5 Easy Ways to Have a Healthier Fall

Family having fall picnic

Despite what these sunny Mid South afternoons may tell you, it won’t be long before the temperatures become a lot cooler and the days even shorter.  We may want to stay in bed when it’s still dark, move less when the evenings are chilly, or just curl up with comfort food. That won’t make for a healthier fall season.  But, I’m here to give you 5 ways to feel fabulous through fall and into the winter months – even if you usually feel like hibernating.

It feels like it was just summer with it’s bright mornings, active afternoons, and plentiful veggies – which is why the sudden transition into fall and the cooler months can be a challenge. With the winter coats comes the onslaught of stuffy noses, achy joints, and humidifiers.  Our bodies often feel less than their best as they adapt to a winter routine.

It doesn’t have to be that way. While we can’t completely avoid catching a cold or fighting fall allergies, we can give our body, mood, energy, and immune system a helping hand.  There is so much to do and see in our Collierville and greater Memphis community this time of year, let’s make sure we feel our healthiest to enjoy it.

So here are 5 tips to keep your body moving and feeling your best this fall:

1. Boost Your Immune System

You need to boost your immune system to help prevent those colds and sniffles that come home when the weather changes.  Healthy habits such as frequent hand washing, staying hydrated, and getting extra fruits and vegetables in your diet will keep your family free from germs.  Green tea and prebiotics (together in my favorite drinks HERE) are both great immune boosters if you need some extra help.

2. Get Ready for the Time Change

The switch from waking naturally with the sun, to darker mornings that feel like night, can be a struggle. By going to bed earlier the week before the clocks change, we can make the transition smoother. Put the phone away an hour before bedtime and relax with some warm decaf tea. Natural supplements like the Sleep Strips I use can also support deeper sleep to make throwing the covers off easier in the morning.

3. Buy In-Season Produce

An abundance of tasty fall vegetables makes it easy to reap the benefits of a high fiber diet.  Cabbage, carrots, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, pumpkin, kale, and squash are some of my favorites. With fiber and antioxidants, they support digestion, mood, detoxification and fat loss goals. Add them to the crockpot with broth for an easy stew, or roast then in the oven with your choice of protein for a quick dinner.

4. Walk Outside

The moderate temperatures of autumn are welcome after a sweltering summer.  Let’s enjoy them before we need a hat and gloves.  Who doesn’t love the crisp air and crunchy leaves under their feet in fall?  Get out during lunchtime for sunshine and Vitamin D to boost your mood (we often need this as the days grow shorter) and your concentration will be improved for the rest of your day.

5. Find Ways to be Active Indoors

A lot of us will ‘hibernate’ as it starts to get colder. Especially for those who enjoy trail running or outdoor boot camp classes, indoor  exercise can seem boring. But, no matter the season it’s important to get in some daily movement to lower your stress, tone your muscles, keep your bones strong, and burn some calories. The best way to do this is to prioritize it on your schedule each day. 

AND a Bonus # 6 . . .

Try a 30 day Functional Nutrition Liver Detox.  What does that mean? Follow a systematic program that allows your body to push out stored toxins and clean up from the instead out.  The results is more energy, balanced hormones, better sleep, fat loss, decreased inflammation, and you set the stage to end the year in your healthiest body ever.

Reach out to learn more about this 30 day program or more personalized health coaching on our Peak Wellness ‘Amanda Inspires’ website (and yes you can navigate a detox through the holiday and still enjoy your favorite foods).

We all know it will be even harder to eat well, sleep well, and exercise as we approach the holiday season.  So plan now to keep all those good habits you created during the warmer months to follow you into fall and winter.

You may be thinking . . .” easy for you to say go for a walk and keep active”.

I know that if you have knee, hip, or back pain it may feel even worse as it gets colder making staying active more of a challenge. Are you worried to walk and keep active afraid your pain will get worse?

Our Doctors of Physical Therapy are experts and getting people moving pain free – no matter your age, stage of life, or what an MRI told you.  Request a call from a pain & movement specialist HERE.

