Exercise Outdoors: Cross Training & Hydrate

 

Exercise OutdoorsExercise outdoors when its hot can be a challenge. Cross training exercises are a good way to mix up your workouts and give yourself time to cool off, drink water and stay hydrated in summer heat.

Although I’m away from home, in the mountains, and not as affected by this huge triple digit heat wave, I did get a wake-up call of my own that I thought would be important to share.  I was shooting an exercise video this week in 90-degree heat. It was hot, but I got on a roll and forgot about the time. Less than an hour in, I started to swoon. Not a good shot on an exercise video. I realized immediately what had happened; I’d gotten so involved, I forgot to drink water between takes. I can say from experience that it creeps up on you. So you need to take steps to keep yourself cool and well-hydrated when you exercise outdoors. Cross-train with strength exercises mixed in with your cardio gives you a lower intensity interval so you can drink water, stay hydrated and cool off.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine losing more than 2 percent of your body weight through dehydration puts your body at risk for heat illness. This is serious business. We’ve all read the stories of team athletes who have actually died.

When you exercise in the heat you can lose up to five cups of water per hour. So it’s important to drink water before, during, and after vigorous exercise. The rule of thumb is to drink 2 cups of water a couple of hours before you start exercising so you are fully hydrated. Remember to bring that water bottle with you and drink a cup of water every 15 minutes or so while you are exercising. Don’t wait till you’re thirsty. If you’re thirsty, you’re already getting dehydrated.

But you’re not done yet. You need to drink another 2 cups over a two-hour period after exercise.

Sounds like a lot of water. It’s not. It’s just making up for the water you lose when you exercise in the heat.

Pouring water over your head during exercise won’t help you rehydrate, but it does make you feel better. A study at Cal State Fullerton with trained athletes showed that athletes exercising in 92-degree heat in a controlled setting felt cooler and that the workout was easier to perform.

But you know what Noel Coward said about “mad dogs and Englishmen.” Give yourself a break. If you can, exercise outdoors when it’s cooler, early mornings or late afternoons when the sun is less direct. Try finding shady areas.

Instead of keeping up your brisk pace for the whole workout, break it up. Go at normal pace for a bit, do a short light interval and then pick up your speed again.

Another idea is when you exercise outdoors do cross training exercises. Add intervals of strength training between shorter bouts of cardio. You’ll get a chance to drink and pour some water over your head too! Stop at a wall, a tree or a fence, and do these five exercises: two for your upper body and three for your lower.

Exercise Outdoors Video

Here is an Exercise Outdoors video with some easy cross training exercises to tone you up, no equipment necessary.  (Please subscribe to my YOUTUBE channel; I have several more health & fitness videos!)

Exercise Outdoors: Strength Exercises Using Your Own Body Weight

With all these Strength training exercises, remember to exhale on the exertion.

Standing Push Ups: Stand facing a surface with legs hip width apart and place hands shoulder width apart. Keeping your body straight, lower yourself down to the surface and then push back upright again. Muscles Worked: Chest, Triceps, and Shoulders

Calf Raises: Face surface and hold on for balance. With feet together pointing straight ahead, slowly lift your body up on to your toes, while tightening calf, abs and buttocks muscles. Then slowly lower yourself back down again.
Muscles worked: calves, abs, and buttocks.

Squats: Face surface, legs hip with apart. Hold on for balance. Shift weight back into heels. Keeping back straight, abs pulled in, gently bend at the knees and squat to about a 90-degree angle. Hold for a moment, then, using just your leg muscles, return to an upright position.
Muscles worked: Front of thigh (Quads), Back of thigh, (Hamstrings) Buttocks, Abs

Wall Sit: Stand against surface for back support. Holding on as needed for balance, slide down to a sitting position against wall, knees at about a 90-degree angle. Pull your abs in and hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
Muscles worked: Thighs and Abs

Upper Back Squeeze: Stand with your back to the surface, feet shoulder width apart. Place hands behind you on surface. Straighten your arms behind you and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
Muscles worked: Back, Shoulders, Back of arms (Triceps)

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orthopedic injuries

Orthopedic Injuries: Prehab To Avoid Rehab

By Mirabai Holland, MFA, EP-C, CHC Industry Expert

Orthopedic Injuries. Here’s one of mine. This picture is real. It was taken by my husband a few years ago.  That’s me unable to lower my arm without passing out. I’m on the phone with my orthopedist. Orthopedic Injuries are a real drag. This one took me 3 months to rehab.

