Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Exercise routine going stale? Change it up a bit!

Don't be afraid to lift these!

Wondering why your workouts aren't working for you anymore?  It could be because you are in need of change.  More than we realize we become comfortable with our fitness routines. The day-to-day hum -drum, go to gym, participate in a class or jump on the treadmill and carry a conversation at the same time.  But that's not why your paying gym fees, is it?  When you find yourself looking forward to meeting Jane at the gym so you can catch up on the latest 'kidventure' then you are not working hard enough, unless of course you meet after a long, hard workout.

The #1 reason people become discouraged with their physical fitness program is due to a lack of visible results.  No longer losing weight, not seeing a change, not even breaking a sweat.  The best way to avoid getting bored at the gym is to change it up a bit.  Here are some ideas:
1.  Group Exercise:  Personally, I prefer group exercise.  It is the best way to stay motivated and it forces you to be accountable because the instructor and other participants get to know you and look forward to seeing you in class. Just keep in mind that we're not in the thong and leg warmer era--yikes!  Yeah, people still wear those.  Keep it simple, please.
2.  Try a new activity...you know where I'm going with this.  That's right!  Try Spinning or running. Start easy, don't kill yourself but do work hard each time to be better.  Be sure and let the Spin Instructor know you are new so they can help you adjust your bike and give you some pointers before class starts.  Spinning is an excellent cardiovascular class in which you can burn up to 600 calories in a one hour class. Running is great for the body and mind.
3.  Body Building: Lifting weights will not give you pects like a man.  Unless you have an excess amount of testosterone or start taking "special supplements", it is physically impossible.  What you will get is a revved up metabolism, stronger muscles, lean body.  More lean muscle=less fat. Working with the same 8 or 10 pound hand weights will not make much of a dent in your physique so go higher, yes it will be hard, yes you will be sore but you will also work your muscles hard and they will be stronger. TRUST ME!!
4. Pilates: Another favorite of mine.  Pilates focuses on your power house, your core.  The result, stronger abs and back, lean muscle mass, improved flexibility and improved posture. I didn't think I would like it until I started teaching it and realized how much stronger and leaner I became.
5.  Want to stay in the same class?:  Grab heavier weights, extra risers for the step or if you do floor aerobics, you can finish your workout with a weight training routine either in the free-weight room or with machines.
There many reasons why people exercise and many more why they should.  I exercise because I want to live a healthier, happier life, I want to be a good role model for my kids, I want to feel good about myself.   Most important, I don't want high blood pressure and diabetes in my life, it's already in my family.   
Why do you exercise?  
Do you have a question about body building, running, what to eat? Ask away.
Today is the day to change it up a bit.  Have an excellent workout, at the gym! Don't forget your water ;-)
Stay well,

Friday, March 22, 2013

To detox or not?

Image Source: LiveLighter

To Detox or Not? This is a questions we sometimes ask ourselves and we're never quite sure what the answer is until we read about detoxing and cleansing diets and the reviews, then we run the other way eating a loaf of bread.  OK maybe I eat the loaf of bread, what?!? I love bread, I wont lie.  ANYWAY, I recently had a good friend visiting from out of town and anytime I have company I already know that we are on vacation together and I don't exactly hold back on what I want to eat.  Mainly the ice cream, desserts, and breads they love to pile in front of your face at Italian restaurants.  Warm Italian bread dipped in olive oil...mmmm yum!  Because of all these treats and the fact that I try not to teach many of my classes during my staycation I feel like I put on a few pounds, mostly water of course, right? No?  After she left I realize things weren't fitting right. I felt sluggish, tired, and weak.  The gloomy Virginia weather was really no motivation for me to move either.

So I decided to join another friend who happened to be on day one of the Dr. Oz Detox Cleanse.  It's a three day program in which you drink three shakes a day, lots of water, green tea, and take your vitamins, etc... Three days? I can do three days.  Note, I'm not a huge pusher of long detox programs.  I think our bodies need all food groups, once in a while we over indulge and it doesn't hurt to get things cleaned up and get ourselves on a clean eating routine again.  

Image Source:  Dr. Oz
I bought all my goodies, many of them I already had on hand and started the next day, Tuesday.  Morning tea with lemon was great, morning breakfast shake was good and filling, almost too much.  Lunch time shake, not so great.  It was like drinking a blended salad. It might help if I had a really great blender that could pulverize the ingredients and make everything really smooth but I don't and have no intentions of buying one.  I drank my shake, again it was too much, I only drank 16 oz, barely.  The rest of the day was fine, had another breakfast shake for a mid afternoon snack and then my dinner shake wasn't bad at all.  I slept great, woke feeling energized and ready for the day.  Unfortunately I didn't have enough energy to get a good workout but that's par for the course. It's expected during any detox plan.