Leg Muscle Stretching Techniques

Strong, flexible leg muscles are essential for maintaining overall mobility and preventing injuries. If you’re looking to improve your daily movements, proper leg muscle stretching can make a significant difference in your overall well-being. Get ready to take a step towards greater flexibility, reduced tension, and a more active lifestyle with our guide. Come in and see us for personalized treatment to get your legs — and your whole body — stronger and healthier. 

If you’ve ever gotten to a baseball game well before it started, you may have seen the players doing all sorts of leg stretches in the outfield. But you don’t have to be an athlete to stretch your leg muscles or benefit from doing so. The benefits are many and include:

  • Overall improved fitness
  • Enhanced ability to be more skillful at a particular sport
  • Increased relaxation
  • Reduced risk of injury
  • Reduced soreness
  • Increased flexibility

But before you start a routine, it’s helpful to know that there are several types of stretches, or flexibility exercises, like:

Static stretching. This is the most common. It’s done by extending the muscle as far as you comfortably can and holding the stretch for up to 30 seconds. There are two types of static stretches:

  • Active: You pull, or push, on the muscle to increase the intensity of the stretch.
  • Passive: Someone else applies force to the muscle, or you use something like a towel or elastic band to increase the intensity.
Dynamic stretching. This involves moving continuously to imitate a portion of the sport or exercise that you perform. For example, if you’re a runner, you could take slow strides in which you raise your knees to your chest and pump your arms slowly.
Ballistic stretching. This type uses repeated bouncing movements, like dropping down into a crouch and then springing straight up into the air by pushing off on the balls of your feet repeatedly. This helps stretch your calf muscles. These normally switch between low speed and high speed. Doctors recommend you do static stretching before moving to ballistic stretches.Active isolated stretching. You do this for only 2 seconds at a time, but for several repetitions. At each interval, you should try to increase the degree of stretching by just a little bit.

Myofascial release. This is often done with the assistance of a hard foam roller. For example, you can sit on one so that the underside of your thigh, or your hamstring, is resting on the foam roller. Then you slowly roll back and forth over the roller, which helps relieve tension and improves flexibility in the muscle. While rolling you should cover 2 to 6 inches of your leg, for 30 to 60 seconds. If you’ve never used a foam roller before, have a trainer show you the right way to do it. There are also different yoga poses that can do the same thing for you.

There are a number of muscles in your leg. Some of the most common ones that people stretch, or that you might find getting tight, include the following:

Calf: Often referred to as “the calf muscle,” it’s actually made up of two separate muscles, which are on the backs of your lower legs. In standing, the calf muscles help extend your leg and your foot.

Hamstrings: There are actually four hamstring muscles, which run along the back of your thigh. They start at the bottom of your pelvis, cross your knee, and end at the lower part of your leg. Hamstring muscles extend your knees and hips.

Quadriceps: There are four separate muscles that make up the quadriceps, which are in the front part of your thigh.  In standing, the quadriceps help extend the knee and stabilize the hips and pelvis.

Calf muscles: Shift your weight forward while stepping out with one leg in front of you. Keep your back heel on the floor.

Hamstrings: Put your legs out in front of you while sitting on the floor. Slowly and gently lean forward while keeping your back relatively straight.
Quadriceps: While standing up straight, gently hold onto something stable, like a chair, for balance with your right hand. Bend your right leg up behind you and at the same time reach behind your back with your left hand to grasp your right ankle.

Adults (who are not injured or doing rehabilitation) should try to do stretches 2 or 3 days per week and should:

  • Hold each stretch of a leg muscle for 10-30 seconds
  • Repeat each individual stretch two to four times
  • Do stretches when the muscles are warm, not cold. You can warm your muscles up by doing 5 to 10 minutes of light aerobic activity (walking, jogging, using an exercise machine) or even taking a hot shower or bath. It’s also a good idea to do some stretching after you’ve completed your cardio exercise. That’s because your muscles will be warm and stretching can be part of your cool-down activity.

It is best not to stretch when your muscles are cold. That means don’t start stretching as soon as you get to the gym, or the moment you step onto the tennis court.

When stretching, some people may feel comfortable and relaxed, while others may push the stretch a little aggressively.  However, when finished you should feel good.  If not, you may be pushing too hard and placing yourself at risk of injury.