Nobody wants to grow old, least of all boomers. But we’re turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 a day, and will be for the next 17 years.

We’re running a little scared. We want longevity, but we’re scared of losing our mobility and independence. So we’re trying to stay active, or get active, in order to avoid decrepitude. With that many older bodies on the move, orthopedic injuries are on the rise. Once you’re injured, there’s excellent treatment and rehab available

But there is a lot you can do to prevent orthopedic injuries. If you want to stay active and mobile in the second half of your life, consider prehab today to avoid rehab tomorrow. Here’s a quick video to tell you more:

Who gets up in the morning thinking: I feel like getting a nice orthopedic injury today. What can I do to help that along? But we have them anyway, even if we’re disease free. We over use our bodies or use them wrong. We break hips and legs. We get strains and sprains. We get hurt at work, at home or playing sports.

Vintage Bodies Prone For Orthopedic Injuries 

No matter how active we’ve been, our bodies are not the same as they were when we were younger. They’ve got miles on them. And like vintage cars, it’s not wise to drive them flat out. Those of us, who’ve used our bodies for a living, know we’ve had to make adjustments for our aging muscles and joints. Many of us are favoring old injuries that have left those body parts weakened and vulnerable.

We may be nursing over use injuries from repetitive actions. These can be anything from back problems from years of standing all day, to shoulder issues from years of manual labor, to carpal tunnel syndrome from constant mouse pushing. But it doesn’t have to take years. Raking leaves, shoveling snow or playing tennis all weekend when you’re out of shape can be an express ticket to Overuse Ville. And being overweight puts extra stress on your musculoskeletal system. But, there’s a simple fix that can reduce your risk for orthopedic injuries, give you more energy, stamina and even help you live longer

Prehab to Avoid Orthopedic Injuries

Two Types of Prehab

There are two main types: general and sport-specific.

General Prehab for Daily Life

Every day, we run for the bus or the phone, load groceries in the car, pick up children or pets and a million other things we take for granted. These all carry a risk for injury and I’ll bet we can all remember being injured doing them. Luckily for most of us the, injuries were limited to a little pull or sprain. But people do fall and break bones, dislocate limbs, have heart attacks and worse because they’re not fit enough for that activity at that moment. Being inactive and overweight adds to the mix. A simple fitness and weight management program may be all you need to help prevent orthopedic injuries during everyday activities.

General rehab for daily living as part of a personal wellness program: looks at the body as a whole, and develops it as a whole to maximize quality of life. This often includes strength training, cardio conditioning and core training, as well as some proprioceptive exercises.

Avoid Orthopedic Injuries with Fall Prevention

Falls are the number one cause of injury death in people over 65. One in three people 65 plus will experience a fall each year. And poor proprioception, not knowing where your body is in space is a leading cause of falls. Proprioception degrades with age but proprioceptive exercise can slow that down and help prevent falls. Add exercises like Tai Chi, and balancing exercises to your fitness routine. They feel great to do and can help keep you vertical into old age.

Sport-Specific Prehab is designed to get you ready for the rigors of a particular sport or physical endeavor. Good activity specific exercises pay special attention to the body parts most involved in that activity or sport with regard to use and form.0

without ignoring the concept of training the body as a whole. Sport specific training is available at many gyms and community centers.

So I hope you’ve become a believer in the little proverb I’ve coined to remind my clients “An ounce of prehab is worth a pound of rehab.”

For more info on women health and fitness and at home exercise programs come and visit me at www.mirabaiholland.com and be Fabulous Forever!

 

 

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Best Exercises For Cancer Patients

Best exercises for Cancer Patients Best exercises for Cancer Patients

In my health coaching practice, I consult with women who want to exercise but have health issues that make them uncertain as to how much they should do. Recently I had a client who said, “I am recovering from breast cancer. I finished my chemotherapy a few weeks ago and though I still feel weak, I was wondering if I should start exercising again?” And this is what I told her.

