HealthWatch: Strength Training

Health Watch

With Safer at Home measures in place due to the coronavirus pandemic Aurora BayCare Medical Center wants to help people focus on their wellness.  

To  help people get through this challenging time we have been focusing on six aspects of wellness, physical, emotional, intellectual, social, environmental and spiritual health.

Those at Aurora BayCare Medical Center are encouraging people to achieve their healthiest life possible. The health of our body is very important during stressful times. 

One way to better our physical health is through strength training to build strong muscles and bones.

“As people age they lose bone mass and bone density which can cause pain fatigue weakness and loss of mobility so strength training helps you preserve bone density which reduces your risk of developing osteoporosis and osteoarthritis,” said Regan Dahnert, AFAA certified personal trainer, Aurora BayCare Medical Center. 

Workout facilities may be closed but strength training can be done at home.  If you don’t have equipment you can use your body weight.

“I would suggest doing pushups, sit-ups, dips so you can use a chair that doesn’t have wheels on it to do some triceps dips,” said Regan.

Regan Dahnert, a certified personal trainer at Aurora BayCare Medical Center, says you can incorporate the exercises into your daily life like doing squats in a chair while watching TV. 

“Standing up from their chair and sitting down and then repeating that as many times as they can until their quads get fatigued to build lower body strength,” explained Regan. 

And you can use simple things around your home like milk jugs filled with water or sand as weights.  Regan says exercise in general can help you boost natural hormones. 

“Strength training can help you with natural endorphins it boosts mood and exercise in general just makes you feel better about your body and your mind,” explained Regan. 

What you eat is also important during challenging times in life. Regan recommends lean meats and whole grains.

“What you eat and what you put into your body affects us physically and mentally so if you are eating empty calories or putting in too much sugar you’re not giving your body what it needs to fight disease and have energy that positively affects our mood,” explained Regan.

Regan recommends lots of fruits and veggies to support our immune system.

“Such as berries spinach carrots oranges sweet potatoes beans peppers and anything with bright colors which are high in antioxidants which are  natural cancer fighters,” explained Regan. 

Always remember when beginning an exercise routine to first consult with your doctor in case you have high-risk or underlying health conditions.

For more information and updates about Covid-19, visit Aurora BayCare’s Resource Center online at

Regan’s Simple Recipes to Carry you through Quarantine!

Chicken Stir Fry


• 1 ¼ cups brown rice or quinoa (boil in 2 ½ cups water)

• 1 tbsp canola or olive oil, divided

• 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed

• 1-2 16 oz. bags frozen mixed stir fry vegetables

• 3-4 tbsp soy sauce or tamari sauce (gluten free soy sauce), add as desired by taste

• Optional: ½ tsp sesame oil (adds extra flavor)

• Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Cook brown rice according to package instructions

2. Cut up the chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper.

3. Heat ½ tablespoon oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and stir

fry for 5-6 minutes, until almost done. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.

4. Add remaining ½ tablespoon canola or olive oil. Add frozen vegetables and stir fry 4-5

minutes, until heated through and crisp-tender. Return chicken to wok or skillet.

5. Add tamari, sesame oil (if desired) and rice/quinoa – mix everything well to distribute the


Burrito Bowls

Prepare any of the following ingredient of food options to create your burrito bowl: brown rice or

quinoa, drained and rinsed canned black beans, diced tomato, diced onion, sliced jalapenos, sliced

black olives, diced avocado, reduced-fat shredded cheese, jarred salsa, low-fat sour cream or Greek

yogurt, and  leftover or prepared chicken or beef. Individualize your burrito bowl to suit your taste


Banana Pancakes


• 2 ripe bananas

• 2 tsp baking powder

• 2 eggs

• 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 4-8 tbsp oat flour (or can substitute whole wheat flour, coconut flour or almond flour)

• Optional: Pinch of salt and cinnamon for dash of extra flavor, blueberries, or chocolate chips


1. Add bananas to a large mixing bowl. Mash with a potato masher or fork.

2. Add eggs and vanilla extract and whisk together until well combined.

3. To mixing bowl, add baking powder, and pinch of salt and cinnamon. Next, add flour in 1

tbsp at a time and continue mixing. Continue adding flour until it is similar to your typical

pancake batter and scoopable.

4. Heat skillet over medium heat and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Scoop ¼ cup pancake

batter onto skillet (top with blueberries or chocolate chips at this point if you’re including

these). Cover with a lid and cook each side 2-3 minutes or until cooked through.

5. Top with coconut cool whip, maple syrup, peanut butter, or your favorite pancake toppings

and enjoy!

Simple Snack – Tuna Topped Crackers


• 3-6 oz packaged tuna (optional: choose flavored version, such as lemon pepper)

• ½ avocado

• 1 tbsp olive oil mayo

• 6-10 whole grain crackers

• Salt and pepper for flavor


1. Place avocado in bowl, mash with fork.

2. Mix in the mayo, olive oil, and packaged tuna, and add salt/pepper if desired.

3. Top your favorite crackers with your tuna/avocado mash for a simple, filling snack!

Loaded Sweet Potato (for one!)

Dice 1 large sweet potato and place in a microwave safe container with 1-2 tbsp of water.

Microwave 8 minutes. Mash potato with 2 tbsp or milk or plain, non-fat Greek yogurt and top with

your favorites: shredded cheese, steamed broccoli, leftover chili, diced ham or bacon bits, or green


Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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