Thursday, February 12, 2015

Kicking My Ass with CrossFit

Soooooooo it's been a minute since I've posted a blog about anything. It's not that I have been lazy, it's that this last year has been a whirlwind of amazingness and it hasn't left me much free time. 

Here is a little update about what me and the hubby have been up to. 

First off, we moved again. To Pasadena this time. We move every year. I almost kind of look forward to it. Always a new place to check out and explore, new people to meet and new bars to Sunday Funday at! Pasadena is pretty cool so far. We live within walking distance to almost anything. And we got to see the Rose Parade live this year, which I have never experienced.
We also got a new pup named Murphy and she is pretty much the coolest dog ever, although I may be a little biased. :) 

And last but not least, husband decided he wanted to try CrossFit. We have one conveniently located behind our building so there is no excuse to not roll out of bed and get it done. Our "box" is called Born With It and so far everyone I have met is awesome. 

I was nervous at first only because I haven't done CrossFit in years and Kevin has never done it. We are in good shape and we have a ton of experience in lots of different workouts (lifting, HIIT, ect) but if you CrossFit than you know its a whole different animal. What I like most about our new CrossFit family is that the coaches know what they are doing and they spend a lot of time making sure we are all safe as well as having a good time. Safety is always #1 in any kind of program you do and obviously matters a ton when you are Olympic lifting. 

So far we are two weeks in and we are loving the new workout, schedule and team!

Here is a little article I found that already rings true. Enjoy!

Top Tips For Your First Two Years of CrossFit

1.) You’re Competing Against Yourself, Not Others
Chase your own capacity before chasing the person next to you.
When it comes time to throw down in a wod, don’t feel like you have to do everything RX’d or be able to complete 20 rounds of Cindy right off the bat. Go at your own pace. Let the intensity find you. You need a solid foundation of strength and flexibility in order to progress into more demanding workouts. Start light, get your form down, and don’t worry about the mother of three who is deadlifting 250 as you struggle with the bar. Chase your own capacity before chasing the person next to you. Which brings me to my next point…
2.) Don’t Be Too Proud To Scale
Tony Budding (of CrossFit HQ) describes scaling as another form of programming. Scaling is such an individualized topic that it’s hard to make sweeping generalized statements. You have to know your own body and its limits. But most importantly, there’s no substitute for common sense.

3.) What You Eat Is More Important Than What You Lift
To quote the late Jack Lalanne, “You put junk in, junk comes out. You put good in, good comes out.”
Nutrition is the key to every aspect of your life. It affects your energy levels, your recovery, and your overall defense against disease. To quote the late Jack Lalanne, “You put junk in, junk comes out. You put good in, good comes out.” When you’re first starting out, the quality of your food is far more important than the quantity. Call it whatever you want: Paleo, Primal, Hunter-Gatherer, Pretentious D-Bag Diet; just eat clean. If you’re eating as clean as possible, you don’t even need to worry about the quantity. You are a Ferrari. You wouldn’t put regular unleaded fuel in a Ferrari, would you?
4.) Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Clarification, Over and Over and Over Again
It’s your time, money, and most importantly, health. If you don’t fully understand something, ask. If you still don’t get it, ask again. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you don’t fully grasp the concept, or you think others in the class will get frustrated with you for taking up too much time. We were all newbies at one point. We’ve all been there. Learning the mechanics of certain movements like the kip, squat, deadlift, or any of the Olympic lifts takes lots of practice and critique from a trained eye. If you need help, just ask.
5.) CrossFit Isn’t Everything
CrossFit is not my life. I CrossFit so that I can have a life…and be awesome at it.
CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that focuses on building general physical preparedness (GPP). It is quickly evolving into a sport of its own, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be your sport or your lifeblood. I CrossFit so that I can do whatever I want: Go out, play sports, learn new things. Having that GPP allows me to take on new challenges. CrossFit is not my life. I CrossFit so that I can have a life…and be awesome at it.
6.) It Doesn’t Get Easier, It Just Sucks Less

The longer you immerse yourself in the suck, the less it sucks. You get stronger, build a greater aerobic capacity, and become mentally tough. All of these aspects, combined with experience, allow you to know when to push yourself and when to back off, so that you can attack each workout to the best of your ability. Soon, you’ll come to love the beatdowns. Much like Kevin Bacon in Animal House, you’ll be screaming, “Thank you sir! May I have another?” Well, maybe not. But you get the point.
7.) You Won’t PR Every Day

