As a fitness coach I have had people ask what they can do more of to improve their health and fitness. Many people listen to suggestions surrounding strength training and nutrition, but flexibility training and recovery techniques are often dismissed. It is however, the balance of functional training, nutrition and recovery that allows us to reach optimal results.
I often say that it is our job as fitness instructors to guide you about when to push through and when to back off. Flexibility and recovery exercises are what help us unwind the tightened and damaged muscles to help us heal and move forward.
Here’s a quick Do & Don’t list for localized icing and ice baths.
Local icing for injury recovery helps decrease pain and inflammation, and enhances healing.
As summer approaches it’s hard to resist the pull of the ocean or lakefront and the desire to run/walk on the sand. From mindfulness to fitness, waterfront activities provide many benefits.
1. Less is More
Even if you live near the water, start with beach runs about once per week so your body can adapt. Short runs may not even be noticed until the next day because of all the tiny stabilizer muscles your body is now using. 30 minutes or less is a great starting point.
2. Packed or Unpacked?
Though you might think that softer sand is better, a firmly packed or wet sand is best and can help prevent injury. Even with firmly packed sand it is loose enough to let your feet sink in, and give you some instability and resistance without creating overuse problems from trying to remain stable.
3. Barefoot is Okay
Here’s your chance to run barefoot without the impact provided by road running. We were designed to run barefoot on turf, after all. That said, since you don’t...
Making good decisions by considering multiple perspectives, pros & cons, and intellectual and emotional input is awesome. But do you ever find yourself ruminating for what seems like an eternity? We always need to make choices, and very few are all good or all bad. Hopefully you’ll see the lesson or pattern in whatever you choose, but you have to choose.
Too often people look at dining out and vacation eating as a free-for-all. But I’m here to tell you it is not adjacent to the life you live, it is part of it. If you are truly committed to living a healthier lifestyle, clean, lean, balanced food choices must extend outside of the home, too.
People have a hard enough time eating well at home without picking all night, mindless snacking in front of the television or cooking what is quickest in their minds, even if making a vegetable and protein only takes a few more minutes.
As if eating at home isn’t challenging enough, dining out can be nearly impossible. The first line of defense against restaurant food is to simply not go. However, I’m a realist so I’ve decided to give you some tips on dining out.
Sleep takes up about a third of our lives but too many people take it for granted. We push on, work a little longer, study a little more, and sometimes even find ourselves nodding off while trying to focus on a task. Rather than continuing to fight, it may be better if you stop and rest, resuming when you are fresh and clear-headed. This might be a brief nap or by getting the 7 – 9 hours of sleep nightly as recommended for adults by the National Sleep Foundation Scientific Advisory Council.
Sleep is not an afterthought once our tasks are done, nor is it lost time. It is vital to body and system maintenance and recovery. It is when our body grows, heals, is important to the cardio-respiratory system, and is required to keep the immune system at its high.
As you drift off to sleep the brain uses about 20% of the blood circulating through the body. This time of day is crucial to memory. The hippocampus, an area in the brain primarily responsible for converting short-term memories...
I had the good fortune of participating in a running relay event with my clients this past weekend, all of whom are acquaintances to each other. We were a team of six running in relay form for about 60 miles, with no one running less than 7.4 miles total. As one person took off running the rest of us hopped in our van and moved onto the next exchange location. The van made occasional stops to cheer, stops for water, and at times just yelled encouragement out of the van windows as it zipped by. In all there were about 350 teams of people who departed at different times all doing the same thing. It was a great community of people cheering for their own team as well as others on the course.
As a coach of course I encourage people to challenge themselves and step out of their comfort zones, but sometimes that means just starting. This amazing group of people I trained with all did something they never thought they would, they met and allowed me to challenge them on night runs, and they...
Do you or people you know claim to live a vegan lifestyle but don’t actually eat many vegetables? Are you leading an animal protein-free lifestyle because you believe it to be healthier yet eat a diet rich in grain, starch, sugar, and fat? — Leading causes of diabetes, obesity and their related effects.
During my nearly two decades in fitness I have taught people to honor their truth: if you want something enough then put forth real effort; and if you are unwilling to put forth the effort to achieve something then honor that it’s just not that important. It’s okay either way. We get much further in life and feel more settled and relaxed with who we are when we are congruent in our intentions and actions.
How does this pertain to food you might ask? For those people who are within the vegan spectrum for health reasons it is important to understand that eating animal products is not fundamentally a bad thing, especially when sourced from organic and non-GMO...
All the cholesterol you need to function properly is manufactured in the liver, however it also comes from the foods we eat. Cholesterol and triglycerides are the most common lipids (or fats) in the bloodstream. In order to make their way through the bloodstream so they can be used by the body, protein wraps itself around the lipids, creating a lipoprotein. When the body transports too many lipoproteins (filled with triglycerides and cholesterol), the remainder are stored in the fat cells. Your body needs cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, cellular membranes, and a substance that helps you digest food called bile.
There are two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoproteins (LDL), known as bad cholesterol and high-density lipoproteins (HDL), also known as good cholesterol. LDL travels through your bloodstream delivering cholesterol to the cells that need it. If your body has too much LDL it can build up a substance known as plaque on the walls of your arteries. Overtime,...
Years ago when I managed wellness programs for companies one of the things employees got points for was getting their routine annual physical including bloodwork. It was great to see so many people start doing something they had neglected as well as be rewarded for being accountable to themselves in the health category. The problem I saw, however, was that most people didn’t really know what their blood tests said, or what they meant with respect to basic markers for cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose.
“My doctor said I’m good,” or something like that was a very common response. Naturally I would probe with more questions. “Was anything borderline?” “It is better or worse than last time?” and so on. Imagine all the blank stares I got. So here is me advising you – keep your records; watch the trend.
I know we believe that our doctors will tell us if we are heading somewhere we shouldn’t but you are assuming they looked...
If you are anything like me you have a lot going on during the Fall and Winter seasons. I might be a coach, but just like everyone else we are regular people who have to give ourselves constant reminders of when to stay focused, and when to take time out for ourselves.
So today I did just that. I got myself involved in a project I've been working on and shut down the computer at 8 a.m. to go to the cycling class I enjoy on Sunday mornings. In all fairness, I have missed that class for the past couple of Sundays, but it was planned and intentional.
This morning I went though – and let me tell you, it was the best thing I could have done. I had a great class. Afterwards, I felt energized and was ready to conquer today.
Last night was very similar. I made a commitment to my team to do a 5k and just like this morning I shut my computer down and ran from the house (in haste, unfortunately). As a result, when I arrived I was in an obviously foul mood because of various...