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January Fitness Tips

  • Published
  • By Michelle Walker
  • 169th Force Support Squadron

Your jumpstart workout for the New Year!


Your 4 minute full-body workout

Want to get stronger and fitter, but don't have a lot of time or equipment? Tough and effective workout when you have just a short amount of time. These moves will strengthen your arms, legs, and core, and have you working up a sweat—stat.

How it works: Do each move all-out for as many reps as possible (AMRAP), and rest for 10 seconds in between. Complete the circuit two to four times for a serious burn.

Jumping Jack Burpees

A. Do one jumping jack.
B. Bend down to put palms flat on the floor in front of feet. Jump feet back to push-up position.
C. Jump feet up to hands and stand.

Do AMRAP for 20 seconds; rest for 10 seconds.

Push-Up with Alternating Lateral Leg Kick

A. Begin in a high plank position.
B. Lower into a push-up and kick straight right leg out to the side, tapping toe to floor.
C. Press chest away from floor and simultaneously swing right leg back to plank position.
D. Lower into a push-up and kick straight left leg out to the side, tapping toe to floor. Continue alternating quickly.

Do AMRAP for 20 seconds; rest for 10 seconds.

Curtsy Leg Switches

A. With the right leg, step backward and to the left, crossing behind left leg and lowering into a lunge.
B. Explosively jump and switch legs, landing with right leg in front and left leg crossed behind.
C. Jump to land again with the left leg in front. Continue alternating.

Do AMRAP for 20 seconds; rest for 10 seconds.

Push-Up with Rotate Open

A. Begin in a high plank position. Lower into a push-up.
B. Press chest away from floor and lift left hand up to sky, spiraling chest to the left and kicking right foot through to tap floor in front of body.
C. Return to high plank, and lower into a push-up. Repeat on the other side. Continue alternating.

Do AMRAP for 20 seconds; rest for 10 seconds


What Is a Complex Carbohydrate?

What's the Difference between Simple and Complex Carbohydrates?

Simple carbohydrates (aka simple sugars) are broken down quickly by your body—they have just one or two sugar molecules linked together. Honey (fructose and glucose), table sugar (sucrose) and milk (lactose) all contain simple carbohydrates.

Complex carbohydrates have more nutrients and take longer for your body to digest, so they help fill you up and don't cause the same swings in blood sugars as simple carbs.

Complex carbohydrates are larger molecules than simple carbohydrate. This means it takes our body longer to digest and absorb them. Grains, beans, fruits and vegetables (yes, even potatoes) all contain complex carbohydrates. Many carb foods have a mix of carbohydrates; for example, fruits contains natural fruit sugar (fructose, a simple carb) as well as dietary fiber (also a type of carb). The most healthful carbohydrates—unrefined plant foods that are low in added sugars and high in fiber— are what we tend to call "complex carbohydrates" and what we could all use more of in our diet.

Complex carbs are good for your heart and might help you lose weight.

Foods rich in soluble fiber—the kind found in complex carbohydrates like apples and oatmeal—can help lower your LDL or "bad" cholesterol. Eating 25-35 grams of fiber per day can help with not only losing weight but also keeping it off long-term. The average American only eats about 15 grams of fiber per day

Complex carbohydrates can be a healthy part of every meal and snack. Pair them with protein and healthy fats for extra energy and satiety. Here are easy ways to incorporate them.

Don't be afraid of potatoes: One medium potato has fewer calories than a cup of pasta and boasts a whopping 4 grams fiber, 4 grams protein and 25 percent of your daily value of potassium. If you are having potatoes at dinner, fill the rest of your plate with nonstarchy vegetables, like broccoli or Brussels sprouts, and protein.

Choose whole grains over refined: Quinoa, farro, amaranth, barley, soba noodles, whole-wheat pasta and brown rice are complex carbohydrates that not only fill you up with fiber but also deliver extra vitamins and minerals you won't usually get from refined grain products like white rice or white pasta.

Add more plants to your plate: You can't underestimate the importance of eating more plants, and if you're looking for complex carbs then vegetables and beans/legumes are an obvious choice.  Consider adding spiralized root vegetables like sweet potatoes or parsnips to pasta dishes, swap meat for beans in chili and burgers (or go half-and-half), or add cooked leafy greens to soups, egg scrambles, pastas and sandwiches.

Simplify your snack with complex carbs: Your snacks can be simple to make but full of complex carbohydrates. A sliced apple or banana topped with peanut butter delivers healthy good-for-you carbs. Or think outside the box and grab beans. Snack on high-fiber options such as roasted chickpeas or roasted broad beans.

Everyone needs carbohydrates; they're your body's preferred source of energy. Digested faster than protein and fat, they give your brain and muscles needed fuel so you can think and move. How many carbohydrates you need in a day depends on your individual needs. According to the Dietary Guidelines, carbohydrates should make up 45-65 percent of your daily calories. For example, if you eat 2,000 calories a day, about 900-1,300 calories should come from eating carbohydrates. This translates to about 225-325 grams of carbohydrates per day. And most of those carbs should come from healthy complex carbohydrate sources.

Wishing everyone a safe and Happy New Year!