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Ditch the Reservations—Get Active with your Valentine!

February 4th, 2014 Yolanda Posted in Fitness, Main, Nutrition and Recipes No Comments »

 

Exercise produces chemicals in your brain that make you happier and decreases your stress—what better way to spend quality time with that special someone? Choose a unique, challenging and fun activity will build excitement in your relationship and help you form a deeper bond this Valentine’s Day. And since this love holiday falls on a Friday this year, you have all weekend to plan something fun. Here are some ideas for you and your Valentine to enjoy. Play like a kid, get sweaty and try something new!

Take It Outside

If weather allows you, enjoy the fresh air and get outside with your date.

Bike Riding + Froyo

Hiking + Trail Mix

Frisbee + Sandwiches

Kayaking + Smoothies

 

The Great Indoors

Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you can’t get active. Enjoy these fun indoor activities.

Indoor Rock Climbing + Sushi

Bowling + Cupcakes

Ice Skating + Hot Chocolate

Batting Cage + BBQ

 

Looking for something more to do with your loved on on Valentine’s Day?  Well, nothing says romance like chocolate!  Work up a sweat in the kitchen making these Chocolate Zucchini Brownies, cut them into bite-sized pieces, and spend the evening feeding each other these tasty treats….don’t forget to sprinkle!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!  ENJOY!

Recipe and photo courtesy of Crazy for Crust

Recipe and photo courtesy of Crazy for Crust

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Standing Ab Exercises

December 5th, 2013 Yolanda Posted in Fitness No Comments »

We all want a flat stomach and skinny waist but most of us aren’t willing to do what it takes to get the result we want.  Take me for instance…I HATE CRUNCHES!  There’s nothing worse than catching a glimpse of yourself in the mirror at the gym as you’re trying to do crunches, plus they are super uncomfortable.  I refuse to do them so I’ve had to find alternatives that will yield the same results.  Here are some awesome standing ab exercises that will help you tone your stomach and get rid of those love handles.  Remember, flat stomachs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.  Most of your effort should go into eating clean, drinking water, and sprinkling SENSA consistently.  Good luck to you!

 

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Get Fit Together

February 19th, 2013 Kardio Kate Posted in Fitness, Main No Comments »

Support_One_Another

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentines day has come and gone, but hopefully your New Year’s commitments to your health and fitness hasn’t followed suit!  Whether you are still on track to reaching your goals or if you’ve gotten out of the workout routine, now is the perfect time to reinvigorate your focus on being healthy while taking it to the next level by inspiring your significant other (or a friend or family member) to join you in getting fit together.  Research shows that 94% of couples stick with their fitness programs when they work out together.  It’s easy to slack off when you aren’t meeting someone for a workout, right?!  So, let’s motivate each other to shake up any usual habits that aren’t enhancing our health, such as that TV time, and replace it with activities that get you pumped and moving!  You’ll feel better and be building your relationship, talk about multi-tasking.

 

Challenge_Each_Other

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aerobic focused workouts are a great way to get moving and motivate each other along the way.  Try these:

 

Hiking:  Look into trails in your area, you can usually find a map at an outdoor retailer such as REI or look online for local hikes.  Always remember to bring water and fuel if you plan on going over an hour.  Start with half an hour and build from there.  Find a mountain to hike up together and enjoy spectacular views!

 

Biking:  You can do this at the gym or outside.  If you don’t own bikes look into renting some and make it an adventure.

 

Workout Studios or Gym Classes:  Check out studios and gyms in your area to find some classes that work for your schedules, try something new together, find a workout you both love then make it a regular routine!

 

 

Love_the_Weights

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plyometrics/Strength training is another great way to stay in shape.  Try these fun partner workouts to mix things up:

 

1. Rotating Squats.

  • Stand back to back with your partner and lower down together to a 90 degree angle like you are sitting in an invisible chair with knees over ankles.
  • Slowly in sync walk clockwise in a full circle moving simultaneously.
  • Hold the squat position for 20 seconds, then rotate back around counterclockwise for one set.

Start with one set and add more as you get stronger.

This exercise targets your glutes and legs.

