Remember to stretch after your workout!

You finish your workout and are ready to walk out the door. Just before you leave you see a few people stretching and you think “I probably should, but i just wait to get home.” Well well well let me tell you that just because you can’t SEE the results of stretching – it is just as important to help reach your goals, whether it’s losing weight or wanting to compete.

Stretching can lead to better posture, fewer aches and pains, greater confidence, and EVEN a cheerier outlook on life (yep! sure can!). Sitting can be hard on your glutes and your back. Stretching helps keep from these muscles from atrophying over time. If stretching hurts – it’s cause you really need it. Breathe through the stretch and imagine your muscle tissues releasing. Practice makes perfect. The more you stretch the easier it is and better you will feel over all.

Here is my cool down stretching routine. Find whatever works for you! I promise with consistent stretching you will feel like a new you!

Walk on treadmill til my heart rate is down (wear a heart rate monitor so you are always aware of your heart rate). Then legs a little wider than shoulder width apart, stretch down feeling it your hamstrings, go to the right side then the left and finish back at center – holding each for about 10-15 counts.

Hip flexors right leg back in a lunge position and press hips forward and squeeze right glute, then straighten left leg and lean forward to feel the stress in your hamstring. I do this 5 times alternating hip flexor and hamstring holding about 8 counts for each stretch. Then do this same thing with the left leg back squeezing that glute and pressing hips forward then straighten right leg out for hamstring stretch on that side, again holding for 8 counts each.

Next I sit on the mat and stretch my glutes by bringing my right ankle to the top of my left knee and you’ll feel that pull in your glutes. The closer the leg is to your body the deeper the stretch. Then do a spinal twist turning to the right – repeat this on the left side.

Then I lay on my back and do some spinal twists with bent knees.

Stretch out my neck from side to side then reach high then I’m done!

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Reference here

What is flax seed and how do I eat it?

Flax seed comes from flax which is one of the oldest fiber crops in the entire world. It has taken the health industry by storm and it lives up to its reputation.  Flax seed is loaded with the “good stuff.” It is a great source of omega 3 fat (healthy fat), antioxidants and fiber. It can also protect from colon, breast, and prostate cancers as it has been said to prevent the growth of cancerous cells. Flax seeds can also lower cholesterol, prevent hot flashes, improve blood sugar and helps with constipation due to the high fiber content.

How? Where do you add flax seed to your diet?

Add flax seed to:
Salads, yogurt, muffins, oatmeal, protein shakes, bread chicken, french toast, apple sauce, ice cream, cottage cheese or substitute an egg! There are tons of possibles and more details click here!

Load up on flax seed where you can you will see and feel it many benefits!

flax seed

Reference here and here

Do you foam roll?

I’m sure you’ve seen them at your gym. People rolling and contorting their bodies on this foam cylinder, and you think “what does that even do?”

A foam roller is a very helpful tool that helps your body recover and can help to prevent injury. When you use the foam roller  it digs into muscles to release tension, specially Self-myofascial release. It a massage technique that require longer low pressure on a muscle until it releases and the mobility and tissue are restore to their proper form. A foam roller allows you to have this type of massage by yourself.

Benefits

  • Increased blood flow throughout the body
  • Better movement and increased range of motion.

Ideally foam rolling should be down both during your warmup and your cool down. It’s so important to get your body prepared for a lift and to stretch after a workout!

Now why does it hurt?

Now if you’ve tried foam rolling and feel like you are almost forced to tears, chances are you are doing it right AND you really need it. Similar to the pain you get while stretching. It should be uncomfortable, but not unbearable, and when you release you should feel looser.

How do I do it?
I like to start with my calves and work my way up to my hamstrings. Then I move to IT bands (which usually hurt a lot because I hold a lot of tension in my hips). When I find a spot that’s tight I hold in place and bend my knee to increase the pressure. Then I move onto my quads and then inner thigh. Then the other leg – IT band, quad and inner thigh. After that I sit on the foam roller rolling over my glutes sometimes crossing my leg putting my ankle to my opposite knee to dig in deeper, switch sides. At the end I lay on the foam roller in line with my spine and up my arms up like a touchdown signal and am just still for about a minute (which is actually really long time to be still). I usually feel my shoulder and neck tension release and a great sense of calming to do nothing for a minute.

This is just my routine. There are many ways to foam roll you can what works for when you consistently include foam rolling into your workout regime.

Here are some pictures!

