W.O.W. WORK IT OUT WEDNESDAY 09/16/15

“Work it Out” – Get over that mid-week hump with the added gusto of a new work out move. Some moves may be borrowed from the Kama Sutra. Possibly.

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What Is Foam Rolling?

Simple!

It’s a type of Self-Myofacial Release [SMR] or “self massage”.

NO guys, not that kind of self-massage.

SMR with a foam roller is designed to get ride of adhesion in your muscles and connective tissues by increasing blood flow to the muscles and speeding up recovery times.

Sounds great!

So…

Is it Safe?

Well, yes, but like any thing else, there is a proper way to do it and an improper way to do it.

It has been used by athletic trainers, personal trainers, and even physical therapists for decades, but now that it’s more mainstream, it is important to know what you are doing if you start foam rolling sans professional lead.

Let’s take a look

TOP 5 Mistakes foam-rolling lackeys Make

  1. Rolling directly on pain  

Don’t do it!

If you have a tender spot, especially in your legs, you may cause more damage by keying in on a very sore spot.

First and foremost, know WHY you are sore. If you simply worked out really hard , do yourself a favor by easing away a few centimeters from the actual spot and rolling around it. Remember, all the muscles and tendons in your body are connected, so working out the tension in one area will have a positive impact on those around it.

There is no need to put yourself in undue pain.

If, on the other hand, you are sore because you suspect you injured yourself, it is not recommended you foam roll. Never foam roll on a swollen area. See the “When you should not foam roll” section below for more on this.

2. Rolling really fast

Slow down! I know it’s painful, but the faster you go, the more you increase your chances of causing additional inflammation.  You may find it helpful to use short, slow rolls as oppose to longer ones.

It takes your body a while to recognize it needs to exhale and relax its muscles. Give yourself some space.

Always, always, always continue breathing while you foam roll. Never hold your breathe. Take inventory of your breathe, especially if you are in pain, you will instinctively hold your breathe.

In addition to breathing, make sure you hydrate afterwards, as the process of foam rolling will release toxins and toxins are best carried out of the body with water.

3. Rolling for too long

Bottom line – spend no longer than 20 seconds foam rolling any one area. And spend no longer than 10 minutes foam rolling your body in total.

Mix it up and foam roll different muscle groups as shown in the infograph below.  You can foam roll every day, depending on your level of activity, most people find it most helpful to foam roll every other day.

4. Improper Form

Just like with lifting weights and needing to have proper form in each repetition, there is proper form to foam rolling.

Pay special attention to our friend, let’s call him Ned, in the infograph below. Take note of where his arms are positioned. This is the proper form. For instance, when foam rolling your thighs/quads, your body should be in a plank-like pose.

If your hips are sagging, it will contort your spine and you may injure yourself.

No bueno.

5. Rolling on the No-No spots:

There are a few spots on your body you should never ever foam roll,

  • The front/back of your knees
  • Lower back [below the rib cage]
  • the front of your torso [where all your major organs are]

The infograph below shows the safe places  – take special note of the one that says HIP – it looks like Ned is about to foam roll his lower back. He is not, I assure you. For that move, you would stay on your hip crest and simply rock back and forth just a few inches onto your glutes [butt muscles].

As a general rule, stay on soft tissues and avoid rolling directly on bones, joints, and organs. Your kidneys are easily accessible through your lower back, so this is one of the reasons we do not foam roll on the lower back.

Why You Should Foam Roll

  • The pressure of your body weight in conjunction with the roller gives your muscles a much deeper massage than simply rubbing
  • Contributes to overall relaxation when done properly
  • Increases blood flow which assists in boosting nutrient absorption, range of motion, immunity, and muscle function and recovery
  • Decreases blood pressure and build up of cellular waste/toxins
  • Increases release of serotonin and endorphins  which boosts mood and overall feeling of well-being

When You Should NOT Foam Roll

  • On bare skin that is open, infected, or burned
  • To treat chronic pain from old injuries [without consulting with a doctor]
  • If you have Hemophilia [without consulting with a doctor]
  • If you have eczema, herpes, boils, or otherwise necrotic tissue [without consulting with a doctor]

There you have it, Misfits!

