It's About Time

If you have ever spent more that 5 minutes with me, it is fairly obvious that I love fitness. I have learned so much (sometimes the hard way) in the 30 years that I have been teaching. What better way to share my passion than to start a blog and pass on the information that I share with clients on a day-to-day basis.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Amazing Abs in April-Day 5

This abdominal day will focus a lot on compression and stabilization.  I incorporate a small ball to do the exercises.  The ball is very soft and light weight.

Small Ball Leg Extensions- Starting Position-Picture 1
 Starting Position:
         1.  Feet and knees pressing together.  Ball is NOT between knees
         2.  Hands behind head
         3.  Elbows closed in and on opposite side of the ball.  Ball is NOT between elbows
         4.  Hold ball between elbows and knees by curling up into a crunch position
         5.  Compress abs
         6.  Isometric compression between knees and elbows
         INHALE-Reach one leg while maintain a 3-point connection between elbows and one knee
         EXHALE-Slowly draw leg back in
         INHALE-Reach other leg out
         REPEAT exercise for 30 seconds

Focus of Exercise:  Stabilize and strengthen abdominals with compression while adding proximal movement

Tips:
         1.  Think of curling up to knees and not pulling knees into chest
         2.  Maintain pelvic placement in neutral.  Don't tuck your pelvis under
         3.  Compress abs.  Slide ribs down to hip bones
         4.  The harder you press your elbows into your knees the better
         5.  Squeeze your adductors to help engage deep abdominals
         6.  Maintain flat abdominals through inhale and exhale
         7.  Keep foot on top leg in line with knee.  Don't let it just hang there
Stop:
         1.  Avoid body rocking side to side
         2.  Avoid rapid movement of legs which will emphasize hip flexor engaging
         3.  Avoid trampoline effect which is reaching you leg out to full length and then snapping it right back in.  Hold that leg out there for a second
         4.  Avoid pulling on your head and neck
Small Ball Leg Extension-Hold ball with abdominal compression and extend one leg-Picture 2

Small Ball Leg Extension-Extend other leg-Picture 3



Small Ball Obliques-Starting Position-Picture 1
Starting Position:
         1.  Feet and knees pressing together.  Ball is NOT between knees
         2.  Hands behind head
         3.  Elbows closed in and on opposite side of the ball.  Ball is NOT between elbows
         4.  Hold ball between elbows and knees by curling up into a crunch position
         5.  Compress abs
         6.  Isometric compression between knees and elbows
         INHALE-Hold starting position
         EXHALE-Rotate upper body to one side while keeping contact and compression with opposite elbow and knee, while also simultaneously extending one leg
         INHALE-Return back to starting position
         EXHALE-Twist to other side
         REPEAT exercise 30 seconds

Focus of Exercise:  Stabilize pelvis and strengthen abdominals with compression  and rotation while adding proximal movement


Tips:
         1.  Think of curling up to knees and not pulling knees into chest
         2.  Maintain pelvic placement in neutral.  Don't tuck your pelvis under
         3.  Compress abs.  Slide ribs down to hip bones
         4.  The harder you press your elbows into your knees the better
         5.  Squeeze your adductors to help engage deep abdominals
         6.  Maintain flat abdominals through inhale and exhale
         7.  Keep foot on top leg in line with knee.  Don't let it just hang there
         8.  Remember that you are both flexing and rotating your spine
Stop:
         1.  Avoid body rocking side to side
         2.  Avoid rapid movement of legs which will emphasize hip flexor engaging
         3.  Avoid trampoline effect which is reaching you leg out to full length and then snapping it right back in.  Hold that leg out there for a second
         4.  Avoid pulling on your head and neck
         5.  Don't let your elbow drive the movement.  It comes from your core
         6.  Don't roll your upper body side to side on the floor.  Curl up

Small Ball Obliques-Opposite elbow and knee hold ball, extend one leg and twist upper body to opposite side-Pic 2

