It’s that time of year again where the temperatures drop and the abundance of holiday pies and cookies seem like they are never ending. Have you ever had to talk yourself out of going back for another helping even though you are already full? I have been guilty of this when home for the holidays. Your willpower must be stronger than your appetite if you want to make it out of the holidays like you started. This time of year can wreak havoc on your progress and goals. November and December are the toughest months of the year to maintain fitness or performance, especially with the added temptation of grandmas famous cooking. Am I saying you have to deprive yourself and can’t eat the delicious holiday food? No, eating in moderation is ok and won’t leave you regretful later on.
TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL HOLIDAY SEASON
- Plan to be active or maintain your normal workout routine. Time off work allows more free time, so stay active to help burn off the extra calories that will be consumed.
- If you are going to a holiday party or dinner, don’t starve yourself in anticipation of the upcoming meal. Eat regularly leading up to the meal and you will be less likely to over indulge.
- Limit your sugar intake. Over eating rich and sugary treats will leave you feeling stuffed and sick but and hour or two later your back in the kitchen for more unneeded calories.
- Don’t over fill your plate. We tend to want to try everything and feel we need to eat it all. If you feel full then stop. Use smaller portions and spread out over time to where you feel satisfied but not sick.
- Don’t graze! An area I have to stay disciplined on is grazing around the table of appetizers and cookies that are sitting out at the party. Try to hang out in another room or area to resist the mindless snacking.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. This will help with appetite control, and fight that hangover from too many drinks at the party.
- ENJOY YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY AND MAKE SOME MEMORIES!
Take these tips and use them to help guide you through the holidays and set yourself up for success. Start off 2017 right by not having to play catch up to burn off the extra helpings of pumpkin pie or Christmas ham. With that being said now is the time to start thinking about those New Year’s Resolutions instead of waiting for January 1st. Most resolutions are about diet and weight loss, but tend to fail quickly because a true goal or plan was never established. Think about your goals and what you would like to accomplish and think about WHY you want it. If you understand why you want to achieve something then you are more likely to work harder for that goal. Put a plan in place and go for it.
We can help you with your WHY factor for your health and fitness goals, from there helping you establish a routine and accountability partner to help you stick to your plan. Do not hesitate to do so; we are here to help at CrossFit Collinsville!
Why do you train? Why do you put up with the soreness, the gasping for air, the uncomfortable components of CrossFit? I think this is an important question to ask yourself often. Each individual will have his or her own Why ? so what is yours?
A variation of this question and one I am more interested in getting to the bottom of with each of our members here at CFC is WHAT are you doing with your training?
CrossFit has become mainstream and grown very quickly the past 3-5 years. Its popularity ranges from its ability to keep people interested to creating undeniable physical results with people who exercise a clean nutrition-eating plan. It is safe to say that it is hard to get bored with CrossFit but it is all too easy to get discouraged.
As a gym owner and coach, I often get the enjoyment in hearing from new members what their initial ?why? is. The most common answers I get for what they want out of their training is to be healthier, lose some weight, look and feel better.
So ask yourself before moving on in this article ? are you healthier? Can you run further or faster? Can you train longer at a higher intensity than on your first day at the box? See we do believe that goals should be updated but we often move right past these small victories without acknowledgement. Why do we do that to ourselves? It is simple ? our society, the world is way more comfortable talking about what we can?t do than celebrating what we can do. All you have to do is open up one of the bazillion social media outlets and look to your feed to see the world?s complaints. It is a no wonder we feel more comfortable discouraged than we do feeling a sense of empowerment. Our negative self-talk is a parasite ? it is constantly playing the comparison game with what you ?still? can?t do.
Everyone is on his or her own journey in the gym but I want to discuss the individuals that I have come to call ?life enthusiasts?.
Life enthusiasts have traits and habits that are different from others. They come in with a humble approach to getting better each and every day and place themselves in a positive mindset inside and outside the gym. It?s the mindset of these individuals that set them apart and allows them to see the most progress. They have a quiet confidence about them because they design their life around well roundedness, taking the pressure off them to ?prove? themselves in one metcon or max out attempt. Life enthusiasts are the ones who keep their complaints and excuses at a minimum. They don?t announce to the entire gym that they tore a fingernail and that is why they are struggling with x movement today. No, this group is kind to themselves ? they exercise positive self-talk in their mind. How do I know this? It is because they spit out positive talk around others. If your mind and self-talk is negative to yourself then your phrases will also be negative in public showing up as excuses, or being overly boastful, to cutting range of motion to put up a good score or even cutting reps in a workout.