 

2. Palm Touch Supermans

  • Facing your partner lie facedown on the floor.  Extend your arms so that your palms are completely touching
  • Keeping your palms touching the entire time, lift your chest and feet off floor a few inches.  Keep your head up by looking at each other.  Squeeze your glutes and hold for 20 to 30 seconds.

Start with one set and add more as you get stronger.

This exercise targets your lower back, hamstrings and glutes.

 

3. Alternating Jumps

  • Place a 5 to 10 inch box• between you.  Stand facing each other.
  • Start in a squat position, jump onto the box, then back off the box landing as lightly as possible.
  • Once you land your partner completes the same move.
  • Count together up to 30, each of you completing 15 jumps for one set.

Start with one set and build up as you get stronger.

This exercise targets your quadriceps and hamstrings.

*If you don’t have a box you can use a step in which case you would stand side by side instead of facing one another.

 

4. Triceps Extension

  • Face your partner, right foot in front of the left, holding one end of an exercise band (or towel) in your right hand. While your partner holds the other end in the left hand.
  • Contract your abs and bend forward at your hips with your knees slightly bent.
  • Slowly straighten your arm to pull back the band, then return to start. Keep your elbows up as high as possible throughout the entire move.
  • Complete 10 reps, then switch arms and repeat on other side for one set.

Start with one set and build up as you get stronger.

This exercise targets your triceps.

 

5. Push-Up Shoulder Tap

  • Face your partner in a push up (or modified with knees on the floor) position.
  • Bend your arms and lower your body towards the floor keeping your abs engaged and your back flat.
  • Push back up to the starting position, lift your right hand and tap your partners left shoulder.  Your partner lifts their left hand and taps your right shoulder at the same time.
  • Complete ten reps, alternating hand taps each time for one set.

Start with one set and build up as you get stronger.

This exercise targets your shoulders and arms.

 

6.  Plank Reaches

  • Lie on your stomach, facing your partner. Keep elbows under shoulders, palms flat on floor, and toes tucked under.
  • Using your abdominals raise your body off the floor and keep your torso elevated.  Reach forward with your right hand high five your partner’s right hand. Return to plank position.
  • Switch arms and repeat ten times on each side for one set.

Start with one set and build up as you get stronger.

This exercise targets your abdomen.

 

Always make sure you warm up before your workouts (you’ll know you are properly warmed up when you are already breaking a sweat, your heart rate is elevated and breathing is heavier) and check with your doctor prior to starting a new routine.

 

 

Working out with a partner will keep you accountable and will continue to strengthen bonds.  Plus pushing through hard times together is always more fun!

 

Yours in Health,

 

Kardio Kate

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Petra Kolber Partners with SENSA to Help You Get Fit in 10 Minutes!

January 31st, 2013 Yolanda Posted in Contests and Promotions, Fitness, Main 15 Comments »

Get Moving DVD's

Who’s ready to get their workout on?  Ok…I’m hearing crickets…

I know it’s hard and tiring…and you have to keep doing it, but trust me, once you get started and make exercising part of your life, you will thank me for it.  Generally, when people think about working out, they envision a tortuous hour in the gym, surrounded by shapely, toned women in spandex, hardly breaking a sweat, while they run on the treadmill.  Well, here’s the thing…I don’t run unless I’m being chased or forced to at gunpoint.  I also don’t look cute when I’m working out, and I sweat…a lot.  But, that doesn’t stop me from getting my booty to the gym and working out. I have goals, and so do you…working out will help you reach them.  Not only that, you’ll be happier (oh hey endorphins), stronger (your bones will thank you too when you’re 80), and look better in your clothes (good day muffin top).  Still don’t want to hit the gym?  Well, we got you covered with our new Only 10 Get Moving DVD Series!  Now, you can get your sweat on in the comfort of your own home, without the annoyingly beautiful blonde bouncing next to you…enticed, intrigued, excited?  I know, so am I!

The Only 10 Get Moving DVD Series are led my Petra Kolber, a  ACSM-certified fitness instructor and motivational speaker with over 20 years of experience. One of the leading fitness experts in the world, Petra has choreographed and starred in 25 award-winning fitness DVDs.  She and two of fellow fitness enthusiasts lead you in 10 minute exercise sessions that can fit into anyone’s busy schedule.  Each DVD features a 10-minute Cardio, 10-minute Strength and 10-minute Restore set, plus a special bonus section. Users can do any of the 10-minute workouts to get moving, or mix and match them for a longer total body workout.

