Below I have included a few stretches we can all do at work to soothe our stiff neck and shoulders to our tight hips and back.

Neck Tension Releases

(Perform 4 -6 times, 2 or 3 in each direction)  Sit tall in your chair, your shoulder blades should be down and back, your feet a hip width apart and feet on the floor.  Inhale to prepare and on an exhale turn your neck to one side, keep abdominals pulled in and up. Inhale again and slowly return to the center exhaling. Switch sides. Once you have finished each rotation, return to center inhale and gently bend your neck to one side exhaling.  Inhale and slowly raise neck and returning to the center on an exhale.




Hand, Wrist and Finger Releases (Perform 3 -6 times) Extend one arm in front of you at shoulder height, palm up. Using the opposite hand, press all your fingers back towards for a nice stretch/release, inhaling and exhaling. Hold each stretch for 3-5 counts. Switch sides.


Wrist Circles (Perform 8 times in each direction)  Extend your arms out to your side, and slowly rotate your wrists in each direction.


Shoulder Reaches and Forearm Stretch (Perform 6 times) Raise your arms to shoulder height, and interlace your fingers, with your palms facing away form your body. Inhale and gently press your arms forward, exhale and return to the start.  Maintain a tall upright posture and keep your abdominal pulled in and up through the exercise. Next stand and extend 1 arm behind you, placing your palm against a wall.  Rotate your chest away slightly, inhaling and exhaling.


Arm Circles (Perform 5 times) This exercise can be performed while sitting or standing.  Inhale and raise your arms overhead, making sure your ribs don’t “pop” out.  Drop your shoulders at this point; do not want shoulders by your ears. Exhale and circle your arms to your sides and down and back to start position. Switch directions.

028Hip Releases

(Perform 5 times on each side) Sit on the edge of your chair, place one ankle over the opposite knee. Lean forward slightly, while keeping your core tight and your spine straight. You can rest your forearms on your legs or if you want a deeper stretch, clasp your hands behind your head, keeping your elbows wide. Inhale for a count of 5 and exhale for a count of 5. Relax into this stretch. Switch sides.





Forward Hangs

(Perform 4 times) While sitting, with your hands down by your sides, slowly lowly your head and then spine forward, with your forehead hanging a little above your knees. Inhale and exhale, feel your low back releasing. Slowly raise your upper body one vertebrae at a time, maintaining your abdominal contraction, and return to the start.





Seated Side Bends (Perform 4 times each side)  Rest one hand on the side of your chair, raising the other arm overhead. Inhale to prepare, reach arm to the ceiling, exhale and bend sideways, (think up and over).  Inhale and return to the start.











Enjoy.  Have a good evening.


I tried 2 new products this week and thought I would share and let you know.  The first is Burghul Pilaf, which is a traditional Mediterranean dish made  from cracked wheat and cooked in tomato sauce.  They make this be steaming the whole wheat kernel, drying it and then removing part of the bran and cracking the remaining kernel into small pieces.  This dish has nutty flavour and it is very tasty.   It can be prepared by microwaving for 2 minutes or immersing the pouch in boiling water for 3-5 minutes.    I will be buying this again.  Here is the link to their website:  http://www.ziyad.com

Have you tried any new products?

The next product is from Sami’s Bakery in Tampa.  It is there Millet and Flax bread. Absolutely delicious.   They make desserts, pizza dough, crackers, croutons, pita bread etc.   I bought this product at my local health food store along with their Millet Cinnamon Raisin bread. I will review soon. If you live in Tampa they also have a dine in restaurant and retail store.  Here is a link to their website http://www.samisbakery.com

What is your favorite bread?


This lower body routine will definitely work  your  hips,  glutes and outer thighs.  Enjoy.

Single Leg Circles

(Increases the flexibility and mobility of the hips) Lie on your back with your hands at your sides straighten your left leg up to the ceiling, the right knee is bent with your right foot firmly planted on the mat.  Keep your neck long and shoulders down and away from neck.  On an inhale, circle the leg across the body down and around, exhaling back to the start position. Keep your left hip rooted into the mat, abdominals pulled in and up. Circle 8 times in each direction.   Switch legs and repeat.

