Fitness Friday: Wanna Run? What’s Stopping You?

 

Hi there! I’ve been delinquent on my Fitness Friday posts for a few weeks now. ¬†Just too much activity, not that I’m complaining ūüôā

I’m not posting a workout today, just some honest talk about running. I’ve had several people say things like “Oh, you’re a runner? I wish I could run.”

My question is: WHAT’S STOPPING YOU????

I’ve never considered myself an athlete, but after I started running my outlook changed. Let me tell you, if I can run, ANY ONE can do it. I ran my first half marathon this year at age 39. It was a huge goal, and I was a bit nervous about training but I did it. Not only did I finish, but I finished in the top 50% of runners. Far from winning, but my goal was to finish NOT to win. ¬†And it felt GREAT!

It doesn’t matter if you have never run before, don’t think you are an athlete (I sure didn’t), lack coordination (hello… I am constantly bruised from running into tables & walls!). Just set a goal, make a plan, and do it! ¬†I used the Nike Training Club Half Marathon Training Plan, with a few exceptions (I did Pilates instead of yoga, since it is already something I was practicing regularly). I can’t emphasize how important the stretching is!! ¬†The Kara Goucher Pro-Running Stretches Workout on the Nike Training Club app is AWESOME!

If running is something you want to do, go for it. It doesn’t matter how old you are. You don’t have to join a gym or buy much of anything except for a decent pair of running shoes. It feels so free being out there, and I love the acknowledgement you get when you pass other runners — so motivating!

So if you are one of those people who says, “I want to run…” I say GO FOR IT!! ¬†What’s stopping you? ūüôā

OC-half-tee-sm

At the OC Half Marathon Finish - 2013

At the OC Half Marathon Finish – 2013

 

 Question: Do you have a running goal? 

 

Lose Weight in a Week: 4 Easy Ways to Drop Pounds in 7 Days

Lose Weight In A Week

More than likely, if you are reading this post you fall in to one of two categories:

1) You are sick of being overweight, feeling unhealthy, and have no idea where to start

OR

2) You’ve been eating too many desserts lately OR slacked off exercising (or both) and want to lose the 5-10 pounds you gained while you weren’t looking

Whichever of these two buckets you fall into, good news — you’ve come to the right place! ¬†This post will give you 4 Easy Ways to Jumpstart Your Weight Loss and Drop Pounds in Just 7 Days. ¬†I’m serious! ¬†Try these tips for just seven days, and comment below and share your results.

I’ve given this same advice to my coaching clients, and they have had success. ¬†Read their Testimonials here and see what they had to say for yourself!

Without further delay, here are 4 Easy Ways to Lose Weight … starting TODAY!

Drink Water

Water has zero calories, zero carbs, and no sodium. ¬†It’s great for revving up your metabolism, and it flushes out toxins (and excess water) from your body. ¬†I’ve complained myself that water is boring & tasteless. ¬†If this is how you feel, add a lemon or lime wedge. ¬†Plain sparkling water is ok too as long as the sodium content is very low (aim for 30mg or less). ¬†Avoid juices, energy drinks, soda (yes – even diet soda), etc. this week. ¬†You can drink one cup of coffee or tea per day, but don’t add sweeteners or creamers. ¬†(C’mon … it’s a 7-day commitment, not forever! ¬†You want to lose weight, don’t you?)

Cut Out White Bread, White Rice, and White Pasta

Cutting out white-grain products or simple carbohydrates and replacing them with whole-grain or complex carbs diet will slim you down quickly.  Simple carbs are high in sugar, low in fiber, and while they taste good and give us comfort they have little to no nutritional value and cause belly bloating.  They are digested very quickly and leave you hungry just a short time after eating.  Replace white grains with whole-wheat bread, rice substitutes like quinoa and barley, and vegetables, which are digested more slowly & keep you feeling fuller longer.

Do Some Kind of Cardio Every Day for 30 Minutes

Wait — don’t close out of this post! ¬†I promise, this isn’t a deal breaker! ¬†If you want to burn calories, you have got to move. ¬†Again, this is a 7-day challenge to kickstart your weight loss goal or slim down for that bikini you’re going to be wearing in two weeks. ¬†If you don’t have a solid thirty minutes, you can break it up into two 15-minutes sessions or three 10-minutes sessions. ¬†You MUST have time for that?! ¬†No casual strolling here either. ¬†After a warmup, get that heart rate up for a good 30 minutes by brisk walking, walking uphill, jogging, get your butt to a Zumba or other dance class, or jump on any piece of aerobic equipment such as elliptical machine. ¬†You can even go old-school, low-tech and do 30 minutes of jumping rope, jumping jacks, or anything that gets your heart rate up for 30 minutes. ¬†I like to use the FREE Nike Training Club app where there are tons of free workouts just waiting for you & many require NO EQUIPMENT. ¬†No excuses … JUST DO IT!

