How many of you are in the zone with your workouts? Let’s keep pushing each other to stay motivated!
Here’s a quick health & fitness tip:
Add 1 teaspoon of Turmeric to your post-workout smoothie to aid with fat loss and help improve muscle soreness. I’d suggest buying it fresh and grating it. If not, i’m also a huge fan of the Simply Organic brand at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and most health food markets.
Turmeric is fat soluble meaning it will only absorb into your body properly and give you every health benefit if you include a healthy fat in the recipe! I like turmeric with avocado! Add 1 teaspoon of Turmeric and 1/2 an avocado to your fav smoothie ingredients and drink up within 30 minutes of finishing your workout. Hope that helps <3
P.S. It’s also pretty amazing for cancer prevention, weight control, improved digestion and as a boost for the immune system. Just to name a few!
Are You Working Out Hard Enough?
By Dr. Nina Cherie Franklin
As if getting motivated to work out is not difficult enough, there’s also the question of whether or not you’re working hard enough which is generally described in terms of “intensity”. While you can achieve health benefits with as little as 30 minutes of low-intensity exercise (walking, leisure swimming, gardening), moderate- to high-intensity forms of exercise (bicycling, lap swimming, running) tend to result in greater improvements in cardiovascular function and overall fitness.
Likewise, if your exercise goals are centered on weight loss, mixing low- or moderate-intensity exercise with short bursts of high-intensity exercise enhance fat burning potential and ultimately weight loss (click here to learn how to perform cardio exercise the right way - http://goo.gl/d1Wt3L). With all this said, how do you know if your workouts are intense enough?
Measuring Your Workout Intensity
Monitoring your heart rate (the number of heart beats per minute) is one of the best ways to measure your workout intensity. Depending on your desired intensity level, your heart rate needs to be within a certain target range. Now many cardiovascular exercise machines (treadmill, stair climber, elliptical, stationary bike) allow you to electronically monitor your heart rate during exercise but what you may not know is that the recommended target heart rate zone according to these machines may not be right for you. In fact, the heart rate zone depicted on most exercise machines is based solely on a simple general equation known as the age-predicted maximum heart rate: http://ninacheriephd.com/you-your-body-and-your-health/target-heart-rate-are-you-working-out-hard-enough
Q:My friends want to take "hot yoga" classes because working out in a hot room is supposed to cleanse the body more or something. It sounds like everything I've been told to avoid. Is this safe? Should I insist on regular yoga that takes place in a room with a fan? I'm really confused and worried!
Hot yoga actually does have a lot of benefits - Aside from being enjoyable (for some people) and being an interesting test of your endurance, hot yoga can potentially:
- increase joint mobility
- increase sweating (and thus, increase your body’s “detoxification”)
- allow your body to drop water weight
- elevate your heart rate
- improve breathing
- relax muscles
- help you prepare for other physically intense workouts that may occur in hot weather
Of course, every intense exercise regime should be taken on with caution. If you have any heart trouble, severe breathing limitations, high or low blood pressure, or are pregnant, then hot yoga probably isn’t for you. You would’t benefit from this sort of stress on your body. If you’re unsure about whether or not taking a class would be safe for you, it’s important to both schedule an appointment with your doctor and talk with the yoga studio before attending.
If you do decide to take part, there are a few preparations you should make before class:
- Make sure that your clothing is yoga-appropriate. You shouldn’t be wearing any cotton material that absorbs sweat. Instead, go for some spandex leggings and a tank top that covers your entire back.
- Drink water throughout the entire day so that you won’t become dehydrated. Bring water into the studio with you, as well, but avoid chugging at any point during the routine. Take small sips whenever you feel like you need it.
- Don’t eat for 1-2 hours before class. If your body is still digesting food while you’re working out, then you’ll get nauseous. Make sure that your meals are balanced throughout the day and, if you have to eat immediately beforehand, make it a smaller protein-filled snack.
- Buy a high quality towel so that you can consistently wipe down your mat and body during class. Slipping on your sweat or dealing with chafing will make many poses unsafe.
- If you feel light-headed or dizzy at any point during class, stop. Sit down, take a few deep breaths and don’t join back into the practice until you’re feeling steady. If you feel nauseous or can’t get your breath back, then leave the room! Sit in the cooler corridor until you can handle the heat.
- Don’t be afraid to modify poses when necessary. If a certain sequence is too intense, then ask the instructor for an alternative. It’s better to make the class accessible than for you to injure yourself by attempting too much too soon.
Breathe: I found this app yesterday and it’s really great! It has a lot of meditation tips and it teaches you meditation skills. You put in how you are feeling, and it will give you a choice between three tapes to listen to. I find this to be a really great self care app and it makes me feel good when I’m stressed out. I think that this is a really good tool to use if you’re working on self care and self love. Let me know if you guys like it!