Filed In: Fitness

Why I run

Nothing defines a “love/hate relationship” like running does, for me. There are days when the thought of going for a run literally makes me want to cry, and there are days when a good run makes me feel like I can conquer the world. So, what makes me keep consistently running when there are days that I absolutely hate it?

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I recently signed up for my first half marathon (The Dallas Marathon – December 14th), so I’ve been in training for a few weeks now. Today I did a 9 mile run, which is the farthest I’ve run in years now. Up until mile 8, it really wasn’t that bad, but I was definitely dying between 8 and 9. Once I made it to mile 9 though, I got that “runners high” and suddenly it became clear to me why I love running, and in general, why I run.

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I have been told on more than one occasion that I’m very “wound up”. Like most girls, my mind tends to race and race about anything and everything. I discovered today that running “unwinds me”. Especially on these long runs, I go through my list of things that my mind races about, and bring each one of those things specifically to the Lord – my family, work, insecurities, fears, friends, etc. It’s a time specifically set aside that I have with just me, the pavement, and the Lord. And I unwind.

Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

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Also like most girls, I struggle with insecurities about my body fairly often and consistently find flaws or things I wish were different. When I run though, I’m thankful for my body. Thankful that it is strong, it is carrying me, it is healthy. Running reminds me that the Lord has blessed me with a healthy body and I need to praise Him for that…not constantly complain about its shortcomings.

I praise you, for I am fearfully & wonderfully made.” – Psalm 139:14

So, maybe you’re one of those people that running makes you want to cry. But, let me challenge you to lace up your tennis shoes, and try it. Maybe it’s just a mile the first time, or running for 5 minutes. But finding time to take care of our bodies, be outside in this beautiful Fall weather, and connect with our Maker truly enriches life tremendously. And I hope each one of you find that enrichment whether it be in running, or something that is equally inspiring and freeing to you.

TRX: Movement at It’s Max

My entire life has been full of fitness and health initiatives, but it wasn’t until this past year that I was introduced to TRX. I can not believe I deprived myself of this suspension training device for such as long period of time. It is a body definer involving body weight resistance. Oh, and did I mention its versatility? It is transferable. Yes, it can be easily taken to New York City, Hawaii, or the mountains as it easily rolls up in a suitcase and hangs on a door. This is a training method that deletes all excuses and rather creates a challenge for the body that will only inspire others to get in shape.

 

In retrospect, I would imagine myself to be a goal maker and a dream pursuer. TRX reflects these motives. It is a way to celebrate physical achievement, and it is a work out that eliminates all excuses!

Learn how to build muscles and endurance here.

Download exercises here.

Purchase TRX kits here.

 

Perfect Posture

Some believe fashion starts with the shoes, like your Jimmy Choo’s, others with their hair-do.  Some believe it’s somewhere in between.  And with this I would agree but maybe not the way you would initially think.  Fashion begins with the rack the outfit is going on, and in this case I’m speaking of the body, more specifically the alignment of the body or posture.

Some propose that posture is psychological and a reflection of one’s attitude toward the world.  Others say it is an outward representation of one’s overall health.  Still, others say that poor posture is a result of our society; prolonged sitting in front of a computer would be a perfect example.  No matter the cause, cosmetically, poor posture is not flattering.  And over time, poor posture can cause significant orthopedic issues.  Fortunately, in most cases, poor posture can be corrected.

When people work out they tend to concentrate on what they can see in the mirror.  For example, they perform push-ups to “tone” the chest and the triceps.  However, this practice could set the person up for failure in terms of postural positioning and function.  In addition to those exercises, focusing on the muscles you can’t see in the mirror will help improve your posture, your overall health, and your appearance while wearing your favorite strapless dress.

Upper body exercises that promote this end include:  1) Pectoralis Minor massage, 2) Thoracic Spine Mobility, 3)Physioball Y’s, and 4) Physioball T’s.

Pec Trigger Ball
Starting Position: Lie on your stomach with a tennis ball under one of your pectoral (upper chest) muscles.
Procedure: Adjust your position on the ball until you find a sore trigger point. Hold on the spot for 60-90 seconds. Then switch pectorals and repeat.
Coaching Key: Try to maintain as much body weight on the ball as possible. The more painful it is, the more your muscle needs to be massaged.
You Should Feel: As if you were getting a deep massage to your chest.