Small Ball Obliques-Twist to other side-Picture 3

Small Ball Compressions-Picture 1

Starting Position:

         1.  Feet and knees pressing together.  Ball is NOT between knees
         2.  Hands behind head
         3.  Elbows closed in and on opposite side of the ball.  Ball is NOT between elbows
         4.  Hold ball between elbows and knees by curling up into a crunch position
         5.  Compress abs
         6.  Isometric compression between knees and elbows
         INHALE-Hold
         EXHALE-Use staccato breathing and rapidly press elbows into knees creating the movement from your ribs sliding down to your hips and not from pulling on your head.  Movement is minimal
         REPEAT exercise 30 seconds

Focus of Exercise:  Stabilize pelvis and strengthen abdominals with compression and leg adduction

Tips:

         1.  Think of curling up to knees and not pulling knees into chest
         2.  Maintain pelvic placement in neutral.  Don't tuck your pelvis under
         3.  Compress abs.  Slide ribs down to hip bones
         4.  The harder you press your elbows into your knees the better
         5.  Squeeze your adductors to help engage deep abdominals
         6.  Maintain flat abdominals through inhale and exhale
         7.  The smaller the ball the more you have to curl up
         8.  You can up something under your upper back to help you maintain your curl and avoid neck strain. Don't let the extra support do all the flexing of your spine for you

Stop:
         1.  Don't pull on your head and neck
         2.  Don't pull in with knees.  That is your hip flexors
         3.  Don't let you feet drop and just hang there

Amazing Abs in April-Day 4



This day I am using a large exercise ball.  If you don't have one, you can closely mimic a couple exercises with your feel on the cushion of your couch. You can just repeat the ones you are able to do without the equipment.

Ball Knee Tucks-Starting Position-Picture 1
Starting Position:
         1.  Feet together on top of the ball.  The closer the ball is to the core the easier it is
         2.  Hands directly under your shoulders
         3.  Body in one long line-Plank position
         4.  Abdominals compressed
         5.  Shoulder blades sliding down towards back pockets
         6.  Glutes engaged to help stabilize
         INHALE-Hold plank
         EXHALE-Initiate movement from abs, Lift with abdominals and simultaneously pull in knees
         INHALE-Roll back to full plank position
         REPEAT exercise 30 seconds

Focus of Exercise:  To utilize core in both a stability and flexion manner while also utilizing shoulder stability, and hip flexors and glutes

Tips:
         1.  Keep shoulder blades pulling down to your back pockets the entire time
         2.  Keep shoulders as square as possible and stacked above hands
         3.  Use core to maintain plank and then to initiate movement
         4.  Use glutes to help stabilize on ball
         5.  Keep head and neck level
         6.  Spread fingers wide to help distribute weight.  If you can't fold your wrists, hold weights in your hands and keep your wrist neutral.

Stop:
         1.  Avoid rocking or shifting weight forward over shoulders
         2.  Avoid piking or lifting with hips first which will encourage hip flexors  firing over abs
         3.  Avoid excessive movement of head and neck
         4.  Avoid dropping into low back when you roll back in to a plank position
         5.  Don't let your shoulders slide up to your ears.


Ball Knee Tuck- Pull knees and simultaneously lift and crunch abs-Picture 2

                                          


Ball Scoops-Starting Position-Picture 1
Starting Position:
         1.  Feet together on top of the ball.  The closer the ball is to the core the easier it is
         2.  Hands directly under your shoulders
         3.  Body in one long line-Plank position
         4.  Abdominals compressed
         5.  Shoulder blades sliding down towards belt line
         6.  Glutes engaged to help stabilize
         INHALE-Hold plank
         EXHALE-Initiate movement from abs, Lift with abdominals and nothing else, movement is very minimal but very effective.  It is a crunch against gravity
         REPEAT exercise 30 seconds  You can play with tempo on this one.  Do first set slow and the second one fast, etc.