Don’t mistake intensity for hard work. Even if you’re having a bad day and the intensity just isn’t there, you can still get a lot out of your time in the gym through hard work. Intensity and hard work are not the same thing. Don’t skip a planned session just because you don’t think you’re going to kill it and leave everything out on the table. Not feeling too strong that day? That’s fine; scale the weights and/or rounds or time domain back. Something is better than nothing.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

9 Reasons You Aren't Getting Enough Sleep

So I know I have terrible sleeping patterns. It sucks. My day starts at 5:30 AM, I'm off work by 2 PM, home by 3 PM then probably at the store, cleaning or going back to the gym before I come home to start making dinner so it's ready when the hubby gets home by 8. So then we eat, hang out, relax, talk about our days etc and suddenly it's 11 PM and I should have been asleep two hours ago! Both he and I try our hardest to get to bed by a decent hour but then we wouldn't get to spend that precious time together before we have to do it all over again. :) 

There are some things we had been doing that also hindered our sleep when we finally did stumble up to bed. I am totally guilty of a few of these but making a conscious effort to change those habits. Not only do they effect my normal day to day activities but also greatly effect my workouts, the food choices I make, how I interact with people and how I interact with myself.

 I read a study the other day that just one day of bad sleep can cause you to show signs of depression. Just one day and everything is out of whack! So imagine what days, weeks or months of bad or not enough sleep will do to your mental and physical health.


There are many important reasons to get enough sleep every night; not only does sleep help keep you slim, but it also helps reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. If you can't get enough healthy shut-eye every night, one of these habits could be the culprit.

  1. You go to bed with your electronics: Catching up on Facebook or scrolling through Pinterest on your iPad will trick your brain into thinking it's still day, which can disrupt your body's circadian rhythm. Help yourself wind down by shutting off your electronics at least 20 minutes before bed.
  2. You haven't upgraded: An old, lumpy mattress or dust-mite-filled pillow can turn your nights into restless hours up with a sore back or a stuffy nose. Replace your pillows every year (here are some tips on picking the right one) and replace old, worn mattresses when they've reached the end of their life cycle.
  3. You ate too late: Making a habit of late-night eating can cause digestion issues that keep you up at night. Opt for an earlier, lighter dinner if possible if you notice heartburn or other digestive distress at bedtime.
  4. You choose the wrong drink: That afternoon pick-me-up or evening nightcap may now be the reason why you can't drift off to sleep. Keep track of your insomnia trigger, whether it's caffeine, alcohol, or sugary drinks, and limit those as much as possible for a good night's sleep.
  5. You don't turn off: Constantly worrying, thinking about your to-do list, or cataloging the chores you need to do can keep you from drifting off to sleep. Keep a journal by your bed so you can jot down ideas and to-dos, and shut your mind off.
  6. You're a fan of naps: A midday or postwork nap on the couch can make it hard to get to sleep when it's primetime. If you think your naps are disrupting your sleep, try and save your Z's and get back on schedule.
  7. Your bedroom isn't a sanctuary: Loud street noises, computers on and humming, pets taking over your bed — all these distractions can make you drift in and out of a deep sleep so you feel groggy in the morning. Keep your TV, work, and other distractions out of your bedroom, and try to maintain an uncluttered, cool temperature bedroom with these bedroom makeover tips.
  8. You have too much energy: Exercise helps burn up energy you have during the day so that you go to sleep fast once you hit the hay. Maintain a regular workout schedule during the week so you're ready for sleep once night falls.
  9. You don't wind down: A good book, a mug of herbal tea, and a de-stressing yoga routine — having a bedtime relaxing routine will help you prep for bed and relieve stress and anxiety.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cardio vs Weight Training: Which one is better for losing weight?