Additionally, tight muscles may be a sign of protection.  Important to not just stretch but build strength so the muscle(s) can control the new stretched length.  If weak, a stretched muscle, or the section of the body they control, is at risk of injury.

Enhance your mobility and well-being by incorporating leg muscle stretches into your daily routine. Our Physical Therapists are here to help with personalized guidance and expert support. Contact us today at 901.316.5456 to schedule an evaluation. Follow us on Instagram @peakpotentialpt for more tips and information on physical therapy.

Reference: [https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/stretch-leg-muscles]

Balance Exercises for Better Health

Have you ever felt like life’s demands are pulling you in different directions, leaving you craving stability and equilibrium? We understand that achieving and maintaining balance isn’t just about physical posture; it’s a journey that impacts your entire well-being. Get ready to rediscover your center with our balance exercises for better health!

You may not think much about your balance—until you no longer have it, or you’re doing yoga and fighting hard not to topple out of eagle pose. But balance has to do with a lot more than just being able to stand on one leg in a yoga studio. Ultimately, it’s critical for everything you do, no matter your age or level of fitness. “Balance improves overall fitness, quality of life, and performance, and decreases risk of injury,” says Corey Phelps, personal trainer in Washington, DC, and founder of Cultivate by Corey.

Our under-appreciated ability to balance is a key part of what allows us to do everyday tasks, like walking, running, and getting up from a chair. Studies show that how well (or poorly) you perform these mobility skills strongly predicts how likely it is you’ll experience more serious events in the future, like falls, hip fractures, and hospitalizations, says Jonathan Bean, MD, MPH, professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School.

“Balance, as it relates to function in daily life and activity, has more to do with the ability to quickly contract your muscles to stabilize or produce a desired movement,” says Joshua Bonhotal, MS, CSCS, strength coach and vice president of operations of Future Fit, a digital personal training service. “Having better balance means you’re able to stop under control, recover momentum, and react quickly. As you age, you lose your ability to perform the quick muscle contractions at twice the rate that general strength declines,” Bonhotal says. What’s more, if you’re not actively training to improve your balance, that decline could accelerate.

How Balance Actually Works

Balancing as we walk, run, jump, or stand requires muscle mass. In addition to giving us strength, our muscles help keep our bones and joints aligned so we remain upright. But balancing also calls for the interaction of three primary sensory systems: One is the visual, what we see—easy enough. Another is the somatosensory, which includes nerve receptors that enable us to feel and touch things and to have a sense of our body in space (known as proprioception). The third is the vestibular, a tiny but complex inner ear system that responds to gravity.

Input comes from all three systems, but for most of us, the dominant one is the visual. Seeing what’s in front of and around us triggers a series of neural messages that act as an immediate, reassuring fact-check: Everything in your environment is erect, pointing in the right direction, and therefore, you are too. “This is why so many people find it challenging to stand on one foot with their eyes closed,” says Fabio Comana, a lecturer at San Diego State University’s School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences. “But that’s also why we’ll tell someone to close their eyes in balance training. If you take away the visual, the other two sensory systems can become stronger.”

Balance Changes as We Age

Accidental injuries are the eighth leading cause of death (right behind diabetes) for people 65 and older—but our balance can be compromised long before we’re eligible for Social Security. We may think of age-related balance challenges as the concern of sweetly unsteady grandparents, but as early as our 30s, we begin to lose that all-important muscle mass, as well as experience age-related deterioration in the visual, somatosensory, and vestibular systems.

“The decline is very gradual at the beginning, but by the time you hit 65, the curve drops steeply,” says Tanvi Bhatt, PhD, associate professor of physical therapy at the University of Illinois Chicago’s College of Applied Health Sciences.

Our visual acuity, including our depth perception and peripheral vision, begins to diminish, and “the proprioceptors embedded throughout the body become less sensitive,” Comana says. “So you’re not picking up information as quickly or as accurately, and you react more slowly to things that could make you fall.” Sensing our own slowness can make us apprehensive, which may be another reason the youthful spring in our step turns into a tentative shuffle. Also, vestibular nerve endings in the inner ear tend to degenerate over time.

