Dec, 15, 2014
This is the time of year for holiday parties, community events and family get-togethers! It’s all so much fun but it’s going to take more than will-power to make sure your holiday season is healthy and doesn’t completely sabotage your fitness goals. You CAN party and still stay fit!
Let’s face it – when a table full of goodies is staring you right in your face and you know this may be your last chance to indulge in your favorite holiday treat until next Christmas, it’s difficult if not impossible to stick to your program. Instead you have to establish some guidelines and use a little “give and take.” For example:
- At tonight’s party I’ll drink 2 glasses of water for every glass of wine.
- First I’ll fill my plate with fruits and vegetables and then go back for more food.
- I will make sure that I engage in conversation away from the table of food.
- I’ll make sure that my pot-luck contribution is a healthy choice so
Dec, 8, 2014
During the holidays, we can get so busy decorating the house, buying presents, attending parties, and entertaining guests that the last thing on our minds is our exercise program. But if you’ve worked hard all year to achieve your current fitness level, the last thing you want to do is take the “all or nothing” approach during the holidays. Starting from scratch come January is never fun!
Having a few days off from exercise over the holidays is OK. It may help give your mind and body a rest and help to motivate you to work harder in the New Year. But, if you don’t want to get out of the rhythm of your exercise commitment, here’s a few tips to help you stick to your program when there are so many other responsibilities demanding your attention (quick workouts during the holidays is key):
Reduce your frequency and time:
- If your program usually calls for 5 workouts a week, reduce it to 2 or 3 good, solid workouts during the busy weeks ahead. If you normally perform an hour workout, reduce it to a 30-minute hard effort. If you normally do 3 sets of each weight lifting exercise, reduce it to one good set. Studies show that if you just do 1-2 hard workouts a week during a busy season, you can maintain your current fitness level for a number of weeks. So instead of doing nothing, do something but do it good!
Workout at home:
Dec, 2, 2014
It’s the season of Thanksgiving and Holidays when we often take time to reflect on the people and things we are thankful for. I thought I’d take this from a different perspective, a fitness perspective.
You may not know this but here are 10 crazy fitness things to be thankful for:
- The fact that energy creates energy so that when you’re tired, the best thing to do is move your body and you instantly start to feel better.
- Your stomach shrinks so that as you start to eat healthier and control your portions, you will be satisfied on a smaller amount of food making it easier to achieve your goals.
- You crave what you consume. So as you start to drink more water and eat more fruits and vegetables, your body will start to desire these things making it easier to eat healthy.
- As you start exercising and eating better, you increase the number and strength of the fat burning enzymes (Lipoprotein Lipase) inside your fat cells that mobilize and utilize fat for fuel so eventually, you become a fat burning machine
Posted in exercise, fat loss
Nov, 24, 2014
Over the last few weeks, we have discussed methods for overcoming the Winter Blues that many people experience at this time of year. We talked about the most effective forms of exercise, the importance of sleep and how critical it is to manage your stress. Today, I wanted to talk about something that really should seem pretty obvious but maybe reviewing some of these action steps will help you to put these tips to the top of your priority list for maintaining your energy and bright personality through the cold and dreary months. That’s right….lets get hot to deal with the cold!
It’s really not that cold if you are wearing the proper clothing. So think sweaters, warm socks, thick tights and fuzzy boots. If you are exercising
Posted in exericse, winter
Nov, 17, 2014
Last week, we discussed ways to overcome the Winter Blues that many people experience at this time of year. It’s pretty clear that maintaining a fitness routine throughout the dark, rainy and cold months can keep your energy up and your outlook more positive. But there are other ways to counteract SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) other than just turning up the heat by pumping your heart.
Get Some Sleep:
That’s right! You can sleep your way skinny….There is a lot of recent literature touting the importance of sleep in terms of optimal health and even fat loss. Sleep is when our body repairs itself, heals and rejuvenates. When we aren’t getting enough sleep, not only are we dragging all day long but our immune system suffers making us more likely to get sick or injured. Plus one sure way to be grumpy and in a bad mood is to be sleep deprived! We also now understand that when the body doesn’t get the 7-8 hours of sleep every night that it needs, it finds ways to compensate for the lower levels of serotonin or dopamine caused by lack of sleep. It does this by
Posted in fat loss, sleep, stress
Nov, 3, 2014
In the summer, it’s easier to get outside to cycle, run, walk, or hike but as the weather gets a little colder and the nights a little darker, people spend a lot less time outdoors. This lack of sunlight often leads to people experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or the Winter Blues. Fortunately, I, as well as many other fitness enthusiasts, aren’t affected as much as by the winter blues others because of many of these tips below.
