Tuesday, April 19, 2011

On modifications.


Seriously. It snowed yesterday. And it wasn't (obviously) the kind of snow that fell into thin air and disappeared. It actually stuck for most of the morning, putting up a good fight but ultimately turning into rain by the day's end. It is April. It's supposed to rain in April. That's how we get May flowers. It is not, I repeat, it is not supposed to snow in April. I guess Mother Nature decided to make a last minute modification to the weather plan.

Darn her.

Oddly enough, I chose to break out the overnight oats yesterday. I've been noshing on regular oats for a few months now because they warm me from the inside out. But it's been rather warm as of late, so I figured it was time to start switching over to this colder, more refreshing way to eat oats. And since I knew that I'd be driving Jason to work, I believed them to be the perfect grab-and-go solution.

Plus, I had a recipe worth trying:

Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats. A tasty bowl of goodness, really. (I should have slapped some almond butter on top. Sigh...I always think of things too late.) Discover my inspiration by clicking here, and then check out my modifications to the recipe.

But wait, first I want to discuss the concept of modifications. They apply to the wonderful world of fitness, dontchaknow. And they're actually quite important. You see, every exercise has a modification. Something that changes the essence of the move ever so slightly in an effort to A) minimize pain and discomfort, B) change the level of difficulty, or C) adapt the exercise to whatever equipment is available. So my advice to you on this day? Never hesitate to ask for modifications. Here's why:

A) Whenever you feel pain or discomfort when performing an exercise, your body is obviously telling you that something is up. Cease and desist! I guarantee you that your form is off, which can lead to further pain and discomfort in other places not previously in pain or experiencing discomfort. But if the muscle group you happen to be focusing on is fine, well...that's where modifications come in. Variations on exercises help us all adapt, no matter our bodies and the challenges they present us. No matter our fitness levels, either.

B) Modifications to exercises can change the way our muscles respond, which ultimately keeps them challenged. Like, for example, when it comes to a squat. Bad knees? Modify the traditional squat for a while by placing an exercise ball in between your back and the wall. Once that gets easier, hold some weights. Slowly modify the exercise until you can perform an unassisted squat without pain or discomfort, and while maintaining proper form. If you're taking a group class, don't hesitate to ask for modifications. In fact, your instructor should provide them before you even HAVE to ask...because your instructor should be watching you, and he/she should see that you need some assistance. (Am I right, fellow instructors?)

C) If you don't have kettlebells, you very well cannot do kettlebell squats. Right? Wrong! Modify using a dumbbell or a medicine ball. It's that easy to work around a lack of equipment. Don't have the funds to purchase a home cable machine? Buy a TRX or some exercise bands! That's the beauty of the fitness industry. It's highly adaptable and filled with creative people who are always coming up with new and exciting (and fun) ways to do the same 'ol exercises people have been doing. Besides, when we switch and change our exercises, we continuously challenge our muscles.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's get back to that recipe I promised you.

Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup natural applesauce
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 apple, chopped up into pieces
2 tbsp chopped pecans

Mix everything in a bowl. Cover and let set overnight. It'll be ready in the morning, I promise.

(End directions.)

It doesn't get much easier, folks. You can heat the mixture as per the original recipe, but it tastes just fine as a cold cereal. At least that's what I thought.

Oh, by the way. Best Buy didn't have my heart rate monitor. Epic fail, but I have one on order so I'll be sitting tight for the next seven to ten days. Ugh. No patience, this one. I think I'll make some granola bars to keep busy.

Question: Have you ever had to modify an exercise? Why, and how did it go?

REMINDER! Don't forget to enter my giveaway! You just might win a delicious variety pack of Pure bars! (Contest ends at midnight EST on Friday, April 22, 2011).

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