May, 18, 2015
I’m going to give you a little Exercise Physiology lesson today…all about strengthening your heart and lungs!
The cardio-respiratory system or the heart and lungs is responsible for the distribution of oxygen throughout the body. Oxygen, the gas that makes up 21% of the air we breathe, is critical to life. In fact, tissues will start to die without oxygen in about 6 minutes. So the efficiency of the heart and lungs and how they work together is very important both during rest and exercise.
This system functions by first causing us to breathe using our respiratory muscles. Air then enters our bodies and travels to our lungs. The oxygen is diffused through our lungs and into our blood stream and travels towards the heart. The heart is a strong enough muscle to be able to pump the blood to the entire body where tissues will extract the oxygen to use it to produce energy. Carbon Dioxide, a toxic waste product, is produced and the body must then dispose of it so it travels back up to the heart, then to the lungs and we exhale it. This entire process is an ongoing system that of course, occurs more rapidly during exercise. There are a few things that can make this system function more or less effectively.
May, 11, 2015
Gardening Without the Aches & Pains
Gardening is in full swing but many zealous gardeners are often left limping and in agony the day after. Why does this happen – it is only gardening after all? Since many of us view gardening as a peaceful activity, it’s hard to imagine that it’s actually an athletic activity requiring muscle endurance, strength and flexibility.
But if you break gardening down into its most fundamental movements, you’re basically pulling, pushing, bending, squatting and lunging the entire time. It really is a weight-training workout minus the dumbbells.
And on top of all this, many of us get carried away with trying to create our ideal garden visions and finish the job the very first day out and end up spending way too much time in our flowerbeds. And it only gets worse as we get older and our tissues don’t seem to be quite as limber as in our younger years.
May, 4, 2015
Have you ever noticed that as most people age they begin to move more slowly? It seems to take them forever to get out of a chair, walk across the room or bend down to pick something up. This is because as we age we lose about 7 pounds of muscle each decade and this loss is predominantly a loss in the number and size of fast twitch muscle fibers. These muscle fibers are the ones responsible for allowing an individual to move quickly, and to maintain agility, reaction time, strength and power. As these fibers atrophy, we find ourselves moving very slowly. However, the good news is that this loss can be slowed down and in some cases, prevented by training your fast twitch muscles. The rule is “If you don’t use it, you lose it”. So it’s important to do whatever you can to keep these muscle fibers working so they don’t perceive that they are no longer needed.
Here are some ideas to help you maintain your agility and mobility as you age. Try to perform at least one agility drill 2-3x each week.
Lateral Agility Drill
Position 2 cones, chairs or props a few feet apart. Now quickly step laterally to the outside of one cone and back to the outside of the other touching down towards the floor or cone on each end. Try to go as fast as you possibly can. Continue for 30 seconds. Recover and complete 3-5x.
Posted in exercise, Strength
Apr, 27, 2015
Mother’s Day is approaching quickly! Although flowers are a wonderful gesture, how about stepping outside of tradition and going with something that really shows how much you love your special lady?! Here are some gifts for a healthy mom...
So whether it’s your mom, wife, daughter, sister, grandma or BFF, celebrate the beauty of who she is by offering the gift of health, energy and vitality. Better yet, if you choose gifts that are experiences you can share together, you can both get fit while spending quality time together! Plus, most studies report that working out together is more fun and will help each of you stick to the program – it’s harder to cop out when you know someone is counting on you.
Register you and your special lady for an upcoming run or triathlon. It will jump-start your fitness program and it’s something you can train for together! Check out www.whyracingevents.com, www.energyevents.com, or www.getboldevents.com for fun, local events.
Posted in mothers day
Apr, 24, 2015
Have you noticed how many people are out on their bikes enjoying our beautiful spring weather?! It’s such a great workout and a wonderful way to get outdoors and explore the beautiful Northwest. Cycling strong is key!