If your doctor says you’re up to it, you can get started. Best Exercises For Cancer Patients: according to ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine)

Best exercises for Cancer Patients

The best exercises for cancer patients is a combination of the three major components of fitness: Cardio, Strength and Flexibility. These types of exercise can have a positive impact on cancer patients and survivors. Easy aerobic exercise for cancer patients, has been shown to increase hemoglobin levels, reduce inflammation, lessen fatigue, keep muscles in shape for better every day activities, increase self confidence, reduce depression and aid in recovery of surgery.

Other research has shown strength and flexibility exercises to be good exercises for cancer patients helping them return to a normal activity level sooner.

Exercise and social support seem to increase the life expectancy of breast cancer survivors, preventing recurrence.

At the beginning, gently move a few minutes at a time, and build up at your own pace. Try walking, light aerobics or swimming. As you get stronger, add a couple of days a week of light resistance training. On days you feel more tired, try doing a few stretches.

Personal Note: It has been my privilege and joy to use my skill as a Certified Health Coach & Exercise Physiologist Specialist to help women manage their cancer with the healing properties of movement and exercise. It is from my own experience, that exercising on a regular basis, eating healthy food and reducing your stress can help prevent and/or manage cancer and many other life threatening diseases.

Click on Cancer and Exercise for more info. Visit www.mirabaiholland.com

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Health Coaching: What You Should Know!

Health CoachingHealth Coaching: What You Should Know!

So you go to your annual check-up and your doc says “whoops your blood pressure is up and you’re 15 pounds heavier than last year. I’ll give you some meds, but you’ll have to lose weight and get into shape, OK?

 You say OK, you walk out and then what?

Join a gym, hire a personal trainer, go on a diet, take a walk? You might do one or several of these because, after all, it’s a new year and a new you.

Right? Right, and you try something. But how long is it till you throw up your hands and say, “ugh, I got started and now I’m off the track just like last year.”

What went wrong? Maybe nothing, except you might not have been psychologically ready to take those steps.

For any change there is a process. One of the models that are used in health coaching is the transtheoretical model of behavior change (TTM) developed by James O. Prochaska , Ph.D

 There are 5 stages:

 Precontemplation – going along not aware of a need for, or not wanting a change.

 Contemplation – recognizing a need to do something to improve your situation and considering making some sort of change.

Preparation – doing some research, making small changes, or at least thinking about what you’re going to do to help yourself.

Action – Actively making lifestyle changes,

Maintenance – Having made changes, keeping the healthy lifestyle going.

All too often we jump from contemplation to action without being ready for the change. It can feel like getting off a plane in Antarctica wearing shorts and a T-shirt. You wanted to be there but you weren’t ready for what that change would be like, and what you’d need to do to stay there comfortably.

But there is help, a new kind of help.

The health and fitness industry is rising to the challenge of our increased involvement with our own health care.

Many of us still think of fitness professionals as muscle heads with great bodies and not much else. Those types will always exist, but more educational opportunities including degrees and certifications are spawning a new breed of health & fitness professional, one that’s part of the health as well as the fitness industry.

Health Coaching: What You Should Know!

Enter the Health & Wellness Coach.

Not to be confused with a personal trainer, the Health & Wellness Coach is a consultant who helps you go, through, preparation, to action and on to maintenance. Health coaching helps you determine your health and wellness goals and needs. Once you have a path to your goals the coach continues to work with you to help you find the behavior modifications, activities, facilities and allied health professionals (MDs Ph.Ds, Nurse Practitioners RDs, PTs, Personal Trainers, Exercise Instructors, etc.) to support your healthy lifestyle. You can do this on your own, but having someone with health industry knowledge to help you focus is a big plus. So now may be the time to try some health coaching!

If you need some help, I have your back! Here’s a short video about my Health Coaching Technique how I have helped my clients achieve a balanced and Healthy Life. Get 50% OFF Your First Session: Put COACH AT CHECKOUT: https://www.mirabaiholland.com/health-coaching-one-session/

For more health and fitness information and at home exercise programs please visit www.mirabaiholland.com

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Visualize Yourself Fit!

If you visualize yourself fit, you will help make it happen.
We vow to lose weight, get fit, quit smoking, and hope to transform our lives.

