What do you think is the best piece of gym equipment? The leg press? Oh, I know! Dumbbells! How about the big, bouncy exercise ball? Wait, is it the treadmill? It’s gotta be the treadmill, right? Well, I hate to bust your bubble, but the best piece of exercise equipment is YOU!
Why, you ask?
Let me break it down 8 ways!
Top 8 Reasons your body is the absolute best piece of exercise equipment.
#1: There are no extra baggage fees to bring your body with you when you travel.
#2: It’s always with you! You cannot forget to bring your body anywhere. There’s no need to write “bring body” on a to-do list!
#3: Your body operates with two things called your body weight and gravity—–also known as the.best.resistance.ever! Bodyweight training is better for you (you don’t need to load extra weight on your joints).
#4: It costs way less to use your body as an exercise tool. Think about how much money you will save by not purchasing the latest and greatest fitness gadget. It adds up!
#5: You don’t have to lug around any extra equipment to and from home. Easy breezy!
#6: You can do all kinds of total body exercises that involve multiple muscle groups. This helps you burn more calories and fat!
#7: You minimize excuses to exercise. Traffic was bad. Nope, not gonna work. I forgot my shoes. Nuh-uh. I don’t know how to use this piece of equipment. Um, it’s your body! You’ve had it for ump-teen years. I think you can figure something out.
#8. Your workouts will get more and more creative with no fancy fitness equipment and gadgets. There are so many ways to do lunges and squats! Oh, and jumping jacks, too!
What would you add to this list?
Need a few body weight exercises to get you started? Try these…
- mountain climbers.
Having difficulty doing any of the exercises above? Ask me how to safely modify it! -Candice, CEbFit Personal Trainer
This infamously happens when I train one of my clients. Recently, my client sent me a few articles about what she believes is happening to her sinuses when she performs various exercises. And of course, I looked a bit more into it. Here is what I found.
What Is It?
It’s called exercise-induced rhinitis (EIR). The root word is rhino, meaning nose, and the suffix, itis, meaning inflammation. In other words, exercising can inflame your nose.
What are the Symptoms?
When you stop to think about it, it makes sense to experience rhinitis when performing physical activity. Increased blood flow and oxygen to your nasal passages may negatively impact your sinuses and cause airborne irritants such as mold and pollen to get into your system and result in congestion, sneezing, runny nose, itchiness, and watery eyes. Basically, EIR is annoying and you should add tissues to your list of essential items to bring to your workouts!
What Does the Research Say?
A 2006 research study examined EIR in adults “with and without nasal allergy who exercise regularly to determine the prevalence and nature of nasal symptoms induced by indoor exercise.”
Forty percent of participants indicated that indoor EIR negatively impacted physical activity. This more frequently occurred in individuals with nasal allergies. Likewise, outdoor EIR occurred in 56.1% of the total population–with participants with nasal allergies reporting more rhinitis (71.6% vs. 41%).
The study concluded that EIR “commonly occurs in athletes regardless of underlying nasal allergy.”
What does this mean? Well, if you already have nasal allergies, you are more likely to experience EIR compared to folks who do not already have nasal allergies. However, EIR is fair game to all of us.
Causes of EIR
There is limited research about the causes of EIR. Your guess is as good as mine and the next researcher. Check out with Livestrong.com writer, Matthew Lee, found out about the causes of EIR.
How to Manage EIR
In a nutshell, the most natural and drug free way to manage EIR is to carry a small pack of tissues during your workouts. However, some folks may want or need to take antihistamines. (Silvers, 1992)
Whatever you do, do NOT let a runny nose hold you back from your BEST workout! Pack some tissues in a sweat proof container and get to it! Happy training!
I recently saw this list posted on social media and thought it would be worth sharing with you this month. The list was generated by a medical doctor who maintains a website about natural health information. I do not exactly know what is meant by the term “natural” within this context; nevertheless, I believe the list is pretty accurate! Of course, you may not live forever by following these 11 healthy lifestyle tenets, but hopefully you will live a long, healthy life.
