Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I am a slacker and running tips

Wow I have been slacking on you guys. I am so sorry.  It has been a crazy couple of weeks.  I finished Insanity and actually miss it.  I have begun incorporating some of the videos into my regular routine and have started running again.. OH how I missed running.   Now it take a lot for me to talk myself into lacing up those shoes and really getting out the door.  I can talk myself out of running any day of the week, but oh what accomplishments I feel when I get out there and just do it.   The weather in the south has been perfect for running.  Low humidity, nice cool breeze.  PERFECT!

Here are some tips for you running beginners

1.  Get the right pair of shoes.  Find a pair that fits your foot and the surface you run on.  Your gym/ shoes probably are not going to cut it.  The right pair of shoes helps with shin splints and joint aches.  Go to a local running store and get help (you can always buy the shoes they recommend on amazon or another cheaper store).  I also look at reviews of the shoes before I buy them and this has always worked well for me.  Also remember to buy a size larger than your normal shoes and your feet swell while running!

2.  Do a cool up and warm down and STRETCH!  I know this seems like basic stuff but you cannot just walk out the door and go into a run.  If you do, you will surely injure yourself.  Start with a  min warm up brisk walk and stretch a little then start your run. At the end, cool down with a brisk walk, do some push ups, and stretch!

3. Use proper upper body form - do not clench your fists, keep your hands at hip level and at 90 degree angle.  Use good posture (head up, back straight)

4. Do not think so much about your pace.  In the beginning you should be able to talk and run at the same time (I know easier said than done) but keep your pace light, speed up when you think you can, ease back down when you need too, just keep running.  It is not a race and you will speed up over time and with practice.

5. Run/walk some people need to do the run/walk approach. Try couch potato to 5k program  it is a fabulous program and will have you running in no time at all.

6. Start off slowly Do not do too much to soon.  I know you are eager, but running  5 miles out the gate is a bit much for your body to handle, start off slowly and build up. Listen to your body.

7. Breathe through nose and mouth - Some new runners assume they should breathe in only through their nose. You actually want to breathe in through your nose and mouth to make sure you're getting enough oxygen to your muscles while running. Taking deep belly breaths can help prevent side cramps around your lungs.

8. Enjoy yourself - once you get into a rhythm, enjoy yourself.  Feel the blood rushing through your body and the accomplishment that you did it.. You got off the couch and are running!

Have a very fit day!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Last week of Insanity

Last week of Insanity, and I am ready to take a break.  Love the work outs, but they become monotonous after awhile.  I know what to expect and which ones I dislike, which makes for de-motivation. My last fit test is Saturday YAY!!!.  I skipped yesterdays video and went for a 5 mile run.  It felt nice to get out of the house and run along the river.  So many people were out running, walking and bike riding.  I even passed a boot camp group.  I love fall and spring.  The weather, here in FL is perfect for working out, outdoors. The humidity disappears, there is a slight breeze and the view along the river is spectacular. <sigh> I am lucky to live in such a pretty place, where I have the access to workout, outdoors.  It was nice seeing so many people outside as well.

Get off that couch and do something outside, even if it is a walk around the block.  A walk is better than doing nothing!

Have a very fit day!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Boost your metabolism