So in my last blog post I talked about my newest endeavour with slow motion strength training. Which I love by the way. I have incorporated doing this super intense short workout twice a week into my routine and i am seeing super positive changes. My hubby also is doing this twice a week and is seeing gains after only 1 month. Pretty awesome stuff. 
While I am a now an advocate for incorporating this kind of work into my routines, I also am an advocate for just getting up and moving! I had a client ask me yesterday if it was OK if she did cardio or one of her classes she enjoyed so much on the days she didn't come work with me at the studio.
My answer to her was "of course!" I told her to listen to her body, make sure she was eating enough to support her level of activity, make sure she gets plenty of rest and to just be aware of how she is feeling. I told her that if she enjoyed her classes, enjoyed her walks, jogs, whatever then yes to absolutely continue with those activities, because they are fun and fun things get you excited about life. Fun things give your mind a chance to relax and enjoy your surroundings. Fun things give you something to look forward to.
Now, just to be clear, I am not an advocate for just weights or just cardio or just diet. All of these things need to come together to get your body to perform at peak level. For her specific goals, she has a tiny bit of belly that she is hoping to get rid of. Well boys and girls, guess what? ABS are made in the kitchen! You can do all the workouts you want, but if you are feeding your body crap, then you will feel like crap. Plain and simple. 
This brings me to today's topic. I found a great article from a Beachbody forum that pretty much sums it all up. 

If you're looking to lose weight, you might be wondering: Should I focus on doing cardio or should I weight train? The answer, for those of you not interested in hanging around for the "why" part of the answer, is both. What matters most is the way you train, the system you train under, and your lifestyle.
The cardio vs. weight lifting question stems from the days when "cardio" usually meant going to a low-level aerobic class and "weight lifting" meant spending a couple of hours in the “free weight room,” chatting with your buddies between attempts at "out-benching" each other.
These days, most workout programs incorporate both, often during the same workout. Most "cardio" work has an element of resistance training, either in the form of added weight or plyometric movements, while most "weight lifting" work has a cardio element because it's done in circuits.
There are two myths inherent in this age-old question. The first is that weight training will make you bulky. The second is that cardio doesn't build muscle. Let's dispel these once and for all.

Myth 1: Weight Training Will Make You Bulky

Gaining bulk is hard. I wish I had a nickel for every time I've seen a hardcore gym rat who's been lifting for months, desperate for a few pounds of lean muscle mass, blow his stack when he hears a woman say, "Weight training will make me bulky."
It takes a ton of energy for your body to add muscle. During the initial stages of any kind of intense training, especially one you're not used to, your body releases excess amounts of the hormone cortisol, which causes your body to retain water. Some people think this means they are bulking up when, in reality, it's just the body adapting to the training. It happens whether you are trying to gain or lose weight and has nothing to do with gaining actual muscle mass. Once your body adapts to the new training, the cortisol release ceases and your body flushes the excess water.

Myth 2: Cardio Doesn't Build Muscle

This second myth is trickier. Low-level, steady-state aerobic training will atrophy muscle, so it can be true. But "cardio" hasn't meant aerobic zone training since Richard Simmons' heyday in the 80s. Cardio is a catchall term for any training that elevates your heart rate for the entire workout. These days, since almost all weight training is done circuit style, your heart rate remains elevated during both cardio and weight training workouts. Modern cardio training is almost always an offshoot of interval training, which means it's a mix of aerobic and anaerobic training. And this builds muscle.

What Is the Best Way to Lose Weight?

The best way to lose weight is to follow a solid training system that targets weight loss. A system takes into account your entire lifestyle, workout, diet, sleep, and supplements. Why? Because all of these things affect your body's ability to change.
The key to weight loss is to change your metabolism. While it's easier to alter your metabolism through weight training than cardio, both will do it if the workouts are well designed. The word you're looking for to make this happen is intensity. By that, I mean you need to force your body to work in the anaerobic realm. Because your body depends on air to live, forcing it beyond its ability to breathe causes it to release performance-enhancing hormones to survive. When done consistently, these hormones change your metabolism.
Of course, you'll die if you stay in the anaerobic zone for too long, which is why you only do anaerobic work in short intervals. In between these intervals, your heart is working out aerobically to recovery. As long as the breaks between your anaerobic sets are strategic, you get a powerful cardio workout during every anaerobic workout. For example: circuit weight training—consisting of many sets to failure, with short breaks—is not only a great anaerobic weight training workout, but also a very effective workout for your cardiovascular system as well.
The next factor when it comes to boosting your metabolism and losing weight is recovering properly between workouts. This is why having a system is so important. Intense anaerobic training is stressful for your body. You need this stress to change your hormone balance, but if you overstress yourself, it will lead to problems in the form of overreaching and, if you do it too long, overtraining (both responsible for maladies from lack of results to injury or illness). A proper exercise program takes this into account by scheduling different styles of workouts next to each other to create a balance between intensity and recovery.
Your nutrition and lifestyle are very important for proper recovery. The better you eat, the faster you recover. Ditto for sleep. (I don't care how many episodes of Game of Thrones you need to catch up on.) Sleep is when your body produces its natural PEDs (performance-enhancing drugs). So get your shuteye!

