Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What to do when you are injured?

This is my knee.  Well, it's a picture of what my knee is going through right now.  It will heal, in time, thankfully only a couple of weeks of prescribed activities should get me back up and moving. My sprain happened because of over use, lack of stretching and warming up, and probably improper footwear.  My dog ran into me a couple of times as well, that was not a good feeling.

As soon as I felt the pain and discomfort I went to see my doctor who suggested R.I.C.E. which stands for Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate.  So rest from running...that hurt, I love to run; apply ice to reduce swelling and pain, later apply heat, that forces me to sit and stay put for long periods of time; compress with a knee brace or bandage to provide support and stability; and of course elevate, again to help reduce the swelling in the area and aid in tissue repair.  I read another variation which is HiRICE, that one includes hydration and ibuprophen.

I have been feeling better following the instructions given by my PCP and hopefully soon I'll start running short easy runs with a modified stride.  This also qualifies me for a shopping trip to pick up new shoes and maybe new compression socks too.

But the question is what to do while you're down with an injury?  Well, injuries in the legs shouldn't stop me from doing something for my core strength and upper body.  I've been trying to stay on top of things with all that because it doesn't take much for me to add a few inches around the middle just because I'm bored and sitting for long periods of time...ugh I can only watch so much TV before I start to go stir crazy.

Today I'm picking up a foam roller.  If you have sore muscles or just to get a good massage through all your muscles I would totally recommend the foam rollers.  Some even come with a CD to show you all the different things you can do or you can just go online and find a variety of exercises.  Either way, this is one piece of equipment you'll not regret buying. Just roll your sore muscles on it for 3-4 minutes at a time and you'll feel like you've been to a massage parlor.  It works wonders.

I've been working on crunches, leg lifts, Pilates exercises, and the elliptical trainer.  As long as it doesn't hurt or upset my knee, I'm good.

Moving forward after I heel completely I need to focus more on strengthening the muscles in my legs, glutes, quads, calves, as much as I do my upper body.  Runners tend to forget that running alone is not nearly enough to maintain good form and be able to run far or fast.  It is extremely important to get and stay strong through strength training exercises, plyometrics, isometrics and cross training over all.  It is just as important to eat well, rest, and pay attention to the changes in the body...if something hurts, have it checked out ASAP. Better to be safe than sorry.

What exercises do you do when you are recovering from an injury?

It has been an interesting experience for me to be injured.

Stay Well,

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Boot Camp Training-Let's do it!

Get Results
Go to Bootcamp!

I realized about 8 years ago that I am not cut out for coordinated training.  I'm not very good with structure. Coordinated training like Step, any LesMills program, Aerobics, etc require someone who can really stick to the counts and the beat of the music, they require a lot of planning and memorization. I do not posses these skills. They make me nervous.  I am more of a freestyle trainer.  I know what your goal is or my goal within the class and I do whatever we need to do to achieve that goal. Sometimes the music leads or motivates me, other times the people in the class give me a boost of energy to change things in a class. In any case, people usually tell me they love my classes and love to keep coming back and that makes me very happy because I know they are meeting their fitness goals for the day and I didn't have to stress about when to start or stop an exercise or if the music breaks down, etc. It's really just me, nothing wrong with those programs if that's your thing.

I started teaching Total Body Conditioning (just another name for a boot camp class) and I was hooked.  Teaching to the military in Cuba was amazing, inspiring, and motivating.  It was great to see them all working hard to beat the other team in the class. I realized this was what I loved to do, outside of some other classes I love to teach, this boot camp class just completely filled me with energy. I think partly because I recalled my real Marine Corps boot camp days. I guess it paid to get in so much trouble because I perfected the art of mountain climbers, burpees, and running to NOT get caught by my Drill Instructors.  It's been over 20 years but trust me, I remember it like it was yesterday.

