Month: November 2019

Defining Leg Muscles

Defining Leg Muscles

There are two main reasons you would want to tone and define your leg muscles to get ready for summer. The first, of course, is so you can look great strutting around in your swimsuit all season. The other is so you will have no problems trudging through the sand on all those long walks on the beach. Try these exercises to help define your leg muscles.

Free Squats

Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart. Holding your arms out in front of you and keeping your posture straight, bend at the knees until you are at an almost sitting position. Hold that pose for a five seconds and then use your legs to straighten back up. Repeat ten times, three repetitions in total.

Wall Squats

Leaning your back against a wall, place your feet about two feet in front of you at about shoulder width apart. With your arms either out in front of you or straight down on the wall for extra support, bend at the knees until you are as close to a sitting position as you can get.

Hold for five seconds and then use your legs to straighten back up to a standing position. Repeat the action ten times, three repetitions in total.

Scissor Kicks

Lie flat on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keeping your knees bent, raise your legs into the air as if you were sitting in a chair. Keeping your thighs as still as possible, criss-cross your calves back and forth. Continue this motion for 30 to 45 seconds at a time, repeating the exercise five times.

Horizontal Leg Lifts

Lie on the floor on one side with one leg stacked on the other and your hand at your hip. Keep your legs straight and lift the top leg slowly as high as you can without straining. If you feel pain, stop. Repeat this motion 20 times on each side, and then repeat the whole process three times.

Standing Leg Lifts

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Place your hands on your hips and bend forward at the waist at about 45 degrees.

Keeping one foot firmly planted on the floor; lift the other leg back as far as you can raise it without straining, keeping both legs straight. Repeat 20 times per leg, and then repeat the process twice.

Lunges

Standing with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands on your hips, step out with one foot about two feet in front of you.

Bend both legs and almost touch the back knee to the ground, then straighten back up and return to a standing position. Repeat this process, alternating which leg you step out with, until you have done 20 lunges on each side.

Walk It Out

If you are looking for a very easy and effective leg-defining workout, simply look to your daily routine. Start walking everywhere that you are able; go for walks on your lunch break, and always opt to take the stairs. Walking is low impact and is a great leg as well as cardiovascular workout.

Dance It Off

Dancing works out the whole body, especially the legs. Start frequenting salsa night, or take some classes during the week to get the most out of this fun exercise.

The key to any great leg-defining workout is consistency. Do these exercises a few times a week, and don’t skip repetitions if you can avoid it.

Also notice that most of these exercises rely on the resistance of your own body instead of machines or equipment, so doing these exercises slowly will help you get the most out of each and every motion.

Best Keto Diet Recipes for Weight Loss

Best Keto Diet Recipes for Weight Loss

Are you searching for new Keto diet weight loss recipes? Sticking to a diet such as keto isn’t easy. There are strict rules you need to follow which can mean you need to get really creative with the recipes you create.

To give you a little help, below you’ll discover some of the best keto diet recipes for weight loss to try out.

1. Ice burgers

Who says you can’t enjoy a nice burger on the keto diet? These delicious ice burgers are a genius idea and perfect for hot, summer days. It’s super-simple to create and it’s sure to please the entire family.

You’ll largely need lettuce, bacon, ground beef, red onion, sliced cheddar cheese and ranch dressing. The lettuce is used in place of burger buns, giving the burger a fresher, healthier makeover. You can find the full recipe below.

https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a54403/iceburgers-recipe/

2. Poppy seed muffins

When you’re on a long-term diet, it’s crucial to find healthy snacks you can indulge in. These poppy seed muffins are a perfect example and are great for keto diet followers.

You’ll mostly need almond flour, flaxseed meal, baking powder, natural sweetener, unsalted butter, poppy seeds and double cream. You can find the full recipe below.

https://www.positivehealthwellness.com/diet-nutrition/15-best-keto-recipes-weight-loss/

3. Salmon meatballs with Dijon lemon sauce

If you’re looking for a unique keto-friendly maintenance recipe, this salmon meatball with Dijon lemon sauce is perfect. It’s light, creamy, delicious and great for sticking to a weight loss diet.

You’ll need wild caught salmon, Dijon mustard, coconut oil or butter, garlic, organic coconut flour, lemon and heavy cream. Other ingredients, along with the full recipe can be found below.

https://www.healthstartsinthekitchen.com/recipe/salmon-meat/

4. Grilled chicken and peanut sauce

Chicken is definitely one of the best foods to stick to when you’re following a healthy diet. However, finding new and tasty recipes can be a challenge! That’s where this unique grilled chicken and peanut sauce recipe comes in.

