Please Stretch!

Do you feel tight before, after, or during your workouts? It's your body's way of telling you to give your muscles a good stretch!

Because there are SO many different ways to stretch, I wanted to share some of my favorite techniques!

Whether I am teaching a bootcamp or working one on one with a private client, I always begin the workout with dynamic stretches—moves that get their bodies moving while also loosening up their muscles. Once we are finished with the workout, I implement a series of static stretching to target specific muscle groups and to bring their heart rate down.

If the studio or the client has a foam roller on hand, I will use one of my favorite forms of stretching, myofascial release, before and after their workout. Foam rolling applies pressure and really releases any tension in the muscles.

As an ACE Certified Personal trainer, I love to use their definitions to help you understand the different types of stretches.  

Dynamic Stretching: Unlike static stretching, dynamic stretching requires the use of continuous movement patterns that mimic the exercise or sport to be performed. Generally speaking, the purpose of dynamic stretching is to improve flexibility for a given sport or activity.

An example of dynamic stretching would be a sprinter doing long, exaggerated strides to prepare for a race.

Static Stretching: The most common stretching technique, static stretching is executed by extending the targeted muscle group to its maximal point and holding it for 30 seconds or more. Usually performed after your workout.

There are two types of static stretches:

  • Active: Added force is applied by the individual for greater intensity
  • Passive: Added force is applied by an external force (e.g., partner or assistive device) to increase intensity

Myofascial Release: Through the use of a foam roller or similar device, myofascial release relieves tension and improves flexibility in the fascia (a densely woven specialized system of connective tissue that covers and unites all of the body’s compartments), and underlying muscle. Small, continuous back-and-forth movements are performed over an area of 2 to 6 inches for 30 to 60 seconds. The individual’s pain tolerance will determine the amount of pressure applied to the target area.

Enjoy your workouts, and don’t forget to stretch before and after!

How to stay healthy on a airplane

If you know anything about my greatest loves, then you'll know that I absolutely adore traveling–especially with Zach!

On my recent trip to Turks and Caicos, I came up with a list of things I do to minimize exhaustion and jetlag and maximize smiles and fun.

Here's what I like to do!

BEFORE THE FLIGHT

Walk Around The Terminal
Because we're usually told to arrive at least 45 minutes before our flight time, we spend a majority of it going through TSA and waiting to board. Instead of twiddling your thumbs and tapping your feet, take a walk around the terminal to get your blood flowing before sitting on your flight.

Put On You Compression Pants/Socks
In 2013, I developed a blood clot in my leg from a little too much traveling. For health reasons, I had to wear these uncomfortable compression socks that go all the way to my hips. I recently, however, discovered these yoga-like compression pants that are now my ultimate go-tos. Ask your doctor what type of compression gear you should be wearing because we all have different needs!

Dress In Layers
You never know what temperature it is going to be on the plane. You may either be sweating to death or ringing the call button non-stop for an extra blanket. Come prepared and layered for both situations. You'll feel more comfortable bundling up in your own clothing! I usually wear a scarf to the airport because it can double as a great blanket. Plus, it'll help ward off all head colds!

Pack A Snack
Flight food is usually filled with sodium. Because the dry air makes you dehydrated, there's no reason add any more sodium on top of your pre-existing misery. Instead, bring snacks that are high in protein. It'll help you feel full longer. I always pack trail mix, fruit and vegetables with me where ever I go!

Dramamine
If you suffer from crazy motion sickness, this is the medication for you!

Pack A Water Bottle
The airplane's dry air that will make you extremely dehydrated. Drink one bottle of water before boarding and at least another during your flight. Try to drink 8 oz. for every hour you are in the air. We usually drink when we think we are thirsty, but to be safe, prepare ahead and stay hydrated before it’s too late.

DURING THE FLIGHT

Use Sanitizer
Pack travel-sized anti-bacterial wipes to disinfect your seat, armrest and buckle before you sit down for your flight.

Get Out Of Your Seat
Get up and walk as much as possible, even if you don’t have to use the bathroom, to keep your blood flowing. I always try to select an aisle seat to avoid interrupting my neighbors. 

Stay Active In Your Seat
Bring your knees to your chest, pump your legs, shrug your shoulders, roll your neck, and shimmy! Just keep the blood flowing!

Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
As I have and will mention a few times, the flight will make you dehydrated. Caffeine and alcohol will only add to your misery. Try your best to avoid it and drink water instead!

Drink Water
You know the drill: stay hydrated!

AFTER THE FLIGHT

Drink As Much Water As Possible
What? More water? YES! Replenish your body!

Shower and Moisturize
Wash off the airplane air with a nice hot shower and load up on your moisturizer. 

Exercise
Get your blood flowing right after a long flight. If a full on workout doesn’t work for your schedule, make sure to walk, take the stairs at the hotel, make time for quick 5 minutes of cardio sesh to get the blood flowing again.

Wishing you happy AND healthy travels!

Take Joyful Risks

Why joyful risks? I know what you’re thinking – risks oftentimes seem anything but joyful. Risks are nerve-wracking, anxiety-provoking decisions that are filled with self-doubt and uncertainty. Risks can go wrong, but they can also go very right. There’s that moment of payoff after a big risk where you think to yourself: “Yes, it was all worth it.” There is also that moment after a loss or disappointment where you realize (perhaps amongst the tears): “This isn’t what I wanted or remotely expected, but I learned volumes along the way.” These are joyful risks.

Maybe even start with setting an intention or practicing a mantra as your joyful risk. The word “mantra” itself breaks down into two parts – “man,” meaning mind, and “tra,” meaning transport or vehicle. Basically, a mantra is a vehicle of the mind. The Law of Attraction tells us that, in simple terms, we can translate whatever is in our thoughts into reality.  Seriously. Setting an intention or repeating an affirmation may feel a little silly and pointless, but what if that is all it takes to will something into your reality? What if it inspires you to take the next step in achieving what you want? What if it helps you narrow your focus on precise goals and how you will reach them? Not so silly after all, huh?

Take joyful risks, and learn to love the outcome either way. Challenge yourself not just to love the results, but love the risk itself. Love yourself for taking it! Enjoy the process, reap the rewards, and give yourself some credit…even if only for the effort.

I will take joyful risks. Here’s mine today:
For the past year I have been writing and blogging for other sites, but never focusing on my own right here on The Healthy Hustle. I want to make a conscious effort to share more with you on everything from health, fitness, motivation, lifestyle, recipes and more! I’ve made it a goal to spend more time nurturing this space and providing you regular content. Let’s work on this together! Let me know your thoughts on my posts, and if there’s anything you would like to see. Why?

Because together we can make risks joyful, and together we can take joyful risks.