The series is built around three progressive levels:

  • Level 1: Believe (Running Time Approx. 40 Minutes) – Designed to help users incorporate more physical activity in their everyday life, Believe features simple, straightforward moves, focusing on proper form and helping to improve endurance.
  • Level 2: Motivate (Running Time Approx. 41 Minutes)– Designed to inspire users to keep the momentum going, Motivate picks up where Believe (Level 1) left off, raising the intensity level and introducing more dynamic moves for an effective, results-focused workout.
  • Level 3: Achieve (Running Time Approx. 44 Minutes)– Designed to empower users to achieve better health, Achieve builds off the moves from Believe (Level 1) and Motivate (Level 2) to help them burn even more calories and reach their fitness goals.

shop-sensa-quench-petra-dvds-FB-shopSounds good right?  We actually got a chance to go a group workout to the DVD’s in the SENSA office, and they were a big hit!  So, what are you waiting for? Go online to http://www.trysensa.com/order-sensa.htm  and get the series today!  Right now we have an amazing deal exclusive to our amazing Facebook Fans called the SENSA Get Fit Kit!  When you order any flavor of QUENCH, you’ll get the SENSA new workout DVD series with simple 10-minute exercise sessions that can fit into even the busiest of schedules. Plus, you’ll also get a SENSA® water bottle so you can stay hydrated on-the-go. I hope you take advantage of this amazing deal!

In the meantime, I am giving 3 lucky readers the chance to win a SENSA Get Fit Kit!  Just leave a comment letting me know how SENSA has helped you get fit!  3 winners will be chosen randomly on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 11am, PST.  Make sure to leave your email address so I can get in touch with you (don’t worry, it’s private, only we can see that).  Good luck and stay motivated!  YOU CAN DO IT!

Yolanda

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Fit for Life: Tips for Beginning Fitness & Staying Motivated

January 10th, 2013 Kardio Kate Posted in Fitness, Main No Comments »

Working Out Outside with Friends

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”– Will Rogers

It’s a new year!  You may be overflowing with motivation to tackle the next step in your fitness, but where do you begin and how do you keep this momentum alive for the entire year…or even better, for life?!  Let’s take a look at how to successfully start a workout regimen and tips to create fitness as an integral part of your lifestyle.

 

By Flickr user QUENTIQ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEGINNING FITNESS TIPS:

Work your mind. Resist comparing your current self to others or where you may have been in your past.  Instead, choose to focus on moving forward and doing your best each workout.

Find your why. Make a fitness commitment to yourself, create a reason to get fit that lights you up, then share this with people in your life, ask for some assistance to help hold yourself accountable.

Start mellow!  Ease into it, keeping in mind it takes four to six weeks to break those old routines and form new habits.  You’ll most likely experience muscle soreness and fatigue those first few weeks, take care of yourself and let your body adjust overtime to working out regularly.

Fitness partners.  Inspire some of your friends to join you on your journey to fitness, even if you only end up with a workout buddy once a week it will make a huge difference.

Make it fun.  If you despise weight training for example, find a way to get strength workouts into your schedule by trying a group circuit training class, Pilates, TRX (trxtraining.com) or even martial arts.

Three.  Three days a week is where you will start with your workout schedule.  Make it happen, even on a day you only have twenty minutes available, get your body moving.   Whether it’s a ten-minute walk followed by ten minutes of running, or burpees, situps and pushups.  After four to six weeks you can add a fourth day of working out and over time more if desired.  Always have one day a week of rest though, your body needs time to rebuild and recover.

Continued learning. Educate yourself or if possible, hire a professional.  Find fitness blogs, websites, magazines and books that inspire and inform you on proper form and how to approach a new workout routine.  If you can hire a trainer or a coach, even for the first month to ensure you are working out properly it may help avoid future injuries and is definitely worth the inspiration.

Set goals. More specifically set mini goals leading up to your big goal and celebrate when you hit each mark.  Treat yourself along the way with new workout clothes, a mani-pedi, new running shoes or a massage.

Balance. Strength training and cardio are both important, plus by doing both forms of workouts you’ll stay motivated.

