Posts filed under "exercise"

Studies have recently found that a healthy diet, exercising and not smoking are known to reduce the risk of cancer.  These findings are nothing new.  As stated in an earlier blog, only 31% of American's are physically active and I am talking about putting in 30 minutes a day of exercise (from walking to running).  For many years science has suggested eating a certain way to prevent cancer, high blood pressure and even heart disease but the truth is exercise can lower the risk for various diseases all at the same time.  

The following healthy habits to reducing your risk of cancer are listed below:
1) Being physically active: According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine getting at least 2.7 hours of exercise a week will improve your overall health.  That is only 30 minutes a day for 5 days.  Runners, you already have a great advantage if you are on a training schedule for your next event. 
2) Maintaining a healthy weight:  Getting a yearly physical and check with your doctor will help determine your ideal weight.  What's important to watch is your waist to hip ratio, listening to your doctor and making sure you are maintaining your weight in the healthiest way possible.
3) Eating a healthy diet:  Yes, those chips and cookies will have to go "bye-bye".  Eating more fruit and vegetables rich in color will help not only prevent various cancers but also help with high cholesterol and blood pressure.  
4) Keeping cholesterol under control: Again, talk to your doctor about your cholesterol levels.  Learn what is good cholesterol and what is bad. . .get educated and stick to your doctor's plan.  
5) Lowering blood pressure:  Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries and with high blood pressure, it is moving through your arteries higher than normal.  Many times, high blood pressure is silent, which means you may not feel the symptoms.  Get regular check up s with your doctor because this is a common health problem.  
6) Keeping blood sugar in check:  Checking your blood pressure helps you see how food, physical activity and medicine affect your blood sugar levels.  Your doctor can determine how often you need to check it and what your target blood sugar levels should be.  
7) Do not smoke.  I want to say more about this but just saying "Just DON'T SMOKE" is enough!  If I list reasons why "NOT to SMOKE" this blog entry would be WAY too long.

There are so many new studies out on how to prevent cancer. Scientists are getting closer and closer every day on fighting this deadly disease.  I am always reading about what needs to be done to prevent cancer since it has run in my family.  So, in the meantime, let's try and prevent future cases, get involved in a sport that you thoroughly enjoy doing and get your heart rate up 2-3 times a week to get you on the right track to a healthier you!

Motivational Monday

During the weekend and every weekend, I have the privilege to be a part of approximately 90 individual fitness lives each week. That's not a huge number compared to some of my colleagues but when you are a group fitness instructor and see the dedication of members that come to your classes week after week. . .its more than just being in front of people directing them on what to do. Once I realized that what I provide for them is a handful of motivation, I want to bring my best!

One of the reasons why I believe in fitness and running for everyone is the satisfaction you feel when you complete anything with your body you didn't think you could achieve. Visualizing yourself as a different person, a new person makes you want to run an extra mile, do an extra sit-up or just push yourself to the next level.

In the classes that I teach, I have a person of every age, physical ability and ethnicity. Some that walk through those doors would not be considered an athlete according to "society's" standards but MAN, forget about "society's" standards. If you enter the room, sweat and push yourself. . .you are an athlete. If you are thinking about taking a class, boot camp or join a running club, do not get hooked up on what others look like or be intimidated by the instructor. Even thou you are there for "you", everyone there wants to see you succeed in your fitness goal.

Look, obesity and living an unhealthy lifestyle is growing at CraZy rate! It is estimated, for the first time,  that our children will have a shorter life spam because of the non-activities in their lives.  When you walk through the malls or grocery stores, it's almost the norm to be over weight and it doesn't have to be that way. Physical fitness should not be a chore or something that is not fun to look forward to, it is part of your lifestyle. With my participants, they know that they have to work hard but it will be fun and rewarding at the end.

Let's fight obesity together and support each other to be in the best shape of our lives.  Happy  Monday!


Posted on March 11, 2013 and filed under "exercise", "fitness", "get into shape", "men", "motivational monday", "women".

Working with a stability ball is a great way to work your entire body and strengthen your core at the same time.  Here, I am working out the fitness expert Kate Deering of KateDFitness.  You can do this at your local gym or at home.  Either way, have fun...keep moving...and always challenge your body!

Posted on November 7, 2012 and filed under "core workout", "exercise", "fitness", "health", "stability ball".

for Runners

Running is one of the highest participating sports in the world and there's a good reason for that.  Running is the best way to improve your cardiovascular fitness and burn body fat in the shortest amount of time.  It's a simple and inexpensive sport to jump start and it's good for your overall health.  So, once you start to put one foot in front of the other, get some miles under your belt and then run your first event. . .then what? Yes, you become addicted!  Your entire mindset starts to change because you accomplished something that possibly weeks prior you thought it would be impossible.  Now what? What do you do next? How can you get stronger and faster and AHHHH. . .better?. . .the answer CROSS TRAINING!

Yes, running is the highest participating sport but it's the one sport with the highest number of injuries as well.  Yes, you improve your cardiovascular fitness and burn body fat faster but if you are looking to get lean, mean and become a machine, cross training will help burn body fat over a longer period of time.  So, once you are ready to go to the next level, where do you begin?  Well, lucky for you, you have options.

I would first suggest starting with a personal trainer. Why? A personal trainer can assess your basic fitness level and provide a strong base to start from.  Second, a personal trainer can introduce you to cross training exercises safely and effectively.  Many of us just hit the gym and wonder later why we are still getting injured?  Well, there is a proper way to hit the gym and a PT can show you how.  **Small Tip: A good personal trainer is there to set you up to workout on your own correctly.**  Third,  having that one-on-one contact is so beneficial in getting the results that work specifically for "you".

