Tag Archives: exercise

Thriving Thursday: Pain Threshold

There is one major difference between athletes (people who exercise as a lifestyle and sometimes to meet goals) and people who will forever struggle to stay in shape. Continue reading

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Workout Wednesday: Feel That Bum Burn!

My workout class is growing as it’s wonderful. We’re getting lots of guests of patients and they’re starting to show up even when their original friend isn’t there! That class is my favorite hour of the week because I get to see people progress and get stronger right before my eyes. I love it. Maybe they can feel it and that’s why they keep coming back. Or maybe all they feel are their muscles burning the next day, who knows…I’m just glad I keep seeing their happy, sweaty faces every week.

Last night I kept yelling “Do you feel that in your bum?” Haha. I couldn’t post that in the title because my brain is just a little too dirty…anyway! This workout seems to workout the glutes more than usual. So enjoy it!

Beginner through intermediate (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

Advanced (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Tip: As always, you’re the only one who can make this exercise hard. It’s only 12/16 minutes so just grin and bear it, push yourself to fatigue, it will all be over soon.

Exercises:

Side Hops

1. Speed Side Hops (beginner-side steps, advanced-jump very quickly over an obstacle, if it’s easy, use a bigger obstacle)

FrogSquat2 FrogSquat1

2. Frog Squats (only go as low and high as your flexibility and strength allows)

PikePushup

3. Pike Push Up

JumpKneeTucks

4. Jump Knee Tucks (land as softly as possible, if it hurts your knees, quickly tuck one leg at a time)

Fire Hydrants

5. Fire Hydrant

MountainClimber

6. Mountain Climbers

Your bum is going to be sore tomorrow but, in a week, it will be even more shapely. Yay!

Happy Wednesday everyone! 🙂

 

Thriving Thursday: Whatchu Know About Sugar?

The people in the Wellness industry (including myself) have been battling America’s sugar overload almost like it’s the plague. Unfortunately, our addition of sugar to EVERYTHING processed means that it kills almost as many people. However, surprisingly enough, there is a time and a place for sugar. Let me explain . . .

SugarGranules

Every kind of sugar that enters your mouth, including carbohydrates, needs to be turned into glucose in order for your body to use it. GLUCOSE. This is the kind of “-ose” we’re going for here. Remember it. Unfortunately, there are very few food sources that contain pure glucose. Some examples of them are: glucose syrup (found in some of the good sports supplements), plant fiber (indigestible to humans), and amylose (plant starch). Plant starch sounds like the best options here and can be found in potatoes, wheat, and oats but with these forms of glucose our body absorbs it in chains of molecules and those chains must be broken down before we can absorb the glucose itself.

Keep up with me here!

There are TONS of other forms of sugar that contain glucose but they inevitably come with another kind of “-ose.” Because I try to eat food closest to its original form, I’m going to focus on sugar that has been through very little processing. Let’s see what’s in some of the most natural sugars:

  • raw cane sugar = glucose + fructose
  • honey = glucose + fructose + up to 22 other kinds of “-ose”
  • agave = glucose + fructose
  • fruit = sucrose = glucose + fructose
  • plant starch = pure glucose = dextrose (yes dextrose is 100% glucose)

It’s important to note that, although most of these natural sweeteners are made up of glucose and fructose, they are all combined differently. Some are found in molecular chains, some are just floating around, some are a combo of chains and floaters. I’m not going to dive into what combos are better but I can help you figure the correct time and place for eating sugar. Yay!

So clearly, if you’re consuming the forms of sugar listed above, you’re going to be eating glucose and fructose. But what does your body do with all that? Glucose, once our bodies break it from whatever chain it’s in, goes straight to our muscles and liver to be stored. If we don’t use it quickly enough, it turns into fat. Fructose has to be processed and goes to your liver. Some of it turns into glucose and joins the other glucose in the muscles OR stays in the liver. From the liver it turns into fat which, unless burned immediately, stays fat and makes you fat!

Basically, unless you burn the glucose in your muscles and the fructose in your liver before it turns to fat, you’re going to get fat! The only way to burn those sugars is through physical exercise. You knew it was coming!

Strength Training (anaerobic): during the workout your body breaks down your muscles and then, over the next 48 hours, it uses all kinds of energy (and protein) to build them back up again. The muscle-building energy comes from the glucose and fructose. Muscle building keeps those things from turning into fat and, if you train hard enough, it will use some of your fat as energy too. That’s how people burn fat!