Single Leg Kick

(Strengthens hamstrings, back extensors and gluteals and stretches the quadriceps). Lie prone with your head and torso lifted, with your fists together press your forearms in to the mat. Your legs are straight and close together and your shoulder blades down and back.  Tighten the buttocks while pressing your hipbones into the mat inhaling bend one knee and pulse the heel towards your buttocks with a quick double beat.  Keep your hips still and keep abdominals pulled in.  Exhale and switch legs.  Perform 6 double beats each leg.


Side Leg Lifts (Strengthens hips abductors).

Lie on your side and align your body against the back edge of your mat. Prop your head in your hand and place the other arm on the mat in front of you. Now place your legs at a 45 degree angle, so that you are in a slight pike position. Rotate your top leg slightly so that your kneecap and the top of your foot face the ceiling.  On an inhale lift the top leg up towards the ceiling. Keep shoulders and hips stacked on top of each other and the spine straight.  Exhale and lower the top leg to the bottom with resistance. Imagine your top leg pushing through quicksand.  Repeat 10 times on each side.

Side Leg Circles (Strengthens hips abductors). The same starting position as the Side Leg Lifts, keep the legs at a 45 degree angle. Inhale and left the top leg to hip height and begin making small circles, allowing the top heel to brush past the bottom each time. Perform 10 circles in each direction.

Side Leg Kicks (Strengthens hips abductors, external rotators, and challenge your balance). Maintain 45 degree angle of the legs, shoulders and hip stacked with the shoulders down, abdominals engaged.  Inhale and kick the top leg forward with your feet flexed and pulse it twice to the front, exhale and kick the top leg back with your foot pointed.  Repeat 10 times.

Side Leg Bicycle (Strengthens hips abductors, external rotators, and challenge your balance). The same starting position as above. Extend the top leg forward, foot pointed, then bend the knee in, aiming the heel toward the buttocks, extending the leg behind you. Repeat “pedaling” motion 6 times in each direction.

Double Side Leg Lifts Banana

(Strengthens hips abductors, external rotators, and challenge your balance). Lie on your side with the bottom hand under the head with palms facing up. Place your other hand in front of you for stability. Keep your legs straight and in line with torso.  Inhale and lift your arm, head, torso and legs to the ceiling, pause 3seconds, exhale and lower. Repeat 8 times on each side.

Kneeling Straight Leg Lift and Kneeling Side Kicks

(Strengthens abductors and obliques, challenges core stability). Start in a kneeling position and lean to your right side, placing your right hand on the mat. Extend your left leg out to your side, foot flexed. Place your left hand behind your head, keeping elbows wide.

Tighten your abdominals, extend your left to the ceiling, lift and lower leg with control 10 times.   Then lift leg back out to the side, keeping your leg straight and foot flexed, kick to the front and then to the back. Repeat 8 times and switch sides.

The side leg series above is best performed all on one side first, if you want a more intense lower body workout. Stay tuned for a few stretches that you can do at your desk.  I posted a new workout in my work out section.  Let me know what you think about the routine.




trudie_styler_pilates_dvdThe information on the back of the DVD says:  “Core Strength Pilates offers subtle yet dynamic flow, giving it a unique edge rarely found in a mat workout.”   I agree with the statement above. This DVD is a blend of Pilates and stretching and breathing.  James D’Silva constantly reminds you to breathe, which is essential with Pilates and every day life.

James D’Silva’s (he is the fitness guru that leads the workout) approach to the routine is quite unique. Not only does he include some of the traditional Pilates exercises but he infuses the routine with some new moves. His instructions were detailed and clear to understand.   I was very pleased with the workout. The background was green and lush and very relaxing. The DVD was filmed in Italy on a terrace.

As a bonus an organic cooking segment with Trudie Styler’s and Stings chef is featured on the DVD.   This DVD is worth ordering.