Photo source. http://www.mercola.com
After reading the list, what do you need to improve upon?
Is there anything you would add?
Notice how the first six items all relate to nutrition? Hmm… I think we’re on to something!
Eat right AND move more!
‘Tis the season for drinking wine and bubbly to celebrate festive meals and special occasions with family, friends, and dear loved ones. Actually, many folks would argue that every day is a great day to drink a glass of your favorite fermented grape.
Recently, a research study at the University of Alberta has been floating around social media saying drinking red wine, or more specifically, consumption of resveratrol, can serve as a replacement to good old-fashioned exercise.
Of course, I dug a little deeper into the methodology, results, and conclusion of this study.
- The study is not recent. It was originally conducted in 2012.
- Methods. The study was conducted on rats.
- Compared to sedentary rats, ET (endurance-type exercise training) alone significantly reduced body weight in rats fed either the standard diet or the diet supplemented with RESV (resveratrol).
- Supplementing diets of sedentary rats with RESV resulted in a significant improvement (∼25%) in exercise performance.
- 12 weeks of ET on its own dramatically increased the endurance of rats compared to sedentary rats. (This is no brainer.)
- Interestingly, compared to ET alone, ET + RESV increased exercise performance a further ∼20% demonstrating that the addition of RESV improves exercise performance beyond ET alone. (so based on this study and this study alone, this means exercising AND drinking wine helps improve endurance training!) (Dolinsky, Jones, et al., 2012)
Yes, according to this study (conducted on rats), exercising and drinking red wine as a part of your regular daily diet helps improve endurance training.
What does this mean for you, me,
and the next person trying to live a healthy, active life?
The study does not recommend a suggested daily portion of red wine consumption and the positive health benefits it may have on endurance training.
Several studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health have concluded that drinking a daily glass of red wine may prevent heart disease (Wine and Heart Health, 2015) and decrease blood sugar levels (Daily Glass of Wine, 2015) for Type 2 diabetics. Note, one glass or serving is equated to four ounces.
MULTI-PRONGED APPROACH –
Although, these studies point out the health benefits of a daily 4 ounce glass of wine, it should not be done in isolation of several other healthy lifestyle habits such as,
- Controlling blood pressure and cholesterol
- Exercising and following a low-fat, healthy diet
- Not smoking
- Maintaining an ideal weight (Wine and Heart Health, 2015)
HEALTHY IS AS HEALTHY DOES –
Lastly, we really don’t know if it’s portion-controlled daily consumption of red wine (or any other alcoholic drink) that accounts for increased health benefits in people who drink moderately because they may be healthier than others to begin with.
So, go ahead and sip in moderation, stay hydrated with water, eat healthy, and maintain an active lifestyle!
Bonus Knowledge for all BEER DRINKERS! Check out what the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has to say about the benefits of drinking an ice cold beer!
Daily Glass of Wine May Boost Type 2 Diabetics’ Heart Health, https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_155099.html
Dolinsky, V. W., Jones, K. E., Sidhu, R. S., Haykowsky, M., Czubryt, M. P., Gordon, T. and Dyck, J. R. B. (2012), Improvements in skeletal muscle strength and cardiac function induced by resveratrol during exercise training contribute to enhanced exercise performance in rats. The Journal of Physiology, 590: 2783–2799. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2012.230490
No author. (2015). Wine and Hearth Health, https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001963.htm
Okay. So there was Black Friday. Then we had Small Business Saturday. Today is Cyber Monday and tomorrow is Giving Tuesday.
Why not invest in a consultation, fitness assessments, and personal training sessions for YOU and give the gift of fitness and wellness to a loved one?
Review our services. Decide what is best for you. Propose a fitness and wellness package unique to you. We love customizing our services!
Good news! We work with local (Woodbridge, VA ) and long-distance clients!
Make sure you check out the 52-Day Best Body Countdown. Pre-registration is open through Jan. 4. The countdown starts Jan. 19!
