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Why Post-Workout Yoga Is SO Good!

Yoga is taking a new place in your fitness routine: at the end of the toughest workouts. Give yourself 10 minutes and you will reap a riot of benefits. Easy enough, right?

Think of yoga as the dessert at the end of your workout. It gradually returns your body to its natural resting state, which is a wonderful way to prevent cardiovascular and muscular mishaps.

This post workout “dessert” will allow you to regain control of your breath, open up your body, and quiet your mind. That really is the cherry on top of a boxing, indoor cycling or boot camp workout.

Yoga Benefits After A Tough Workout

Research shows a single bout of yoga can reduce post-workout muscle soreness, thanks to improved flexibility. Its restorative ways will leave you feeling very content and satiated — physically, mentally and emotionally.

Yoga gives your muscles a chance to relax and lengthen after they’ve been contracting throughout your workout, which should help you maintain range of motion even after intense exercise.

Yoga also helps lower your heart rate, so you can enter recovery mode faster. In other words, you’ll be in better shape to max out your next workout, whatever it may be.

The mental benefits deserve a shout-out too. When you go-go-go during your session, then depart before cooling down, you don’t get the full de-stressing perks of your hard work. Exercise excites the nervous system, while a subdued yoga flow calms it. That’s crucial to finishing your workout feeling optimistic, peaceful, and inspired – and hopefully, a little more appreciative of what your body just did for you.

Yoga In 10

Give yourself just 10 minutes! Directly after your workout, focus on slowing your breath bit by bit. Inhale for three seconds, hold for three, then exhale for three; continue until you’re inhaling, holding, and exhaling for six breaths. This gradually gets you from panting heavily to calm and focused.

Perform this flow of yoga poses in order, starting with your Vinyasa and returning to it between every sequence. Repeat the sequence on the other side, vinyasa included, until you've made it to your final sequence.

Optional: end with a minute or two in savasana (lying on your back).


Start in a pushup position, hands under your shoulders. Keep your core engaged and elbows close to your sides, bend your elbows to slowly lower your body in one straight line until your arms form a 90-degree angle to the floor.

Plank: hands under your shoulders and feet hip distance apart.


Four-Limbed Staff Pose: exhale as you lower your body toward the floor, hovering about four inches above your mat. Keep your elbows tucked in toward your sides. 







Upward Facing Dog Pose: Inhale as you draw your chest forward and straighten your arms. Draw your shoulders back and lift your heart to the sky. Press through the tops of your feet, lifting your thighs off the floor and fully engaging your leg muscles. Keep your elbows tucked in toward your sides.







Downward Facing Dog Pose: Exhale as you lift your hips and roll over your toes, placing the soles of your feet on the floor. Ground down through your hands and the soles of your feet as you lengthen your spine. Lift your belly and sit bones to the sky.







Warrior 2 Pose: From downward dog, place your right foot between your hands. Ground your heels and lift up to stand. Bend your right knee and angle your left foot to face the top left corner of your mat. Extend your arms horizontally in opposite direction. 

Add an arm stretch: lift your right arm and bend your elbow to rest your palm on your upper back. Place your left palm on your right elbow. Push your hips slightly forward to feel a stretch in your right side. 

Re-extend your arms to move into Triangle Pose.

Triangle Pose: Push your right food into the mat as you straighten your right leg. Shift both hips back as you tilt your upper body forward and reach for the front of the room with your right hand. Rest your right hand on your shin or ankle and reach your left arm toward the ceiling. 

Repeat your Vinyasa and move into Sequence Two.





Pyramid Pose: From downward dog, left your right leg up and step your right food behind your right hand. Step your left foot in about a foot, feet staggered. Lift up to standing, keeping your his facing forward. Keeping your feet in place, turn your entire torso to face the same direction as your front foot. Exhaling, fold at the hips and extend your torso over your front leg.

