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September Fitness Tips

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- With fall right around the corner and kids going back to school, this is definitely the time to consider a healthy food source of vitamin C.

Foods high in vitamin C: If you chug a glass of orange juice every time you start sniffling, you may be onto something. Though studies show that consuming vitamin C can't actually prevent colds, loading up on the nutrient may help slightly shorten the length of time you're sick and reduce the severity of your symptoms. But despite their reputation for being loaded with vitamin C, the 69.7 mg that a medium orange provides is actually less than many other common fruits and veggies. To pack the ultimate vitamin C punch, fill up on these 12 superfoods.

Chili peppers
A half-cup of chopped or diced chili peppers delivers 107.8 mg of vitamin C. Plus, researchers from the University of Buffalo found that capsaicin, the compound that makes chili peppers hot, may help relieve joint and muscle pain.

Red bell pepper
A cup of chopped red bell pepper contains nearly three times more vitamin C than an orange--190 mg. Red peppers are also a great source of vitamin A, which promotes eye health.

Green bell pepper
A cup of chopped green bell pepper contains less vitamin C than its sweeter sister, but at 120 mg, it's still 200% of your recommended daily allowance. Green bell pepper is also a great source of fiber.

Kale
In addition to twice your recommended daily intake of vitamin A and seven times the recommended amount of vitamin K, a one-cup serving of kale provides 80.4 mg of vitamin C. The nutrition powerhouse also delivers a sizeable dose of minerals and fatty acids.

Broccoli
This cruciferous veggie provides 132 mg of vitamin C plus a punch of filling fiber for just 30 calories per serving.

Papaya
Research shows that eating papaya can help clear your sinuses, brighten your skin, and strengthen your bones. A one-cup serving delivers 88.3 mg of vitamin C.

Strawberries
A cup of this super fruit contains 84.7 mg of vitamin C, plus healthy doses of folate and other compounds shown to promote heart health. Another unexpected benefit of strawberries? They may help whiten your teeth naturally.

Cauliflower
Whether you roast it, steam it, or mash it, eating a small head of cauliflower gives you a 127.7 mg dose of vitamin C, plus 5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein.

Brussels sprouts
These little cabbages are loaded with cancer-preventing phytonutrients and fiber, not to mention 74.8 mg of vitamin C. If you're usually turned off by their bitter taste, bring out their natural sweetness by roasting them.

Pineapple
In addition to 78.9 mg of vitamin C, pineapple contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme that helps break down food and reduce bloating. Bromelain also acts as a natural anti-inflammatory that can help you recover faster after a tough workout.

Kiwi
One serving of kiwi (about 2 fruits) boasts 137.2 mg of vitamin C. The fuzzy fruit is also rich in potassium and copper

Mango
Taste the tropics for a 122.3 mg boost of vitamin C. Mango is also a great source of vitamin C plays a key role in immunity and additionally keeps your eyes healthy.

Lower back stretches that are great to do before any workout or cardio session

Cat Stretch for lower back
1. Position yourself on the floor on your hands and knees.
2. Pull your belly in and round your spine, lower back, shoulders, and neck, letting your head drop.
3. Hold for 15 seconds.

Child's Pose
1. Get on your hands and knees, walk your hands in front of you.
2. Lower your buttocks down to sit on your heels. Let your arms drag along the floor as you sit back to stretch your entire spine.
3. Once you settle onto your heels, bring your hands next to your feet and relax, "breathe" into your back. Rest your forehead on the floor. (Avoid this position if you have knee problems.)