Questions? Comments?

Comment below or email direct to write.with.ms@gmail.com

Until Next Time,

Stay Well,

MissFit

MissFit is not responsible for any injuries sustained or perpetuated by those foam rolling properly or improperly. Don’t be that guy.

picture c/o ashleyjameshealth.com

W.O.W. – WORK IT OUT WEDNESDAY 08/12/15

“Work it Out” – Get over that mid-week hump with the added gusto of a new work out move. Some moves may be borrowed from the Kama Sutra. Possibly.

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What if  I told you that for three minutes a day, you could move towards the Fountain of Youth?

What if I told you that there was something you could do to get amazing cardiovascular benefits that did NOT involve running, Zumba, or other traditional aerobic activity?

What I told you that you don’t need to purchase anything, go to the gym, or sweat to achieve this?

Hell, you don’t even have to wear clothes if you don’t want to.

This month’s Work it Out Wednesday features the wonders of simple Inversion.

Known in yoga practice as Viparita Karani, this inversion can be as simple as raising your feet up and supporting them with a wall or other hard surface. It can also be used to build endurance towards a should or head stand – but, the benefits of the inversion do NOT require that advanced level.

Let’s take a look at the different ways this pose may look in varying stages of ease:

inversion3inversion2inversion4inversion5As you can see in the progression, you may have your torso all the way from a 90 degree to a 180 degree angle, supported or unsupported.  The recommendation is that you start with the wall support and keep your chin up off your chest and your gaze looking upward to protect your neck. The ideal time to hold this pose is 3-5 minutes.

The benefits of inverting the body are well documented in eastern medicine, and becoming more so on the Western front as practices such as yoga gain in popularity.

Inversion profoundly stimulates both the Cardiovascular and Lymphatic systems, working together to combat aging.

Cardiovascular: inversion gives the heart a break… the heart normally has to work VERY hard to defy gravity and get blood flow up to the brain and sensory organs. When you invert yourself, getting your feet above the heart, you reverse the pressure differential and allow the heart to work with gravity to get blood to the brain [the most important organ]. With gravity working in favor, blood floods the carotid arteries in the neck and tiny baroreceptors sense the pressure reversal and slow down the flow of blood. What’s a fancy term for “rate of blood flow”? Blood Pressure. Meaning, there is evidence that inversion can, at a minimum, temporarily lower blood pressure and help prevent varicose veins.

Lymphatic: The lymphatic system is the waste removal system of the body and it, too, is normally working against gravity. When you invert this system, it gets heavily stimulated and works to counter edema [swelling] in the legs and feet as well as clear the sinuses and boost immunity.

According to David Coulter, Ph.D., who taught anatomy at the University of Minnesota for 18 years, when one inverts, tissue fluids of the lower extremities drain—far more effectively than when one is asleep. Areas of congestion clear. In a 1992 Yoga International article on Headstand and the circulatory system, Coulter wrote: “If you can remain in an inverted posture for just 3 to 5 minutes, the blood will not only drain quickly to the heart, but tissue fluids will flow more efficiently into the veins and lymph channels of the lower extremities and of the abdominal and pelvic organs, facilitating a healthier exchange of nutrients and wastes between cells and capillaries.”

There you have it!

Please reach out to MissFit with questions or comments and please exercise safely and know your limits. The cardiovascular benefits are certainly not out-shined if you injure yourself.

Write below or email direct to write.with.ms@gmail.com

 

pictures c/o http://www.nhimassageblog.com , http://www.gaiamtv.com , http://www.satyaliveyoga.com , http://www.yogawiz.com

W.O.W. – MAKE IT HAPPEN MONDAY 08/10/15

“Make it Happen” – Start off the business week with positive reinforcements, tips and tricks for bringing yourself success in your work, your wellness, and your wealth.

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Another Monday!

Hard to believe that it has already been 3 months since we likened poor poor Monday to our Ex-significant other.

Did you know that Monday is slated as the most common day people promise to start eating better?