Especially ideal for summer days, this low-carb chicken recipe is so simple to create. You will need a lot of ingredients for this one, but it’s definitely worth it! You’ll find it’s packed full of delicious flavors such as lime juice, fish sauce, fresh garlic and ginger, peanut butter and jalapeno peppers. Get the recipe below.

https://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/grilled-chicken-w-peanut-sauce-keto-low-carb/

5. Philly cheesesteak wraps

These mouthwatering Philly cheesesteak wraps are sure to please the entire family. They take just 10-15 minutes to make and are especially great for breakfast.

You will need zero carb wraps, which you can make yourself. Other ingredients you’ll need include left over steak, green bell peppers, button mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce and Provolone cheese. Check out the full recipe below:

https://www.lowcarbmaven.com/philly-cheese-steak-wraps/

These are just 5 of the best keto diet recipes for weight loss. Why not try one of the above recipes out today and see just how delicious they truly are.

Get Your Probiotics Naturally through Food

Get Your Probiotics Naturally through Food

There are many foods that contain probiotics. Most of the bacteria in your body lives in your gut. With the consumption of the right amount of food with probiotics, you can make your gut work well. The top ten foods that contain probiotics include:

1. Yogurt – Live-cultured yogurt is the best known probiotic food, especially if it’s homemade yogurt. Read the labels and make sure the ingredients in the yogurt are not equal to ice cream. Unhealthy ingredients include things like high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, and artificial flavors.

2. Miso soup – This Japanese food is often used as a digestive regulator. With the addition of the miso in some hot water, it creates a very probiotic-rich soup.

3. Sauerkraut – This is made with fermented cabbage which makes it rich in healthy live cultures. With the incorporation of sauerkraut in your diet, you can help reduce any of your allergy symptoms. Not only that, but sauerkraut also has an abundance of vitamins including vitamin C, A, B and E.

4. Kefir – This fermented dairy product is very similar to yogurt. It’s a combination of goat’s milk and fermented kefir grains. Packed with high amounts of lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria, this goat milk and kefir grain mixture is also rich in antioxidants.

5. Kombucha – This is a type of fermented tea that has a high level of healthy gut bacteria. It is used by many people to increase their energy, enhance wellbeing, and help lose some extra pounds.

6. Microalgae – Although this isn’t considered to be a food, you can add this to your smoothies. This is considered to be a superfood.

7. Pickles – This is another great source of probiotics. The less commercialized the pickle is, the better it is for you. But no matter the type of pickle, there is almost always some microbial value.

8. Tempeh – Instead of eating meats or tofu, try substituting them with tempeh. It’s a fermented, probiotic grain made with soy beans. There are also many ways to eat it. You can crumble the tempeh up and put it on salads, it can be sautéed, or it can be baked.

9. Poi – This Hawaiian food is teeming with bacteria (even more than yogurt). It hasn’t officially been recognized as a pro-biotic food but since has so much good bacteria in it, it can be classified as a probiotic.

10. Kimchi – This is an Asian dish and it’s a form of pickled sauerkraut. It contains plenty of good bacteria but it also has high amounts of beta-carotene, calcium, vitamins C, A, B1, and B2, and high amounts of iron. It is a spicy food so if you can handle the spice, it’s a good probiotic to add to your diet.

To get your probiotics naturally, eat these ten foods. They contain high amounts of good bacteria which will greatly increase the efficiency of the digestive and immune systems in your body. These foods are great for your body and great for your taste buds!

Toning the Tummy

Toning the Tummy

The tummy is a problem area for most people when it comes to getting toned and ready for bikini season. As the weather heats up, you want to be looking hot poolside and on the beach, and a toned torso is just the ticket. Here are some great tummy toning exercises you can do in your own home to get ready for summer.

Crunches

Lying flat on the ground, with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, put your hands behind your head. Using your abdominal muscles and keeping your neck straight, raise your shoulders off the ground. Repeat this motion 30 times, rest, and then repeat twice.

Knee Touches

Lie flat on the ground with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, and put your hands behind your ears. Keeping your posture straight, and without bending your arms, use your abdominal muscles to touch your left elbow to your right knee. Repeat this action, alternating sides, 30 times. Rest, then repeat twice.

