This past week I organized a viewing party for the Olympics. On the menu that evening: Pizza. Regular pizza nights have become a tradition in my house over the last year, ever since acquiring a pizza stone that helps the crusts of our pies bake evenly and all the way through. Each gathering is a bit of a potluck—guests bring toppings for a pie, or a salad, beverage, or dessert.
We were all glued to the TV during Shaun White’s time on the half-pipe—and his ultimate defeat—but it was really the pizzas that stole the show that night. We had fresh pineapple and prosciutto, roasted cauliflower and caramelized onion, and even a bacon-apple-rosemary pie. I had a big slice of each one, which seemed like a good idea in the moment. (An hour later, I was still in the same place on the couch.)
The pizza was good, but it came at a cost of around 224 calories a slice, or 672 calories for 3 slices. Yikes! That was definitely more of a meal than I’d been hoping for.
After a full day of snowboarding, skiing or snowshoeing the muscles of the hips can shorten and tighten. Flexible, open hips are a must for winter athletes. Without them performance may decrease while the risk of injury increases.
The following hip opening yoga poses are a must for keeping the lower body healthy and limber.
Warrior I and Crescent Lunge for the Hip Flexors
The psoas muscles, located along the front crease of the hips, are the powerful muscles that give winter athletes control, stability and strength. When they are tight, the low back suffers and as a result, injury can occur.
Yoga poses that stretch the psoas muscles are warrior one and crescent lunge. Similar to a runner’s lunge, these poses extend the front of the hip, giving those mighty hip flexors a dose of elasticity. For best results, be sure to tuck your tailbone under slightly.
Shaun White winning the gold in Vancouver.
Who is Shaun White? For those that don’t know, Shaun White is an Olympic snowboarder. He was born in the San Diego area in 1986 and has been skateboarding and snowboarding since he was six-years old. He overcame two major surgeries to correct a heart defect before the age of one, and he’s been proving himself as a champion ever since.
Shaun’s parents would take him to the local mountain range as often as possible (Mammoth Mountain). At the age of seven, Shaun entered his first amateur snowboard contest and won. This win earned him a bid to the nationals where he finished just outside of tenth place. His mom, Cathy, then sent a homemade video of Shaun’s snowboarding ability to Burton; who in-turn offered him a seven-year sponsor. He then turned pro at the ripe old age of 13. Shaun then went on to capture a gold medal in the halfpipe at the 2006 and more recently 2010 Winter Olympics. (more…)
Many people look at the winter season as a time to let up on their outdoor exercise because the weather is too nasty. But there’s no reason to hibernate. There are plenty of things to do that aren’t just fun, but can also burn some serious calories.
Here are some winter activities and the calories burned. The number of calories will vary depending on your weight. So, for the sake of simplicity, this will be based on someone who is 160 pounds:
Downhill Skiing – Skiing isn’t just fun, it’s a great way to burn calories and workout your entire body. Make sure you warm up and stretch before you head out on the slopes. You should also stretch after skiing to minimize the pain. If you don’t, be prepared to feel like your thighs are on fire. If you ski for an hour (and who doesn’t ski longer?), you will burn about 740 calories. (more…)
Winter is definitely here, for most of the nation anyway. I have put together a short list of exercises that may help build the strength and endurance needed for the next time you hit the mountain. Skiing and snowboarding are both a great lower body workout and require a great deal of muscular endurance as well. There are several muscles targeted while performing these enjoyable winter activities. The hips, hip flexors, ab and adductor muscle groups (in and outer thigh muscles), quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and triceps are among the main muscle groups used. (more…)