So why do we try and fail year after year and why have so many of us just given up altogether?
I think it’s because we were setting ourselves up to fail instead of succeed.
We push ourselves too hard to do too much too soon to change habits that took half a lifetime to cultivate and expect that’s going to be ok with us and it’s not.
If we want to change long standing habits we need to look at it differently.
We need to see ourselves differently. See yourself thin. Feel what it’s like to be thin. Consider yourself a thin person, a non-smoker, whatever.

There’s a mind-body connection that dancers and athletes are trained to tap into every day that allows them to perform with ease, fluidity and enjoyment. Your activity should provide the same type of experience and be one that you enjoy and want to do every day. These athletes live by this. It really works. And it works for everything.

Here are two mind-body techniques they use and you can use right away to help set those resolutions into motion.

Visualization: happens mostly on the right side of the brain, the part that controls emotion, intuition and nonlinear thought.
So if your goal is to lose 10 pounds you visualize yourself 10 pounds thinner maybe by wearing that pair of jeans you have been wanting to get into again.
Don’t just see yourself as having lost the weight. See yourself as a thin person, someone who was always thin and will always be thin.
That mental image can replace the one you now have of yourself and help you transform your behavior on both a conscious and subconscious level.
It can allow you to finally put that desire into permanent action.

Affirmations: By engaging in positive self-talk you can change what you believe about yourself. You can speak to yourself silently or out loud in short phrases that start with
“I am
And don’t be afraid to say you are who you really want to be.
Repeat several times until you are able to clear your mind of anything but that particular affirmation.

Once you see and hear how it feels to be someone who has already reached their goal, you can use the same techniques to set and achieve easy short-term interim goals.
For instance if your goal is to become fit, you can start by visualizing and feeling yourself having exercised today and affirm with “I will exercise 5 minutes today”

As long as you have plausible expectations and don’t say stuff like I’m 6 feet tall when you’re 5’6, you can make amazing changes real.

For more health and fitness information and at home exercise programs please visit www.mirabaiholland.com

EASE IN, BECOME MOBILE, GET STRONG, LIVE LONG!  Healthy Life. Visit www.mirabaiholland.com

 

 

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Finding Fabulousity

I was back in my hometown recently, where I health coached and taught for over 20 years. I missed my clients so I decided to take some of them out for tea and dessert.

I thought for a minute the dessert part was a bad idea when a couple of them wouldn’t eat a piece of cake in front of me. But when I dug in myself, moderately of course, the party got started in earnest.  I asked them if they wanted to share things that were important in their lives over the past year.

As we went around the circle, they spoke of daughter’s weddings, losing your job, getting pregnant, becoming a gym rat, outliving heart disease, surviving cancer and menopause, the joy of grandchildren, joining a touch football league, and a trip to China.

Maybe because I was their host, the conversation drifted toward how getting fit, eating healthier and reducing their stress had changed their lives.

They shared stories about feeling invisible, putting on belly fat, having no energy and feeling like a lump. One remembered showing up in my office, tearing her hair out saying my doctor told me I need to do something, I’ve got serious health issues, but I hate to exercise, I’m stressed all the time and I love sugar. What do I do?

She said, I told her “We are going to fix this. We’re going to design a program together you can look forward to instead of dread.”

My coaching style is to start people wherever they may be physically and emotionally and get them on their way smoothly and pleasantly; one small goal at a time. If the first experience is pleasant, you’ll want a second and the third and so on. Sustainability is the key to a healthier life. And that’s what happened with these clients.

But something else remarkable happened too.

They said reaching their goals had given them the self-confidence to pursue things they would never have dared to try; that the change in their bodies had kindled a change in the way they saw themselves. Instead of feeling invisible they felt fabulous and that Fabulosity had spilled over into the rest of their lives. As much as I would love to take all the credit for this transformation, I think that it boils down to healthy body, healthy mind; simple lifestyle changes were the key that unlocked the door to their potential.
Pretty cool huh?

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FASHION FLASH MEMORIAL DAY EDITION

Fashion FlashFASHION FLASH MEMORIAL DAY EDITION!  I am Mirabai Holland, from Moving Free With Mirabai and am proud to host our NEW  Fashion Flash Blog for Women over 40.