The life enthusiast groups are well rounded. They value health and fitness and looking and feeling good BUT they have that attitude in every aspect of their life. They enthusiastically live life inside and outside the gym not feeling the need to prove himself or herself to anyone on any given day. They do not look over their shoulder wondering what weight the guy or gal next to them is doing. They are on their own path and they are at peace with a good day and a bad day in the gym understanding that one-day doesn?t make or break you.
The life enthusiasts are active ? they can be found playing. Just like when they were kids at recess or after school they play and enjoy recreational activities. ?They can be found running 5K?s, playing golf, racquetball, basketball, slow pitch softball, rock climbing, road biking, etc. They use the gym and their workouts to enjoy their recreational activities more and that is where their happiness comes from. With happiness comes more motivation for the upcoming week of WOD?s.
CrossFit is ridiculously competitive and with each passing year the talent in the gym continues to improve with young talented athletes joining up to get into CrossFit. Should the goal be to be ?GREAT? at CrossFit? For some that may make sense because their life, athletic potential, time commitment, etc. allows for hours in the gym working on their weaknesses. For MOST this goal will only leave you discouraged and losing your perspective on why you train. For most our goal should be to be GREAT AT LIFE.
Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed ? if you aren?t having fun then why are you doing it? I love having fun in the gym ? I have fun when I?m not trying to prove myself. I have fun when I enjoy the people, the coaching, and the progress I see from consistent dedication & patience. If I am not working on a weakness then I?m not surprised when it doesn?t get better. An example of my WHY coming out recently was at the driving range ? I hit a golf ball further than I ever had showing me a glimpse of some potential if I apply myself to the game. In that moment I thought man I am STRONG look at that ball fly and I was thankful for the gym and for CrossFit. Later that day I came up against big weakness in the workout ? I didn?t lose my mind I just worked through it the best of my ability and remembered the enjoyment I had earlier that morning hitting the golf ball a long long way. ?So ? what?s your WHY? Ask yourself that and make sure you are enjoying your why often otherwise the world of CrossFit can get discouraging.
For everyone who experienced the CrossFit Open this year ? ask yourself if you are glad you did it? You are! You know why ? because you showed yourself you are capable of much more than that negative self-talk gives you credit for. Go out and get yourself in more of those environments that allow you to enjoy the work you are putting in the gym and keep proving your negative self talk wrong by living an active and prosperous life that is more fun thanks to your CrossFit workouts.
The year was 1995 and as a 9 year old, I vividly remember watching my older sister?s cross country team stretch, strategize different areas of the course and work on their sprints off the start line. The race took place only a few blocks from my house at the local city park and had I known what was in store for me that dreadful day I may of chosen to stay home. As I stood there watching them jump around like monkeys, I thought to myself, ?why do they think running is fun?? It was just my luck that at the very same moment that thought passed through my mind I noticed their coach heading right for me! As fate would have it, the team was down a runner and was in desperate need of a substitute. For a split second I thought I was maybe in the clear and possibly he was just explaining the unfortunate situation to my mother and I to relieve his frustration. Suddenly it hits me as my mother?s head slowly turns towards me, he wasn?t venting, he was asking permission!
I will never forget the peer pressure I succumbed to that day when she uttered those three words, ?want to run?? ?NO! PLEASE NO! NOT ME!? I screamed in my head and then out of nowhere I quietly muttered, ?sure.? As my mom drove me to our house conveniently a few blocks away to pick up my tennis shoes I sat there shaking my head in complete shock. ?What have I done??
The next thing I knew I was lined up like a row of ants at the start line listening to my heart beating like a drum from my chest. BOOM! The pop from the start gun nearly left me paralyzed but to my surprise my legs were moving! There I was right in the middle of this controlled stampede and I thought ?Ok, not so bad.? I?d strongly regret that thought with each step I took as my mood quickly shifted from ?not too bad? to ?I?m dying!? My legs were numb, chest burning and my face felt like it was going to explode! I started to wheezing, lost all control of my extremities like a wet noodle and the pain I was experiencing was like nothing I had ever felt before.
