The focus for FEBRUARY is on building a strong, supple core.
Having stable core muscles is a key part of having a healthy and fit body. These muscles are a key player in posture, circulation, stress, pain, and even digestion. We've included info on exercises, nutrition tips, lifestyle factors, and more.
Here we go: Importance of core strength
When was the last time you gave your core muscles a little TLC?
They work SUPER HARD for you all day, every day. But most of us don’t give them the attention they deserve – and when we DO think about them, it’s probably about how they look.
Well, here’s something eye-opening:
Your Core Muscles:
● Form the basis of basically EVERY movement you make, day and night.
● They keep your spine safe and stable as you move your arms and legs.
● They help you keep your balance.
● They power your breathing,
● Support your organs, and
● Keep you standing and sitting tall.
When they are out of whack, you can get headaches, neck aches, and low back pain (80% of us will suffer from back pain at some point!).
You also can feel stiff and sore, tired, or have a hard time turning your head in either direction – plus, having weak core muscles can make you feel older than you actually are.
The problem is that for many of us, these muscles are out of balance because of the everyday things we do (or don’t do).
● Sitting slouched in front of a laptop, or sitting too much,
● Walking hunched over a phone, and
● Sleeping in not-so-optimal positions (i.e., curled up in a ball)
So … what can you do about it?
We are going to take a deep dive into CORE STRENGTH this month and explore the hows and whys of making your core stronger.
And it all starts with a little assignment for you ...
---> Every time you look at your phone today, think about your POSTURE! Sitting or standing tall helps keep those muscles in balance. Plus, it can improve your breathing AND your energy level.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes.
It’s the simple things we do every day that can have the biggest impact on how we feel!
Make it an amazing day,
Karina Cross - Master Trainer ACSM ALPOFI TRX IHP ASFA Owner Karina Cross Fitness
February Is American Heart Month
“A man who has his health has a thousand dreams. But a man who has no health, has only one.”
Here at Karina Cross Fitness, we are determined not just to improve your fitness… but to improve your LIFE. And as the quote suggests, an infinitely possible life starts with your health. As we transition further into 2021, I want to focus this February on the health of your HEART. Here are a few tips to get you started— ALL of which, are great for your heart:
#1 Get your Heart Right
Your heart responds to EFFORT… and effort needs FUEL! Fuel your body with the proper nutrients to support both your fitness goals and the health of your heart! Here are some great options to add to your daily menu: 1. Leafy Green Vegetables are amazing for your heart. Vegetables like Spinach, Kale, and Collard Greens are well-known for their wealth of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Such as Vitamin K, which helps protect your arteries and promote proper blood clotting! 2. Almonds are healthy source of unsaturated fat (the GOOD fat). Not only is this type of f at good for your heart, It actually BOOSTS serotonin (the chemical in your body that makes you happy), which allows you to sleep better at night. 3. Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are jam-packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants protect against stress by decreasing inflammation in the body that contributes to heart disease! 4. Avocados are also an excellent source of heart-healthy fats, which contribute to reducing levels of cholesterol- lowering risk of heart disease. 5. Fish like Salmon, Mackerel, Sardines, and Tuna are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids which have been studied extensively for their heart-health benefits. It was found that eating fish over the long term was linked to lower levels of total cholesterol, fat in the blood, blood sugar, and blood pressure. #2 Get Your Mind Right What are you reading? Who are you hanging out with? What are you listening to? When it comes to getting your mind right, ALL of these things are important. If what you are feeding your MIND does not have the ingredients of LOVE, MOTIVATION, SUCCESS, KNOWLEDGE, WISDOM, or just flat out POSITIVITY… you are not giving it the nutrients it needs to function at it’s best. And if we are not actively feeding ourselves these things… we are most likely consuming fear, negativity, and complacency instead. In order to have a heart that is motivated to take action and be our BEST, we must start by feeding it with great thoughts. Do this through books, podcasts, and GREAT community.
#3 Get your Body Right If your heart is the engine, your body is the Ferrari! What is your fitness routine like right now? Are you working with a personal trainer? Me? Great! Try Pilates too. Doing Pilates? Awesome! Are you getting outside for a hike, running/walking, or hitting the pavement with your bike? “Winning” your health and fitness often means getting into a state of PLAY! When you mix up your routine, you keep your mind engaged, your spirit soaring, and your heart happy. Trust me, your body will thank you! Are you investing in your RECOVERY? Recovery is the very reason we are able to perform at our highest capacity. Stretching, foam roll at the end of your workout would be great. What about getting a massage.
#4 Valentines Day
One of my FAVORITE ways to make a heart healthy… is by making someone ELSE’S heart happy! Don’t forget that Personal Training Gift Certificates are ALWAYS available and sure to put a smile on someone face. Stop by the front desk or call 309-202-5375 for more information!
Karina Cross – Master Trainer ACSM ALPOFI ASFA IHP TRX Owner Karina Cross Fitness
Friday, 5th it's Foodie Friday at Karina Cross Fitness With Christin
COZY SEAFOOD CURRY Easy to prepare with your favorite fish or seafood, this elegant, health packed and versatile stew makes a fabulous feast for the senses. For a comforting weeknight meal, keep it simple with salmon or halibut. Or dress it up for a special occasion with wild calamari, artisan shrimp, and sea scallops. Make-ahead tip: prepare the stew without the seafood and refrigerate for up to 3 days, then add the seafood before serving. Yields 4-6 servings Ingredients:
2 pounds frozen seafood, thawed
24 oz fish broth, thawed
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
12 ounces crimini or shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 pinch red pepper flakes, more to taste
2 cups tomato puree
2 cups coconut milk, unsweetened, full fat
Chopped cilantro for garnish
Instructions: In a heavy, medium-large pot with a lid, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and sea salt, and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté until tender and their liquid has evaporated, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic, ginger, spices, and tomato puree. Cook for another minute, stirring constantly. Stir in fish broth and coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 10 minutes while you prep the seafood. If preparing this dish ahead, at this point you can refrigerate it for up to 3 days, then add the seafood as follows before serving. Cut fish into bitesize chunks and remove skin, if desired. If using calamari, slice tubes crosswise into ½-inch rings and leave tentacles as is. Shrimp and scallops can be left whole. Just before serving, stir in seafood and simmer gently for 3 minutes. Ladle into bowls, top with cilantro, and serve.
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