Ballin’

Want to build stronger abs? Here’s an exercise I learned in an aerial conditioning class at my circus school. It will make you sweat, it will make you shake and it will get you nice toned arms, legs and abs!

Yoga Ball Pike

1) Get on all hands and knees and with one leg at a time, get into push up position on the yoga ball.

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2) Keeping your legs straight, and squeezing your butt, legs, and core, PIKE and bring the ball to your face. You should be attempting to stack the hips above the shoulders and head. Do not bend the knees and bring it to the chest. Keep your legs straight and flexed.

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Pike

3) Hold this position for 5 breaths. Then repeat 10 times.

How does this feel? It is completely fine if you can only get halfway with your pike. Keep working towards keeping the legs straight and the core engaged.

Hungry for more,

The Midwest Marmot

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Why You Should Keep Drinking

While normally I would promote the extra glass of wine (or whiskey) after a rough day, this post is about why you should keep drinking water. And lots of it!

Your body is made of 60% water. The organs in your body rely on water to function properly. Every time you sweat, pee, breathe, water is going out of your system and you need to replenish it.  You can survive up to three weeks without food, but you can only survive up to three days without water.

Why do you need to drink at least 8 cups a day?

1) Hydration is the key to maintaining a fully active, proper functioning body. Want to make sure you can get through your work out? Drink water before your routine and constantly take water breaks to rehydrate and regulate your body temperature for your workout without feeling ill.

2) Feeling tired or moody lately? Most office workers will complain about that post lunch “two o’clock feeling” and it’s most likely because they had a sodium packed meal, caffeinated beverage, and haven’t drank enough water.  Symptoms of dehydration include: dizziness, fatigue, headache, and diarrhea.  Drinking water will wake you up, make you more alert and focused. If you are already feeling thirsty, you are dehydrated, and you need to replenish the water in your system.

3) Water aids with digestion. It helps move all that food through your intestines, so if you feel an upset stomach coming, drink a glass of warm water to help the digestion process.

4) Water flushes toxins out of your system. Why do you try to drink so much water when you are hungover? You are hydrating your body and ridding your body of the toxins from alcohol. The same can go for any toxins. If you have a cold or something in your body doesn’t feel right, drinking plenty of water will help get those toxins out of your system.

5) Skin looking a bit discolored or dry and flaky? Your skin is the largest organ and is made of water. Drinking lots of water can hydrate and add glow back into your skin.

Although I’m preaching the great health benefits of water, I am guilty of not always drinking 8 cups a day. My top excuses are that I don’t want to get up and refill my cup, or that there’s just no water available.

Here are some quick tips on how to make sure you are constantly hydrated:

1) Keep a glass of water by the bed and when you wake up, drink it right away. That is 1 out of 8 cups done! This will wake you up and replenish all of the repairing your body did while you were asleep. I’ve started drinking a glass of lemon water every morning as a habit, but I will blog about that in another post.

2) Carry a water bottle with you. EVERYWHERE. I carry a 32 oz bottle with me in my backpack or purse whenever I leave the apartment. My biggest excuse is usually when I am on the go, I don’t have water with me which eludes to me drinking only 4 cups a day. If you constantly have water with you, then you just have to drink it.

3) Have a glass of water before your meal. This little trick can help in weight loss and really help diminish those snack binges. Most of the time, when you think you are hungry, you are actually thirsty. If you have three meals a day, and you had that glass of water when you woke up, that knocks out 4 out of the 8 cups.

4) Keep a water journal. For one day, just track how many cups of water you drink. You can easily do this on your phone in the notes section. Just keep a tally after each glass and you can see how much water you are actually drinking each day.

After building these habits, I can actually say that my digestive system has felt a lot better, and I feel less fatigued during the day.

Do you drink 8 glasses a day? Have you seen any changes to your body, mood, or skin?

Hungry for more,

The Midwest Marmot