Measure your fitness.  Just tracking your body weight isn’t always the best number to focus on.  Fitness improvements are a fantastic way to stay motivated.  Record numbers like how many sit-ups you completed, how much further you cycled or how much more you can lift.  Seeing that your workouts are making you stronger and faster is definitely a source of inspiration.

Figure out what stops you.  Take time to look at the common cause(s) that may have you break your workout routine. Whether it’s time management, feeling self-conscious, lack of experience or boredom. Once you know what your trigger is you can take steps to approach it in a new way and plow through that wall.

Recover. Fuel your body within thirty to forty-five minutes after your workouts to assist with recovery.  Specifically your body needs a balance of protein and carbohydrates, try a fresh fruit/vegetable smoothie, a banana with nut butter or a protein rich beverage, make it something you like but make sure it’s a healthy choice.

Shake it.  Shake your Sensa®, shake up your workouts, shake your body, drink fresh healthy shakes and shake up some Sensa Quench to stay hydrated!

 

By Flickr User NaomiJMills

 

MOTIVATION TIPS:

 

Keep in mind. Remember you never regret working out, you only wish you had gotten your sweat on when you skipped your workout.

 

Time to think or a way to meditate.  Most likely you are often running around taking care of others and may not be taking care of yourself.  Your exercise time is your time, if you don’t take care of your health you won’t be able to take care of everything else.

 

Remember where you started. Keep track of your progress, have a photo of yourself to remind yourself where you were prior to working out regularly.

 

If you are bored try something new!  Maybe something even a little scary, like a race, triathlon or a dance class.

 

Share your progress.  Write a blog, post your goals, inspire those around you. Check out online fitness communities too, like: mysensa.com.

 

Get pumped.  Blast music, sip on a little caffeine, watch a Rocky type movie, get your head in the game and get out the door and into your workout. Especially on a day you don’t feel like it.   (re-read the first motivation tip above!)

 

Upgrade your focus. Think about what you can do, not what you haven’t done.  Keep your thoughts positive.  Let any negative thoughts go, or just run them out!

 

Workout outside.  Sometimes a hike in nature or even at a local park will help reset your mindset by connecting with nature.

 

Rescue a dog!  If you can take on caring for an animal, that new pet will take you out on walks every day.  Okay, maybe you’ll have to take them out, but they’ll always be excited to go!

 

 

What are your secrets to staying motivated?  Let us know!

 

 

 

Yours in Health,

 

Kardio Kate

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Don’t Sweat Sweat

August 23rd, 2012 Kardio Kate Posted in Fitness, Main 1 Comment »

We all know that starting a workout plan can be overwhelming. It may start fun and end with second day soreness that leaves you less than motivated. At the gym it sometimes occurs as though everyone is buzzing about seamlessly and yet you may find yourself utterly confused staring at a strange contraption wondering what to do. And getting back into a workout regimen can present another level of challenges because you are comparing your current fitness to where you were before.

 

Wherever you are at, don’t sweat it, everyone started from the beginning.  What matters most is that you keep getting back out there to exercise for the long-term health benefits and of course for the short term mood enhancing endorphins.

 

Why is it so hard to get back into working out?

Take a deep inhale, exhale and relax, we’ve all gone through this process. You will find it easier on the third day, and by the fourth you will gain confidence. Within four to six weeks you will be powering through your exercises and hopefully looking forward to them!  Need another push, check out this article on Huff Post.

 

Some tips that can help you succeed in a more active lifestyle:

- If you are a complete beginner consider working with a personal trainer if possible, at least until you feel like you have the proper form and assurance.

 

- Sign up for classes ahead of time if you can, whether it’s spinning, water aerobics, yoga or circuit training, commit to being there!

 

- Two is definitely better than one! Workout with a friend, if you are both new, you can find your way together. If you can exercise with someone who as more experience, even better, they can lend a hand.

 

- Wear comfortable moisture-wicking clothing that has plenty of stretch or feels loose and breathable.

 

- If you are unsure about something, ask for help, most of your fellow workout goers are more than happy to assist you if they can. Just make sure to catch someone who is in between sets. Otherwise find a staff member.

 

- Hydrate!  Sensa® Quench is delicious, try it!  A good rule of thumb when exercising is 20 oz. per hour.  And as we’ve all heard eight 8 oz. glasses a day.

