Spring into Shape!
It's finally happened, guys! Spring is finally here! ....well unless you live in New England and you're still dealing with the threatening messages of snow from your local weather station! But, have no fear, warm weather will be gracing us in no time!
Personally, I catch myself daydreaming of the days where I can finally go outside in a t-shirt, jeans and sandals again. Every year when the end of March rolls around, I start to get that impatient/excited feeling for warmer weather; which ultimately makes March seems like its about 600 days longer and 600 degrees colder than it should be. I can imagine you all experience this same feeling, am I right?!
So, let's talk about a few things that is going to get us in that Spring state of mind! Maybe start a new exercise routine? A new in-season dish to try? You can find all of that right here, convenient for you, all in one place!
Spring is the perfect time for a new fitness goal! Whether you're looking to begin your fitness journey or change up your current one, you should start with doing some research to ensure any changes you make to your lifestyle will compliment any injuries, physical limitations, or dietary restrictions you may have. The next step would be setting realistic goals and a plan you're confident you can achieve. One thing that has always worked for me is setting small goals that help me achieve a larger goal. For example, if I'm looking to lose weight, I would divide the total amount into months and try to successfully complete the goal for the month, rather than focusing on the larger goal. Small changes in your daily routine is the key to successfully changing your lifestyle long term. Too many changes at once could put you in a situation where you ultimately fail to meet your goals.
While doing your research and making a plan are both very useful to changing your routine or starting a new one, tracking your progress is also a very important part of maintaining and achieving your goals. Keeping track of your food intake and exercise will help you yield the results you're looking for and build your confidence to keep you moving forward in your lifestyle change. Don't forget to reward yourself in positive ways for achieving your milestones. Rewarding positive changes in a positive way can help you keep you on track and build your confidence.
Here are a few of my favorite exercises that could help mix up or begin your new routine:
The Double Leg Stretch:
Lie faceup on mat. Lift head, neck, and shoulders and bring knees to chest, arms hugging shins. Inhale, and straighten legs to a 45-degree angle while simultaneously extending arms along ears. Exhale, and circle arms down to hug shins as you return to starting position. Keep shoulders off mat throughout and maintain even breathing.
Start on your back with your hips and knees bent at 90-degree angles. You shins should be parallel to the floor. Place your arms alongside your body with your palms facing down. Exhale as you contract your lower abdominal muscles to lift your butt and lower back off the ground. Inhale as you release back to the starting position. Make sure this move is focused on your abs and that you’re not pressing into the ground with your hands.
Place yourself in a plank position but with each of your hands resting on a dumbbell. Contract the torso and tighten the glutes to lift the right elbow towards the ceiling, making sure to keep hold of the dumbbell. Slowly lower the arm back down to the ground making sure to keep the neck elongated and to breath. Do the same with the left arm, again keeping hold of the dumbbell. Keep alternating or for a set number of repetitions.
If you're choosing to work on changing your eating habit before adding in new exercise options, well you're in luck! I found and tried an in-season recipe that I'm sure will be a hit with you!
Spinach & Shrimp Pesto Pasta
Prep Time: 15min | Cook Time: 20min | Total Time: 35min
5 lb bag raw shrimp
1 package linguine pasta
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
4 cups fresh spinach
2 tbsp dried parsley flakes
1/2 tbsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more to grease pan
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheesed
salt & pepper to taste
Toast pine nuts until golden brown, set aside.
Cook and drain pasta as directed on the package.
While pasta is cooking, using a food processor, blend together spinach, basil, parsley, oregano, salt and garlic powder with oil to create the pesto sauce.
Toss pasta in pesto sauce.
Ideally using a greased cast iron grill pan over medium-high heat, cook raw, thawed shrimp for 2-3 minutes on each side or until just pink then remove from heat and set aside.
To serve, twirl pesto noodles and place several twirls onto each plate. Top with shrimp, Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Garnish with fresh basil ribbons.
We're sending you positive vibes on your journey to a healthier lifestyle and look forward to seeing you around the gym!
~Your Option 1 Fitness Family