Jan 202013
 

Without a doubt the 3 most overlooked components of a fitness program are warming up, stretching and cooling down. Unfortunately, they seemed to be viewed as a waste of time. I can not tell you how often I hear, I’m warmed up — I ran in from the car or I’m good I will stretch later. The benefits of these components are so worth the extra time that I recommend skipping a set if necessary to fit them in.

Warm Up

When you exercise you are creating tiny tears or breaking down your muscles in order to built them up, that is why warming up is so important. It not only raises your core body temperature and the temperature of your muscles but also prepares your body for vigorous exercise. In general, a warm up should last between 8 and 15 minutes. To really get your blood flowing and heart pumping add intervals. Start with 5 minutes of easy warming up and then increase the intensity in 30 second intervals. Finally, incorporate “dynamic warm ups.” The idea is to target all your muscles with very light or no weight! The following are some examples:

  • Knee Hugs
  • Lateral Shuffles
  • Walking Lunge
  • Bridge
  • Inch Worms
  • Hold a deep squat position and do arm circles (forward & backward)
  • Hold a lunge position, with arms extended to the sides do small arm circles (forward & backward)
  • Hold a medicine ball in both hands and do a squat with a biceps curl, then switch to a squat with triceps extensions

Stretch

Stretching increases flexibility, helps you relax, improves posture, gives you greater range of motion and may reduce your risk of injury. Always stretch at the end of a workout because it helps to eliminate any left over chemicals in your muscles, such as lactic acid and helps reduce the potential for ‘delayed onset of muscle soreness.’ Stretching is also a soothing way to connect your mind and body and it just feels great! When stretching make sure to use slow, static movements, the old fashioned bounce or “ballistic” stretching is very hard on your muscles and can actually do more damage than good. Remember to take time to stretch after any type of physical activity including; cardio, strength training or sports. Use these tips to get started and remember you can stretch any time!

  • Never stretch a cold muscle
  • Remember to stretch slowly, exhale as you gently stretch a muscle
  • Hold each stretch for 10 to 30 seconds
  • Always ease into a stretch and never bounce
  • When pain starts ease up, never push a stretch until it hurts
  • Remember to breath

Cool Down

Cooling down allows your heart rate and blood pressure to recover and get close to your pre exercise state. Two simple cool down activities are easy jogging or walking. You never want to exceed a moderate pace and your cool down should take only 5 to 10 minutes.

You should always strive to get the maximum results when you exercise without hurting yourself — Warm Ups, Stretching and Cooling Down are the top 3 ways to improve your workout today!

Be Fit, Be Healthy, Be Happy!  ~Tanya

Jul 252012
 

Probably one of the most neglected components of an exercise program is stretching.  Stretching increases flexibility, helps you relax, improves posture, gives you greater range of motion & may reduce your risk of injury.  Always take time to stretch after any type of physical activity; cardio, strength training or sports.  Use the below tips to get started and remember you can stretch any time!

  • Always stretch after your muscles are warmed up, never stretch a cold muscle.
  • Remember to stretch slowly, exhale as you gently stretch a muscle.
  • Hold each stretch for 10 to 30 seconds.
  • Always ease into a stretch and never bounce.
  • When pain starts ease up – never push a stretch until it hurts.
  • Remember to breathe!

Stretching is a soothing way to connect your mind & body, and it just feels great!

Be Fit! Be Healthy! Be Happy!   ~ Tanya

See & Feel Results in just 6 Weeks with our Free 6 Week Shape Up Challenge.
Get Fit Now!


Jun 042012
 

It is no secret that as the beautiful summer weather approaches our weekends become the perfect time to fit in all the fitness that we do not have time for during the work week!  If you get little or no exercise, sit at an office desk hunched over a computer and are basically sedentary all week long; then head out to the park, golf course, tennis court or sports field on the weekends – chances are you are a ‘Weekend Warrior!’ The problem becomes, according to Cathy Moxley, M.A., fitness expert & wellness coach, “People who play 18 holes of golf or three sets of tennis on a Saturday without doing any exercise throughout the week run a higher risk for joint and muscle injuries than folks who squeeze in two or three midweek workouts as well.” Demanding jobs and busy lifestyles can make the weekend warrior syndrome hard to avoid. With a little planning it is not as difficult as you may think to improve your overall fitness level as well as reduce your risk for pain and injury without giving up your weekend fitness activities. Simply follow these guidelines:

  • When possible fit in small amounts of physical activity during the week. As little as 10 minutes of fitness exercise will go a long way toward helping reduce the risk of stiff sore muscles or potential injury.
  • Wear appropriate gear; helmets, pads and especially the appropriate footwear including socks.
  • Be sure your muscles are significantly warmed up before you start your activity or sport. When possible start out slowly and gradually build up the intensity of your exercise or sport.
  • Remember you are not as young as you used to be, pay attention to and be aware of how you feel and your body’s limitations. If you feel stress, stain or pain in any joints or muscles it is best to take a break or stop your activity all together.
  • Just as with a structured fitness routine you want to avoid working the same muscles and muscle groups on 2 consecutive days. It is always best to incorporate cardiovascular, strength and flexibility fitness in your weekend activities.
  • Stay hydrated and always use protective sunscreen.

If an injury does occur, according to the Physicians from the Tri Rivers Surgical Associates, Inc., many can be treated at home using the RICE method. RICE is an acronym that stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. However, the same Physicians also report that the following are signs that your injury may require medical care:

  • Change in the appearance, instability or swelling.
  • Lack of improvement or worsening of pain or swelling within 24 to 48 hours.
  • Recurrent or persistent symptoms. It is advisable to seek medical attention if you seem to re-injure the same area frequently or if symptoms (even mild ones) persist for more than six weeks.

Be Fit, Be Healthy, Be Happy!  ~ Tanya


May 272012
 

Bike Circuit

First of all make sure to adjust your bike seat properly.  Set the seat so when you leg is in the down position it is extended with your knee slightly bent and at the top your knee shouldn’t be higher than your chest.  This is a great 20 minute ‘short circuit’, if you have more time or want to work harder repeat the circuit 2 or 3 times.

After your six minute warm up, alternate between the steady pedal and cardio blast working to the rate of perceived exertion, RPE scale.  Remember always listen to your body and do what you can!

Gradually warm up – RPE 5
Steady Pedal – RPE 6 – 8
Cardio Blast – RPE 9
Steady Pedal – RPE 6 – 8
Cardio Blast – RPE 9
Steady Pedal – RPE 6 – 8
Cardio Blast – RPE 9
Recovery or gradual cool down – RPE 5

Have a great cardio workout – work hard and burn lots of calories!!

Be Fit! Be Healthy! Be Happy!   ~ Tanya

Strength Training & Cardio – It’s all Here & It’s all FREE