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Fit Friday's In The Den-Squats & Beer

by Jennifer Taylor

Here is the latest edition of Fit Friday's in The Den. Kalea Delezenne has written a great article about motivation and squats and I have added an article about beer and it's health benefits when drank in modiration .


Jen Taylor


By Kalea Delezenne,
ACSM -Certified Personal Trainer
MSU Graduate-Kinesiology & Health Promotion Degree 
Trainer at The YMCA Downtown Wellness Center   
I have been in the fitness field for close to 10 years, and one of the biggest things I have learned is that no matter how much I think I know there is always more; new ways to train, foods to eat or avoid, and mostly how important it is to stay humble. Some days you will begin your workout and feel as though you have never ran, biked, walked or lifted a weight in your life and others it will feel as if you could go on forever. Your body is forever changing and adapting and you must be willing to ‘ride the wave’ and keep not only your mind strong but a positive attitude as well. What will defeat you faster than anything is that on those days when you are just feeling ‘off’, is believing it. Our terms for this week have less to do with gym words and more to do with you.
  • Motivation – the process that initiates, guides and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. Motivation is what causes us to act.
    • What motivates you? A quote? An upcoming trip? Simply because you enjoy being able to do something you used to struggle with? To stay on track you must make sure your goal is important to you otherwise your best-laid plans may fly right out the window. There are many websites to find motivational quotes (such as Good Reads Quotes/Motivation or Huffington Post Built Lean Exercise Quotes) but the best place to find motivation is within you.
  • Positive thoughts – these are key. There is nothing that irritates me more than to hear someone say the words ‘I can’t.’ I always respond with ‘yet.’ A happy or successful person is not someone who is living in a certain set of circumstances, but rather someone who is living with a certain set of attitudes.
    • The minute you say to yourself “I can’t” is the minute you have placed limits on yourself. Replace this idea with “How do I know? Have I tried?” You will be amazed at the difference.

Motivation and positive thoughts are going to carry through with all of our workouts and as we continue on with our leg training we must never forget the beloved (and sometimes dreaded) squat. These beauties work our glutes, quads, hamstrings, and abdominal, the erector muscles of the spine as well as our cardiovascular system.

There are different versions of the 'classic' squat (that can be achieved by changing the width

of your stance and the angle of your feet) and it can be performed with or without added weight. Form crucial to help prevent injury and to ensure that you are working the muscles properly. Your weight should be placed through your heels, knees over ankles (so they form a 90 degree angle) and your back should be kept as flat as possible. The classic squat is probably the one you will see performed the most often. In this squat pay careful attention to your knees and make sure they do not drift inward as this will compromise your stability. If you find that this is

happening, turn your toes slightly outward. This will engage your glutes to help prevent this from happening.

Classic squat. Knees over ankles, flat back and weight through heels.

Another squat to add to your repertoire is with a wide stance and toes pointed outward. This is called a plie squat. This squat places emphasis on the inner thigh and really helps to define your legs. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip width apart and toes pointed outward about 45 degrees. Squat down with your knees bending outward, towards your toes, keeping your weight through your heels and knees in line with your ankles.

Plie Squat.

The curtsy squat (or curtsy lunge) is a diagonal lunge that will help improve your stability and balance because we are moving in a different plane. Cross your right leg behind your left, slightly left of your left heel, and rest your toe on the floor about two feet behind you. Keep your right heel up, squat down as far as you can without letting your left knee extend past your

toes. Try all of these along with your regular leg routine 2 days a week for 4 sets of 10-15 reps.

Curtsy squat (the barbell across your upper back is one of the ways you can perform these. You can also use your body weight, dumbbells on your shoulders or down at your sides).


Have a Brewski! It Can Help Your Health


By Karen Ansel, MS, RD, CDN

From EatRight.Org

When it comes to beverages with benefits, wine always seems to get the credit. If you're a brew lover it's enough to make you, well, want to cry in your beer. But before you do, you'll be glad to learn that, like wine, beer delivers some decided perks as well. "A cold beer is the perfect way to relax at the end of the day, it tastes great and, in moderation, it can even be good for you," says Ethan A. Bergman, PhD, RD, CD, FADA, past president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Read on to find out how your favorite brew can enhance your health.

It's Heart Smart

Whether you prefer wine, beer or liquor, people who drink one to two alcoholic drinks of any kind are less likely to suffer from heart disease according to a 2008 Journal of the American Dietetic Association article. Experts believe alcohol improves heart health by making blood less sticky so it's less likely to clot by increasing levels of "good" HDL cholesterol while lowering unhealthy LDL cholesterol.

You Can Keep it Light

With only 100 calories per 12-ounce bottle, light beer lets you kick back with a cold one for fewer calories. How do they do it? "Light beer is usually a combination of slightly reduced alcohol and carbohydrate content," says Bergman. "Because light beer contains ethanol, there is still a positive effect on heart health with moderate consumption."

It's Kind to Your Kidneys

According to an article in the Winter 2011 issue of ADA Times, that brewski may reduce your risk of developing kidney stones. Researchers found that beer lowered the risk of kidney stones in men compared to other alcoholic beverages, possibly due to its high water content and diuretic effect. Compounds in hops may also slow the release of calcium from bone that is implicated in kidney stones.

It's a Surprising Source of Fiber

Who knew that beer packs fiber? Made from barley, beer contains beta-glucans — a type of soluble fiber credited with improving heart health by lowering cholesterol levels. A 12 ounce bottle of lager sports 0.75 grams of fiber while the same amount of dark beer boasts 1.3 grams.

It Provides B Vitamins

That cold one has another hidden health benefit: it's a source of B vitamins such as folate, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and vitamins B6 and B12. One 12-ounce brewski supplies 3 percent of the B12 and 12.5 percent of the vitamin B6 you need in a day. These two nutrients keep your heart healthy by lowering levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that may damage your arteries and encourage blood clots to form.

You'll Strengthen Your Skeleton

While heavy drinking can weaken bones, a couple of beers a day can make them stronger. Beer is rich in silicon, an element found in few foods and drinks, which has been linked to stronger bones. In a Tufts University study, men who drank between one to two beers a day had hip bone densities three-and-a-half to four-and-a-half times greater than teetotalers.

It's Perfectly Packaged

Because beer comes neatly premeasured in its own bottle or can, you'll know when to say when. For the biggest health benefits drink no more than one to two beers a day.

Reviewed December 2012

Karen Ansel, MS, RD, CDN, is a nutrition consultant, journalist and author specializing in nutrition, health and wellness.