We celebrate and remember on this Memorial  Day, 2019!   As always we are ready to give you the best and most current advice to look and feel your best!

Check us out with the latest info and giveaways in beauty, fashion, fitness, and lifestyle.

 

 

Inka introduces you to the fabulous island of Elba/Italy.

 

 

 

 

Last week, Angie at Your True Self Blog posted the elements of urban safari style to inspire new spring and summer outfits.  This week, she follows up with hundreds of outfit combinations for “Exactly How to Style the Urban Safari Look.”

 

 

 

 

Barbara Hannah Grufferman — marathoner, speaker and author of Love Your Age: The Small-Step Solution to a Better, Longer, Happier Life — believes in the power of healthy habits to age well. But scientists are finding that the future of successful aging just might lie deep within our cells. Check out what Barbara discovered!

 

 

 

Robin shows you fabulous red white blue entertaining in style for the summer. This patriotic table setting will get you from Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day weekend in style!

 

 

 

 

 

Studies show that having a hobby could actually boost your health. See how Jackie from Jackie Silver Style channels her creativity with a fun pastime. 

 

 

 

 

Prime Beauty has discovered a matte lipstick that doesn’t dry out your lips. Karmela Cosmetics also donates 10 percent of its net profits to charities supporting women!

 

 

BEAUTY INFO ZONE LOGO HEART

Hate when your eyes show aging? Marcia from Beauty Info Zone is using 3 products that she’s finding make her eyes look more youthful. Don’t you want to know what they are?

 

 

 

 

We all  look forward to the bright sunny days of summer– but don’t become a skin cancer statistic.  Deb of No-Nonsense Beauty Blog  tells you how to safely enjoy the summer skies.

 

 

Are you looking for a clean, natural, cruelty free and effective age defying serum to add to your skin care regimen? Erika at Notes from My Dressing Table has been test driving the Airelle Age Defying Serum with Barrimatrix and she’s really impressed with it. Come check it out!

 

 

 

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Sheila from Painted Ladies revisits the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer Concealer & Foundation. 

 

 

 

It’s National Sunscreen Day, Memorial Weekend and the unofficial start of summer. Never Say Die Beauty is protecting her face from the sun’s damaging and aging rays with three exceptional lightweight sunscreens from Paula’s Choice.
 

 

 

Have you ever wondered which ingredients are important in your skincare products? Check out these 11 dermatologist recommended ingredients  from The Makeup Obsessed Mom

 

 

 

WHAT”S NEW WITH MIRABAI
My digital art is new. Here’s a piece I just completed called Travelers. It’s 90×45. For more information on my artwork please visit mirabaihollandart.com

 

NEW ONLINE WORKOUT CLUB TOO!

THREE MEMBERSHIP LEVELS CLICK HERE

PUMPING THE PRIME

The price for membership is $59.95 every 6 Months.

PUMPING THE PRIME is a 50 plus Intermediate & More Advanced exercise system for the rest of your life. You get 7 full-length workouts. 2 Cardio, 2 Strength. 2 Stretch & 1 Stretch & Tone, ranging from easier to more challenging. View on computer and mobile devices.  (renews every 6 months until you cancel)

EASE-IN For Beginners

The price for membership is $59.95 every 6 Months.

If you’re a Beginner or you need to start over, Ease-in. You get 6 starter workouts: 5 min, 10 min, 15 min.20 min, 25 min, and 30 min. Start with just 5 minutes. When it feels too easy, click on 10, then 15 and soon until you’re comfortable doing 30 minutes. At that point you’re at level 1 where most of the health benefits of exercise kick in. Plus you get 3 full length exercise videos addressing in-depth the three major components of fitness: Cardio, Strength and Flexibility. Plus quick workouts to strengthen specific body parts. View on computer, and mobile devices. (renews every 6 months until you cancel)

TOTAL MEMBERSHIP: ALL ACCESS

The price for membership is $99.00 every 12 Months.

Total Membership includes All Videos for Ease-in Level and All Videos for Pumping the Prime Level for just $99 for a full year. You have 24/7 access to All Videos. Create your own workouts to suit your needs and your mood.

