I like to think that my knowledge, experience and advice is always received with open arms, but I realize this is not always the case. Sometimes my words fall on deaf ears, as people aren’t even contemplating making a change in their life that would support some of the health and fitness advice I try to share. So sad
With the holidays approaching fast (9 days until Thanksgiving mind you) it becomes more apparent to me that I need to make a remarkable blog post to inspire, or at least scratch the surface in an effort to get individuals to contemplate taking care of themselves during this time of the year. So to any of you that are listening, hear this- you need me, my advice and experience to keep you healthy through the holidays!!
5 Reasons You Need Health and Fitness Through the Holidays:
1. STRESS RELIEF- need a I say more? Over and over again research touts the effects of regular exercise and reducing the effects of stress. Nothing works better than a little walk after dealing with your drama queen family member, or a brisk effort activity to clear your head.
2. KEEP THE WEIGHT OFF- extra holiday cookies at lunch, a couple of cosmos at the company Christmas party or some really, rich and gooey spread you normally don’t indulge in can lead to a couple of extra pounds through the next 8 weeks. I don’t know about you, but most of the people I work with do NOT want this to happen so my advice is this: indulge a little, but expend a little more effort/intensity with your workouts, avoid missing any of your regular sessions and add one more day per week to burn some more calories and keep the weight off.
3. IMPROVE MOOD/MINDSET- it’s hard for me to believe, but some people actually become depressed and upset with the holidays. Not having enough money, the stress of decorating, dealing with family, friends and coworkers in their jovial state can actually send some people right into crazy mode. Thankfully, exercise can help combat this and improve mood, mindset and keep stress at bay. So before you attack the nice Santa gleefully swinging his bell in front of Macy’s, go take a brisk walk, decompress and then drop a dollar into the donation pot
4. RELEASE THE KINKS- this time of year can bring increased incidence of lower and upper back, neck, hip and leg tightness. All of this is usually related to carrying extra loads on one side (hello, holiday shopping bags), less sleep from extra activities, stress-related tension and traveling in planes, trains and automobiles (great movie by the way). Regular flexibility training, performed at least 2-3 days per week, will increase joint range of motion and decrease the incidence of developing those holiday related kinks. Try a yoga class or get with a personal trainer who can show you a few stretches to relieve those tight spots.
5. SUPPORT- fitness professionals want to help, encourage, motivate and keep you happy, healthy and prosperous through this holiday season. One of our job responsibilities is being your personal motivator and coach. We walk the talk, understand the demands that can be placed on people during this time of year and will adjust and modify your workout regimes to fit your time availability. If nothing else, we are there for accountability and reassurance. Consider us the resource to make your holidays fit and healthy. On a personal note, I think some of my clients may think of me more as the Grinch who steals their ideas of second helpings of Christmas fudge and eggnog
Whatever your state of mind is this season, just remember I will be watching, observing and taking notes. After all, if it weren’t for all of your fabulous holiday mannerisms both in and out of the fitness facility I wouldn’t have any advice to offer. If nothing else, just remind yourself of the 5 reasons you need to know of me and my work.
Embrace this holiday season with smiles, cheer and a little sweat!
Gobble, Gobble, Jingle, Jingle, and a big BOOM to you and your loved ones.
PS- check out the FREE holiday events happening at FIT Launch
Flexibility is one of the most neglected areas in an exercise program, and is the last of the three essentials to proper fitness training. The general goal of stretching is to increase or maintain the range of motion around a particular joint. Maintaining or increasing this range of motion can have many benefits to your activities of daily living as well as potentially decreasing or eliminating certain chronic tight areas that can increase the risk of developing orthopedic issues. Hello- lower back pain; this is usually caused by hamstring, lower back and hip flexor tightness.
Additionally, stretching and flexibility training assists in cooling down the body after a heavy workout and has shown to be a fabulous technique for stress relief. Yoga anyone? Current research supports the best time to stretch your muscles is after your workouts when you no longer need to produce large forces within the joints or after a 5-10 minute warm up. The bottom line is the muscles need to be warm to stretch. Cold muscle is like a piece of taffy from the freezer, loosen it up so the joints are supple, have lubrication and are ready for elongation and mild tension. Use our guidelines below to set up your flexibility training and don’t forget to put it into your weekly workout program.
- Mode- static (non-moving) stretches, passive and active stretches
- Frequency- 2-3 days per week minimum, 5-7 optimal especially for tighter areas
- Intensity- stretch to tightness at the end of range of motion but not pain; mild discomfort
- Time- hold stretches 15-30 seconds
- Repetitions- 2-4 per stretch per side
- Stretch all major muscle groups as well as those involved in your exercise routine and your tighter areas. Most common: hamstrings, hip flexors, inner/outer thigh, calves, lateral trunk, upper back, lateral neck, anterior chest and shoulder area
I will be posting my fab 5 stretches next week. The 5 moves are an easy way to stretch all the tight areas in your body in a minimal amount of time, and meet all the guidelines for flexibility training.