Congratulations! You’ve welcomed your beautiful, bouncing bundle of joy. After the new motherhood fog begins to wear off you’re probably yearning for a little “me time” and may want to get back into your workout routine. We’re here to help you settle back in, but before you do, check out our post-baby exercise tips.
There are countless things to consider when it comes to exercising and staying fit: nutrition, strength training, cardio, hydration and the list goes on. But have you ever considered what goes on at the very foundation of your body? A’hem… your feet? Runner or not, comfortable athletic shoes are one of the most important things you should invest in. They’ll prevent injuries, motivate the heck out of you, and keep you feeling comfy throughout your workouts.
If shopping for new athletic shoes is a new undertaking for you, here are a few things to consider when searching for your perfect sole-mate!
The health of individuals has become an increasing concern over the past few years. In many hospitals and clinics, care providers have started encouraging their patients to visit their doctor’s office for an annual health screening. Annual health screenings are important because they allow for medical staff to help diagnose and treat diseases and illnesses before it’s too late. An earlier diagnosis allows for better, more effective treatment.
With Thanksgiving finally passed (not that we didn’t enjoy…but geez!) you might be thinking of creative ways to get rid of these dang holiday leftovers! It would be nice to just throw it all away, but that’s wasteful. We won’t be advising that…EVER! So, here’s how we can enjoy some leftover turkey and dressing in a much healthier way.
There is no doubt aerobic exercise is important for overall health. We don’t want to diminish its significance. However, if you want to get into the best shape of your life, weightlifting is more important than cardio.
As we age, it is often not our aerobic health that causes us to become debilitated. It is the loss of muscle mass and bone density that causes issues as we get older. Only weightlifting will build muscle and increase bone density.
It Will Happen to You
An unavoidable part of any wellness journey is the reality of dealing with muscle pain. Pain is not a random occurrence. Pain is an effect of your workout and it shows up in predictable and treatable patterns.
You’re at the gym and it’s leg day. You finish a set of squats, stand straight up, and feel your gluts burning and tightening. You can already tell you’re going to be stiff and sore in the morning and when you wake up, getting out of bed becomes a ridiculous challenge.
Repetitive muscle actions, especially load-bearing actions, (addition of weights) can mean the tightening of fascia, or connective muscle tissue. When fascia tightens, it limits flexibility and affects your overall strength.
You’re trying to stay fit and healthy this year, but how do you fit fitness into your vacation?
- Jungle Bay Resort and Spa, Dominica
Jungle Bay Resort and Spa offers not only a variety of spa treatments, but also scheduled hikes throughout the day, drumming classes, kayaking, and snorkeling in the ocean. A perfect getaway for any fitness fanatic.
Sleep, along with proper nutrition, is crucial to recovery. Not only for day-to-day life, but also progression with your training regimen. Let’s face it: Sometimes falling asleep can be difficult. There is nothing worse than a long day ahead of you, with a restless night behind you. We need all the proper rest and recovery we can get in this crazy world.
Don’t fret, though! You can find natural sleep aids in the foods we eat every day. There are other foods that can help you fall asleep besides the traditional warm glass of milk. These foods help your body synthesize melatonin and serotonin and increase these neurotransmitters’ effectiveness.
Take a serving of walnuts before bed. They’re high in tryptophan, the amino acid needed for serotonin and melatonin synthesis. These two neurotransmitters regulate your sleep-wake cycles.
Research shows that walnuts may also contain melatonin.
Lettuce contains lactucarium, which sedates the brain.
Almonds are magnesium-rich. Like tryptophan, magnesium is needed for serotonin production. Studies link low magnesium levels with difficulty falling asleep.
Calcium aids in tryptophan conversion into melatonin. This could explain why warm milk induces sleep.
Tuna is rich in vitamin B6, which is also required by your body for melatonin and serotonin synthesis.
Research shows that cherries naturally boost melatonin levels.
Chamomile tea has been found to increase glycine levels. Glycine has sedative properties, relaxing both nerves and muscles.
Chamomile tea also has healing properties. Study participants had their burn wounds heal faster subsequent to drinking chamomile tea.
If you need a good night’s sleep for a long day ahead, take these foods prior to going to bed. These foods boost melatonin and serotonin levels. These foods also have innate sedative properties and are also overall healthy.
When people perform their fitness routine, they normally concentrate on back, shoulders, arms, abs and legs. Many seem to forget to exercise the part of the body that holds them up—their feet and ankles! It’s important to keep your feet and ankles strong to provide you with better balance, flexibility, circulation and to avoid injuries. A focus workout of stretching exercises for the feet and strength, balancing and plyometric exercises for the ankles will do wonders for accomplishing this. The best part is that this simple workout is done in just 5-10 minutes each day in the comfort of your own home before or after your gym routine.
Heel Raises – This is a terrific foot activity to do before your cardio program since your feet’s reflex points corresponding to the lungs and heart will be stimulated. You might want to stand near a wall or counter to help keep your balance. Stand with your back straight, tight abs and feet hip-width apart. Raise both of your heels off the floor high enough that you’re standing on the balls of your feet; hold for 3-5 seconds and slowly lower your heels back down to the floor. Perform this exercise 10 times. For an added challenge, attempt to stand on one foot and raise your heel of the foot you’re standing on; perform 10 reps and then exercise the other foot.
Single Leg Balance Reach – To perform this ankle balancing exercise, stand with your back straight, contracted abs and feet hip-width apart. Your feet need to be flat on the floor with your arches raised; don’t roll your ankles or move the rest of your body as you perform this routine. Lift your right leg an inch off of the floor. Stretch your right leg out in front of you, hold this position for 5 seconds then bring it back next to your left leg. Move your right leg out to the right side maintaining good form and hold this for 5 seconds before bringing your leg back to the standing position. Extend your right leg backwards holding for 5 seconds and return the leg next to your left leg. Now repeat all of these for your left leg.
Squat Jumps – To start this plyometric exercise for the ankles, your arms should be at your sides and relaxed; feet should be side by side and hip-width apart. Bend your knees, as you jump swing your arms over your head to aid you in getting more height; during the jump, point your toes down. As you gently land form a squat; this absorbs the jump and gets your ready for the next jump. Perform these for one minute.
Rock Out – This quick and easy activity will reduce the chance of any ankle injuries and improve your balance. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, abs tight and your back straight. Turn your feet to one side so that you’re now standing on the outside of your feet; return to the start position and complete 5 more of these. Take a short break keeping your feet flat on the floor. Next, turn your feet so that you’re standing on the inside of your feet; return your feet flat on the floor and perform these 5 more times.
Band Inversion/Eversion – For this foot- and ankle-strengthening exercise you’ll need to sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you and toes pointed up. Loop a resistance band around the ball of the inside of your left foot and tie the other end of the band around a secure piece of furniture that’s foot high—like a couch leg. Now, turn your left foot inward—an inversion—and you’ll feel the pull against the band. You should do 2 sets of 10-20 repetitions. Remember to exercise the right foot too! To perform an eversion, reposition the band so that the loop is now on the outside of the ball of your foot; rotate your foot out and feel that resistance! Again, exercise the other foot 2 sets of 10-20 reps. While you’re performing these band exercises, make sure your legs remain unmoved; only your ankle and foot should be turning.
If you take time to perform these simple exercises every day, you’ll discover that you’ll be better aligned, have improved balance and enhanced flexibility. Thus, you’ll get more out of your fitness program at the gym. If you’d like more advice on strengthening your feet and ankles or would like a custom workout, please contact us.