To further complicate matters, technology is working against our balance, whatever our age. Blame it on the all-too-common habit of constantly staring into our phones. “One way we maintain balance is by looking at the horizon,” Comana says. “Typically in older adults, as their thoracic spine tends to hunch over, their field of vision changes.”

A crooked neck could make someone go from looking 300 feet ahead to 50. Plus, the physical misalignment weakens muscles and stability. But now, thanks to phones and computers, “these effects are becoming more evident in younger people—even the college students I teach,” Comana says.

How to Improve and Maintain Good Balance

The great news is, no matter how old you are, “with repeated practice, you can maintain or enhance your balance,” Bhatt says. It’s like learning to play an instrument. “You need to create appropriate neuromuscular connections—that is, links between your brain and muscles,” explains Jonathan Cane, an exercise physiologist and the founder of City Coach Multisport, an endurance-training service in New York City. “Then you need to practice to keep those connections from deteriorating.”

This is where balance training comes into play. While your balance will change from day to day—injury, muscular fatigue, soreness, and lack of sleep can all affect balance, Bonhotal notes—the key is to work on it regularly, daily if possible, but every other day at a minimum. You can start very small by standing on one leg while you brush your teeth, or try picking up dropped objects while keeping one leg elevated behind you (as you improve, challenge yourself by lifting the elevated leg even higher). If you’re short on time, space, or energy, an easy and effective balance builder is standing on one leg with eyes closed for as long as you can until you lose balance (time it!), then switch sides. Watch your time get longer with practice.

Generally, Bonhotal says you’re already getting a good dose of balance training if you’re doing moves like these when you exercise:

  • Single-leg exercises (like step-ups)
  • Exercises where you’re in split stances, like lunges
  • Exercises where the load is unbalanced, meaning you’re holding or moving a weight only on one side
  • Core exercises

If any of these are part of your regular fitness routine, you might only need five to 10 minutes of structured balance training on days you’re not doing any of them. But if you’re looking to get more targeted balance training into your life, here are more excellent exercises that specifically help build balance and stability.

Balance Exercises

Spinal Alignment

Experts agree that the first order of business is to make sure you can maintain a properly aligned spine to move effectively and without injury. To tell whether your spine is aligned, Comana says, “stand close to a wall, heels touching it. If you’re aligned, your tailbone, your shoulder blades, and the back of your head should all touch the wall in a neutral position, not tilted up or down.”

If, like most of us, you don’t touch the wall in all three spots, try this:

Grab a 36-inch foam roller or a rolled-up beach towel. Place it on the floor, then lie on it lengthwise so your head, spine, and tailbone all rest on top. (Your head should not tilt backward; if it does, place a firm pillow or second towel underneath it.) Bend your knees and rest your arms by your sides. Lie there for five minutes, allowing gravity to pull your shoulder blades down on either side. Try to practice this twice a day and repeat the wall check once a week until all the three points can touch.

Stationary Lunges

Start with feet hip-width apart. Step forward into a lunge, keeping your back heel off the floor. Bend both knees and lower your back knee toward the floor while keeping your spine straight. Lift back up into the starting position, then repeat with the opposite leg in front. Do 10 reps per side, alternating which leg is in front. (If you want, add in weights as you progress.)

Isometric Lunges (or Split Squats)

Start on the floor in a half-kneeling position, with your right knee and shin down and left foot planted firmly on the floor in front. (Check that both knees are at 90-degree angles and hips are aligned.) Keeping your right foot on the ground, bring your right knee just barely off the ground and hold this position (it will look like the bottom half of a stationary lunge). As you hold, keep the chest lifted so shoulders stay in line with hips.

Start by holding for five to 10 seconds per leg, building to 30 seconds without having to rest. Do two to three sets per leg. For more of a challenge: Work your way up a little bit at a time until you can hold for five minutes per leg.

Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

Start with feet hip-width apart. If you can, balance on one foot. If you feel unsteady, begin by placing one foot about two foot-lengths behind the other. The knee of the supporting (or front) leg should be slightly bent. Maintain a straight back and hinge from the hips while reaching forward with both arms extended toward the floor. Return to standing position and repeat on the other foot. (If you want, add weight as you progress.)

