Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A soon to be family favorite and the enemy of outdoor fitness

If you've never heard of the pasta Orzo, you should seriously look into it. Orzo is a type of pasta that looks like over-sized rice but often has Parmesan cheese and other little add in's that help to give it some zip.

This Orzo recipe was given to us by one of our morning Hi-5 FitCamp members. The recipe is for Orzo with Spinach & Tomato. Give it a shot. You might just surprise yourself.

You'll need the following ingredients:
  • 1 10 oz bag of spinach
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • the zest of 2 lemons
  • 1-1/2 cups of orzo, cooked al dente
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Working in small piles, shred the spinach into ribbons. Pile shredded spinach in the bottom of a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the halved tomatoes to the bowl along with the lemon zest. Add hot orzo pasta to the mixing bowl. Add the olive oil over pasta and toss to combine veggies and orzo. Add a little basil & pepper and toss again.

To make the orzo you can simply boil it until it is tender but still a pretty firm in the middle, or "al dente". You don't want mushy orzo!

And there you have it. Orzo makes a great side dish and is a very slow digesting carbohydrate which is why it fits perfectly into our diets! We want carbohydrates, we just don't need the fast digesting type that leave us hungry within the next 45 minutes.
The enemy of most people who begin training outdoors are the dreaded shin splints. These things sneak up on unsuspecting folks and can be a real pain!!

 What are shin splints? Shin splints are the result of tight calf muscles pulling on the shin bone causing an enormous amount of stress to the tibia, or shin bone. If severe enough, shin splints often result in stress fractures of the tibia and can require long periods of time off.

But here are a few things you can do to prevent shin splints now that we are outside twice per week.
  1. Stretch frequently. Stretching your calves of both legs can help to relieve the stress on the calves and allow the calves to have achieve greater length, thus minimizing the passive tension on the shins.
  2. Start slowly. Most shin splints begin as the result of people getting out and doing too much running too quickly
Remember, you cannot start running to get fit. Instead you must be fit to run. So all you newbies out there, come on in the the Hi-5 FitCamp and lets get you started on a low impact strength training program that will help to you ready for life!!

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