Bicycle

This exercise is much like knee touches, but slightly more advanced. This time, lift your feet and legs off the ground as if you were sitting.

When you bring your elbow up to meet the opposite knee, straighten out the leg on the side of the elbow you are using. Do this all in a continuous motion, without stopping, and your legs will move as if riding a bicycle. Repeat the action 30 times, rest, and then repeat twice.

Straight Scissor Kicks

Lie completely flat on the floor with your hands under the small of your back. Using your abdominal muscles, raise your legs off the ground at a 45 degree angle. Criss-cross your legs back and forth for 30 to 45 seconds at a time, rest, and then repeat five times.

Bent Scissor Kicks

This variation of the scissor kick will have you start by lying on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Then, lift your feet and legs off the ground in a sitting position. Keeping your knees bent and thighs steady, criss-cross your calves back and forth for 30 to 45 seconds, rest, and then repeat five times.

Leg Lifts

Lie flat on the floor with your legs together and hands under the small of your back. Use your abdominal muscles to lift your legs, pressing them together and keeping them straight, off the ground about three inches. Hold this position for ten seconds, and then return to the starting position. Repeat ten times.

Reaches

Lie with your back flat on the floor and your legs up in the air so that your body is at a 90-degree angle. Holding your arms straight out above you, use your abdominal muscles to lift your shoulders off the ground and touch your toes, then return to the starting position. Repeat this 30 times, rest, and then repeat the entire process two more times.

Penguin Touches

Lie on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Position your feet a little wider than shoulder length apart.

With your arms straight out beside you, lift your shoulders off the ground slightly and touch each ankle, moving side to side. Repeat this motion for 30 to 45 seconds, rest, then repeat five times.

All of these exercises are easily done in the comfort of your own home and each targets key parts of your abdominal muscles to help you tone your tummy. As with any toning exercises, consistency is key, so make sure to do this full workout at least three times a week or up to every other day.

5 Surprisingly Satisfying Keto Recipes

5 Surprisingly Satisfying Keto Recipes

One of the key challenges of sticking to a long-term keto diet, is finding new delicious recipe ideas. Sometimes, you just want to indulge in mouthwatering foods, but is it possible to eat anything satisfying on the keto diet?

The good news is there absolutely are delicious, satisfying meals you can enjoy on the keto diet. Below, you’ll discover just 5 surprisingly satisfying keto recipes you can try out.

1. Pumpkin cheesecake with a walnut crust

Who says you can’t indulge your sweet tooth on a diet! This delicious pumpkin cheesecake with a walnut crust is absolutely divine.

The main ingredients you’ll need are walnuts, softened cream cheese, cinnamon, vanilla, heavy whipping cream, pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice. It’s packed full of delicious fall and winter flavors. You can check the full recipe out below.

https://www.heyketomama.com/keto-pumpkin-cheesecake/

2. Keto meat pie

Few dishes can match this ultra-satisfying meat pie. Topped With cheese, this is sure to be a big hit with the entire family. It can be used as a main meal or for packed lunches and is best served at a lukewarm temperature.

You will need quite a lot of ingredients for this one, but it is worth it. The oregano, tomato paste, garlic, sesame seeds and almond and coconut flour added to the recipe are what give it a beautiful fresh flavor. Check out the full recipe below.

https://www.dietdoctor.com/recipes/keto-meat-pie

3. Keto pizza pockets

If you’re looking for a satisfying keto recipe even the kids will love, you’ll want to try these awesome pizza pockets.

Some of the ingredients are a little more difficult to find for this one, but you should be able to pick them up online. What’s great about these pizza pockets, is you can put any filling in that you want. You can also serve them alongside your favorite sauce. Discover how to make them below.

https://www.heyketomama.com/keto-fathead-pizza-pockets/

4. Keto Tex-Mex Casserole

On cold winter days, you’ll definitely want to try out this satisfying Tex-Mex casserole. It’s extremely hearty and is packed full of delicious flavors.

The basis of the flavor comes from pickled jalapenos, sour cream, paprika, cumin and chili powder. Filled with ground beef and shredded cheese, it’s hard to believe this recipe is actually good for you. Check out the recipe below.

https://www.dietdoctor.com/recipes/keto-tex-mex-casserole

5. Keto cinnamon coffee

One thing many people struggle with when they start the keto diet, is giving up creamy coffee. However, as this delicious keto cinnamon recipe shows, you can still indulge your coffee cravings.