Revolved Triangle Pose: Place your left hand to the left of your right foot, then raise your right arm directly up as you twist your torso toward the ceiling, pushing your hips back.

Repeat your Vinyasa and Repeat Sequence One.




Complete your Vinyasa, Sequence One, Vinyasa, Sequence Two and repeat as many times as you would like. It will be an excellent stretch, feel refreshing and drastically reduce injury risk. Have fun!

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods        

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6 Reasons To Take A Hike

Depending on where you live, there may still be time to get in some hiking, and you don’t have to go hard-core to net the many benefits of it. Think of hiking as simply taking a longer walk in nature; you can hike at any pace, at any elevation, and for any number of miles, hours, or even days.

Major bonus: it doesn’t take a lot to get started. Unlike other outdoor sports that are gear heavy and often require travel and lessons, such as rock climbing and waterskiing, the barrier to entry-level hiking is low. You really need only two key items: proper footwear and a day bag. Find a trail near you at Hiking Project (hikingproject.com), which features GPS and elevation data and user-generated tips for almost 14,000 beginner to advanced trails.

#1 reason to take a hike

Your Legs Will Never Look Better

Most hikes involve climbing up a big hill or mountain, then coming back down, a combo that’s a great work-out for your legs. Trekking up a mountain is a lot like climbing the stairclimber or doing lunges over and over, which strengthens your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves. But traveling downhill is what really leaves your legs sore, then sculpted. To go downhill, your glutes and quads need to do a lot of slow, controlled work to stabilize your knees and hips so you don’t fall.

#2 reason to take a hike

Every Step Firms Your Core

Navigating tough terrain also requires your abs, obliques, and lower back to work to keep your body stabilized and upright—even more so if you’re carrying a backpack. A heavier bag makes you more unstable, so your core muscles need to work harder. You’ll burn calories regardless (400 to 800 an hour, depending on the trail), but your hiking bag can help you hit the high end of that range.

#3 reason to take a hike

It’s Killer Cross-Training

Whether you’re prepping for a race or you just want to round out your Spinning routine, scheduling some hikes can improve your fitness level in ways that up your running and cycling game. 

Cyclists tend to have strong quads but underdeveloped hamstrings, and runners tend to have weak hamstrings and glutes. Hiking helps strengthen these muscles to eliminate those types of imbalances.

Plus, if you hike regularly at high altitudes (4,000 feet and up), you’ll get used to exercising in a low-oxygen environment, so your body will adapt to using less oxygen, which could lead to improved performance the next time you do a race.

#4 reason to take a hike

It Decreases Risk of Common Injuries

A lot of standard exercise—running, walking, lunging, squatting—moves you forward and backward or up and down. Hiking, on the other hand, forces you to move every which way, as you climb over fallen trees and sidestep slippery rocks. By doing things that require you to move in multiple directions, you strengthen the stabilizing muscles that fire to prevent common injuries.

Think about it: Most everyday injuries occur when people quickly shift from one plane of motion to another, such as when they reach over to pick up a heavy object and pull a back muscle. If you're not used to moving this way, other muscles will try to compensate for weak stabilizers, resulting in poor form and potentially a pull, a pop, a tear, or a break.

#5 reason to take a hike

It’s a Happy Pill

Know that mmm...ah! feeling you get when you see a beautiful waterfall or gaze out from atop a mountain? Research shows such experiences benefit your state of mind. Even five minutes in nature can boost your mood and self-esteem, and because exercise produces endorphins (known as the happiness hormone), actually moving through nature takes the feel-good benefits to a new level. Hiking creates a wonderful combination of less stress and more happiness.

#6 reason to take a hike

It Sure Beats Bonding at the Bar

Working toward a unified goal—like making your way through the woods with others—strengthens relationships and builds bonds. Hiking usually involves solving little problems together ['Uh, did we make a wrong turn?'], which makes you feel more accomplished as a group. I always remember the people I hiked with more than anything else. No hiking buddy? No problem.


