- Hi, I'm Erin. Thanks for checking out my blog! Follow me as I attempt to manage life as a working mom of two small children while eating healthy, exercising regularly and running the occasional half marathon.
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Tag Archives: exercise
WooHoo! It’s Friday!
As we approach the end of yet another busy week, I encourage you to take full advantage of TODAY’S CHALLENGE and….
According to the Mayo Clinic (via About.com Physical Therapy) the top five benefits of stretching include:
INCREASED FLEXIBILITY AND JOINT RANGE OF MOTION
Flexible muscles can improve your daily performance. Tasks such as lifting packages, bending to tie your shoes, or hurrying to catch a bus become easier and less tiring. Flexibility tends to diminish as you get older, but you can regain and maintain it.
Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles. Blood flowing to your muscles brings nourishment and gets rid of waste by-products in the muscle tissue. Improved circulation can help shorten your recovery time if you’ve had any muscle injuries.
Frequent stretching can help keep your muscles from getting tight, allowing you to maintain a proper posture. Good posture can minimize discomfort and keep aches and pains at a minimum.
Stretching relaxes tight, tense muscles that often accompany stress.
Maintaining the full range-of-motion through your joints keeps you in better balance. Coordination and balance will help keep you mobile and less prone to injury from falls, especially as you get older.
It is essential to practice proper stretching techniques. Doing so will allow you to avoid any unnecessary injury. Tips to proper stretching technique include the following:
WARM UP FIRST
Stretching muscles when they’re cold increases your risk of pulled muscles. Warm up by walking while gently pumping your arms, or do a favorite exercise (jogging, cycling) at low intensity for five minutes.
HOLD EACH STRETCH FOR AT LEAST 30 SECONDS
It takes time to lengthen tissues safely. Hold your stretches for at least 30 seconds — and up to 60 seconds for a really tight muscle or problem area. That can seem like a long time, so wear a watch or keep an eye on the clock to make sure you’re holding your stretches long enough. For most of your muscle groups, if you hold the stretches for at least 30 seconds, you’ll need to do each stretch only once.
Bouncing as you stretch can cause small tears (microtears) in the muscle, which leave scar tissue as the muscle heals. The scar tissue tightens the muscle even further, making you even less flexible — and more prone to pain.
FOCUS ON A PAIN-FREE STRETCH
If you feel pain as you stretch, you’ve gone too far. Back off to the point where you don’t feel any pain, then hold the stretch.
RELAX AND BREATHE EASY
Don’t hold your breath while you’re stretching
STRETCH BOTH SIDES
Make sure your joint range of motion is as equal as possible on each side of your body
STRETCH BEFORE AND AFTER ACTIVITY
Light stretching after your warm-up followed by a more thorough stretching regimen after your workout is your best bet
Here are some great stretches you can do everyday to help increase your flexibility for a healthier lifestyle:
Have a great weekend!
Welcome to Week 2 of the Healthy Lifestyle Challenge!
How did Week 1 go? Are you drinking your water? Thinking about planning another weeks worth of meals? I sure hope so! Establishing healthy habits takes time and effort – stick with it and you will be on you way to improved health and happiness!
So, TODAY’S CHALLENGE will once again be the focus to the upcoming week – here it is…
Complete 30 minutes of physical activity a day.
Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Regardless of age, weight or athletic ability, moderate physical activity is good for you. Walking, jogging, biking, swimming, dancing and participating in a group exercise class for just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week is enough to experience the following health benefits:
- Better health.
- More energy.
- Reduced stress.
- Stronger bones.
- Better balance, strength, suppleness and mobility.
- Improved sleep.
- Improved body shape.
- Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.
- Make or meet friends.
- A sense of achievement.
- More independence in later life.
Check out this infographic for more great information on the benefits of just 30 minutes of physical activity a day!
Fitting regular exercise into your daily schedule may seem difficult at first, however, with proper planning and prioritizing, I know you can make it work!