High Plank With Shoulder Taps

Start on the floor in a high plank position with your hands positioned slightly wider than your shoulders. (To make it easier, bring knees down to the floor like you would for a modified push-up position). Brace your core, lift your right hand off the ground and tap your left shoulder. Slowly release your hand right to the ground and switch sides, continuing to alternate tapping one hand to the opposite shoulder. Try not to let your weight shift or hips rock from side to side. Do 10 reps per side.

Struggling to maintain balance? Position your feet wider. For more of a challenge, bring your feet together or do the exercise with one foot off ground.

Bird Dogs

Start on all fours with wrists aligned under your shoulders and knees aligned under your hips. Engage your core and lift and extend your left arm forward as you simultaneously extend your right leg behind you. Keep your back flat like a table and straight, not rotated, even as you raise each leg (it’s helpful to do this move in a mirror). Hold for five counts. Repeat with the opposite arm and leg. Alternate sides, doing five reps on each side.

Curtsy Lunge With Oblique Crunch

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and touch your fingertips to your ears with elbows out wide. Cross your right leg behind you and lower the right knee until it’s about 1 to 3 inches off the ground (this is a curtsy lunge).

Keeping weight and balance on your left leg, rise and bring your right leg up toward your right elbow (careful not to rotate the hips), bending your torso slightly to the right (into a standing oblique crunch). Release to start and repeat 12 times. Switch sides and repeat.

Standing Crunch With Under-Leg Clap

Stand with your feet together. Shift your weight to the right foot and lift the left leg in front of you to hip height, with your knee bent to a 90-degree angle. Lift your arms straight overhead and press your hands together. Bend your torso forward as you clap your hands under your left leg then release and bring your arms back up overhead, keeping your left knee raised. Repeat 10 claps on one side (without putting your left foot down). Switch sides and repeat.

Start your journey toward balance today! Join us at Peak Potential PT and experience the transformative effects of expert-guided balance exercises. Call us today at 901.316.5456 to schedule an evaluation. Follow us on Instagram @peakpotentialpt for more tips and information on physical therapy.

Reference: [https://www.realsimple.com/health/fitness-exercise/balance-exercises]

Rejuvenate a Stressed or Slow Metabolism

Lady doing yoga to reset hormones and metabolism.

Are you feeling sluggish, tired, and frustrated with a slow metabolism? You’re not alone. Many people complain to me about a checked out metabolism, especially during periods of high stress or life changes. But, just because it is common doesn’t mean it has to be your norm. I have a holistic approach to heal your stressed out metabolism, so you can reclaim your energy and vitality. 

What if you could wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and energized, ready to take on the day? Your metabolism is humming along, efficiently converting food into fuel for your body and brain. You feel a renewed sense of balance and well-being. Maybe this sounds too good to be true, but it doesn’t have to be. 

If you’re experiencing a stressed metabolism, it’s crucial to address the root causes. These most commonly include stress, inadequate nutrition, lack of sleep, and hormonal imbalances. Let’s tackle each of these head on and find ways to rejuvenate your metabolism.

1. Stress

Chronic stress can wreak havoc on your metabolism and often leads to weight gain, fatigue, and mood swings.  Stress can come from external sources, life circumstances, and even illness or injury within the body. Incorporating stress reducing techniques like deep breathing, stretching, meditation, and prayer can help calm your nervous system and support a healthy level of stress hormones.

2. Nutrition

What you eat plays a vital role in healing your metabolism.  Choose whole, nutrient dense foods that nourish the body and provide the building blocks for metabolism supporting hormones. You can identify through Nutrition Genetic Testing what type of foods your body uses most efficiently. All of us benefit from avoiding processed foods, added sugars, and artificial additives that can disrupt the metabolism.

3. Sleep

Adequate sleep is often overlooked but is crucial for a healthy metabolism.  Lack of sleep can disrupt hormone production, increase cravings (usually for less nutritious foods), and hinders the body’s ability to run efficiently.  Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to support your metabolism and overall well being.