Day two.  I started fine but I had to teach two classes again on this day so I had a cup of coffee mid morning, there's no way I'm giving that up. It's the only cup I ever have, one a day.  Again, I felt tired and with little energy to teach my Spin class so I drank a cup of coconut water to help replenish what I lost during the first class.  Then it came time for my lunch shake... again, not appreciating drinking my salad. By mid afternoon I was craving something, not even sure what but I decided instead of blending my food I would just eat it, so I did and that felt much, much better.  By dinner I really just wanted to eat food.  I had of my dinner shake and ate 1/2 the portion of my meal which was baked chicken, spinach salad, a little pasta. I felt satisfied.  

Needless to say, day three will not be taking place.  I did have a shake but I added protein and a yogurt, left out the lemon juice and it was delicious and filling.  I will EAT my midday shake instead of drinking it and I will have a normal dinner.  I'm sure I will continue to lose those extra pounds I've been working on just because I'm staying away from the cheese, crackers, wine, and freshly baked bread.  Not that I wont have those again, but I don't need to have appetizers and wine every night before dinner, I can reserve that for special occasions or the weekend.

Final thoughts on this detox cleanse:  Aside from not appreciating the lunch shake, I feel like it did reset my habits to eating for fuel and not just for pleasure.  I have to be able to maintain a certain level of energy to teach my classes, to run my runs, and to keep up with my kids, and for that I need to eat to fuel my body with all the right foods.  I lost a total of 4 lbs this week and a few inches but let me be clear, it was all water not body fat.  Don't go thinking that you're going to lose a ton of body fat in one week just detoxing.  You will however, feel better, less bloated and less fatigued.  I may not have had the energy to teach two classes in one day, I mean who does, but I felt great otherwise.

Image source:  John Hart Fitness

Thoughts on nutrition:  Moderation is Key.  Measure your food if you must so you know what your portion should look like, eat lots of veggies, and drink lots of water.  Stop looking at the numbers and start eating to fuel your body with good clean food. 

Tiffany at he Gracious Pantry says this and I agree 

"Food is the big ticket to good health. If you eat garbage, your body will show it. If you eat whole, healthy and fresh foods, your body, skin and soul will glow with health that gives you endless energy."  

If you want to read a little more on how to start eating clean, visit the Gracious Pantry for some really great tips.  

Have you tried any detox diets? What are your thoughts and experiences?

Stay Well,

Friday, March 8, 2013

Protein foods = great recovery

WOW this has been a tough to weeks.  I am not sure I have fully recovered from my race two weeks ago. I came home and hit the ground running, no pun intended.  But seriously, I've been teaching or training just about every day, even on the winter storm day.  Is that good for me?  Well, my body says it is.  Aside from the day after the race, I have not felt too much soreness or fatigue.  In part this is because I continued to move, stretch and strengthen all the muscles worked during that long, long race.  There was no time for me to sit around eating all the calories burned that day and then some either.

Nutrition also plays a huge role, not only in your performance during the activity but also in how you recover. I am often asked about pre and post exercise nutrition and in general my response is to eat a clean, healthy, nutrition packed meal and of course water. But I'm no nutritionist and therefore can't give advise aside from my own general knowledge about this topic in five minutes following a class.  I leave that to the experts.  This article sums it up pretty well.  It confirmed and provided me with some great ideas to add to my routine.  I hope you find it useful as well.

Leave a comment with some of your favorite high-protein meals.

Stay well,
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5 High-Protein Foods for Optimal Recovery
(Source: Active.com)

By Julie Upton, MS, RD, CSSD • For Active.com

5 Tasty Protein Foods for Recovery 460
You’re done with your run, bike or swim or maybe your CrossFit WOD, and you’re so glad to chillax for the rest of the day.
But wait. Your workout isn’t really over until you address the three Rs of recovery: Rehydrate, Refuel and Rebuild.
Drinking fluids to replace what you lost during your workout in sweat (rehydrating) is as essential as eating carbs to replace muscle glycogen stores that you torched (refueling).
But while many athletes guzzle sports drinks to recover, or eat a carbohydrate-rich snack, they often forget about the protein necessary to rebuild broken down muscle fibers. Without adequate protein, your muscles will take longer to recover, and some studies suggest you’ll be more likely to suffer from burnout and symptoms of overtraining.
While strength athletes generally consume enough protein, endurance athletes, ball players and many others forget that protein is as important as carbs and fluids for recovery.