Contact us today to get started!
photo credit: writetribe.com
One of our newsletter subscribers travels a lot for work and asked us for advice about eating healthy and maintaining some sort of fitness regimen when on the road.
Here are a few tips I shared with her.
- Stay away from fast and fried foods as much as possible!
- ALWAYS order a salad with dressing on the side.
- ALWAYS request a microwave and fridge in your hotel room and USE THEM for quick, healthy meals and snacks (e.g., oatmeal, Greek yogurt, bottled water, fruit, egg whites, hardboiled eggs – boil them in coffee machine)
- Find a local grocery store and purchase a few things to keep in room and purse
- Identify healthy “go-to” meals at healthier restaurants such as Panera,
- ALWAYS schedule time to use the hotel gym AND use it!
- Pack workout gear
- Walk to destinations when you can
- BEWARE of high sodium foods when eating out. Most meals when dining out are BIG sodium traps!
- Eat frequently and in smaller amounts.
- Pack healthy snacks.
- ALWAYS bring a reusable water bottle and keep it filled! (TIP: refill it for free at the hotel’s fitness center)
Good news! We have partnered with Nava’s Dance and Wellness Studio to offer a foam rolling workshop next month in Dumfries, Virginia.
Since I routinely integrate foam rolling into my clients’ fitness programs, I decided to offer a workshop specifically targeting foam rolling. You may have seen a foam roller somewhere at the gym and didn’t know what it was or the purpose of using it. This workshop is a great way to learn more about the what it is, why do it, and how to foam roll.
Make sure you register by September 14 if you need me to order you one.
Get driving directions!
Who says you can’t eat healthy at a live professional sports game? I suppose having media credentials and treating all facility staff with the utmost kindness and respect allows me to bring my snack bag into each game, but hey, I’ll take it!
This is something I threw together in less than 7 minutes! I honestly didn’t know what I was going to take to the game, I just knew I had to pack SOMETHING–or else! I opened the refrigerator and made this up on the fly. Here are the ingredients.
1/2 c. Brown rice
1/2 c. Organic baby spinach
1/3 c. English cucumber (with peel)
1/2 can Albacore tuna fish (canned in water)
1/4 c. Chopped carrots
1 Tbsp. Italian dressing
Layer the ingredients in your to-go dish, pop the top on, throw it on an ice pack, and GO! Oh, don’t forget your fork.
Basic Nutrition Facts: 294 cal, 33g carb, 6g fat, 28g protein, 475 sodium, 4g sugars
SODIUM ALERT! SODIUM ALERT!
Yikes! This meal has more sodium than I thought. Low sodium alternative: ditch the dressing and use a little extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon or lime juice. Also, see if you can find some low sodium or no salt added albacore tuna.
Oftentimes when we go to the gym to exercise, we end up going through the motions. We do a little bit of this. We do a little bit of that. Lift. Do some cardio. Stretch. And call it a day.
But what if we trained like everyone was watching?
For trainers, what if we trained like our clients were watching? For all of us, what if we trained like all of the people who look up to us were watching?
Just the other day, I started my workout on an indoor basketball court at a local rec center. I did some static, active, and dynamic stretching, speed, agility, and quickness drills, and a little bit of strength and core work using my body weight as resistance. This was a very typical warm-up for me.
As I was doing my warm-up on one half of the court, two young ladies were shooting around with their coach while two family members watched on. Little did I know just how much they were paying attention to what I was doing way on the other side of the court.
As I began to pack up and exit the gym with my headphones still on, I received a standing ovation from all five of them. I removed an earbud and asked, “Why are you clapping?”
Their responses were priceless.
“You’re better than me. I don’t know how you were doing all of that.”
“I’ll never be able to do that. I was exercising through you.”
“You must eat super healthy, right?”
“That’s what ya’ll (coach pointing to his two players) need to be doing.”
We chatted a little bit about the importance of clean eating and exercise performance. Afterwards, I hit the weight room and continued to train like everyone was watching.