It’s always “the diet starts on Monday!” And usually, with good intention, the process unfolds…the trip to the grocery store… the buying of fruits and vegetables…the subsequent washing, cutting, and Tupperware-ing of said fruits and vegetables…out comes the juicer…out comes the food scale…the snack-size Ziploc baggies…the lunchbox is dusted off, packed, and you head to bed Sunday night with all the hope, belief, and positive intent in the world that THIS IS YOUR WEEK.

THIS MONDAY is the Monday where it all changes. All those other Mondays were just practice for this Monday.

Sounding familiar?

We are all guilty of it. Or, at the very least, know at least 5 people guilty of it.

Whether today was that Monday for you, or whether you keep hoping that next Monday will be your big break, I encourage you to allow yourself 8 minutes to be inspired by a seemingly unlikely hero: Ernestine Shepherd.

Forget about a new “diet”.  Forget about this constant obsession with “giving up” something in order to be healthy. This Monday, I challenge you to consider all of the ways in which fitness will ENRICH your life, not deprive you.

Focus on a healthy, positive change you can institute that works you towards a lifelong sense of well-being – not a crash course in starvation or deprivation.

MissFits, there is truly no time like the present. Don’t wait for another Monday to make a change. Make it Happen.

Stay well,

MissFit

Questions? Thoughts?

write below or email direct to write.with.ms@gmail.com

W.O.W. – WORK IT OUT WEDNESDAY 07/08/15

“Work it Out” – Get over that mid-week hump with the added gusto of a new work out move. Some moves may be borrowed from the Kama Sutra. Possibly.

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I was told recently that I don’t feature enough male-specific articles.

Guys, the more you know about women – the better for you.  MissFit is helping you, you just didnt realize it.

All joking aside, I take my collective client voice seriously, and I want to raise a real male concern:

The guy who chronically skips leg day at the gym.

See guys, I’m trying to help you… There are more Cinderella’s out there than you realize. You don’t want to blow your shot, right?

I didn’t think so.

Whether you are new to leg workouts, or looking to break a plateau, this video from UrbanKick(R) founder Shane Barnard is seriously well done. In under 12 minutes, it features five solid moves that can be increased in difficultly simply by adding more weight and more reps. She hits home on the essentials of form to protect your knees and your spine, so listen closely. All five target the glutes, hamstrings, quads, abductors and adductors , all while strengthening your core. In case this is your first visit, MissFit is all about the Core

 

Stay Well,

MissFit

 

Questions/Thoughts?

Comment below or email direct to write.with.ms@gmail.com

W.O.W. – WORK IT OUT WEDNESDAY 06/10/15

“Work it Out” – Get over that mid-week hump with the added gusto of a new work out move. Some moves may be borrowed from the Kama Sutra. Possibly.

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As we saw last month, strengthening your core is key to overall fitness.

While alot of people know this, they don’t always know how to improve it.  From a personal [and personal training] perspective, it is that one place that always seems to be “in progress” – you know?

There are alot of gimmicky machines and “waist” trainers out there. Products that are said to “melt” your love handles away and “vibrate” your abs into being.

Let me level with you – if this were true, we wouldn’t have nearly as much to talk about after a trip to Walmart or the beach, or god-forbid, that Walmart right next to the beach.

In addition to de-bunking the myth of “easy abs”, you should also be aware that some exercise moves marketed at improving your core are not only largely ineffective but also highly likely to cause injury when not done in proper form.

Today we are highlighting the Weighted Side Bend. Also known as the Dumbbell Side Bend.

Take a look at these pictures:

 

WhaNotice anything… ?

… aside from the fact that the dude in the last picture looks like he has a T-rex arm?

Doesn’t it sort of look like they are in pain? Even the two that aren’t real people… did you cringe at all when you saw the position of their bodies?

*Newsletter Newsflash*

Even if they don’t look like they are in pain, and even if you’ve done these before and didn’t FEEL pain. Your poor spine – you know that super important cord of nerves, tendons, and bone that works with your brain to make your body work – is hurting.