?Thank goodness!? I yelled, I could see the finish line! At that moment I finally understood what adrenaline was as I heard all of the fans cheering us on to the finish. Instantly the pain was erased and my mind pushed me into a dead sprint the last 100 yards. Once I finished I swore I would NEVER, EVER, run again!
I ended up placing 9th that day and eventually went on to run both cross country & track from middle school on through high school. Hell, I?ve even ran in two half marathons the last few years and at the end of the day, running is still a challenge with a bittersweet reward when you cross the finish. The atmosphere and adrenaline I felt that day was an experience that I personally fell in love with as an athlete and many reasons why I enjoy competing!
Here are some pointers to help you prepare for your first 5K race:
- Give yourself 2-3 months to work up to walking/running consistently for 30 minutes at a time. Below is a chart to follow to help you increase your cardio and stamina!
Week 1-2: Walk/Run 30 minutes total. Runners: Run 15 Sec/Walk 45 Sec. Rest 1-2 Day(s).
Week 3–4: Walk/Run 30 minutes total. Runners: Run 20 Sec/Walk 40 Sec. Rest 1-2 Day(s).
Week 5-6: Walk/Run 30 minutes total. Runners: Run 25 Sec/Walk 35 Sec. Rest 1 Day.
Week 7: Walk/Run 30 minutes total. Runners: run30 Sec/Walk 30 Sec. Rest 1 Day.
- Create a good warm up routine that gets your body moving before you run or walk.
- Track your runs/walks in a journal so you can see your progress.
- Eat healthy and drink plenty of water. This will aid in your progress and RECOVERY! 100 oz. a day at the very least!
- Go shopping! Pamper your feet with a new pair of New Balance or Asics running shoes. Look dapper in flashy new running clothes that will be comfortable to workout in.
- Use the ?buddy system.? It?s always more fun to run with somebody!
- Enjoy yourself!
How much protein should I be eating? When should I eat protein? Should I use protein supplements? What is the best protein to use? These are all common questions that get asked by members in the box or by avid gym goers and health enthusiasts. The answer isn’t as easy as some might think; the answer will be different for most people. The main objective of protein is to repair and build muscles after vigorous activity. However, there are some things to take into consideration or research when trying to determine the right protein or when it should be taken.
Some things to think about when determining protein amount and timing:
- What are my goals? Weight loss or weight gain?
- In order to determine the right amount of protein for yourself you have to understand your goals and take in the appropriate amount to help you achieve your goal. Amounts are dependent on body size and physical activity levels. Our performance athletes are going to need to take in more protein to repair and recover their bodies after high amounts of volume and intensity. Whereas our members who have more of a wellness and weight loss focus will require a smaller amount. Calorie amount must be not overlooked.
- Do I get enough through my diet?
- Most people don’t eat enough protein in their daily diet to justify using supplements. Adequate amounts of protein should be obtained through foods such as lean meats, dairy, as well as nuts. This also varies depending on body size and goals. The average person’s diet is typically high in carbohydrates and fat.
- When should I use protein?
- Each meal should contain some sort of protein and should be balanced throughout all meals. Commonly people eat large amounts of protein at dinner and much smaller amounts earlier in the day. The body will only process so much protein at a time so protein intake shouldn’t exceed 30-40 g per meal. Large amounts of protein in a serving are harder for the body to digest.
- Protein supplements are great for post workouts. During a training session you are breaking down muscle and the tissue and in order to repair and grow stronger you must replace what was just burned off and heal the damaged muscle. Your body has a metabolic window of 30-45 min after a workout so it is important to have a post workout shake or snack ready to go.
- What protein should I use?
- There are more supplement brands on the market that I can count. When it comes to picking the right protein powder to use, make sure you research different brands to find out what makes the most sense for you and your goals. Just like any product you will find some on the higher end of the spectrum and some on the lower end.
Here are some options to get you started if you are looking to use a protein powder.
- SFH (Stronger, Faster, Healthier) PURE
- This would be considered a high end protein that is very clean and doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners or GMO’s and is obtained from free range cows. Many athletes training for performance and need a speedy recovery use SFH. Should be mostly be used immediately after workouts and contains 24g of protein and 120 calories per serving.
- Advocare Muscle Gain – Contains 25g of protein and 150 calories per serving. Muscle gain is tested for banned substances to ensure it is safe for athletes. This can be taken as a morning breakfast but most importantly after a workout to aid in muscle repair and development.
