By Guest Author: Kim Lyons
Last year, my son and I had watched a beautiful butterfly emerge from its chrysalis. We had been watching it for weeks, hoping to catch the moment the butterfly made its way into the world.
We watched the colors change, and eventually the process began. My son was so excited and wanted to help the butterfly speed up the process as it slowly made its way from this tiny little pod. I explained to him that what looked like a struggle to us was actually the process of the butterfly’s wings building strength to fly, and if we help it out of its pod its wings might be premature and it won’t be able to fly.
I have now nicknamed 2020 as the Year of the Chrysalis. It was a year of growth, love, and loss. It was seeing the world struggle, seeing our country so divided, and struggling to find a new norm in our home and work life. What we experienced, what we witnessed with the world, and the things that we have learned not to take for granted have strengthened us for the year to come.
2020 was a year of reassessment, and 2021 is the year to apply what we learned. A year to focus on things that are most important, and one of those things is our health. We have learned that we don’t need 1-hour workouts at expensive gyms, and we don’t need expensive cleanses or diets. We simply need movement and a diet of nutrient-rich foods with a few extra supplements to nourish our body and beauty.
Your wellness routine should take center-stage, as it is there to help support you when you need strength. It doesn’t need to stress you out, cost you tons of money, or take time away from whom and what you love.
As a personal trainer and wellness coach, I am blessed to help people shape their New Year motivation into a plan of action. This year, we all need to take a deep breath and start with simple movements, adding one extra serving of colorful vegetables, and one supplement to support your overall wellbeing. SeroVital is my go-to for my overall wellbeing, it has been shown to naturally increase hGH levels.* hGH has been associated with multiple benefits, including immune system support, glowing skin, restful sleep, better energy, and overall wellbeing.
Stay flexible, and go with the flow each day. Make small adjustments to each morning, noon, and night routine, and focus on how you can improve your habits a little each day. The key is to start and know the little actions add up to long-lasting results.
I’ve put together 5 of my favorite exercises that require no equipment. J just grab a chair or a coffee table, and complete each exercise circuit-style for 10-15 repetitions.
Begin with 3 rounds, 3 times a week and work up to 5 rounds 5 days a week. For an extra cardio boost, add in 30-40 seconds of jumping jacks (high or low impact), side-to-side shuffle, jogging in place, or even your favorite dance moves between each exercise. Get creative and have fun with it!
- Bulgarian Split Squat: Stand in front of a table or chair and extend your left leg behind you so it is on top of the elevated platform. Clasp your hands in front of your chest with your elbows down and keep your torso upright as you bend your right knee to lower into a split squat, tracking your knee over your toes. Extend your leg to return to the start. Complete all reps on one side, then switch.
Beginner modification: Place the left foot on a low platform and lightly hold a chair placed in front of you for assisted balance.
Advanced modification: Explode from the lower position to jump the grounded foot off the floor in a plyometric movement.
- Incline Windmill Pushup: Place your hands on the edge of a stable chair or coffee table about shoulder-width apart and extend your legs behind you. Your head, hips, and heels should be aligned. Keep your body as straight as possible as you bend your elbows and lower your chest toward the edge of the box. Extend your arms to return to the start position as you rotate the hips, open the chest, and reach one hand toward the ceiling.
Beginner modification: Place your hands on a higher incline such as a kitchen counter.
Advanced modification: Perform a decline pushup by placing your feet on the incline instead of your hands. Lift one hand and tap the opposite shoulder, alternating sides with each pushup.
- Elevated Lateral Lunge: Stand to the side of a table or chair and extend your left leg so it is on top of the elevated platform. Clasp your hands in front of your chest with your elbows down. Thrust the hips behind you as you lean slightly forward while bending your right knee to lower into a lateral lunge. Extend your leg to return to the start. Complete all reps on one side, then switch. Note: Do not let the bent knee fold inward toward the elevated leg.
Beginner modification: Use a lower platform such as a stool.
Advanced modification: Increase the range of motion and hold the bottom position for 5-10 seconds before returning to the start.
- Dip: Sit on the edge of a table or chair and place your hands on either side of your hips with your fingers facing forward. Your feet should be flat on the floor with your knees bent 90 degrees. Extend your elbows to lift your glutes off the table or chair and shift your body forward slightly. Keep your shoulders back, down, and away from your ears, and your chest lifted as you bend your elbows and lower your body straight toward the floor. Extend your arms forcefully to return to the start.
Beginner modification: Bend the elbows just slightly to decrease the range of motion.
Advanced modification: Keep the legs straight rather than at a 90-degree angle.
- Pistol Stand Challenge: Sit on the edge of a chair or stable coffee table. Keep your left foot on the floor at a 90-degree angle and straighten the right leg in front of you. With your arms extended to the front, lean forward slightly, and push through the left heel to the standing position. Slowly lower back down to the start position with control.
Note: Have fun with this one, but it will be challenging. Keep working on it, and you’ll get it.
Beginner modification: Keep both legs bent and lift one foot only an inch off the floor. Ask a friend, coworker, or family member to stand in front of you, clasp hands, and use them for minimal support. Place both feet on the ground before returning to the seated position.
Kim’s “No Recipe” Veggie Soup
There is no better way to get a healthy dose of daily veggies than a warm bowl of soup. You really don’t need a recipe. Simply start with a bit of olive oil, garlic, onions, carrots, and celery. Sauté for a few minutes and add your favorite homemade or store-bought bone broth.
Get creative and add anything you love or have on hand. Here are a few ideas to get you going.
- Pour in can of beans or roasted tomatoes.
- Include fresh herbs and spices; they are packed with nutrients and flavor.
- Aim for a variety of colors to hit the full spectrum of vitamins! Create the rainbow with mushrooms, eggplant, spinach, kale, finely chopped broccoli or cauliflower, peas, lentils, red and yellow peppers, etc.
- Add variety of nutrients by including veggies you don’t eat often, such as finely shredded kale, bok choy, or shaved brussels sprouts.
- Boost your fiber and protein with cooked red lentil pasta (my favorite, because it won’t get mushy).
- Chop up a bit of Italian chicken sausage or leftover meat for added flavor and protein.
- Toss in a bit of quinoa or amaranth for a gluten-free plant-based pop of protein, fiber, and essential nutrients that will keep you full. (Did you know these are actually seeds, not grains?)
- Top off with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for a little gourmet flair.
The possibilities are endless. You’ll never get bored with this “no recipe” soup!
Cheers to a healthy, happy 2021 as we settle into the new norm.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.