4. Hormones

Especially during perimenopause for women, hormonal imbalance can significantly impact your metabolism.  Consult with a women’s health professional to address hormone issues and explore natural remedies to find balance (the 3 tips above can get you started). Men are affected as well, and naturally boosting testosterone levels is a simple solution (the product Vitality is my top recommendation).

Are you ready to take a step to reclaim your energy and revitalize your metabolism? By taking a holistic approach to healing your stressed metabolism, you can regain control of your energy and overall well-being. You deserve to feel your best! As an Integrative Health Coach, I help people transform their movement, meals, mindset, AND metabolism and get on a path to a healthier, happier life.

So, why wait? Start implementing some of these changes today and learn more about how a coach could support you on your journey HERE.  Don’t wait to embrace the transformative power of a rejuvenated metabolism. 

Interested in speaking to a holistic health expert this week? Schedule a Free Wellness Strategy call HERE to see what else you should add to your metabolic health tool kit.

10 Strategies for Increased Energy this Summer

revitalize your summer energy

Did you start the summer excited about all the things you would do in the warm, sunny weather? Or perhaps you have travel planned or are busy with a house full of kids out of school. The problem I am hearing now that we are about half way through the season, is that summer things take so much energy and many of us have run out.  So, let me give you some strategies to revitalize your summer with increased energy.

Is it even possible? Absolutely. We just need to regroup and refocus on our needs so we have the ability to do all the other things.  Consider these 10 strategies to attain and maintain increased energy so you can make the most of your summer with family and friends.

1. Take Care of Your Emotional Needs

Physical Energy will flow when you satisfy your emotional needs. You are the only person who knows exactly what you require for this, so plan time to do what is necessary to ensure you are feeling contentment. It’s easy to let these things slide when making summer fun for everyone else.

2. Up Your Antioxidant Intake

Antioxidants help the body create energy at the cellular level. Including antioxidant rich foods like berries, cherries, artichoke, asparagus, and dark leafy greens can give you increased energy, allow your muscles to perform better, and may even improve your mood.

3. Get More B Vitamins

Like antioxidants, B vitamins (primarily found in meat, fish, poultry, and dairy) are necessary for the body to produce energy. You may need a B vitamin supplement if you eat a vegan diet, are depleted due to certain medications (like hormonal birth control), or have an increased genetic requirement.

4. Avoid Heavy Foods

Eating especially rich foods prepares you well for a Netflix marathon, but not for hiking with friends or running through the sprinkler with your kids. Fill most of your plate this season with lean meats and fiber rich vegetables. You will be fueled and ready with increased energy when adventure calls.

5. Use Caffeine to Your Advantage

Caffeine increases alertness, so having a coffee can sharpen your mind. However, to get the energizing effects, you have to get just enough but not too much. It can cause insomnia, when consumed in excess or too late in the day. Knowing your genetic response to caffeine can be a game changer.

6. Sleep Well

Getting restful, deep sleep is necessary for your physical and mental health. In order to have plenty of energy during these active summer days, you’ll need plenty of deep sleep to give your body time to rejuvenate. Aim for 7-8 hours and work on improving the quality, not just quantity.

7. Plan Ahead

To keep yourself from feeling stressed out, have an idea of what you want to do over the next 3 or 4 days. Making a note of what you both have to do and hope to do means you can also plan to achieve balance regarding your activity, rest, and rejuvenation.

8. Be Active

Sit less and move more. Whether you’re at the park with kids, working from home, or on vacation, get up and move.  Take a walk, jump on your bike, push kids on the swing, toss around the football – the active doesn’t matter, but the movement does.

9. Vary Your Activities

Even if you love playing golf, a change of pace can revitalize you. Try something new like pickleball, join the kids in their backyard soccer game, swim laps, or take advantage of a guest pass at a local gym.  Challenging your body and mind can bring about a renewed spirit.

10. Pace Yourself

Allow blocks of time to rest, read, stretch, or listen to your favorite music.  Recovering sufficiently from summer activities will give you more energy to keep up with the activities you love most.

There’s no big secret to revitalization. Try the tips above to stay engaged both physically and mentally and energy will be more available to you.

