Category Archives: Stretching
Go Big or Go Home!! Work your butt off, sweat out the frustrations of the day (and any crap food you ate too! 😉 ) Then What?????
Many people don’t know what to do post-workout, or know what to do but think it irrelevant to the overall picture of health.
We have all been told that stretching is key to longevity, but so many people avoid it like the plague post-workout. Some sighting “I don’t have time” or “it doesn’t do much for me anyway.”
Stretching allows the body to slowly cool down after a good workout. It moves body fluids and begins the healing process; making recovery time more efficient and reducing soreness. The nice thing about stretching is it goes with EVERY workout no matter what your “thing” is.
You can find some basic stretches on my YouTube channel.
Another thing that is often forgotten or blatantly ignored is post-workout nutrition. The first thing you put in your body after a workout is what your body uses to heal itself. Now, depending on your health and fitness goals are you putting the right things in your body once you have taken the time and effort of exercising?
One of my favorite things to get in is a shake or smoothie. I am a mom and I spend 90% of my day running around like the rest of the world, but a good shake can be the difference between working with my kids or joining in the tantrums at the end of the day! I get a quick amount of nutrient dense foods in that I don’t have time to sit there and eat. The blender does the “chewing” for me!
My go-to shake is Vegan Chocolate Shakeology from Beachbody. Just a disclaimer, I am affiliated with Team Beachbody. Anything purchased through this link I do earn a commission on. I love the flavor, it curbs my sugar cravings and I’m full for a good 2-3 hours so I don’t get Hangry! This shake is also great because it is a powder mix so it truly is a lifesaver when I have seconds to whip something up. Scoop it into a shaker cup with 12 ounces of water and 12 ounces of almond milk, shake (as I run out the door!) and I’m good to go!
When I do have a little more time, or actually plan ahead, I also like to whip up the following recovery shake. I have adapted this recipe from Power Vegan by Rea Frey. I stick as close to this recipe as I can because I love all of the nutrition that I get, but I also use what I have in my home, I don’t stress about getting all of the ingredients exactly right. Also adapt the quantities to your flavor profile. I like a more tart/sour taste so I use more citrus. So, feel free to play with this recipe at will. The benefits of this recipe is the vegan ingredients. You get a healthy dose of protein and nutrients that are essential to great recovery and in a vegan form which is easier for your body to digest and absorb.
- Juice of a small organic lemon
- Juice of half an organic lime
- 4 medjool dates, pitted*
- 1 Tablespoon Raw Honey (Agave if vegan)
- 1 Tbsp vegan protein powder, Hemp and Rice are the smoothest
- 1 Tbsp dulse flakes**
- 1 Tsp Flax oil
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
Combine all ingredients in a blender and serve! You can add filtered water to thin the consistency and a handful of ice if your smoothie must be cold.
*If you pit and soak the dates in warm filtered water for about 10 minutes they will soften and blend more smoothly
**Dulse flakes are a red alge full of protein and nutrients, you can find it at a local health food store or order it online. I also use nori strips if I have them.
If you haven’t exercised or tried to eat clean in a while (or ever!), Day 1 of a 30, 60, or 90-day fitness and nutrition program can feel intimidating.
It doesn’t have to be. Here are several small things you can do to get started. With these simple tips, you can begin to prepare your body and mind for a healthier lifestyle before you even break a sweat or eat your first green vegetable. Though you could snack on some snap peas while reading this article…
Figure Out How Many Calories You Should Eat
Knowing is half the battle, right? Use this simple method to determine approximately how many calories you should try to eat each day, or consult your fitness program’s nutrition guide, and begin to make small adjustments to reach that daily goal. Using a nutrition tracker like MyFitnessPal can be extremely useful in helping you figure out how many calories are in the foods you eat and where you’re overindulging.
Get those muscles ready to move. If you haven’t used them in a while, do some gentle stretching to wake them up and get familiar with the current limits of your flexibility. Knowing where you’re tight can help prevent injury.
