6 Full-Body Stretching Exercises

by admin on August 23, 2017

When you can barely squeeze a workout into your day, taking time to focus on flexibility may feel like, well, a stretch. But stretching is an important part of fitness: It can improve your range of motion, increase circulation, and calm your mind—which may help fend off injuries and illness, as well as bring on a better night’s sleep. To limber up, try this quick head-to-toe routine I created.
Do the complete series once daily. Deepen each stretch with every exhalation, and stop if you feel any strain or pain.
If you want more, join my free group:

Move 1: The Runner’s Stretch

(A) Step your right foot forward and lower into a lunge, placing your fingertips on the floor or on two firm cushions if your hands don’t reach.

(B) Breathe in, then, in one motion, exhale as you straighten your right leg. Slowly return to the lunge position. Repeat four times. Switch sides.




Move 2: The Standing Side Stretch 

(A) Stand with your feet together and your arms straight overhead. Clasp your hands together, with your fingers interlaced and pointer fingers extended. Inhale as you reach upward.

(B) Breathe out as you bend your upper body to the right. Take five slow breaths. Slowly return to the center. Repeat on the left side.





Move 3: The Forward Hang

Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and your knees slightly bent.

(A) Interlace your fingers behind your back. (If your hands don’t touch, hold on to a dish towel.) Breathe in and straighten your arms to expand your chest.

(B) Exhale and bend at your waist, letting your hands stretch toward your head. Hold for five deep breaths.




Move 4: The Low Lunge Arch

Step your right foot forward into a lunge and lower your left knee onto the floor or a folded towel or blanket.

(A) Bring your arms in front of your right leg and hook your thumbs together, palms facing the floor.

(B) Breathe in as you sweep your arms overhead, stretching as far back as is comfortable. Take five deep breaths.

Switch sides. 

Move 5: The Seated Back Twist

Sit on the floor with your legs straight.

(A) Bend your right knee and step your right foot over your left leg. Put your right hand on the floor, fingers pointing outward, for support. Bend your left elbow and turn to the right, placing the back of your arm against your right knee. Inhale as you sit tall.

(B) Breathe out as you twist, pressing your arm into your leg and looking over your right shoulder. Hold for five breaths, then slowly return to the center. Switch sides. 








Move 6: The Bound Angle

Sit on the floor with your legs straight.

(A) Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together, letting your knees drop toward the ground. Hold your shins as you inhale and stretch your chest upward.

(B) Exhale as you hinge forward from your hips (without rounding your back) and place your palms on the ground. Hold for five slow breaths.



YouV2 Meal Plan: 4 Weeks to Healthier Eating

With the YouV2 meal plan in only four weeks you can totally transform your eating by adopting a few simple habits. Sounds to good to be true, right?

If you are reading this, you’re probably curious about the YouV2 Meal Plan. I’ll walk you through the plan and show you how by creating a few simple habits, and building on them each week, you’ll become a healthier eater and lose weight without strict diets, counting calories or containers, or eating only dry chicken breast and broccoli.

This YouV2 breakdown is helpful if you are considering or are currently following the YouV2 workout program, or if you just want to overhaul your eating with some simple, healthy tweaks.


YouV2 is a fun cardio dance workout combined with a simple eating plan.

YouV2 actually stands for “You – Version 2.” Version 1 – you right now – is amazing, but Version 2 can be even better! Imagine moving your body to fun music every day, making a few painless and fun tweaks to your nutrition, and feeling healthier inside and out.

It is a fun and easy health and fitness program where you will feel loved and supported from other people on the same journey as you. With no equipment, simple choreography, and incredible dance songs, this is truly a program that will make you feel confident and successful.

YouV2 is a simple, gradual approach to get you moving and create healthy new habits.

By focusing on small changes over time, you can lose the weight and keep it off. YOUv2 is not just a way to burn calories. This is a journey of self-discovery where you’re encouraged to think about your fitness and nutrition habits, what sets you back, and what it will take to push you forward to a healthier, happier “new version of you.”

It even includes a fun journal to track your new healthy habits and progress each day.

Why YouV2 Meal Plan is different (and better than strict diets).

The YouV2 approach to nutrition is a simple method of eating that will help you achieve your goals without the stress of a rigid meal plan.

The YouV2 meal plan is habit based.

