Tag Archives: workouts

Setting Realistic Goals

If you read this post, you’ll know that I am working on some goals for this summer. I really wanted to ignite my fitness drive back up so I decided to plan out some goals to give me more motivation on working out every day. The goals are mostly body weight goals. Two goals, however, stood out a little bit: running 3 casual miles and being able to touch my toes. Along with my other goals, they just didn’t make sense. Just because they’ve been longtime goals, I wanted to throw them in my mix of body weight goals (which aren’t easy, mind you). However, with my busy work schedule and all my home hobbies and chores, I was stressing to fit everything in in one week. 

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3-Day Kaeng Raeng Cleanse Giveaway

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kaeng Raeng. All opinions are 100% mine.

Finally, finally! I’ve found a cleanse that is actually enjoyable. I’ve been through enough research and self-experimentation to know that there are many not-so-pleasant cleanses out there. Whether they are fasts or just horrible poop-your-pants cleanses, they don’t make the process easy. Enter Kaeng Raeng, my new favorite cleanse of them all.

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This cleanse is just three days of wonderful smoothies. There is no starvation, no unnatural ingredientsno caloric deficiency. I really appreciated that. For some cleanses, you aren’t exactly sure what’s in them. For Kaeng Raeng, it’s all freeze-dried fruit made into powder that you can mix into juice or blend for a smoothie. The scariest ingredient is probably the “L. Acidophilius blend,” but that’s just probiotics to make your gut happier! Plus, you get your full serving of all major vitamins while you drink the smoothies.

It actually tastes good. No, I’m not lying. How can fruit not taste good? Chris even liked it (he had a small sip)! There are some cleanses where I seriously struggled with. Some I had to try a million different ways just to get it down my throat. Not with this one. With Kaeng Raeng, I looked forward to each and every smoothie. And that’s how I made them: into smoothies. It was quick enough where I could just throw some frozen fruit, water, almond milk and the cleanse packet into the blender and drink it at home or on-the-go! So easy to make! It was so easy to make it into the smoothie I wanted without “cheating.”

"Joyful"

“Joyful”

I feel like Kaeng Raeng is a cleanse for your everday person. Have you ever been around me when I’m hungry (more like hangry)? It’s not pretty. Kaeng Raeng cleanses allow you to eat any raw fruits or veggies in between your smoothies. I was a happy girl. It’s simply not realistic or sustainable for me to do a cleanse where I can’t eat close to my normal caloric intake. It’s not going to last and it’s going to leave a bad taste in my mouth….literally (I’ll be here all night)!

"Daybreak"

“Daybreak”

For me I usually had the “Daybreak” packet in the morning which includes mango, peach, and pineapple. Lunch was the “Joyful” packet containing strawberry, raspberry, and pineapple. And finally for dinner, I had the “Into the Blue” with banana and blueberry. Like I said earlier, these are yummy. Kinda like going to a smoothie place without all the unnatural ingredients. My favorite was probably the “Joyful” which was perfect because I had something to keep me going for the rest of the day.

There are a few different levels of this cleanse and if you are unsure of where you place at, just take this quiz to find out. Another big plus about this cleanse is that they are so animal-friendly that a portion of each sale goes to animal protection organizations. As animal lovers, that is a big plus. You can buy Kaeng Raeng on Amazon for a very reasonable price. If you leave a review on Amazon, you can get 15% off your next order! The cleanse can also be found at select Whole Foods Markets as well, so call your local store to find out. Kaeng Raeng will definitely be my go-to cleanse from now on, and I urge you to try it. After the third day, I no longer had my normal cravings which was really really nice.

"Into the Blue"

“Into the Blue”

Lucky for you, we are hosting a giveaway! We’re giving away one swag bag to a reader. Just comment why YOU want to try a vegan cleanse. For an optional entry, Like Kaeng Raeng on Facebook.Can’t wait? You can use the code “KRCleanseMT10″ for 10% off your order at Kaeng Raeng. This code expires on 4/25/14. Use Kaeng Raeng cleanses to stay hungry and fit!