Cardio Training (aerobic): after a certain period of time, your body is just continuously burning energy. This energy must be replenished DURING the workout in the form of glucose (and inevitably fructose).

Action steps:

  • If you’re happy with your weight: sugar is ok! But only during a cardio workout over an hour-long or within an hour after an intense strength training workout. These amounts of time are heavily debated but this is what I believe.
  • If you’re trying to lose weight: no sugar is better. If you avoid sugar then your body will burn fat as fuel. Just monitor how you feel. If you start to get dizzy, light-headed, or shaky, eat half a banana and allow your body 10 minutes rest to stabilize.

SugarSources

Some good forms of sugar as fuel during and after your workout:

  • honey
  • brown rice or quinoa
  • bananas
  • carrots
  • sweet potatoes

Bad forms of sugar. Really bad, don’t EVER eat them, they are neurotoxic. As in toxic for your brain:

  • Nutrinova (acesulfame potassium)
  • Nutrasweet or Equal (aspartame)
  • Twinsweet (salt of aspartame)
  • Nutrasweet (neotame)
  • Sweet N’ Low (saccharin)
  • Splenda (sucralose)

Some good news for high intensity athletes:

Skratch

If you’re looking for a fantastic, delicious, and quick powder to mix in your workout drink, try Skratch. It’s made by my new friend, Allen Lim, and combines cane sugar and dextrose. Dextrose, if you remember from above is 100% glucose. Perfect! It doesn’t have all the crappy sugar and other additives that most exercise drinks (like Gatorade) have. I’ve tasted raspberry and he gave me a sample of lemon-lime on Sunday which I drank during my workout last night. Oh-my-goodness it tastes SO good. No disgusting after taste and you can drink it for hours without getting that slimy feeling in your mouth. It’s delicious.

Have any questions or comments? Let me hear them!

Related Articles:

Workout Wednesday: Don’t Stop Now!

Yes yes, I know, “It’s the holidays, I spend all my time Christmas shopping, I don’t have the energy to think about myself, there’s too much bad food around, blah blah blah.” THERE ARE NO EXCUSES. If you read this blog, you probably interact at least a little bit with other health conscious people and, right now, they’re all giving you some wonderful information. It is possible to still enjoy the food, just load up your plate with vegetables before you add anything else. Plan your gifting so you can knock it all out in one day. Focus on yourself for a half hour a day, that’s all it takes!

I don’t care what life situation you’re in, it is ALWAYS better to care for your own health before that of others. You know in the airplane, how you’re supposed to “secure your own oxygen mask BEFORE assisting others?” I know it’s hard but it makes sense. If you’re unhealthy/can’t breathe, you’re unfit, unenergized, or dead before you can even help one other person.

Good thing I’m here for you huh? Because there are these awesome 12 or 16 minute workouts I talk about a lot. Maybe you’ve heard me once or twice? They’re all you need during the holidays. Just do this a few times a week, load up on those veggies, and TA DA! You emerge in January looking and feeling just as svelte as you did in August.

Today’s workout:

Beginner through intermediate (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

Advanced (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Exercises:

LowJacks1 LowJacks2

1) Beginner/Intermediate- side to side step/ jumping jacks, Advanced- low jacks

PlieSquat

2) Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced- plie squat

ToeTaps(High)

3) Beginner/Intermediate- floor toe taps, Advanced- high toe taps

GoodMornings(hands behind head, no weight)

4) Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced- good mornings

WindshieldWipers

5) Beginner/Intermediate- bent-leg windshield wipers, Advanced- straight-leg windshield wipers

MountainClimber

6) Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced- mountain climbers

plank

Bonus) Beginner/Intermediate- elbow and knee plank Advanced- hand and toe plank

Let me know how it went!

Ps. We’re getting SO close to the weekend/holiday/sleep in time. Hope you’re all having happy Wednesdays 🙂

 

Workout Wednesday: Do You Brace?

The brace: anyone heard of it? Not like for your teeth or a broken limb, for your abs silly! It’s this position that you should be aware of no matter what type of exercise you do. It strengthens your core, supports your back, AND helps give you that awesome 8-pack you’ve been dreaming of.

Brace: tighten your lower abs. Tighten so you feel like your attaching your abs to your lower back. Now keep your abs there and breathe. This is how you should be exercising. There are exercises where the brace is more important but if you can learn to do this throughout your exercise routine you’ll start to see huge differences. This applies to weight lifting, riding bikes, running, swimming, EVERYTHING!