- Zeal for Life Protein – Also a clean protein with high nutritional value. It contains 14g of protein and 100 calories per serving. Great for weight management as well as general wellness. Zeal protein can be used as a meal replacement. Also good for a post workout snack. Great for people who have trouble getting enough protein and nutrients throughout the day.
Understanding what your body needs to help it recover and continue to improve is crucial for your success in the gym. It not just about what you do in the gym for that hour a day it’s about what you do outside of the gym the other 23 hours the have the biggest impact of your goals. For guidance on how set yourself up for success and to kill it the next day in the gym contact one of CFC’s coaches! We are here to help you create a better version of you!
Number 1 killer in America?heart disease. No surprise there. Our nation is full of overweight, under active individuals that don?t see the future that awaits them. However, don?t get?the impression that if you don?t fall into overweight or under active that you evade heart problems all together. Poor nutrition, inadequate amount of exercise, stress and even genetics can all cause high blood pressure and put you at risk for heart attack. The American Heart Association recommends 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity 3-4 times per week to lower blood pressure. Yep you guessed it, CrossFit is considered a vigorous form of exercise. Since most of you fall down after the WOD we think you?d agree.
Talking with a lot of our members, you live in a high stress world with work and kids and tasks each and every day. You feel like you are going non-stop. You try everything you can to make it to the box even once or twice per week, and that?s a great start, but at some point your body is going to need a change. You?re going to need more.
CrossFit is great exercise for the heart. Constantly varying between circuits, strength movements, endurance WODs or short bursts of high intensity ones. All of which make the heart stronger, lowers blood pressure and increases not only life expectancy but also quality of life. We?re a family oriented box. We hang out with each other, play with your kids, ask about your life and want the best for you and your family. Your body is run on the beat of your heart, we want to help do everything in our power to make it the strongest beat it can be.
Make a commitment! Try adding 1 more day a week in the box and see what changes occur. You?d be surprised how much just 1 more day can improve your body?s well being. We challenge you to go out of your comfort zone. Push a little more than you may be comfortable doing. Focus on the struggle, and learn to go harder. Reach deep down and find what motivates you: your kids, your family, competition, the person next to you, or just the feel of a good burn and sweat. We all have our own reasons for choosing CrossFit, but at the core of our being we all want to be healthy and live long a healthy lives with the people we love.
Take care of your body, take care of your soul, you only get one. Ask for help when you need it and dig deep when you have to. Find that next level inside you so you and your heart can keep getting stronger and healthier. Contact us today for a free class if you are new to Crossfit. We want to be your health partner.
We test our eyes, our hearing; we get yearly dental cleanings, and physical exams. Why don?t we test our sleep?
Sleep ? it?s the one thing that both the medical field and consumers both agree on. We need it, we want it, and we wish we had more of it. Many consumers feel that desire to go right back to bed as soon as they get up in the morning, thinking more time in bed would solve their fatigue and exhaustion. Recently I sat down with owner of Lion Sleep Laboratories, Keith Martin, to get the skinny on sleep.
Wikipedia?s points out that during sleep, most systems in a person are in a heightened anabolic state, accentuating the growth and rejuvenation of the immune, nervous, skeletal, and muscular systems. A sleep disorder is a medical disorder of the sleep patterns of a person. Some sleep disorders are serious enough to interfere with normal physical, mental, social and emotional functioning.
Jen: Why do most people complain about poor sleep?
Keith: In general we are not resting as soundly because most people sit for prolonged periods of time when they are at work or home. Years ago many were in physically demanding job that helped keep them active and at a healthy body weight and allowed for more restful sleep. Now we have between 84-86 total sleep disorders.
Jen: Wow ? I had no idea that many even existed.
Keith: Yes, but 90% of people fall into sleep apnea disorder. Which is a type of sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or instances of shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep.
Jen: Basically ? you stop breathing or you lose the ability to breath while you sleep?
Keith: Yes, and interestingly enough, early on sleep apnea went undiagnosed. People simply passed away in their sleep out of no-where and most of them were cases of sleep apnea. The other most common sleep disorder that people are familiar with is insomnia. All of us have suffered from insomnia at some point in our life. You could have worked out too hard, your muscles are really sore and you are uncomfortable when you try and rest, you drank some caffeine you shouldn?t have, eat a heavy meal before bed, stress at work, stress in a relationship, etc.