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March Madness for Health

Lately with Trader Joe’s opening and all, I have been pounding down delicious but not-so-healthy stuff. I’ve still been doing my workouts and eating mostly well, but I haven’t been focused. It’s time to get back into the groove. So it’s time to put aside the multiple slices of banana cake, overdose of “Gone Bananas,” and gorging of licorice. It’s time for moderation. I’m not saying I’m doing away with all sweets or junk (after all I’m not in contest prep), we still have to have our Hangry & Fat (obvious alter egos) moments, but it will be limited. Roughly a 90/10 type of deal. I’m going to lay it out nice and clean for myself and for you if you should join me.

The dangerous stuff...

The dangerous stuff…

Operation Be Healthy, Feel Great

Overview: To make you feel great, you need to treat your body well. This means focusing on proper nutrition first. Following a rough 90/10 ratio of healthy to indulgence, moderation through limiting treats and “cheat” meals. Follow a workout split and try to follow as closely as possible. Rest days should be few, but workouts will be varied. Clean eating is the main focus

Rule #1: 3 cheat meals per week. Whether that be a piece of cake, a pizza dinner, or going crazy with nachos. Count each one, but it can be WHATEVER you want. :)

Rule #2: Follow a workout split and stick to it. Make workouts a priority. Schedule them and plan them for the entire week. 1 rest day per week allowed. 

Workout Split (not including cardio):

  • Legs (to support my 2014 goal of squatting 200lbs)
  • Back (to support my 2014 goal of 8 pull-ups in a row)
  • Arms + Shoulders
  • Core
  • Circuit (always fun to try new circuits out there and switch it up)
  • Yoga (because damn, my hamstrings are tight)
  • Chest (to support my 2014 goal of benching 100lbs)
I am happy with my shoulder progress though

I am happy with my shoulder progress though

Rule #3: Each strength workout should be matched with a cardio workout at least 5 times per week. Not including multiple walks with the pup

Rule #4: Meal plan at least the night before. I know Chris and I well enough that I’m not going to commit myself to Sunday meal planning (though I should). We are too spontaneous for that. Instead, I will write down a lunch and dinner plan each night so we don’t end up ordering pizza when I’ve spent all my cheat meals. Meals should look like a lot of veggies, clean carbs, and protein (including tuna, tofu, and protein drinks).

Rule #5: You are allowed dark chocolate, but girl, take it easy. For myself, I will allow myself a square of dark chocolate after one meal per day. That should satisfy my sweet-craving and allow some willpower to stop myself from eating 12 Gone Bananas at once.

Chris and I split a pint of Glacier ice cream a few nights ago

Chris and I split a pint of Glacier ice cream a few nights ago

Rule #6: Get rid of the crap now. This means that today I am bringing in the stuff I know that will tempt me (again, I am not restricting myself completely, just want to stop any binge or gorging on stuff) to work! That Trader Joe’s strawberry licorice or the banana cake I baked will be out of the apartment and into some grateful mouths. Sounds like a nice switch.

Rule #7: Meditate every day. Because meditating makes me a happier, healthier person. Simply that.

Pharrell's "Happy" is what goes on in my head

Pharrell’s “Happy” is what goes on in my head

Rule #8Record everything. I personally use MyFitnessPal (add me: nanathetiger), but I’m open to any kind of recording. Recording what you eat and exercise really helps you see what you’re doing with your body and also gives motivation. Record even the bad stuff!

I think that’s good for now. This will last for the entirety of March and I will see how I feel at that point. It may be eight “rules” but really they are just guidelines on paper to help me remember my goals and how I want to accomplish feeling great every day. It’s not about the way I see myself in the mirror, it’s how I feel sitting in this chair, writing this post. I feel blah, so I want to clean up my habits. Pure and simple. It’s not that we are super unhealthy–we are close to the opposite. But I want to step it up a notch.  I’m ready to sweat hard with clean nutrients in my body.  Who’s with me? Join me for #marchmadnessforhealth. Yes I just made that hash tag up. Let’s do it up!

  • Question of the Day: What makes you want to get healthier?

PS- We recently learned that we got accepted as a FitFluential Ambassador. We are THRILLED about the news. More information coming your way.

