Stroke is the fourth-leading killer of Alabamians, claiming nearly 3,000 lives in our state each year. Every 40 seconds someone has a stroke. It is the number one cause of permanent disability in Alabama. May is National Stroke Month; a perfect time to share the facts about this terrible disorder.
Almost half of Americans can’t even name one stroke warning sign. May is National Stroke Month so let’s get back to the basics on what a stroke is, prevention and what to do if you notice signs of a stroke.
Stroke is highly preventable. Here are some things you may do to reduce your risk:
- Eat a balanced, portion controlled diet emphasizing a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, low-fat or non-fat dairy products, fish, legumes and sources of protein low in saturated fat
- Get physically active at least 30 minutes per day, most days of the week
- Manage your blood pressure
- Manage diabetes
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Don’t smoke – if you smoke, stop
- Schedule regular visits with your doctor
If healthy eating and physical activity is not enough to reduce your risk, ask your doctor about appropriate medication to help reduce your risk and take it as prescribed.
Stroke is a medical emergency! Know the warning signs and call 9-1-1 immediately if you experience someone having a stroke and say, “I think this is a stroke.”
Acting fast in a stroke emergency may help to reduce the devastating effects of a stroke.
The warning signs are:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
The Health Strategies Staff of the AHA Great Rivers Affiliate developed a free, online stroke awareness toolkit to help companies, hospitals, churches, civic and community groups launch internal stroke awareness campaigns during American Stroke Month and throughout the year. Click Stroke Awareness Toolkit to view the free tools and resources. If you are interested in receiving stroke awareness resources, register via the online registration form and you will receive a confirmation email containing a link to access the resources.
Take control of your heart health in order to lead a stronger, longer and healthier life. For more information on stroke visit the American Heart Association at PowerToEndStroke.org.
Cross-training in sports and fitness refers to the combining of exercises to work various parts of the body. Often one particular activity works certain muscle groups, but not others; cross-training aims to eliminate this.
For example a weekly cross-training plan would include a different workout for each of your 5 days of exercise. When you plan your workouts think about changing at least one component. For example: Time, distance, reps, sets, activity, weight load etc.
Cross-training helps to stave off boredom and encourages you to continue working out, the variety-themed programming aids muscles to adapt more quickly to new activies, and you may reduce your risk of injury by not over-using the same muscles repeatedly.
One big advantage of cross-trainng is it may enhance weight-loss efforts. :)
The benefits of kettlebells appeal to people of all fitness levels, ages and genders. Functional fitness training which is also known as movement-based training is what kettlebells offer you. Most commercial gyms do not have kettlebells. However small boutique gyms and independent trainers offer group classes and individual instruction. The best and safest way to start using kettlebells is to find a trainer or instructor with certified training hours in this venue. Balance Personal Training has RKC training hours and offers both individual and group/class sessions.
What will kettlebell training offer you?
- Full-body conditioning. “The body learns to work as one synergistic unit linked strongly together,” he says.
- Big results by spending less time in the gym. “Because kettlebell training involves multiple muscle groups and energy systems at once.”
- Increased resistance to injury
- The ability to work aerobically and anaroebically simultaneously.
- Improved mobility and range of motion
- Increased strength without increase of mass. Kettlebell exercisers are lean and toned, not bulky—a benefit that appeals to women and men alike.
- Enhanced performance in athletics and everyday functioning
- Major calorie burning (In a recent study conducted by the highly respected American Council on Exercise participants burned approximately 20 calories per minute--that's 1,200 calories per hour.)
Most experts agree there are five basic components of fitness. Include them in your workouts.
1) Aerobic Endurance- Your level of aerobic endurance measures your ability to do moderately strenuous activity over a period of time. It’s a measurement of how efficiently your heart and lungs work together to supply oxygen to your body during exertion and exercise. This fitness component is also called aerobic fitness.
2) Muscular Endurance- Muscular Endurance measures your fitness level by your ability to hold a particular position for a sustained period of time or repeat a movement many times. One example might be to lift a five-pound weight 20 consecutive times.
3) Muscular Strength- The ability to exert maximum force. It is possible to have greater muscular strength in one area, than another. For example, you may have great strength in your arms, while lacking strength in your legs. One example might be lifting the heaviest weight you can possibly lift.
4) Flexibility- Flexibility fitness measures the ability to move a joint through its full range of motion or the elasticity of the muscle. This is how limber you are.