Article courtesy of Shape, September 2016



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Walk Your Way Happy

Whether you want to work things out, dream things up, or just feel a little brighter, walking delivers, and fast! As few as 10 minutes can pep you up and make you less tense and tired, according to Iowa State University exercise psychology researcher Panteleimon Ekkekakis, Ph.D. “Those are feelings people pay a lot of money to get via caffeine, energy drinks, and sugary snacks,” he says.

Walking may also act as an antidepressants. One study of nearly 2,000 women with symptoms of depression found walking about 30 minutes a day improved how healthy and energetic they felt.

Want to feel those effects? Here are three ways to tap into the mind-changing powers of a walk:

Make Walking Meditative

Tune in and become aware of every physical detail—the feel of your feet hitting the ground, the swing of your arms, and the sound of your breath— while silently repeating a soothing word like “peace”. This turns walking, even a short trip to your car, into a meditation that helps quiet mental chatter.

Gab and Go

Your favorite people can talk you down or cheer you up, even if you didn’t know you needed it. Plus, social contact is essential for health and longevity. Turn a phone call to a girlfriend into an exercise session—go on a walk while you talk.


A great playlist keeps you in the groove on a long walk. If you're not feeling music, there are also hundreds of different podcasts to choose from.  

Stay-safe secret: pick headphones that are designed to let in ambient sounds so you can hear any traffic along with your music or podcast.

What will it take to motivate you to get out and walk for 30 minutes per day?

Article courtesy of Dr. Oz Good Life, Sept. 2016

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National Bike To School Day

Celebrate Walk and Bike to School on October 7th! This global event involves communities from more than 40 countries walking and biking to school on the same day. To think it all began as a one-day event back in 1997, and over time has become part of a movement for year-round safe routes to school. This event has seen a lot of success. For example, more than 14,800 schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have been awarded federal funds for Safe Routes to School activities.

Check out a few of the many reasons to celebrate more kids walking or biking to school.

It’s Fun!

There’s a feeling of joy and independence associated with riding or walking to school. Also, the adventure never ends! When walking or biking, parents and children get to appreciate things they don’t notice while driving. It’s also a great way to see friends and neighbors and feel connected with the community

Healthier Habits

Walking and bicycling to school allows children to incorporate the regular physical activity they need each day while also forming healthy habits that can last a lifetime. Regular physical activity helps children build strong bones, muscles and joints, and it decreases the risk of obesity.

Children are recommended to get one hour or more of physical activity every day. Research suggests physically active kids are more likely to become healthy, physically active adults.           

Cleaner Air

Obviously the more families who participate in this event means there’s less air pollutants emitted by automobiles. One tip, if possible try to find a route to school with less traffic volume so your child’s exposure to air pollution is reduced.

Less Traffic Congestion

Reducing the number of private vehicles commuting to school can reduce morning traffic around the school. Less traffic congestion also improves conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists, creating a positive cycle—as the community sees more people walking and biking, more people feel comfortable   walking and bicycling.

Join in on the fun and bring visibility to the benefits of getting to school under your own power.

In Health and Happiness,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods





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Just Stand Up for Better Health

If you’re reading this while sitting down, you might want to stand up for a moment, or next time you talk on your cell phone, take a walk. Most of us are guilty of excess sitting, and as it turns out, simply standing vs. sitting can make a big difference in heart health and body weight.

Avoid Prolonged Sitting

Even if you get regular exercise, prolonged sitting can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity. When you are inactive for long periods of time, your body's metabolism slows down which can lead to weight gain, and raises the risk of many diseases including type 2 diabetes and many cardiovascular problems.

Prolonged sitting is also linked to problems with blood glucose control, and a big reduction in the activity of an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase, which breaks down fats and makes them available as fuel to our muscles.

What Does the Research Say?

There's actually quite a bit of research about this prolonged sitting topic, and here are a few of the more current findings.