FitFluential Is Fitness Found

 

BONUS KITTY PIC

Sleepy Sajah

Sleepy Sajah

September Goodies: Articles Worth Reading

Through my work, I do a lot of research into health, fitness, nutrition, and other similar articles. It’s good to stay on top of your game in the industry and it’s always important to know everything you can. These articles are really great in relaying a wealth of information and I thought that many of you would appreciate these reads as they have valuable stuff in them!

"Always"...stay hungry and fit for knowledge!

“Always”…stay hungry and fit for knowledge!

For the graceful “agers”…

“How to Get Super Fit at Any Age

On certain eating fads…

“How to Really Eat like a Hunter-Gatherer: Why the Paleo Diet is Half-Baked”

For the fitness buffs…

“Strength Vs Toned: The Truth about Gender-Specific Workouts”

“Ask Well: Eating Before Exercise”

“Doubling the Daily Allowance of Protein Intake with Diet and Exercise Protects Muscle Loss”

“How Does Heat Affect Fat-Burning?”

“10 Ab Training Mistakes You Need to Stop Making”

“Stay Cool, Stay Thin?”

Surprising fitness facts…

“Watermelon Juice Relieves Post-Exercise Muscle Soreness”

“Why A.C.L. Injuries Sideline So Many Athletes”

“How Exercise Can Help Us Learn”

New, cool fitness gadgets…

“Pocket-Sized Sensor Gives Instant Fat Burning Updates”

Recipes worth trying…

“Homemade Vegan ‘Honeycomb'”

“Baked Tomato Bruschetta”

“Almond-Crisped Peaches”

Chris with an awesome Mexican post-workout feast meal

Chris with an awesome Mexican post-workout feast meal

Hope you enjoy these articles, I sure did! Let me know which ones you like the best! Use these articles to stay…hungry and fit! 

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How to Complete a Transformation Contest (I Did It!!)

So this is less of a “how-to” and more of a “I-freaking-did-it” post. And this is even less of a “I’m-gonna-win” and more of a “I-made-it-through” post. I think you’re getting the picture. But you can still pick up some tips from my journey. Don’t worry, I’m not going to write Day 1: I cried for lack of cheese. No, no, but an overall view of the contest and my journey through it. Let me start by saying that I, an already-fit personal trainer, dropped 6.5% body fat and 10 pounds. Anyone can do anything they put their mind to. That’s what I love about humans, we can always adapt to become stronger, better than what we are. This may be a long post, but it for me it was a long journey (that I can’t believe is over). You can skip to the end for tips or take a few minutes and read the whole thing.

Back shots, before and after

Back shots, before and after

If you aren’t sure what contest I’m talking about, read this briefly. I completed a 6-week (plus a 10-day cleanse before that) “Strong to the COR” transformation contest. It was sponsored by Cellucor, a popular supplement company. The grand prizes for one male and female are 10k a piece along with supplements, apparel, and a free cruise. Sounds pretty nice. But I wasn’t in to win. I know that sounds bad. I was in it to win it for myself and complete it all the way for myself, but I had an inkling I wasn’t going to win as other females came in weighing 200lbs with 30%+ body fat percentage. Much easier for them to complete a transformation than a 135lbs, 20/22% body fat percentage gal like me. And 6-weeks isn’t a proper time for a true transformation, most contests include bulking and cutting that consist of maybe 6 months. But here I am, coming in at a fit weight and body fat to prove to myself that I can do anything.

For the "before" pics, we tried to get me as messy as possible and push my stomach out as much too!

For the “before” pics, we tried to get me as messy as possible and push my stomach out as much too!

And I made it to the very last day. Despite vacations (ice cream, you are my downfall), dinners out, and moving, I stayed on track for the most part. Sure, I did have ice cream in Iowa on vacation, sure I did have a slice of homemade pizza, but I stuck to my macros. And I killed it with my workouts. For the last 3 weeks of contest, I used Ashley Conrad’s 21-Day Clutch Cut. Basically, shredding workouts in addition to the clean-eating I was doing. Her program consisted of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) that was slowly built up (last week was awesome torture) and strength circuits to keep the heart rate up and the body strong. She put in rest days, but I wasn’t so good at listening to those. I always had to do something, even if it was a trail run with the dog we were taking care of.

