February 18, 2018 by Heather

Static Stretching vs. Dynamic Stretching

If you’re tempted to skip the stretching part in your workout routine as you think it’s only for athletes or yoga lovers, then you may want to rethink your strategy.

Stretching is an integral part of fitness as it keeps the muscles flexible, strong and healthy, allowing us to maintain a range of motion in our joints. Without it, the joints can become stiff, weak, unable to extend, and this is when your risk of injury increases, resulting in strains, muscle damage, and joint pain.

Where to Begin

Okay, so it’s clear that stretching isn’t only for athletes or gymnasts. The main goal with stretching is to prepare your body for vigorous activity or to help it recover. You don’t have to stretch every muscle in your body every day, mainly the areas that are critical for mobility such as your calves, hip flexors, hamstrings, pelvis, and the front of your thighs/quadriceps. Your shoulders, neck and lower back are also important areas to benefit from daily stretching.

You may have heard about two types of stretching techniques called Static Stretching and Dynamic Stretching, and the main difference between them is in when and how you perform them.

Static Stretching

This stretch is similar to its name, a static movement. This stretch technique involves stretching your muscles just to the point where you feel discomfort. An example would be where you sit on the floor, legs straight out and apart, with the goal to lean forward and touch your toes. You would hold this type of stretch for a long period of time (preferably 15-30 sec. to get the full benefit of the stretch) and repeat again two or three times more.

Static stretches are safe and effective, when done properly, and can improve your overall flexibility.

Dynamic Stretching

This type of stretching technique is often used by the athlete, and involves moving your joints and muscles through a range of full motions instead of holding a stretch for a long period of time. Dynamic stretches wake up your nervous system by sending signals from your brain to your muscles, they help improve flexibility and prevent the body from injury.

Movements are controlled and are meant to mimic different movements you would perform in a specific sport or athletic event. Some examples of dynamic stretches are high knee marching or walking lunges. A lot of the movements in a yoga flow are dynamic stretches.

Pre-Workout or Post Workout?

There is plenty of debate on when to perform these two types of stretches, pre-workout or post workout. Some believe it’s best to do static stretches after an activity as your muscles are still warm and can help relieve tension and soreness in the muscle by elongating the muscle and increasing blood circulation.

Various studies show dynamic stretches to be most effective before an activity or event because it allows the body to prepare for specific athletic movements. It elevates the heart rate and increases body temperature, which helps your muscles work more efficiently.

January 5, 2018 by Heather

Incorporating Fitness into your Day

It’s human nature to feel too tired or lazy to exercise. To make excuses for why we can’t exercise in the first place. And to be honest it’s not easy sometimes to fit it into our day.

Our schedules are busy, our days are long, and when the day is done and dusted all we want to do is pour ourselves a nice glass of red and sit back and watch a few episodes of our favorite TV show!

Dedicating even just 25 minutes a day is sometimes difficult so we put it off for tomorrow, but then tomorrow comes and we still haven’t exercised.

Focus on Health and Strength

Many people get discouraged about their health and fitness goals when they step on the scale. They put too much emphasis on weight loss, rather than the gratitude they get from the joys of exercise and movement.

Forget the scale, and think about how you feel after a good workout. Find your motivation to exercise from the exhilaration you feel from getting out in the fresh air for a jog, or from a fun weekly dance fitness class.

Taking the time to connect with exercise on an emotional level will help you achieve your fitness goals in the long run, and you’ll begin to love it again.

Fitting It In

Think of exercise as something you just can’t live without, like food and water. This way you’ll commit to daily exercise and add to it your schedule just like any other appointment.

Develop a “move more” attitude by reminding your body to get more movement throughout the day in everything you do. Sit less, walk more. Park far from stores, and squat to pick something up.

Finding the Motivation

Some of the biggest reasons for not exercising are that we don’t have the proper motivation. Motivation can come in the form of a personal trainer or a regular weekly fitness class that you have to attend.

Fitness apps can be very motivational as it’s something you can follow and do just about anywhere. If you feel like exercising in the park, all you need is your app, a good spot, and a positive attitude!

There are plenty of health apps that record your daily steps, what you’ve eaten during the day, and how many hours you’ve slept. Seeing that you’ve only taken 600 steps in the day get you motivated to get out for a walk and see it change to the thousands. If you are interested in using a fitness app, reach out to me to learn more about Beachbody On Demand.

November 21, 2017 by Heather

How to Build Muscle Naturally

Let’s face it. Deep down inside we all want to look super fit! Lean and mean, and built like a machine! And there is no shortage at all for magazines, products, and supplements all promising us that six-pack we so desperately want!

Anyone can build muscle naturally without using any help from steroids. All it takes a whole lot of commitment, effort, discipline, along with a heavy dose of determination! 

Most people envision their body transformation taking shape from a combination of weight-loss and muscle gain. 

But how is it done exactly?  (more…)