Focus of Exercise:   To utilize core in both a stability and flexion manner while also utilizing shoulder stability, and hip flexors and glutes

Tips:
         1.  Keep shoulder blades pulling down to your back pockets the entire time
         2.  Keep shoulders as square as possible and stacked above hands
         3.  Use core to maintain plank and then to initiate movement.  Visualize that you can only lift with the core section between your hip bones and your rib cage.
         4.  Use glutes to help stabilize on ball
         5.  Keep head and neck level
         6.  Spread fingers wide to help distribute weight.  If you can't fold your wrists, hold weights in your hands and keep your wrist neutral.
         7.  Movement is very minimal.  Ball hardly moves
Stop:
         1.  Avoid rocking or shifting weight forward over shoulders
         2.  Avoid rounding at shoulder only.
         2.  Avoid piking or lifting with hips.  Isolate your core
         3.  Avoid excessive movement of head and neck
         4.  Avoid dropping into low back
         5.  Don't let your shoulders slide up to your ears.


Ball Scoops-Lift only with midsection-Picture 2


Ball Split Rolls-Starting Position-Picture 1

Starting Position:
         1.  Feet split slightly off sides of the ball.  You need to be able to to be on the top half of the ball to allow more movement but also legs low enough for the legs to be able to squeeze the ball.    The closer the ball is to core the easier it is         2.  Hands directly under your shoulders
         3.  Body in one long line-Plank position with feet apart
         4.  Abdominals compressed
         5.  Shoulder blades sliding down towards back pocket
         6.  Glutes engaged to help stabilize
         7.  Adductors-(Inner thigh) engaged and squeezing the ball
         INHALE-Initiate movement from abs and not dropping leg to roll the ball, twist lower body to one side
         EXHALE-Twist lower body back to starting plank position
         INHALE-Twist lower body to other side
         REPEAT exercise 30 seconds 

Focus of exercise:

Tips:
         1.  Think of rotation coming from abs, think of lifting second hip and not dropping first hip
         2.  Keep shoulder blades pulling down to your back pockets the entire time
         3.  Keep shoulders as square as possible and stacked above hands
         4.  Use core to maintain plank and then to initiate movement.
         5.  Use glutes to help stabilize on ball
         6.  Keep head and neck level
         7.  Spread fingers wide to help distribute weight.  If you can't fold your wrists, hold weights in your hands and keep your wrist neutral.
         8.  Keep your body in a long line
         9.  Engage adductors to squeeze the ball and help fire deep abdominals
Stop:
         1.   Don't let the momentum of the ball rolling side to side do your work
         2.   Avoid dropping hips to initiate movement
         3.  Avoid bending arms
         4.  Avoid shifting weight forward putting a lot of extra load on shoulders
Ball Split Rolls-Twist lower body to one side while shoulders stay square-Picture 2

Ball Split Rolls-Twisting slowly to other side-Picture 3




Sunday, March 24, 2013

Amazing Abs in April-Day 3

This set of exercises is performed with a medicine ball.  If you do not have one, any ball will do.   Good luck and get motivated.
Exercise 1-Medicine Ball Twist Side to Side (Picture 1)
Starting Position:
         1.  Sit on mat with knees bent and feet together
         2.  Abs compressed towards spine
         3.  Chest lifted
         4.  Hold medicine ball in front of ribs
         5.  Start with shoulders square to the front then twist side to side
         INHALE
         EXHALE-Keep ball close to mid-line and twist upper body side to side, right and left,
         INHALE-Sit up and throw med ball at wall
         EXHALE-Catch and rock back ( This exercise is fast.  Your exhale lasts while you roll back and twist)
         REPEAT for 30 seconds

Focus of Exercise:  Strengthen core with flexion, and rotation.  Hip Flexors and Scapular stabilizers are also used.

