Motivation tip: Warm up to running (Day 25)

It's your last day at the park. Push yourself harder than ever and recharge afterwards with sweet potato-ginger soup and a pretty fabulous burrito, too
Motivation tip: Warm up to running (Day 25)

Getty Images

Workout: Day 25

It's back to the park for the last time this week, so make it count. Run through that entire park workout (park bench step ups, slide lunges, bar pull-ups) and push like your pants are on fire.

Now I don't know how far away this park is, but if you can run the entire way there and back, then do it.  Don't feel bad if you can't...I'll reiterate that running isn't for everyone. It may be years before you become a runner but try and stick with it.

Options for using these exercises:
Here are three basic ways to use these exercises, and they’re all fine. Mixing it up between sessions is fine too:
1. Stick to one exercise before moving on to another, taking a break between sets.
2. Alternate back and forth between two exercises without a break between sets or with a very short break. When you’re done with those two, move on to another two.
3. Make it a full circuit. Do one set then move to the next exercise for the next set, then the next exercise and so on. Try and do the circuit three full times.
4. Between sets run laps around the park to add in a good aerobic component. This will really get your heart rate up and burn lots of extra calories.
5. You can do this park workout just once a week to mix things up with your other exercise endeavours, or, if you really like it, make it a staple of your routine that you do three to four times a week. 

Park bench push-up
The park bench push-up is great for women as some find it challenging to do a push-up flat on the ground and maintain good form. Using this method reduces some of the gravitational force because of the easier angle, but it’s still a great exercise. As you can see in the link above, they are using the sitting part of the bench, which makes it more challenging. If you put your hands on the backrest portion, which is higher off the ground, it becomes easier.

Here are some tips on technique:
- Feet firmly planted and hip-width apart.
- Engage those core muscles and keep your body aligned.
- Make sure you have a firm grip on the bench. You don’t want to slip and be in for some costly dental work.
- Breathe in on the way down and out on the way up.
- Don’t go too quickly or too slowly. One to two seconds each direction is great. Try to keep some tension on the muscles and don’t use much in the way of inertia.
- If you can do more than 12 then it’s too easy. You need an angle that gets your face closer to the ground to increase the resistance. Shoot for each set being in the six to 12 range.

Note that it doesn’t have to be a park bench, but can be part of a play apparatus that you hold onto.

For the rest of these exercises, remember the tips above about engaging the core, how to breathe, the number of reps and the length of time for each motion.

Monkey bar rows and chin-ups
The trick here is to find a bar in the park that your chin is higher than. It has been my experience that most women can't do a chin-up. Now, this is nothing to be ashamed of or a statement of judgement. The higher centre of gravity makes it much tougher. It's for this reason that putting your legs into the equation helps remove just the right amount of weight to make a chin-up challenging, but not impossible.

For using a bar like this in a chin-up fashion, assume a typical chin-up position, but note that your feet will stay on the ground throughout. Rely as much as you can on your upper body muscles to complete the chin-up, but use your legs as necessary to take off just the right amount of weight.

Triceps dips
First off, DON’T do it this way. That puts your shoulders in a dangerous position. Instead, do it like this guy is. Again, doing triceps dips (remember breathe in on the way down and out on the way up) where you support all your body weight can be very challenging for women – just like with the chin-ups. For that reason you need to find a set of bars that are close enough to the ground so that you can use your legs to take off just the right amount of body weight to make it smooth and doable.

Park bench step ups
Take a look at the picture in the above link. You’re going to start with two feet on the ground, then at the mid point both feet will be on the bench, then you’ll finish with two feet on the ground. The National Strength and Conditioning Association is pretty uptight about the order in which this movement works.

1. Leading leg places entire foot on the bench.
2. Shift your body weight to the lead leg and then bring your trailing leg onto the bench.
3. Step off bench with SAME trailing leg.
4. Step off bench with leading leg.
5. After six to 12 reps, switch leading leg.

Slide Lunges
The trick with a good lunge is keeping your balance, your core muscles tight and activated and going up and down in a smooth motion. Focus most of your weight on the heel of your front foot. Also, while you want to avoid excessive forward movement of the knee, it's ok to have a little weight go over.

Don’t forget to switch forward legs to do both sides.

Motivation tip: Warm up to running (Day 25)Getty Images

What to eat: Day 25

Breakfast: Pina Colada Smoothie – Serves 1

1 serving whey protein isolate (vanilla)
½ can coconut water or ½ teaspoon coconut extract
2 tablespoons chia seed

4 ounces water
½ small banana, fresh or frozen, chopped
¼ cup pineapple chunks (fresh or drained if canned in water )
4-6 ice cubes

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend at high speed until smooth and creamy.
2. Add extra water if desired.

Calories 278 | Protein 29 g | Fat 11 g | Carbohydrates 31 g | Fibre 10 g

Snack: 12 tamari-roasted almonds with ½ cup (250 g) blackberries

Lunch: Sweet Potato, Squash and Ginger Soup –  Serves 4 or 5

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced
1-2 teaspoons curry powder (optional)
6 cups vegetable stock
1 pear, cored, peeled and sliced
1 apple, cored, peeled and sliced
2 large onions, chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons apple juice or white wine
1 teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper to taste
*½ cup organic pressed cottage cheese (Organic Meadows)
*If you remove the cheese it becomes a dairy free/vegan meal option

1. Place the sweet potato, squash, carrots, ginger and, if desired, the curry powder in a large saucepan. Add the vegetable stock.
2. Cover, bring to a gentle boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft.
3. Place the pear, apple, onions, olive oil and apple juice or wine in a separate saucepan and cook until soft over medium heat (5-10 minutes).
4. Add the cooked pear and apple mixture and the salt and pepper to the saucepan with the vegetables and mix well.
5. Once all the ingredients are thoroughly cooked, purée in a food processor or with a hand blender.
6. Serve topped with about a tablespoon of the cottage cheese for each person.

Calories 360 | Carbohydrates 49 g | *Protein 24 g (*if the cheese is added) | Fat 8 g | Fibre 6 g

Snack: 2 boiled eggs with a handful of veggie sticks such as celery, cucumber and green bell pepper

Dinner: Ezekiel (or Whole Wheat) Wrap Burritos – Serves 4

1 lb lean grass-fed ground beef, bison, turkey or chicken
1 medium red onion, diced
2 Jalapenos, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 whole Omega-3 eggs
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
¼ cup of water
2 Ezekiel wraps, sliced in half (available at health food stores, a whole wheat wrap is a great sub-in)
6-8 cups baby spinach

1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Use non-stick spray if needed.
2. In a medium bowl add your eggs and whip well.
3. Place your onions, jalapenos, and ground beef in your pan and cook until your ground beef is almost brown.
4. When your beef almost cooked, add in your minced garlic and season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper, as desired.
5. Add in your eggs and continue to stir well so eggs are evenly distributed.
6. Cook until the eggs are completely cooked and remove from heat.
7. Spoon the mixture evenly on each wrap (there should be 4 in total). Close the wrap and hold together with toothpicks if needed.
8. Top with diced tomatoes and serve on a bed of spinach.

Calories 340 | Protein 31 g | Fat 14 g | Carbohydrates 21 g | Fibre 5 g

Copyright Dr. Natasha Turner ND, The Carb Sensitivity Program

Click here for Day 26.

Motivation tip: Warm up to running (Day 25)Masterfile


Subscribe to our newsletters for our very best stories, recipes, style and shopping tips, horoscopes and special offers.

By signing up, you agree to our terms of use and privacy policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.