Deb Kirkland first started performing breast exams in nursing school, practicing on peers at the behest of her instructor. It was the first time she learned the statistics, risk factors, and symptoms of the disease. She was healthy, had no family history of breast cancer, and was young, yet she noticed a lump in her right breast during a self-exam at age 32. Concerned, she went to her OB/GYN and was referred for a mammogram and ultrasound, which led to a biopsy that gave her a diagnosis.
Yoga is an unregulated industry. Unlike doctors, lawyers and accountants, there are no state or national governing boards that set standards for yoga professionals, and there are no yoga licenses to distinguish true yogis. According to Lynn Burgess, founder and director of Yoga from the Heart in Sarasota, Florida, that means it’s up to the buyer to beware.
January is fast approaching, and yoga studios everywhere are gearing up for the first-of-the-year rush. According to Lynn Burgess, founder and director of Yoga from the Heart in Sarasota, Florida, yoga is a popular New Year’s resolution and wellness commitment to make for the coming year. “It’s wonderful for the body and for the mind,” says Burgess.
Stability ball arm exercises are great for extra strength toning. Push-ups, in particular, work your shoulders, chest, triceps, and abs. To start the Peeled Push-Ups, balance on your knees in a push-up position with the small stability ball under one hand. As you come down into the lowest part of a push-up, roll your arm along the ball positioning your arm at a slight diagonal—about 2 o’clock. When doing these shoulder exercises, really think about contracting your shoulder muscles as well as your abs and glutes.
As far as arm and shoulder exercises go, this one has an added bonus! The Rockette Press tones your shoulder and biceps, and it also works your butt and legs. To start, stand in an upright position with your feet together. Using a single dumbbell, bring one elbow up with the dumbbell toward the floor. Make sure there’s a straight line between your raised elbow and the opposite shoulder. Bring your left leg back into a reverse lunge, and as you come out of the lunge, rotate your arm using you shoulder muscles and lift the opposite knee.
For great ab and oblique exercises, try the Wood-Chop Crunch. The combination of ab exercises will really tighten and tone your stomach muscles. To start, lay flat on your back and bring your knees into a tabletop position. With dumbbells in each hand, bring your arms straight above you and open them into a chest fly. When your arms are back in the upright position, twist into an oblique crunch, really focusing on contracting your core. Come back to starting position and alternate sides after the chest fly. Perform two sets of 12 reps.
The Lunge and Row exercise combines arm exercises with lunge exercises for the ultimate toning workout. This arm exercise will work the muscles in your back, your bicep muscles, and even your lower body. Using an anchored resistance band, start in a standing position with one foot in front of the other in a split stance. As you lower into a lunge, use your back muscles to pull your shoulder blades together and use your biceps to pull the resistance band toward you. Perform three sets of 12 reps for the best results.
If you’re looking for core strengthening exercises, you need to check out the Toe-Drag Plank. It’s one of the core exercises that also engages the muscles in your butt and outer thighs. For this move, start in a side plank position, contracting your core muscles for balance and your feet staggered—your top foot forward and your bottom foot back. Engaging your core muscles, bring your bottom foot up to knee level, return to starting position, and then dip your hips down and back up.