5) Body Composition- This fitness area measures the proportion of fat in your body as compared to your bone and muscle. It does not refer to your weight in pounds or your shape.
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Boot camps are a fun, challenging and productive way to reach your fitness goals. They are an excellent way to enhance aerobic capacity and muscular strength and endurance. Our workouts include a multitude of unique training tools from agility ladders to slosh pipes to pushing a truck up a hill. It’s a great workout with great variety and for every fitness level! Many people enjoy this type of adventure because it's a team work environment. It takes 4 weeks to create a habit and to get substantial results. Urban Boot Camp can make it happen for you- Our next session kicks off May 1, 2012!
A goal without a plan is just a wish. It's true! Without a plan chances are you will not achieve your goals. Regardless if the end goal is fitness related or another venue having a plan is instrumental in your success of bringing it to fruition. How do we set our goals? Read on...
You set your goals on a number of levels:
- First you create the "big picture" of your goal. For example; fitness, relationships, education. Identify the large-scale goals that you want to achieve.
- Break your goal down into the smaller targets that you must hit to reach your goals. Years, months, days etc.
- Finally, once you have your plan, you start working on it to achieve your goals. Keeping track of successes in meeting your incremental goals will help you discover where you may need to make adjustments. Don't beat yourself up if you 'fall off the wagon'. Just get back on and pick up where you left off.
Goal setting is always a work in progress. Don't set yourself up for failure by ditching them. Remember to thoroughly enjoy having reached your goal. You worked hard and deserve to be proud of yourself!!!
Always remember... A goal without a plan is just a wish. :)
Do you want to feel better and have more energy? Regardless of your age you will benefit from regular exercise. The benefits of exercise are numerous! Exercise creates energy – energy creates productivity. Check out 6 ways exercise can improve your life.
No. 1: Exercise controls weight
Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. You will burn calories by participating in physical activity. Wearing a heart rate monitor while you exercise and working within your parameters will ensure your calorie burn is productive to your weight loss goals.
No. 2: Exercise combats health conditions and diseases
Being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good," cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. No matter what your current weight this one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases. In fact, regular physical activity can help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis and falls.
No. 3: Exercise improves mood
Stress in your life? Need to ‘blow off some steam”? A workout at the gym or a brisk 30-minute walk can help. Exercise stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. Getting your endorphins up will also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly. Physical activity can assist in improved self-esteem and confidence.
No. 4: Exercise boosts energy
Do everyday chores take their toll on you? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. Heart and lungs that work more efficiently provide more energy to go about your daily chores. Exercise creates energy…energy creates productivity!
No. 5: Exercise improves sleep
Do you have difficulty falling or staying asleep? Regular exercise can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Take caution and don't exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to fall asleep.
No. 6: Exercise can be FUN!!!
A fun way to spend time with family or friends is while you are exercising! It gives you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or engage in an activity that brings you pleasure. Physical activity can also be a social setting where you can engage with friends and family. Make a plan to take a fitness class, hike, run a 5k or hit the gym. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it.
The Bottom Line on Exercise
Do you want to feel better, gain health benefits and have fun? Exercise will help you with that. As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to exercise more. Remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any health concerns.
1) Finish inthe upright position
2) Have a smile on your face
3) Want to do it again
Last weekend was great! I attended a TRX Group Suspension Training Workshop. It was an 8 hour day packed full of education and hands on TRX. Going into the workshop I was already an avid TRX fan and I left feeling empowered to do more! In my Kettlebell X-Fit group exercise classes we use the TRX in addition to kettlebells and sandbags. The takeaway I got from this training was that TRX is a powerful tool for everyone. From the beginner to the advanced each individual will meet specific fitness goals. In the past my outdoor Urban Boot Camp sessions have included the TRX. Fitness Anywhere is what they claim and yes, it's true! Hang it on a fence, wrap it around a tree; the possibilities are endless!
Why use TRX? A few benefits of the TRX are: improved muscular strength and endurance, cardio, flexibility.
Better yet this unique set of nylon straps, invented by an elite member of the Navy Seals is for everyone! One of my clients is 81 and uses the TRX. Another client who is a competitive swimmer also uses the TRX. Then again just us average Joe's use it as well. From personal training to group exercise to boot camps TRX is a valuable piece of equipment which has proven to help reach fitness goals!
I also love their motto which is: "Make your body your machine" How great is that???
If you are in the North Alabama area, (Huntsville, Madison, Decatur, Florence, Athens) look me up and experience the TRX for yourself!