Wellness

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

Wellness

Eat your Way to Better Digestion


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When it comes to digestion, there are so many factors at play. Good digestion is not just about the kind of foods you eat, but when and how you eat, too. These tips and tricks can help you on the path to better digestion and help reduce that post-meal bloating.

Chew, Chew, Chew!

It seems simple, but most people do not chew nearly enough before swallowing. Getting your food into smaller particles before it hits your stomach is essential, but often overlooked. Breaking down your food is the first phase of digestion, if you skip this step it means your stomach needs to work twice as hard. When your food hits your stomach, the presence of saliva also triggers the stomach to produce acid and its own digestive enzymes. The more you chew, the more saliva will be present – therefore reducing gas and bloating.

Change your Eating Habits

Do you have the tendency to eat food at your desk or on the run? This can have a big impact on your digestion. Your brain and digestive system are interconnected, so feeling stressed over a deadline or eating your breakfast in morning traffic is going to add to any digestive upsets. Eating in a relaxed environment, free from distraction, will allow you to be more present with the process. This will help you eat more slowly and mindfully. It also means your body will have a chance to prepare for the food that’s on its way.

Consume Natural Foods

Use a whole food diet over one made up of processed foods. Whole foods contain a higher percentage of fiber, which helps your food digest properly. Plus, eating nutrient dense and nourishing foods will give your digestive tract the support it needs. Process foods may contain toxins that can increase the risk of constipation and/or diarrhea, as well as other unfavorable digestive symptoms. Also consider holistic approach to nutrition which has proven to help with digestion.

Staying Hydrated

Water plays a major role in digesting solid food, as well as nutrient absorption. Dehydration can lead to backing up in your gut causing bloating. It is  really important to consider your timing when drinking water. Try to avoid liquids half an hour before and after meals. You don’t want to dilute stomach acids that work to break down food, otherwise your digestion will suffer.

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