Category Archives: Health Tips

6 Reasons To Warm Up Before The Workout

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I have witnessed the neglect many times around the gym. The eager beaver ready to workout arrives at the gym, heads straight to the bench press (or whatever exercise), slides a couple of plates on the ends of the bar and begins a painful workout. Warming up before a workout is so important. Why? The body has to be gradually prepared for the stresses that are about to be upon it.  Below are 6 reasons given by the American Council on Exercise on why a warm up will benefit your workout.

1. Core body temperature increases which leads to more efficient calorie burning.

2. The elasticity of the muscles will improve which will help prevent injury.

3. The joint range of motion will improve.

4. A good warm up will stimulate the neural message pathways to the muscles, which results in better muscle control and reactivity.

5. Warm ups help prevent lactic acid buildup which will lead to better workouts because the energy systems are able to adjust to exercise.

6. Warming up psychologically prepares you for higher intensities by increasing the focus on exercise which will lead to better, more efficient performance.

 

In my opinion a proper warm up is anywhere between 6-10 minutes. I prefer some type of exercise performed at a gradual pace to prepare my body for more intense work such as cycling, jogging, jump rope, or body weight exercises. If my workout is to run, I warm up by performing a slower jog. I like to gradually build heat within my body to where I begin to sweat. Then the magic happens! My workouts are always much stronger with a proper warm up. Do your body good, warm up, it will make your workout more enjoyable 🙂

Be honest, do you skip the warm up to save time?

 

*All exercises are not suitable for everyone. Consult your physician before beginning any new exercise or workout program.

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Workout at BodyBuilding.com

Hi, just a quick update on the new goals and workout happening at nthefitzone. Since I finished up my half marathons recently, I am shifting my focus to shorter more intense runs plus hitting the weight room more. Confession: since I finished my half in Utah, my nutrition has been terrible. I decided I would just eat whatever and I quickly began to feel awful, no energy and laziness kicked in. That has changed. I am very goal oriented. I now have a new focus. I want to get faster, stronger, and add  muscle. So I went to bodybuilding.com to see what is going on over there and it is full of info, workouts, nutrition plans etc.. One plan I found was by a trainer to celebrities, Ashley Conrad. She totally makes sense to me with her training and nutrition philosophy. I totally agree with how she trains her clients and herself.

So I started one of her workouts and nutrition plans about a week ago and I can already see a difference. I am so motivated to progress forward with this. Even trainers need trainers. Check out this video about how she trains her clients and how she gets them the results they are looking for. This is exactly how I like to train. If you want results, you have to commit to the work. You have to find the time and stay consistent, dedicated and focused on what you are doing and why you are doing it.

I will keep posting about my progress with this program. Have any of you done any of the workouts at bodybuilding.com?

 

5 Tips To Simple Clean Eating

Eating clean is not complicated. What complicates the whole nutrition thing is the processed crap fake food that crowds the grocery stores and markets. I know you have heard the phrase “you are what you eat” right? Well, I believe this to be true. When I put processed foods in my body I feel sluggish, irritable, lethargic and I have zero energy. I often get asked at work from our members about what are good ideas for meals and snacks. My answer to them is of course, whole food. Then I get the usual blank stare like they do not know what that means. I then explain the whole thing about shopping for whole foods, you know, the perimeter of the store, checking ingredients, no packaged or fake food etc.. People complicate things too much. I always recommend keeping things simple. Cooking meals that are healthy and nutritious can be simple.

Here are my top 5 tips of simple clean eating.

1. Spend time in the produce section of the grocery or visit your local farmers market. Try new things.

2. Take time to read nutrition labels and especially the ingredients. If there is a huge list of  ingredients, chances are it is processed so move on to something else.

3. If you do not have a crock pot, get one. If you have one, use it. There are tons of healthy recipes for slow cookers all over the web. I have a few here.

4. Do not fall for the flashy marketing on products in the grocery stores and markets. I know all the packages are screaming for us to take them off the shelf because they claim to be healthy, low-fat, low-sugar, 100 calorie, low sodium, heart healthy blah blah blah… but beware. I believe it is much safer and healthier to grab the fruits and vegetables that are sitting quietly in the produce section 🙂

5. Experiment with putting whole foods together for creating delicious meals. Do not over complicate it. For example; for dinner I can bake a piece of salmon, while at the same time roast asparagus and bake a sweet potato that I washed and wrapped in foil all in the same oven. It just takes a tiny bit of thought and planning.