All you need is ground coffee, ground cinnamon, heavy whipping cream and water. It’s so simple to make and perfect for enjoying on cold days. Check out the recipe below.

https://www.dietdoctor.com/recipes/keto-cinnamon-coffee

So, there you have it – 5 surprisingly satisfying keto recipes you’ll definitely want to try. Following a long-term keto plan doesn’t have to be boring. There’s so much variety you can enjoy to make it easier to maintain.

Adding Probiotics to Your Lifestyle

Adding Probiotics to Your Lifestyle

Have you thought about adding probiotics to your diet? You create a good and healthy lifestyle for yourself when you add probiotics to your life. Luckily, probiotics come in many different and delicious foods. Some of those foods include pickles, sauerkraut, Kombucha tea, and yogurt. These foods keep your digestive and immune systems healthy.

Here are some things that probiotics can do for you:

1. Help your urinary tract health – To help your urinary tract system working properly, the intake of probiotics is important. Probiotics will help prevent any bacteria from invading and damaging your urinary tract system.

Getting a urinary tract infection can be painful and uncomfortable, and means having to go to the doctor. They’ll prescribe antibiotics but there’s always a chance that it will return. By adding probiotics to your diet, you can stop it from recurring. Not only do the probiotics ward off any infections, they also help the system to maintain the good bacteria.

2. Women get many rewards from taking probiotics – Sometimes a woman’s normal bacterial flora may get off balance. This can lead to an increase in urinary tract infections described above as well as vaginal issues. When not taking a wholesome amount of probiotics, women can experience yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis. Pregnant women are at an even greater risk at getting vaginal infections, which puts them at risk of having a premature labor.

3. Prenatal health – Probiotics should be used by expecting mothers because they are very helpful to unborn babies. The use of probiotics while pregnant provides the baby with vital health benefits. Some of those health benefits include less of a chance at getting eczema and inflammation of the skin, and a decrease in the chances of them having allergies.

4. Boost of your immune system – Consuming foods rich in probiotics can help your body to maintain a healthy intestinal foundation. Enthused immune responses have been shown with the incorporation of probiotics in your everyday lifestyle and diet.

5. Fight obesity – When wanting to lose weight, you should add probiotics to your diet. This is because by adding probiotics, you can help boost your usual bodily functions that can help to stimulate weight loss naturally.

6. Digestive health – This is one of the greatest advantages of taking probiotics. Antibiotics can destroy the good bacteria. But when probiotics are taken daily, the amount of good bacteria in your body increases. Having healthy bacteria in your body is needed to help maintain a healthy digestive system. Lack of good bacteria in your body can result in diarrhea, constipation, and cramps. With the use of probiotics, chronic issues like irritable bowel syndrome can be taken care of.

Adding probiotics into your lifestyle makes your body healthier and helps it function more efficiently. Consumption of probiotics has been shown to help relieve symptoms for many sicknesses. They have also helped to make people feel better and make their systems work better.

Toning and Strengthening the Traps, Lats and Back Muscles

Toning and Strengthening the Traps, Lats and Back Muscles

As you are getting ready for the summer swimsuit season, you are likely focusing a lot on your tummy, thighs, and butt to make sure you look great. Don’t forget the importance of exercising and toning your back muscles, though.

After all, your back is likely to get a lot more sun this summer as you bare more skin. Don’t worry, however, because there are lots of exercises you can do to tone and strengthen your traps, lats, and back.

Exercising and strengthening the back does more than just help your back view look good. These exercises can help improve your overall posture and help you avoid injury when exercising as well as in your daily life. Try some of these targeted exercises.

Traps

Traps, or the trapezius muscles, are best worked out with targeted exercises. These will target your back and the backs of your shoulders.

* Shrugs – Depending on your level of fitness, you can either use the resistance of your own body, resistance bands, dumbbells, or barbells to complete this exercise. The object is to simply shrug your shoulders, holding the shrug and then releasing carefully, with your arms off to your side. Holding weights or resistance bands helps to create more tension.

* Kettlebell Pulls – Stand with your legs wider than shoulder width apart, with a kettlebell of your chosen weight in front on you. Bend your knees to pick up the kettlebell with both hands, but then keep your legs mostly straight for the remainder of the exercise. Using both hands in the middle of your body, lift the kettlebell to belly button height, then down again.