A few items of which to take note:

  1. This is NOT a natural position for your body to be in
  2. There is never a time in real life [unless executing this move] where you will find yourself tilting your body to the side like this – – -there is NO functional strength benefit
  3. The purpose of the core is to protect your spine by stabilizing itself while your arms and legs conduct motion – – to bend it to the side like this puts undue stress on the spine and all its parts
  4. The addition of weight to this move exacerbates the possibility of injury to your lower back and spine
  5. There are MANY other ways to work your obliques and build up your core that do NOT jeopardize your spine
  6. Trust me – you need your spine

Think of it like this – you need $1,000. You have a job and you know that you could save up the money BUT you have “like nothing to do all day and  like, you need some excitement, because, like, your wi-fi isn’t working…” So clearly, the answer is to rob a bank . That would certainly get the job done. I am, of course, giving you credibility as a criminal and assuming you would not botch the job. But the risk is pretty insane for a measly thousand dollars. Especially when there are other ways.

Have I convinced you?

Ditch the Weighted Spine Destroyers and opt for something much more effective and safe like the side plank. Simply assume position and hold for as long as you can and then switch sides and do the same. No weights needed, no spine damage, AND you are building functional strength in your hip flexors and triceps too.

Win-Win-Win.

Doesn’t she look happier??

If you are feeling super strong, try this variation as well.

Questions? Comments?

Comment below or email direct to write.with.ms@gmail.com

Stay Well,

Miss Fit

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pictures c/o community.myfitnesspal.com; womenshealthmagazine.com; trophyfitnessclub.com; fitnessmagazine.com; popsugar.com

W.O.W. – WORK IT OUT WEDNESDAY 05/13/15

“Work it Out” – Get over that mid-week hump with the added gusto of a new work out move. Some moves may be borrowed from the Kama Sutra. Possibly.

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If you are going to focus on just one place in the whole body to improve performance and endurance, the indisputable answer is THE CORE

Today’s features move works exactly that.

It is known by a few different names. Some call it the “Reverse Superman Crunch”, others call it the “X-Crunch” or “Starfish Crunch”.

Whatever you call it, it will have Superman, your Ex, and those starfish jealous of your abs.

c/o triathlon.competitor.com

c/o triathlon.competitor.com

 

As you can see, it’s not a very complex move, but it pack a punch in all the right places for building your Core.

The image on the left is your starting position.  You should return to the starting position after each “crunch”.  Make sure to keep your arms as shown in the image – trust me – they will want to be in different places to help leverage you up. Do your best to isolate your core muscles and use only them to propel your body upwards.

Make sure you are lifting your torso to meet your leg –  50/50

[You should come up on the back of your pelvic ridge if you are doing it correctly]

It is easier if you move your leg 80 % of the way and only lift your torso 20%. But to fully engage your core, aim for the 50/50 meet half way!

Do 5 crunches reaching your RIGHT hand to your LEFT foot and then do 5 crunches the opposite way – reaching your LEFT hand to your RIGHT foot.

Remember to come all the way back down and relax your muscles before tightening them again.

Five on each side as described is a “Rep”.

Work your way up to doing 10 reps.

In case you ALREADY have superman abs, for an added challenge, try laying on a BOSU ball instead of the flat ground. The curved side of the ball will increase your available “crunch range” and deepen the stretch of muscle fibers.

Go Work it Out!

Stay Well,

MissFit

 

Questions/Thoughts?

Comment below or email direct to write.with.ms@gmail.com

W.O.W. SEASONAL SATURDAY 04/11/15

“Seasonal” – Take a look at how to stay active and make delicious food choices no matter what the temperature is outside

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Hello Spring!

For some of us this time of year means Spring Break with the kids [which is rarely a break for us parents].

As we saw in Monday’s post, this time of year also signifies Tax Season. With this in mind, may I recommend some Spring Cleaning? Followed by donations and a tax deduction!? Cleaning also burns calories so this is a win-win.

Okay, so let’s say that you are in the 95th percentile of the population for whom the thoughts of family trips to the beach, closet-organizing, and tax-paying sound absolutely repulsive… what options are you left with?

May I direct your to the absolutely awesome site directed by DTE Energy called Active in your City.

This site houses every ZIP code imaginable and all the active pursuits reasonably achieved in each area.

it’s a great way to find hiking trails, bike routes, camp sites, fishing reservoirs, City parks, tennis courts, rec centers, and the like.