To recap, whether your exercise routine is focused on cardio or weight training has very little to do with whether you'll lose weight. The best training programs have elements of both aerobic and anaerobic training and the important factors for weight loss are: pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone (aka intensity), eating enough to recover (but not too much), and resting enough between your workouts. Balance these factors correctly and your metabolism will shift and the pounds will melt away.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

What is Super Slow?

In case you haven't noticed, I have decided to turn my passion for health and fitness into a full time career. I'm super stoked, excited and nervous all at the same time. Change is hard. Change is good. We need change to grow and become the best versions of ourselves we can be. But that doesn't make it any less scary. Good thing I have an awesome support system and a ton of peeps that believe in me and want to see me succeed. You know how you are, you beautiful people, you!

Anyway, since embarking on this new and crazy endeavor, I have just recently passed my certification process with The Perfect Workout. My new work family specializes in Slow Motion strength training. This is something I have used in my own personal training at times but I had never actually heard of this philosophy until I went to their hiring seminar. Let me say, it's pretty awesome. It gives your body a workout that you have never experienced before. 

What I love most about it, is that anyone can do it and I mean anyone. I have watched a 80 year old grandma in the studio that could leg press more weight with more control than I do. Talk about motivating! It is ultimately the safest form of weight training you can do because it takes all the momentum and force out of the equation. What I also love about it is that I can help people who have never lifted a weight in their life get healthy and strong as well as teaching people who are very fit already some new tricks. 

Try it at home. Do 5 standard push-ups. Right now. DO THEM!!! Now do 5 push-ups with a 10 second up and a 10 second down. A lot harder huh? This is the foundation for Super Slow. It is a 10 second lifting phase with a 10 second lowering phase. This greatly fatigues your muscles in a way that you probably aren't used to doing. Because you are never unloading at the bottom (resting the weight stack before you push back out) you fatigue very quickly. One of the other things taught is to breathe excessively and never holding your breath when the work gets hard. By doing this and moving from one exercise to another without much rest in between, you can get in and out in 20-30 minutes and you also get a pretty good cardiovascular workout without even knowing it. Pretty neat stuff huh? 

But you know me, I am a huge advocate for fitness in general. I get excited when I find new things to try especially when I can see the benefits it can have for so many people! Young, old, fit, new to exercise, people with injuries new and past, etc. the list goes on. Of course the key to any long lasting fitness program is really to find something you really enjoy as well as good nutrition. (You have heard me say it before, your diet is 80% of this whole thing!) And also make sure anytime you are performing any kind of activity especially with weights that you are using proper form. If you don't know, ask someone or research it yourself. I don't know how many times I have YouTube'd an exercise I have never heard of when starting a new program. There is so much material out there so there is no reason for anyone to hurt themselves!

So in conclusion, today is your day! Go out and do something new, make a new healthy recipe for your family (my fave blogger and food guru is, try a new workout, find a new trail to hike, get motivated!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Tips on Becoming a Morning Person

Long time, no write!! It has been way too long since I have found some interesting articles to post. Wow, I suck at blogging LOL

So I have never been a huge morning person but I have noticed over the last few months, that I actually don't mind it as much as I used to. And that got me thinking about why. I am absolutely certain that it helps that I am back to working out like normal, the food intake (I hate calling it a diet, because it isn't, it's the lifestyle!) and getting quality sleep. Which is why this article I found from made sense :)


If there's no spring in your step first thing in the morning, the rest of the day can be an uphill battle. Those who roll instead of jump out of bed will immediately assume a lumpy mattress and flat pillow are to blame. While a decent mattress and comfortable pillow are integral for feeling rested and refreshed, the foods you eat, the amount of exercise you do and the workings of your internal clock can all contribute to a lack of healthy Zs and a permanent bad mood first thing in the morning.