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I promise after a week or two of consist foam rolling your body will recover faster and your muscles will be looser over all!

references here and here

February is Heart Awareness Month!

healthy-heart

In honor of Heart Awareness Month – thought I’d give you five ways to keep your heart healthy!

Just like any muscle the more you work it out, the stronger it gets and the same goes for you heart. When you exercise regularly, your heart can recover faster after your heart rate is up from an activity.

Here are five exercises for your heart:

1) Swimming: The effect of immersing one’s body in water itself reduces stress. Swimming enables one to use the muscles in one’s body that might never be used otherwise. It can lead to a host of other benefits, such as:

• Reduced heart rate
• Improved breathing
• Improved circulation
• Better blood pressure
• Weight control, etc.

2) Cycling: To counter the sedentary lifestyle of an individual, cycling is a healthy and low-impact exercise. It can be enjoyed by all ages and it gives the heart, blood vessels and lungs a good workout. Regular cycling reduces the risk of health problems such as stroke, heart attack, etc.

3) Brisk walking: It is said that every step an individual takes is a part of their journey to good heart health. Brisk walking increases the heart rate. Regular brisk walking can reduce the risk of a heart attack, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, and raise (good) HDL cholesterol, lower blood pressure, help manage weight, and improve one’s mood.

4) Running: Running can build up the fitness and endurance of the heart. It can also reduce the fat content surrounding the heart and inside the blood vessels. Running provides long term strength training to the heart, which helps in maintaining and increasing the fitness level of the heart.

5) Aerobics: Aerobics helps the heart muscles become stronger due to exercise, which makes it pump more efficiently. Therefore, one’s resting heart rate is reduced and the heart does not need to work as hard. It needs added oxygen to be pushed through the body to one’s muscles, and the heart being one of the biggest and hardest working muscles, benefits the most from this.

Be sure to take care of your heart – it’s the only one you got!

Congenital Heart Defects are the #1 killer of all children, more than all childhood cancers combined, yet the research is grossly underfunded. 1 in 5 children with a CHD will not make it to their first birthday. My friend’s baby, Luca was that 1 in 5. If you would like to donate to help those with heart conditions I encourage you to visit Hopeful Hearts.

Reference here – www.healthmeup.com

Sunday BUNSday

Happy Sunday!  If you can’t make it into the gym today don’t worry, I got you!

3-5 rounds of this booty blasting routine will keep you on track and best part, it will take at MOST 35 minutes of your day! Get everyone involved family, friends and neighbors!

Pin,  share,  tag your friends and tackle this Sunday BUNSday workout!

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Get up, get out and get active!

Since it’s spring break across the country for many kids – thought this was a perfect time to encourage everyone to take advantage of this free time and get active with your kids!

It is obvious that obesity is an epidemic in the United States. Nothing breaks my heart more than seeing an obese child, especially because It is 100% preventable.

Please teach your kids, nieces, nephews, grand kids the importance of a healthy lifestyle. There are so many risks that come with obesity and a sedentary life. Below is an clip of an article I found and based on a study, kids in the ’70s were fitter and healthier than kids today.

Study: The Cardiovascular Fitness of Kids Worldwide Has Declined Since the 1970s

Many kids today can’t run as far as their parents could when they were children, according to a study presented Tuesday at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013 in Dallas. Researchers looked at 50 studies between 1964 and 2010, which covered more than 25 million children ages 9 to 17 in 28 countries. Each of the studies was about running fitness, because, although there are many different kinds of ways to be fit, “the most important type of fitness for good health is cardiovascular fitness, which is the ability to exercise vigorously for a long time, like running multiple laps around an oval track,” states Grant Tomkinson, lead study author and senior lecturer in the University of South Australia’s School of Health Science, in a press release. In analyzing these studies, researchers found that the cardiovascular fitness of kids around the world has lessened since about 1975. Specifically, the cardiovascular endurance of children in the United States dropped about 6 percent per decade, between 1970 and 2000. And today’s kids are about a minute and a half slower in a mile run than kids were 30 years ago, according to the press release.

Kids need to get moving, Tomkinson says in the release, for their current and future health. “If a young person is generally unfit now, then they are more likely to develop conditions like heart disease later in life.”

Help your family and yourself from becoming apart of this statistic!

-Go on a walk
-Go to the park
-Go to the zoo
-Play any sport
-Ride bikes
-Play catch

Get up, get out and get active…

Kids Running

Here is a link to the article: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2013/11/20/kids-today-are-less-fit-than-their-parents-were