Exercise, Fitness Goals, Injuries

Have You Been Naughty?

santasOne of my long-time clients confided to me last week that the scale hasn’t moved in a while.

She just doesn’t feel that into it anymore, and she’s exhausted.  Ever since the holidays she hasn’t been eating great – skipping meals and eating high-fat, processed foods – and hasn’t been doing all of her workouts.

Between family visiting, the holiday goodies, the change in schedule and starting back at work after her baby, she has taken quite a bit of time off from her program, which previously consisted of some cardio dance classes and yoga, in addition to strength training with me once a week.

Looking back on our schedule, it had been at least a couple of months off.  She feels like giving up, like maybe she’s never going to reach her goals.  Although she knows what she is still doing has health benefits, maybe she’s never going to get into that smaller dress size she had in mind.

Wow!  Is that you?  It has happened to me, too!

Yes, even some fitness pros have moments when the whole enchilada, workout and nutrition, goes kaboom.  Maybe a stress, like family visiting or emotions or a bingeful off-season gone awry or an injury, set you back and you’re not sure if you can ever pick up all the pieces…or if you even want to.

Naughty, very naughty!

It doesn’t feel good to be in that “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” state.  I’m not going to tell you to pick yourself up by your boot straps and get moving because we know if that was gonna happen, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

Now is the time to be nice to yourself.  It feels awful enough already. You haven’t worked out and yet you are tired nearly all the time.  Be good to yourself.  Can you think back to a time when you were energetic?  What activities were you enjoying?  Are you doing any of those things now?

Here are some ideas to get you going:

  • Dig out that workout and or nutrition journal and go back to the early pages when you were so excited. Read through your goals…especially the “why” behind your desire to start a fitness program.  Do those reasons apply still?
  • Try a new recipe from a healthy cook book or online site or magazine.
  • What did you do differently at the times when you were looking and feeling better?  Were you eating breakfast, did you have more salad?  Did you go places or do things that made you happy?  Would you want to do just any one of those things now?
  • Skip the ‘go hard or go home’ style workout, try a restorative yoga class!
  • Try a new piece of equipment.  I know some of us have equipment graveyards in the closet and under the bed, but if it gets you off your tush and back on track even for a little while perhaps its money well spent.  The idea at this time isn’t to start a new long-term program, but to merely get off the couch.
  • Too much effort to get out?  Why not just put on Pandora and dance around in the kitchen to some tunes!
  • Pull out a DVD and just hit play.  No commitment, just hit play and see if you want to try it. YouTube a cardio workout or check FitnessGlo.
  • Get a Groupon for an activity you have always wanted to try.
  • Have that pedicure, that cup of tea, that chat with an old friend…something to just incorporate “you time.”  After all, that’s what your workout should be – time to be good to yourself, not beat yourself up or down.  Maybe all the holiday stuff – the emotional and the seasonal treats everywhere and the focus on doing so much have made you disconnected from taking time to recharge yourself, so take the time to self-indulge with feel-good things to build you back up.
  • Go shopping for a new fitness outfit or sneakers. The sale racks are bursting right now with returned gear that might motivate you to put it to good use.
  • Make a date with a friend to go walking…Or come to one of my walking groups. Groups can make us feel part of something bigger and making new friends and having the support of a group helps reset your mood and motivation.
  • Buy a few sessions with a personal trainer – someone who can focus on you since you spend so much of the day, whether as a Mom or daughter or student or a hard worker, putting yourself aside for others.  The trainer can focus on you, coach and motivate you.  The trainer can create effective and safe workouts so you don’t have to worry about becoming injured or creating a workout program that will be effective.  Have an expert in your corner.  Its cheaper than therapy!
  • Just get outside!!!  (This is the one that got my long-time client back on track).  I find the air, the change of scenery, even for a 10 minute walk once a day, helps break me out of my sedentary rut.  Being in nature lifts my mood and the walking gets my circulation going.  Don’t overthink it.  Just get outside once a day and see how you feel.  Maybe just a walk around the block today.  Maybe in a couple days you will feel like a block and a half.  Maybe you like hiking or horseback riding or raking leaves in the yard.
  • Don’t let your mind talk you down. If the thoughts come, like “Oh, why bother?  I am fat and nothing will change,” just acknowledge it, “Oh, you again” and tell it “next” or something similarly non-judgmental, but dismissive and let go or focus on part of your life you like and think gratitude thoughts.  Just be in the moment for those 10 minutes you are walking or noticing the smells outside or the colors of the leaves.
  • Know this is normal and temporary.

