Fitness Plan: Stability Ball Exercises

Stability and balance are the foundation for fitness. Together they help reduce fatigue, prevent injuries, improve posture, and also allow for efficient, fluid movement during your everyday activities.

There are a number of ways to improve stability and balance. This month we’ll focus on the stability ball. By taking away the flat surface you normally rely on, the stability ball forces your body to use stabilizing muscles to complete the movements. Some of the most important stabilizing muscles are in the core, including the abdominals, trunk and lower back muscles. Many exercises you can do on a flat surface can be done safely on a stability ball with some simple adjustment. Check out the exercises we’ve shown in the video below, get a few more tips in the sidebar, and download our Move for Health PDF for a suggested routine to follow each week.

 

Glute Bridge

Prone Walkout

Wall Squats

Sprinkler Core Rotations

Stability Ball Pushups

Gut Health: Fiber, Probiotics and Prebiotics

“Fun with fiber!” … said no one, ever.

But fiber is a vital part of digestive health, so let’s do our best!

Before we get to this month’s fiber-ific recipes and shopping list, let’s hit the basics of gut health. Found in many plant-based foods, fiber can aid in digestion and help prevent constipation. It has also been shown to help you achieve a healthy weight, normalize bowel movements, and promote healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

But gut health isn’t just about fiber. Probiotics and prebiotics also play a key role in keeping your digestive system working smoothly. These tiny health helpers are believed to aid in reducing common digestive health problems. Probiotics are live bacteria cultures that are found in your gut and can be found in fermented and cultured foods like yogurt, aged cheeses, and sauerkraut. Prebiotics are “good bacteria” promoters and can be found in whole wheat foods, soybeans, onions, and garlic. You’ll find a few more gut health tips in the sidebar, but now let’s get on to our recipes, which really are fun!

Recipes

BBQ Chicken and Chickpea Chopped Salad

 

Raisin Muffins

Overnight No-Cook Blueberry-Nut Oatmeal

Black Bean Burgers

Red Pepper Mango Jicama Salad