Monthly Archives: July 2014

Looking for a Low-Impact Workout? Try Battle Rope Training

by on July 28, 2014

by Christopher Nash, PJCC Personal Trainer

Kevin, a fit software engineer, wanted to pursue cardio training. However, the 50-year old was concerned that running would be hard on his already-bad knees, the collateral damage of a 30-year love for soccer. He had also had a hip replaced the previous year. When Kevin asked me about cardio alternatives to running, I shared several workout options, including a little-known fitness routine called Battle Ropes.

Originally developed for specific sports such as football and martial arts, Battle Rope training is a highly effective, back-to-basics type of conditioning that is “roping in” fans with its new twist to standard workouts. The rope is used as a tool that manipulates the user’s body weight while providing a safe and very intense low-impact workout. Using a thick, sturdy rope approximately 50 feet in length, the constant whipping motion helps tone muscles while increasing endurance and upper-body strength. Done correctly, a Battle Rope workout:

    • Burns calories and tones muscle
    • Simultaneous combines core, cardio and strength training
    • Cultivates flexibility, posture correction, and stamina

As I coached Kevin through typical battle rope movements, he noticed that within ten short minutes he was sweating. A lot. His feet weren’t even moving and yet his entire body was fully engaged, every muscle feeling as if he’d just ran five miles on the treadmill. After a 30-minute workout, he said, “I’ve never felt my body work this way, like every muscle was hit.” He was delighted to find an effective solution to his fitness limitations.

Battle Rope Training, along with other types of new body weight manipulation workout tools, revolves around scientific facts that are changing the way the fitness industry perceive fitness training. Physical limitations need not exclude exercise. Talk to a fitness instructor and share any concerns you may have. With the right tools, coaching, and guidance, you can meet and even exceed your fitness needs.

Don’t Let Go Of Hope

by on July 24, 2014

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As the violence in Israel and Gaza continues to escalate and claims more victims, the pain I feel is palpable.

My heart aches for the IDF soldiers killed in action, and for the Israeli civilians who suffer an endless torrent of rockets fired at their homes and their children. My heart aches as well for the innocent civilians of Gaza who are killed or wounded, caught as they are in a deepening web of warfare. My guess is that many of you feel this same way. My guess is, too, that the majority of Israelis and Palestinians share the common wish that their children grow up to thrive in the sunshine, without fear of rocket and mortar fire. At the very least, I need to believe that.

And yet, I and so many others are falling into a malaise of hopelessness. In the words of Israeli author David Grossman, it is a malaise that submits that “anyone who still hopes, who still believes in the possibility of peace, is at best naïve or a deluded dreamer…”

Still, hope is not just a powerful necessity; it is our best – perhaps only – weapon. We who watch the unfolding of violence from a distance, no matter our politics, need to hang on to hope with every ounce of our strength. We need to nurture the hope that peace will come – that sooner or later politicians and military leaders will realize that peace is the only way. We must believe that peace will break forth seeded by vision, courage, and the will to create a new, affirmative reality in the Middle East.

If we are to hold-onto-for-dear-life this dream of peace, as I believe we must, we might begin with ourselves. Let us not just hope for peace, but become peace. We can learn to speak to each other authentically and kindly; we can act toward others, especially those difficult people in our lives, with kindness and concord. We can, as Jewish tradition instructs us, “seek peace and pursue it.”

And in the meantime, we can hope and pray for peace in Israel and Gaza, and all the places across the globe where mistrust, hate, and violence have taken root.

Let peace fill the earth as waters fill the sea.

Summer Smoothie with a Vitamin Boost

by on July 15, 2014

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Strawberry Peach Refresher Smoothie
Serves 2

Are you ready for something cool, delicious, and good for you?

This smoothie uses the mild tasting green, bok choy, which is known as a cancer-fighting cabbage because of its good source of beta carotene.  In just one 9 calorie cup of bok choy, you receive 63% vitamin A, 52% vitamin C and 8% calcium of your daily recommended value.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups bok choy, fresh
  • 2 cups almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 cup strawberries*
  • 2 cups peaches*

*Use at least one frozen fruit to make the smoothie cold.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Blend bok choy and almond milk until smooth.
  • Next, add the remaining fruits and blend again.

Pour into glasses and enjoy!

 

 

Monkey See, Monkey Do — How Behavioral Modeling Influences Health

by on July 1, 2014

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My 2-year-old granddaughter seemed to welcome her newborn baby sister with bland indifference. I observed her as she played with her blocks and other toys and did not appear to be perturbed by the presence of a new member in her family. After she had dinner, I was surprised when she set out deliberately for the couch, wrapped her mother’s pillow around her lap, lifted her shirt, and clutched her bear to her chest. It was dinner time for her bear! While it was fun to watch her precise imitation of breast feeding, it made me stop and wonder how we as adults subconsciously follow patterns of behavior that may not reach our cognitive awareness. Continue reading