Now I get to share my discipline and knowledge in the field of health and fitness with others.  I love my job. I am currently teaching at OneLife Fitness in Burke.  ForeverStrong, a class geared towards beginners and the active older adult population. It is a strength class but moves a little slower and it is low impact so no jumping or doing the crazy stuff we do in Boot Camp   It is a great class and so far everyone seems to be happy. If they are not, I hope they'll tell me so I can change whatever isn't working.  I also teach Boot Camp -again, freestyle.  I plan my classes the day before and then just play whatever happens to be on my iPod that I know keeps everyone motivated to keep moving.  It's fun, high energy and we get a great workout early Saturday morning.

At Graves Gym on Fort Belvoir I teach the same Low Impact Strength class and SPINNING.  Another high energy class that really gets me moving.  I love SPIN, it has helped to improve my run time tremendously.  At Graves I get to work mostly with military dependents and active duty members.

Soon I will be working with another company who conducts more specialize and mostly outdoors boot camp classes to large groups, small groups and one-on-one. Custom Fitness Concepts is motivating, fun, and the energy you have to put into your workouts is amazing.  You really do perform above and beyond your expectations. I'm really looking forward to the outdoor workouts and the variety in their training sessions.

If you live in my area I hope to see you in one of my classes soon.  

Stay well,

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

No sleep = poor eating habits

When I don't sleep well my eating habits suck!! What is that about? I mean, I know what it is but it can completely destroy a perfectly excellent plan.  When I don't sleep well I am cranky, fatigues, crave carbs like nobody's business and do absolutely nothing unless I have to do something.  I hate it.

Does that ever happen to you?

Sunday we spent time without family, we had an early dinner which made me a little tired. Not that dinner was early but that I just felt tired after dinner.  I realized I needed to get the kids and myself ready for the week or at least for the first day of school after spring break so I decided having a cup of coffee at 5:00 o'clock in the evening would be a great idea, a great way to get a jump start.  HA!!! NOT!!

I'm not sure why I haven't learned this lesson yet.  #1 Coffee never kicks in right away, for me it can take a few hours, particularly if I'm already tired.  #2  I should never drink coffee after 2:00 PM.

I dragged myself home, did what I needed to do still feeling exhausted, went to bed at 8:30 PM and passed out.  Woke up at 1:00 AM and that was the end of my good night sleep.  I can usually function on 5-6 hours of sleep but not when I wake up at 1:00 AM and have already been functioning for a good five hours by the time everyone else wakes up.  I knew this day was going to be hard to handle for me.

I ate everything I shouldn't. I did not give myself the time to take a nap--no real good reason, really. I guess I kept waiting for the morning coffee to kick in and help me feel better or more energized.  Never happened. I was irritable, fatigued, and now I felt bloated from eating so much.... well, whatever, you know--stuff! UGH!!

Let's just say it's a good thing I was home alone.

I pulled myself together and stretched. Went to a fitness training and then came home and went to bed.  No coffee this time.  Energy had to come from within.  I slept great from 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM! YES!!!!

Today will be a better day. I've already started with a good breakfast and feel ready to do some more fitness training and then a nice long run around the lake.  It's going to be a good and productive day.

I think I will have to write some things down to help me remember what NOT to do so that I don't ruin my day trying to fix my current status.

Here are some tips I knew all along and ignored:

When you're tired, REST: never rely on some food or drink to give you energy. If you're rested, it's likely you just need to drink or eat something to refuel.

When you're thirsty, DRINK water: sometimes we're just dehydrated.  Drink your water throughout the day because usually by the time you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated.

When you're hungry, EAT healthy: it's like putting gas in the car. There's no substitute.  Eat fruit, veggies, healthy protein bars, yogurt, granola... the list of healthy snacks goes on.

IF you are easily tempted, GET RID of IT! I realize that I have weaknesses so I make it a point of not buying anything I know I'll eat in a moment of weakness.  I also get rid of left overs or other holiday candies no one needs to continue eating.

Now time for a run. I need it!  Have a fantastic week! I'll see you in class this week :-)

Stay well,