Boosting your metabolism isn’t as hard as you might think. While all of our bodies are different and metabolize in their own ways, there are a few surefire tricks you can rely on to rev up your inner calorie furnace. From early AM workouts to food choices, you can give your metabolism an extra push without too much effort. Sweet! Here are a few simple ways to get your metabolism pumping in no time:
  1. Eat Breakfast! The worst thing you can do to kick-start your day (and your metabolism) is skip breakfast. Click here for my complete breakfast breakdown.
  2. Get Moving in the Morning. My trainer has always pushed me to do my workouts in the morning. But I’ll be honest. There’s no chance I’ll ever be a morning person, no less someone that can hit the gym before noon. That said, for those of you who are early risers, I encourage you to exercise in the morning. An early morning sweat-session will get your metabolism up and running and therefore burning more calories for the rest of the day. Check out my Fitness section where I’ve shared a few of my favorite exercises and workout routines.
  3. Drink Up! If you’ve even just a tad thirsty (or dehydrated) you run the risk of slowing your metabolism. I’ve heard that drinking cold water actually sparks your metabolism because your body has to work harder to heat it up to its natural temperature. If you have the taste for it, drink green tea too. It has a special compound in it that bumps up the metabolic rate as well. (I drink tea almost everyday!)
  4. Have Whole Grains, Not Multigrain. Complex carbs and fiber-rich foods help to speed up your metabolism. Whole grains are good, multigrain are not. If anything, just remember that!
  5. Eat More, Smaller Meals. Didn’t think you’d see the phrase “eat more” on this list did you? According to WebMD, if you divide your meals up into smaller portions so you eat more often throughout the day, your metabolism won’t have a chance to take a break. Now this doesn’t mean stuff your face 24/7. Instead, try to eat smaller bites throughout the day instead of three large meals. Click here to check out my favorite fat-burning snacks that are perfect for this tip!
Have a very fit day!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Plyo Work outs

Plyometric training is an excellent way to burn more calories and build power, strength and endurance in the lower body. Safely incorporating these explosive, high impact exercises can add a depth to your program while increasing your stamina for other workouts and daily activities. Below are some examples of basic plyo-based exercises. Avoid any exercises that cause pain or discomfort and make sure you learn the right way to add plyo exercises to your routine.

1. Squat Jumps

Squat JumpPaige Waehner
Squat jumps are a good first exercise for the beginner plyo-er. Practicing this move allows you to get used to jumping and landing correctly, two things that can help you avoid injury. Remember, when landing from any kind of jump, land softly on the toes and roll through the heels. Avoid twisting as you land, keeping the knees in line with the toes.
Do it Right:
Begin with feet about hip-distance apart. Squat as low as you can, keeping the knees behind the toes and your abs engaged. Jump as high as you can, taking the arms overhead (optional). Land with soft knees and lower back into a squat, jumping back up immediately. Repeat for 10-60 seconds, repeating the exercise 1-10 times with 60 or more seconds of rest in between

2. Plyo Jacks

Paige Waehner
Plyo jacks are a variation on the squat jumps above and, also, a variation on traditional jumping jacks. This is also a great exercise for easing into plyometric training and conditioning your body for more strenuous exercises.
Do it Right: Begin with the feet together and lower into a squat, circling the arms in front of you. Jump the feet out, landing in a squat and circling the arms up and over the head. Jump up once again, bringing the feet together and circling the arms back down. This should feel like a slow, yet powerful jumping jack. Repeat for 10-60 seconds, repeating the exercise 1-10 times with 60 or more seconds of rest in between

3. Plyo Lunges

Paige Waehner
Plyo lunges take things up a notch, adding even more intensity to your plyo workout. The split stance challenges your balance and will also really challenge your hips, glutes and thighs. If you feel wobbly, hold onto a stair rail for balance until you've perfected the exercise.
Do it Right: Stand in a split stance, right leg in front and left leg in back. Bend your knees and lower into a lunge, keeping the front knee behind the toe. In an explosive movement, jump into the air and switch your legs, landing so that the left leg is in front and the right leg is in back. Land with soft knees, lower into a lunge and repeat, jumping and switching sides. Repeat for 10-60 seconds, repeating the exercise 1-10 times with 60 or more seconds of rest in between

4. Burpees with Jumps

Squat ThrustPaige Waehner
Burpees or Squat Thrusts are another advanced exercise that will challenge your legs and your heart. By going all the way down to the floor and back up again, adding a jump on the end, you'll feel your heart rate climb very quickly.
Do it Right: Begin standing and squat to the floor, placing your hands on the floor in front of you. In an explosive movement, jump the feet back, so that you're in a plank position. Jump the feet back in, stand up and jump. Repeat for 10-60 seconds, repeating the exercise 1-10 times with 60 or more seconds of rest in between.