It’s important to remind all of you that fitting your bike correctly to your body will reduce your risk of injury to your back, neck, knees, shoulders and wrists. Many local bike companies provide this service which is very important, especially for those of you who ride long distances.
The next most important tip for your cycling safety is to always wear a helmet, obey the rules of the road and always ride defensively.
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In addition to the correct bike fit, you need strong muscles to hold you in correct alignment and posture while you’re cycling.
Apr, 17, 2015
Running Circuit Workout….great option!
Runners, cyclists, & triathletes love to be outdoors, are a highly motivated group and often have little issues adhering to their running or cycling programs. But trying to get them indoors to complete a strength workout can be difficult! You wouldn’t think that these athletes would have any difficulty with compliance but when it comes to the weight room, I hear the same, common excuse “I’d just rather be outside running or biking”. I’ve tried educating them on the importance of strength training. I’ve tried bribing them with the reported benefits. I’ve had to even threaten them but to no avail. So rather than beat my head against a wall, here is a resistance training program that will please any outdoor warrior while still obtaining the critical benefits of muscular strength, endurance and balance.
Posted in Running, Strength
Apr, 6, 2015
Another Birthday passed and I just turned 45. The good news is besides a few extra wrinkles, a few more aches and pains and having difficulty reading small text, I feel as good as when I was in my 20s. That can be a true testimony to the benefit of exercise! Use it to reverse the aging process!
Aging is an inevitable part of life. One can expect certain changes, such as graying hair and wrinkled skin, to accompany aging. In fact, the cosmetic industry preys off our attempts to reverse some of these changes. But many of the changes commonly attributed to the process of aging, specifically within the musculo-skeletal system (the bones, muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons and cartilage) are in fact, a result of physical inactivity or disuse. The old adage “use it or lose it” appears to ring true.
Mar, 30, 2015
Walking is a fabulous, low-impact way to stay healthy and fit. But in order to get the same benefit as running, you generally need to go longer. But most people are busy so if you are crunched for time but still want to give yourself a fabulous walking workout, hills are the answer.
Hills will increase the intensity of your workout, burn more calories (3-5 more calories per minute), strengthen your legs (especially your quads, butt and calves), lungs and heart and provide some variety to a traditional walking routine. Hill workouts can be really taxing and consequently should only be done once or twice per week.
There’s a variety of ways that you can include hills to your sessions:
Choose your typical walking distance and consider how and where you might incorporate a few rolling hills en route.
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Map out a 3-4 mile course that includes 4 hills of various length and grade. Start with 5 minutes of walking at a warm-up pace. Then increase your pace until you are walking at an intensity of a 7/10 – you should feel that the pace is challenging but manageable.
Mar, 23, 2015
As a professional in the fitness industry, I hear too often people who refer negatively to parts of their body….
- “My legs are so fat!”
- “My butt is so big!”
- “I wish I could lose this muffin top!”
What is sad are the people who get caught in the thought process of “If I could just lose this extra 20 pounds, then I’d be happy” and sometimes, even when they do lose the weight, they’re still not satisfied. If you believe that you’ll be happy once you lose the weight, you’ll never be skinny enough to be happy.
Mar, 16, 2015
So what do I mean let’s agree on 95% when it comes to nutrition?
Well, we had a team meeting recently and had some fabulous discussions about nutrition and I thought I would share that information with all of you…and tell you what we decided.
We have some trainers that are very strict vegan, some commit to different levels of vegetarianism, some are meat eaters, some are dairy eaters, some eat starchy carbs and others avoid carbs and gluten. Our team’s approach to nutrition is all over the map. I can see how that might be confusing in terms of deciding which approach to nutrition might work for YOU!
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After our discussions, here is what we all agreed on:
The Critical Importance of a Nutrition Plan that is Primarily Fruit and Vegetables.
No one can argue that a predominantly plant-based diet is definitely the way to go. If you increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, you will improve your health.
The importance of Proper Hydration for Cells, Tissues and Organs to Function Effectively.