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Welcome to the Mountain Life Fitness bi-monthly Wellness Newsletter. Exclusively for our Personal Training Clients. Aimed at taking your nutrition, personal training and overall wellness to the next level.

Thank you for being a valued client! 

Rotini and White Beans with Kale 

Winter veggies, meatless high-fiber protein and whole grains come together in this healthy winter meal! 

Whole-wheat pasta makes a great whole-grain base for meatless meals. Try this healthier take on spaghetti by incorporating white beans and kale for fiber and vitamins A and K. You can substitute any dark green leafy vegetable such as collard greens or Swiss chart for the kale. 

  • 12 oz whole-wheat rotini
  • 1 pound kale or other dark green leafy vegetable
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 15 ½ ounce can low-sodium white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice 
  • Fill a large saucepan with water and place over high heat. When water boils, add rotini and cook for 9 to 11 minutes, or according to the instructions on the box.
  • Rinse greens thoroughly; cut ribs and stems from greens. Snip ribs and stems into 1 inch pieces and cut leaves into 2 inch pieces.
  • Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook for 30 seconds. Add greens and beans. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until greens begin to wilt. Uncover and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Drain pasta, reserving ¼ cup cooking water. Return pasta to saucepan and stir in greens and bean mixture with lemon juice. If mixture seems dry, add reserved cooking water. 

Yield: Five servings (1 ½ cups per serving)

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A Misunderstood Exercise ~ The Stationary Lunge
By:           Jackie Wright

While the lunge may be a fantastic exercise to strengthen the lower body, it is probably one of the most poorly understood and performed exercises in homes and health clubs around the world.  Therefore, in this issue of the Mountain Life Fitness, LLC Personal Training Newsletter, we will highlight some of the basic biomechanical information regarding this complex exercise in the hope that this will enable you to perform this exercise correctly and safely, reaping all of the many benefits it has to offer.  As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

Muscles Groups Targeted
When analyzing human movement, we often refer to the primary movers, the stabilizers and the neutralizers.  During the stationary lunge, the quadriceps, which are major knee extensors, are the prime movers, in both directions.  Concentrically, during the up phase of the lunge to extend the knee joint with control and eccentrically, during the down phase during resisted knee flexion.
Secondarily, the hip/leg extensors (i.e. gluteals/hamstrings) are providing a stabilizing component for the hip/knee joints and the neutralizers are the ankle plantar flexors through plantar flexion on the up phase and dorsiflexion on the down phase.
Additionally, the inner core unit muscles work as stabilizers of the torso (ultimately protecting the integrity of your posture, particularly your lumbar spine), the hip abductors/adductors work to stabilize the hip joint medially/laterally, and the shoulder girdle muscles stabilize the shoulder girdle, helping to keep the body vertical.  Yes, there is a lot going on during a lunge!
Downward/Upward Never Forward
A stationary lunge is a downward and then upward motion.  Think of placing a priceless Ming vase on your head and not displacing it during the lunge.  If you move forward with the head/torso, you most assuredly will drop and break it!  Therefore, before performing a lunge, connect your mind to your muscles and think “down/up”, sort of like pushups for the legs.
Position Yourself for Success
All exercises require a specific position in order to address the proper range of motion at the joints involved and the correct line of pull to provide the optimal load to the specific muscle group for excellent results. 
Therefore, follow these guidelines for set up and performance of a stationary lunge:
-Begin with the legs in a long stride (i.e. staggered) front to back, as though you are standing on two different railroad tracks, with the legs hip width apart.
-Head, neck, shoulders, knees and toes all facing the same direction—arms suspended by your sides.  Shoulders rotated back/down, rib cage lifted, navel pulled toward the spine, pelvic floor pulled up, knees relaxed throughout the exercise.
-Place the bulk of your body weight into the heel of the front foot aligning the knee directly over the front heel and do not permit it to move in a forward direction (remember-down/up).
-Back heel should remain lifted throughout to protect the Achilles tendon.
-Slowly lower the body down toward the floor flexing hip/knee joints no lower than approximately 90 degrees at those joints.
-Then, slowly drive through the front heel extending the legs to full extension without locking the knee joints.
-Perform one-three sets of this exercise, 8-12 repetitions, two to three non-consecutive days per week.
Accumulated Physical Trauma Cycle
By Jackie Wright
Did you play high school or college sports?  Are you an avid indoor/outdoor recreational athlete?  Then, there is a good chance that you may have accumulated physical trauma throughout the years.  And, while there are certainly individuals that have suffered serious physical trauma which would require a different level of attention and expertise to manage, many others have simply accumulated physical trauma that by the time they reach their 30’s, 40’s 50’s and beyond, becomes quite debilitating.

What done is done, that is for sure.  However, there is a spectrum of accumulated trauma (you want to reside on low end of that spectrum!) and if you really take notice, and honestly assess your physical state, you may be able to lessen some of the current effects of this trauma and certainly may be able to prevent further trauma from occurring.  Unfortunately, what seems to be common is for the individual experiencing the trauma to rest, recover and perhaps go through a series of rehabilitative sessions, and then cycle right back to the same physical assault on the body. 

Over time, stressing the body’s accumulated trauma, is bound to seriously backfire perhaps leading to permanent disabilities.  The good news is that this may be avoided if you become proactive and realistic about your current physical state today and begin to take measures that will lead to a more functional, productive and “happy” body!  Therefore, featured in this issue of our Mountain Life Fitness, LLC Personal Training Newsletter are a few suggestions for how to identify the accumulated trauma cycle, perhaps prevent it or at the very least, decelerate the physical decline.  As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

Suggestion #1    Stop and take stock.  Are you consistently hurting somewhere?  Have you been performing the same sport/activity, program or types of exercises for years?  Every time you perform the activity that you “always have” are you debilitated afterward?  Then, it is time for a serious change of strategy.  Perhaps it is time to seek out your physician and have a full physical assessment which may lead to physical therapy or even surgery.  But, one thing is certain—if you continue on this path, the outcome is unlikely to be positive.

Suggestion #2    Every exercise program we design takes into consideration many factors; however, all are analyzed for risk and benefits. Before performing any higher risk exercise or sport/activity, ask yourself this one critical question:  “What is the purpose of this sport/activity or exercise?”  If you cannot answer definitively, or your coach or trainer cannot answer immediately and possesses ample research to support the answer, then avoid that specific action if possible.  Obviously, there are jobs, sports and lifestyles that may require these risky movement patterns.  However, if that does not apply to you, then why are you performing the high risk movement pattern particularly if you are experiencing physical trauma?  Further, when there are safe/effective alternatives (and there are plenty at your disposal—you just need a fitness professional to guide you toward that end), why take those risks?

Suggestion #3    Not just before, but during and after your sport/activity season begins, you must be consistently performing a well-designed exercise program.  Staying strong throughout the year, will definitely go a long way to minimize or create further physical trauma.
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Granby, CO 80446

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Granby, CO 80446

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