Friday, July 27, 2018

Fit For Life: Your 40s

Your body changes with each passing year - and your workout program should, too. "Fitness is a marathon" says trainer Billy Anderson. It's the accumulation of fitness over time that matters. Focusing on strength, coordination, cardiovascular fitness and mobility is vital at every age. Today I continue a series of blogs offering insights on what it takes to stay fit in each decade of life.

In Your 40s

HIT RESTART

Whether or not you're a regular exerciser, life has a way of catching up to you by the time you hit 40. For active types, nagging injuries nag a little louder. For recreational athletes, performance begins to drop and recovery takes longer. For people with sedentary jobs, the hours in a chair compound and can lead to tight hips, shoulders, backs, necks and knees.

Many of these long-term minor pains and injuries can be traced to changes in the fascia - the pliable connective tissue running through your body. Over time, it dehydrates and stiffens in response to habitual movement patterns, whether active, like running, or passive, like sitting. Massage, foam rolling and other bodywork modalities can keep these tissues supple so you can continue to move well, and without pain, for decades to come.

The 40s can also find you in the exercise doldrums. You have probably established, and then broken, an exercise habit several times. The key is to go easy on yourself when you fall out of the exercise habit  - and then steer yourself back to it in another season. One remedy for exercise doldrums is to keep exploring new types of movement. Dance, martial arts, or outdoor exercise can work wonders for your brain, mood and fascia.


In your 40s, it's time to focus on maintaining supple movement and 
exploring novel activities to push through the exercise doldrums. 

Stay Active (in your 40s), Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food

Friday, July 20, 2018

Fit For Life: Your 30s


Your body changes with each passing year - and your workout program should, too. "Fitness is a marathon" says trainer Billy Anderson. It's the accumulation of fitness over time that matters. Focusing on strength, coordination, cardiovascular fitness and mobility is vital at every age. Today I start a series of blogs offering insights on what it takes to stay fit in each decade of life.

In Your 30s

STREAMLINE  

Life tends to get more complicated in your 30s. More obligations at home and at work often mean less time and energy to exercise. This is also the point at which exercise becomes more critical. Bone and muscle mass peak at the end of your 20s. Unchecked, sarcopenia, or muscle loss, can claim up to 50% of an inactive adult's muscle tissue by the time he or she reaches 70. Your VO2 max, a measure of how much oxygen your body can process, declines similarly.

At this stage efficiency and adaptability are key. "You can stay quite fit with just two workouts weekly," says Anderson. "You just need to include as many components as possible in those workouts." Try this combo:

10 minutes of steady pace cardio
30 minutes of strength training
8 minutes of interval training on a bike, rower or treadmill
10 minutes flexibility
2X a week

Another tool for success is the step counter. Aiming to get that 10,000 steps reminds you to move during the work day, to take the stairs when possible and include movement at lunchtime.

When life prevents a trip to the gym, improvise: do some pushups after work, fit in some squats while playing with the kids, take a brisk walk with the dog before bedtime.


In your 30s, it's all about squeezing fitness into the cracks in your schedule. But an active lifestyle can mitigate, or even eliminate, many of the undesirable effects of aging.


Stay Active (in your 30s), Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food



Friday, July 13, 2018

Stay Hydrated This Summer


Why is it so important to drink enough water? Everything in your body relies on hydration for proper functioning. Water helps move oxygen and nutrients through the blood to your cells, lowers stress on the heart, prevents muscle cramping, helps keep skin cells plump and young-looking, and flushes toxins from the body. Sometimes it can be tough to drink enough water. Did you know you can eat your water?!

 Broccoli - 90.7% water

Raw broccoli adds a satisfying crunch to a salad. Its nutritional profile— includes lots of fiber, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. What's more, broccoli is the only cruciferous vegetable with a significant amount of sulforaphane, a potent compound that boosts the body's protective enzymes and flushes out cancer-causing chemicals.

Spinach - 91.4% water

Piling raw spinach leaves on your sandwich or salad provides built-in hydration, with an added nutritional punch. Spinach is rich in lutein, potassium, fiber, and brain-boosting folate, and just one cup of raw leaves contains 15% of your daily intake of vitamin E—, an important antioxidant for fighting off the damaging molecules known as free radicals.

Watermelon - 91.5% water

It's fairly obvious that watermelon is full of water, but this juicy melon is also among the richest sources of lycopene, a cancer-fighting antioxidant found in red fruits and vegetables. In fact, watermelon contains more lycopene than raw tomatoes, —about 12 milligrams per wedge, versus 3 milligrams per medium-sized tomato.

Cucumbers - 97.6% water

This summer veggie has the highest water content of any solid food— and is perfect in salads, or sliced up and served with some hummus. Try chilled cucumber soup. Blend it with Greek yogurt, mint, and ice cubes to make a refreshing part of your summer lunch.

Eat fresh summer fruits and vegetables
to help your body stay hydrated this summer.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your (Water-Filled) Food 

Friday, July 6, 2018

Everyday Intervals to the Rescue

The kids are on summer break and it's harder to get to the gym these days. Maybe you're visiting relatives or on a road trip. Try this eight-minute living room/hotel room workout to maintain your fitness during the summer months.

Set your phone timer for 60 seconds. Do as many reps of each exercise as you can for a minute before moving onto the next.

Low Squat Jump
Stand with feet hip width apart, lower into squat, jump straight up.

Plank Jack
Start in plank, jump feet out and in

Super Woman
Lying face down, lift torso and legs off floor

Tricep Dip
Sit on floor, knees bent, palms on floor directly below shoulder. Lift hips off floor, bend and straighten elbows.  

Up, Up, Down, Down
Start on floor in forearm plank. Lift right arm to plant palm on floor, repeat left. Return to start.

In and Out Abs
Lie faceup on floor, hands under tailbone, knees bent 90 degrees, feet in air. Straighten legs to a 45 degree angle, bring back to start.

Low Jacks 
Stand with feet wider than hips, lower into squat. Staying low, jump feet out and in. 

Plank Hold
Hold plank for one minute 

You can crank out these bodyweight reps anywhere there is enough space to hold a plank and check off all the exercise boxes no matter where you are this summer. 

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food