Next, there are group training classes like Body Pump, Cross Fit and "runner specific" Boot Camps that can get your body moving in ways that running can not.  Back in 2008 when I started to get involved with cross training, particularly Body Pump, I noticed a change in the way my body looked and how it reacted in my running events.  I noticed all of my times drop considerably from my 5K time to my 1/2 marathons.  I felt stronger and lasted longer during my events!

When you are running, the body works in what trainers call the medial or sagittal plane.  That means your legs and arms move from front to back to put your body in motion.  When you cross train you have the ability to exercise the body in the frontal plane (moving the body from side to side) and also the transverse plane (rotating the body using your upper and lower body).  When you move the body in these different planes you build muscle and exercise tendons that you normally do not use in running.  This allows your body to resist injury, build muscle to protect tendons/bones and gives you more power when you run.  If you watched any of the "behind the scenes" coverage of Olympic runners training regime,  they use weight lifting, TRX training and plyometrics to gain power.

This week, I will introduce you to various types of cross training for runners.  Just remember, if you are putting in a lot of miles during the week, there is no need to load on go heavy on your legs.  Keep it light and simple, just enough to maintain what you have and never hesitate to talk to your trainer on what will or will not work for you as a runner.  If you take a group fitness class, you should be directed by your instructor on what you should use and how much you should use when working out.  You can always ask questions before and/or after class on what is appropriate for you as a runner and NEVER stop asking!

Key note: While training for your next event, if you are running 3 to 5 times a week, cross train 2-3 times a week.  Spread the workouts a day apart (for proper recovery) and stretch every night before hitting the sack!

As always keep RUNNING and sprinkle a little "cross training" to add a little spice to your workout plan! 

Checking out their Running Form
Not all runners are created equal and the more you workout with your favorite running/workout partner the more this statement is true! Right? Well, after one day of working out with me, my husband called in a substitute.  SHE is about 5'3", nothing but legs and her shoe size is a bit larger than mine. . .OH! and by the way, she can RUN! Yep, he got his own daughter to take his place.  Whatever Mr. Man. . .bring it! LOL!

It's all good and I am very happy that we ran together because it inspired this blog entry today!  The one thing that my daughter and I have been working on is her form.  Younger runners, especially kids in middle school and high school run purely off of youth.  What do I mean by that? These kids work with what they've got until a coach comes along and fixes running mechanics.  They still don't have full control of how to use their bodies so as a coach, you can just send them out there and just let them go, have fun! There is plenty of time to correct technique, control their mileage and let them enjoy the sport of running.  But as we get older and set in our ways. . .we do what we want to do and when we get injured, we blame our age.  Yes, we make it complicated. 

When I fell in love with running I was in the 8th grade.  It was fun and at that time, we would just go out there and run until heads fell off!  Once I got to high school and my coach found out I was pretty fast, we had to work on my mechanics quickly.  My toes would turn in, my stride was WAY too long and my arms were EVERYWHERE! It took almost a year to correct all of that, but we got most of it under control and it worked because I started getting scholarship offers all over the country and decided on the University of MO where Coach Gatson perfected the form. . .just not my head! LOL!

How can your partner help you?
The one great thing about couples week, you have a partner who is painfully honest with you and that's the best coaching you can get!   Here are just a few things tips that you guys and gals can follow to help one another run better and fix little things that can make you faster too!

1st.  How do you know your form is off? If you run for a nice period of time and you tend to have the same pain in your back, neck, side of leg and sometimes even your foot. You are putting stress on one part of your body in order to maintain the form you currently have.

2nd. How can I correct my form? If you have access to a treadmill and a trainer/coach to watch your form, start there.  This is where your partner can help out (along with a trainer) and watch you run.  Run on a treadmill for about 5 minutes at a nice pace.  Have them watch your head, shoulders and hand placement.  Also, if you can have them watch you from the back and make sure that your chest is up, your body is straight and you are not leaning to the side in any way, you are good.

3rd.  What is a quick description of good form? First, just relax and shake it out. Second, relax your shoulders and keep them away from your ears.   That sounds a bit crazy but when you start to get tired your shoulders will rise up putting tension in your neck and upper back.  Third, take deep breaths in and out as you run; particularly in with your nose and out with your mouth.  This allows the air to be filtered and controlled while you run.  Last, make sure your hips are square and you are not leaning to the side, back or too forward.  Your knees should come up and below your hip line and again stay relaxed through your breathing.  If you are leaning to the side and your hips are not square, the first thing to go is your lower back and trust me, you don't want that.  The breathing will keep the oxygen flow consistent and your body relaxed as you run.  

If you check out the picture to your right, the runner on the right has the ideal form.  Her shoulders are relaxed, chest is up while her head and chin are naturally upright.  She is running incredibly fast but has maintained her posture to win this race.  The young lady on the side of her has broken her form but having her head down and cocked to the side.  Her shoulder that we can barely see is higher then the shoulder we CAN see because of her head.  I already know that she will not win this race.  The difference is slight between the two but it's there and it will effect their race.  

Keep these tips in mind, run happy and just have fun!

Congratulations to the Men's Swim Team and the 
Women's Gymnastics Team! We are so proud of you!

Posted on August 1, 2012 and filed under "couples", "exercise", "fitness", "form", "partner running", "running".