Mid-workout

Mid-workout

Around Week 3, right around/before I started the 21-Day Cut, I started to feel not as focused, not as dedicated. I was still killing it with the workouts, but my eating habits were slipping. I was still sticking to my perfected clean-eating, but I started to pick at bad foods. That’s my bad habit. My friends all know this—I pick at things. Which is one of the reasons I wrote this post. After I slapped myself into shape, I really buckled down with the eating. Sure I’d pick here and there once in awhile, but when I saw Hope Solo diving across my screen, I knew that it wasn’t worth it to mess around. Chris always says, “Keep your eye on the prize.” And I did, and it helped. I started seeing results, my back became beastly and my abs visible.

Actually developing some abs

Actually developing some abs

The last week and a half was my super clean-eating, low-carb, high-fat week. This was probably the most monotonous with meals, but I was okay with it. I was in it to win it (not ACTUALLY win it…but you know what I mean!), and there was no room to mess around. I went longer on my circuits, harder on my HIIT, and cleaner with my nutrition. Peeling hard-boiled eggs became my bane. My meals normally consisted of tuna, avocado, eggs, nuts, protein shakes and hot sauce. And I made it work. No actual carbs, but I would get them from things like vegetables and such. I really started seeing the results by this time and I turned in to a lean, mean egg-white-eating machine. And I made it all the way to the very last day, even though we were moving the last 2 days that made it tough to squeeze workouts in.

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I couldn’t have done it without support. Every step of the way, Chris was there to push me on and catch me if I fell. He was a great coach (even though he never thinks so). He provided me with meal plans and workouts before Ashley Conrad, and supported and encouraged me to just finish that last circuit. It helps to live with your coach, and he really made the difference for me. As did my friends, and family (whenever I talked to my dad, he would cheer me on and say he’s behind me the whole way)–jeez, I have a great ring of support. I would text my friends in anguish during my workouts and they would tell me to finish that last set, that I would regret if I didn’t and they would send me strange picture messages through emotes (COUGH—Kathleen).

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What did I do on Monday, the day of contest completion? WENT CRAZY. Just kidding…kinda. My stomach had felt a little weird from eating bread the night before (carb loading to fill out my muscles for pictures), so I didn’t feel like having a huge breakfasts. I greased myself up, did some exercises to pump up my muscles, and Chris photographed me in my poses. We went to Spruce Confections, our favorite bakery, and got warm croissants. Mmmm! I can’t describe how good it was to have one.

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I went through the day not feeling great after eating a brownie, some yogurt, and peanut butter. I shocked my system a little too much. Once I ate some Wahoo’s tacos, I felt better—real food helps, I think. For dinner, my cousins, my cousin’s boyfriend, Chris, and I went to our favorite Italian place in town to get a wonderful dinner. We were seated outside and just had a great time—I got pesto gnocchi. However, I couldn’t fill up too much because Chris had challenged me that I couldn’t eat a pint of Glacier cookies and cream ice cream. Who are we kidding, does he know who I am? So after that Italian feast, we headed to Glacier and I finished the pint in 12 minutes. That’s right, I always make my Powell family line proud (we are known for our love of ice cream). Not to say I felt great afterwards (rather, I’m still feeling the effects of dairy, which I hadn’t had for at least a month, sitting in my stomach 12 hours after), but it was fun to finish and celebrate with family and friends.

Tacos

Tacos

Gnocchi

Gnocchi

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Megan caught stealing my food

Megan caught stealing my food

Nice view from the table

Nice view from the table

Gettin ready to CHOW DOWN

Gettin ready to CHOW DOWN

 

Start of ice cream

Start of ice cream

BEASTED IT

BEASTED IT

So what the heck should you learn from this? How to complete a transformation contest

  • Find a support network. Whether that means your partner, your friends, your family, even online—find that support group. On bodybuilding.com (where this contest was hosted), there was a forum for all of us doing the contest, and there were loads of supportive people all helping each other to make it to the end. You may think this is all about your body, but you need support to keep going.

  • Find a meal plan that works for you. I happen to enjoy nuts, eggs, tuna, and avocado—but maybe you don’t. It was tough for me being a vegetarian on a bodybuilder’s diet (it’s much easier with meat), but I made it work. If you aren’t sure what to eat, search online for resources, ask a trainer, nutritionist, or someone you know that’s into the fitness industry.