Tips:
         1.  Keep head and neck long
         2.  If you feel this in your back, put a small ball or cushion behind your low back for support
         3.  Don't take your eyes off the ball when you throw it.
         4.   Stabilize pelvis and hold it still
Stop:
         1.  Make your obliques do the twisting and minimize just throwing your arms side to side
         2.  Hold feet and knees still.  
         3.  Avoid shifting knees and feet like they are on pedals
         4.  Avoid over rounding upper back and keep shoulders down
         5.  Avoid the turtle effect (Don't lose your head between your shoulders)
       
Exercise 1-Med Ball Twist-Throw against wall (Picture 2)

Exercise 1-Med ball Twist-Catch Ball (Picture 3)
Exercise 1-Med Ball Twist-Roll back after catch (Picture 4)

Exercise 2-Med Ball Side Lean-Hold with both hands (Picture 1)
Starting Position:
         1.  Kneel on floor with knees shoulder width apart
         2.  Hold Medicine ball above head with arms straight.
         3.  Shoulders are down
         4.  Abdominals are compressed
         INHALE-Begin lean to one side and transferring ball to outside hand, shifting weight to one leg and lifting the other
         EXHALE-Continue to move to furthest position
         INHALE-Hold furthest position for 5 seconds
         EXHALE-Return to kneeling position
         REPEAT ON SAME SIDE for 30 seconds

Focus of Exercise:  Core stabilization, biasing recruitment of abdominals, hip stability and strength

Tips:
         1.  Imagine sliding on a wall with you body remaining in a straight line
         2.  Keep shoulders down
         3.  The farther the weight is transferred outside the mid-line of your body, the harder it is
         4.  Keep the distance between your ribs and hips the same on both sides of your body
         5.  Don't worry if you tip over a couple of times.  It will get better
         6.  Remain looking forward the entire exercise
Stop:
         1.  Avoid arching or rounding your back
         2.  Don't let your shoulders creep up
         3.  Avoid collapsing down to the floor
         4.  Avoid looking down at the floor

Exercise 2-Med Ball Side Lean-Let go with top hand, lean more (Picture 2)
Exercise 2-Med Ball Side Lean-Hold 5 seconds (Picture 3)
                                      
Exercise 3-Med Ball Roll Backs-Roll Back with ball above (Picture 1)
Starting Position:
         1.  Sit on floor with knees bent
         2.  Hold Medicine ball above head with arms straight.
         3.  Shoulders are down
         4.  Abdominals are compressed
         INHALE-Hold position
         EXHALE-Roll back with arms above your  head
         INHALE-Hold
         EXHALE-Sit up and simultaneously throw ball (Option to just sit up or have someone to throw to))
         REPEAT for 30 seconds

Focus of Exercise:  Strengthen core with flexion..  Hip Flexors and Scapular stabilizers, shoulders are also used

Tips:
         1.  Make your core your prime worker and not just using momentum and your arms
         2.  Keep your shoulders down 
         3.  Compress abdominals.  Lift belly button up
         4.  The longer the arms the longer the lever and the more difficult it becomes.
Stop:
         1.  Avoid your legs straightening
         2.  Avoid dumping down into your core when you roll back.  Keep body long
         3.  Avoid the turtle effect (Don't lose your head between your shoulders)

Exercise 3-Med Ball Roll Back-Sit up and throw or hold ball above (Picture 2)

Exercise 3-Med Ball Roll Back-Catch ball or bring arms down (Picture 3)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Amazing Abs in April-Day 2

I hope you are gearing up to do our April Abs challenge.  Below I am posting the pictures and instructions for the next set of abs.

Elbow Plank

Starting Position:
         1.  Elbows on floor or BOSU
         2.  Legs together and extended out behind you. (wider legs help with stability)
         3.  Shoulder blades reaching downward to back pockets
         4.  Sternum lifted upwards towards face
         INHALE and EXHALE-Breath slowly and deeply while holding strong position
REPEAT  for 30 seconds

Focus of exercise:  To improve stability strength and proprioceptive awareness of where your body is in space.

