With so much evidence to suggest that high-intensity strength training and cardio-respiratory exercise programs help to produce anti-aging benefits, we should all be attempting to incorporate this into our routine. I especially encourage my baby-boomers to work at these levels, once the progression has been done and their fitness level allows it.
The American Institute of Cancer Research has determined that being overweight increases a woman's risk of ovarian cancer. This doesn't necessarily mean being obese, just over your ideal weight. This is a review of previous studies involving 4 million women. This is strong evidence and I really hope women take this seriously. It's one more reason to get out there and get moving. Go hiking, take a fitness class, or hire a trainer, but just get moving! And remember to do it regularly.... daily!
Don't tell yourself that you are too busy to workout! We get energy from our workouts so they are even more important this time of the year! Staying on a regular workout schedule gives us the ability to sustain the extra errands, parties, and outings that this month is known for! Head to the gym and then the mall... you will get twice as much accomplished and feel better doing it!
So the news is out: The top two fitness trends for 2014 are high-intensity interval training, (ie P90X) and body-weight training (push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups and planks) according to a recent annual fitness trends survey. So how long do we think these trends will last? Push ups and pull ups have been around forever, so is it like fashion, and if you wait around long enough, it will come back 'in style'? I'm just glad it's back because these workouts can be done anywhere, anytime! For the record, I expect TRX to be BIG in 2014 as well!
I read an article recently encouraging people to be true to who they are. This touched me because I believe in this idea 110%. It seems like our society encourages us to be like everyone else, do what they do, think alike. On the other hand, I'm always telling my kids to be unique, stand up for what you believe in... BE YOURSELF! Doesn't it make more sense to let go of those silly expectations and break out so you can be genuine and authentic to who you really are from the inside out? Of course it's great to have role models, and I believe we all should because this can make us a better person. So when my son says to me "I don't want to be like so and so, I want to be better than he is!" Well, I understand where he is coming from. We can look up to people and learn from them but we can still be true to who we are.
With the change of seasons and only 3 months left in the year, comes an opportunity to reflect on what's working for us and what we may need to change. This concept will apply to our workouts as well as our lives in general. Try to let go of the negative or unimportant things and concentrate on the positive. For example, we all have something good to share with others... it may be attitude, knowledge, happiness, or encouragement. Why not focus on this for a little while? Wait and see where it takes you. After all, it always feels better to give than to receive!
Do we ever really appreciate our good health? Maybe not until we experience an injury, sickness, illness or some type of condition that sets us back. In reality, most of us are striving every day to either maintain our good health, or to get it back! Either way, I believe that it is super important to keep a strong mental attitude (think positive) and to listen to how our bodies are responding. The mental game is just as important as the physical aspect. I see it all the time in athletes, as well as non-athletes when they share their stories of miraculous recoveries. It's awesome to see people using their 'brain-power' in a healing way!
What does pain mean during a workout? Sometimes pain is a sign to pull back. Sometimes pain means you need to make adjustments in your posture, amount of weight you're lifting, form, technique, alignment, or timing. Sometimes a little pain leads to great improvements... And I love the saying that sometimes pain is just weakness leaving your body! So know your body, know your pain threshold and know when the "No Pain, No Gain" saying is acceptable and when it is not.
How soon after I workout should I eat? And what should I eat? These are some questions that come up frequently with my clients. In short, we should eat as soon after the workout as possible... within 30 minutes, if possible. This meal should consist of both carbohydrate and protein. We need to replenish our protein stores as well as the carbohydrates in order to restore the depleted muscle glycogen. An example of a good post-workout meal would be a whey-protein drink with fruit and/or fruit juice. This type of protein will be digested by your body much faster than any solid food or other type of protein. Remember to stay away from fats after the workout because they will slow down the digestive process.