  • Don’t only do cardio. This is a transformation. It’s not just about weight loss. You want to build muscle. If I had no muscle, I would look pretty horrible. My muscle is what makes me look good, what makes me stand out, and look strong. And I am strong Stronger than I look too. You do cardio, you’re just going to run your butt literally off and have no structure to your body. Incorporate strength training and cardio.

  • Don’t starve yourself. I know you want to win. I know you want to see a difference in your body. Starving yourself is not the way to go, see the point above: you won’t build muscle, you won’t look good. Don’t become a stick, it’s not very attractive, and people who lead transformation contests do not appreciate it. They appreciate muscle, definition, toning, and HEALTHY effort.

  • Give yourself some breathing room. It’s okay not to be on the ball every single second—especially if it’s a 6-week contest! I wish we could all be paid to do these contests, but we’re real people with real lives and real work. Things come up, you may not be able to hit every set of that workout you wanted or you may have to scarf something down on the go. Maybe you go to a family reunion and can’t resist Grandma’s strawberry pie—it’s okay. One cheat meal isn’t going to kill you. Breathe, and continue on.

  • Count your macros. Working out is important to build muscle and lose fat—of course! It’s a big part of this transformation process. However, without proper nutrition, all that hard work isn’t going to go too far. Check this post out to learn more about macronutrients and comment if you have more questions. If you count your calories, carbohydrates, fats, and protein, you will be fine in the eating realm. It comes down to pure science, and there’s something beautiful about that. Stick to your macros and you will see a difference.

  • Keep your eye on the prize. Like Chris said—this is so important. Want to pick at the brownies you just made for everyone? Keep your eye on the prize. Weigh decisions. Is it actually worth it to eat that piece of cake or lick of frosting? Probably not. Reject those animal impulses and use that willpower muscle. It’s my favorite muscle.

  • Measure yourself every week. I might’ve thought I wasn’t making any progress, but then I had my fellow trainers measure me and I was seeing the body fat drop. We are hardest on ourselves so get the real hard facts of the progress you are making through your hard work.

  • Focus on the positive. This could be one of the most important things. I’m very hard on myself, and sometimes I can get negative with how hard I’m working. This is bad. We don’t want to be negative about ourselves because it will lower our motivation level. Look at the positive things that you’ve done—you actually got to your workout, you resisted that candy, and you are staying on track. Don’t look at the negative—it’s not going to help anyone.

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So here I am, at the end of 6 weeks, transformed and happy. I’m proud of myself for going all the way and happy with my results. It has felt like a long journey, and I learned new things about myself. But now I’m wondering…what’s next? Compete in a contest to stay hungry and fit!

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Enter into Beast Mode: Spartacus Workout

Some of you may have heard of this, some of you may have not. But if you do this right, it is an amazing, kick-butt workout. We do it with each other sometimes and sometimes I will put my unfortunate clients through it. Chris knew about this before Men’s Health even did. He’s been doing it forever.  Depending on how many rounds you do, this workout takes no longer than 30 minutes. It is a fat-burning, muscle-burning, lean-making workout. Don’t miss out on this one! You can find its original site here.

There are 10 stations1 minute per station. 15s rest for transition. 2 minute break at the end of each circuit. 2-3 circuits. One minute may not sound like a lengthy bit of time, but once you’re in the circuit, pushing yourself through the muscle-ripping exercises, it seems more like an hour. Let’s get started. Grab dumbbells that are manageable for 15-20 reps. Don’t go too heavy or you’ll die.

1. Goblet squat. Grab a dumbbell and hold it like a goblet and then do proper squats.

1001-goblet-squat-483x300.jpg

2. Mountain climbers. Get in a tripod position on your hands and toes and bring each foot for ward towards your head and then back, and rotate.

1001-mountain-climber-483x300.jpg

3. Single-arm dumbbell swing. Grab a dumbbell and get into a crouched position but keep the shoulders back and look forward. With one arm, swing the dumbbell above your head, straightening your body as you do so. Bring it back down and switch arms.