Tips:
         1.  Avoid rounding shoulders or upper back.
         2.  Can also be performed on knees
         3.  Keep body as one straight line
         4.  Engage abs, adductor muscles (inner thigh), glutes, shoulder stabilizers
         5.  Keep elbows under shoulders.
         6.  Keep head and neck level reaching head and feet in opposite directions (get long)
Stop:
         1.  Avoid hanging down on your joints.  Lift up and contract muscles
         2.  Don't rely on just holding position to do the work.  Envision muscles working and contract
         3.  Don't fall into shoulders or allow them to fall underneath you

Plank Knee Twist Starting Position-Picture 1
 Starting Position:
         1.  Plank position on hands which can be on the floor on on a BOSU

         2.  Legs together and extended out behind you. (wider legs help with stability)
         3.  Shoulder blades reaching downward to back pockets
         4.  Sternum lifted upwards towards face
         INHALE-Hold Plank position (See Picture 1)
         EXHALE- Shift weight back and simultaneously lift back leg (See Picture 2)
         INHALE-Shift back to straight plank position (See Picture 1)
         EXHALE-Rotate knee across body twisting lower half of body while keeping upper body as square as possible (See Picture 3)
         REPEAT 30 seconds-You can alternate legs for the time or challenge yourself and do 30 seconds on each side.

Focus of exercise: To utilize core in both a stability and rotational manner while also utilizing shoulder stability and glute strength.

Tips:
         1.  Keep shoulder blades pulling down to your back pockets the entire time
         2.  Keep shoulders as square as possible
         3.  Use your core to maintain straight plank position
         4.  Sternum lifts up towards face
         5.  Use glutes to lift leg up ceiling to form a straight line
         6.  Keep head and neck level
Stop:
         1.  Avoid collapsing into low back as you drop into plank
         2.  Avoid dropping your hips as you rotate
         3.  Avoid dropping head
         4.  Avoid letting shoulder slide up to your ears

Plank Knee Twist shift back with leg lift lift-Picture 2


Plank knee twist-Picture 3

Side Elbow Plank
Starting Position:
         1.  Elbow is directly under shoulder
         2.  Feet can be in several different positions depending on fitness level (Knees bent, top leg straight, legs staggered, both legs straight, top leg lifted)
         3.  Body is a straight line as if it was pressed against a wall
         4.  Shoulders down away from ears
         INHALE-EXHALE-Breath slowly and deeply while holding strong position
         REPEAT 30 seconds for each side-You may further challenge your self by adding a lift with your obliques

Focus of exercise:  To improve stability strength and proprioceptive awareness of where your body is in space.

Tips:
         1.  Keep shoulder blades pulling down to your back pockets the entire time
         2.  Keep shoulders as square as possible
         3.  Use your core to maintain straight plank position
         4.  Sternum lifts up towards face
         5.  Keep distance between ribs and hip equal on both side
         6.  Keep your head and neck as part of your straight line
Stop:
         1.  Avoid lifting hips
         2.  Avoid hanging on shoulder joint
         3.  Avoid rounding or overextending back.  Maintain that straight line


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Amazing Abs in April 2013

This is going to be such a fun challenge.  Whether you are a daily exerciser or someone just getting their exercise program started, it doesn't matter.  It is time for all of us to focus on our core.  I have put together a calendar of exercises that you can do every day for the month of April.  You can progress with the calendar or you can just repeat week one until you are ready to move on.  Our abdominal muscles run in several different directions, and have several different functions so we must train them that way. Check out my earlier post about abdominals to get more information on your core.( http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=5567953846114547275#editor/target=post;postID=2839172510571183109)  If you use my calendar you will be performing flexion, rotation, lateral flexion, compression, and stabilization and by doing all of those movements you will develop a wickedly strong core.  Below you will see the calendar for April.  I am also posting the first series of exercises to be started on Monday.  I will be post pictures and instructions for each day.  Share with everyone.  Core strength is more than just looking good, it is feeling good from the inside out.
Click on the calender for a closer look.
Here is the first series of exercises.  Each day uses a different piece of equipment.  Enjoy!!!!!!