#1) Volunteers who stood for three hours per day, when they would normally be sitting, had a slightly higher heart rate—about 10 beats per minute—which increased calorie burn by about 0.7 of a calorie per minute.

I know that doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up to about 50 calories an hour. If you stand for three hours a day for five days, that’s burning around 750 calories! Over the course of a year, it would add up to about 30,000 extra calories, or about 8 lbs. of fat. That’s equal to running 10 marathons a year! Unreal!

#2) Another recent investigation with over 92,000 women reported standing up and walking around for two minutes each hour can cut the risk of premature death by 33%.

#3) To add even more proof to this standing vs. sitting debate, researchers at the University of Utah compiled data on more than 3,200 people found taking a two-minute break each hour to stroll, garden or just tidy up really helps with metabolism. In fact, these short breaks can burn an extra 400 calories a week if you insert them into all your waking hours, which the researchers assumed to be 16 hours per day.

Simple ways to stand more often and incorporate movement without even thinking about it:

1. Getting up every hour and filling your glass with water - drink it while standing up.

2. Getting up to talk to a colleague rather than sending an email.

3. If you are in a long meeting at work, stand in the corner for a period of time. Better yet, if the weather is cooperative, schedule "walking meetings."

4. When you are on the phone or writing emails, try standing instead sitting - you can do this at home by writing emails at your kitchen counter.

5. If on a cell phone, go on a walk while you talk to your best friend or mom.

6. At work, look into a stand-up desk. These raise and lower the height via a built-in motor, and it offers the flexibility to stand or sit.

The daily habit of getting up and moving around can improve your health. Follow recommendations to get some moderate exercise for 2.5 hours a week, in addition to incorporating your two-minute walking breaks. One simple move can make a big difference: stand up!

In Health and Happiness,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Live Superfoods





Seguin, Rebecca et al. Sedentary Behavior and Mortality in Older Women. February 2014. Vol. 46, Issue 2: 122-135. 


Beddha S. Light-Intensity Physical Activities and Mortality in the United States General Population and CKD Subpopulation. CJN. April 2015. 

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Body Size, Physical Activity, and Risk of Hearing Loss in Women

In the United States, it is estimated up to 1/3 of women in their fifties and 2/3 of women in their sixties suffer from some degree of hearing loss. Obesity and other diseases that typically go along with obesity, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), cerebrovascular disease (brain), and dyslipidemia (high cholesterol, high triglycerides) may be related to the development of hearing loss.

In October 2013, there were some very interesting discoveries from a study released in the American Journal of Medicine.

Here is a summary of the significant findings:

  • Higher body mass index (BMI) and larger waist circumference may increase the risk of hearing loss in women.
  • A larger waist circumference is associated with an increased risk of hearing loss.
  • Higher levels of physical activity may reduce the risk of hearing loss in women.
  • Walking 2 hours per week or more may reduce the risk of hearing loss in women.

The link between physical activity, obesity, and hearing loss is potentially due to impaired cochlear function and compromised vascular supply to a section of the ear called the stria vascularis.

Another benefit of exercising regularly and being in good cardiorespiratory fitness is it may enhance resistance to noise-induced auditory damage. Higher cardiorespiratory fitness may be associated with protection against hypertension in the internal auditory artery.

What does this mean to you?

Aim to maintain a healthy weight. As a result of maintaining a healthy weight, you more than likely also maintain a normal waist size and BMI. Good health requires a conscious effort to engage in regular physical activity and choose the right foods most of the time. When deciding which foods to choose, there are numerous nutrients associated with maintaining healthy hearing. Read this blog to learn details about which foods to eat for healthy hearing. Not only are they great for your hearing, but also for your waist line. 

In Health and Happiness,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods



Curhan SG et al. Body Mass Index, Waist Circumference, Physical Activity, and Risk of Hearing Loss in Women. Am J of Medicine. 2013; 126, 1142.





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