Back Exercises- Basic Stretches Before Working Out

Before you work out it is VERY important that you stretch before.


Extend your right arm in front of you with your palm up and your elbow straight. Point your fingertips toward the floor by bending at the wrist. Using your left hand, pull the back of your right hand toward you gently. Hold for 20 seconds; repeat three to five times with each arm.


Lie on your back. Bend your knees, and lift your feet off the floor. Grasp your knees with your arms and pull your knees toward your chest. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat three to five times


Place your right hand behind your head, palm facing your head. With your left hand, grasp your right elbow and pull downward until you feel a stretch in the back of your right arm. Hold for 20 seconds; repeat three to five times with each arm.


Face a solid structure such as a wall with your right foot ahead of your left, toes straight ahead. Bend your right knee, press your hips forward, and lean into the wall. Keep both heels down, your left leg straight, and your right knee over your ankle. Hold for 20 seconds; repeat three to five times with each leg.

All these stretches I have found helpful. Stretching is so easy-so why not just do it every time??

Not only is stretching great before and after a work out- it is great to wake up in the morning and just stretch in your bed to wake yourself up!

How to Diet – Whats So Great about Yoga?

I have always wanted to try Yoga. It looks fun and relaxing while offering your a great source of physical activity. I like it because any age group can participate.

Yoga has many styles, forms and intensities. Hatha yoga, in particular, may be a good choice for stress management. Hatha is one of the most common styles of yoga, and some beginners find it easier to practice because of its slower pace and easier movements. But most people can benefit from any style of yoga — it’s all about your personal preferences.

The core components of hatha yoga and most general yoga classes are:

  • Poses. Yoga poses, also called postures, are a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility. Poses range from lying on the floor while completely relaxed to difficult postures that may have you stretching your physical limits.
  • Breathing. Controlling your breathing is an important part of yoga. In yoga, breath signifies your vital energy. Yoga teaches that controlling your breathing can help you control your body and quiet your mind.

The health benefits of yoga

The potential health benefits of yoga are numerous and may include:

  • Stress reduction. With its quiet, precise movements, yoga draws your focus away from your busy, chaotic day and toward calm as you move your body through poses that require balance and concentration.
  • Increased fitness. As you learn and refine new poses, you may enjoy improved balance, flexibility, range of motion and strength. And this means you’re less likely to injure yourself in other physical endeavors or in your daily activities.
  • Management of chronic health conditions. Yoga might help with a variety of health conditions, such as cancer, depression, pain, anxiety and insomnia, by helping with sleep problems, fatigue and mood. Yoga also can help reduce heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Weight loss. If you’re overweight or have binge-eating disorder, yoga may help you make the healthy lifestyle changes necessary to gain control of your eating and drop those extra pounds.

This video gives you a quick lesson in Yoga.

If you are interested in taking yoga classes, learning more about Yoga techniques or its health benefits check out these sites.

Write it Down!

You may feel silly having a chart up in your house or a “fat” picture of yourself up on the fridge: but it helps. If you have a goal that you want to reach, write it down. Keep a journal that you record what you eat (calories,fat etc.) and how much physical activity you do. I have a calender on my fridge that I keep track of what I do to stay healthy. It keeps me motivated and I can track my progress!


Once you start recording your daily routine- it will become apart of your daily life. You will no longer have to thing about “is this good for me”- you will just know.

If you are a tech-savvy person there are many online journals and help with getting healthy. I found this free one very helpful

Or you can just keep a small notepad in your purse, car or wallet.


Working Out – How much Physical Activity Do You Need A Week?

After a long day of work, making dinner for the family, and cleaning the house; the last thing on your mind is to throw your running shoes on and hit the gym.  According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, you need to do two types of physical activity each week to improve your health–aerobic and muscle-strengthening. For Example, 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate aerobic activity (brisk walking) every week and muscle-strengthening activities 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest,  shoulders, and arms). Try going for a 10-minute brisk walk, 3 times a day, 5 days a week. This will give you a total of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity and for two of those days do some weight lifting. Find more about a fitness plan that works for you at

Everyone knows that the holiday season is the season for gaining weight. I found this fun workout that is only 10 min that will help you shed some of those unwanted pounds. The nice thing about this is that you don’t even have to leave the home.

Here are some workout tips that should help you:

  • Stretch before you start
  • Pick a cardio exercise you enjoy
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the entire workout
  • Mix it up: Don’t do the same routine every time.
  • Limit your workouts to 30-40 min

I know working out is not the most fun, but you will feel better about yourself when you are done. I hope some of these tips helped!