Monday is designed to be used with a BOSU but can also be done on the ground or on any other balance tool.  Don't let the lack of equipment stop you from joining in.  Repeat these three exercises 3 times.  I use my Tabata timer on my phone to time me 30 seconds with 5 second breaks in between my work loads.  That way I can focus on my form and my work and not at looking at the clock.
BOSU Crunches
Starting Position:
         1.  Feet in neutral, hip distance apart with knees bent
         2.  Hands behind head, elbows slightly in
         3.  Pelvis in neutral
         INHALE 
         EXHALE-Curl up upper body by sliding ribs down to hips with a slow and controlled motion
         INHALE-Return back to neutral position
Repeat for 30 seconds
       
Focus of the exercise:  To strengthen and flatten abs from a neutral position to a flexed position
Tips:  
         1.  Keep upper body relaxed, shoulders wide, neck long
         2.  Maintain pelvic placement in neutral.  Don't tuck your pelvis under
         3.  Create movement from abdominals.  Slide ribs down to hip bones
         4.  Maintain flat abdominals through inhale and exhale
         5.  Pull belly button to spine
         6.  Keep hips at same height to avoid teeter-totter effect
Stop:
         1.  Avoid arching your back to take the same shape as the BOSU
         2.  Avoid using leg and glute strength to curl up
         3.  Keep shoulders from rounding forward
         4.  Keep from pushing abdominals out when performing exercise
         5.  Avoid rocking body forward and backwards
         6.  Avoid ribs popping up to the ceiling and arching your back.
         7.  Avoid throwing your self up for curl.  Use slow and controlled movements
                                    
Hop Hold-Left Knee Up

Starting Position:
         1.  Feet in neutral, hip distance apart with knees bent
         2.  Hands behind head, elbows slightly in
         3.  Pelvis in neutral
         INHALE 
         EXHALE-Lift left knee up at a right angle (table top), pause
         INHALE-Switch and lift other leg into table top position with feet exchanging in the air
Repeat for 30 seconds

Focus of exercise:  Stabilize and strengthen abdominals while adding proximal movement
Tips:
         1.  Hold core neutral and as still as possible by using abdominals to stabilize movement
         2.  Nod chin and relax neck
         3.  Keep elbows open and wide
         4.  Start with feet together on the floor
         5.  Keep shoulders from rounding forward
         6.  Keep from pushing abdominals out when performing exercise
         7.  Land softly with your feet
Stop:
         1.  Avoid rapid transfer of feet.  Make your abs hold position
         2.  Avoid flattening out body.  Puts a lot of tension on the neck
         3.  Avoid rocking body side to side or jumping around (good luck)

Hop Hold-Right Knee Up
                                       
Oblique-Alternating knee lift-front view
Starting Position:
         1.  Feet in neutral, hip distance apart with knees bent
         2.  Hands behind head, elbows slightly in
         3.  Pelvis in neutral
         INHALE 
         EXHALE-Lift one leg into table top, simultaneously rotate in the direction of the knee
         INHALE-Rotate back to neutral
         EXHALE-Rotate to other side with opposite knee
Repeat exercise 30 seconds

Focus of exercise:  Strengthen abdominals and increase pelvic stability
Tips:  
         1.  Keep elbows open and wide
         2.  Goal of exercise is to be performed in neutral if you feel stress in back, use imprint position (press                            back into BOSU)
         3.  Use abs to rotate body not shoulders or arms
         4.  Imagine lifting rib cage up and over to opposite hip
         5.  As you rotate to left, anchor right hip to mat and repeat on opposite side
         6.  Stay curled up in between rotations.  Flattening the back tends to kick in your back extensors
         7.  Keep your feet close together in between lifts
Stop:
         1.  Don't pull on your head and neck
         2.  Keep from shifting hips
         3.  Keep legs from moving from side to side
         4.  Don't lead rotation from yours arms.  Do it from your obliques
         5.  Avoid rapid fire and focus on depth of contraction on rotation


