Tuesday, September 29, 2009
As mentioned in a previous post, I started back to my workout and have progressed through may cardiovascular work in 10% increments on the stair master (level 12, rotating programs, increasing from 20-22-25 minutes) and 10% on my 20 minute runs. I should be back to my normal levels in 2 weeks for the stair master and probably back to my 8:30 mile in 5-6 weeks. I will be keeping the same workout this week, composed of a variety of compound moves 3 days per week but upping the resistance by 10%. I am maintaining the long walk/runs in the morning and the yoga sessions in the afternoons as well as my body weight exercises and core exercises 2 days a week. My weight has stabilized closer to 112 lbs. and my thoughts were that eating less and not "working out" on my vacation probably led to some muscle loss. So, I am thinking of changing my diet up a bit (more emphasis on protein) and pushing my workouts to 4/week (2 upper/2 lower) based on a workout on Men's Health Magazine and losing some fat and gaining some lean muscle. I will be previewing this in my weekly audio cast at the end of the week.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
If for some reason you do sustain an injury, be careful to monitor the area during your stretching. You may find that the injury may prohibit you from realizing a full stretch--this is not unusual and you should not attempt to return to your normal stretching routine until the injury has fully mended. You may also find that your physical therapist or doctor may want you to refrain from certain stretches. Additionally, you may be given some unfamiliar stretches to help in rehabilitating as you recover from your injury. Regardless of your situation, if you feel any pain consult a health professional as soon as possible.
Monday, September 21, 2009
As usual, getting back from a long trip is difficult. My strategy is to slowly work back into my workout; eating hasn't been an issue. I actually lost 3 lbs. primarily because it is hard to eat ice cream when camping. The rest of eating was close to normal, except for this one small item. So, ice cream needs to have a place similar to what it had while camping -- rarely. I also made an attempt to monitor my chip intake at lunch (both reduced fat or tortilla) and limited my chips at dinner to the amount of one serving (usually 10-14 chips). This seems to be the ticket for me losing weight. The hiking wasn't as good as I anticipated so I really only got about half of the exercise I planned so getting back into resistance training and cardio intervals will take longer than I anticipated. So, for this week back to the gym I will start with 20 minute cardio sessions at a slightly lower intensity and increase 10% each week until I get back to 30+ minutes. With weights, I am going with combo moves at lower weights and reps and increasing 10% each week. Yoga sessions 5x/week and stretching daily. The run/walks of 60 minutes have become just walking. We will see how quickly I can return to my regular routine and keep my weight down.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
I usually have a plan B on vacation, especially if weather is a factor. On an active vacation, unlike a leisure or cultural vacation, the weather is extremely important so having some flexibility is a must. On this trip, there was a possibility of rain or snow at my destination, so I mapped a southern option that would bring me through desert versus mountains but wouldn't take me too far away so that if the weather cleared I could be back to my original destination within a day. I learned this lesson, unfortunately, on a tour--the weather was rainy in the north/inland in Costa Rica but great on the west coast but because the itinerary didn't allow for changes we were stuck with the poor weather--even though great weather was a half-day drive away. Always have an alternative at your destination as well for the occasional rainy day (museums, exhibits, indoor events).
Thursday, September 17, 2009
After stretching on my own for many months, I will typically take a class or get a DVD from the library that will help me review my form. It is easy to forget what each stretch is suppose to do and for which muscle. And, for most folks the stretching part of the workout is an afterthought. So, periodically it is a good idea to review your stretches and the specific technique with a fitness professional to make sure you are getting the most out of your stretches whether they be short or long.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
My vacations are usually active--or, I make them that way. Luckily, this trip includes lots and lots of hiking. I usually start with a shorter hike in the mornings, followed by a much more strenuous or longer hike in the early afternoon. In between, I may go to a visitor center or some other attraction for a rest. By the time I am back to the campsite, I am not too interested in any other activity. Again, if there is an opportunity to do some calisthenics I will try to do them or if there is an open space for stretching or yoga, great. Otherwise, the hiking maintains both my activity levels and keeps my weight down.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
This is one of the toughest "health" behaviors to maintain on vacation for me. Because my schedule is completely different and I am living out of a tent I have a hard time remembering to take vitamins/medications. In the mornings, I am busy prepping the van for departure or planning the activities for the day and completely forget my medication. At night, I am focused on getting to bed after a long day of driving or hiking and can't seem to remember my vitamins. I have started to pair my medications/vitamins with brushing my teeth because I always remember this - I have started to put them in the same bag. Such a simple thing--why didn't I think of it before?
Thursday, September 10, 2009
As mentioned in a previous post, breathing throughout your stretching sessions is absolutely necessary! The tendency is to hold your breath as you try and extend your stretch. In reality, exhaling helps you deepen the stretch or focus the stretch in the tightest area. I recently started doing Viniyoga and the breath is extremely important--the inhale helps to expand the chest, pull your ribs away from your belly and lengthen the spine which produces better posture. On the exhale, you tighten the belly while keeping the length in your spine--which helps you stabilize your core throughout the stretch. Whether you use this technique or some other breathing method, make sure you do it while you stretch.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Most people use vacation as an opportunity to overeat -- you want to do whatever you feel like doing. I have found that my healthy lifestyle goes with me wherever I go. Camping puts you in the position of doing your own cooking which decreases your likelihood of overeating. Yes, it means we have to stop at the store more often but that doesn't take much more time than sitting down for a fast food meal or going into a restaurant. This doesn't mean I don't indulge in the local cuisine, it means I am going to wait for the best options. Since this trip is in the US, there won't be too many exotic foods or items specific to the area. So, I continue to eat salad (packaged varieties plus pre-cut veggies), stay away from too many sweets, and usually the option of having ice cream is limited (doesn't stay well in a cooler!).
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Camping is great fun but it isn't a gym, so getting a variety of exercise is challenging. Even if it is just an overnight stay, I try to find a campground with some hiking trails so that when there I know I have an option close by for walking. Sometimes I am lucky and there may be a playground or other structures available to do step ups and/or pull-ups. You can be very creative out in the wilderness. Additionally, you can always do calisthenics (push-ups, jumping jacks, burpees, etc.) if you feel inclined--just be prepared for some folks looking at you strangely. I don't get too obsessed about this as having a break from my normal workout is a good way to rework my routines when I return from my trip and gives me an opportunity to work other areas of my body.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Whether your are doing static stretching or dynamic stretching, a warm-up is still important to bring blood/oxygen to your muscles. With dynamic stretching, the actual stretching itself is movement enough to help warm-up (move from least difficult to most difficult). With static stretching there is no movement to help prepare the muscles so you must include some level of activity prior to stretching to help facilitate the moves. This may only require a walk around the block or a set of jumping jacks but make sure you body temperature has increased prior to starting a static stretching sessions. I tend to do dynamic stretches before my workout and then static stretches at the end; how you use or combine your stretching routine is based on your goals and level of fitness.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
When I am on vacation, especially a cross-country trip, I make sure that I know where the rest stops are along the way. Not only do I use them for the intended use but I will also take the opportunity to take a quick walk followed by some stretching. I also hydrate with water or ice tea. It can be easy to focus on getting to your destination and passing these rest stops by but I think of them as a "health oasis" on these long trips.