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Simply Fit, by Cindy Haskin-Popp, will help you make physical activity a part of everyday life. The health benefits of regular exercise and overall daily physical activity will be discussed. Fun, practical and easy-to-follow tips on an exercise program will be shared, as will the most current research. Fitness tips for families and seniors, on fitness centers and on buying proper and affordable equipment will be regularly given. 

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Fitness Tricks That Treat

Don't let the abundance of Halloween candy lead to extra weight gain this trick-or-treat season. Sneak in some extra frighteningly fun fitness activities as you walk your trick-or-treaters around the neighborhood Halloween evening. Here is how to do it:
  • Before heading out, do a light 5 minute warm-up. Then perform one set of Pumpkin Plie Squats (see exercise description below).
  • Designate each stop at a house as a mini exercise station. While you are waiting for your child to get a treat, perform one of the exercises pictured below.
  • In between stops, alternate a light walk with the Dracula Dash (a brisk walk). For instance, between the first and second homes do a light walk. During the second and third homes do the Dracula Dash. Repeat the sequence for subsequent homes.

Pumpkin Plie Squat: works inner and outer thigh, buttocks, core stabilizers, and outer shoulder muscles
Step One: Stand with your feet greater than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing outward. Hold a small carving pumpkin in front of you, just below your waist.
Step Two: While keeping your back straight and tightening your abdominal muscles, bend at the knees. At the same time, lift the pumpkin up to the level of your chest. Hold for a count of two. Slowly return to the starting position while tightening your buttocks muscles. Perform one set of 10 repetitions.

Jumpin' "Jack"-O-Lanterns: increases heart rate while working hip, thigh, calf, shoulder, and back muscles.
Step One: Stand with your feet together and your hands to your sides.
Step Two: Slightly jump while moving your feet to a distance greater than shoulder-width apart. At the same time, bring your arms over your head and clap your hands.
Step Three: Slightly jump again, this time bring your feet back together and your arms back to your sides. Repeat sequence for one set of 10 repetitions.

"BOO"tie Buster: works buttocks, thigh, and hip muscles.
Step One: Stand with your feet together and your toes pointing forward. Assume the squat position by slightly bending your knees. Your arms should be at your sides, bent at the elbow.
Step Two: Raise yourself out of the squat position while lifting and pushing your right leg behind you. Tighten your buttocks muscles as you lift your right leg. Hold for a count of two. Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat. Perform 1 set of 5-8 repetitions per leg.

"R.I.P."pin'-Good Body Blaster: works upper arm, shoulder, upper back, abdominal, thigh, and buttocks muscles.
Step One: While holding your trick-or-treater's bag of collected candy in your right hand, stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Tighten your abdominal muscles and bend forward at your hips while keeping your back straight.
Step Two: While rotating your torso to the right, raise the bag of candy to the level of your hip. Your elbow should be pointing toward the sky. Hold for a count of two. Repeat. Perform one set of 5-8 repetitions per arm.

At the end of the trick-or-treating session, make sure to cool-down for about 5 minutes, such as a slow walk.

Note: Before beginning an exercise program or increasing the intensity level of a current routine, a physician's approval should be obtained, especially for older adults and those at risk for or who currently have chronic health conditions.

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Anonymous Joe Terranova said...

Ha ha, good article Cindy!

November 2, 2009 at 3:24 PM 

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