Archive for the 'Sports' Category

Spring Sprang (Sprung?)

March 14, 2012

Most people gain 5 pounds during the winter season, spending this time of year trying to shed the extra layer before beach season hits. But, if you’re like many this year, the weather was so favorable all season that you may have maintained or even dropped a size! Especially if you seized those countless opportunities when the weather was warm to get your outdoor workout on! (Or, if you’re like me, you had the flu so many times it counter-balanced your slack!)

Whatever the case, getting a jump-start on summer should be easy. With just a few simple “to-do’s,” you can be looking and feeling your best in no time!

  1. Tune up your bike. Yeah, you know, that thing in your garage or closet that has dust or clothes hanging from it? Bring it to the bike shop for air, grease and a clean-up. Then, USE IT.
  2. Swap sweaters for tee’s. Clean out your closet. Is there something you haven’t worn in 2 years? Donate it. Dig out your colorful springwear and smile.
  3. Open your windows. Air out old man winter. Get a kick-start on spring cleaning…crank up your tunes and sweat it out.
  4. Fix that tennis racquet, already (or other broken sporting equipment lying around)!! After the string broke 2 years ago, it’s sat under your bed gathering dust. Stop procrastinating…when you actually want to use it, it’ll be ready, just like you!
  5. Sign up for a summer sporting league. If you don’t play the game, you’ll never win.
  6. Suit up. Yes, try on your bathing suit and take a hard look in the mirror. Don’t like what you see? You have just enough time to clean up your bad habits, so hop to it!
  7. Do some sole-searching. Check your athletic shoes: is the bottom worn out? Are they more than 9 months old? Yes? Protect your knees and buy new ones!
  8. Tune up. Dust off your music library for new inspiration: download new, peppy, happy music to match these sunny days!

Will you be ready?

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Keep Wearin’ Those Jimmy Choo’s!

March 4, 2012

I love wearing heels. They’re sexy, fun and stylish. Being a trainer, however, I have the luxury of sporting sneakers every day. The last time I wore heels for an extended period of time was during my wedding weekend. I rocked 4-inch heels to every single event, four days in a row. The pain was excruciatingly memorable…everything hurt from the bottoms of my feet to my knees, hips, low back and neck. Needless to say, the first purchase on our honeymoon was a pair of comfortable flats that I wore with everything. I tried, I really did, to put on my beloved Jimmy Choo’s, but fashion took a backseat to function.

Wearing heels every day can wreak havoc on a woman’s body. When the foot is in a constant state of plantar flexion (pointed), it throws off the body’s center of gravity and posture, leading to tightness in calves, hamstrings and the low back. Weaknesses and muscle imbalances proceed, leading to joint instability and painful injuries, like:

  • plantar fascitis
  • ankle sprains and chronic ankle instability
  • shin splints (medial tibial stress syndrome)
  • IT Band tendonitis (runner’s knee)
  • low back pain
  • lordosis (sway back)

Look. I’m not saying to toss out your heels…but a bit of preventative maintenance goes a long way in staving off the above ails. I share with you some simple things you can do twice a week to prevent injury and chronic pain.

  1. Massage your tight muscles. Foam roll calves, hamstrings, IT band, low back & lats. Roll a tennis ball under your feet.
  2. Stretch those tight muscles. Calves, hamstrings, hip flexors, erector spinae (low back) and latissimus dorsi.
  3. Strengthen weaknesses. That is, strengthen the feet with towel scrunches, anterior & posterior tibialis (front & inside of shins), glutes (butt), and abdominals.
  4. Integrate those muscles into a full-body exercise, like a ball wall squat with overhead press.

Preventing injuries before they happen can save thousands of dollars in medical bills and financial catastrophe…and keep you looking fabulous in those heels!

Labor=Endurance Sport?

January 12, 2012

Can a woman actually train for a natural labor & delivery as if she were training for a sporting event or race?

Think about it: Competitors train months in advance, planning out their pace, strategy and nutrition for each segment of the race. Most hit a proverbial “wall” somewhere in the second half of the race where their bodies begin to break down and the desire to quit overcomes them. But somehow, adrenaline kicks in and soon the finish line is in sight. The racer digs deep within herself to push through those last few strides, even as she feels as if everything is about to give out.

Like any race, labor begins slowly. The first few hours are exciting and full of happy anticipation: it’s finally time! As the intensity of the contractions increases, her focus turns inward, forcing her to draw upon reserves of determination to finish strong, sometimes 40 hours after the first contraction began. That’s longer than a marathon, century ride and triathlon combined!

So, my answer to the above question? Absolutely. And she should begin training long before she even conceives.

Attaining a strong pelvic floor, stable core, back and legs prior to conception and throughout her pregnancy will prepare a woman’s body to withstand the extra 25-35 pounds she will soon be carrying around every day, and may even keep her away from bedrest, gestational diabetes and other pregnancy-related ails. More often than not, physical strength translates to mental toughness and she’ll sure need it for the journey that lies ahead. The sport of motherhood lasts a lifetime.