 

- Go easy on yourself, don’t push too hard during your first two weeks of working out. You’ll know you’ve been a bit too aggressive if you can barely walk after a workout. If you find yourself in this position definitely take an easy day of low impact movement like walking, cycling or swimming.  Following a recovery day, take a rest day, then get back out there. One or two off days here or there don’t make a difference, but if you keep skipping workouts because you are too sore, you are heading towards a path of endless ‘rest’ days.

 

- Do not worry about being overweight…remember we all start somewhere. An awesome way to look at it is that your progress will be more visible and you’ll be progressively more motivated when you see it. Definitely, snap a before photo of yourself and after a few months you will be amazed at your results.  Consistency pays off.

 

- Balance your workouts so you feel challenged but also have days of play.  When increasing your intensity do so gradually.  When building mileage while preparing for a race I do so 10% at a time.  The general flow of the building phase increases for two to three weeks then I have a ‘step back’ week.  During these weeks I take an extra rest day and scale back each of my workouts in intensity or overall length.  Step back weeks let your body recover and heal to build a strength.  The trick is to only let them last a week!

 

In time I have no doubt you will inspire the people in your life to join you and before you know it exercise will be a non-negotiable in your schedule.

 

Yours in Health,

 

Kardio Kate

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Living Beyond Your Comfort Zone

June 25th, 2012 Kardio Kate Posted in Fitness No Comments »

June 1st, 2012 at 1:59p was a monumental moment in my life as I ran onto the Santa Monica pier. It marked the completion of an arduous and uplifting 18-day journey called Run It Forward. This project was unlike anything I had previously done and I was honored to be part of it.

 

Run It Forward is a nonprofit that brings awareness and focus for healthy living in schools that leads to great education in towns and cities along Route 66. Run It Forward (RIF) educates on fitness, nutrition, and the value of health and dental care.  RIF consisted of three ‘soccer moms’, eight ultrarunners, vital crew members including two physical therapists, a talented videographer and a rockstar tour bus covering every step of the 2,400+ miles.  I was invited to be one of the runners!

 

Route 66, over 2,400 miles

 

Starting in Chicago, traveling through eight states each runner completed about a marathon distance (26.2 miles) a day for 18 days. Along the way we stopped at selected underserved schools to host an empowerment expo on each campus.  The motivational speakers literally brought me to tears they we’re so good. Each expo rallied the students and their families to take advantage of accessible health care in each state. A dental exam was provided and referral to a local dentist for much needed acute care. A fun run finished out the event and a bag of groceries was sent home with each child.

The tour bus at a School Expo

 

Prior to leaving on this trip I was, well, slightly terrified and was concerned I wouldn’t be able to handle running that kind of mileage every day.  I definitely had some tough runs along the way. Running into 40-mph head winds on the highway in New Mexico with wild fire smoke filled air, waking up in the middle of the night to cruise through winding back wood roads of Oklahoma, fighting the elevation towards Flagstaff and running through the rougher parts of cities all along Route 66.

 

The opportunity to make a difference for children at the schools we stopped at made the pain of all those miles disappear.  Being able to inspire a group of kids of all ages who didn’t think they could run in Missouri to get out there and walk with us, to be able to ask them about their dreams and goals in life and encourage them to go for it was worth every step.  Telling a little girl in the most underserved school we saw along the entire route in Oklahoma that she was a rockstar and hear her say “I’m a rockstar” back to me at the end of her run was incredible.

 

Run It Forward crew running onto the Santa Monica Pier

It was interesting that the running became the easy part of the project.  The constant travel, living out of a bag, the crazy schedule, being in a new place every night, the elements, eating on the fly at odd hours and just being surrounded by up to 18 different people on a bus through different emotions were the challenges. But the highs far surpassed any lows, and don’t get me wrong, running from Chicago to Santa Monica relay style was hard!  

 

I learned that I am even tougher than I thought, sleep and accessible fresh food is a luxury, when you focus on completing a huge goal living outside of your comfort zone is constantly necessary and that just one person can make a tremendous difference, let alone a bus full of selfless inspiring friends who became family.