 

So this morning I woke up feeling like I wanted pancakes. All it takes is a bowl, 3/4 cup brown rice flour, 1 egg, 1 scoop vanilla whey protein, 1/2 cup almond milk, stir, and cook in a skillet on medium high until golden. My topping is blueberries heated with a little butter and agave nectar. It took about 10 minutes for the whole event. This is my blueberry pancake breakfast today 🙂

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I hope this helps if you are struggling with how to clean up your diet. Remember, we are what we eat so don’t forget about all the beautiful fruits and vegetables sitting peacefully in the produce. I would much rather be a colorful zucchini or broccoli flower than a chunk of Velveeta.

 

*Consult your physician before beginning any new nutrition or exercise program.

 

Release The Catechins! Ahhhhh!

green tea

Well, it is that time of year again. I turn the TV on and the first thing I hear is “the flu is spreading”. Yikes! Definitely time to up the tea intake. I love tea and especially green hot tea year round. I drink more during these winter months with the flu spreading around like a wild-fire. I am not sure if green, black, white or oolong help fight the flu but I enjoy drinking it and feeling like the antioxidants that are released are fighting with me.

The picture above is green tea with a little lemon. Green tea is packed with health benefits. Green tea is rich with catechins which are antioxidants that scavenge for free radicals that can damage DNA. One unique catechin specific to green tea is EGCG. There is more EGCG in green tea because there is less processing in that type of tea. I have read articles about lab studies done on EGCG saying that it can be more powerful than vitamin C and E in stopping oxidative damage to cells and has the potential ability to fight other diseases too. Also, I have read that scientists have found that these little catechins increase the body’s ability to burn fat as fuel. Keep in mind to get these antioxidants that are abundant in tea,  you have to consume freshly brewed real teas. There are four varieties – green, black, white or oolong. Anything other than these, such as “herbal teas” are infusions of other types of plants, not pure tea. One last thing, every article I seem to read states that more studies lean toward these positive benefits being true but to keep in mind that the research is still conflicting or mixed. Ok.

Well since I have not read anything terrible about green tea, I will keep on drinking. Cheers!

What is your favorite tea?

Disclaimer – This blog post is my opinion and experience with green tea. Consult your physician before beginning any new nutrition program.

How To Survive The Turkey Day Food Coma

Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The big day is approaching. Thanksgiving is a wonderful day filled with family, friends, celebrations and giving thanks to the many blessings we have in our lives. Most of this celebrating comes with what seems like a never-ending feast. This is just the beginning of feasting, drinking, partying, etc.. It marks the beginning of the “holiday” season, so before you begin to gobble down your first feast, here are a few bits of info and tips that may help you and your waistline survive the season.

According to the American Council on Exercise, the average Thanksgiving meal consists of 3000 calories. Keep in mind many of us begin the glorious day by snacking and indulging in the vino, whiskey, beer, soda pop, or sweet tea while sitting watching the exciting parades and ballgames. Combine this pre-feast ritual with the actual meal and it can easily take it up to 4500 calories with 229 grams of fat. Wowza!

Now, we all have heard that turkey contains the essential amino acid tryptophan which has a sedating effect right? The truth is that the “food coma” you experience is actually a result of your poor little body working overtime to digest all that fatty food 🙂 It takes a lot of energy to digest a large meal. The body redirects blood to your digestive system to tackle the big job. Since you have less blood flow elsewhere, you may feel the need for nap time after the feast, so it is not really the little Butterballs fault after all.

Oh, and don’t forget, the holiday cocktails (remember alcohol is a central nervous system depressant) play a role in the desire for nap time too.

Tips To Help Your Waist Survive The Holiday

  1. Make up for the feast (we are all going to indulge, I sure will) by choosing low-fat and low-sugar meals (we should be doing this anyway) for the week leading up to and after the big day. Never skip meals, just choose your foods wisely.
  2. Make physical activity a regular habit. Exercise not only burns calories, it is important for good health, stress management, and overall well-being.
  3. Be consistent with your workouts. It increases your metabolism which will help assist your calorie burn when you binge on that big day.
  4. Before you leave for your feast, try having a small salad, light soup, fruit or veges. This will help you feel a little full and you may feel less likely to “oink out”.
  5. When you prepare your Turkey Day plate, it should not topple over on your way to your seat. Practice patience and portion control 🙂

I have many things to be thankful for. I have been blessed and I will, just like many, indulge a bit to celebrate. I have a weakness for pecan pie so I am going to do many burpees this week! Video coming soon. I am thankful for pie and for burpees too.

What is your favorite Turkey Day dish? What is your favorite part of the holiday? Happy Early Thanksgiving!

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