Spring Tune-Up

It is common to gain a little weight during the winter. The days are shorter, it’s cold outside and we just don’t get as much activity and access to local healthy fruits and vegetables is limited. Come spring, many people get motivated to shed the winter layer and lean up for summer.

Although the principles to fat loss and healthy living are pretty simple, there can be many different approaches that can produce great results. Will you go Keto, Vegan, Gluten-free, low-carb, low-fat, high-fat or something different? We all have different bodies and will respond to different approaches so often you have to experiment with which approach provides the best results while still allowing you to feel great. The good news is that there are typically a few key principles that would be consistent with any type of program and if you focused on these, you would experience some pretty fantastic results.

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Spring Training – Strengthening Your Knees

Spring is here and many people are increasing their outdoor activities, running and sports. Spring and summer season soccer, lacrosse, track, and various other sports have begun. All athletes – young and old – are susceptible to suffering knee pain and/or a debilitating injury. Here’s some exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles around the knee and minimize your risk for injury.

Single Leg Balance

kneedipbStand on one leg with your knee slightly bent and attempt to maintain your balance for 15 to 30 seconds. Keep your hip, knee, and foot aligned with hip over knee over foot. Do 1-3 sets. As this task becomes easy, make it more challenging by increasing the time you stand on your foot and by standing on a soft surface, such as a pillow or foam pad.

 

Heel Touches

Stand on one foot on a solid and sturdy box or a step with the other foot off the edge. With your hands on your hips, bend your stance leg and lower your body down until your opposite heel, on the hanging leg, touches the ground and then push back up. Keep your hips level and your hip, knee and foot aligned while you execute this exercise. Do 2-3 sets of 8-15 repetitions on each foot. If you feel pain in the front of your knee, select a lower step height or discontinue this exercise.

SideStepaResisted Side Steps

Wrap an exercise tube around your ankles. Step side to side keeping resistance on the exercise tube. Continue for 15-20 repetitions each side

Lunge Step

lungedStand with your feet together and step forward with one leg, bending your knee to 90 degrees after your foot hits the ground. Make sure the front knee remains over the ankle/foot and does not go past your front foot. Continue moving your body forward by bringing your back (stationary) leg forward, then together with your step leg. Alternate legs with each step. Do 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions each leg.

Broad Jump

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and jump forward, landing on both feet. Focus on taking small, controlled jumps and landing with equal weight distribution on each leg. Concentrate on soft, quiet landings and maintaining your lower extremities in good alignment, with your hips over your knees, and knees over your feet. Make sure your knees do not come together when you land from this jump. Do 5-15 reps. Over time, this exercise can be progressed by increasing the length of the jump.

Single Leg Bridge

bridgedLay on your back with one knee bent slightly and one leg straight. Using the bent leg as your support leg, elevate your trunk and hips, bringing your shoulders, hips and leg in a straight line. Hold this position for 10-30 seconds. Do 1-3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.

 

 

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan


 

Join us for the Spring Classic Duathlon & Home Depot Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

The Spring Classic Duathlon is a great opportunity for triathletes to shake off the winter-season rust and for the duathletes to get in an early season race. This long-running event is contested almost entirely on Marine Dr, which is closed to vehicle traffic – a rarity in the sport.  You will ride and run right along the mighty Columbia River with beautiful views to make the time fly!

 

 


 

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Working Out With Your Dog!

It’s true that having a dog makes you healthier! Research shows that those with dogs get more physical activity than those who don’t own dogs. Having a dog forces you to get out to walk them increasing your daily activity and reaping the health benefits.

The best part is a dog can be your best training partner acting almost like your own in-house Personal Trainer. No one likes exercise more than a dog; they’re always ready to go, they never cancel and they never complain.

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Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That

Between work, family and social commitments, time is definitely tight and the number one reason people say they don’t exercise is because they just don’t have the time.

The good news is there are a lot of really busy people that do find the time to exercise so how do they make it happen? First, they make it a priority. They realize that their life is better, they feel great and are more productive when they do exercise. Secondly, they have learned to be efficient and effective in their life so they can fit workouts in that don’t necessarily require more time.

One way to easily incorporate exercise into your life is to do it all throughout the day. So instead of trying to find one hour to exercise, instead look for 1 minute opportunities.

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Headaches, Shoulder and Neck Pain

Since many of us spend so much more time hunched over our laptops, Ipads and cell phones, it’s easy to understand why so many people experience headaches, neck and shoulder pain. We even see many younger adults and kids depicting the typical hunch back, kyphotic posture that you normally wouldn’t get until you are in your 80s or 90s.

Bad posture places excessive stress on your muscles and joints which can result in a tight, sore and stressed body. This can lead to neck pain, shoulder issues, back pain, headaches and other health issues and/or injuries.

We spend so much of our day in a forward rounded position, over stretching the muscles in the upper back. To counter act the effects of forward flexion, it is important to strengthen those overstretched muscles and stretch the shortened, tight muscles. Fortunately, it only takes a few minutes to do some corrective exercises and stretches that will make a world of difference in how you look and feel!

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Your Hatred For Burpees Is Justified!

Very few people like Burpees. They’re hard, they hurt and they often feel awkward.

The reality is that the majority of people can’t perform a burpee well and may be doing more harm then good.