If you are constantly waking up on the wrong side of the bed, the following tips can help you become a happy and healthy morning person.

Sleep on It

Is sleep a priority to you? If you answered no, then don't fret-you're not alone. A large percentage of the population put sleep at the bottom of their nightly to-do list, placing just about every other chore ahead of getting forty winks. Contrary to public opinion, sleep is a necessity and not a luxury. If you aren't getting at least six to eight hours of sleep every night, you run the risk of suffering from depleted energy levels, lack of motivation and concentration, mood swings, anxiety, drowsiness and the list goes on.

Making sleeping a priority is the easiest way to kick-start a healthier lifestyle that will reward you by infusing that little bit of extra energy needed to rise and shine first thing in the morning.

Pack on the Protein

Coffee and a stick of sugar-free gum is not an adequate breakfast to sustain you throughout the day. Turns out the old adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day is 100 pretty accurate. Remember that after waking from an eight-hour slumber, your metabolism and blood sugar levels are going to be at their lowest, so without a hefty helping of beneficial nutrients, such as protein, immediately after waking, your body will run out of fuel very quickly.

Exercise those Endorphin's

Adopting a morning exercise routine will reap more benefits than simply getting your daily exercise out of the way. Getting up and active first thing in the morning will kick your metabolism into gear, and keep it working for at least 12 hours following a morning walk run or cycle, which means that your body is working overtime to eliminate those unwanted fat stores.

You might be wondering what this has to do with being a morning person. If you are not used to exercising early in the morning you are likely to find this routine somewhat tedious, but trust us, a few days into this new routine and you'll be benefiting from happy exercise endorphins, and you will have adopted a new-found love of springing out of bed to get going with your morning exercises.

Battle of the Body Clock

If even the incessantly loud bleeping of your alarm doesn't get you up and out of bed in the morning, you may be suffering from sleep inertia. Sleep inertia occurs when the body's deepest sleep cycle is interrupted, usually by the sound of an alarm, resulting in extreme grogginess, often compared to having a hangover.

Most people don't realize that their body's circadian rhythms-the natural sleep/wake cycle-are ultra sensitive, and can be thrown off by the slightest disruption, such as not getting enough sleep every night or having one restless night. Keep your circadian rhythms in check to avoid bleary eyes in the morning by encouraging healthy sleeping patterns. Ways to do this include: cutting out caffeine several hours before bedtime, avoiding an afternoon nap, exercising in the morning instead of the afternoon, and maintaining a diligent sleeping routine.

Being grumpy first thing in the morning is no fun for anyone, and definitely not the makings of a healthy and rewarding lifestyle. There's no time like the present to get your body and mind back on track so you can benefit from restful nights and energy-packed days.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

#WTF Is Intermittent Fasting?

So I found this AMAZING Paleo website. The author of the blog lives in Colorado and besides every recipe I have tried so far being probably the best thing I have ever put in my mouth, she is hilarious! 

She mentioned in one of her blogs the other day that one of her buddies  has a pretty cool free WOD app so I downloaded. It's called Bodeefit. When you sign up, he emails you the WOD and also the app on your phone gives you the same info. Its pretty neat!

This morning there was an interesting article attached to the WOD. I have heard of this before but never really read too much about it. I'm thinking it might be worth trying out.

An empty stomach is perfectly natural. Fasting is something we all do while we’re asleep and whenever we don’t have food in our mouths — you’re probably fasting right now. Due in part to a recent spate of bestsellers and documentaries, “intermittent fasting” (or “IF,” typically defined as consuming nothing but water for 16 to 36 hours) has gained tremendous popularity in health and fitness circles as a way to lose fat, live longer, and even build muscle.
But taking a break from food can be incredibly controversial, particularly among those who are still sold on the old doctrine of eating six small meals per day. So how could IF be one of the simplest and safest tools for managing your health?

What’s the Deal?

