One of the resolutions that people tend to make for the New Year is to maintain a healthier lifestyle by staying fit. Our 30 Day Fitness Challenge concluded in December, but the content will continue to be available for you to apply to your regimen:
- HSS Performance Specialists Jamie Osmak and Kara Federowicz provided workouts that strengthen and tone your Upper Body, Lower Body, and Whole Body. Exercises that were provided in the videos included push-ups, squats, and glute bridges. Consult with your physician or other healthcare provider before beginning this or any exercise program. It’s also a good idea to contact a certified fitness professional to determine your level of fitness and make sure you’re using proper form.
- For those interested in incorporating the Pilates Method for balance and flexibility, Pilates instructor Sarah Faller provided many useful poses such as the Spine Stretch Forward, which is great for spine mobility and hamstring flexibility: Begin seated with legs extended slightly wider than hip width. Sit on top of a bolster or rolled towel if your hips/hamstrings are tight. Inhale and sit tall on your sits bones. To locate your sits bones, it is important to sit tall with good posture and tilt your pelvis forward.
Exhale and rock your pelvis forward and begin stretching forwards one vertebrae at a time. You may let your head and neck relax but do not collapse into your shoulders and back. The goal is to reach forward with an elongated spine, not to round your back so you can touch your toes. Inhaling while holding the stretch, and exhale as you slowly roll back up through your spine one vertebrae at a time. Repeat 10 times.
- Another way to stay fit in the New Year is by eating healthier. Dietician Jason Machowsky provided useful information as to how to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet and provided lighter alternatives to classic dishes, including a recipe for mashed cauliflower. He also offered strategies for making good choices at parties and holiday dinners.
- Tying into the importance of a healthy diet, Jason also discussed hydration in “Hydration: How Much You Actually Need, and More Appealing Ways to Get It.” As Jason said, the amount of water needed each day varies according to a person’s body mass index and activity levels, but a good rule of thumb is to get about half your body weight in ounces of fluids per day. His tips for staying hydrated included: Drinking water with meals or snacks. Making a habit of drinking a glass of water when you wake up, and before you go to bed. Taking a drink of water or low-calorie beverage every 30 to 60 minutes throughout your day.
- Lastly, an important element to keep in mind when staying fit for the New Year is managing your stress while remaining motivated. Massage therapist Michele Carlstrom provided many useful tips to do so, such as: Establishing a regular, relaxing bedtime routine that includes reading, a hot bath or soothing music before settling in to a dark, quiet sleep environment. Taking 10 minutes, wherever you are and whenever you can, to stretch, walk around the block, run in place, dance to your favorite music, or even doing some vigorous housework to jumpstart your circulation and boost your energy. Practicing a 10 minute mini-meditation. All you need to do is find someplace quiet, sit/lie down comfortably, and just breathe deeply for 10 minutes. Try to only think of taking slow, even, deep breaths. If your mind starts to wander, don’t fret – just refocus your attention onto your breathing. You’ll be amazed at how calm, clear and energized you feel after this short mental respite. Treating yourself to a professional massage. A massage is not only relaxing, it improves circulation and immune support.
It’s not too late to consider taking the 30 Day Fitness Challenge into consideration when designing a fitness plan for the New Year. Previous posts from our challenge can be found here: hss.edu/fitnesschallenge/
Polly de Mille is the coordinator of performance services at the Tisch Performance Center at Hospital for Special Surgery. In addition to being a registered nurse, she holds a master’s degree in exercise physiology and is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as a registered clinical exercise physiologist, exercise specialist and exercise test technologist. She is also a certified USAT Level 1 triathlon coach.
Jason Machowsky is a sports dietitian, certified strength and conditioning specialist, and certified personal trainer at the Tisch Performance Center. He has an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a masters degree from Columbia University.
Jamie Osmak is a certified strength and conditioning specialist at the Tisch Performance Center. Jamie is a USA Track and Field Level 1 coach and corrective exercise specialist with a degree in Exercise Science from Rutgers University.
Michele Carlstrom is a massage therapist at the Tisch Performance Center. She is a professional member of the AMTA, and has been practicing medically based massage since 2007.