Oblique-Alternating knee lift-back view

Physical Fitness and its Role in Fighting Cancer


I love to have other people post on my blog.  It is so refreshing to hear how exercise has impacted the lives of many out there.  Melanie Bowen has written the article below about how exercise can help prevent cancer.  Melanie Bowen joined the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance in  2011 as an awareness advocate for natural health and cancer cure initiatives.  You will often find her highlighting the great benefits of alternative nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those diagnosed with cancer or other serious illnesses.  Melanie also assists in social media outreach in her efforts to spread awareness.  In her spare time, you can find Melanie trying new vegan recipes, on her yoga mat, or spending time with her family.  Please enjoy her article.
Physical Fitness and its Role in Fighting Cancer

By now, almost everyone knows how certain activities affect the risk of developing cancer. The link between lung cancer and smoking has been well established, and many people know that asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma. However, many people do not know that your fitness level affects your chances of developing cancer and your odds of fighting it successfully. Here are a few facts about how physical fitness and cancer interact.

Cancer Prevention?

It has long been known that obesity is linked to a number of cancers. In addition to reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes, doctors are now also telling patients that reducing their obesity will lower their cancer risk. Physical fitness combined with proper diet is the key to defeating obesity, and those who begin exercising will be less likely to develop cancer in the future.

However, studies have also shown that physical fitness has additional preventative effects. When researchers control for weight levels, they still see a correlation between being in great shape and being at a lower risk of cancer.

Endure Treatments Better?

One of the most difficult aspects of cancer is the fact that treatment can be so grueling. Chemotherapy is notoriously difficult, and those who endure chemotherapy know how draining it can be. Physical fitness can help people prepare for chemotherapy, and those who enter treatment in great shape will be better able to endure its rigors.

High levels of physical fitness can also help patients maintain a positive attitude through treatment. Studies have shown a correlation between physical fitness and mental health, and those who can enter treatment with a positive attitude will likely see better outcomes.

Recover From Treatment

Recovering from chemotherapy and other cancer treatments will be challenging, but research has shown that exercise can help. While it will take some time to get back to your former physical fitness levels, starting to walk as soon as possible can help place you on the road to recovery.
 Additionally, modern research has shown that those who remain in good shape after treatment has ended are less likely to develop cancer in the future. Physical fitness should be viewed as a means of reducing your likelihood of having to fight cancer again in the future. While exercise cannot completely prevent your cancer from returning, the correlation has been shown to be strong.
Feel free to check out more information from Melanie  http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/melanie/


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Metabolic Workout

Just what exactly is that?  Metabolic Conditioning Workout (MetCon) is a hot term used in our industry right now.  It can be executed several different ways but should incorporate these components.

  • Multi-energy pathway utilization (See below for explanation)
  • Multi-joint or compound exercises
  • High intensity
  • Limited rest
Metabolic refers how the body processes food into fuel allowing the muscles to perform.  When engaging in metabolic conditioning, you improve the muscles ability to use energy stores by improving their efficiency through a variety of metabolic pathways.  First, the energy for all physical activity comes from the conversion of high energy phosphates (ATP) to lower energy phosphates.  Since our muscles don't store much ATP we must constantly resynthesize it. The production can be achieved by using a coordinated response  of all energy systems contributing at different degrees.  You utilize three different systems in your body.  See chart below to learn about each system.

