Saturday, November 17, 2012

Battle of the Bulge!

Join me in fighting the Holiday Bulge! I will host Boot Camps M,W 5-6 AM!!! at the North Y. 6 weeks of sessions, 60 minutes X 2 weekly for only $49!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Knockout November

     It's easy to coast from Halloween through New Year's Day by telling yourself, it's a holiday, so I can do this.  And you're right, you can.  You can go through the holidays and remain healthy.  It's fairly simple (not necessarily easy).
    Set a goal for yourself.  Not gain weight during the holidays, eat only one goodie at a holiday gathering, workout more frequently, get up off the couch during every commercial, try a new class or piece of fitness equipment. . . You pick based on what you want to accomplish.
     Make a specific plan.  If your goal is to not gain weight, join a weight maintenance challenge at work, your gym or health club, or online, or make one with some friends.  If you need a little more structure try an app or online site for tracking your food intake.
     Find an accountability partner.  Have someone check up on you who will ask you how you're doing. This could be a friend, co-worker, family member, personal trainer, someone on your social media network.
     You can have a Knockout November, and beyond by challenging yourself!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fit for Life

Many times the people I meet with for coaching sessions prior to Personal Training assume that I was born the way I look today.  Well, really, I was 7 1/2 pounds and 21 inches long at birth.  Fairly average in size. I went through a pudgy childhood phase.  Fairly normal sized in the college years.  Then it happened.  I had two children and never really took off the pregnancy weight.  About a dozen years ago I did take off the weight.  Slowly but surely, I let it creep back on.

Three years ago I did take the weight off.  I took it nice and slow; a whole year.  I have kept it off for 2 years and have even changed careers as a result.  What's different about this time?  Well, anytime I have lost weight in the past, I have been on a diet and exercise plan.  Not too bad.  But what happened when you finish with the diet and exercise plan?  For me it was fall back into my old bad habits and gain the weight back.

This time I set out to change my whole lifestyle.  Exercise is a part of my daily life.  It includes cardiovascular fitness, strength training, and flexibility training.  Not all three every day, but throughout the week.  Finding activities I enjoy really helped cement the positive habits.  By engaging in these regular activities I am fit for the other activities of daily life:  gardening, cutting the grass, house cleaning, cooking, walking, hiking, geocaching, etc.

The other component of being fit for life involves a sensible eating lifestyle.  All of the macronutrients are good for you!  Eliminating or severely restricting one group may help you lose weight, but is NOT usually a lifestyle for a family, or one that you can maintain your whole life.  Appropriate percentages of carbohydrates (fiber loaded and refined sugar limited), fats ( mostly monounsaturated), and lean proteins are a part of my everyday food consumption.

Being fit for life feels good.  I feel strong, and able to tackle whatever comes my way.  Be the best you that you can be!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tabata Bootcamp

DrIzumi Tabata's work with professional athletes produced the Tabata training protocol which improves cardiovascular function, anaerobic and muscular endurance.  Join me at the North Wichita YMCA's Bootcamp beginning  Wednesday, September 5th at 5:30 am.  Tabata intervals and
strength training, all in 30 minutes!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Giant Bags of Mostly Water

     I recall an episode of Star Trek Next Generation where an alien life force described humans as “giant bags of mostly water”.  So why is it that most of us drink very little water?  Second to oxygen, your body needs hydration to function properly. 

     For runners, the need for appropriate hydration is even more important.  Hydration will impact your performance and help to prevent injury.  The good news is that it’s not particularly complicated to meet your typical person’s hydration needs.

     If your typical exercise session is around 60 minutes or less, and doesn’t involve vigorous activity outdoors in hot, humid weather, you probably don’t need to interrupt your exercise session for a drink unless you prefer to.  Listen to what your body is telling you during and after your run.

     Dehydration isn’t something to be taken lightly.  Some of the symptoms of dehydration may include starting to feel lightheaded, confused, uncoordinated, or having muscle cramps.  Dehydration can also lead to elevated heart rate and body temperature. 

     So what’s a runner to do?  Taking into account individual differences, the chart below is a general guideline for water intake before, during, and after vigorous exercise.  

Drink Water
How Much?
Before Exercise
8-16 oz
At least 15 minutes before workout
During Exercise
4-8 oz
Every 15-20 minutes
After Exercise
16-24 oz per pound* lost
As soon as possible

     Two hours of vigorous exercise can deplete the fuel supply (called glycogen) that your muscle cells use during vigorous activity. Commercial sports drinks containing 6% to 8% carbohydrate solution from various sugar sources are recommended for exercise events lasting longer than 1 hour.  In addition to hydration, they replace lost potassium and sodium that your body needs.

     So how do you know if you are hydrated adequately?  There are two areas to take a look at.  If your urine is regularly light yellow to almost clear, then you are adequately hydrated.  Sweating at a rate that causes you to lose more than 2% of your body weight is another indicator of dehydration.  This would require weighing both before and after exercise.  Keep in mind that hot and humid weather will impact you greater.

     Drinking on an interval, during long exercise sessions will help adequately hydrate your body.  Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink  After all you are a giant bag of mostly water!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Warming Up

        A warm up is a time period for your body to adjust from rest to exercise.  This gradually increases your body temperature, respiration rate, heart rate, and increases the oxygen supply to your muscles.  The most appropriate types of warm up relate to the activity you are going to engage in.

        Most sports and exercise science experts agree that a warm up is necessary; however, they do not agree on all the specifics or the benefits.  If you are going to be running for your main workout, then you should walk briskly or run at a slower pace as a part of your warm up.  This is generally agreed upon.

      Prior to strength training you may include lifting light weights as a warm up for heavier weight lifting.   Before a treadmill workout, try some other low or no impact warm up, such as a few minutes on the ellipitical.  Slow walking is a great warm up prior to brisk walk. 

     The research regarding stretching following a cardiorespiratory   warm up is conflicting.  Some research indicates that static stretching may reduce the susceptibility of injury to muscles and joints.  Especially for master level runners (those over 40) stretching may improve your range of motion, and combat loss of elasticity.   Other researchers contend that there are no benefits to stretching before your run and it may actually decrease your muscular strength and endurance.
    So what’s a novice to do?  Engaging in a cardiorespiratory warm up is a must.  Following that you may choose to do a few minutes of static stretching, or you may opt for a more dynamic warm up.

     Some common dynamic warm ups for running include skipping (yes, I said skipping), running with high knees,  walking lunges, jumping jacks, squats to jump, and so on.

     The level of warm up needs to be appropriate for the intended effort.  The longer the run, whether for a workout or race, the shorter the warm up.  For everyday runs, especially if you've just rolled out of bed, it's cold out, or you're achy, you’ll want to run about ½ mile, longer if still tight.

     A speed workout or a shorter, quicker race, like a 5k, would involve a longer, more thorough warm up time.  The effort never should be so tiring that it wears you out before the starting line.    Walking, jogging, and some dynamic drills make for a good warm up prior to speed work.

     Do take the time and effort to warm up your cardiorespiratory system prior to running.  As for deciding what experts to listen to regarding stretching; listen to your body.  Learn what it’s telling you and you will figure out if you need to do some dynamic drills or static stretching.