If you need help identifying if you have nutrient deficiencies leaving you sluggish or need strategies to get more sleep or destress from work so you can enjoy your family time more, I would love to help you strategize a plan for more energy.

As a Functional Nutrition Specialist and Integrative Health Coach, I help those at midlife feeling fatigued and frustrated with their health discover vibrant energy and confidence in their body again.  Schedule a Free Discovery Call to Discover your next best step toward optimal health.

Get started today and pump up your vitality this summer!

Top 10 Foods For Exercise Recovery

Man and Woman Sitting, Talking at the Gym

A little soreness with a workout is bearable. . . maybe even pleasant if it’s a reminder of how hard you worked the day before.  However, some aches and pains that are more intense or don’t seem to go away quickly enough. This can limit both your ability and motivation to train.

Many clients tell us they don’t take pain medication because of the side effects, they don’t have time for a massage, and the ice bath that the trainer recommended is just unbearable.  So, the question that follows is . . . how else can I help my body recover after I exercise so I feel my best and reach my goals?

The answer may be found in your refrigerator . . .  the foods you eat.

Not just post workout, but how you fuel your body on a regular basis. Your muscles and immune system must be ready to take the hit of training and bounce back with ease.

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10 Tips to Easily Maximize Exercise Recovery

What you do after the gym matters just as much as what you did during your workout. That’s because the post workout recovery period is a time when your body builds lean muscle mass and repairs any damage.

If you shortchange yourself, you could wind up decreasing performance, increasing injury risk, or even gaining body fat. And all these things are counterproductive to the reason you exercise in the first place.

The good news it, you can ensure your workouts deliver the results you want without causing any collateral damage. Add in a few of these suggestions after you exercise to encourage maximum recovery and restoration.

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How to Enjoy Exercise More This Year

Women at Gym on Exercise Bikes

Some of us love a tough workout, and others dread any activity that will keep them from heading directly to the couch after work. Unfortunately, new guidelines indicate most of us fall into the second category. Research shows that 80% of Americans fail to meet the government recommended minimum for weekly exercise.
Whether you are making a new years goal to get fit or are just continuing your long time fitness routine, I think it would be easier to get done consistently if we found a way to make it more enjoyable.
Good news . . . a new study out of Germany suggests that just 2 changes can make you enjoy exercise more. The participants with similar fitness levels were asked to ride a stationary bicycle for the same amount of time – a pretty boring exercise in my opinion. Those who considered themselves to be athletic and knew how they were benefiting from the activity said it was more enjoyable, and even required less effort.
The researchers concluded that personal expectations made the difference.
The secret is to believe in your athletic abilities and the benefits of exercising.
Think how much easier it would be for you to stick to a workout program if you really enjoyed doing it. Try these tips for building up confidence in your athletic abilities and knowledge of it’s benefits.

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14 Ways to Be Kind to Your Body this Valentines Day

Woman Hugging Heart Balloon

When you think about your body, do you spend more time focusing on the negative or the positive?

It is easy to complain about the inches we would like to lose, or limitations that came with an injury, or how our body moves slower than it did a few years ago.

Or maybe you are focused on other areas of your life and don’t even notice your physical condition until you get the flu or throw your back out.

With so many responsibilities at home and work, it’s easy to overlook our body’s most basic needs. Despite the distractions, let’s not forget to be grateful for the amazing things our body does for us each day.

Valentines Day seems like the perfect time to show your body some love.

It’s important to take care of your body if you want to be able to rely on it – to be sure its keeps showing up for your for decades to come.

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8 Hobbies to Support Your Physical Health & Wellbeing

Woman Gardening

Many of us in midlife find ourselves without a hobby outside of our career, relationships, and parenting. Who has time for scrapbooking or bowling?
The truth is, the right hobby can contribute to our physical health and fitness, mental stability, and general wellbeing. They can contribute to more energy, better sleep, optimized metabolism, more patience, decreased stress, and even decreased risk of depression or heart disease. With those kind of benefits, it may be worth our time to find a heathy hobby.
If you feel like your body or mind could use a boost, one of these hobbies might be the answer!

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