 

90/90 Stretch – Legs Crossed
Starting Position: Lie on your right side with your right knee flexed to 90 degrees and your left leg crossed over your right with your left foot tucked under your right knee. Pin a pad or towel roll between your left knee and the ground. Keep both arms straight at a 90 degree angle to your torso.
Procedure: Maintaining pressure on the pad and keeping your hips still, rotate your chest and left arm back to the left, trying to put your shoulder blade on the ground. Hold for 2 seconds and return to the starting position. Finish your repetitions, then switch sides and repeat.
Coaching Key: Keep your knee pressed against the pad/towel. Only rotate as far as you can without lifting or separating your knees. Exhale as you stretch and make sure the movement comes from your midback as opposed to your shoulder joint.
You Should Feel: Stretching through your torso and the muscles of your mid/upper back.

 

Physioball Y’s
Starting Position: Lie face down on a physioball with your arms down.
Procedure: With your torso and thumbs up, lift your arms in a Y position, gliding your shoulder blades towards your spine. Return to the starting position and repeat.
Coaching Key: Keep your stomach tight and your thumbs up. Move from the scapulae, extending your shoulders and hands.
You Should Feel: Working your shoulders and in the middle of your back.

 

Physioball T’s
Starting Position: Lie face down on a physioball with your arms down.
Procedure: With your torso and thumbs up, lift your arms in a T position, gliding your shoulder blades towards your spine. Return to the starting position and repeat.
Coaching Key: Keep your stomach tight and your thumbs up. Move from the scapulae, extending your shoulders and hands.
You Should Feel: Working your shoulders and in the middle of your back.

To learn more, check out www.coreperformance.com/posture.

This article doesn’t provide medical advice and doesn’t direct that you undertake any specific exercise or fitness regimen. Please consult a physician before undertaking any activity described in this web site.

Shape Up Video: At Home Fitness Moves for your Core

We know you are busy bees, and that is why we had owner of Omega Performance Training, Eric Hughes, put together a conglomeration of fat-blasting work out moves that are in-home friendly. Stick to these exercises for a week or two; there is no doubt you will start seeing toned results! Stay tuned for more videos to come. Warning: the next one might look a little like SNL.

Exercise 1: Hip Bridge

Lying flat, knees at 90 degrees. Press the heels into the ground raising the hips until the glutes are tight and the hips are fully open – your body should be straight from your shoulders to your knees. This can be done on one leg or with both legs.

If both legs – Hold :30-:45, rest :15, repeat 3-4x
Single Leg – Hold :15-:30, rest :15 switch legs, repeat. Repeat entire sequence 3-4x

Exercise 2: Superman

Lying face down, press your legs tightly together, and squeeze your glutes to raise your legs off the ground. Squeeze the shoulder blades back, together, and down with the arms either by your side with the thumbs pointed down or up in a “Y” position with your thumbs up. This should lift your chest and shoulders off the ground. Keep your abdominals tight and braced the entire time. Be careful not to pinch the low back or hyper extend your spine.

Hold :15-:45, rest :15, repeat 3-4x

Exercise 3: Bottom to bottom air squats

In a normal squatting stance, squat down to hips even with the knees with weight in your heels. This is your starting position. Perform as many air squats as you can for 10 seconds, then hold in the start (bottom) position for 10 seconds. Repeat for a minute. Maintain a straight back, eyes forward, and abs tight.

Start with 10 seconds on 10 seconds off for 1-minute and increase the time as you feel comfortable. Be strict on your form – posture matters! 3-4 sets.

Hula Hoops, Not Just For Kids!

Do you ever wish being active was as much fun as it was when you were a kid? I remember running around until I was sweating my brains off but the sheer enjoyment is what kept me going. Working out doesn’t have to be all work and no play just because we grew up! Try adding a fitness hoop into your routine and you won’t even realize you’re working out!

Fitness hoops are weighted Hula Hoops, like this one from Wham-O. The weight of the hoop combined with the twirling motion you make with your hips make it a killer core exercise. You can get creative and try to master some tricks outside or just hoop during your favorite TV shows. Workout boredom banished!

 

Fitness Video: Blast the Holiday Fat with These At-Home Moves

It’s the holiday season, aka time is limited. Not to mention, with cloudy cold days comes winter workout blues, so we have brought to you some simple at-home workout moves that will blast fat and tone muscles without having to step foot into a gym! Or if you love your workout facility oh-so-much, just incorporate these exercises into your daily routine to surprise your muscles and add some extra fun to your fitness regime! It’s a win win for all. Watch on, and if you need a little laugh for the day–tune in for the bloopers at the end.