 

I saw how much health and fitness positively impacts life from a young age, when you feel good everything in life is enhanced. You don’t have to lace up your shoes and go pound out a marathon on the pavement tomorrow. Wherever you are at in your fitness today is your starting block, make a commitment to yourself to build each day to create a better tomorrow, do what moves you and live life outside of your comfort zone often.

 

Yours in Health,

 

Kardio Kate

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A New Way To Get Your Workout On!

May 28th, 2012 Guest Blogger Posted in Fitness No Comments »

Need a new workout? Want to challenge yourself?  Well, let me tell you why you should get off that couch/yoga mat/treadmill and get to a SoulCycle class!

SoulCycle is a full body workout that will keep you cycling back for more! I know many of you hear “spinning class” and think “NO WAY” and I thought the same thing until I tried this class. I would come up with every excuse in the book before you could find me in a gym or a workout class until now. There are so many benefits to it I don’t even know where to begin!

It’s:

  • a great full body cardio work out
  • fun and exciting because the music is upbeat and invigorating
  • supportive because you are riding collectively as a team
  • fat burner because of all the different intervals you encounter throughout the class
  • exciting and different because every class has a different structure
  • challenging, because you set your own pace which makes you discipline yourself
  • a great accomplishment when you finish it because you are dripping with sweat and victory

Every class is equipped with an inspirational teacher and an inviting environment. It is a revolutionary new way to get a full body workout. They incorporate weight training into the class while you are biking so every part of your body is included. The lights are low and candles are lit but the music keeps you cycling to the beat and reaching your goals. Think of this as Yoga meets weight training which meets spinning. It’s a mind, body and soul experience.

Currently, SoulCycle is only available in New York and Los Angeles but the bike is spreading fast! You must try it!

Ciao!

Jehan

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Spring into Fitness

April 11th, 2012 Kardio Kate Posted in Fitness, Main No Comments »

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexa627/5296833666/Energize yourself while kickstarting your weight loss and fitness goals this Spring with this quick workout routine. This can be performed anywhere, anytime (especially when you are short on time) and no equipment is needed.

  • 20 sit ups
  • 5 push ups
  • 20 bicycle sit ups
  • 5 burpees
  • 20 squats
  • 5 pushups
  • 20 jumping  jacks
  • 5 burpees

If you are new to exercise go through this sequence once to start and take breaks when needed.  If you already workout regularly repeat this circuit 2 – 5 times. Always make sure to hydrate properly and check out Sensa® Quench if you haven’t already.  Consult your physician prior to starting any new exercise regimen.  Challenge a friend or family member to join you for this workout and schedule it in your calendar, make your health and fitness a priority this Spring (and all year!).  Check out these other express workouts to try too.

Last but not least, make sure you are sprinkling SENSA consistently on every meal and snack!  Need help remembering?  Just download the Sprinkle Alert and never forget to sprinkle again!

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend.

 

Yours in Health,

Kardio Kate

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Recover to Maximize Exercise Results

March 16th, 2012 Kardio Kate Posted in Fitness, Main No Comments »

Once you’ve broken through the four to six weeks it takes to form exercise as a habit hopefully you begin to have fun with your workouts and it feels like a natural part of your lifestyle. The next step is maximizing the results of all those sweat sessions.   Most of us know that getting enough sleep is essential and we do what we can to catch those z’s, but we often overlook that the body repairs and strengthens itself between workouts.  These rest and recovery days can also help maintain a better life balance in the home, work and fitness-juggling act.  I always take a minimum of one rest day each week and sometimes up to three.

 

Here are some of my tips on how to maximize your fitness results through recovery:

 

Warm Up & Cool Down

I know warming up and cooling down adds a little time to your workout routine but the benefits are worthwhile. Warming up will help prepare your body for activity by increasing blood flow to your muscles and raise your body temperature which can help prevent injuries like muscle pulls.  Conversely cooling down can help reduce the temperature of your muscles and reduce chances of injury and soreness.

How to Warm Up: Start your workout at a reduced pace (for example if you are running start by walking) for five minutes followed by a brisker pace for another five minutes.

How to Cool Down:  Cooling down is similar to warming up except reverse the effort level, for five minutes slow your pace to about half the activity intensity, followed by an easy-easy pace for the second five minutes.