We’ve gone over this before, but to refresh: The human metabolism does not grind to a halt if you skip a meal (or three). For it to slow down by even ten percent, one would need to fast for 72 hours straight (don’t worry, no one’s recommending giving up food for three days)[1][2][3][4]. In fact, even 48 hour fasts have been shown to have no negative effect on metabolism, cognitive performance, or fatigue[5][6]. That’s not to say fasting can’t be a little uncomfortable — we’ll get to that later.
But why would anybody want to fast? For starters, IF shares many of the benefits of following a low calorie diet, such as a lower risk of stroke and cardiovascular diseases [7][8][9]. Fasting’s effect on the heart is especially interesting: One study concluded just one day without food per month can potentially halve the risk of developing coronary artery disease[10].
But there’s another effect of periodic fasting that both reduces the risk of chronic disease and improves the body’s digestion of carbohydrates (as in, they become less likely to make you fat). It’s all about insulin, a hormone responsible for the uptake of nutrients into the liver, muscles, and fat cells. Because the body releases insulin when carbohydrates are consumed, eating too much and too often can make us less sensitive to it. (Makes sense, right?) Unfortunately, an abundance of food (as well as other factors, like insufficient sleep and exercise) has made poor insulin sensitivity fairly commonplace[11]. That’s bad. Not just because it makes it more difficult to lose fat and absorb nutrients, but also because it increases the risk of diabetes and several kinds of cancer[12][13][14]. Fortunately, the problem can be improved by essentially doing nothing — not eating increases insulin sensitivity, meaning regular fasts allow you to eat more carbs, get less sick, and burn more fat[11][10].
Twenty-four hour fasts have also been shown to increase the brain’s production of growth hormone by up to 2,000 percent in men and 1,300 percent in women (the effect ends when the fast does). This is good news for anybody looking to slow the aging process: Growth hormone isn’t just awesome at lowering body fat while preserving muscle (weightlifters, rejoice!) but it improves physical function, bone quality, and longevity[17][18][19].

So Fasting Affects Men and Women Differently?

It just might, but exactly why or how much is still a point of debate. While there are some assertions that women are more sensitive to the stress of going without food, many have great success with it. More research is needed, but it’s important to remember that as with all diets, IF works for some people and doesn’t for others. Feel it out and see what works for you.

Won’t I Get Hungry?

We hear ya. While on a fast, it’s a good idea to drink plenty of water, plain tea, black coffee, and other very low-calorie drinks to keep the stomach from feeling too empty — even diet soda isn’t considered a fast breaker. But it might relax you to know the initial hunger probably isn’t because the body requires food, but because of a hormone called ghrelin.
Ghrelin is an appetite stimulant the body learns to secrete based off your meal patterns, so it makes you hungry when you would normally be eating. (This has earned it the nickname, “hunger’s timekeeper.”) That’s why eating throughout the day keeps you hungry, and it can also make IF uncomfortable at first[20]. After a few fasts, however, the body learns to produce less ghrelin, and you get more control over when you eat.
But those first few fasts can be jarring, and for some, struggling with ghrelin is not worth the adaptation period — and that’s fine! Eating is personal, and if the discomfort is severe, there’s no obligation to continue. The takeaway here is that you have more control over when you eat than you might think. Like most things, it just takes a little practice.

So Should I Try It Out?

The science behind IF is pretty solid, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only path to better health. If fighting through ghrelin surges or skipping meals with loved ones become insurmountable problems, or if you’re hypoglycaemic, diabetic, or have a history of eating disorders, IF might be worth avoiding. As always, it’s wise to speak with a physician before changing the way you eat.
It’s also important to remember that no matter when we eat, what and how much we eat is always important — the improved hormones and smaller eating windows of IF are not a carte blanche to consume thousands of extra calories!
Of course, ideas about exactly when to eat and when to fast can vary from one person to the next. There are many different IF protocols: Some swear by a daily fast of 16 hours, and others prefer 24-hour fasts once or twice a week. Keep track of how you feel, and again, if the fast is too hard, just break it. Try again another time, perhaps after a particularly big meal. If it’s unbearable, stop bearing it. While a heightened awareness of food intake is a great side effect, the best part of intermittent fasting — at least according to its proponents — is the flexibility and simplicity it brings to the eating process: Eat when hungry, don’t when not. Six meals per day or one big dinner, the research shows that you can eat when you feel like eating. The metabolism won’t shut down, muscles won’t atrophy, and the sun will rise in the morning. It takes a load off, don’t it?
There’s no harm in giving it a try. Intermittent fasting is rapidly becoming a popular and powerful method for fighting disease, improving body composition, and taking some of the stress out of dieting and meal planning, but remember: if it doesn’t work for you, it’s not the only way to get results.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Top 5 Benefits of Reverse Running, Whaaaaa?

