Summer is here and the weather is HOT, which means it's the perfect time for getting your friends together for pool parties and grilling out! If you're looking for food to serve at your next barbecue that will help you stay on your nutrition plan without sacrificing taste, we've got you covered!
You may think that yoga and strength training are two completely different workouts, and you wouldn't be wrong. However, yoga can help you reach your fitness goals and supplement other forms of training by improving balance, flexibility, and mental clarity.
Summer is the time for farmer’s markets, gardens, roadside stands, and lots of fresh produce! Sometimes you might end up with more than you know what to do with, or maybe you don’t know how to use it to begin with. Here are a few tips for using all the fresh fruits and vegetables available this summer.
High blood pressure – “the silent killer” – is a large concern for many people worldwide. WHO estimates that high blood pressure affects ~40% of the world population (1). With this as such a widespread problem, there is a great need to help people lower and maintain their blood pressure. Exercise is often cited as a good way to bring blood pressure down to manageable levels, but what kind of exercise is best?
Biking is becoming increasingly popular, both as a mode of transportation and as a form of exercise and recreation. Many cities have added bike lanes and rent-a-bike stations, making it easier for people to cycle in town. Heading out of the city, many people take advantage of the numerous mountain biking trails in parks and outdoor recreation areas. Biking clubs and associations are being formed, creating communities for people to discuss cycling, the best places to go, and common problems encountered.
Is it too late to start exercising? Fitness professionals are asked this all the time, and here is the answer. No!!! Whether you haven’t exercised in a long time, haven’t ever exercised, are in your early 30s or your late 90s, it is never too late to start exercising...
Exercising, no matter when you start, can dramatically improve your health. You will have greater stamina, increased strength and endurance, improved balance and flexibility, a clearer brain, better heart health, lowered diabetes risk, and much, much more!
In honor of Earth Day last month, I want to talk about taking care of ourselves by taking care of the world we live in. This has been on my mind as I’ve been playing at the park with my daughter. Being an inquisitive toddler, she finds every bit of trash on the ground and brings it over to show me. I have been astonished by the trash laying around a children’s park! This astonishment increased when we went backpacking as a family, found a campsite in the middle of the woods, and found empty plastic water bottles, cigarette butts, and other trash hidden behind a fallen tree. If there’s any where you expect to find cleanliness, it’s while you’re camping, far away from humanity.
Can I improve my balance with exercise? This is a question asked by people in many circumstances. I was once asked this question by a woman who was recovering from a stroke. She was young, had experienced multiple strokes, and didn’t have good balance. She wanted to improve her physical fitness, but she was worried about her ability to do so. Whether you too are a stroke victim, have osteoporosis, are an older adult, have MS, are pregnant, or just feel unsteady on your feet, know that exercise can help improve your balance!
While gardening isn’t for everyone, eating fresh fruits and vegetables definitely is! Every plant has a season, and every season has certain plants that grow best during those months. Grocery stores sell quite a few foods all year long as they have access to foods from all over the world, and this is great! I love being able to buy all kinds of foods throughout the year. But there are definitely benefits to buying more seasonal foods.
Think about it – going outside makes you more likely to be physically active, even if it’s just light physical activity like strolling around your yard or standing and watching your kids play a game. Spending time in your yard means you might notice some weeds that need to be pulled and kneel down to pull them out, or you might see your dog and realize it could use a walk. If you don’t have a yard, you might head to the park and walk around a walking trail or play Frisbee with some friends. Heading outside on your lunch break could lead you on a quick walk around the block or on a jaunt to the park for a picnic.
Think of ways you can increase your time outside. Try getting out for a walk before or after work. Head out with some coworkers during lunch, or even just step outside for a quick 10 minute break during the day. Instead of sitting down on the couch to relax when you get home from work, head outside to take a breath of fresh air or take a relaxing bike ride. Round up the whole family and take them outside for a game or a family walk.