Energy Systems-Lisa Mathews


Phosphagen SystemAn effective workout for this system is short, very fast sprints on the treadmill or bike lasting 5–15 seconds with 3–5 minutes of rest between each. The long rest periods allow for complete replenishment of creatine phosphate in the muscles so it can be reused for the next interval.·         2 sets of 8 x 5 seconds at close to top speed with 3:00 passive rest and 5:00 rest between sets
·         5 x 10 seconds at close to top speed with 3:00–4:00 passive rest
GlycolysisThis system can be trained using fast intervals lasting 30 seconds to 2 minutes with an active-recovery period twice as long as the work period (1:2 work-to-rest ratio).·         8–10 x 30 seconds fast with 1:00 active recovery
·         4 x 1:30 fast with 3:00 active recovery
Aerobic SystemWhile the phosphagen system and glycolysis are best trained with intervals, because those metabolic systems are emphasized only during high-intensity activities, the aerobic system can be trained with both continuous exercise and intervals.·         60 minutes at 70%–75% maximum heart rate
·         15- to 20-minute tempo workout at lactate threshold intensity (about 80%–85% maximum heart rate)
·         5 x 3:00 at 95%–100% maximum heart rate with 3:00 active recoveryInformation provided by Jason Karp PhD, Idea Author/Presenter

I want to give you an example of a metabolic workout.  You can perform all of these exercises for 30 seconds and repeat these exercises for 4-6 rounds.  You will be utilizing both cardiovascular and strength components.  Remember that these types of exercise routines are not to be performed every day.  Work hard during your workout but be smart too.  

Good luck with these exercises.
  • Plie' squat with Bicep curl 4X/ tuck in weights and jump up 4X (See Video Below)
  • Deep Lunge with 4 rows/Hold deep front lunge and pull in back leg 4X (See Video Below)
  • Burpee/Overhead press 2-4X (See Video Below)
  • Walking Push Ups (See Video Below
REPEAT 4-6 X.  Keep your rests short between rounds. Videos were filmed for Tabata intervals but can be also used for your metabolic burn.  Thanks to Nick Allen for his help.

video

video

video

If you have any questions, please email me LisaMathews@comcast.net.  





Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How to beat these winter blues?



I happen to know this model.  Success story-She exercises now and is much happier.  Giggles.

Does our run of cold weather just want to make you go crazy and pull your hair out?  I know that spring is right round the corner, daylight savings is telling me so but I still feel cold.  I need a change to improve my mood and my workouts until I can get out side or see the sun on a regular basis.  

"If you are debilitated in the winter months in a way that seriously impacts the quality of your life, you may suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD).  Winter depression, as it is also called, is biochemical in nature, brought on my the lack of sunshine."

Exercise is a proven way to improve your mood.  Try some of these ideas to help you fight the funk you are in. 

  • Embrace the Season-Try and do an activity like snow shoeing, cross country skiing, skating and so on.  I know the snow is melting but there are still plenty of places to play in it.  We still have kids sledding down the big hill by our house.  Running back up the hill is a great form of cardiovascular exercise.  Here in Utah if the air quality is good, then bundle up and get out and enjoy the fresh air, no matter what the weather.
  • Swim-The pool is “Heated.”  Enjoy the warmth and still get your exercise in.  You don’t have to be a swimmer to enjoy this exercise change.  I’m a sinker not a swimmer but I can still get a great workout in the water. 
  • Running club-Join a running group or class.  Yes, you may be indoors at first but there will come a time when you can be outside.  I have a new running group starting this week and a lot of the time will be spent learning how to be a more efficient runner and improving your running  know-how. Find a fun race  that you can do together and work towards that fun event.
  • Treat yourself-Set some goals for yourself.  Once you reach those goals reward yourself with a new outfit, massage, or facial.  You deserve and it and it will be the boost you need to keep going.
  • Join a gym or get a trainer-If you can’t motivate yourself to keep going or beat the poor workout mood, then let a new class or your trainer motivate you.  They are there to motivate you but also push you to reach your goals.
  • Birkram Yoga-If you have tried all of the above activities and still need  some cheering up, then jump into this hot yoga class.  You won't have any problem warming up and you will feel much better both physically and mentally when you're done.



Let’s beat these blues together.