If you have the right gear, you can still get outdoors when it’s cold and wet without feeling miserable. Not only will you keep your fitness routine going, but being outdoors even if it’s cloudy and rainy, still exposes you to some levels of daylight, UV Rays and Vitamin D and will help to prevent SAD. So head to REI or your local sporting retailer to get some warm and waterproof clothing.
Posted in Fitness, winter
Oct, 29, 2014
Halloween launches the holiday weight gain season but it doesn’t have to be that way. You CAN have a healthy Halloween! It’s easy to be tempted by candy, treats, parties, dinners but if you’re proactive, you can maintain your fitness routine and healthy physique for the next 2 months and eliminate the need to start from scratch or reverse a lot of damage on January 1st.
Here’s some tips to stay healthy, lean and fit starting with Halloween:
Resist the Purchase:
Most people will try and get organized and purchase Halloween candy early but JUST DON’T DO IT! If it’s in the house, you (and your kids) will be likely tempted to sneak a few pieces here and there (or the whole bag!!) and wind up having to buy more! Purchase your Halloween candy on Halloween day to avoid an excess consumption of calories days and weeks before the actual holiday. If you do feel the need to buy your Halloween candy early, put it in the garage on the highest shelf or in the attic that you would need to use a ladder to get at. Or store it at your neighbor’s house – just make sure you tell them they can’t eat any of it either!
Move that Body:
Posted in healthy, holiday
Oct, 20, 2014
It’s Race Day – Steps Leading Up to Your Race
If you’ve followed along with this running program series, you’ve learned about proper running progression, correct running technique, important strengthening exercises for your core, hips, and feet as a runner, key stretches and muscle release techniques and more.
Today, I wanted to review important steps as race day approaches:
Proper nutrition is critical throughout your entire training program, but even more important to pay very close attention to your nutrition as you approach race day.
Oct, 13, 2014
Foam Rolling to Release Muscle Aches and Pains
Over the last two months, I’ve focused this column on running programs. Well, the running community is probably a little stiff right now with thousands completing the Portland Full and Half Marathon on October 5th and the Girlfriends Run for a Cure on October 12th as well as many other local runs. So we’ve probably got a number of people feeling a little tight and walking a little funny. So I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to discuss the merits of Self-Myofascial Release using Foam Rollers – a perfect way to help release tight areas for runners and athletes of all kinds! I’m a firm believer in the importance of body work such as massage as well as daily foam rolling if you are extremely active. It’s the support your body needs to be able to continue doing what you want for years and years! You can purchase a foam roller at most fitness equipment retailers as well as many department stores.
General Guidelines for Self-Myofascial Release:
- Perform the specific techniques as described below.
- Once you roll over a tight area, you can use one of two techniques:
- Pressure Point – Stop rolling and rest on tight area for 20-30 seconds while breathing slow and deep. Hold to the point of tolerance. It may feel uncomfortable – like a really deep massage – but you should not experience any sharp pain. Once completed, roll to the next tight area.
- Kneading – When you find a tight area, roll back and forth over that area, kneading the tissue until the tension releases or subsides. Remember to breath slow and deep.
- Complete a specific technique for about 1-2 minutes each side and avoid bouncing.
- Maintain proper posture and contract your abdominals to help stabilize your low back while rolling.
- These techniques can be done 1-2 times daily and can be done before or after a workout.
Here are my favorite Myofascial Release Techniques:
Oct, 6, 2014
During the last 2 months, we’ve discussed general running guidelines to help you design a running program to prepare you for the local, popular runs including the Girlfriends Run for a Cure that will have thousands of runners and walkers participating from around the Northwest in the next few weeks.
Last week, we reviewed the importance of running technique and discussed how muscle tightness can affect your running mechanics. So this week and next, we will focus on various mobility and release techniques to keep you running strong and injury free. Today, I’m going to start with wall stretching which is a very relaxing way to release and since most runners are super tight to begin with, they are more likely to do it since it’s not so painful!
Complete the following stretching program after each run or workout. Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds – ideally longer. And remember, hold each stretch to the point of tension – not pain!
Hamstring on the wall: Lie on your back with your hips close to the wall and your legs positioned straight up against the wall. To make the stretch less intense, move your hips a few inches away from the wall. To make the stretch more intense, keep your hips positioned right up against the wall and wrap a towel around your feet and lightly pull your legs a few inches away from the wall. Feel your stretch in the muscles at the back of your upper leg. Hold this stretch for as long as you feel comfortable – minimum 30 seconds each leg and ideally longer. Try to relax and breathe in to the stretch. Feel free to read a magazine or watch T.V. while holding this stretch. This is a great stretch to do after a run because it assists in the recovery process as blood is flushed from the legs back to the heart.
Posted in Running, stretching