Sunday, February 13, 2011

Feeling the good pain

You know, that tight feeling in your muscles...isn't it great!  Making the time to exercise, creating a balanced routine, and setting goals are hard enough, but add to that the muscle soreness that comes with adapting to that regimen, and it IS difficult to stay on track!

Stretching and flexibility are underrated!  Let's take my weekend for example - bootcamp yesterday and an hour's run today, a really good run.  How long of a stretch is enough?

Answer: A basic static stretch – holding the pose for an extended period – should last about 30 seconds. Anything less than 20 seconds won’t make a significant difference in lengthening muscle fibers and tissue; hold too long and you risk injury. While some recent studies suggest stretching doesn’t necessarily improve performance or decrease one’s risk of injury, the American College of Sports Medicine still advises stretching your major muscle groups two or three days a week. (Originally published in Fitness magazine)

Stretching breaks up the cycle of sore muscles which can go from soreness to muscle spasm to contraction and tightness.  But after much research I have come to understand that by no means should we stop exercising when we are sore!  Try some light exercise such as walking or swimming, keeping the muscle in motion can also provide some relief.

Soreness serves as encouragement in my workout program because I know I like immediate results. Muscle don't visibly grow overnight; something like soreness can give us encouragement that we are in fact working the muscle, yay!

Benefits of stretching (info provided by
Regular stretching is a powerful part of any exercise program.
  • Stretching increases flexibility. 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.
  • Stretching improves range of motion of your joints. Good range of motion keeps you in better balance, which will help keep you mobile and less prone to injury from falls — especially as you age.
  • Stretching improves circulation. Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles. Improved circulation can speed recovery after muscle injuries.
  • Stretching promotes better posture. Frequent stretching keeps your muscles from getting tight, allowing you to maintain proper posture and minimize aches and pains.
  • Stretching can relieve stress. Stretching relaxes the tense muscles that often accompany stress.
  • Stretching may help prevent injury. Preparing your muscles and joints for activity can protect you from injury, especially if your muscles or joints are tight.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Can Somebody Tell Me...

Why and how is it, that I am a stay at home mom who has no time to do anything?  Granted, I have my Partylite business but that isn't time consuming, so where are the hours in each day disappearing to...

My husband can tell that I have not been doing my yoga, my emotions are all over the place and I cannot seem to even prioritize what it is that I have to do, how can I accomplish my goals this way!  I need a kick in the pants, someone to "push" me.  Stuck in a rut is me!

I feel like I can make time for everyone else, my boys, hubby, my team of consultants and yet when it comes to me I just make excuses!  Like today, I baked cookies, did laundry, prepped a gourmet dinner all just to avoid doing my exercises, why?

Oh yes, I know where I need to be right now, somewhere that my body can generate an increase of serotonin levels.  In case anyone here suffers from serotonin deficiencies, and does not know it, here are some root causes - now that I have found these, I see which are similar and will work one day at a time to fix them (except I cannot make it sunny out no matter how hard I try, lol!):

  • Prolonged periods of stress can deplete serotonin levels. Our fast paced, fast food society greatly contributes to these imbalances. 
  • Poor Diet. Neurotransmitters are made in the body from proteins. Also required are certain vitamins and minerals called “cofactors”. If your nutrition is poor and you do not take in enough protein, vitamins, or minerals to build the neurotransmitters, a neurotransmitter imbalance develops. We really do think and feel what we eat. (I am 100% in this area of diet, need to re-motivate)
  • Genetic factors, faulty metabolism, and digestive issues can impair absorption and breakdown of our food which reduces are ability to build serotonin.
  • Toxic substances like heavy metals, pesticides, drug use, and some prescription drugs can cause permanent damage to the nerve cells that make serotonin and other neurotransmitters. 
  • Certain drugs and substances such as caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, NutraSweet, antidepressants, and some cholesterol lowering medications deplete serotonin and other neurotransmitter levels. (ahhhh caffeine - I thought you were my friend?)
  • Hormone changes cause low levels of serotonin and neurotransmitter imbalances. (hmmm, good ol mother nature's fault I presume?)
  • Lack of sunlight contributes to low serotonin levels (absolutely, its so dark and the mood translates accordingly, *sigh*)
Well, back to the starting gate I suppose:
  1. I will negotiate with my body's diet intake - ok, I will simply stop eating out.  Life has been extremely busy this last week that eating well has not been an option. period.  
  2. I will scale coffee back to 1 cup a day, not quite sure but yesterday I had the equivalent of 4 cups - yuck!  At least I hardly use sugar anymore
  3. I will do my yoga!
Now, it is said that it takes 90 days to change habits, I supposed there are meant to be bumps along the way.  

I am so thankful that I have such a loving and supportive family, and wonderful new friends from 90Days2Life as well as my dear close friends who help pick me up and push me back into the direction I need.

Hugs and kisses