Anything to get you outside and soaking up a little sunshine before the heat and humidity drive us back indoors as oppressively as the snow and ice did.

Have a Seasonal Saturday!

Stay Well,

MissFit

 

Questions? Comments?

Write below or e-mail direct to write.with.ms@gmail.com

W.O.W. – WORK IT OUT WEDNESDAY 04/08/15

“Work it Out” – Get over that mid-week hump with the added gusto of a new work out move. Some moves may be borrowed from the Kama Sutra. Possibly.

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Today’s workout move goes by many names, but is quite simple. Some call it the Warrier II, some call it Virabhadrasana, and still others call it a standing lunge pose.

Yoga_WarriorII_02_300x350Perhaps you know it by something else entirely – feel free to write in the comments below and I’ll mention you in next month’s newsletter!

When done properly, this pose feels amazing and doesn’t require advanced yoga knowledge or flexibility.

The pose is intended to be held for approximately 5 breathes [1 inhale, 1 exhale = 1 breathe], which should last you about 30 seconds. Another 5 breathes are then done with the opposite leg bent. ONE MINUTE. That’s all this move takes you!

And check out all the benefits you can get in that one minute…

Warrier II works your hamstrings, glutes, quads, biceps, triceps, and core:

The core is being engaged as you work to hold your balance in the pose and structure your breathing.

Your hamstrings, biceps, and triceps are getting lengthening conditioning as you focus on stretching in two different directions. This is great for toning those areas.

Your glutes are getting a workout as they stay in a contracted position – you may even feel a small burn the lower you sit in your lunge. Be as low as you can holding for the 30 seconds. You are welcome to hold longer or do more reps, just make sure your form does not suffer. Quality over Quantity every time.

There are a few keys points to getting the most out of this move.

First of all – Align the parts of your body as shown in the picture – paying special attention to your knees. You never want your bent knee to go over the imaginary line drawn up from the tip of your toes; this places undue stress on your knee joint and can cause damage.

Secondly, as an ideal, do this barefoot on a yoga mat or other spongy surface. It can be very difficult to maintain your balance if you are wearing socks and on carpet; and if you wear shoes, they almost help you too much and you will lose some of the benefit to your core as the traction on your shoes will assist in balance.

However *please note* if you try it with shoes and it allows you to actually DO the move properly and you want to work your way up to removing the shoes then DEFINITELY do that.

The point is to meet yourself where you are at. Do what feels good and rejuvenating to your body and allows you to incorporate it into your days.

Namaste,

~Miss Fit

 

Questions? Concerns?

Comment below or email direct to write.with.ms@gmail.com

 

picture c/o zazzle.com

W.O.W. – WORK IT OUT WEDNESDAY 03/11/15

“Work it Out” – Get over that mid-week hump with the added gusto of a new work out move. Some moves may be borrowed from the Kama Sutra. Possibly.

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It is very easy to injure ligaments and bands that hold muscles in place if they aren’t properly warmed up and, subsequently, kept warm for a period after the workout.

This can be a challenge during the winter months when long periods of time may be spent outdoors or large jumps in temperature from the steamy gym to the tundra outside.

In light of this, MissFit is featuring the Shin Stack for the Work it Out move of the month this Wednesday.

c/o pinterest.com

c/o pinterest.com

[The pose is also known as the “Double Pigeon to Yogis].

It is the #1 way to stretch iliobands and open up hip flexors in a safe, effective manner – – which is essential for anyone looking to improve on flexibility, posture, endurance, and hip-gyrating dance moves.

To the greatest extent you are able, mimic the picture above.

Hold for a minimum of 10 seconds and then switch leg positions so that the opposite leg is underneath.

As you get more comfortable in the position, focus on leaning your torso forward for a deep stretch and work your way up to holding for a full 60 seconds. For an added challenge, point your toes.

**Important** remember to inhale/exhale breathe during this exercise and keep your neck at a 90 degree angle with your body or simply let it to hang comfortably with chin towards chest. This will help prevent unnecessary neck strain during this exercise.

Enjoy your Wednesday Work out!

Stay Well,

MissFit

 

Questions/Thoughts?

Comment below or email direct to write.with.ms@gmail.com