid that can be oxidized, or broken down, for energy.

Supports Mental Health: Aerobic exercise relieves depression, and promotes relaxation. Exercise also slows down the release of stress-related hormones. Remember, if you’ve been inactive for a long time or if you have a chronic health condition, talk to your doctor before you start.  Begin slowly and build each day.Try walking five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening and add a few minutes each day. Pick up the pace and soon you’ll be  enjoying all the benefits of regular aerobic activity!

As always, check with your doctor before starting any exercise routine!

*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail program at www.dunhamsrewards.com

Working Hard While You Sleep

[Written by Peter Nielsen].

It’s not surprising that eighty percent of Americans suffer from long-term lack of sleep. When faced with overwork, stress, and tight schedules, sleep is often the first victim of the time budget. Be careful, the results can be harmful to long-term health and reduce your ability to manage day-to-day tasks!

Recent research from the University of Rochester’s medical school shines a new light on the vital role sleep plays in our overall well-being. This research, recently published in the journal Science, found that sleep plays an important role in our brain’s physiological maintenance. Simply put, it cleans out the trash that has accumulated during the day.

Our brains do not use the lymphatic system – the body’s waste removal method. It maintains it’s own system that works with the brain’s blood circulation system and uses cerebral spinal fluid to wash away waste. Additionally, study of mice shows that the brain’s cells shrink during sleep by as much as 60 percent, allowing cerebral spinal fluid flow easily between the cells and flush away waste. This leads researchers to believe that the brain probably has two functional states – processing information while we are awake and cleaning away the material that neurons generate during their normal activity while sleeping.

‘Giving your brain time to clean up’ may not spur you to improve your sleep habits, but there are plenty of proven benefits to a healthy sleep routine.

  • Sharper Memory: Lack of sleep disturbs a person’s ability to focus, learn and consolidate a memory, making it difficult for that information to be recalled at a future date.
  • Longer Lifespan: According to an article published in the journal SLEEP, researchers studied 21,000 twins for 22 years and found that if people slept less than 7 hours a night or more than 8 hours a night, they had an increased risk of death.
  • Lower Inflammation Risks: Researchers surveyed 525 middle-aged adults and found that those who reported six or fewer hours of sleep had higher levels of inflammatory markers. C-reactive protein levels were approximately 25 percent higher than adults who slept between six and nine hours.
  • Improved Performance: A study from Stanford University found that college football players who tried to sleep at least 10 hours a night for seven to eight weeks improved their average sprint time and had less daytime fatigue and more stamina.
  • Help Maintaining a Healthy Weight: The Nurses’ Health Study followed roughly 60,000 women for 16 years. At the beginning of the study, all of the women were healthy, and none were obese. After 16 years, women who slept 5 hours or less per night had a 15 percent higher risk of becoming obese and had 30 percent higher risk of gaining 30 pounds over the course of the study compared to women who slept at least 7 hours each night.

Let your brain get to work on it’s other job … and get a good night’s sleep!

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Spice for a Healthy Life

[Written by Peter Nielsen].

Ginger has long been used in traditional American cooking, from the wild ginger native Americans added to pumpkin and corn pudding to gingerbread, gingersnaps and Detroit’s famous ginger ale. Ginger can also be found in a wide array of other national cuisines, Thai, Chinese, Lebanese, Moroccan, Italian and many, many more! The great thing about ginger is it not only can serve many purposes as a spice, it has many health benefits.

