Recipe of the Week:

Asparagus & Radish Salad (from www.eatingwell.com)

Serves:4

Prep Time: 15 min

Total Time: 15 min

This colorful asparagus and radish salad is dressed up with a sesame-soy vinaigrette and can also be paired with grilled shrimp and rice noodles.

Ingredients:

1 bunch asparagus (about 1 pound), trimmed

2 tablespoon white vinegar

1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger

2-3 dashes Asian red chile sauce, such as sriracha (optional)

1 bunch radishes, trimmed and cut into wedges

2 tablespoon finely chopped scallion

Directions:

Step 1:

Fill a medium bowl with ice water and place by the stove. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large sauce pan fitted with a steamer basket.

Step 2:

Thinly slice asparagus stalks diagonally, leaving the tips whole. Place into steamer basket and steam until tender-crisp, about 1 minute. Transfer asparagus to the ice water. Drain.

Step 3:

Combine vinegar, soy sauce, canola oil, sesame oil, ginger, and chile sauce (if using) in a large bowl. Add the asparagus, radishes and scallion; toss to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition Info (Per Serving):

Calories 66; Carbohydrates 7g; Fat 4g; Protein 3g; Dietary Fiber 3g; Saturated Fat 0g; Monounsaturated Fat 2g; Cholesterol 0mg; Potassium 359mg; Sodium 181mg.

Fit Tip of the Week:

Thinking About Group Indoor Cycling Classes?

There is no denying the vast popularity of group indoor cycling. The visual imagery provided by the instructors sets these classes apart from the usual boredom of stationary cycling by guiding the participants on a “virtual” outdoor road race. But before you reserve your spot (as many classes are so full a reservation is required) and start practicing your victory speech there are a few questions you should ask yourself as well as a few precautions to make your first ride a smooth and enjoyable one.

The first crucial question is: What kind of shape am I in? Indoor cycling is by no means for everyone. The intensity levels of many classes are far beyond what novices or part-time exercisers can achieve and maintain, especially for a 40 or more minute class. It is so very easy to get caught up in an instructor’s chant of “Faster RPMs!” and “Don’t sit down!” even if your body is telling you otherwise. So because not all fitness facilities are able to offer classes tailored for beginning exercisers it is very important that participants either be in very good cardiovascular condition or have the ability to monitor and adhere to their body’s cries for moderation.

With this being said, just because you may not be ready for a class right now does not mean you can’t be ready in the near future. If you’re thinking about starting a cycling class you should consider doing some cycling-specific training beforehand. Spend some time on a stationary bike listening to your music and creating your own cycling class. You can increase your endurance by interspersing periods of higher-intensity cycling (faster speed with greater tension) with more leisurely pedaling. In just a few short weeks you’ll be ready to sign up for your first indoor cycling class.

Now for the essentials. The following tips can make your first cycling experience a positive one:

-Don’t show up in running shorts or heavy sweats. This is a surefire way to make your ride totally unbearable. Instead take a tip from the wardrobe of Mr. Lance Armstrong and wear a pair of padded bike shorts. While it won’t completely eliminate the possibility of chaffing and discomfort, the padded bike shorts will help quite a bit.

-Bring a FULL water bottle or low-calorie sports drink. Get ready to consume plenty of fluids before, during and immediately after your work out.

-Adjust your seat to the appropriate height. If the seat is too low, you won’t be able to get enough leg extension on the down-stroke of your pedaling and your legs will tire out much quicker. If the seat is too high, then you will strain to reach and might injure yourself. To ensure a proper height, when on the upstroke your knee should never exceed hip level, while on the down-stroke your knee should be about 85% straight. Also don’t grip the handlebars too tightly. This will cause increased tension in your neck and shoulders.

-Ask your instructor about their training. In addition to cycling knowledge, an instructor should have experience teaching group exercise and should have earned a primary certification though NCAA- accredited certifying body (such as The American Council on Exercise or The Aerobics and Fitness Association of America). Look for an instructor who encourages heart-rate monitoring and is willing to get off his or her own bike to coach beginners.

-Above all, concentrate on exercising at your own pace. Don’t be intimidated by the high speeds, furious intensity and possible loud grunting of the person to your right (or left). Listen to your body and adjust the tension and speed accordingly. Don’t be afraid to slow down or take a break if needed. Remember safety first!

Until next week…

KinkySheaPT