(renews every 12 months until you cancel)

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Stress: Dealing With It

Chronic StressStress. It’s everywhere. If you live and work on this planet it’s almost impossible to avoid.

Feeling stressed? Me too!

Today I’m writing about how to get rid of stress and suggest some easy ways to get that burden off your back.

To get us in the mood, let’s start with a short, guided meditation and stretch video to help reduce stress. Try it with me and see for yourself. You can do this at home or at your desk at work. (I use my ear buds at work.)

 

Stress:

Now that you’re a believer, lets have a look at stress and how to get rid of it. (By the way, as you get better at becoming relaxed, you can keep your eyes open while watching the waves on the video.)

Stress has been around since the beginning of time. It started as the fight-or-flight response when early humans confronted a life-threatening situation. In that situation, stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, are produced. Your blood vessels constrict, blood pressure goes up, pupils dilate, heart rate quickens, and breathing becomes more rapid. The body is preparing itself to do battle or run. This response is essential in times of acute danger. But problems at work, crying kids, traffic, you name it can trigger the same response.

Given the pressures of daily life, chronic stress itself has become a life-threatening situation. It can cause a host of health problems including headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, trouble concentrating, anxiety, depression, increased body weight, high blood pressure and heart disease.

We can’t eliminate the stress. But we can relieve the fight-or-flight response that sends our bodies into danger mode. And we can cultivate a relaxation response over time that will reduce our physiological stress reaction.

So what do we do about chronic stress? How do we get rid of it?

How? Relax. That’s what my first yoga teacher used to say when I was all bent up in the pretzel pose with a grimace on my face. And, like that meditation you just did, it actually worked. Once I was able to relax, I was stress-free even in the pretzel pose.

Seriously, daily conscious relaxation exercises can make real difference in the way your body responds to stress. Dr Herbert Benson coined the phrase “relaxation response” in his book by the same name in 1975.

Since then he and others have conducted numerous studies, including a recent one at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine, that have detailed the body’s intricate positive response to conscious relaxation exercises. In a nutshell, the relaxation response has the opposite effect of fight-or-flight. It engages the parasympathetic nervous system to counteract the effects of stress. You experience a feeling of deep relaxation and well being. And if you practice relaxation regularly you’ll feel better and help yourself avoid those stress related health issues. That’s how we get rid of chronic stress.

Meditation is just one of an almost infinite number of ways to consciously relax. Virtually anything that takes your attention away from your daily grind and makes you concentrate on just one thing can work. Doing the dishes, aerobic exercise, yoga, stretching, golf, playing a musical instrument, casting a fishing rod, playing with a cat, almost anything can work if you pay attention to only that and clear your mind. I’m partial to exercise because I get the benefits of a workout as well as the relaxation. It’s my mantra. It’s what I do to get rid of chronic stress.

Dr. Benson suggests you practice some form of conscious relaxation for 10 to 20 minutes every day to get rid of chronic stress in the long-term.

But what if you’re pressed for time? (Pressed rhymes with stressed.)

Reduce Chronic Stress with this little exercise.

Sometimes you only need a few seconds and you feel a lot better.

Sit down and close your eyes. (If you’re on the street, duck into a doorway, stand and keep your eyes open and one hand on your purse.)

Let your muscles relax. Concentrate on your breathing.

Breathe in and hold your breath for one second, count one one hundred thousand, and breathe out.

Breathe in again a little deeper and hold for two seconds — one one hundred thousand, two one hundred thousand — breathe out.

Breathe in deeper and hold for three, then four, then five seconds.
When you get to around three seconds of breath holding, your stress level should start to drop and your mind should start to clear itself of thoughts.

After five, you should feel pretty good. This works well for me particularly in moments of acute stress.

That one worked too didn’t it. I hope concentrating on reading this helped you reduce your stress and I hope you’ll make conscious relaxation a part of your life.

It’s a lifestyle change that’s easy to make because it feels so good when you do it.

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Spring Into Action

SPRING INTO ACTIONSPRING INTO ACTION!

WHAT CAN KEEP YOU FROM FULFILLING YOUR FITNESS PROMISE.

Here are a few general email questions that I have received and answers that might help you on your become more fit!