Traditional Chinese, eastern Indian and native American health practices have used ginger extensively for the treatment of nausea, motion sickness, colds, joint pain, and circulatory problems. Indian Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine use ginger as a warming and stimulating herb to the body’s temperature, thus helping fight infection. Folk medicine has long prescribed ginger to promote circulation and act as a stimulant. Recent interest in Western scientific research has substantiated many of the traditional applications for this root. Gingerol, the active part of fresh ginger, is related to capsaicin and piperine, the compounds that give chili and black pepper their spicy flavor, and are also the active medicinal components in ginger. They contain powerful anti-inflammatory compounds, which some studies have indicated relieve the pain of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. An animal study at the University of Minnesota suggests that gingerols may even inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer cells.  The number of health benefits that is stunning:

  • Cancer Treatment and Prevention: A preliminary study conducted at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center indicates that an application of ginger powder induces cell death in all ovarian cancer cells, while research at  the University of Minnesota’s Hormel Institute found that gingerol prevented mice from developing colorectal carcinomas when compared to a control group
  • Morning Sickness Relief: A review of several studies has concluded that ginger is just as effective as vitamin B6 in the treatment of morning sickness.   A review of six controlled trials with a total of 675 participants confirmed that ginger is effective in relieving the severity of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.  Ginger is also safe, without significant side effects, and only a small dose is required.
  • Motion Sickness Prevention: Recent studies have indicated that ginger is highly effective in preventing the symptoms of motion sickness, reducing symptoms associated with motion sickness including dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and cold sweating.
  • Reduction of Pain and Inflammation: Another study showed that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and is a powerful natural painkiller. These anti-inflammatory properties of gingerol are believed to explain why so many people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience reductions in their pain levels and improvements in their mobility when they consume ginger regularly. Two clinical studies involving patients who responded to conventional drugs and those who didn’t, found that 75% of arthritis patients and 100% of patients with muscular discomfort experienced relief of pain and/or swelling.
  • Heartburn Relief: The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger minimize stomach acid, offering natural heartburn relief.
  • Cold and Flu Prevention and Treatment: Ginger can help promote healthy sweating, which is important for detoxification. As an anti-inflammatory, it also offers relief to sufferers of stomach flu.
  • Prevention of Diabetic Kidney Failure: A recent study of diabetic rats found that rats given ginger had a reduced incidence of nephropathy, or diabetic kidney damage. Additional findings included heightened antioxidant capacity in the ginger-supplemented rats.

Ginger is in season from March through September, and is sold in the produce section of markets. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks if left unpeeled.  Stored unpeeled in the freezer, it will keep for up to six months. Dried ginger powder should be kept in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark and dry place.  This is all good news, but don’t forget, always check with your physician before undertaking any new nutritional or fitness regimen.

Add a little spice to your life … it’s really good for you!

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Strike A Pose

Yoga works wonders for anyone at any age

When she was just 14 years old, Kari Brodsky’s mother, Jane, invited her to her yoga class. “I’m a workout-aholic and when I first tried yoga, I found it to be really hard. That’s what got me hooked — I love a challenge,” she says.

Ten years later, this second-year dental student was still hooked on yoga. In addition to taking yoga classes, she teaches yoga to female and male soccer players at the high school level. In fact, Kari’s father, Barry, is the soccer coach for both schools and got her involved. “Most of the soccer players are already well-rounded athletes, and yoga offers them more flexibility. Plus it strengthens their knees, joints and feet, and helps prevent injuries,” Kari says.

It also just helps you feel better. Which is why yoga attracts people of all ages. “If anyone says they can’t get into yoga, they’ve never really tried,” says Kari. “It’s one of the few workouts that’s available to everyone. There are so many classes and so many levels — you can start at any age. Yoga is more of an individual accomplishment because you work at your own pace.”

Just look at the Brodsky family. Kari’s mother still practices yoga and her father recently started. What convinced him? “His knees. He was a high school athlete — football, baseball and basketball — he’s torn everything and is in pain every day. He swims every morning, six days a week and he’s been doing yoga for about four months now. He loves it,” she says.

According to Kari, yoga is an on-going teaching process. “You’re doing something that’s good for your body for an hour. It works muscles you normally wouldn’t work. It requires you to set time aside for breathing and controlling your breath,” she says, adding, “Whatever age, shape, size; anyone can do it.”

Let’s look at a few basic yoga poses.

DOWNWARD FACING DOG

DOWNWARD POSITION 1

To start, position yourself on all fours.