Many people I talk to want to exercise, but they either don’t have time to go to a gym, don’t like working out with other people, or don’t have any workout equipment at home. Of course they could try walking or running, but that’s not for everyone, and even if it is, sometimes you need a change of pace. So how can you work out at home without any equipment?
Injuries, unfortunately, are fairly common in the world of exercise and sports. Muscle strains, shin splints, hairline fractures, plantar fasciitis, torn rotator cuff, tendonitis, knee problems, etc. are all common injuries that occur during or as a result of exercise or sports. Some of these injuries occur when people do too much too quickly, when their bodies aren’t ready for the load applied; some happen from plain doing too much, resulting in overuse injuries; and some injuries happen out of sheer bad luck.
For anyone that has ever even thought of exercising, you’ll know that it is not always easy to get a daily workout in. Where our motivation might be high the night before, when our alarm goes off in the morning, it’s tough to get out of bed! Or we might be pumped about going to the gym after work, but by the time we clock out, we’re just too tired to follow through with our plan.
Diet and exercise. While these are often paired together, which is more important? Are both necessary?
Recent studies have shown that energy restriction through diet results in similar weight loss to diet plus exercise, while exercise alone results in lesser weight loss (1, 2). For many people skimming over these results in their doctor’s office magazine, dieting might seem like the path to take. But they’re only seeing half the story.
Burpees, whether you love them or hate them, they’re an integral part of many workout programs. I’ve often been asked where in the world we came up with the name “burped”...But burpees actually didn’t start out as the dreaded high-intensity exercise they are today...Dr. Royal H. Burpee, whom burpees are named after, invented the “squat thrust” as a way to test the fitness of the average population...The burpee is praised as a great exercise because it works almost all the major muscle groups.
Current physical activity guidelines recommend accumulating at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week (or 75+ min. vigorous activity). There are many types of moderate intensity exercise, but one of the most common and most convenient forms is walking (1). Walking can be performed in a variety of settings. From quick walks on your lunch break to long hikes through the woods, walking gets you out and moving – and it’s free!
A common after effect of pregnancy is the separation of the rectus abdominis muscles, or the muscles than run up and down from the ribs to the pubic bone over the stomach area. This happens to many people, and not just after having a baby. Unfortunately, there isn't a standardized treatment plan available for prescription to help close the gap......To figure out how to bring my abdominal muscles back together I began to do some research...
Thanksgiving – a day that, for many, focuses mostly on food. We spend time planning the menu, shopping for ingredients, preparing the dishes, and then eating it all! While this is a great part of the day, it often makes it difficult to feel in control of our eating habits. Lucky for us, it doesn’t have to be this way. We can maintain our healthy habits while still enjoying the day and the food.
Most of us have a certain goal in mind when we start a training routine. Whether this is to compete in an athletic event, improve our strength, or achieve a healthier lifestyle, we are always working toward something. Our goals are motivating, and we want to work as hard as we can to achieve them, but sometimes this can backfire on us if we don’t take time to rest.
I have recently been introduced to the trend of crawling for exercise. I was skeptical, thinking – ‘what will crawling around on the floor really do for me’? Well, I definitely gained some sympathy for my poor daughter in her effort to learn to crawl. Crawling engages your entire body. Your arms and legs are worked as they support your weight off the ground; your shoulders and hips are stressed as you reach and pull with alternating limbs; your entire core is engaged as you stabilize your body; and even your coordination is challenged as you try to keep your arms and legs from tripping up on each other.
Now you may ask…how can I prevent cancer or is it safe to exercise during treatment or post surgery? The answer is YES. Several studies have indicated that the more exercise we get, the lower our risk of premature death from cancer. Not only does engaging in regular exercise help prevent cancer, but it also plays in invaluable role in helping individuals gain strength physically and mentally during treatment, as well as helping one return to the strength and fitness level that was maintained prior to surgery.
We live in a day of schedules, routines, and calendar reminders. Our lives are planned out to the minute to fit everything in. Unfortunately this means that we often find ourselves doing the same things day in and day out. We need variety. Not only will variety keep us from getting bored, but it will also make us healthier!