SPRING INTO ACTION: Q’s & A’s

Q: I’ve recently hurt my right shoulder. My doctor said it was a rotator cuff injury. I went through physical therapy but my shoulder still hurts sometimes. My doctor wants me to do some post-rehab exercise to continue to rebuild the muscles. What exercises can I do at home? And are there any exercises I should avoid?

A: Rotator cuff injuries can take a long time to heal.  While your shoulder still hurts don’t do any movements higher than shoulder level. Check with your doctor first. But  here’s a classic exercise to help strengthen that area. Its called external rotation.

Get a resistance band and sit in a chair with arms. Tie one end of the band to the left arm of the chair.  Sit up straight feet shoulder width apart. Hold your right arm in front of you, bent at 90 a degree angle, palm up. Grab the band in about the middle. Keep your elbow close to your side but not touching. Pull the band laterally away from your body while exhaling. Hold for 5 seconds and gently release. Start with 1 or 2 and build up to 6-8 repetitions over a couple of weeks.

If you don’t have a resistance band, use a towel or scarf.

Q: I’ve never had a great sense of balance and it seems to be getting worse as I get older. What exercises can I do to improve my balance.

A: Loss of balance is quite common as we age.

Stand with your heels touching, feet turned out. Slowly pick up one leg and place your foot against your opposite calf or knee. Holding on to a wall, or a chair slowly bring your other arm out and over your head. When you feel ready, let go and bring the other arm up. Hold for about 10 seconds (or as long as you can).

When it gets too easy, try doing it with your eyes closed.

Q: I wake up in the middle of the night and I have trouble getting back to sleep. I worry about everything, my finances, my kids careers, my golf game. I’ve tried the usual get back to sleep stuff and its not working. I don’t want to take drugs. Any ideas?

A. Stress kills. And it’s also one of the main contributors to aging. We’re getting old fast enough. Don’t accelerate the process.

Here’s an ancient exercise that can help you get back to sleep and slow down your aging clock at the same time.

Close your eyes, and focus on your breath. Watch the ebb and flow of your own breathing pattern. As thoughts come in, let them come in but don’t hold on to them, let them flow out. Continue to focus on your breathing, in and out.

As you become more relaxed, you will be able to take slower and deeper breaths. This will allow you to clear your mind of thoughts. You won’t even notice when you fall asleep.

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Fight Upper Arm Flab

FIGHT UPPER ARM FLABFight Upper Arm Flab!

My inbox is trying to tell me something. I’ve gotten several versions of this question in the past week alone.
Q: I’m starting to feel that flabby arm anxiety again. Spring is coming and I don’t want to face my sleeveless blouses with these 54 old arms a year flabbier than they were last year. Is there anything short of surgery for me to do to fight upper arm flab?
A: Sedentary women in general and women at a certain age in particularly are faced with this problem every year when the weather gets warmer.  And it does get worst, as you get older.
In fact we can lose up to 40% of our muscle cells by the time we hit 70. This is called sarcopenia. Weight resistance exercise can reverse this process and can help you regain some muscle you have lost.
Here are two easy site-specific exercises that target those problem areas in your upper arm and fight upper arm flab.

Fight Upper Arm Flab: Two Exercises

VIDEO:

Bicep Curl for the Front Arm:
FIGHT UPPER ARM FLABGrab a set up hand weights and stand erect with your feet about shoulder width apart. Weights down at your sides, palms forward. Remaining erect, bending only at your elbows bring the weights up towards you until they reach your shoulders.
Slowly return to starting position. Repeat 8-15 reps.
Pick a weight that will just barely allow you to complete the final rep in good form.

Triceps Extension for the Back of the Arm:
FIGHT UPPER ARM FLAB
You will probably need a lighter weight for this exercise because those muscles are often weaker.
Stand erect, weights at your sides, palms in towards your thighs. Remaining erect step forward with one foot and slightly bend the knee. Keeping arms straight, bring both arms behind you just at or above waist height. You should feel the contraction on the back of your arms. Gently lower down to starting position.
Repeat 8-15 reps.

Do these exercises every other day. You should expect some soreness. It’s common when you are building muscle. Doing the exercises every other day gives your muscles a chance to recover and grow. You should see results in about 3-4
weeks. You will be on your way to fight upper arm flab.

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