5. BOSU Squat Jumps

Paige Waehner
The BOSU Squat Jump takes the regular squat jump to the next level, adding much more intensity. You should be very comfortable using aBOSU before trying this exercise. A modified version would be jumping onto a small platform (like the top of a step) or the bottom step of a staircase.
Do it Right: Stand behind the BOSU and bend the knees, jumping onto the BOSU with both feet and landing in a squat. You can jump back down (more advanced) or, for a safer version, step off the back of the BOSU and then repeat for 10-60 seconds, repeating the exercise 1-10 times with 60 or more seconds of rest in between. If landing with both feet simultaneously is too hard, go for a staggered landing, one foot at a time.

6. Side to Side Jumping Lunges

Side to side jumping lungePaige Waehner
Side to side lunges are another plyo-based exercise that will really challenge your quads, glutes and your heart, all at the same time. Because you're jumping from side to side, you'll want to take your time with this exercise and make sure you land into your side lunge without twisting the knee. Keep the knee in line with the toe to avoid knee injury.
Do it Right: Take the right leg out to the side as you bend the left knee, turning the body to the left in a runner's lunge. Touch the right fingers to the floor, if you can. Quickly jump up to shift the feet in the air and lunge to the right side, touching the left hand to the floor. Repeat for 10-60 seconds, repeating the exercise 1-10 times with 60 or more seconds of rest in between.

7. Prisoner Squat Jumps

The Prisoner Squat is a variation of the jump squat, adding a little more core to the mix. By keeping the hands behind your head as you jump, you'll engage your abs to keep your body stable, making this a whole body plyo exercise.
Do it Right: Begin with feet wide and the hands behind the head. Squat as low as you can, keeping the abs engaged and the back straight. Jump as high as you can and land in a squat, remembering to keep the knees soft to absorb the impact. Repeat for 10-60 seconds, repeating the exercise 1-10 times with 60 or more seconds of rest in between.

8. Long Jumps

Long JumpPaige Waehner
Long jumps are a tough plyo exercise, forcing you to use all the power in your glutes, hips and thighs to power your body forward. This is a tough move and it requires power in the legs as well as core stability. Keep your jumps small at first to get a feel for the exercise and be sure to land with soft knees to avoid injury.
Do it Right: Stand with feet together and make sure you have plenty of space in front of you. Lower into a squat and jump forward as far as you can, landing with bent knees. Continue jumping forward for the length of the room or for 1-10 reps. Rest and repeat 2-3 times.

9. Froggy Jumps

Froggy jumps for cardioPaige Waehner
Froggy jumps are one of the most challenging plyo exercises, taking you all the way from the floor to the air. You should practice easier plyo moves before you try this one and avoid it completely if you have any knee or back problems.
Do it Right: Squat to the floor, placing your hands in front of you (optional). In a powerful movement, jump up into the air and tap your heels together. Land with soft knees and make sure you keep your knees in line with your toes. Repeat for 10-60 seconds, repeating the exercise 1-10 times with 60 or more seconds of rest in between.

10. Lateral Cone Hops

Drew Kelly/Getty Images
This more traditional plyo exercise is great for increasing power and strength and building stamina in the knees and ankles. You should practice easier plyo exercises before trying this one or, to modify, try jumping over something shorter. You can also trying jumping over and landing one foot at a time or jumping forward over the cone for variations.
Do it Right: Stand about 6 inches away from a small cone on your left. Hope over the cone with both feet, landing on the balls of the feet with soft knees. Repeat the exercise, hopping over the cone to the right for 20 reps.

Have a very fit day!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Insanity - 2 weeks left

I took my 4th Insanity fit test last night and wow did I do better!  I was sooooo proud of me.  I increased numbers dramatically in all but one exercise (globe jumps, that I really do not think you can get many more than I already do). I was so proud!  Could not stop grinning!  All that hard work was finally showing.  My abs and obliques are nice and hard.  I definitely could stand to do another round or two of this work out, but will probably incorporate the videos into my work outs and not follow the plan, as some mornings I just do not have an hour plus time to give.  My attention span is really 45-50 mins max for working out.

I challenge you to do something out of your comfort zone for a month.  Whether it be running, a video series or even just getting off the couch daily and doing a work out.  Do something and at the end of the month, let me know how you feel?  I know this past 45 days has been amazing and I am so glad that I took the insanity challenge!