Lats

Lats, or latissimus dorsi, are best worked out with exercises that involve putting your hands above your head and pulling down. Here are some examples of useful exercises for lats:

* Chin-Ups – Find or install a secure bar that can hold more than your body weight, for safety. Grab the bar with your hands out wider than shoulder width, hands facing away from you. Pull your body up until your chin is above the bar, then slowly let yourself back down.

* Pull-Downs – Using resistance bands or gym equipment, use resistance to pull the bar or bands from above you using both hands. Bring the bar or resistance band behind your head, and then return and repeat.

Back

To work out your entire back, you are better off focusing on doing multiple targeted exercises as well as full-back workouts. These will help trim fat off your back and tone and sculpt the muscles there to give you a great-looking back.

* Core Exercises – Many core exercises are great for your full body, including your abs and butt muscles. Core exercises are excellent for your back, and can help you increase strength and balance to be able to complete other more difficult workouts. Planks are an example of an easy home exercise that works out your entire body, including your back, very well.

* Lying Dumbbell Lifts – Using a bench, lie front down so that your arms are dangling. Grab your chosen weight of dumbbells with both hands. Lift the dumbbells out away from your body, so that your arms are spread out like flying, and then slowly return your arms back down and repeat.

These exercises will help you tone and strengthen your traps, lats, and overall back muscles. This will help you look great this summer when you dare to bare your back, and will help you look leaner and stronger overall.

Remember that consistency is key, so repeat these exercises multiple times a week to keep those muscles working and looking their best.

Top Supplements Youll Want to Take on a Keto Diet

Top Supplements You’ll Want to Take on a Keto Diet

When you’re following the keto diet, after a while you could start to experience a number of side effects. These are typically down to not getting the right amount of nutrients from the diet.

If you develop a nutrient deficiency, your health is going to suffer. So, for this reason it’s often a good idea to take supplements when following a long-term keto diet.

Here, you’ll discover the top supplements you’ll want to take on a keto diet.

MCT oil

MCT oil is a popular keto supplement and it’s short for Medium Chain Triglycerides. The liver breaks them down before they enter the bloodstream where they are used to fuel the muscles and the brain.

While you can get these MCT’s from coconut oil, it is a good idea to invest in MCT oil supplements instead. These provide a higher concentration of MCT than most food sources.

Taking this type of supplement can speed up weight loss, boost your fat intake and leave you feeling fuller for longer.

Magnesium

Magnesium is really important for energy and it also helps to support the immune system and regulate blood sugar. On the keto diet, you’re at a particular risk of developing a magnesium deficiency due to most magnesium-rich foods being high in carbs.

For this reason, you will want to seriously consider taking magnesium supplements if you’re following the diet long term. If you do take them, you’ll find they help to combat sleep troubles, minimize muscle cramps and help reduce irritability.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is crucial for the health and it’s also one of the most difficult vitamins to get enough of. This is because it’s largely absorbed into the body through direct sunlight. Few foods provide the vitamin, which means on a strict diet like keto, there’s a large risk of suffering a deficiency.

Vitamin D supplements also often contain calcium too – another thing you’ll need on this type of diet.

Exogenous Ketones

Finally, you’ll also want to consider taking exogenous ketones. These are basically external ketones which help the body to remain in ketosis.

In particular, you’ll find these supplements really help to boost your energy levels. They can also boost weight loss, decrease inflammation and increase your focus.

The above supplements will help to ensure you don’t become deficient in any essential vitamins and nutrients on the keto diet. They’ll also help to ensure you don’t struggle through the side effects of the diet too. There’s a lot of different types of supplements out there, but the ones above are the main ones you’ll want to consider.

When the Bacteria in Your Body Is Off Balance

When the Bacteria in Your Body Is Off Balance

The bacteria in your body can get off balance. This can be caused by the intake of antibiotics. This is because antibiotics don’t just destroy bad bacteria, they can also destroy good bacteria. Taking probiotics can help to keep the bacteria in your body balanced. Here are some parts of your body that may be affected by the imbalance of the bacteria, as well as the symptoms caused by the imbalance of bacteria.

Intestinal Bacteria

The majority of the bacteria is found in the large intestine where important functions are done. Bacteria like the bacteroides, bifidobacterium and blostridium help to stimulate the digestion of food and absorption of nutrients. These bacteria can destroy toxic digestive by-products and can synthesize vitamin K. When your colon contains healthy colonies of bacteria, the colonies prevent the growth of pathogenic bacteria in the food you eat.