If you are excessively tight in your hips and/or lack core strength to stabilize while performing a Burpee, it may be best to choose an alternative exercise. My biggest pet peeve is when Burpees are used as a warm-up movement. Are you kidding me?!  Burpees are not a warm-up. They are an intense exercise that should not be performed until your core temperature has elevated, your joints are lubricated, your muscle and connective tissue are warmed and your cardio-respiratory system has been gradually warmed up. Burpees place a tremendous load on your shoulders, knees, hips and back and you want to make sure you’re ready for it.

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Bridge Your Way To Strong Hips

If your hips aren’t strong enough to stabilize your pelvis while walking, running or playing sports, your knees and back will suffer.

Strong Hips = Strong Knees.  Weak Hips = Weak Knees.

Bridging is an exercise often used by physical therapists to help strengthen hips and it can be done anywhere with no equipment.

Here’s some tips to performing a variety of different bridging exercises. Perform these exercises 2-3 days per week on alternating days.

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Plank Your Way To A Strong Core

One of my favorite exercises to condition the core is a plank.
Here’s why:

  • You can plank anywhere. Plank at the gym, at home, at work, on vacation, in your hotel room, outside…you can do it anywhere!
  • Anyone can do it. If you’re just getting started, you can plank from your knees and make the exercise easier to perform. If you’re more advanced, there are multiple progressions. The options to make a plank more challenging are endless so as you get more fit, you can continue to progress and incorporate new variations.
  • No equipment required. All you need is your body!
  • No chance of getting bored. There are so many variations that you can do a different plank format every time and incorporate a lot of variety into your core conditioning program.
  • Planking trains stabilization. While planking, you’re strengthening your body’s ability to stabilize and brace the spine. As your core becomes stronger, that strength will radiate out to your extremities and you will be better able to stabilize and align your body, absorb and brace for any impact and move your body more efficiently and with better mechanics.
  • Planking strengthens your whole body. While planking your will strengthen your abdominals, back, shoulders and hips. It’s a full body exercise.

Here’s how to plank correctly and some fun variations.

planktoesPlank

Lie on your stomach. Position your elbows under your shoulders. Contract your abdominal muscles and then slowly lift your body onto your toes and your elbows. Keep your back straight and elongated. Strive for a straight line from the top of your head to toes. Remember to breathe.

plankneesNote: Feel free to start on knees and as you get stronger, slowly progress to your toes. Here’s a progressive program that you can do to get you to planking for one minute within one month.

  • Week One – Plank for 5 seconds x 12 – Do this 3x/week on alternating days
  • Week Two – Plank for 15 seconds x 4 – Do this 3x/week on alternating days
  • Week Three – Plank for 30 seconds x 2 – Do this 3x/week on alternating days
  • Week Four – Plank for 60 seconds – Do this 3x/week on alternating days

Here’s Some Plank Variations:

Hands/Toes

You can also plank from hands and toes instead of elbows and toes.

Hip Drop Planks

While holding the plank position, slowly allow your hips to drop and rotate side to side for goal time.

Knee to Elbow Planks

While holding the plank position, slowly draw one knee towards opposite elbow. Alternate and continue for goal time.

Leg Lift Planks

While holding the plank position, slowly lift one foot off the ground. Alternate and continue for goal time. You can advance, by lifting the foot, pressing it laterally and then dropping it back to the starting position.

Circle Planks

While holding the plank position from hands and toes, slowly lift one hand reach forward, overhead and all the way around to the starting position. Alternate and continue for goal time.

Stability Ball Planks

Place your feet on top of a stability ball while planking for a tough challenge.

Side-Lying Plank

Lie on your side while propping yourself up on one elbow with elbow positioned right under your shoulder. Keep your body straight and aligned.  Slowly lift your hips off the floor so that your body weight is now supported on your elbow and your knees (less advanced) or your toes (more advanced).

Yours in health, fitness& business,
Sherri McMillan


Couve Run 2017

Join us for the COUVE CLOVER RUN – 3, 7 & 10 MILES on March 24th, 2019 in downtown Vancouver, WA. Celebrate St. Patrick’s day with us at the 5th Annual Couve Clover Run. Wear your festive green while running or walking 3, 7 or 10 miles along an extremely fast and scenic course to support local charities! We will make you earn your post-event party, but it will be off the charts hosted by Main Event and other downtown Vancouver Pubs & Breweries.

 

 

 


 

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Sugar Cleanse

Many health professionals and nutritionists believe that added sugar is the single most harmful ingredient in our diet. Sugar addiction is no joke and affects the brain in a similar fashion as drug addictions. The more you consume it, the more you want it. The average American consumes 57 pounds of added sugar per year wrecking havoc on our health. Eating too much sugar is linked to weight gain, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, obesity, certain cancers, tooth decay and more. Some physiologists have suggested excessive sugar consumption can be as harmful as smoking cigarettes!

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Dance Your Way To Fit

I’ve started taking a Zumba class weekly and it reminded me of the benefits of dancing that I wanted to share with all of you.

Dancing Is Fun!

Most people don’t exercise because it’s such a chore but with dancing, you’re often having so much fun that you forget that you’re actually exercising!

Dancing Is Great For Weight Loss And Toning Muscles

It’s true that the best workout program is the one you enjoy enough to do regularly enough to experience great results! If you hate running, you’ll never do it and that won’t get you anywhere. But if you love to dance and you do it consistently, you will definitely lose weight and tone up! Dancing can easily burn up to 600 calories in an hour and works your entire body.

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