Monthly archive for March 2015

Running and Stretching on eightWest

The weather has finally warmed up, after what seemed like the longest winter ever! Many people are itching to get outside, go running, and maybe even start training for a 5k. We stopped by the studios of eightWest this week to talk about stretching, running, and our latest 5k training program, RunFit.

Corey and Gina talked running and stretching with Rachael Ruiz.

Corey explains the proper way to stretch before running, while Gina demonstrates.

Watch our entire segment below, and if you have any questions on running, stretching, or fitness, just give us a call at 616.947.2720.

Our RunFit 5k training program starts March 18 at our new Grand Rapids location. The cost is only $20 for the 8 week session and participants will run the 5/3 Riverbank Run together on May 9. Register and get details here.

Check out our previous segments on eightWest where we talked about direct access and women’s health.

Not Your Ordinary Pizza

Makes 5-6 mini pizzas

1 package of gluten free pita or tortilla shells
1 package of organic cream cheese or goat cheese
1 cup spaghetti sauce or plain tomato sauce
1.5 cups frozen organic broccoli, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 small red onion diced
1 cup chopped tomatoes
2 organic/free range chicken breasts fully cooked and chopped into bite size pieces (leave out the chicken for a vegetarian option)
2 cups organic mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Italian seasoning

1. Pre heat oven to 350
2. Using a knife take about 2 tablespoons of cream cheese and spread it evenly onto the shells
3. Using a spoon, place about 2 scoops of red sauce onto each shell
4. Assemble each pizza with broccoli, tomatoes, onion and chopped chicken, then sprinkle with cheese
5. Sprinkle Italian seasoning evenly amongst the shells
6. Place on a sprayed baking sheet and put in oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted
7. Serve immediately

This recipe was brought to us by our friend Jennifer Smits, Chef and Personal Trainer.

Easy Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

Too busy to hit the gym? Don’t like people watching you work out? No more excuses – you don’t need a gym for these quick and easy exercises. All you need is the comfort of your own home or office – you can do these exercises anywhere. Burn a few calories and build strength and flexibility in just a few minutes each day.

Segmental Rotation: Core
Lie on your back with your knees bent and arms straight out to the side. With your back remaining neutral and your shoulders on the floor, let your knees roll slowly to the left. Go as far as feels comfortable, while keeping your spine neutral. You should feel a stretch throughout your core, but you should not feel pain. Hold this position for three deep breaths. Release and continue the exercise on your right side.

Wall Sit: Legs

No chair necessary! Against the wall begin to slide your back down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Keep your knees are directly above your ankles and make sure your back stays straight. Hold the pose for 30 seconds, rest and repeat 3-5 times. If your legs don’t feel the burn or you want something more, increase the time to 60 seconds and/or grab some hand weights and do a few bicep curls at the same time.

Pelvic Brace Exercise: Core
This exercise creates a feeling of deep tension and a drawing in of the lower abdomen, low back and pelvic floor. To begin, your spine and low back should be in neutral position and you’ll always want to perform the exercise at 30% or less of your maximum effort. Bring your belly button closer to your spine as if you were deflating a balloon, not just sucking your tummy in. Always remember to keep breathing. To feel the exercise, place your fingers on your lower abdomen just inside your hip bones – you should feel the low level of contraction under your fingertips. The correct core activation contraction creates a hollowing of the lower belly to the bikini line, and stiffness in the deep low back muscles. Perform this exercise slowly and in a controlled manner in both directions of motion until you feel fatigue, with a goal of increased time or repetitions as you progress.

Calf Raises: Legs
Simple enough, you can do this while you brush your teeth. Push yourself up swiftly on your toes and slowly back down again. Increase resistance by doing it on one foot at a time. Aim for 50 to 100 reps anytime throughout the day, or do these during your two-minute teeth brushing session.

Bridge: Core
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Be sure to keep your spine in a neutral position – not arched up or pressed firmly into the floor. Brace your abdominal muscles while tightening your butt muscles and raise your hips off the floor until they are aligned with your knees and shoulders. Remember, your knees, abdomen and shoulders should create a straight line – no arching of the spine. Hold this position for three deep breaths, release, and repeat 10-15 times.
You can start out slowly if these exercises aren’t comfortable – remember, it’s ok to push yourself a little, but exercising should never be painful. Just like any repetitive motion, you’ll get better and stronger with time and practice.