The Colon

In some situations the good bacteria in your colon may die. As mentioned, this occurs when you take antibiotics. The amount of good and bad bacteria in your colon is then off balance and the pathogenic organisms can grow out of control. You will then experience diarrhea. When you have diarrhea, you colon fails to absorb the water as it should, resulting in a loss of fluids. Digestion is usually impaired causing you to lose electrolytes, proteins, and vitamins.

The Small Intestine

Usually, the healthy bacteria in your body is present in your colon with only a few in your small intestine. But if you have Crohn’s disease or diabetes, you might suffer from an overgrowth of microorganisms in your small intestine. This can cause some very serious digestion problems.

Bad bacteria in your small intestine needs nutrients to grow. This interferes with absorption and then destroy cells in your small intestine. This situation causes diarrhea because of the interference with digestion. You will have abdominal discomfort and if this persists, weight loss and malnutrition can occur.

Remedies

If the good and the bad bacteria in your body become off balance, there are things you can do to relieve any pain and symptoms. If you are experiencing digestive problems, it is recommended that you eat probiotic foods. Probiotics contain live cultures of bacteria similar to the healthy types that inhabit your colon.

Some examples of foods that contain probiotics include natto or miso, sauerkraut, yogurt, and pickles. Yogurt is a great food with plenty of probiotics and is a very healthy choice. It might also help to consume prebiotic supplements. These contain indigestible carbohydrates which good bacteria use as food. Prebiotics can help to correct the imbalance of bacteria in your body and this will in turn correct your digestive tract.

Your body warns you when something is wrong. So if you have any difficulties digesting food, your body is trying to tell you something. Be sure to listen to it. Add some probiotics to your diet because it will help to correct any imbalances of bacteria in your body.

Stretching for Flexibility

Stretching for Flexibility

When people consider their diet and exercise regimen and how they can improve it, they very rarely consider the benefits of simple stretching. Stretching can help you increase your balance, strength, and flexibility. Stretching for flexibility especially is beneficial in all aspects of your active life.

Why You Shouldn’t Overlook Stretching

Stretching has so many benefits. At all levels, there are stretches that can be done to help increase your flexibility and strength, and even your balance. This can help you avoid injuries, feel limber, and give you more range of motion and energy.

How Stretching and Flexibility Helps Your Workouts

Stretching your muscles is a great way to prepare them for workouts of any kind, and is also a great way to cool down from a workout. Stretching before and after workouts helps work out lactic acid, prevents injury, and helps you feel less sore. Not to mention that the added flexibility will help you get the most out of your workouts.

Great Stretches for Flexibility

* Lunge Stretches – Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands on your hips. Step out wide with one foot, and then bend that knee, bringing the back leg down against the ground. Get as close to the ground as you can, trying to touch your shin to the ground. Hold this pose and then repeat on the opposite leg.

* Seated Twists – Sit on the ground with your feet out in front of you and then twist your torso to one side. Then bring your arms around to help pull your torso into a good twist. Hold this pose and then repeat on the opposite side. You can also do a second variation of this stretch with your legs folded “criss-cross”.

* Folding Stretch – Stand up straight with your feet just slightly apart. Keeping your posture straight, bend at the waist and try to hug your knees. If you are not quite at that level, just try to touch your toes or use blocks or the bottom stair to stretch as far as possible.

* Butterflies – Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Bring your legs in and touch the bottoms of your feet together, knees bent outward. Keeping your knees as flat on the ground as possible, grab your feet and try to bring them closer to your body. Without straining yourself, bounce your knees up and down a bit.

* Yoga Poses – There are a huge amount of yoga poses that are aimed specifically at increasing your flexibility. Two of these poses are called “baby cobra” and “downward facing dog”.

* Baby Cobra – Lie face down on the ground with your arms near your head, palms on the ground. Use your hands to push the top portion of your body off the ground, curving your spine backwards and looking up to the sky.

* Downward Facing Dog – Start in push-up position, and then push your arms up, folding your body in half so your bottom is up in the air and your head and arms are down. Your heels should be flat on the ground, stretching your entire body.

* Behind the Head Elbow Stretch – In either a sitting or standing position, simply reach one arm behind your head. Using the opposite arm, grab your elbow and press to increase the stretch. Hold the stretch and repeat on the opposite side.

Stretching for flexibility will help you will all facets of your healthy lifestyle and exercise regimen. These stretches alone will be beneficial for your whole body and daily life, and when paired with your exercise routine will make a huge difference.