I am super stoked about the YouV2 meal plan because it is unlike any other Beachbody program. You know, measuring food in containers, tracking portions, having a tiny little “legal” food list. There is no calorie counting and no complicated food plan to learn. Three cheers for simplicity!

You make simple changes to your eating and build on them each week.

4 weeks to healthier eating?

Strict diets don’t always work.

Have you ever tried a strict diet?? I’m guessing the answer is “yes.” You know, like only eating 1200 calories per day. Or intermittent fasting. Or Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig or some other plan – even a Beachbody one – that clobbers you over the head with rules. One slip up and you blew it, right

Super strict diets don’t work and they are not realistic. If you don’t believe me, take a peek at one of my favorite books that points out (in a fun and playful way) how diets are scientifically proven to make you GAIN weight (and what you can do about it instead): How to Have Your Cake and Your Skinny Jeans Too: Stop Binge Eating, Overeating and Dieting For Good, Get the Naturally Thin Body You Crave From the Inside Out

If you’re ready, let’s break down each of the four weeks of the YouV2 Meal Plan and I’ll show you just how simple it is.

http://YOUv2 Base Kit!: https://teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/YV2Base?referringRepId=56445

Week 1

Jump in with 3 super easy habits.

When making any change, always ask yourself “what small steps can I take that will have the most impact?” These are the three habits that will jump start you on your journey to healthier eating.

1 – Replace an unhealthy snack with Shakeology.

What is Shakeology?

Shakeology is a superfood nutrition shake that tastes like a milkshake but has tons of vitamins, minerals, superfoods, antioxidants, probiotics and a whole host of other good stuff. I like to think of it as a supplement. It’s my healthiest meal of the day.

Shakeology is the recommended healthy snack on YouV2. I drink it daily. Not because any program told me to, but because I notice a difference when I am filling my body with good things like greens, veggies, fruits and healthy fats. That’s what Shakeology is. A real, whole foods shake, not a vitamin supplement.

So while Shakeology is recommended as the program, you are in 100% control of what you eat. I do recommend at least reading up on the benefits and making a decision that is best for you.

Learn how Shakeology can help your weight loss journey

Can I substitute a protein shake?

No. Unless you’re a body builder, most people get plenty of protein. Protein shakes can be filled with sugars and chemicals.

If you must substitute I’d recommend a green smoothie using lots of fresh fruits and veggies. (These books have great green smoothie recipes: Green Smoothies for Life and Simple Green Smoothies.) While I enjoy drinking green smoothies, I’ve found that drinking Shakeology is much quicker and often cheaper and no mess than buying fresh produce.

2 – Drink more water.

Being hydrated is super important, but I’m sure you already know that. When you drink enough water you will have more energy, better digestion, your skin will glow and you’ll feel less hunger.

This article from WebMD shares the importance of drinking water.

How much? Shoot for drinking half your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 160 you should aim for drinking 80 ounces of water daily.

Tips to drink water like a rock star:

Fill a pitcher in your fridge with the amount of water you need daily. Then fill your cup from that pitcher throughout the day. When the pitcher is empty, you’re done!
Find a fun insulated cup or mug to drink from. I love this Tervis tumbler when I’m at home. It makes me happy, keeps my water icy cold, and it doesn’t sweat. When I’m on-the-go I use this Thermos Stainless Steel Mug. Water is icy cold all day.
Drink 8 ounces before every meal.
Add flavor. Drop in a couple lemon slices. I like to add frozen fruit, like berries or peaches. Check out pages 14-15 of the YouV2 Nutrition Guide for suggestions.
3 – No eating after 8pm.

For most people, myself included, nighttime snacking is the biggest problem standing between you and your skinny jeans. Think about your day… Often we are super motivated in the morning and rock a healthy breakfast like a champ. As the day wears on, so does our resolve and, if you’re like me, by evening I’m eating everything in sight.

Eating to celebrate surviving a day at work, to avoid doing household chores, to soothe upset feelings, to enjoy watching a favorite TV show or movie. It’s mindless munching, y’all.

If you have your eating in check all day but blow it at night, you will undo all the good you’ve done and never make any progress. (Read why eating after 8pm is not a good idea.)