Rebuilding: How Much Protein is Enough?

A good rule of thumb for protein requirements: consume 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass. In addition, experts recommend 15 to 25 grams of high-quality protein within the first few hours after working out.
To help, here are five top protein-rich foods for optimal recovery. These foods focus on the type of high-quality protein that has been linked to strength gains.
Nonfat or Lowfat Greek Yogurt (8 oz): 22 to 24 grams protein. Greek yogurt is a must-have in most athletes’ diets because it provides more protein per calorie than most other foods.
In addition, it provides a combination of casein and whey protein, and because most of the lactose in yogurt is removed, it’s still a viable option for most people who are lactose intolerant.
Flavored varieties of Greek yogurt contain more carbs per serving (from added sugars), so stick with plain or vanilla, and add berries or other fruit to get more antioxidant-rich, lower-calorie carbohydrate sources.
Low-fat Chocolate Milk (8 oz): 8 grams protein. Low-fat chocolate milk provides a 3 to 1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein, so it helps to replace glycogen while providing the essential amino acids your muscles need to recover.
Research suggests that chocolate milk works just as well as other sports drinks for enhancing recovery among endurance athletes. Chocolate milk provides a blend of both whey and casein proteins, which may provide advantages versus foods with a single-source of protein.
Cottage Cheese (8 oz): 28 grams protein. Non-fat cottage cheese packs in more protein per calorie than virtually any other food, making it a great option for athletes concerned about weight or trying to lean out for a competition.
Cottage cheese is one of the most naturally-rich sources of the muscle-building amino acid, leucine. For example, a cup of cottage cheese packs in 2.9 grams leucine compared to 1.4 grams in yogurt and .3 grams in an egg. The essential amino acid is considered the “limiting” factor for muscle gains and it’s why many protein supplements contain added leucine.
Eggs (1 medium): 6 grams protein. As the gold standard for protein, eggs are on the must-eat list of most amateur and professional athletes.
A medium egg has just over 6 grams of protein of the highest biological value—meaning it’s complete with all amino acids in the most digestible form.
Eggs also contain 13 other vitamins and minerals—virtually everything you need with the exception of vitamin C.
Two protein-packed ways to enjoy eggs: Baked Eggs in Canadian Bacon  and Protein Pancakes.
Pistachios (1 oz/49 pistachios): 6 grams protein. Pistachios make a nutritious and easy on-the-go-recovery choice. These flavorful green nuts provide antioxidants that may speed recovery, as well as potassium and sodium, two electrolytes lost in sweat.
A serving of roasted and salted pistachios contains a whopping 310 mg potassium and 160 mg sodium, compared to 35 mg potassium and 95 mg sodium found in popular sports drinks.   
Active logo Perfect your nutrition to boost your performance. Sign up for a race near you.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

My first official half marathon


I set my first official record in a half marathon on February 24 2012 at the Disney Princess Half Marathon event in Orlando.

Was I excited? Nervous? Ready?

Well. Yes. I was. 

I have been training for this run since October 2012 and every time I went out for a run all I could think about was "How in the world am I ever going to finish 13.1 miles if I could barely do three, five, six?"  Wait... did you notice.  The numbers were going up over time.  But it's been cold, my ankle was bothering me, and training was not what it should have been for a first timer on the official track. Still, this one goal kept me on track with training despite the weather and the dreaded treadmill.  I do not like running on a treadmill. It's boring, monotonous, and just never seems excite me. But there were days I really had no choice.

I was worried about the change in temperature, getting up too early, being too tired, needing to pee along the way, but not once was I worried about finishing because that was my goal...to finish... 

 ... and I did.  I was close to tears when they put the medal around my neck. I finished this run but better than that, I set a goal I did not expect I would.  I ran the race in 2:23 and that was pretty amazing and exciting for me.  

The course was through the park and it was beautiful. The characters were out at every turn, there was music, entertainment, school bands, school choirs, entertainers and best of all lots and lots of people cheering us along.  I would recommend this run to anyone looking for something fun and different.

This run took persistence, motivation, and most important, the support of my family and friends.

Next.... I am signing up a for a few other run in the next few months.  Now I'm addicted to that feeling of accomplishment.  And for anyone out there who thinks they could never do it...I just started seriously running 3 years ago.  My longest race was 15 miles about 18 months ago.  I ran in high school, I ran in the military, but never because I wanted to or had a goal. I was running out of duty to others.  
This new passion is simply for me...

Go Run!

Stay well

Princess Terie