Wow! Has it really been this long since I have written anything??

It has been one crazy filled year I can say that! Well, no more procrastinating and NO MORE EXCUSES!

So last year as I had mentioned before, I had that terrible back injury. I can say with much relief that I pushed through and came out victorious. I am about 99.9% healed!
With that said, I have been working really hard and have for sure had some ups and downs, highs and lows with life, work, my workouts, diet etc.

I always love the beginning of new months because it forces me to get back on track, re evaluate my goals and make changes and better choices. So that's exactly what I plan on doing! It is time to start new and keep accountable again. Just in time for the holidays right?? LOL!
I am giving myself a great goal and this article that I found might just play into it. I have wanted to do a Tough Mudder for the longest time but that dream was put to the side when I had my injury. Now that I am almost 100%, I have decided to do my first one in March of next year! Plenty of time to train and get into beast mode!

Since I have been able to start running again, a lot of articles about reverse running have caught my eye. I have yet to try it but I think I might have to. What do you guys think?

Backward running also called retro running or retro locomotion is considered more effective than forward running. The benefits of reverse running are numerous: it burns more calories than forward running. Reverse running can help with hamstring related injuries or aching knees. Reverse running strengthens quadriceps, oblique, calves, shins and back muscles.
It is said that taking 100 steps backward is equivalent to taking 1000 steps forward. Reverse running also promotes a healthier posture alignment, when you run backwards your back remains straight, putting your muscles and spine less at risk.

Reverse Running Benefits

Let’s dig into the core reverse running benefits according to University of Oregon in Biomechanics/Sports Medicine Laboratory:
  • It gives you a more erect posture.
  • Range of motion at the hip joint is reduced with increased flexion and lesser extension.
  • Functional active range of motion at knee joints.
  • Improvement of muscular balance.
Benefits of reverse running include help with injury rehabilitation:
  • Due to differences in trunk posture, it is highly recommended for back rehabilitation.
  • Recovery from hip joint and hamstring injuries.
  • Surgical knee joint rehabilitation.
  • Recovery from sprain ankle injuries.
  • Recovery from Achilles’ tendon.

Benefits of Reverse Running: Cardiovascular Health

According to Stellenbosch University in South Africa, reverse running technique helps to improve cardiovascular fitness. Backward running required reduced intake of oxygen, which results in increased aerobic fitness and reduction in up to 2.5 percent of body fat.

Translates Into Smarter Caloric Burn

Trying to lose pounds? Set your objective to reverse running and achieve a milestone. Running backwards burn 20 percent more calories than forward sprinting. Reverse running benefits you in two ways:
(a) You can easily set your daily exercise schedule and burn more number of calories or
(b) You can burn desired number of calories in a less time consuming fitness schedule.

Alleviates Boredom and Weariness

During your regular fitness activity, taking the same run on the track gets tedious. And trust me, when exercise or any other thing starts to bore you, you lose focus, interest and passion for that sport. What can invigorate your daily runs can be a mix of backward running along with forward running. The next time you get up for your run, you will be excited to incorporate this new technique into your old routine, completely boosting your fitness goals.

Less Strain on the Knee

In medical conditions such as arthritis, backward running may be the ultimate fitness solution. What differentiates backward running from forward running are the backward steps which result in reduced impact to your knees. In forward running your heel comes in contact with the ground first, generating waves of energy that directly impacts your knees causing the muscles around your knees to swell whereas in reverse running the impact is very low, due to forefront stepping.

Balanced Muscle Development

As opposed to forward running, reverse running works on opposite muscular groups of your body. For example take front curls in a bodybuilding workout. What if you did reverse curls too? You can get the same results with reverse running. It helps develop muscle groups which are not regularly exercised.
Before trying any of the above, consult a fitness expert or your doctor. Stay safe, happy reverse running!

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