Posts Tagged ‘Physical fitness’

Staying Hydrated

Sure, it’s the same route you run for each workout, but today is different. It’s a scorcher and the radio is warning it may hit record temps. You can’t skip another day due to the heat, so you decide to go out and run anyway. You want to do it safely, but how? Here are some tips on how to get out there and exercise, even when the sun is beating down.

Wear Lighter Clothing

Exercise generates great amounts of body heat. Avoid wearing cotton when running because it holds your sweat and doesn’t dry quickly, which can lead to chafing. Synthetic fabrics wick moisture away from your skin so cooling evaporation can occur.

Light-colored clothing that reflects the sun’s rays will help your body breathe and cool itself naturally. Tight clothing restricts that process, and dark colors absorb the sun’s light and heat.

Never wear rubberized or plastic clothing, such garments interfere with the evaporation of perspiration and can cause body temperature to rise to dangerous levels.

Stay Hydrated

It is important to stay hydrated during any workout, but on a hot day, this is especially important. If you don’t hydrate properly before, during, and after your run, you may be at risk for dehydration. Lack of hydration can lead to a heat stroke, muscle cramps, nausea, dizziness or a whole host of other medical issues.

The easiest way to avoid heat disorders such as dehydration is to keep your body hydrated. This means drinking fluids before, during and after exercise. You should make sure that you’re starting out your runs well-hydrated.

When it’s extremely hot and humid, you’re going to drink more than you usually do. Bring more water than usual and take the time to replace lost fluids. If the conditions have you concerned about possible dehydration, slow your pace down so that you sweat at a lower rate.

Time of Day

You may have a favorite part of the day that you like to run, but you may have to consider making a few adjustments due to the heat. If you run in the morning, consider running an hour or two earlier; in the evening, consider an hour or two later.

There is a mid-day window in which the heat may be unreasonable and it’s not worth risking health problems because you don’t feel like waking up a little earlier. Plan ahead and get plenty of sleep the night before so you are ready to get up at an earlier hour.

Go a Little Less Hard

It’s hard to pull back, especially when you’re making really good progress, but a hot day isn’t the best time to break your personal record. Ease up a bit on these kinds of days and don’t over-exert yourself. Listen to your inner voice; if you feel yourself wearing out a bit earlier than usual, that’s okay. Go with it. It’s better to stop a little early and get a little less exercise than to go longer and injure yourself.

Hot weather doesn’t mean you have to skip out entirely, but there are some precautions you should take. Be safe and pay close attention to what your body is telling you. You can still get a great work out in, just be careful. Enjoy the beautiful day out, hydrate and have fun!

© 2015 Tiffiny Marinelli, Energy in Motion


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22571019The good news is that no matter which is first, cardio will improve everything from your heart health to your mood and weight training will improve everything from bone density to metabolism. However, depending on your fitness goals, there may be some benefit to doing cardio first followed by weight training or vice versa.

If power, strength or building lean muscle mass is what you’re after, you don’t want to fatigue your muscles with cardio first, so do it after your hit the weights. If general fitness is your goal, then definitely mix up the sequence of aerobic exercise and resistance training on different days. Each sequence has advantages. Research shows that a person burns slightly more calories when they finish the workout with weight training. However, studies also show that since a person has more energy in the first part of a workout, they can train at a higher intensity which is advantageous for those doing resistance exercise first. So for variety and total benefits, mix up the sequence on different days of the week.

© 2014 Tiffiny Marinelli, Energy in Motion LLC

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We’re more concerned than ever with maximizing our workout efforts and getting the fastest results. Effective workouts demand complete nutrition, and these simple guidelines will help make the right choices to refuel the body.

Recovery should be thought of as a window of opportunity. Approximately 30 minutes after cardio, the body is optimized to replenish its energy stores— muscle and liver glycogen. For strength training, the window is extended up to two hours post-workout. Muscle protein synthesis occurs, setting off muscle tissue recovery and repair, replacing fluids, and helping the body adapt to the stresses of the workout.

Eating around your training is vital to your progress. Use this infographic to help get the nutrients you need for the best results in the gym!

Tiffiny Marinelli

Energy in Motion LLC

workout nutrition

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Muscle SymmetryIt’s not uncommon for one side of the body to be stronger than the other, which is why it’s important to assess the strength of each muscle group separately, as in the single-arm row and single legged leg extension tests. With testing, you may find each side has a different level of strength. Most often the dominant side of the body is the stronger side. It’s important to balance the strength of the muscular system, not just for appearances, but to keep a healthy, functional posture which helps prevent injury and pain due to muscle imbalances. The major muscle groups work in pairs and those muscle pairs need to be balanced in terms of strength and flexibility. Developing a symmetrical physique entails focusing on all muscle groups equally through the employment of a variety of exercises. Balancing the muscles in each of your major muscle groups allows for more efficient functional movements and improves performance. In addition, symmetrical muscles make many day-to-day activities easier, including lifting, pulling and pushing. If you find an imbalance in your body symmetry, you’ll need to incorporate unilateral exercises, moves in which you use one arm or leg at a time, into your regular routine to regain your strength symmetry. With unilateral exercises, always work the weaker side first so you don’t use a heavier weight for the stronger side. You can also work the weaker side slightly harder than the stronger side with an increase in weight, reps or sets.  This will allow you to focus on strengthening your weaker side without the risk of your stronger side taking over. A personal trainer or exercise physiologist will be your best partner in helping improve your muscle balance. They have the education and knowledge to assess your movement patterns and muscle strength, and based on the results, create an exercise program for your specific needs. Trainers can also encourage and assist you in working with the correct weight load for each side of the body.