Grant Park Outdoor Gymnastics Area Donation

The beautiful historic Grant Park will stay open one hour later this fall after the completion of it’s new outdoor gymnastics area. The 300 square foot area will add exercise options to the mostly family oriented park, providing a friendly and safe public place for local residents to come and work out. Grant park already features a large 600 square foot play area with slides and toddler friendly equipment but now the park will feature equipment for adults to enjoy as well.


The new outdoor gym being built in the park was donated by a philanthropist named Scott Tucker. The man provided more than $200,000 to see the equipment installed and the area developed for the community’s benefit. Tucker himself is a supporter of the fitness movement sweeping North America and works out 5 days a week in local parks and gyms.


Working out in the outdoors is a cheap and fun way to get some exercise and burn calories, and Tucker believes that adding a simple outdoor gym could improve the lives of hundreds of people if they take a chance on the new equipment. It has been studied that while on an intense walk or run to elevate the heart rate, adding a few pull ups or dips every 5 minutes can up the intensity of the workout.


While the new HIIT style of exercise is not for everyone, the new outdoor gym can be a signal in the subconscious mind that more can always be done to improve one’s health. Seeing a new gym in the park can encourage those who think they don’t have access to exercise equipment.


Tucker hopes that his contribution will improve the lives of people in his community, help them lose weight if they are working on it, and diversify the outdoor recreation options currently available for residents.

Scott Tucker On A Mission

The first time I saw Scott Tucker, I knew he was a man on a mission. I was doubly sure of that when he sprinted almost out of view. I was running – or trying to run, anyway – my first marathon in more than five years. And Scott Tucker was a double amputee who had more drive to finish this marathon than anyone else in my segment of the pack. I had to track him down.

Two weeks later, when we met for coffee, Scott Tucker told me an inspiring story of his loss and eventual return to health. I knew that users of Fitness Life Stories needed to hear it, too.

When Scott Tucker was just 21, he lost both of his legs after his military unit ran into trouble. By the time he was 22, he was already figuring out how he might be able to run the next half marathon in his hometown of Encino. He didn’t make it that year – 2005 – but he was certain he’d be running with the best of them by his next birthday.

Of course, when you’re as driven as Scott Tucker, you are bound to believe in yourself 100%. Now Tucker is in his thirties, married, and has a daughter on the way. And yes, he runs. Every. Single. Day.

“Don’t tell me what I can’t do,” said Tucker, on the first of our many coffee dates.

And I wouldn’t dare. Doctors have tried, he switched his medical care to a more progressive physical therapist after his initial one told him it would take years to get back to running. His second doctor knew better, and referred him to a special prosthetist who worked with local engineers to design running blades that would make Tucker’s dreams a reality.

Tucker has worked hard ever since, training every morning before he begins his work day. Now, ten years after his injury left him with two below-the-knee amputations, Tucker tells his story as a motivational speaker to veteran groups, business people, and high schools.

“I’m not the first person to do this, and I’m certain I won’t be the last,” says Tucker. And with every person who reads or hears his story first hand, he’s changing the way people think about wounded warriors.


Scott Tucker, the inventor and designer has done it again, bringing life to the a backpack/tent combo called the Pup Pack. Expected to release in late spring, this is not nearly the first hit for Tucker in the health and fitness market.

Scott Tucker started out young like most aspiring inventors, taking apart everything he could get his hands on, trying to find out how things worked. His parents realized very early on that he had a gift not only for seeking knowledge, but also for being able to see where the marketplace was not fulfilling the wants of the consumer.

“We would constantly be finding things around the house with missing pieces, half taken apart, or with new parts added,” said his mother, Mary Tucker. She continued, “Scott kept a notebook with him, constantly jotting down ideas and notes. He must have had almost a whole bookshelf full of old notebooks with new inventions and ideas.”

Once in his teens most of the groundwork was already done in his notebooks and it was just a matter of looking at the market and picking the idea that fit best. There were many failed attempts, but there were also some big successes including a new emergency flashlight with GPS, a lighter version of a gas camping stove on the market at the time, and a waterproof, refillable lighter that worked with multiple fuel sources.

With the Pup Pack, Scott Tucker has outdone all of his previous achievements. This backpack holds 2,400 cubic inches making it plenty for a light day hike or even a longer stay if you pack smart. The inside has a separate lining that turns into a waterproof wet sack which is taken out before the transformation, which is literally just a few turns and squeezes. Made of a tough, military grade nylon, the tent is both light and strong.

For now there is only a one person Pup Pack available, but Scott Tucker has said there are definitely plans for larger versions. The Pup Pack is slated for release this spring, with more options to come by the end of the year.