First mobile post!

Okay, a little disclaimer before we begin.  If the wording seems especially odd or inappropriate, its likely my phone's auto correct feature is doing what it was clearly designed to do: make me sound like a fool.  I have learned my lesson after a really embarassing text so am pretty dutiful about proof-reading, but I may miss something here or there :)

The plank is a yoga-inspired static exercise that is one heck of a workout for your core.  I like the plank as part of a circuit of core exercises... It appears easy but is NOT!  Some things to remember when performing the plank: keep your back straight--it should not sag.  Also suck in your stomach...imagine drawing your belly button back to your spine.  Don't let your back end pop up, keep your glutes flexed.  Lastly, breathe!  Go ahead and give it a try--see how long you can hold it!!

Fall Soup!

I recently tried a recipe from for Creamy Corn Chowder and tweaked it just slightly... it's delicious, easy, filling, and is great the next day as leftovers!

Creamy Corn Chowder
Recipe adapted from Our Best Bites

2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. water
2 1/2 c. milk skim or 1% milk
2 regular-sized chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 lb. bacon or turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 small onion, minced
5 red potatoes, diced into small cubes
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans corn, drained
Salt and pepper to taste
Tabasco sauce to taste (I added about 1/4 tsp)

Melt butter then add flour and water to form a thick paste.  Add milk and bouillon and whisk together well.  Stir in bacon, onion, potatoes, garlic, and corn.  Simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  At salt, pepper, and Tabasco to taste.  Enjoy!


I was on the cross-country team one year when I was in high school and I can remember how before we would go out for our runs, the team captains would lead us through about 10 minutes of stretching.  I always just pretended like I knew what I was doing, or why I was doing it, but in reality I didn't.  I stretched because everyone else was.  And it made us look like serious business before a meet.  Or at least it made the rest of them look that way... because, with the speed of a turtle there's not a lot that can make me look fast.  But how often do we, or do we observe, people stretching before a run, a game, or practice?  It is very common!  There are four basic types of stretching, which we will review here.

  1. Static Stretching is slow and constant movement to the end of the range of motion, held for 30 seconds.  This is stretching technique is best AFTER activity, and not as part of a warm-up.  Recent studies have shown that there is not a link between pre-activity stretching and risk of injury (Weerapong et al, 2004; Weldon et al, 2003; Witvrouw et al, 2004) <---must they all start with W's??  However, there is evidence that static stretching immediately prior to training or competition can negatively affect performance in strength and power-dependent activities (Cramer et al, 2004; Evetovich et al, 2003; Papaclopoulas et al, 2005; Power et al, 2004; Behm et al, 2006; Wallmann et al, 2005; Young and Behm, 2003; Fletcher and Jones, 2004; Siatras et al, 2003).  {That's a lot of studies!} 
  2. Dynamic Stretching is functionally based stretching that mimics the activity you are about to perform.  An example of this is a light jog before a run.  This is the recommended stretching technique before activity in particular, but also helpful after activity.
  3. Ballistic Stretching is a bouncing-type movement in which the end point of the range of motion is NOT held.  An example of this is rapidly swinging your leg from flexion to extension before performing hurdles.  This is NOT a recommended method for stretching except in extreme cases where the athlete must reach beyond normal ranges of motion for their sport (i.e. gymnastics) because it may very easily cause injury to muscles or connective tissue.  **Side note: if you do p90x, skip the ballistic stretches in warm-up and cool-down and instead use static stretching!
  4. PNF Stretching is Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation and is a common method in rehabilitation.  It is a partnered stretch with active and passive components and has three types of stretches: Hold-Relax, Contract-Relax, and Hold-Relax-Agonist-Contract.
 And that's the skinny on stretching!  Make sure to include stretching as a part of your exercise routine--it is shown to improve overall flexibility, posture, and can help your mind and body relax.