Don’t let snow bog you down this winter. Get out and play in it! Use the slippery surface of the snow to your physiological advantage. Try cross-country skiing this winter!
Cross-country skiing is the utmost total body workout available. The entire body must be utilized in order to create movement over the snow. While your lower body provides the pushing power to propel yourself forward, your upper body strength completes the gliding motion. Both upper and lower body must move in a coordinated fashion to avoid the embarrassing face-first fall (speaking from experience).
The movement of the body in cross-country skiing yields great energy expenditure. During the push off and glide your entire leg will flex and extend. Muscles involved in these actions are the gluteals (your bum), quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and tibialis anterior (shin muscles). Major calorie burners are the glutes and quads. Now add the upper body movement and demands for a strong torso and core and you have an amazing whole body workout!
Don’t be frightened by the intensity of the cross-country workout. It is a workout that you can create to meet your own personal needs. You can choose to go at a leisurely pace or you can make it hard and turn up the body heat! The demands of the workout are totally up to you! This is an outing for all ages and fitness levels. Remember to dress in multiple layers so that if you increase your intensity and body heat rises, you can remove a layer or two for comfort. With low injury rates and low impact on the joints, cross-country skiing is a great winter exercise for every one!
What's up for 2010?
We’re heading back to basics, home cooking from scratch and discretionary tastes when eating out.
Quality plus basic and simple foods — that’s the start of 2010. Not only in our own homes but in restaurants too, there’s a move toward clean eating, prepared from scratch, using fresh and basic ingredients.
The trend is to leave convenience foods behind so toss out the Rice-a-Roni and boxed macaroni and cheese and get the pots and pans glowin’ with real, down-home cookin’. With the economic recession still blowin’, more and more of us are choosing to stay home, fill the pantry with sustainable foods, experiment with new menu ideas, and enjoy the delectable sensations we create on our own.
We’ll see an increase in local, seasonal food purchases, support for restaurants serving local and organic fare, and even buying in bulk at BJ’s, Sam’s Clubs and Costco markets to reduce package waste.
To get in on the latest in culinary delights, here are a few ideas to help you support the 2010 paradigm shift:
- Consider home delivery — that’s right, many farms and markets offer home delivery of fresh, local (when available), and organic produce right to your door
- Buy store brands and private label foods to reduce cost
- Check out your market’s hot food and salad bars — then, find the recipe at the store online site
- Introduce yourself to the butcher in your neighborhood market. They’re knowledgeable on cooking fresh meats and poultry to create savory delights — even one pot wonders
- Online recipes have replaced cookbooks for some. Plan 2 new meal ideas weekly
- Try making your own cheese, pizza dough and healthy muffins
- Order individual portions when eating out to personalize your pizza or sandwich, order all sides and omit the meat, split an entrée with side salads, order two appetizers as your meal.
Here’s to slow, green, local, sustainable! Happy New Year!