A 12-Step Winter Workout You Can Do at Home

During the winter months, it can be difficult to find the time and equipment necessary to maintain your usual exercise routine. Here's a quick, 12-step workout you can try indoors to keep yourself in shape.

It is important to begin every workout with an effective warm-up to prepare your muscles and get your heart beating and the oxygen flowing. Before you start your training exercise, do the following:

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Topics: Healthy Living

8 Healthy Super Bowl Recipes for Snacks Your Guests Will Love

Researchers estimate the average American consumes about 1,200 calories during the big game, a hefty chunk of the estimated 1,600-2,400 daily intake recommended for women and 2,000-3,000 recommended for women.

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Topics: Healthy Living

Healthy Living Recipe: Beans, Greens & Quinoa Soup

This post was written by Exact Sciences' Danielle Bashirullah, Director, Service and Support.

Soups are my new favorite dish to make. I’m not just talking about a great cup of soup to go with your sandwich, I’m talking about a soup that stands alone (or maybe with some bread or a mixed green salad.) 

They can be a made ahead of time for a healthy and light dinner. Best of all, the whole family will happily eat them.

My revived interest in soups came after I had my daughter almost two and a half years ago. I had to find healthy dinners that I could have ready quickly. I was looking for dinners that fed the whole family because as a working mom, I don’t have time to make one dinner for adults and one for a hungry child.

I happened upon some great soup recipes and this spurred me to try more of them. I avoided soups with lots of cream and/or butter and instead focused on those with lentils and/or vegetables. I make some of my longer recipe favorites on the weekend so they are on hand for dinner during the week.

The one below is one I found somewhere along the way that I put my own twist on. It can be made ahead of time, but also comes together easily for a quick weeknight meal.

Feel free to customize it by varying herbs, using a different mix of beans, using different greens, or adding vegetables. I’ve also made it with some additional protein by adding some leftover cooked chicken when adding the spinach.

Beans and Greens with Quinoa - Serves 4

Ingredients

1 tbs olive oil

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

½ cup quinoa

¾ tsp dried oregano

1 or 2 bay leaves

1 can navy beans, drained and rinsed

1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups spinach

Salt and pepper to taste

Grated parmesan or asiago

Directions

Pour olive oil in large saucepan or stock pot and heat over medium heat. Sauté the onion for 3 minutes, add the garlic and sauté for one more minute. Add the bay leaves, oregano, quinoa then the stock. 

Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove lid and stir in beans. Add the spinach, and cook a few minutes to wilt. Remove bay leaves and season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan.

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Topics: Healthy Living

Healthy Living: Climbing to Stay Fit

This post was written by Exact Sciences Research Associate Austin Lynch.

The first time I stepped into a climbing gym and squeezed my feet into a pair of their sadistically small rental shoes was last November. The sound system thumped energetically as I watched lean, muscular figures gracefully ascending around me. Stunned, I watched a girl glide 30 feet up the wall with buoyancy like that of a ballerina, and I thought to myself, 'this is beauty.'

Inspired, I grabbed my bag of chalk and marched over to the nearest route. It was labeled "V0," which seemed like a good place to start. I covered my hands in chalk and clapped off the excess, choking on the ensuing cloud of powder I had just created. After a brief trip to the drinking fountain, the coughing subsided, and I returned to the wall.

Grabbing the starting holds, I arranged my feet clumsily on a couple of pebbles about the size of a lego. Once I was entirely on the wall, I took a deep breath and eyeballed the next handhold on the route. It was about two feet away. I softened my gaze, looking "through" the wall, as I had seen the other climbers do. I visualized myself moving easily over to it and pulling up to the next hold.

My chest swelled in anticipation as I felt confidence brimming within me. Before the emotion in my throat threatened to spill over, I took another breath and began my ascent. I shifted my weight to bring my center of gravity over my right foot, swung my arm out to the bright yellow hold in front of me, and fell on my butt.

Ask a climber about their first experience, and you'll probably hear a story similar to that one. Fortunately, the "flailing beginner" stage doesn't last long. After a few more tries, I finished the route, and started working on the next one. I was hooked. Three hours later, I drove home sweaty and satisfied. My hands could barely grip the steering wheel, but I knew I'd be back.

I began climbing at a gym to stay active over the winter months, but what started as a casual hobby soon turned into much more than that. Before long, my thoughts were consumed with conquering that next route, climbing one grade higher, and improving my technique.

On the days I wasn't climbing, I started hitting the weights. After an embarrassing incident involving a bench press bar and a very kind employee, I became comfortable with free weights and resistance training. Instead of spending my 30 minutes on the treadmill watching subtitles scroll across a re-run of "Maury", I was using my gym time to actually build muscle. And I was getting results! I was climbing confidently and above all, I was having a blast!

Once summer arrived, I was chomping at the bit to climb outdoors. Even more so than climbing at the gym, being outside on real rocks gave me a satisfaction that was unparalleled. I recently visited a friend of mine in rural Mexico, and while I was there, I was able to climb some of the most amazing rocks and cliffs I’ve ever seen!

Staying fit isn’t easy. It takes time out of your day, it costs money, and it’s hard to keep up the habit. But if you’re able to find a sport or hobby that forces you to stay fit, it takes on a whole different feeling. Your strength and your stamina become means to a greater end.

You aren’t puffing on a stationary bike because your doctor told you to do so. You’re training so that you can finish that 10K race next month, so that your volleyball spike is impossible to return, so that biking to work doesn’t leave you a sweaty mess, so that you’re running just as hard on the basketball court at the end of the game as you were in the beginning, and so that when your hands grasp the rough rocks at the top of that cliff, you’ll be able pull yourself up and stand on top of the world.

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Topics: Healthy Living