Jen: What is it about sleep apnea that is capturing 90% of people being tested?
Keith: There are 2 major factors that contribute to sleep apnea. First, an increase in BMI second elevated blood pressure. BMI stands for Body Mass Index, which is your mass (weight) to your height ratio. With modern society elevated BMI?s are more prevalent than ever as are elevated blood pressures and these are the 2 keys to developing sleep apnea.
Jen: Develop? So is sleep apnea reversible?
Keith: Absolutely ? lifestyle changes can reverse sleep apnea since most sleep apneas are benign.
Jen: I see, so for people who have either of those 2 indictors should they be tested for a sleep disorder? If so, how?
Keith: Yes, that is correct. We would perform a sleep study to determine if a sleep disorder is detected. In many cases it is.
Jen: What outlets are available to conduct a sleep study?
Keith: You have private sleep labs and you have your hospitals. The biggest difference between private sleep study labs like Lions Sleep Laboratories and your hospitals are the costs involved. Private sleep labs are often 3 times less expensive than hospitals. The issue most people face is they are not aware they would benefit from a sleep study until some other complications land them in the hospital. Once in the hospital the physicians order a sleep study and you end up paying 3 times what you should have. Anytime you end up in the hospital you will see tests costs significantly higher than if you had them performed in the private sector.
Jen: I see, why do you think people find themselves in that predicament?
Keith: Often we do not think of sleep as a measuring stick for our health but we should. Just like blood pressure, BMI, heart rate, sleep is a measuring stick on your current health. For people who currently suffer from an elevated BMI &/or high blood pressure they should be getting tested.
Jen: It seems like most people I know who suffer from sleep apnea are men. Any thoughts to why?
Keith: Education on our genetics for one. It takes much more for women to show an increase in blood pressure and other health indictors than men as a direct result to elevated weight. Strictly studying and consulting our genetic codes, men were built to hunt and gather, to fight and protect. They were genetically built to be leaner so they could travel, climb, etc. While women were genetically built to bear children. They were meant to naturally carry more weight for longer periods of time through the childbearing process. Naturally they have a pre-disposition to carry more fat than men. Because their body was designed to handle the load, when they are tested for sleep apnea the results that come back on women will often show a low rating, ?especially when compared to a men?s rating on the same test. I argue that any indictor should be considered especially for women. To wait until they test at the same extreme as a man is putting the same standard on a different genetic code.
Jen: So for a female who tests for a sleep disorder her results may not sound the alarm as much as a man with similar BMI and blood pressure indicators.
Keith: Yes, the message has been that men are a bigger concern when in reality the male to female genetic differences are not always being considered when the test results come in. It is why I personally feel women are going undiagnosed and left untreated until their health declines further.
Jen: If someone is diagnosed with sleep apnea and they do not want to sleep with a mask on the rest of their life do they have options?
Keith: Absolutely. If a low dose of blood pressure medication is prescribed it is often an indicator of diet, exercise, and sleep concerns. That low dose prescription is a red flag for the individual. Sleep apnea is another red flag to make lifestyle changes. As they accomplish better nutrition and activity then the sleep apnea is often reversed.
If you are tired of being tired our call to action to you today is to ask yourself:
1)??? Do I have an elevated BMI?
2)??? Do I have hypertension?
If you answered yes to any either of these questions consider contacting Lion Sleep Laboratories or another private sleep lab in your area to schedule a sleep test today. To learn more about Keith Martin and Lion Sleep Laboratories please visit them at www.lionsleeplab.com.
The #1 argument I hear against establishing a routine is ?don?t establish a routine, your body needs constant change to gain anything, routine is the enemy?. I beg to differ. I believe routine is just another word for consistent. Consistency helps you wake up everyday at similar time to ensure you can:
- Shower before you have breakfast
- Get the kids ready
- Show up for school / work
- Hit the box for your workout
- Eat dinner
This routine, or one very similar, is done consistently day in and day out and it allows you to be efficient in your most regular tasks.
Routine has gotten a bad rap!
Establishing a routine does NOT mean go to the gym everyday and do the exact same thing. If gallivanting on an elliptical for 30 min is your routine and call it a day then the lack luster results you see or the need to starve yourself to change the weight on the scale is a reflection of that routine. Your daily routine has constant variation in it ? your breakfast changes, your projects at work adjust, you wear different clothes (hopefully), and when you hit the gym we have a different workout ready and planned for you. Our ability to vary your workout each time you visit us is the beauty in programming workouts. Special knowledge, planning, prep, and goals go into our programming and those who are consistent in our workouts see the results and are thankful for their gym routine.
