It’s a revolution. Tweeting is in. Short is the new long. Attention spans are shrinking. R U serious? 4 sure! Less is more. #Cool.
#4TIGHTRABS. Want more core strength? Of course you do. Lie on your back in front of a chair. Put your heels on the seat in front of you so you form a 90-degree angle at your hips and knees. Clasp your hands lightly behind your neck, elbows moving toward each other. Slowly lift your shoulders up, off the ground, pressing your lower back into the floor. Lift and lower with awareness, focusing your attention on your ab muscles. Breathe! Do each one perfectly, until your abs are screaming for you to stop.
#HUNGRYORTHIRSTY? Next time you want to snack on a cookie or a bag of Fritos, drink a glass of water first. Then wait 30 seconds. Is that hungry feeling still there? Probably not. You’ll be amazed how well this works.
#KIDSLOVETHEARTS. If your son or daughter can’t find their sport on the ball field or basketball court, start looking east. Kids who don’t like traditional sports can find great joy and exercise and even themselves in the martial arts. Aikido (my fav), judo, karate and taekwondo can all work wonders on kids. They build strength and flexibility, boost self-confidence and teach kids discipline. Plus, the outfits are adorable.
#ANGERBGONE. There is a maddening amount of research that suggests men and women who walk around irritable and moody and angry are seriously increasing their risk of heart disease. The best revenge is no revenge at all. Give it up. Let it go. Laugh it off. When you transform negative emotions into positive ones — joy, gratitude, compassion — your health improves, and your heart grows stronger.
#CR8SPACEONYOURPLATE. Taking smaller portions and eating more slowly — lowering your fork between bites, chewing each mouthful 15 to 20 times — are two excellent ways to reduce your food intake. So is designing your plate to have more open space. That’s where the calories were. And when you combine fewer calories with more exercise, you put yourself on the light-filled path to losing weight without dieting. Way 2 go!
#SOMETHINGROT10INAUGRATIN. There’s an art to ordering smart in a restaurant. Stay away from anything Au Gratin. That’s French for loaded with butter, cheese and bread crumbs. Resist high-fat cream sauce and all things order generic accutane fried, and be sure to order your salad dressing on the side. Share entrees. Delight in doggie bags. Small changes in how you order brings big changes in how you feel after eating.
#BKIND2YOURBACKSIDE. The mirrors in the gym only show us the front side of our bodies, so, naturally, we tend to spend more time developing those areas: our quads, our chest, our shoulders. Nice … but not good enough. For better balance and greater strength, spend an equal amount of time on your backside: your hamstrings, your triceps and rhomboids, your lower and middle back.
#DONTBSAD. Do you turn blue in winter? It could be S.A.D. — Seasonal Affective Disorder — a depressing downturn in your mood due to less sunlight. What to do? Get out in the sun. Expose yourself to full spectrum light by way of special bulbs or light boxes. Exercise with enthusiasm. Vacation in a warm, sunny spot. Get tested to see if you’re getting enough vitamin D.
#REENERGIZE! Falling asleep at your desk? Here’s a quick way to re-energize. Put your elbows on the desk, close your eyes, and cover them with the palms of your hands, pressing gently against the entire eye socket. Breathe deeply, listening to the sound of your inhalation and exhalation. After a few minutes, take your hands down and open your eyes, and you should feel totally refreshed.
#LOSEWORNOUTSHOES. Most athletic shoes lose their cushioning and support after three to six months of steady use. If you don’t replace them, your risk of knee and ankle injuries goes way up. Check out your shoes today. Tread gone? Cushioning shot? Heels worn away? Toss or recycle them depending on the wear, and treat yourself to a new pair.
I am Marilynn Preston, and I’ve approved all of these little messages.
ENERGY EXPRESSO! WHEN IS TWEETING 2 MUCH?
“If Facebook is displacing real friendship, if Twitter is diminishing actual conversation, then maybe that’s a good reason to limit how much of your life they consume.” — Bill Keller
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Marilynn Preston — fitness expert, personal trainer and speaker on healthy lifestyle issues — is the creator of Energy Express, the longest-running syndicated fitness column in the country. She has a website, http://marilynnpreston.com and welcomes reader questions, which can be sent to [email protected]