DOWNWARD POSITION 2

Curl your toes under and push back through your heels, raising your hips and straightening your legs. (Make sure your heels are pushed toward the ground.)

Hands should be shoulder-width apart and feet hip-width. Palms should be on the ground, with fingers spread apart. Let your head relax. Move your shoulder blades away from the ears toward the hips. Breathe in and out through your nose.

PLANK POSITION

PLANK POSITION 1

Start at the top of the push-up position, keeping palms flat and fingers spread. Your head is extended and your body should be straight — your neck should be in line with your spine.

SIDE PLANK POSITION 2

From plank position, shift your weight over to the side you’re turning to. Stack your feet on top of one another, or if you need more balance, put one in front of the other.

Extend one arm up and push your shoulder blades together. Push your hips toward the sky. Turn your gaze up if you’re more advanced. Or look at the ground for better balance. (Looking up forces you to use your muscles to balance.)

WARRIOR I

WARRIOR I POSITION

Step forward with one foot so that you’re in a low lunging position. Turn your rear foot so that it’s flat on the ground. Bend your front knee over the ankle, so that your thigh is parallel to the ground.

Turn your hips to face forward. Bring your arms out to the side and up, with palms touching. Relax your shoulders down your back.

WARRIOR II

WARRIOR II TO REVERSE WARRIOR POSITION

From Warrior 1, exhale while left leg and left arm are forward (or vice versa,) and your other arm is extended behind you. Your hips turn open to one side.

With leg extended, lower your rear hand toward your leg, and extend your other hand skyward. Turn your gaze up toward your extended hand. Now you are in Reverse Warrior.

TRIANGLE

TRIANGLE POSITION

Coming out of Reverse Warrior, extend forward over your hips. Lower your hand to the ground and place it on the inside of your foot. (Or if you’re more comfortable, place it on the top of your foot or your shin.)

Extend your opposite arm to the sky. Pinch your shoulder blades together to open up your chest. Take your gaze up toward your extended fingertips.

BOAT

BOAT POSITION

Begin in a seated position with your feet on the mat and a straight spine. (You can hold your knees, if you like.)

Lift your feet up and reach your arms out to the side. Lower legs should be parallel to the ground. Tighten your stomach muscles.

Straighten your legs to a 45-degree angle keeping your back straight and your abdomen tight. Straighten your legs as far as you can to make a “V” shape with your body.

NOTE: Before starting any exercise program, you should first consult with your doctor. Exercise is a physical activity that has potential physical risk. Dunham’s Sports and all their affiliates are not responsible for an injury that could occur from exercise.

-Fitness Fanatic

*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail program at www.dunhamsrewards.com

Why You Need To Train Legs

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Leg day is the easiest session to skip in the gym. Leg training is tough — no doubt about it — and it can be tempting to forget your leg workouts in favor of easier training sessions or missing the gym altogether. Many guys and girls prefer to focus on the showier muscles — arms, abs, shoulders and chest — but leg training has many benefits that go beyond aesthetics. No matter how big your upper body is, Not training your legs will stunt your potential for your overall body. Having small legs will make your physique look odd at the least, if not ridiculous too. I was called chicken legs by a man who was like a second dad to me, my Brooklyn manager Dr Julie Levine who owned R & J Health studio. Those words were rocket fuel for me, it motivated me to prove him wrong, which thank God I did. In bodybuilding contests, judges don’t look at muscle mass in one area — they look at your whole package. This includes proportion and symmetry criteria, so if your legs are lacking, you won’t get far in the bodybuilding game. Even if you’re not looking to compete, small legs don’t look good when you’re at the beach or strutting your stuff in shorts.As you get older your legs become your best friend, helping you get out of a chair or car or bath tub.
 