Get More Sleep

This one isn’t so bad, eh? ¬†Who doesn’t long for more zzz’s? ¬†And guess what? ¬†Your body needs it. ¬†A study published in 2012 found that just a few nights of bad sleep can throw your metabolism into a tailspin. ¬†The study showed that getting four hours of sleep a night for four nights made healthy people’s bodies resistant to insulin ‚ÄĒ a condition that leads to weight gain, diabetes and other serious health problems.

Not everyone needs eight hours of sleep per night.  Some need less, some actually need more to function optimally.  You can find out how many hours you need by reading this post I wrote for MindBodyGreen.  For the next 7 days, though, focus on adding just 30 minutes of sleep each night.  You might have to turn off the television a little earlier or wait until tomorrow for your turn at Words With Friends, but your body will thank you.

After you try this, please come back & leave a comment below & let everyone know about your progress!  

Other posts you might like:

How Do You Know If You Need a Life Coach?

Motivation — Where Are You?

What’s Past The Comfort Zone?

 

 

5 Foam Roller Stretches to Ease Sore Muscles

 

I was very gung-ho to start some at-home weight training this week, and jumped full steam ahead into the Better Butt Workout courtesy of Nike Training Club app for iPhone.

The fifteen-minute workout was a good one with three sets of five killer moves.  Given that I used muscles that have been on a break for WAY TOO LONG, two days later I am still suffering from muscle soreness.

I know how well my trusty foam roller helped me stay loose and pain-free during my half-marathon training, so it made sense to turn to the foam roller to stretches to ease my sore hamstrings and glutes from the Better Butt Workout!

Here are 5 Foam Roller Stretches to Ease Sore Muscles in your legs and glutes!

(Note: all stretches to be performed with a full standard-size (3′ x 6″) foam roller)

Need a foam roller? The Magic Roller from Balanced Body is a great one!

1) The Quadricep Massage Р to relax muscles and increase circulation to the front of the thigh muscles.

How to do it: Kneel on floor.  Place the roller on the floor horizontal to your body.  Lie face down (prone position) with the roller just above your knees.  Your elbows should be bent & forearms touching the floor.  With your arms, gently roll your body forward towards your upper thighs.  Push body back and return to starting position.  Repeat for 30 seconds Рone minute.

2) The Gluteus Maximus Massage Рto improve circulation to the muscles in your butt!

How to do it: Sit on the foam roller placed horizontally on the floor with feet and hands on floor in front of the roller.  Push roller backward with your butt.  Allow roller to glide back and forth under your butt muscles for about 30 seconds.

3) Piriformis Stretch – another good butt stretch!

piriformis-stretch-foam-roller

How to do it: Kneel down.  Place both palms on roller horizontal on the floor in front of your body.  Stretch arms out straight.  Extend one leg back.  Lean forward as roller is pushed forward.  Hold for 30 seconds.  Repeat with opposite leg & hold.  Do this twice.

4) Sitting Hamstring Stretch Рthis one is my favorite!!  I always have sore hamstrings because mine are super tight!  This will S-T-R-E-T-C-H the back of your thigh muscles.

seated hamstring stretch

How to do it: Sit on the floor with both legs straight out.  Bend one knee in bringing the sole of your foot in towards the opposite thigh.  Straighten out the other leg and place heel on the roller.  Flex your toes towards your body.  Hold for 30 seconds.  Repeat on opposite side.  Do this twice.

5) Supine Hamstring Stretch РA supine stretch is one that is done lying face up.  This one will also stretch the back of the thigh muscles.

How to do it: Lie on your back and bend your knees.  Place the roller lengthwise between your knees and ankles.

supine-hamstring-stretch-1

Press knees and ankles into the roller.  Extend your legs up towards the ceiling and flex your toes.

supine-hamstring-stretch-2

Hold as long as it is comfortable and return to starting.  Do this 3 times.These stretches are all ones that I learned from a book by Caroline Corning Creager, P.T. called Therapeutic Exercises Using Foam Rollers

All of the photos in this post were also taken from the book!

Other posts you might like:

What’s Past the Comfort Zone?

How Do You Know If You Need a Life Coach?