By The FIRM Master Instructor Stephanie Huckabee
Many of us keep a list of things we’d like to do before we reach a certain milestone. With my 40th birthday looming, I spent some time evaluating what I would like to include on my own so-called “bucket list” as I move forward in life. My list consisted of things like traveling to specific places, learning to cook my grandmother’s dressing and actually reading many of the classic literature titles currently gathering dust on my book shelf.
But what about a bucket list for exercise? Have you ever thought about keeping a running list of your dreams for fitness? Making a list of your long-term goals along with some smaller ones along the way could be just what you need to keep you motivated for years to come!
Holiday fun can wear you down — eating, drinking and festivities can take their toll on you mentally and physically. While a workout may seem like the last thing you have the time or energy for, it can enliven your spirit and alleviate stress. Think you have to choose between fitness and fun? Not so! Incorporate elements of the holiday season into your workout routine and you’ll add variety and interest and increase your motivation and enjoyment. Here are some ideas to help you put the holiday spirit into your workout:
By The FIRM Master Instructor Annie Lee
Do you remember having to do the mile-run fitness test in school? Holy cow! I don’t know about you, but those were some of the worst times in my life. Not only did I hate the little-bitty PE shorts they gave you, but I also hated having to complete the test in front of everyone. I don’t know if it was because it was timed — or because I had those little shorts that would ride up with every step I took — or because I had to do it in front of everyone that made it all so traumatic for me, but it has taken me a long time to get over running that timed mile.
But at this point in my life I am finally over it and actually look forward to challenging myself. So, at the risk of sounding like my old PE teacher, let’s talk about how you can go about improving your mile time, whether you’re walking, jogging or running.
We all know the answer to this one: Because it will improve your cardiovascular fitness. When we set guidelines or goals for exercise, it helps us know where we are starting, what we need to do to improve, and how far we have come in the process. By challenging yourself, you feel good about what you have accomplished and you WILL get fitter!
Regular exercisers know that music can make or break a workout. Listening to the right playlist during exercise can motivate you to work longer and at a higher intensity. It can make the workout seem easier and leave you feeling great afterwards. It can reduce perceptions of fatigue and improve performance. Choose the wrong playlist or forget to charge your MP3 player? You might as well go home now!
What to consider when choosing music that enhances an exercise experience?
While we all recognize the ‘right’ music when we hear it, choosing an hour’s worth of workout-friendly selections isn’t as easy as it sounds. Is fast better than slow? Strong rhythms preferential to weak? Are lyrics important? What about musical genre? And how about bass?
By The FIRM Master Instructor Annie Lee
Are you confused by all of the information out there about cardio fitness and how to do it so that you get the best results?
“Eat before your workout — No, don’t eat before your workout!”
“Running burns the most calories but walking burns more fat!”
“Work out for 30 minutes a day or don’t bother working out at all!”
It’s enough to put any girl off her workout routing. That’s why we’re getting to the truth behind some popular “cardio myths” — to help you sort out the fact from the fiction.
At first glance, crafting and exercise would seem to have little in common. One involves moving your body to improve health and fitness, the other moving your hands to create with paper, needles, paint or yarn.
Yet both activities have important, complementary effects on mood and cognitive function.
If your hips are tight, it makes sense that you increase the likelihood of injuring your knees. Running, jumping, pivoting and acrobatic endzone catches or goal shots put a lot of pressure on the hips.
Let’s stop and think for a moment: If you get hit on the football field, for example, the energy of the body hitting you has to be absorbed somewhere in your body. And if your hips lack suppleness and don’t give in to this energy at all, then the energy will go to the point of least resistance — the very vulnerable knee joint.
A flexible hip will not always avoid a devastating knee injury, but it will help a lot! So let’s talk about keeping the hips open and a safe for long life for your knees.
Setting a goal to run a marathon is life altering and monumental. But the training leading up to your marathon may be filled with blisters, mental challenges, muscle fatigue, weakness and injury. Yoga can help you:
The NYC marathon and many other races are approaching. Here are my top six yoga moves for runners — from weekend warriors to serious marathoners — to do daily before training, after a workout and, most importantly, after the big day.
Shin splints. Just hearing those words hurts.
For those of you who have experienced them, you understand how this little bit of nagging pain in your shins can sideline you for days or weeks on end. I hear a lot of complaints from clients and friends at this time of the year when people are starting up new spring walking/running routines. Everyone is excited to become more active in the warmer weather, but some become derailed by shin splints.
I dream of a meditation retreat. But, with three high-energy children, three dogs, three cats, a rabbit, an absent-minded husband and a career guiding others to mindful living and travel, that dream remains a long way off. Peace, for now, often comes in the form of clean sheets and a soft pillow each night. I’ve learned, however, that in order to be my best, I need to seek out those Zen moments. Those all-too-fleeting times in my busy day when I get filled from within. When all else falls away and there’s only me. In the moment.