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December Fitness Tips

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

Stretches to Relieve Tight Shoulders:


Upper Trapezius Stretch

Start standing or sitting tall, and place one hand on your lower back, the other hand on the opposite side of your head.

Pull your head toward your shoulder, looking straight ahead, until you feel a stretch in your neck.

Hold for at least 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.


Quadruped Thoracic Rotation Stretch

Start on all fours, with your hands stacked under your shoulders and your knees stacked under your hips. Engage your core and maintain a flat back.

Place your left hand on the back of your head, so that your elbow points out to the left side. Rest the hand lightly, don't put pressure on your head or neck. This is starting position.

Slowly rotate your head and shoulder toward your right hand on the floor.

Then, reverse the motion and rotate to the left and up so your elbow points toward the ceiling. Hold for a few seconds.

Return to starting position. Continue this movement for 30 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.


Cross-Body Shoulder Stretch

Start standing or sitting tall. Grab one arm above your elbow with your opposite hand, and pull it across your body toward your chest until you feel a stretch in your shoulder.

Make sure to keep your elbow below shoulder height.

Hold for at least 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

Reverse Shoulder Stretch

Start standing tall, fingers interlocked behind you near your butt.

Keeping your back straight and shoulder blades together, push your arms up until you feel the stretch in your pecs.

Hold for at least 30 seconds.  


Christmas Tree Cheese Board½ lb / 200 g Cheddar Cheese, cut into ¾-inch cubes

½ lb / 200 g Smoked Gouda Cheese, cut into ¾-inch cubes

½ lb / 200 g Monterey Jack Cheese, cut into ¾-inch cubes

½ lb / 200 g Mozzarella Cheese, cut into ¾-inch cubes

1 lb (450 g) each seedless green and black or red grapes

1 pkg (40 g) fresh rosemary or thyme sprigs

1 stalk celery

2 Tbsp. Cream Cheese

2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley

1 piece celery (2 inch)


Arrange cheese cubes and grapes in rows on platter or cutting board to resemble a Christmas tree shape, rows should get smaller as you move up the platter, starting with Monterey Jack and ending with a row of Cheddar at the top.

Add rosemary sprigs between rows as shown in photo.

Roll cream cheese into ball, then coat with parsley; place at top of tree. Place celery at bottom for the tree trunk. Serve with crackers on the side.


Antipasto Wreath Recipe 26 (or 3-1/4 cups)
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup chopped Turkey Pepperoni
1/2 cup 100% grated three cheese blend
1/4 cup chopped black olives
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
6 Tbsp. chopped roasted red peppers, divided
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Fresh basil leaves
Favorite Crackers


Mix cream cheese, pepperoni, grated cheese blend, olives, chopped basil and 2 Tbsp. peppers until well blended. Shape into 16-inch log; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm enough to handle. Form into wreath shape on large plate. Top with remaining peppers and parsley. Garnish with fresh basil leaves. Serve with crackers.