This week, challenge yourself to eat more green fruits and vegetables. Here are some examples to look for during your next grocery trip: artichokes, arugula, asparagus, avocados, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, celery, collard greens, cucumbers, endive, green beans, green cabbage, green grapes, green onions, green peppers, kale, kiwi, lettuce, limes, mustard greens, peas, spinach, and zucchini.
Finally, here’s a quick, easy recipe to get you started:
Asparagus with Lemon-Mustard Vinaigrette
1 ½ lb. fresh asparagus stalks, ends trimmed, then cut in half
2 quarts water + 1 tsp. salt to cook asparagus
2 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
1. Fill a large pot with 2 quarts of water, add 1 tsp. salt, and bring to a boil.
2. In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, and black pepper together, then whisk in the olive oil.
3. Put trimmed asparagus into the boiling water, stir, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain asparagus into a colander and let sit for 1-2 minutes. Blot asparagus dry.
4. Arrange the asparagus on a serving tray, drizzle lemon-Dijon vinaigrette over, and serve. This tasty side dish can be reheated quickly in a hot frying pan or served cold.
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Have you thought about trying indoor cycling, but weren't sure if it was right for you? Check out some of the benefits:
1. Low Impact - With proper bike set-up and good instruction, indoor cycling is able to provide aerobic intensity with minimal impact on the joints. The pedal motion allows for flexion and extension of the hips, knees, and ankles without of the pounding impact of running or jumping. Ask your instructor to help you get set up and make adjustments as needed to ensure a pain-free ride!
2. Muscular endurance - As you learned in our coaching tip a few weeks ago, muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle to continually exert force over a period of time. Pedaling against resistance can significantly increase the endurance of your leg muscles. Doing so also strengthens the bones and connective tissues, helping to stabilize joints. In fact, due to it being both low-impact and highly effective at strengthening and stabilizing the lower body, indoor cycling is often used (under the guidance of a physician) in rehabilitation following injuries or surgeries.
3. Cardiovascular - Indoor cycling can increase and maintain your heart rate, and is easily modified to your level of fitness. Vigorous aerobic activity on a routine basis can improve cardiovascular function and efficiency, lowering your resting heart rate and blood pressure, improving cholesterol, and lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease.
4. Calorie burn - If, for you, becoming more fit and healthy means losing weight, you may appreciate the fact that indoor cycling can torch hundreds of calories in just a single class, all while maintaining the above. It results in some of the highest caloric expenditure you'll find in any group exercise class.
5. Stress relief - Like all aerobic exercise, indoor cycling increases the production of endorphins, also known as "happy hormones." The high intensity, pumping music, fun and games, and camaraderie leaves many participants with what they call an "endorphin rush", improving their mood, lowering their stress, and helping them sleep better at night!
This Thursday you can join the party, free for all wellness members, and see what it's all about! Show up a few minutes early and one of our instructors will be happy to help you fit your bike and get you ready to roll!