 

 

Hydration

Losing too much fluid during exercise will negatively effect performance and hinder the minds ability to focus.  Sweating is necessary to help cool the body, but replacing the fluid, minerals and electrolytes lost through perspiration is essential in performance as well as recovery.  Just plain water is sufficient in short durations of exercise (under 45-60 minutes).  Aim to consume a cup every 15-20 minutes.  Drink early and often, if you wait until you are thirsty it’s too late!  Keep in mind it is possible consume too much water and throw off your bodies’ sodium levels, it’s a condition called Hyponatremia and can be read more about here.

 

Electrolytes

The body sweats out a lot more than just water!  Electrolyte minerals sodium, potassium and magnesium are needed for a variety of processes in the body from nerve transmission to nutrient transport.  During longer workouts (an hour or more) I highly recommend using a sports drink that contains these electrolytes to replenish the body by counteracting the effects of sweating.  Unfortunately it is difficult to restore fluid and electrolytes as rapidly as they are lost during exercise so it is necessary to continue drinking after your workouts. One of my favorite electrolyte drinks and a natural option is ice cold coconut water.

 

Post Workout Recovery Nutrition

After exercise, the sooner you can begin to replenish muscle glycogen the better.  Immediately following exercise the muscle cells are much more receptive to insulin, the hormone responsible for transporting glucose through the body.  The body can synthesize glycogen two to three times faster post exercise than other times.  An ideal nutrition combination to consume after a workout is a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein/amino acids ratio to aid muscle proteins to rebuild with efficiency.  For example a 160-lb person would consume 160 grams of carbohydrate and 40 grams of protein after a tough workout.  I realize most of us are not hungry right after a workout, so consider a recovery sports drink.

 

Stretching

The benefits of stretching have mixed results, some studies show it helps improve athletic performance and decrease risk of injury and others show that stretching has little to no benefit.  I have found that as long as my body is warmed up and I begin each stretch gradually it improves my flexibility and decreases injuries.

 

Myofascial Release & Massage

Massages are amazing, but generally not something we can get often.   Self myofascial release therapy like massage is a way to reduce pain, unlock tightness and rehabilitate a range of injuries.  Click here for instructions on self myofascial release exercises. You will need a foam roller which can be found at sports medicine or physical therapy supply stores.  I also love the Trigger Point line of products.

 

Icing & Ice baths

Icing areas that are sore/painful or taking the plunge into an ice water bath for 12 to 15 minutes is a way to recover faster, reduce muscle pain and soreness after an intense workout.  The theory behind it is that tough workouts cause microtrauma (tiny tears) in the muscle fiber, which stimulates cell activity and puts the body in repair mode making it stronger.  Ice baths constrict blood vessels, flush waste products and reduce swelling and tissue breakdown.  After icing when the body is rushing to warm itself up the blood flow in sped up and in turn improves the healing process.  Basically the more blood flow the better!

 

Hot Epsom Salt Baths

Epsom salt is a mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate.  Studies have shown both of these minerals are easily absorbed through the skin, hence the hot bath.  Magnesium helps reduce inflammation helping muscle and nerve function.  Sulfate improves the absorption of nutrients and flush toxins.  The best part is Epsom Salt is super affordable and can be found at any drug store.   To use fill up your bathtub as hot as you can handle and add two cups of Epsom Salt, stir to dissolve, relax for 15 minutes, hydrate during and after.  You should definitely be sweating!

 

 

Active Recovery

After a hard workout it seems like complete rest is the best way to promote recovery, however active recovery (low-intensity exercise done in the days following an intense workout) is shown to assist blood circulation and speed muscle recovery.  Keep in mind ‘LOW’ intensity when actively recovering!

 

 

Always listen to your body’s signals and consult your physician prior to trying any new exercises.

 

 

Building recovery time into your training program is important because this is the time your body adapts to the stress of exercise.  Your body replenishes energy stores and repairs damaged tissues.  I know ‘damaged tissues’ sounds horrible, but it’s actually the process of how your body gets stronger.  Physical work breaks down muscle tissue, depletes glycogen stores and causes fluid loss.  Through rest and recovery is when our bodies get stronger, so get out there and workout hard so you can enjoy those days off even more!

 

Yours in Health,

Kardio Kate

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