Start to Move More
Even if you’re not Pushing Play yet, you can begin to make an effort to move your body more every day. Take a walk, stand (or do squats!) when you talk on the phone, take the stairs, park a little farther away from your destination, stretch during television commercials, rearrange the furniture in your living room. What suggestions do you have for adding gentle movement to your day? Share your ideas in the comments.
Being dehydrated can make you sore even if you don’t exercise. Set yourself up for success, and minimize initial muscle soreness, by drinking plenty of water in the days leading up to the start of your fitness program. Get in the habit of drinking enough water every day. A great way to start is drink half your body weight, in ounces, each day. Ex: 150 lb person should get in 75 ounces of water each day.
Throw Away Junk Food
Empty your desk, cupboards, fridge, freezer, car, and secret snack stash drawer of foods and drinks you know you shouldn’t be eating. If you want to reach your fitness goal, prevent temptation by removing junk food from your house. If the packaged foods are unopened, donate them. We know you spent good money on those Ding Dongs and Doritos, but they are doing the opposite of helping you reach your health and fitness goals.
Build a Healthy Pantry
Now that you’ve eliminated the processed junk food from your home, replace it with good-for-you staples that will help you create healthy meals every day. Here is a list of 17 pantry essentials to get you started.
Set Up Your Work Out Space
This could be as easy as moving the coffee table in your living room, or as elaborate as setting up a dedicated gym in your garage or basement. You won’t need much space to exercise, but it’s a good idea to figure out where you’ll do it and make the space usable and inviting for the workouts you’ll be doing.
Plan an Outing that Involves Exercise
A great way to get into the spirit of exercise before you actually commit to a fitness program is to plan activities with friends that get you moving. Invite friends or family for a hike, go ice skating, or organize a softball or flag-football game.
Find Your Reason Why
In this video, Tony Horton says, “If you’re really caught up in the numbers on the scale, or the dress size, and what’s happening with the tape measure, chances are that doesn’t really motivate or inspire you. Find a new purpose. Find a new reason why. The reason why has got to be so powerful, so strong that you’re not going to quit, you’re not going to fail, and you’re going to be consistent, and show up 5-7 days a week for the rest of your life.” Watch the whole video here to find out Tony’s “Reasons Why.” What’s your Reason Why? Let us know here!
Build a Support System
Getting fit doesn’t have to be something you do alone! Announce your commitment to get healthier and stronger to your friends, family, and coworkers. Start or join a Challenge Group, join a Facebook group, or recruit workout buddies and accountability partners to help you stay motivated when your resolve starts to slip or you feel tempted to make unhealthy choices.
Make Time in Your Schedule
Figure out when you’ll fit exercise into your daily schedule and begin to make adjustments to reserve that time slot every day. Will you work out in the morning? During your lunch break? In the evenings? Schedule exercise time in your calendar and commit to it as an important meeting with yourself. You wouldn’t skip a meeting with your boss just because you feel tired or grumpy, would you? No, you’d be there on time with a smile on your face and do your best to impress.
Lose a Few Pounds Before You Start Exercising
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It’s OK to Start Slowly
You don’t have to Push Play and go full speed on the first day. If you’ve been spending the last few months or years sitting on the couch, just do what you can. It’s OK to start with a few minutes of exercise and work your way up to a full workout. Five or ten minutes of exercise a day is better than no minutes. Try to add one minute each day until you can do a full workout. In his article, 5 Steps to Avoid Muscle Soreness, fitness expert Steve Edwards said, “It’s very tempting to begin an exercise program with a lot of enthusiasm, but try your best to go at a reasonable pace. If you’ve never exercised, or it’s been a long time since you have, go much easier than you feel you are capable of on Day 1 and ramp things up at a pace that is based on how you feel. If you’re not sore, go a little harder the next day. If you’re a little sore, take it down a notch.”
Author – Kirsten Morningstar
Photo Credit – TeamBeachbody.com