You’ve added exercise to your weight loss plan and you’re committed. So why is the scale not moving, or even going up? This can be very frustrating but don’t despair; there are many reasons why…
Need help reaching your weight goal? Contact Us at Functional Performance Fitness so we can discuss which of our programs, both fitness and nutritional will work best for you. Functional Performance Fitness has many programs for nutrition, exercise and recovery – contact us now!
Whether you’re just starting your exercise routine or have been exercising for awhile now there’s always the little voice in your head telling you there are other things you should be doing. But let’s face it, you don’t. Nothing is more important than doing something healthy for your body, which really translates into a happier you and being able to be there for those you love.
So what can you do to master the voice in your head?
• Acknowledge that it’s an ongoing process. There’s no ultimate end goal, it’s a behavior that is fluid and changes as you master a movement, or a running distance. Don’t get frustrated at a perceived setback, it’s all part of the process.
• Set reasonable goals, if you’re just starting your new routine don’t set your goals so high that you end up failing miserably. Your goal is to run a 5K? Don’t go out and buy the most expensive running shoes, start with a walk around your neighborhood for 20 minutes.
• Treat your exercise as training. Once your reasonable goal is set, train for that challenge. You can hire a personal coach, or try one of the many apps available. Educate yourself about your choice of workout. Is it weightlifting, HIIT, or running? There is an abundance of information via the Internet and social media platforms to help you understand what you’re doing and how to improve.
• Find a workout buddy or a gym that offers group classes (at Functional Performance Fitness we have many many group classes that are included in our gym membership). You won’t want to let down your workout buddy, they’re your accountability partner. As well, making friends in a group class makes going to class fun, enjoyable, and something you’ll look forward to going to.
• Create habits that will help you to stay on track. Plan on training in the morning, track your daily food and exercise, put your gym clothes in your car, post about your workout on Facebook. All little habits will turn into a routine.
• Create a recovery routine to help ease the soreness. You will be sore so don’t let that be your excuse to not do your training the next morning. Add stretching, foam rolling, proper nutrition, “rest days”, sleep, and hydration to your routine.
Remember this is a life long process that will change with your work and family life, your goals, your age, so relish in your victories, put the bad days behind you and stay on the right side of the mental side of getting and staying fit.
Looking to socialize while you’re working out? Looking for a change and master your mental side to get fit? Contact Natatia at Functional Performance Fitness to talk about all the new and fun group classes and the many other workout options being offered!
Why stretch? Stretching helps maintain your range of motion and flexibility in your joints. It helps to keep your muscles flexible and strong and will allow for better performance in your daily activities, and your fitness activities by keeping you mobile and independent with better posture and fewer aches and pains.
And because stretching doesn’t give us visible rewards it’s easy to forget. You should add stretching to your general health regime, about 3 – 4 days a week, but adding stretching everyday is ideal. Your focus should be on stretching your calves, hamstrings, hip flexors and quadriceps, and ultimately include your shoulders, neck and lower back.
It is also important to stretch while at work. Too much sitting may have several negative health effects, so set an alarm, get up and stretch your glutes, hip flexors and your spine. This will also help the 3pm slump at work.
Stretch AFTER your workout and not before. It was a common accepted practice to static stretch prior to your workout, but research has shown that stretching after provides the most benefit, your muscles recover quicker and you may avoid injury. Note though, it’s best to stretch right after your workout, holding the stretch to the point of resistance, and hold (do not bounce) for a minimum of 30 seconds. You should be stretching the muscles that you used during your workout.
Before your workout use dynamic or active stretching. If you’re walking, start out slowly and then increase your speed after about 5 minutes. If you’re playing tennis, do some lunges both forwards and sideways. Jumping jacks, butt kickers and high knees are also great dynamic stretches prior to exercising.
Improve flexibility, slash stress, sleep better, improve your form – add stretching to your day.
There are so many reasons to start adding stretching to your fitness regime. At One On One Fitness Natatia will be happy to help you with the suggested stretches for your daily and fitness activities. Contact Natatia about starting your stretching routine and get strong, happy and healthy!
Have you ever had lower back pain and could barely sit up from your bed in the morning?
Yep! It has probably happened to most of us. Saturday morning on March 5th 2016, I could hardly get up from bed. My muscles were sore and stiff from my lumbar spine down to my gastrocnemius . At that time I knew it was tight muscles due to lack of rolling and stretches from my intense leg work-out on Friday. I had so much on the go that I didn’t save enough time to do some self-myofascial release and stretches. Throughout that weekend, I spent some time painfully rolling and stretching to relax the muscles and increase blood flow. By Sunday evening my muscles felt normal again and my lower back pain was gone. Since this experience, I wanted to share with you the importance of self-myofascial release.
Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR) stretching technique that has been embraced throughout the fitness industry.