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Exercise, Injuries, Soreness/Pain

Pain in the heel…Plantar Fasciitis

How can I get a good cardio work out?  I have pain in my heel and I can’t jump around because it makes it so much worse?plantar

Plantar Fasciitis is a painful inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band of connective tissue that originates at the heel bone and runs the entire length of the sole. It helps maintain the arch system of the foot and plays a role in your balance and phases of your gait.

A classic symptom is pain in the heel when getting out of bed

It can be an over-use injury, it can also result from flat arches.

Its common among runners, and women who are overweight, pregnant, and wear flats and other footwear without proper arch support.  A significant number of my clients have this condition.

Once it starts, it can get worse with continued impact activity.  Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong and it is time to stop. If you know you have plantar fasciitis, you probably don’t even want to start activities with impact because you know it can hurt—so don’t.

There are a number of ways I get around this problem while working with clients.

We don’t do things like jogging or stair climbing, which are impact activities that can aggravate the condition. Instead, we do low or non-impact cardio alternatives like aqua jogging, swimming, shadow boxing, and recumbent biking with weights.

If a client’s condition is mild, we might attempt such activities as elliptical, rowing machine, or cycling/spin class.

In addition, there are a number of physical therapies which can help relieve some of the pain, such as stretching to the gastrocnemius and soleus (the calf).

We also make sure that worn-out shoes are replaced with shoes with excellent support that accommodate an orthotic, when needed.

Yet the plantar fascia could even be inflamed after even this non-or low-impact exercise. Icing it for 20 minutes after physical activity can help alleviate some of this discomfort.  (Some clients may need to discuss other more in

tensive forms of relief with their physician.)  Using the forms of cardiovascular exercise we just discussed is almost always possible for clients with this condition and typically, no discomfort results.  So don’t let plantar fasciitis get in the way of your health and fitness goals. Don’t just work out hard. Work out smart!

For more information on booking personal training sessions with Kayla, please see our Personal Training page and contact us via our Facebook page.

Injuries

Superbowl & A Sprained Ankle

(Originally posted February 9, 2012)

Congratulations to the NY Giants on their victory in the Super Bowl this past weekend. What a thrilling and historic game for both Giants and Patriots . As a result of Gronkowski’s injury in the AFC Championship Game, high ankle sprains have been a primary topic of conversation in the sports world for the past couple of weeks. So what exactly is an ankle sprain…and for those exercise enthusiasts among us who have unfortunately had a sprain before, how does one continue to maintain their fitness with such an injury?

A sprained ankle is a common injury. It is an injury to the ligaments (fibrous tissue that connect bone to bone) of the ankle joint. The ligaments prevent excess turning and twisting of the joint. In normal movement, the ligaments can stretch slightly and then retract back to their normal shape and size. A sprain results when the ligaments of the ankle have been stretched beyond their limits. In severe sprains, the ligaments may be partially or completely torn. Most ankle sprains are due to the foot turning inward, although eversion sprains can occur – when the foot is turned outward.Ankle sprains can occur at any time, to anyone easily. For instnce, landing wrong or having someone step on your foot inadvertently while you are mid-stride could cause such an injury. Although there are different grades of severity to this injury, the treatment is generally the same—RICE—Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.

In terms of exercise this means that running and other impact activities aren’t a great idea! Even if you thought you could tolerate it, which you most likely don’t, you can make things much worse by doing such activities as running and jumping. I would recommend a non-impact cardio activity such as swimming instead. If it’s a low grade sprain you could try stationary biking in the saddle and see how that feels. You definitely want to curtail any activity that increases swelling and discomfort in the area.  If you can’t tolerate any weight on it, you can still work your tush and outer thigh by lying on your side and moving your leg away from the centerline of your body.  You can also do seated upper body exercises.  I also recommend stretching by getting to the point where you feel the stretch and just holding it there (no bouncing) and trying to relax into the stretch. Do not hold your breath. Hold for about 20-30 seconds. You could also use a foam roller. Let your body be your guide. Check with your physician or a physical therapist for more specific recommendations or guidelines. A good trainer should be able to help you maintain your fitness while working around this injury.

Injuries

Yoga Injuries

(Originally posted January 14, 2012)

As much as I do enjoy Yoga, this article shows Yoga-like any sport–is not without risks. Most Yoga -related back injuries come from twists and inversions (ie. wheel) executed without proper form. I especially caution participants in “hot”/ Bikram Yoga against over-extension which can easily occur due the increased range of motion the added heat in the room can permit. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/08/magazine/how-yoga-can-wreck-your-body.html?_r=1 …Another reason to choose a good teacher and build up your strength and flexibility gradually.