Routine helps accomplish goals!
Now, it?s the new year, you?ve been CrossFitting for a while, you should have a goal that you either publicly or secretly are trying to work towards. If you do not, consult a coach immediately! The most beneficial thing you could do is establish a routine, something you can be consistent with, to help you achieve that goal. The most common goal we hear from our female athletes is to get an unassisted pull up, or do handstand push -ups. ?In order to back that goal up one needs to be putting in some extra work before or after class. Working in 5 practice reps before and or after class every time you work out will compound your results and get you to that unassisted pull up MUCH faster. If you have no idea where to start towards your personal goal don?t be afraid to ask a coach for help! We enjoy those little aspects of coaching and watching someone?s eyes light up when they realize they can do more than they thought they could.
Have no fear!
Routine is consistency. You must be consistent to be successful, to better yourself and to reach your goals. Don?t be afraid to set a goal, to strive to achieve something you think may be unreachable. We see most of our clients everyday, and each day they do more than they think they could. It?s amazing to watch someone grow into the vision of themselves that they have in their mind. It makes all the struggling; the doubts and the hard work worthwhile. The secret of your future (an unassisted pull up) is hidden in your daily routine (5 reps everyday). Get consistent and establish your routine!
Everyone knows that water is good for them and may understand the basic importance of water and what it does for you. The unfortunate side is that most people do not value it like they should which could possibly be because they truly don?t know many of the other important benefits that come with it. To refer to some of the common benefits of H2O, check out the previous article we posted here?about water.
Outside of hydration, aiding in metabolism and digestion, and fighting headaches water provides many other useful aids in health, lifestyle, and training that people tend to overlook. This article is meant to focus on those areas to help you get more excited and value water more. So here is a list of some overlooked benefits. Your body will love you for it!
Improves Your Mood
- Even if you are mildly dehydrated it can impact your mood. So keep the water close so you feel refreshed.
Naturally Prevents Headaches
- According to studies going to long without water can trigger a headache or migraine, so by consistently drinking water it reduces the trigger to occur.
- Lubricates joints and cartilage
- It keeps the joints hydrated and reduces stiffness
- Cartilage which protects bones is made up of 85% water
Aids In Cold Weather Workouts
- Cold weather can dehydrate you just as much as hot weather.
- We lose water through respiration, and when we exercise in the cold we work harder under the layers and therefore sweat and breathe heavier.
- Cold weather reduces thirst and water cravings, increasing dehydration rate.
Eat Your Water
- Fruits in vegetable that have high water content such as watermelon, cucumber, and strawberries also contain other nutrients that aid in hydration and provide good nutritious snacks.
Improves Skin Health
- Staying hydrated reduces wrinkles by delivery nutrients to the skin cells and helps maintain elasticity.
- Aids in reducing dryness and cracking especially during the cold months.
Exercise In It
- Aerobic workouts in water is great for low impact ? low stress cardio exercise.
- Getting in a good pool workout is great the change up your routine and will aid in recovery between weight training or high impact training sessions.
Soak It Up
- Spa therapy can help relieve pain and aid in relaxation.
- A hot bath with Epson salts can help your muscles relax and relieve tension.
How Much Do I Need To Stay Hydrated
I wanted to include it to?remind everyone how much they need or how to figure out how much.
- Take your bodyweight and divide by 2 to find how many ounces you need
- Divide the ounces by 8 to give you the amount of cups.
- This will give you a baseline but may need to increase depending on your activity level.
- A good goal would be 80-100oz
Now that the New Year health and fitness resolutions are upon us, I challenge everyone to not only get fit and healthy by exercising and improving their nutrition but to make an additional resolution and value water. If people can truly understand the importance of what it can do for them then more resolutions will be successful. Quality of life will be improved which will carry over into other aspects of life such as productivity, mood, and fitness and performance.
So get rid of the high calorie sugary, over caffeinated drinks and start drinking some ice cold water. Then come see us at CrossFit Collinsville for help with your New Year?s Resolutions! Our trainers will help you stay accountable to see your resolution through and be successful in reaching your goals through the entire year!