During exercise micro-tears and swelling in muscle fibers acurs, which impinge on nerves and vessels. Over time, this can develop into adhesions and scar tissue. The adhesions reduce the elasticity of the soft tissues and can eventually cause a permanent change in the soft tissue structure. Foam rolling focuses on alleviating these adhesions (also known as “trigger points” or “knots”) to restore optimal muscle motion and function increasing blood-flow within the muscle, lengthens your muscles, and breaks up adhesions and scar tissue.
Using the foam roller can also deliver improvements in flexibility, muscle recovery, movement efficiency, inhibiting overactive muscles, correct muscle imbalances, and pain reduction with just minutes of application. I call it " my cheap massage”.This effective and simple to do technique delivers positive, feel good results.
Foam rollers have become easily accessible. You can purchase them in just about any fitness stores or department stores to bring home for a minimal investment. Foam rollers vary in density, surface structure, and even temperature modifications. No matter what variation selected, foam rolling focuses on the neural and fascial systems in the body that can be negatively influenced by poor posture, repetitive motion, or dysfunctional movements.
These mechanically stressful actions are recognized as an injury by the body, initiating a repair process called the Cumulative Injury Cycle. This cycle follows a path of inflammation, tightness in the muscles that causes spasm, and the development of soft tissue adhesions that can lead to altered neuromuscular control and muscle imbalance.
Skeletal muscle tissue contains muscle spindles and Golgi tendon organs (GTO), two neural receptors. Muscle spindles are sensory receptors running parallel to muscle fibers, sensitive to a change and rate of muscle lengthening. When the pressure of the body against the foam roller is sustained on the trigger point, the GTO will “turn off” the muscle spindle activity allowing the muscle fibers to stretch, unknot, and realign.
Foam rolling can be painful, but you need only 5 to 15 minutes at a time to reap the benefit.
Foam rolling is best before and after a workout followed by static stretch of the muscles. This helps your muscles return to the proper length and recover even faster because it can prevent the buildup of scar tissue.
Foam rolling can also be done as part of warming up and cooling down. Most people can enjoy foam rolling on their own once you’ve been instructed on how to properly perform these exercises.
During the exercises it is important to maintain core stability. Pull the navel in towards the spine to maintain stability in the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex. Take the time to experience the exercises and discover how slightly modifying positions or angles can target different areas of the muscle.
Foam rolling is not appropriate for everyone, including those with congestive heart failure, kidney failure, or any organ failure, bleeding disorders, or contagious skin conditions. If you have medical issues, seek the advice of a medical professional before starting SMR or foam rolling activities.
Here are some foam roller exercises to get you started on a path to moving and feeling better.
Piriformis (gluteal region)
Sit on top of the foam roller, positioned on the back of the hip, crossing one foot over the opposite knee. Lean into the hip of the crossed leg. Slowly roll on the posterior hip area to find the tender spot. Roll for 30-90 seconds until the discomfort is reduced. Repeat on other side.
Lie face down and place one thigh over the foam roller. Slowly roll the upper, inner thigh area. If you find a tender spot, focus on that spot for a few more seconds. Roll for 30-90 seconds until the discomfort is reduced. Switch leg and repeat.
Place foam roller under the mid-calf. Cross the opposite leg over the top of the other to increase pressure. Slowly roll calf area. Then roll the back of the leg (hamstrings) towards the gluteus. If you find a tender spot, focus on that spot for a few more seconds. Roll for 30-90 seconds until the discomfort is reduced. Switch leg and repeat.
Tensor Fascia Latae/Quadriceps
Lie on one side with the foam roller just in front of the hip. Cross the top leg over the lower leg, placing that foot on the floor. Slowly roll from the hip joint down toward the knee. This muscle is inferior to the IT band and usually the sorest spot to roll. Use your hands on the floor to control the amount of pressure you can tolerate. Then roll over face down to roll the quadriceps (front of the leg). Slowly roll from the hip towards the knee. If you find a tender spot, focus on that spot for a few more seconds. Roll for 30-90 seconds until the discomfort is reduced. Repeat other leg.
Lie on the floor with the foam roller behind the upper back. Cross arms to opposite shoulders. Raise hips off the floor and slowly roll back and forth. If you find a tender spot, focus on that spot for a few more seconds. Roll for 30-90 seconds until the discomfort is reduced.
Lie on one side with the arm closest to the ground outstretched with thumb facing upwards. Place the foam roller under the arm close to the shoulder blades. Slowly roll back and forth. If you find a tender spot, focus on that spot for a few more seconds. Roll for 30-90 seconds until the discomfort is reduced. Repeat on other side.
I'm Natatia Gemmell. No matter how busy life gets, eating well and exercising is always a priority! I LOVE fitness, and I teach my clients how to stay on the health & fitness path by exercising, eating better and staying healthy!