Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Keeping Healthy and Active During The Holidays....

seems like a difficult thing to do for most of us. There are so many parties, gatherings, or events to go to or host; shopping and wrapping to be done; food to cook and kitchens to clean; houses to decorate... The list never seems to end during this festive time of the year.

The main factor in making you successful at getting your fitness time in during this busy time of year is the same as it is all year long - making it a priority in your schedule! The changes in our schedules during the Holidays requires us to be more creative and flexible in how and when we fit our fitness times into our hectic schedules.

For some people, like myself, that means getting up early and running before my husband goes to work... no matter how cold, wet or dark it is. Because it's cold, wet and dark I make sure that I can go for my runs safely. I wear my warm winter, weather proof and reflective running clothes (check out www.Athleta.com and www.Lucy.com for great running clothes for all seasons!). I make sure I have at least one or two other people to run with. If I just have one other person to run with I take our chocolate lab, Trixie with me, for added protection. We run on lighted streets so we are more visible.

Another option we do sometimes when early mornings do not work out on any given day is we run later while my kids ride their bikes along side of us. Yes - this is possible even in the rain. I put them in their rain pants, rain jackets and rain boots and off we go!

Those are just a few ways I make sure I stick to my fitness times during the holidays. I hope they inspire you to figure out how to keep your fitness times in your schedule.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Toning Shoes

As a personal trainer, I have been getting a lot of questions lately about Toning Shoes. It seems like every shoe company out there has started to market one. They all claim that they will do fabulous things for your legs and butt. But, (pun totally intended!) do they really work?

Until now, all studies that have been available were from the companies themselves. So it stands to reason that those studies would say that the shoes deliver on their many promises. Now, thanks to American Council on Exercise we have a concrete, UNBIASED study on Toning Shoes - putting them to the test to see if the claims the companies are making are true.

Here's the article sharing the study's results.

So here's the bottom line:
Want slimmer legs? A better butt? Want to burn more calories?


And do it safely - in properly fitted shoes for that specific activity (walking, running, cross training). Never been fitted for shoes? Visit your local running store: Fleet Feet Sports (Santa Rosa and other cities), Heart & Sole Sports (Santa Rosa), The Running Store (Napa) and See Jane Run (Oakland & Danville) are a few you can find in the San Francisco Bay Area. They will get you all set to start on your new walking/running/exercise program.

Want or need some guidance on getting started with a new walking/running/exercise program? Contact me and let's chat. I would love the opportunity to help you get started on your journey to a healthier lifestyle.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Email me your favorite exercises!!!

Hello! So coming up in a couple weeks at Outdoor Family Fitness is a class made up of YOUR favorite exercises. All you have to do is email me the exercises that you have LOVED from other Outdoor Family Fitness classes and I will take the top ten (making sure we have a well rounded class!) and use those top 10 exercises for that class.

Who's excited?!?!?!!! I know I am! I can't wait to see what your favorites are.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Tip on Staying Hydrated

With the super-hot weather we had this week I thought it would be good to touch on the importance of staying hydrated while exercising.

Here's some hydration facts:
1) Being dehydrated by 1% increases your heart rate by 3-5 beats per minute!
2) Being more than 2% dehydrated in warm environments causes a decline in performance!
- In one study of runners in a 12K race, those who were dehydrated finished 2:30 minutes SLOWER than the runners that were properly hydrated.
3) Dehydration causes your blood volume to drop which lowers your body's ability to transfer heat and forces your heart to beat faster.

So how do we properly hydrate??
1) Drink 8 - 16 oz of water 1-2 hours prior to a run (or any exercise done outdoors in heat)
2) Drink 4 - 8 oz 15 - 30 minutes prior to starting the run/exercise.
3) Sip as needed during your run/exercise. You should not get to the point you feel thirsty!
4) After exercise, be sure to consume 4 - 6 oz for every 20 minutes that you were running/exercising in order to replenish your fluids.

Are you a distance runner? Here's a tip for doing distance in the heat: Before your run, make a slushy of ice and your favorite sports drink. Or, fill your water bottle half full the night before and freeze; before your run top off the bottle with water or your favorite sports drink. Either option serves the same purpose - colder drinks lower your body temperature which thereby lowers your Perceived Level of Exertion (how hard you think your working). Lowering your PLE means you don't think you're working as hard and therefore you end of working longer.

I hope these little facts and tip are helpful to you. Remember that hydration is extremely important to our overall health and performance.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sitting All Day?

We sit entirely too much during our days.  Work, emails, reading hunched over a book or the newspaper, slouching in the recliner or on the couch at the end of the day.  This all has a major impact on the health of our backs.  How we sit effects the alignment of our spine and the strength of our core muscles that help keep our backs safe from injury.
So how should you be sitting?
1)      Take frequent breaks – approximately every 15 – 20 minutes.  Take a short walk, do a couple stretches, a handful of squats; anything that helps loosen up the back and facilitates the back getting into proper alignment.

2)      Make sure that your chair is ergonomic and properly “fitted” for you.  This means that your hips, knees and ankles should all be at about a 90 degree angle with your feet flat on the floor to keep your spine in proper alignment. 

3)      While you are seated, stay to the front edge of your chair so that you are sitting up with a tall, straight spine. Keep the belly button pulled back towards the spine to keep the abdominal muscles engaged.

4)      Keep the chest up and the shoulder down and back.

Doing the above listed items will help build core strength and decrease back pain, which in turn, will decrease feelings of fatigue.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Summer Fun for the Whole Family!

I just updated the calender on my Outdoor Family Fitness website and it made me want to share the love so to speak.  Summer is just around the corner and I'm positive that I am not the only parent going "What a I going to do with my kids?"  Summer can seem like a daunting period for parents - trying to balance our children into our "normal" schedules.  What better way to stay on track with your exercise than to do a class as a Family.

Let me introduce you to Outdoor Family Fitness!  Outdoor Family Fitness is a family fitness class for parents with children of all ages.  It allows parents and children to exercise together in a fun and effective format.  Classes are held on Saturdays at Finley Park in Santa Rosa from 9:30 - 10:45 am. 

I'm have to head off now and prep for this mornings Legs & Core class!  Check out the class website (link is above) for more info.  You can also become a Friend of Outdoor Family Fitness on FaceBook.

See you in class soon!