Not eating after 8pm is a simple habit but it is not easy, am I right?? It helps to have some planned distractions you can try when you want to eat but are not hungry. Here are my favorites…

Distract yourself from nighttime snacking by:

take a bath or shower
give yourself a manicure or pedicure
play with the kids or pets
play a musical instrument
take a walk
leave the kitchen!
call a friend
do a craft
organize your closet
clean (did I really say that?)
write in a journal
That’s it for Week 1. You’re drinking water, replacing one snack with Shakeology, and you stop eating at 8pm. You can do this!

Now let’s take a peek at Week 2…

Week 2

In Week 2 you simply build on the three habits you’ve committed to, and add one more. You’ll still drink Shakeology in place of a snack, drink plenty of water and stop eating after 8pm.

Add a YouV2 breakfast.

A YOUv2 breakfast is simply a healthy, filling breakfast. The YouV2 Nutrition Guide has lot of recipes, including:

yogurt berry parfait
avocado egg salad toast
cinnamon & pear oatmeal
rise & shine quesadillas
sweet potato pancakes
sweet potato scramble
turkey sausage egg muffin
These breakfasts come in around 300-400 calories and have a healthy balance of carbs, protein, fruits and/or veggies and healthy fats.

Easy, right? By the end of Week 2 you’ll have a hearty and healthy breakfast under your belt, as well as a healthy snack, water and no nighttime grazing. Time to tackle lunch.


Week 3

Swap your lunch for a YouV2 salad.

Now you’ll continue the habits you’ve already built and add a YouV2 salad for lunch. We’re not talking bland iceberg lettuce with a spritz of diet dressing.

You’ll choose from delicious options like:

arugula salad with chicken and black beans
salad with avocado, peppers, tomatoes & sunflower seeds
chicken & black bean burrito salad
chicken & pear salad
rainbow lentil salad
sweet & simple strawberry salad
zucchini & feta salad with avocado dressing
Each of these salads include powerhouse foods like healthy fats, veggies, fruits, beans and protein. You’ll have a explosion of taste and will feel full for hours.

By the end of Week 3 you should have lots of confidence in your eating, without the feeling of restriction that comes with traditional diets.

Week 4

Week 4 is where you’ll pull together all the pieces.

Add a YouV2 dinner to the other healthy habits.

Now that you’re rocking a healthy breakfast lunch and snack, and drinking plenty of water, you add a healthy dinner to the mix.

Imagine enjoying:

BBQ chicken flatbread pizzas
pesto zoodles with chicken
peachy pork chops
tilapia tacos with fresh mango avocado salsa
veggie quesadillas
portobello mushroom burgers
eggplant parmesan
turkey chili
After four weeks and a few healthy habits, you are eating like a rock star! Now I want to give you some real life tips to make these habits stick.

Track your new healthy habits.

If you don’t track you won’t know how you’re doing.

It is super important to track these healthy habits as you are cultivating them. You know how on Day 1 you were super stoked and said “Yes! I’ll drink my 80 ounces of water every day!”?

Tracking your progress allows you to see if you are doing what you said you’ll do and how faithful you are to the plan. (And allows you to get right back on track if you happen to slip.)

Use the YouV2 Journal.

If you bought the YouV2 DVD program you will receive a special YouV2 journal in your kit. If you are streaming YouV2 through Beachbody on Demand, you will have access to a printable copy. Whichever one you use, be sure you write in it daily. I recommend keeping it in a place you’ll see it every day, like on the kitchen counter or near your bathroom sink.


Meal planning with Youv2.

The YouV2 Nutrition Guide comes with a 7 day sample meal plan. But I’ll be honest, their meal plan has you eating different recipes every single day. That makes for a big shopping list, lots of ingredients and more time than I want to spend in the kitchen. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Here are some tips to simplify meal planning:

Use the Pick 2 formula. This means choose two recipes for breakfast, lunch and snacks and rotate them throughout the week.

After diving into the YouV2 meal plan I hope you are as hopeful and encouraged as I am. You can see how making only a few small changes, one at a time, will lead to totally overhauling your eating – in a painless way. You’ll be drinking water, eating healthy meals and snacks and not obsessing about counting calories, fat grams or containers.


Are you ready to give it a try? Here are your action steps:

Purchase the YouV2 program which has a 30 day workout program with six fun workouts plus the entire meal plan with recipes and journal.

Start with positive mindset. Commit to the program. Believe you will make these healthy changes to become a stronger, healthier, more confident version of you.
Comment below if you plan to try YouV2 or if you are following it now. I’d love to hear what you think!


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