5 Key Takeaways:
Always be a stickler for exercise form.
Have a game plan for your training session and execute it.
Take your training seriously.
Always represent YOU because you are your brand.
Remember, you can motivate anyone anywhere anytime.
Now in her eighth WNBA season, Chicago Sky forward Tamera Young has entered new territory—wearing street clothes, an arm cast, and sitting 40 minutes on the bench each game. For over half of her WNBA career, she has been a part of the starting line-up. She has averaged 6.7 points, 1.2 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game throughout her career.
Last month, Tamera injured a ligament in her right thumb during a team practice. She had surgery in mid-June and has been donning a purple arm cast—the same shade of purple as her alma mater, James Madison University.
A couple of weeks ago prior to an away game versus the Washington Mystics, I sat down with Tamera Young to chat a little bit about her post-surgery life and embracing her physical set back as an opportunity to develop her role on the team.
CEb: Post injury and surgery, how are you taking care of yourself from a nutrition and fitness perspective?
TY: My regimen is basically the same. When I first had the surgery I wasn’t eating, so I’ve lost a few pounds that way, but now my appetite is back. I always try to eat healthy. I may have a doughnut here and there, but for the most part I love to be in shape and the size that I am. Even when I’m not playing, I still try to eat the right things.
CEb: What are the right things?
TY: My favorite is baked salmon or baked chicken. I don’t really eat fried food. I try to have a vegetable with each meal if I can—pasta for the carbs. That’s mainly about it. I probably eat basically the same thing. I don’t really venture out too much and try new foods. I like to go with what I like.
CEb: What exercises do you use that keep you mentally, physically, and spiritually ready?
TY: We have our weight training that we workout with—now that I’m not playing we can actually lift more so we’re going to actually start tomorrow on a four day weight plan. And then running-wise, we do a little cardio on the treadmill here and there but I mainly like to run on the court doing sprints and different sprint intervals like that.
There are a few things Tamera spoke about that I would like to address in a little more detail.
- What exactly are the benefits of heavier and more frequent weightlifting during off-season or non-regular play (i.e., recovering from in-season injury)?It’s all about muscle recovery. Your muscles need time to recover and not become overstressed, overused, and exhausted. When you lift heavier loads you increase muscle strength and muscle size. Also, anytime you increase the resistance load and/or number of repetitions, you put your body in a position to become fatigued quicker and recovery time is essential. When in-season, this is impossible to do with several back-to-back games and daily practice schedules. You NEED recovery time! A better option for in-season resistance training is lighter loads and moderate repetitions. This helps with overall maintenance throughout the season.
- Why eat the same healthy foods every day? I thought I needed to cook and eat different foods every day.Not necessarily. Why make things more difficult than they need to be? Figure out what healthy foods and well-balanced meals you like and agree with your body (i.e., do not make you feel bloated, lethargic, heavy, or tired) and go for it! Repeat as often as you like. Prepare food in large batches, divide into smaller portions, and you’re all set for half or a full week! Also, when you travel a lot, it’s great to have go-to simple meals and foods to order at restaurants. Keep it simple. Your stomach and stat sheet can thank me later.
- I can cheat and eat not-so-healthy foods as a part of my daily nutrition plan?Moderation is key here. Cheat meals or snacks should be the exception and not the norm. And depending on your current fitness and wellness goals, they have no business being in your diet whatsoever. When doughnuts start appearing in your daily eating regimen, please seek help! Put the doughnut down! Remember, it’s okay to just say, “NO” to the doughnut fundraisers. You can also donate money without buying any fried dough with sugar glaze (a.k.a., doughnuts)!
Thanks again to Tamera Young for sharing her time with me for this interview.
Follow Tamera Young.
READ PART I OF THIS ARTICLE, TAMERA YOUNG: EMBRACING HER INJURY AND GAINING NEW PERSPECTIVES AT WWW.UNIQUESTARZ.COM