Post Workout Tips

So you finished with your workout session, what to do? Don’t just hop off the treadmill or whichever cardio machine you were using and neglect the cool down. The same goes for fitness classes , do not leave before the cool down/stretch  portion of the class.

Cooling down after exercising is just as important as the warm up. I think of the cool down like dessert. Yes, you heard me, this is the best part of your fitness routine.

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This vital part of your exercise program promotes recovery as well as preventing injuries and helps to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness.

Always replace the fluids lost after a workout.

Stretch your hard working muscles, hold each stretch for 30 seconds, please, please do not bounce.

Make good use of the foam roller.

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Quad Roll

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Have a post workout snack, for example, some chocolate milk or a fruit smoothie.

Extra

8 Foam Roller Exercises

 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The most important thing you can do is do a monthly breast exam and do a mammogram as soon as your doctor recommends it.

As a Post Rehabilitative Breast Cancer Exercise Specialist through The Pink Ribbon Program I am able to develop a specific Pilates exercise program to fulfill the needs of survivors.  Here are a few benefits of this specific Pilates based program:

Note this is a specific exercise protocol form of Pilates training.

Pilates is beneficial to breast cancer survivors as well as those undergoing chemotherapy who would like to regain strength. These are just a few benefits to be gained from this specialized program.

  • improves lymphatic drainage with proper breathing techniques
  • restores overall range of motion, flexibility, strength and endurance
  • restores  postural alignment and balance
  • enhances core strength and endurance
  • improved circulation

As an instructor my goal is to help you get back to your everyday routines.

Here are a few important links:

Breast Cancer.org

Susan G Komen

 

Gratitude Fridays

I thought this would be a fun addition to the blog.   I know we have all heard of having a gratitude journal, where you write down 5 or more things you are grateful for whether you write it everyday or once a week . There really is no rule as to when or how much you want to write or how small or great it is. The simple things brings the greatest joy.

I will share here just a few things I have been grateful for this week,  it will be more pictures than words.

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Coffee ( i am a huge fan)

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Joseph Pilates ( self explanatory)

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Beautiful Scenery ( gotta love vacations)

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Saw this duck and her babies early one morning at work. How adorable!!

Desk Bound: Three Pilates Desk Exercises and Stretches.

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There have been numerous articles written about the perils of too much sitting. Researchers say that prolonged sitting may lead to a slower than normal metabolism, diabetes and a larger waistline etc. Among these we can also add an inflexible spine due to lack of movement, poor posture, weak upper back muscles, short and tight chest muscles, forward head posture and rounded shoulders to name a few.

Sitting is not only inevitable and necessary at times but the problems arise when we do not make the time to add movement through out our day.

Here are a few ways to add movement to your day while at the office. 1. If possible. instead of sending an email to your co-worker, walk to their desk or office. 2.   Add some stretches/Pilates exercises to your day that can be performed at your desk. 3. Have a walking business meeting. 4. Have lunch at a park. 5. Walk the mall on your lunch break 6. Take the stairs 7. Take calls while on your feet or better yet pace and talk 8. Set a daily reminder to step away from your computer screen at regular intervals, this is for your mental and physical health and 9. Use the restroom on a different floor.

Below are a few Pilates exercises you can include in your day, these can be performed at your desk.

Note: Abdominals should be engaged at all times, keep length in the spine and breathe!

Spine Twist:  

Sit tall, with neutral spine and pelvis., abdominals pulled in and up, feet hip distance apart. Extend your arms long in front you, shoulder height, palms facing in and shoulders down.

On an inhale, lengthen your spine, exhale and rotate or twist your spine for a count of 3, bending your elbow as you twist in the same direction while keeping the opposite arm long in front.

Inhale and return to the center and switch sides.  Repeat 5 times on each side.

Spine Stretch Forward:

The same seated position as the above exercise. Inhale and lengthen your spine, exhale and nod your head forward ,abs engaged, slowly curve or round your spine forward, arms long and down by sides.

Inhale at the bottom of the movement, taking slow breaths and breathing into the sides of your ribcage.  Exhale and slowly roll back up to sitting position. Repeat 5 times.

Seated Mermaid:

The same seated position as above, hands are resting at your sides. Inhale, reaching one arm overhead, pressing the opposite hand into the side of the chair. Exhale, bending sideways while reaching the extended arm over head. Inhale and return to the start position.  Repeat 5 times on each side.

A few reminders while actively sitting through out the day: Maintain neutral spine, keep your abdominals engaged always, breathe well, meaning fill your lungs air and exhale completely, sit tall and lengthen your spine, relax your neck and shoulders.