1001-dbell-swing-483x300.jpg

4. T-pushup. This one is almost always a killer. Get into a pushup position with your arms straight, using the dumbbells as pushup grips. Do a pushup and then turn your body sideways and lift the dumbbell up as if you’re doing as side plank. Then do the other side.

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5. Lunge jumps. Just what it sounds like. Hold a dumbbell and jump between lunges.

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6. Dumbbell row. Bent slightly forward with both dumbbells in hand and row towards yourself.

1001-dbell-row-483x300.jpg

7. Dumbbell side lunge and touch. Lunge to the side with your dumbbells and touch the floor with them.

1001-dbell-side-lunge-483x300.jpg

8. Pushup-position row. Get into a pushup position using the dumbbells as grips again. This time, don’t do a pushup. Instead, row with each dumbbell towards yourself.

1001-pushup-position-row-483x300.jpg

9. Dumbbell lunge and rotation. Lunge forward with a dumbbell and twist to the left. Lunge with the other leg, twist to the right. Repeat.

1001-dbell-lunge-rotation-483x300.jpg

10. Squat press. Perform a squat with two dumbbells in hands and at the top of your squat, do a shoulder press.

1001-dbell-push-press-483x300.jpg

All images from Menshealth.com

And that’s ten. Remember, 1 minute each with only 15s rest for transition. Try for 2-3 circuits. Remember to take 2 minute rest in between, so that your muscles can perform adequately the next round. This is a BEASTLY workout, and all you need are dumbbells. This can be done anywhere! No excuses! The perfect workout to stay hungry and fit!

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Up close and personal with Nymeria

Up close and personal with Nymeria

Exciting Changes and Renovations

Some of you might have noticed while some of you may not have. We hope that you have because recently we have been putting more time into Hungry & Fit’s website to make it better. You might have noticed the overall change in format, addition of colors, change of fonts and some new options on the home page. We have also added many pages that are somewhat lacking but will be getting filled out in the near future.

handf

The about page is obviously the same for now and has very short bios about our family. The credentials page is a professional page for our business partners and interested clients that want to see what makes us worth their time and money. The giveaways page is a new feature where we give one or more new prizes away every month. Sometimes, it will be to random individuals and sometimes we will offer contests. Check now to see the contest to get Moosejaw red sunglasses. They are really nice and comfortable and have great UV protection.

Moosejaw

H&F’s Friends has links and information to all of our business partners and favorite places. Hungry & Fit Nation has links to all of our other social media outlets and services including Bodyspace, YouTube, Twitter, and many more to come in the future including NationBuilder. Our Services includes all of our free and paid for online and live services that we offer. This includes online personal training and consultations, in person training and boot camps, and also our dog walking and sitting services. Testimonials are a professional page similar to credentials that will help those interested in our services see who and how we have helped people in the past in our time in the industry. Finally, The Gallery is a collection of all of our favorite pictures that sums up who Hungry and Fit really are. Some include us, some include animals, food, fitness and a whole mix of everything we love. Please feel free to stop by any of our new pages and show some support. If you’re interested in our services, email us at hungryandfit@gmail.com or just keep reading our free blog posts to stay hungry and fit!

bendingwood

alanaplacidbison

6 Exercises You Should Be Doing Over 60

And even if you’re not over 60–these exercises help everyone. I work a lot with the older population and it’s never too early to make sure you age gracefully. Even as we get older, more stiff, and less agile, it’s still–no, MORE–important to exercise and keep active. The more we move, the better we feel.

The body strongly dislikes being inactive and has a way of turning on the body. Whether that means weight gain, arthritis, stiffness, and/or loss of flexibility. Just to name a few. Another big loss as we get older is balance. Falls are one of the biggest problems for seniors, and it’s never too early to start practicing. Try at least 3 of these each day:

1. Calf raises. Stand up straight. If you’re unsure of your balance, make sure you stand near something to hold onto (a chair, wall, anything sturdy). Rise forward onto your toes, leaving your heels off the ground. Slowly come down. Do 12 repetitions for 3 sets. 