For sport and athletic performance, working out your legs is vital, according to a 2013 study. A bigger squat, dead lift and power clean will translate to running faster on the sports field and jumping higher on the basketball court. Even endurance athletes can benefit from stronger legs. You’ll also build strong knee, hip and ankle joints leg training, reducing your risk of injury. Think you need cardio workouts to burn fat? Think again. Training your legs, particularly with multi-joint compound exercises, burns a higher number of calories than easier upper-body moves such as biceps curls or lateral raises. This leads to increased fat loss, which is also partly caused by the release of hormones you get when training legs. Your leg muscles are so large that this hormonal response can even help you build upper-body muscle mass. Weight-bearing exercises and resistance training are crucial components in the prevention and management of osteoporosis and arthritis. If you’re using weight training purely to keep bones and joints healthy later in life, do front squats, stiff-legged dead lifts, calf raises, leg presses and any other challenging leg moves that take your fancy. If you’ve been diagnosed with a bone or joint condition, however, and are looking to training to manage your condition, consult with your doctor and a fully qualified trainer before starting a routine.
 
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Core Strength

Pilates builds strength, flexibility and endurance.
 
Want to flatten your tummy, strengthen those shoulder blades, and build better posture? Pilates might just be the thing for you. Pioneered by the late Joseph Pilates in the mid-1920s, pilates builds strength, flexibility and endurance without adding bulk to muscles or increasing risk of injury. Pilates has outlasted just about every exercise fad and attracts all types of people, from exercise enthusiasts and Hollywood celebrities to rehabilitation patients and reformed couch potatoes.
 
There are a variety of methods that are modifications of the original, among them STOTT PILATES®. The original “classic” pilates program promotes movements on a flat back, while STOTT focuses on the spine’s natural curves and rebalancing body muscles.
 
We are featuring STOTT pilates as part of our Let’s Get Physical series. STOTT offers hundreds of specifically designed exercises that blend body awareness and breathing with fluid, controlled movements to tighten your core, stabilize your spine, and improve the way you move, feel and look. The body’s core is the heart of this exercise program.
 
“The core is like a box, with your abs on your front, side and back, spine on the back, diaphragm on the top and pelvic floor on the bottom,” explains instructor Liz Smythe, who teaches at one of the nation’s top STOTT teacher training studios, Equilibrium, in Bloomfield Hills, MI. “Pilates strengthens all of this and improves everything I do.”
 
It will take at least two pilates sessions (class, private or at home) per week to reap maximum benefits. It’s ideal when combined with cardiovascular exercise (walking, running, aerobics, swimming) and a great complement to weight training. Smythe demonstrates some of her favorite pilates poses.
 
THE HUNDRED (For abdominals and endurance)
 
To start, lie flat on your mat with your arms by your side and legs in the air with knees bent so that your shins are parallel to the floor.
 
Inhale, slightly nod your chin, exhale and curl up off the floor with your hands reaching toward your toes. Focus eyes toward your knees. Legs can stay where they are, or for more challenge, reach them out on a diagonal.
 
Begin inhaling through your nose for 5 counts and exhaling through a pursed lip for 5 counts until you reach 100 (10 sets). Gently pump your arms up and down, like you are pressing an imaginary nail toward the mat with your hands.
 
SPINE TWIST (Increases upper body range of motion)
 
Sit tall, engage abs and flex your feet. Move arms to the sides, relax shoulders.
 
Rotate from your abs to the right 3 times, going as far as you can the first time and attempting to go slightly further the next two times. Imagine you are getting taller with each rotation.
 
DOUBLE LEG STRETCH (Works the abdominals)
 
Lie flat on the mat with your legs in the air, knees bent, and shins parallel to the floor (tabletop position). Hands are on the outside of the knees and upper body is flexed off the mat, eyes on the knees.
 
Exhale, simultaneously reaching your legs to a diagonal position and your arms up past your ears like you are taking off an imaginary top hat.
 
Simultaneously sweep your arms out to the side and back where they started, touching your knees as you also return your legs to tabletop position.
 
PUSH UP (Works triceps, pectorals and abdominals)
 
Stand straight, keep shoulders down and bring arms straight above your head.
 
Nod head, roll down toward the mat. Pull in abs and curve spine until your hands reach the mat.
 
