It’s summertime, remember to stretch!

With summer time around the corner, many people will begin a new workout regime or take their current one up a notch.

With the increased work load on your body it is important to stretch. Your body is only going to perform if you take care of it. And let’s face it, if running, lifting, moving hurts you aren’t going to do it.

Fitness isn’t a once in a while thing it’s a continue processed full of ebbs and flows. Take your victories in stride and your struggles with grace. Just stick with it.

Here are some hip stretches that will help keep your body healthy and ready to go, no matter what you throw at it!

HIP STRETCHES

 

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You don’t know who’s watching

Working out is apart of my daily routine. I’ll go train clients at my boot camp (click here for info on that) then 3-4 days a week I drive towards my other job with Fox Sports Southwest.  I’ll go to a boot camp out by Fox or hit up the gym.  But I always go to the gym to shower.  There’s never been a time where I just shower. My workout is so set in my daily lifestyle I’d be off without it.

When you create a lifestyle with fitness and eating healthy as priorities it becomes hard to NOT live that way.

This has been my schedule for over two years but before I was living in Texas, I would wake up early to beat the terrible traffic from Maryland to Virginia and workout and shower at the gym near work.

So in August when I found out I was pregnant, nothing changed, at least with my schedule. My workouts certainly have lessened in intensity.  Sometimes i have to take a 15 minute nap whenever I get to where I’m going. But I still pack up my healthy lunch and my clothes to shower at the gym after boot camp or a workout.

Some days I can’t do much but walk on the treadmill but it’s still something. There was no option to skip really, it was just apart of my life as much as eating or sleeping.

One minute of exercise is more than zero.

I’ve had a relatively easy pregnancy but every once in a while I get a little discouraged because I get tired faster than normal and have to continually dial back. Mainly because I’m super competitive with myself, but don’t worry I’m being smart!

Today someone came up to me and said you are so inspiring.  Watching you makes me feel like I can keep going.

WOW!  What an amazing complement! That hit me right in the heart!

The point of this is to keep going despite your struggles, whatever they may be, keep going!

You never know who is watching, who you are impacting just by doing what you normally do.

I want this little baby to be proud of their mom and my work ethic and my lifestyle.  I want to live as long as I can to see them have kids and their kids have kids! So I take care of myself, eat well, sleep enough and have fun.

If you’ve kept reading my message for you is to keep working, keep pushing. This lady may be inspired by me but she’s truly the one who left a lasting impression.

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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

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

Cryotherapy – CryoUSA

Woke up feeling great after doing @cryousa last night. My legs were heavy and body just sore but only 2 minutes in here and definitely was better than any ice bath and faster!

Cryotherapy constricts blood vessels and heightens your metabolic rate, the rate of energy your body expends in a given period. The benefits include reduced swelling and increased tissue breakdown.

After a cryotherapy session,  underlying tissues warm up, causing a return of faster blood flow, which helps return fresh cells for efficient recycling of the body resulting in suppressed inflammation and flushed out muscles.

There are @cryousa facilities at the Michael Johnson Performance Center and in Dallas.  Take advantage of an open house! For locations near you check out http://www.cryousa.com/location_all.html or follow on Twitter and IG @CryoUSA

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What causes leg cramps?

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With a lot of talk about LeBron James cramping up in the 4th quarter of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, thought I’d share why this happens.

First off, when you run on treadmill versus running outside; outside whether it’s hot or cold it’s harder on your body because you are dealing with the elements. Playing summer basketball or playing inside during winter, the temperature and conditions of the air have an effect on how the body reacts and recovers.

Every other game played this season was played in an air conditioned building. With the A.C. breaking in the At&t center the temperature on the court soared to over 90 degrees. Since players weren’t acclimated to the heat their bodies responded in different ways.

When playing a sport your body uses electrolytes to fuel your muscles. Your body sweats to cool off trying to keep your body temperature close to it’s normal level. Sweat contains sodium, calcium, and potassium which is essential for your body and muscles to functions.

So any other game James’ body has no problem keeping cool and staying hydrated with the air temperature in the 70s. The hot air temperature of the At&t Center caused him to use up -sweat out – all his electrolytes. When stressed the body uses the “reserves” for the heart and organs so the muscles don’t get any of the fuel they need to function properly – so muscles cramp.

It’s also important to note that because of James’ size and low body fat he needs even more electrolytes and hydration. Having lower body makes any athlete more liking to cramp because once you burn the fuel you’re body goes to the burn fat since most professional athletes are very low on body fat they need to keep hydrating and refuelling.

Think of it like James’ is a Tahoe with the gas tank the size of a corolla, big car that needs to refuel because there gas tank can empty quickly since a big body is using up the fuel at a rapid rate.

There’s no way anyone could have planned for the air conditioning to malfunction. Tony Parker said he was used to playing overseas in similar conditions so his body had been acclimated to it over time.

I have no doubt if the A.C. hadn’t stopped working James’ body would have been able to stay cool enough for him too refuel.

Point is: It’s important be aware of the elements and air conditions and to stay properly hydrated! Always keep your body fueled with the right stuff when playing sports or exercising.

Reference: http://www.slate.com