Author: jewelpts

Wellness

Rest & Recovery


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women s blue v neck shirt on beige shorts
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There is often so much emphasis on the active part of training that sometimes the rest and the recovery is cast aside.  In order to achieve one’s potential during the active phase of training, one must be attentive to the physical and mental needs for the rest and recovery stage.  Physical and mental performance can be enhanced with planned recovery time and self-care.  We often schedule our workouts into out weekly plan, but neglect to plan for the recovery which is part of  your fitness program.   Sleep is the main recovery strategy and is essential for both the physiological adaptation as well as to the consolidation of skill development.  It is important to training recovery because we release human growth hormone during Stage 3 and 4 that repairs the muscle that has been purposely damaged during training.   Increased duration or quality of sleep can result in overall athletic performance for non-athletes and athletes.   Often nutritional changes and a regular routine can provide highly beneficial results to getting a better sleep.

An increasingly common recovery technique is foam rolling – Studies show that proper foam rolling techniques can lessen decrements in muscle performance caused by DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).  Acutely foam rolling can increase flexibility and reduce muscle soreness and does not hinder performance.  It can work by improving overall circulation.  (arterial function, vascular endothelial function), and improves parasympathetic activity.   For most individuals foam rolling can have a positive effect to reduce muscle soreness, increase flexibility and range of motion before, during or after a workout.  Facilitated stretching, assisted stretches, yoga and massage techniques are other ways to allow muscles to release tension and allow more overall mobility, flexibility, increased blood flow.  These techniques also encourage mental relaxation, which is a component of the recovery process.

The body adapts best when it is given the best opportunity to do so

Wellness

Motivating Yourself


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At some point of time everyone will struggle with a lessening degree of motivation than what they would consider to be their ideal.

Motivation is defined as the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviors.  Motivation involves the biological, emotional, social, and cognitive forces that activate behavior.  I usually hear the term referred to as in lack of motivation – not wanting to take action.

Motives are the ‘whys’ of behavior—the needs or wants that drive behavior and explain what we do. We don’t actually observe a motive; rather, we infer that one exists based on the behavior we observe.”
(Nevid, 2013)

The reality is that there are many different forces that guide and direct our motivations.

At a workshop I attended with other personal trainers, the instructor asked what we would do when we are not feeling motivated.    The answers that the participant gave were: listening to music, circuit training, work out with a partner, work out outdoors, permit yourself to exercise for less time – taking the pressure off, struggle through it, reward yourself after,  and surround yourself with social cues.   When a regular exercise finds that they are not feeling motivated, I would encourage them to ask themselves why as well.

Is it the time that they are going to spend on the workout?

Do they feel guilty for being away from family, or other obligations?

Is it the fear of failure – or they don’t feel like they are up expectations particularly in a class setting?

Are they feeling tired? Sore?  Afraid of an injury?

The number one predictor of physical activity adherence is fun. 

If any of these factors are getting in the way then it can be difficult to allow oneself to actually enjoy the workout.    Working out with a personal trainer in a safe comfortable environment can not only be a more effective workout but can help one to feel more successful and thus more likely to feel motivated to continue.

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-motivation-2795378

Fitness, Wellness

Hypertension


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hypertension, hypotension, stress, blood pressureHypertension affects about 1 in 4 Canadian adults, and becomes more common as people age, resulting in many negative health implications. (June 2018) Recent studies are showing that the prevalence is increasing, and that the control rates for those with hypertension remain low. At any level of high blood pressure, the risks of cardiovascular disease are increased.  Cardiovascular disease are also related to the presence of other risk factors.  Evidence shows that endurance exercise training can reduce the rise in BP that can be expected in individuals with increased risk of developing hypertension.  Long term studies show that endurance training can have an average reduction of 5 -7mmHg in both systolic and diastolic BP with Stage I or II hypertension.

For hypertension control or overall cardiovascular risk reduction, or both it is recommended that individuals make the following lifestyle modifications:

  • weight loss if overweight
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Perform aerobic physical activity, such as brisk walking for at least 30 minutes, most days.
  • Follow dietary guidelines, increased vegetables, reduced salt, saturated fats, etc.
  • Stop smoking

 

Adapted from ACSM’s Exercise Management for Persons with Chronic Diseases and Disabilities -Human Kinetics

http://www.heartandstroke.ca

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca

 

Wellness

Women & Weight Training


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Women’s muscle grow larger and stronger until about 30, and then they start to lose muscle as they age.  As a muscle ages it not only decreases in size and strength, but also loses its aerobic capacity.  Thus, it leads to an overall decline in metabolic function.Jewel fitness workout with client

When contrasted with cardiovascular training, resistance training takes the lead because of the advantage of burning fat during and after exercise.  EPOC which is post-exercise oxygen consumption can occur for the hours- days after strength training.  The more oxygen consumption means the more calorie expenditure and increased metabolic rate.   Strength training greatly improves sleep quality, helping you to fall asleep faster, sleep deeper and wake less often during the night.

Studies published by the National Institute for Health suggests that even a minimal resistance training session has a positive effect on energy balance and fat oxidation.   Weight training can reduce the risk of heart disease (heart disease and stroke is the number one cause pf premature death for women in Canada) by decreasing the risk factors such as a larger waist circumference, high triglycerides, elevated blood pressure and elevated glucose levels.  Weight training contributes to bone health.  Resistance training helps to combat muscle loss, but also bone loss decreasing the risk of developing osteoporosis.  The earlier a woman begins weight training, the greater chance to maintain bone health in later life.   Researchers have found that women who strength train regularly manage stress better and cope better in stressful situations.

https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/8-reasons-women-should-lift-weights.html

https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/guide/sarcopenia-with-aging#1

 

Wellness

Fermentation


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20181202_111841Fermented drink has remained popular over the years.  Fermented food however has apparently less  appeal, however it has recently made a comeback.   Quite possibly it is due to the health benefits rather than the taste and convenience of these foods.    There is more interest in these foods and the impact on gut, brain and overall health.   Helpful bacteria are an important and essential part of our lives.  Every culture in the world includes traditional dishes that rely on bacteria for their preparation.   The diversity of bacteria in fermented foods has become more limited.    Industrialization has resulted in standardized productions using less bacterial species and heat and often vinegar in fermentation process doesn’t offer the same benefit potential.

Health benefits cited  involve every aspect of the body.   A highly functioning digestive system will enable the other bodily systems to optimize their performance as well.

Many of the fermented foods are plant based  and offer a good source of probiotics.  The process of fermenting allows a breaking down of the food particles and makes digestion easier.  In your gut they also help to keep the harmful bacteria from doing damage.

Fermented foods can include water based kefir, tea based kombucha,  dairy based foods such as yogurt, soybean based such as natto, tempeh, miso, vegetable based such as cabbage based sauerkraut, kimchi,  and other pickled vegetables.  There are fermented foods throughout history through different countries and cultures.  Different regions would use fermentation as a way of preserving the food for future use.

I have had success with simple recipes for yogurt, water kefir, sauerkraut, beet kvass, kimchi and assorted pickled vegetables and kombucha in the past.

My current favorite is kombucha – which involves using a “SCOBY”.  A Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast.   Kombucha’s health benefit is glucuronic acid which helps the body to detox by pulling out environmental and metabolic toxins.

You will need to follow instructions exactly as to the ingredients, amounts, equipment to use (glass not plastics etc.), and the temperature and time.

If you are just starting to add these foods to your diet, I suggest that you purchase the store bought plain versions first before you make them.  That way, you have an idea of what to expect from what you make.