1. Close an activity you enjoy at a time that is convenient for you – that way you are more likely to stick with it!
2. Schedule your workouts – actually write them into your agenda and treat your workouts like important meetings!
3. Break things up if you have to. You don’t have to do all your exercise at one time. Shorter but more frequent sessions have aerobic benefits too. Fifteen minutes of exercise a couple of times a day may fit into your schedule better than a single 30-minute session.
4. Involve friends and family. As well as being more sociable, you will be able to motivate each other when one of you loses momentum.
5. Get tech-y – there are literally hundreds of apps and gadgets you can use to help keep track of your workouts. A few I really like are RunKeeper, Moves Fitness Tracker, and Nike + . All three of these apps track distance traveled, time, pace, calories burned, and more. Having a log of your progress is a great way to stay motivated!
Remember, start slowly and build up gradually. Exercise should raise your heart rate and feel like hard work but it shouldn’t hurt. There’s nothing wrong with having sore muscles the day after you have exercised as long as it doesn’t prevent you from getting on with your day.
Smile, laugh, be happy and be active! Remember, some activity is better than none!
Although most of us know that eating healthy and exercising regularly are important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, many of us underestimate the importance of getting enough sleep.
Go to bed a half hour earlier than normal tonight.
Most people don’t get enough sleep. Adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night to reap the following benefits:
Here are some tips to help you get a good nights sleep:
- Stick to a Sleep Schedule
- going to bed at the same time each night, and getting up at the same time each morning – even on weekends – sets your bodies internal clock to expect to sleep at a certain time each night
- Pay Attention to What You Eat and Drink
- don’t go to bed hungry to stuffed – you’re discomfort may keep you up
- limit how much you drink before bed to avoid having to pee in the middle of the night
- avoid caffeine and nicotine – both are stimulants and can produce alerting effects. Although they may not keep you up, they are most likely disrupting your sleep.
- avoid alcohol – although alcohol is a depressant, it actually disrupts sleep causing nighttime awakenings
- Establish a Regular Bedtime Routine
- do the same things each night to let your body know its time to wind down
- take a bath, read a book or meditate
- avoid stressful and stimulating activities
- Get Some Exercise
- regular exercise can help you fall asleep faster and help you sleep more soundly
- be sure not to exercise too close to bedtime – you may be too energized to fall asleep!
Going to bed early is not a problem for me! I love being in bed 9, I read for a bit and most nights I’m out cold before 10 – it’s great I get at least 8 hours of quality sleep!
How much sleep do you get each night?
What’s your usual nighttime routine?
So, as most of you know, I teach group ex classes – specifically BodyAttack – at GoodLife Fitness. Well, last night was the first Wednesday night class of the new schedule, and although it was a small class we all had a great workout and lots of fun – despite Green Shirt Guy
So, let me tell you what happened…
It’s about 10 minutes before the start of my class, I am hanging around outside the studio waiting for the BodyFlow class to finish,and chatting with a few ladies who are waiting to come to my class. The gym is fairly busy. There are a couple of guys hanging out around the studio as well, comparing workouts, getting drinks, flexing their muscles – you know, guy stuff!
Well, the flow class ends – a couple of minutes late – but it’s no big deal and bound to happen being the 3rd class of the night. Anyways, the ladies and I head in, I get the music started and get things set up. At that point, two guys walk in – one in a green shirt – who wants to skip, and some other guy – who starts setting up a step system to do who knows what. I politely let them know that the studio is being used for a BodyAttack class for the next hour, but that they are welcome to join in. Other guy gives a wave and leaves, Green Shirt Guy throws a mini tantrum and finally storms off. I then see him skipping outside the studio. Perfect – he’s doing what he came to do and so are we 🙂
About a half hour later another guy comes in – yep, in the middle of my classs – and pulls out a mat to do some stretching. Green Shirt Guy sees that this guy has come in and comes in again. I’m thinking, are you kidding me? but being a professional, I once again explain that we are in the middle of a group ex class, and if they wanted to join in they were more than welcome, but, otherwise, they had to go. We’d be done in about a half hour.