The Pilates method/ principles, are not only for inside the studio but the principles should carry you through out your day whether you are sitting or driving or whatever activity you are doing.  Being mindful of your own body awareness will improve your alignment and comfort level.

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Here are a few stretches that can be performed at the end of your workday.

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Back and Hamstrings:

Lie on your back, feet on the floor, knees bent. Draw both knees into your chest and rock side to side. Then alternate extending one leg and hugging the other leg into your chest. Hold each stretch for 20 -30 seconds. Enjoy this you should be able to feel the entire body relaxing.

Cross Body Stretch:

Still on your back keep one leg extended and use the opposite hand to cross the bent leg across your body, and look in the opposite direction to the crossed leg.

Shoulders. Stand and reach your arms behind you, you can hold on to each wrist if this easier or interlace your fingers, while raising your arms behind you so you feel a wonderful stretch in the front of your shoulders.

Figure 4 Stretch:

Lie on floor or mat. Bend knees with feet on floor. Cross lower leg over thigh of other leg. Grasp back of thigh of lower leg with both hands.

Pull leg toward torso. Hold stretch. Repeat with opposite leg.

How do you incorporate movement through out your day? What are your favorite stretches? 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Challenges

This weeks challenge will focus on adding more fruits and vegetables to our diet.   The recommended amount is 5-9 servings a day.  Some of us have no problem eating fruits daily. but we may find it more difficult adding leafy greens to our daily diet and vice versa.

Here are a  few ways we can add more of  natures medicine into our daily diet:

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Make a fruit and vegetable smoothie for breakfast.

This is my favorite breakfast smoothie recipe: 1 cup almond milk, 2 handfuls spinach, 1 handful kale, 1 frozen banana, 1 tbs nut butter,  1 frozen peach, 1/2c plain greek yogurt, blend and enjoy.

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Make vegetable omelette and serve with a side of fruit.

Have a huge salad for lunch and or for dinner, just make sure you add healthy fats and lean protein.

This is one of my favorite salads:  romaine lettuce, red bell pepper, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, strawberries and slivered almonds.

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It helps to think  of  vegetables as the main part of your evening meal and lean protein as a side.

As always I will be doing this with you.

What are your favorite ways to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet?

Extras:

10 Pictures of your daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Challenges

 

This weeks challenge not only builds strength but it adds a slight cardio burst to your routine.  At the end of your reps be sure to stretch.

Monkey push up

Strengthens: Arms and shoulders, abdominals, back

Get into the “up” part of push-up position with hands directly below shoulders and body in a straight line from head to heels. Keeping core tight, push through toes and hop forward, landing gently with feet on the outside of hands. Hop back to starting position. Bend elbows (keeping them close to body) to lower body toward floor, then push back up; that’s 1 rep. Do 10–12 reps.

 

MONKEY PUSHUP

Have a great week !

 

 

Weekly Challenges

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This week I would like you to  have positive thoughts. Think  positively and with appreciation for all your body has done for you.  I am not stopping there I would like you  to think about all you have accomplished in your life. One positive thought a day.

We all need to be reminded to do this. Stop being so hard on your self.   See you here next week for an exercise challenge.

I hope to inspire and motivate you. Have a great week.

 

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Feel free to comment and to share.

 

Weekly Challenges

Disconnect to take a Breath.

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This weeks Challenge is for you  to take a few minutes out of your day to disconnect. What I mean by that is, take a breath, step away from social media, go outside and enjoy the sunshine. Play some mellow tunes or just close your eyes and “rest” for a few minutes.  We get so caught up with work, checking Facebook etc  that we have forgotten to just enjoy the little things. I am guilty of this as well.  We need to make it a habit of taking thoughtful action on giving our own well-being our full attention.

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Serene

I will be doing this with you as well. I don’t know about you but the pictures above already puts me in a mellow mood.

What will you do this week for your personal well-being?  Share your ideas in the comment section below.

Make it a great week!!

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Challenges

We will be focusing on 2 exercises this week:

Balancing Star Plank 

Balancing Star Plank

Balancing Star Plank

Get into the side plank position. So if you start on your left side, your right arm should be extended to the ceiling, now here is the twist, instead of raising your right leg, you will keep the right leg firmly planted on the floor and swing your left leg forward. Hold for 3 seconds and repeat on the other side. 3 reps each side.

 

High V  ( this is a classic move used in Barre classes)

High V

High V

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Stand next to your support, feet in a narrow V. Rise onto the balls of your feet, keeping your heels glued together; bend your knees, bringing your butt down toward knee level. Slowly move down and up by an inch for 30 seconds. Repeat, smaller and faster, for another 30 seconds.

Keep your abs engaged, shoulders away from your ears, neutral spine and breathe!!