Finally for today’s workout:

Beginner through intermediate (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

Advanced (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Exercises:

TriDip

1. Tricep Dip

pendulum-lunge-ex

2. Speed Lunges (hold your feet in place. quickly straight then bend legs into lunge. switch sides half-way through each set)

RussianTwist

3. Russian Twist

ProneTrunkRaises1

4. Swimmers

fire-hydrants-moves-to-tone-your-butt-05-full

5. Fire Hydrant (switch sides half-way through each set)

4-bob-harper-exercise-moves-high-knees-lgn

6. High Knees

Now I have a question for all of you: How many times a week do you workout? Once, Twice, 6 times? And for how long each time?

Hope you’re all having wonderful Wednesdays! 🙂

 

Workout Wednesday: Sore Wrist Is No Excuse

I woke up on Sunday morning feeling like I had a helium balloon in my stomach and a woodpecker in my head. Haha. I don’t know. I just didn’t feel great. Also, as mentioned on Thursday’s post, I have a bum wrist and was making that excuses for the last couple days. No more! So before I climbed out of bed, I thought of my six exercises. As soon as I was out of bed, I put on my workout clothes and wandered up stairs to see who in the house would join me.

Mike’s mom, Bonnie, AND his sister, Kristen, did this workout with me. AND I have a brace on my wrist. Just goes to show that there are NO EXCUSES.

Structure:

– 6 exercises

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times

– total 12 minutes!

– PUSH YOURSELF or it won’t work

Exercises:

^ 1. high knees

^ 2. calf raises

^ 3. crunches

^ 4. plank  < because of my wrist, I did these on elbows and stayed in position through the “20 seconds off” as well.

^ 5. jump lunges

^ 6. low jacks

Let me know how it goes!

And as always, have a happy day 🙂

 

Friday Design: The Bike/Exercise Room

 

Alright, back by popular demand (kind of): Friday Design days! As you all know, Mike and I recently moved to Peoria, Illinois and we moved from a tiny space to a much larger one. Seriously though. We moved from half an attic and sharing a bathroom with another couple to a two bedroom apartment with a deck and a community pool. It’s awesome! Another awesome but expensive thing was that we had absolutely no furniture, aside from a bed, when we moved in.

I decided that I wanted to decorate this right by taking the time to paint the walls pretty colors and search for cheap, cool furniture. Until I found out that we weren’t allowed to paint the walls and no furniture is cheap. Haha. But alas, our apartment is pretty much done and we both love it. It’s comfy and cozy and has some really cool touches here and there.

One of our favorite rooms: The Bike/Exercise Room.

Our goals:

1. Keep our THREE race bikes, workout, outdoors gear plus everything else (like travel stuff) in this room.

2. Make sure it could double as a guest room.

3. Clear enough space so that I could do my daily workouts in there.

4. Make sure we could do all kinds of dirty stuff, like clean our bikes ;), in the room.

The Solutions:

1. Install our wall-mount bike racks and all the other nifty but ugly storage gadgets in this room only.

2. Find a cheap futon on Craigslist.

3. Keep everything off the floor and on the walls.

4. Cover the whole floor with puzzle-like foam mats. They’re cheap, comfy for workouts, and keep the carpet clean.

 

^This is before any kind of organization. It was a daunting task. Thinking back, I’m so glad it’s over.

 

^The same corner with our kits all hung up and a lot of our other gear in the closet (I really wish I could find my real camera for this). Everything on the walls are things that we loved but deemed not classy enough to be in our other living spaces.

 

^ Our beautiful bikes with our “bike care” center on the right and our new futon in the left corner. I was so stoked last week when we found the futon on Craigslist for $40! Also check out the floor mats. Bought those at a Menard (similar to Target) for $30 total. Everything else in the room we already had or “acquired” for free!

Anyway, I work out (and dance) in here every day and absolutely love it. I still can’t believe we have all this space 🙂

Ashley Life Update: Did the bad habit again last night and got a solid night’s sleep. Yesterday was a rough day for me, I was lacking motivation which is not allowed for my job. The sleep helped me wake up this morning feeling refreshed and ready to get people healthy. Pre-sleep experimentation will continue next week. Until then, I am going to look forward to sleeping in on Sunday.

I hope you’re all having great days and making progress in whatever area of your life that you’re struggling with.

xoxo 🙂