Special K Fitness Advice

Getting started on your fitness routine
Monday , 08 February 2010
Special K Fitness Advice

You'll probably be surprised at just how much exercise you could do by simply changing a couple of things in your everyday routine.

Go on a brisk walk
To get your heart rate up, try briskly walking instead of meandering along, doing house work and going up and down the stairs rather than taking the lift. Be more aware of your daily activities and do them with more vigour and purpose.

Evolve a new way of thinking
Try to breathe correctly using your tummy rather than your ribs and shoulders. Take deep breaths and try to keep your tummy pulled back towards your spine whenever you remember. Start your plan gently by walking somewhere today, even if it's just to the shops. A daily 20 minute walk will clear your head and get your heart rate up.

Focus on your breathing and stretching
Take time out to sit quietly and focus on your breathing and stretching. Sit cross legged, keeping your buttocks on the floor, and walk your fingers as far forward as possible, keeping your head down; then uncurl to an upright position. Take deep breaths and keep the tummy pulled back towards the spine.

Simple changes can make a huge difference
Remember to sit tall, whether you're at a table, desk or just on the couch. Good posture is important for a healthy spine and the muscles surrounding it, and will help release tension from your shoulders. Keep your shoulders back, neck long, and try not to cross those legs.

Stand tall
Try to spend today (and every day) concentrating on holding the shoulders down and back and pulling your navel back towards the spine. For a quick stretch, stand with the balls of your feet on a bottom step; hold onto the wall for balance and rise up and down 10 times. Rest, then repeat 3 more times.

Special K recipes for healthy meals:

Creamy chicken and broccoli pasta bake
Serves 4

300g penne pasta, 200g broccoli (cut into florets), 2 tsp oil, 400g skinless chicken breast (cut into thin strips), 200g low fat soft cheese, 150ml semi-skimmed milk, 6 spring onions (finely chopped), 150g frozen sweetcorn, 125g cherry tomatoes (halved), seasoning to taste, 50g fresh white breadcrumbs, 1 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling water. About 3 minutes before the pasta is due to finish cooking add the broccoli and sweetcorn. While the pasta is cooking heat the oil in a wok or non-stick frying pan, add the chicken and stir-fry for 5-6 minutes. Add the spring onions and cook for a further 1-2 minutes. Drain the pasta. Add the soft cheese and milk to the saucepan and heat, stirring until hot and smooth. Mix the pasta, broccoli, chicken, sweetcorn, tomatoes, and the sauce, season to taste and transfer to a shallow ovenproof dish. Mix the breadcrumbs and Parmesan, sprinkle over the pasta and pop under a medium hot grill until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Courgettes with a spicy tomato sauce
Serves 1

1 large courgette, 2 tsp oil, 1 tbsp tomato puree, 6 cherry tomatoes (halved), 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander, 2 tsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp capers, 60g Ebly wheat, 1 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese, seasoning to taste

Slice the courgette into thick slices. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a non-stick pan, add the courgette and cook, stirring for 4-5 minutes. Remove the courgettes and keep warm. Add the remaining oil to the pan, then add the tomato puree, cherry tomatoes and coriander and cook until the tomatoes are soft. Add the balsamic vinegar, capers and seasoning to taste and cook for 1 minute. Cook the Ebly wheat according to the packet instructions. Place the courgettes onto the wheat, spoon over the tomato sauce and sprinkle over the Parmesan cheese.