Related Articles

Training Your Muscles for Your Specific Fitness Goal Strength Training: Go Light or Go Heavy?

© 2013 Tiffiny Marinelli, Energy in Motion LLC

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Do you love exercise? If you’re like many people I know, maybe the answer is “not so much.” Maybe you do it simply because you think you should to lose weight. But two recent studies concluded that exercise does not cause weight loss. So should you skip exercise and just focus on what you eat? Not so fast. Remember, exercise affords tremendous benefits to overall health and well–being, including heart health, bone health, and for me, personally, mental health.

Rarely do you ever hear a person say, “I wish I didn’t work out.” But how often do you hear “I feel guilty I didn’t make it to the gym”? In reality exercise shouldn’t be a chore, but instead something that makes you feel good before, during, and after. Some people I know really love going to the gym; for them, a workout of lifting weights and doing cardio machines is perfect. For others, the gym is boring or makes them uncomfortable.

Below are some fresh ideas to get you moving:

Pilates. Developed by Joseph Pilates, the method emphasizes the balanced development of the body through core strength and flexibility. Moves are done either on a mat or on the Reformer, resistance equipment specific to a Pilates studio. Years ago, I did Pilates and can honestly say that I have never worked my abdomen like I did on the Reformer.

Spinning. If you like to get your heart rate up and enjoy cycling, spinning is a win-win. Before I discovered yoga (we’ll get to that below), I was a devoted spinner. I loved the energy of the room and camaraderie with the other cyclists. If I was still into spinning today, I guess the question would be whether I would choose Flywheel or SoulCycle. If you live in NYC, Chicago, or Miami you know what I’m talking about, as they’re the trendiest spinning studios around, trendier than even some restaurants or clubs. Flywheel has developed the TorqBoard, an in-studio display that provides riders with the option to compare their performance against the rest of the class in real-time. To me, this sounds very cool—perhaps because I’m very competitive. I’ve heard the instructors teach very challenging classes, set to high-energy music. SoulCycle also has very challenging classes, which are taught in rooms lit by candles; supposedly the environment is exceptional. The cycling routine incorporates both upper body and core workouts.

Walking. So simple, it really doesn’t get any easier. Walking is free and can be done anywhere and at any temperature (just dress for it). I suggest buying a pedometer to record your steps, aiming for 10,000 per day. Sometimes walking for a cause that’s close to your heart (such as cancer or diabetes) is motivating and will get even couch potatoes moving.

Yoga. As an avid practitioner for more than 12 years, I’ve found no other form of exercise to be more rewarding or challenging than yoga. Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Bikram, and Anasura are just some of the many varieties available. You may need to try different types and different teachers before finding the right fit.

Zumba. If you like to dance, Zumba is for you. The Latin dance-inspired fitness program was created by dancer and choreographer Alberto “Beto” Perez in Colombia during the 1990s, and is definitely hot at the moment. I’ve never tried it, but my patients who do it swear by it.

The list can go on and on: boot camp, pole dancing, bowling, tennis, ping-pong (yes—this counts), running, swimming, fencing, basketball, TRX suspension training, CrossFit, and more. Nowadays, there are so many ways to get in the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week; you simply need to discover what’s best for you. Once you find something you love to do, these tips can help keep you motivated:

1. Grab a buddy. When you know a friend, family member, or even a pet (running partner) is counting on you, it’s much harder to cancel.

2. Schedule it. Make time, don’t “find time.” Schedule an appointment, just as you would with a doctor or dinner with friends. Then stick to it.

3. Set out your exercise clothes. Keep them by your bedside, so as soon as you open your eyes in the morning, they’re there as motivation.

4. Bring your clothes with you. Go straight to the gym from work to increase your chances of actually getting there.

Remember, when it comes to physical activity, anything is better than nothing; and hopefully, the more you do, the more you will want to continue. If you’re doing nothing, adding just 15 minutes per day is a great start.

Question: “What type of exercise is best?” Answer: “The one that you stick with.”

Hungry for more? Write to eatandrun@usnews.com with your questions, concerns, and feedback.

Keri Gans, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian, media personality, spokesperson, and author of The Small Change Diet. Gans’s expert nutrition advice has been featured in Glamour, Fitness, Health, Self and Shape, and on national television and radio, including The Dr. Oz Show, Good Morning America, ABC News, Primetime, and Sirius/XM Dr. Radio.

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