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

Guilt-Free Edamame “Guacamole” Recipe

by on June 27, 2014

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Summertime barbeques, Superbowl parties, and taco tuesdays are all great excuses to serve some guacamole.  But, lets face it, we’ve all struggled with a little guilt over how many calories we are consuming chip by chip.  This Edamame “Guacamole” recipe is about half the calories of avocado guacamole and is higher in protein too. Delicious and healthy! You don’t need an excuse to serve this any day.

Edamame “Guacamole”
Half the calories and 3 times the amount of protein of guacamole made with avocados – 86.7 cal., 6.7 g protein

Recipe by Jeannie Solomon, Wellness Coach at the PJCC

INGREDIENTS
2 cups shelled edamame beans
2 Tbsp. lime juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup red onion, diced
½ cup fresh cilantro
½ jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
½ tsp salt (more to taste if needed)
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper (more to taste if needed)
1 Tbsp. olive oil

DIRECTIONS
1. Place edamame in the bowl of a food processor and process to a paste, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. This should take less than a minute.

2. Add lime juice, garlic, red onion, cilantro, jalapeno, green onions, salt, pepper and olive oil to the food processor. Process to combine. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

3. Serve immediately.

Jeannie Solomon – PJCC Wellness Coach – jsolomon@pjcc.org

Welcoming The Shadow: Dealing With Negative Self Talk

by on June 25, 2014

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“When we were one or two years old we had what we might visualize as a 360-degree personality. Energy radiated out from all parts of our psyche… But one day we noticed that our parents didn’t like certain parts of that ball of energy that we were. They said things like, “Can’t you be still?” or “It isn’t nice to try and kill your brother.” Behind us we have an invisible bag, and the part of us that our parents don’t appreciate we, to keep our parents love, put in the bag. By the time we go to school the bag is quite large. Then our teachers have their say: “Good children don’t get angry over such little things.” So we take our anger and put it in the bag. By high school it is our peers whose opinion we value sufficiently to stuff more parts Continue reading

Discover the Bay the Artsy Way

by on June 16, 2014

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It’s fun to play tourist in your own backyard. I mean if you are going to staycation, the Bay Area, a major vacation destination is a pretty great place to do it. But this summer, get to better know the sites through site-specific performances.

Now if I suggested you walk across the Golden Gate Bridge and take in the view, you’d rightly say, “Kimberly, thanks, but EVERYONE knows that.” But how much time have you spent under Continue reading

A Healthy Lunch Is In The Bag

by on June 10, 2014

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A nutritious brown bag lunch is not only easy to prepare, but economical and healthier than the usual cafeteria fare or fast-food options. Not to mention, a good midday meal can help bolster those notorious mid-day slumps and keep you on your game. Here are a few tips for bagging a healthy lunch.

Think Outside the Box
The healthiest lunches should contain foods from three different food groups: a protein, whole grain, and a fruit and/or vegetable. However, this doesn’t mean you’re stuck with the Continue reading

HIV Awareness: HIV Testing Day is June 27

by on June 3, 2014

HIV-625My twin daughters were born in August of 1981, just two months after a publication from the CDC reported the first cases of a rare lung infection that eventually led to what became known as the AIDS epidemic. Because they were very premature, my newborn daughters required numerous blood transfusions from Irwin Memorial Blood Bank in San Francisco. One daughter received over 40 different transfusions. In 1985, the FDA approved the first blood test to detect HIV antibodies in the blood, and blood banks began their first screening of their blood supply. It was shortly thereafter that my wife and I received a letter from the Continue reading