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Day 235: Plank Row

Start in a plank position with each hand on a light weight. Your feet should be slightly wider than your hips.

Bend you right elbow to raise the right weight to your ribs in a row. Keep your body parallel to the floor by squeezing your glute muscles and keeping your core tight.

Lower your right arm and the weight and then balance on your right arm as you row with you left arm.

Repeat 20x with each arm.


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Exercise That Doesn’t Feel Like Exercise: Bowling

Are you tired of your same old workout? Does going to the gym fill you with dread? Yeah, I’m there too. Welcome to the end of January, when the 45-minutes-a-day on the treadmill resolution that you made on December 31st starts to get old.

The solution? Find some exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise. It can be any sport? Dodgeball, indoor volleyball, walking a friend’s dog, etc. My humble suggestion, i.e. the one I’m doing, is a once a week 5 pin bowling league.

At first I was very skeptical that there was any actual exercise involved in bowling. The only image that came to mind when I thought of bowling (which shows exactly how little exposure I’ve had to it before) was Fred Flintstone, and his body is not one that I’d like to emulate. But a friend of mine encouraged me to go and so I did.

I was pleasantly surprised.

It isn’t a super athletic workout, to be sure. There is no sprinting the way there is in other sports. However, you are picking up a 4-5 pound ball and rolling it, which is a movement my right arm muscles weren’t used to. And most importantly, it got me up off the couch for two hours on a Monday night. Two hours that went by incredibly quickly, I might add. And afterword I felt just the right amount of tired and went home and had a nice deep sleep.

So is bowling the hot new exercise that is going to let you ditch the treadmill for good? Hell no. But it is a mildly active activity that is better than being sedentary and it can definitely be considered mild exercise. It is perfect for beginners.

A word of caution: I’m on a young team so none of our players were injured, but there were a few older teams and two players pulled muscles playing, so no matter how old you are, it is smart to warm up a little (especially – surprisingly – your leg and bum muscles) before you play and keep in mind that even though bowling does not require outstanding athleticism, you can still get hurt doing it, so be aware of your body mechanics.

 


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Recipe: Soba Noodles with Cabbage, Kalamata Olives, and Avocado

Soba Noodles with Cabbage, Kalamata Olives, and Avocado (serves 4)

Ingredients: 8 oz soba noodles, 1 avocado, 7 oz cabbage, 1 shallot, 10 kalamata, olives, 1 lime, 1/2 minced ginger, 1 1/2 oz sesame oil, 1 oz tamari, 1/2 tsp chili peppers, 1 tbsp cooking oil

Directions: 

Bring a medium pot of lightly salted water to a boil.

Thinly slice the cabbage. Remove the pits and thinly slice the olives. Half and pit the avocado. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon and thinly slice it. Half, peel, and thinly slice the shallots. Quarter the lime.

When the water comes to a boil, add the soba noodles and cook them for 6 minutes. Strain the noodles when done.

Meanwhile, in a large pan, add the 1 tbsp of cooking oil over medium high heat and add the shallots and cook for 2 minutes. Stir often.

Add the cabbage and cook for 2 minutes. Continue to stir.

Add the olives and stir for 1 minute. Then season with a little salt and remove it from the pan.

Add the sesame oil, ginger, chili peppers, tamari, and the juice of the full lime and buzz until the ginger has been liquified.

Add the soba noodles to the pan with the cabbage and mix in the liquid from the blender. Stir well and serve with avocado on the side.

 


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Day 233: Plyo Split Squats

I’m not going to lie: this exercise is a little tricky. It is essentially jumping between squats and lunges as you move across the room. If you are a beginner, you might feel silly at first, but focus on your technique (do this in front of a mirror, or a bunch of mirrors in the gym, if you can) and soon you will be alternating between squats and lunges like a pro. Good luck!

How to do it:

  1. Start in a squat position. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. Bend your elbows and clasp your fingers in front of you. Your thighs should be parallel to the floor.
  2. Jump as you shift your right foot in front of your left, landing in a lunge position.
  3. Bring your left leg forward into another squat and repeat on the other side.


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Recipe: Quinoa Spaghetti with Bok Choy and Romano Cheese

Quinoa Spaghetti with Bok Choy and Romano Cheese (Serves 4)

Ingredients:

1 tbs olive oil, 8 cups of thinly sliced bok choy, 1 thinly sliced bell pepper (any colour), 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 5 minced cloves of garlic, 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth, 1/2 lb quinoa spaghetti, 4 thinly sliced green onions, 2 oz grated romano cheese

Directions:

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bok choy, the bell pepper, and the red pepper flakes. Sauté it for 8 minutes.

Stir in the garlic.

Stir in the broth.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 3 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

While the bok choy and pepper mixture is cooking, cook the quinoa spaghetti according to the directions on the package. Test a strand every once and a while close to the end of the cooking time to see when it it cooked the way you like it.

Drain the pasta when it it done and then put it back in the pot. Add the bok choy and pepper mixture. Mix well.

Divide the pasta between 4 bowls and top with the green onions and romano cheese. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top, to taste.