Thursday, September 21, 2017

How long should you foam roll each body part for?

Foam rolling is a great way to relieve muscle tension and help get those painful "knots" out of tight muscles. When using the foam roller hold pressure on any sensitive areas for at least 20-30 seconds, or until you feel the tension lessen and the muscle start to relax. Once this occurs, you can then move on to the next tender area. On particularly sensitive areas you may need to lessen the pressure applied by the foam roller and hold the tender spot for a longer duration - generally up to 90 seconds.

The goal of foam rolling is to reduce tension in the muscles. Foam rolling can be quite uncomfortable, especially on certain areas such as the IT Band, so focus on breathing and trying to relax as much as possible when on tender areas. It’s easy to rush, but remember you have to give the brain time to tell the muscles to relax.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Where to Donate for Hurricane Relief

Hurricane Irma created a mess, and I couldn't stop watching the news last weekend. I have very close friends in Miami and my GrandMother lives in Marco Island. They all are safe and evacuated so that was a relief but seeing them stressed about their home was heartbreaking. It made me want to donate again to hurricane relief. Because there are SO MANY "charities" to donate to, I thought I'd do some research. Here is what I found.

Picking a place to donate to Hurricane victims is difficult. Scammers often try to take advantage of disasters. And there are many real charities that, despite their promising names and flashy websites, do very little to help anyone.
If you want to give with confidence, then the best thing to do is to give to established charities that meet standards

The charities that most deserve your donations at this time are those that actually are in a position to help on the ground.

Here are some places I recommend you donate to:

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Sunday, September 3, 2017

Do You Warm Up?

I understand you might be pressed for time and want to skip your warm-up and jump right into your workout. It sounds like a great idea but is it?  No, a warm up won't get you flat abs but it has a very important place in your workout routine.  

Why warm up?  Here are a few good reasons.

Warming up before you work out will..
  1. Increase the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles, which prevents you from getting out of breath to early or too easily
  2. Improve coordination and reaction times
  3. Reduce the chance of injury by allowing your muscles and joints to move through a greater range of motion easily (and safely)
  4. Lubricate your joints for easier (and less painful) movement
  5. Help mentally prepare you for the workout ahead, giving you a few minutes to get "pumped up" for a great workout!

I suggest you warm up before EVERY workout. Yes, even yoga! I'm not saying you have to spend 20 minutes rolling out and preparing your body for exercise. It doesn't have to take a lot of time since 5-10 minutes is typically all you need to get your body ready for working out. You should spend more time warming up for very intense workouts though.
What should I do to warm up?  A warm up can be a lower intensity version of the activity you're about to do, or it can be something different.  A proper warm up gradually raises your heart rate and gets your muscles primed for activity. Want a quick video to help you warm up? Check out this Easy 5-Minute Mobilty Warm-Up from WebMD
Do you ever skimp on your warm-up? If so, why?

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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Workout with your pet

The same way we humans need exercise, our four-legged friends also need it as well. Working out with your dog or cat can help improve their cardiovascular health, keep them engaged, and prevents them from becoming bored and tearing the cushions off the sofa. Each exercise that your dog does increases their lifespan, which gives you just that much longer to spend with your little fluffball.
The best way to encourage healthy habits in your pets starts with you. Whether you like taking your dogs for walks, to play with their fellow dogs in the park, or chasing them down when they escape off their leash, there is always something you can do with, or alongside your pet to get them to become active and healthy balls of fur.

Working out with your pet also strengthens your bond with them. Running around with a pet and having fun makes them feel more attached to you. If you think your dog goes crazy when you are gone for 10 minutes NOW, just you wait.

One great website that promotes working out with your pets is Barks and Burpees. This group sells workout merchandise about the bond that you have with with your pets. They want to support all people who work to make the lives of animals better. The best part is that a portion of every sale they make goes to providing food and supplies to animal rescues and shelters.

If you are in need of a good pet to help encourage you to work out, I highly suggest going to your local rescue center and adopt a pet of your own or check out PuppySpot. Your pet will thank you for it later.

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Sunday, August 20, 2017

What to eat post workout

What you eat and when is a super important part of training. The first meal after your workout is very important as our body is in the rebuilding phase. Your meal should help your body repair, recover and adjust to the workout you have just completed.
Your meal needs to have both proteins and a bit of carbohydrate and a little fat

It is best to have this meal sooner than later as the body is ready for good nutrition! Having it within 30 minutes of your workout is ideal.

The fear of gaining weight with pre and post workout meals is a myth. As long as you do not exceed the calories you need to have, it’s fine. Both these meals should be a part of your total calorie intake. What one must remember is that the most important part of any diet is the calorie count.

Here is one of my favorite post workout meals:

2 salmon fillets or 1 salmon steak
½ tsp ground garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp butter
1 tblsp finely chopped fresh basil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 lemon wedge

1. Rub the salmon with lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and basil and keep aside for 15 minutes.
2. Heat the oil and butter in a non-stick frying pan. Add the salmon, skin-side down, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side till browned and flaky. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

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Monday, August 7, 2017

My Summer Vacation

This past summer my husband and I took a family summer vacation with his parents and his sister’s family of four (they have a 7 year old girl and a 4 year old boy). That’s right. I said we chose to spend time together on a family vacation. That phrase, family vacation, reminds me of a John Candy movie that is full of weird family drama. And for some people, a family vacation sounds like absolute torture, but for me, I loved every minute of our time together.
None of us had ever vacationed together so we were unsure of how it was going to go. Needless to say we had an awesome and very comfortable, and of course, fun time. Fun is what we all aimed for. We had so much fun laughing and playing nerdy games. I got some much needed R&R and a perfect amount of Aunt and Uncle bonding time.  As much as I love spending time with my cute niece and nephew I made it a priority to find 1 hour each day to workout. I did barre, HIIT, and stretching sessions. I think it’s important for me to set a good example for the little ones that working out equals a happy life.
I love my in laws, but I really like them. There is a profound difference to me. I like hanging out with them and spending time together. We share life and laugh. A lot.
I always learn something new about my extended family when we spend time together, like how my sister and brother in-law parent. They are very patient and awesome parents. They are so loving with their little families.
Taking a family vacation with your in-laws takes some serious effort on my part to seek out relationships with them, but honestly, it is worth every bit of it. It’s really worth it.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Breakfast Ideas

Why is the most important meal of the day, oftentimes overlooked or eaten on the fly? It's one of the most delicious meals.
I always eat breakfast. That is a guarantee. A bowl of Oatmeal is my breakfast of choice.

Here are my 3 go to AM meal choices:

1. Steel cut or rolled oats oatmeal (made on the stovetop or in the microwave depending on how late I am running), with ½ cup fresh blueberries, and 2 tablespoons of slivered almonds and if I am feeling fancy,  a splash of unsweetened almond milk. PERFECTION! I love waking up to this!

2. Another Breakfast option in my rotation is a shake!  Make a chocolate shake with bananas, frozen berries, cocoa powder and honey. Mix all in a single serve blender and drink!

3. I have this option sometimes not only for Breakfast but I eat it as a mid day snack too. I just love this! 1 slice of whole wheat or sprouted grain bread with 1 Tbsp almond or sunflower butter + ½ sliced banana and 1 Tbsp honey drizzled on top

So it turns out that your mother was right: Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.

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