So, fast forward about 25 minutes, we’re in the middle of our stretch, and guess who comes in – AGAIN! Yep, Green Shirt Guy comes in with a few others this time. He pulls out a mat and starts skipping, another guy sets up a step and another couple are planning to do some partner stretching. I’m thinking – you can’t be serious! Really? So, for the third time, I politely ask them for a little respect, can they please give us a couple of minutes to finish up our workout. Green Shirt Guy then yells – RESPECT – and continues to shout about how we are 3 minutes overtime – that the class was to finish at 8:45 and he has every right to be in there. I apologize to my members, and continue on with the last couple of minutes of our class, trying my best to ignore Green Shirt Guy. When finished, I again apologize to the group for the disruptions, wish them a good night, and tidy up my stuff.
I then head to the back of the class and approach Green Shirt Guy. He immediately starts in – not quite yelling at me, but almost – about how he had planned to do his skipping workout and stretching in the GROUP EXERCISE studio and how he already had to wait for the Flow class to finish at 7:45, how he left his family to come to the gym, how no one does a skipping workout like him, how he was a personal trainer and, and, and… So I was like, I totally get that this is first week of the new schedule and the first week with 7:45 group ex classes, applogized for the lack of communicaiton about the new group ex hours, but that this was a group ex studio and that that’s what it is to be used for. Being a personal trainer, he would understand that. He continued to argue about how it should be ok for him to come in and do his skipping while I was teaching my class, that there was nowhere else in the gym to skip or stretch, about how much he pays to be member of the gym, was he really going to have to come in a 8:45 to do his skipping routine and saying that if he couldn’t do his skipping workout he was going to change gyms… he went on and on – it was RIDICULOUS! Every time I tried to explain why he couldn’t be in there (liability issues, respect for other people and their workouts) or when I suggested he could skip outside (what??? and ruin his rope – are you serous!!) he pretty much cut me off. Finally after about 15 minutes, I’m pretty sure he understood that he was free to do his workout elsewhere or after the group ex classes were finished. He had calmed down and somewhat acknowledged that his behaviour was inappropriate. It’s all good.
But, I couldn’t just leave it there….
I”m a pretty good skipper. I was on the skipping team in elementary school (yep, 30 years ago) and skip now and then with my fitness classes at school. Since he was going on and on and on and on and on and on about how we were messing with his skipping workout, I decided to challenge him to a doubles contest. He laughed, said there was no way I would beat him, said all the CrossFit in the world wouldn’t make me a better skipper than him – I told whatever, I don’t do CrossFit, let’s go! He then suggested a triples contest and handed me a rope. I told him I didn’t know how to do triples, so we settled on a doubles contest.
Keep in mind, I’ve just done taught a one hour cardio class.
I get started – 1…2…3…4…
He starts 1…2…3…he gets tangled in the rope.
I’m still going 5…6…7…
He tries again 1…2…3…4…5…6…7…he gets tangled in the rope.
I’m still going ….15…16…17…
He tries again and gets to 3
I’m still going…25…26…27…
He tries and fails, tries and fails, tries and fails…
I’m still going ….51…52…53…54 and then I quit.
I did 54 doubles in a row, he did 7 🙂
Take that Green Shirt Guy. I think I just earned the right to the studio. You’d better get outside and practice your skipping!
Can you believe someone would do that?
Is there no such thing as Gym Etiquette?
So, yesterday was my 1 year blogiversary! Yay! So fun!
Here’s a little summary of the first year of Happier, Healthier, More Fit Me…
… 281 posts
…. 23546 views
…. 768 followers
… And 4 blog awards
I’d have to say, that for the most part I have loved blogging. Some days finding the time or coming up with content has been difficult, but looking back at some of my posts, really makes it all worth it!
I love that my blog is a source of motivation, and that I have been able to noire others to live happier, healthier lives.
Thanks for a great first year, I’m looking forward to what’s ahead!