2. Rotator cuff stretch. This one requires a resistance band or tube. As we get older, we notice our shoulders deteriorating faster and getting injuries easier. Use this exercise to make sure you don’t hurt your rotator cuff. Tie the resistance band around a pole or bed post. Stand a few feet away and grab the other end. Rotate your elbow like a door hinge towards you and slowly back out. Control is the key here. Nice and slow, really use those muscles. Switch on other side. 12 repetitions for 3 sets.

rotatorcuffImage Source

3. Single-leg balance. It’s as simple as it sounds. Make sure you have something nearby to hold onto and lift up one leg, so that you’re standing just on one. Hold it for 20 seconds. Switch. Do 2 sets.

4. Laying twists. This is a great stretch for flexibility and stretching out your muscles–especially in your back. Start by laying down and spreading your arms into a T. Now drape your right leg over your left and look towards the right. You want to make sure your hips are twisting. If both shoulder blades are not on the ground, you’re moving your leg a little too far for your body. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on other side. Do 2 sets.

5. Opposite lifts. This is a core-strengthener. Lay down flat on a mat, arms by your side. Lift up the right arm and left leg at the same time. Now, you only want to lift the leg about 6 inches maximum from the ground. This is the point where your tummy really has to work to keep it up. Contract your abdominals. Lower both extremities, and perform on the other side. 12 repetitions for 3 sets. 

6. Cat/cow rotation. This is taken from yoga. Go onto all fours. When you inhale, lift your head up and invert your spine. When you exhale, move your head down and arch your back. Do about 10 rotations, 2 sets. 

Again, these are good for ANYONE. But especially if you’re over 60, put this into your routine. Either when you get up in the morning, during a commercial on TV, or before bed–make time for it. After all, it is your health. If you’re having trouble coming up with a routine and sticking to it, a personal trainer will probably be able to help. And we can always answer questions here.

Cheers! And as always…stay hungry and fit!

Listen to Your Body

Listen to your body. It is a simple rule that many many many of us tend to forget, including myself. Well, perhaps forget is a rather passive word, but instead ignore. And what do we do? Keep pushing our bodies even though it’s saying, “Um, hi! I’m done now, please stop!” Many of us will call this “wimping out” or just a complaint that can be pushed through. But that is where you need to acquire a skill.

This skill is understanding and knowing your own body. Picking up on the language that your body uses to communicate with your mind. Often, beginners to fitness are a little out of tune with this language. It’s taken one of my clients several months to come to the point where he can really tune into his body and understand when it is telling him to stop or push just that one rep farther.

Working it right

Working it right

Take the time in your next workout to feel out what’s going on with your body. Try to learn the difference between muscle pain (good) and joint or tendon pain (bad). If your muscles are filling with lactic acid, you can feel that pressure, that burning pain, but you know you can just do one more rep to push your body to the proper place. And if you feel your elbow joint or rotator cuff hurting with a sharp pain as you continue to bench press or curl, you know to stop before pushing yourself to injury. You have to walk that tight rope of pain. You have to know which is which.

If you’re unsure, ask a trainer. Point out what’s bothering you and they can tell you if that’s A-OK (ripping muscle fibers to make them stronger!) or a big NO-NO (overly-stressing a joint or ligament). If they’re a good, quality trainer, they will want to help you. Don’t be afraid of asking. It could save you an injury or make a workout that much better.

Chris taking a rest day with the kittens

Chris taking a rest day with the kittens

Don’t be (too) stubborn. Now here, I really need to take my own advice. Tonight we did a chest and triceps workout (here’s a sample). My (we think) rotator cuff has been a bit strained and stressed lately and can get pretty painful with certain exercises like push-ups, chest press, shoulder exercises, and other triceps exercises on the bench. I endured it pretty well tonight, but it kept me from completing as full sets as I would like. However, even though I wanted to push myself harder, I knew that it was worn out after a good number of supersets. I wanted to do another superset or so, but I held back. I didn’t want to seriously injure anything. Often, I can be way too stubborn for my own good, but here is a prime example of listening to your body.

Working myself to a good place where my skin needs to get tougher!

Working myself to a good place where my skin needs to get tougher!

So next time you’re in the weight room or out on a run, keep a finely-tuned “ear” to your body and listen to it!

Cheers! And let us know if you have any questions!