Arms can go out to the side or straight back. Inhale. Lower your arms for 3 counts. Exhale as you push up, keeping the shoulders stable. Do six reps.
 
SWIMMING PREP MODIFICATION (Great for lower back pain)
 
Start on your hands and knees with your hands under your shoulders and hips over knees, keeping the knees hip-distance apart. Spine is in neutral position following the back’s natural curve. Engage your abs as you lift your opposite arm and leg in the air.
 
Simultaneously move the arm and leg out to the side and back, keeping the rest of your body still.
 
Lower and repeat on other side. Kneel or sit on heels, extend arms overhead toward ceiling, then alternate arms in a swimming motion.
 
REFORMER: REVERSE EXPANSION (For balance and spine stability)
 
When visiting a pilates studio, you may find yourself utilizing some of the STOTT PILATES® specific equipment. Kneel on the carriage with your feet against the shoulder rests, ankles flexed, in an upright position. Spine is in neutral. Hold the straps with your palms facing forward and arms by the side of your body. Exhale. Reach the arms forward and upward as high as possible up to eye level, flexing the shoulders. Do not move torso, hips or legs. Return arms to starting position without falling.
 
 
 
NOTE: Before starting any exercise program, you should first consult with your doctor. Exercise is a physical activity that has potential physical risk. Dunham’s Sports and all their affiliates are not responsible for an injury that could occur from exercise.
 
-Fitness Fanatic
 
*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail program at www.dunhamsrewards.com

Five Spring Stars

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Some of the great joys of spring line the produce aisles of you local produce store or farmers market. Along with the delicious spring harvest comes some great opportunities to up the nutrition content of your diet, while enjoying it more! Fresh, seasonal produce reaps the most nutritional value. We’ve picked five of our favorites to share with you!
 
• Apricots‘ long growing season last from May to August. Fresh apricots are an excellent source of Vitamins C, E, potassium, and iron, as well as being a great source of beta-carotene. Additionally, two to three apricots offer nearly 50% of your daily value of Vitamin A. Did I mention they’re a great source of fiber with the low-overhead of three for 50 calories!
 
• Artichokes are available year-round, but the best time for truly fresh artichokes is from March through May. A study done by the USDA found that artichokes have more antioxidants than any other vegetable. Some of the powerful antioxidants in artichokes are quercertin, rutin, anthocyanins, cynarin, luteolin, and silymarin. They are also a good source of iron, potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamin C. A 2-ounce serving has about 3 grams of fiber… all that for just 25 calories!
 
• Asparagus is one of the first foods to signal the beginning of spring. Fresh asparagus are at their peak from March through June. They are a good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K; and are also a very good source of chromium, which heightens the ability of insulin to move glucose from the bloodstream into cells. Additionally, asparagus is rich in of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. Finally, each one of those green spears is brimming with antioxidants that neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. Preliminary research shows it may even help slow the aging process!
 
• Sweet cherries have a short harvest season, from late spring to early summer. They’re not only a highly sought-after summer favorite, they’re a true super fruit! Chock full of antioxidants, they help replace free radicals in your body before they can cause any damage. They are rich in the flavanoid queritrin, one of the most potent anticancer agents and contain ellagic acid, a naturally occurring plant phenolic known as an anti-carcinogenic/anti-mutagenic compound, which some researchers say acid may be the most effective way to prevent cancer. It’s hard to find a treat that offers so much goodness along with great taste!
 
• Fava beans are a nutrient-dense food that provide a high amount of nutrients packed in a low amount of calories. You can get 10 to 19 percent of your recommended daily value of vitamin B1 or thiamin, iron, copper, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium in just 1/4 cup of fava beans.They’re also an excellent source of folate, and manganese, supporting the immune system function and cardiovascular health while enabling metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and cholesterol. Fava beans also have 9 grams of fiber in that 1/4 cup and are particularly rich in soluble fiber which may help improve your blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
 
Leap into spring with a with these high-nutrient and anti-oxidant rich foods for a great, fresh start!
 
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