The weather in this area can sometimes be as predictable as the lottery. One day you may be out playing with the kids in shorts and the next day you?re bundling up to get the newspaper. One thing that is consistent is the snow in January. Initially everyone gets excited for the first snow of the season, especially around the holidays. Snow can be very pretty and have a calming aspect to it, but our patience quickly wears thin and we can?t wait for it to be gone. If we have the winter that we did last year then you better prepare yourself now and get your shovel and winter boots ready to go. Unless you have a neighbor kid come shovel your sidewalks and driveway then get ready. I have put together some tips for everyone to help them with their snow removal process and reduce the usual back pain and fatigue. These tips will help you do it efficiently and safely!
Before Heading Outside Make Sure You Dress Appropriately
- Wear enough layers to keep you warm but doesn?t restrict your movement, also, boots, gloves, and a hat that will keep you dry and warm.
Have a Plan of Attack
- Think about where you plan to move the snow beforehand so you don?t have to move it more than once.
- If you are doing this before work plan ahead so you can do the job right and safely.
Choose the Right Shovel
- Pick one that has a curved handle, this will allow you to keep your back straight and reduce back pain.
- Use a shovel that is light weight and not too big and allows you to push the snow instead of lifting.
- Your back will get wore out quickly if you constantly try to lift large amounts of snow and move it.
Use Proper Technique When Shoveling (This may be the most important tip!)
- Just like anything else there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. You wouldn?t just walk up to a barbell and try deadlifting it without setting your spine and bracing yourself would you? I hope not!! Same goes for moving snow.
- Before you head outside make sure you warm up your body and loosen up your muscles.
- Hand placement is important. Spread your hands out to create leverage.
- Maintain posture in your back to keep your natural curve.
- Brace your back by breathing in to your belly before you attempt to push or lift the snow.
- Set your feet in an athletic stance to create a strong foundation.
- Make sure you are using your legs. Bend at the knees not at the waist and don?t twist to throw the snow.
- Take breaks when needed.
- Shoveling snow is hard work so don?t overexert yourself. Although, it can be a great workout.
- If you dressed appropriately (see point 1) then you will be sweating before you finish the job and need to replace those fluids.
- Before going for the coffee or hot tea drink 24-32 oz of water.
These snow shoveling pointers should help reduce the headache of those snow covered sidewalks and keep you pain free. Another way to get yourself ready for this task is to make sure your body is ready for this demand. The coaches at CrossFit Collinsville are here to help you get fit and healthy so that you are ready to go for the winter and the future. Don?t hesitate to contact us about trying a class and getting started on your journey to a healthier and stronger life.
If you or someone you know and love is creating their life around health, fitness, and general wellness then this is meant for you! ?I act very different around the Holiday?s than I use to and it continues to leave me more satisfied each and every year. ?Instead of 8 weeks of throwing things out the window I enjoy 6 perfect days spread out over 63 ?holiday season? days. Yep that?s it ? the holiday season which I define as Halloween through New Year?s Day is a whopping 63 days!?? The holidays season represents a breather or break from my normal routine by enjoying the gift of moderation! I enjoy all that the holiday?s have to offer ? I eat the wonderful festive foods that leave you waddling to the couch for a nap. I enjoy them on the Holiday itself = Halloween Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve (starting at dinner), through Christmas Day, and New Year?s Eve (starting at dinner) through New Year?s Day.
During those windows I take a break and relax my grip on my health and fitness plan guilt free! The other 57 days of the holiday season I stick with my goals & routine all thanks to some excellent Fit Gifts that are in my tool belt. My gift to you this holiday season is a gift-giving (or receiving) guide that will help you stay on track the other 57 days of the Holiday Season and propel you into the start of 2015!
My personal picks for the top 10 tools that can help the health nut (or wannabe Health nut) on your list this year:
1)?? Fitness Tracker ? general awareness of how much we actually move/day, built in accountability partner. Key features to look for:
- Sleep tracking
- Calories burned
- Heart rate monitor
Some of my favorites can be found at:
- Budget Friendly options from other brands can often be found on Group or Amazon.
2)?? Food Scale ? Keeps my awareness up on portion sizes. Key features:
- Multiple until of measure
- Easy to store
- Clear display
Some of my favorites can be found at:
3)?? Re-fillable Water Container ? hydration is key in weight loss and overall performance. It will also keep hunger at bay and cravings down to a minimum. Added benefits are fighting off sickness during the flu season. For more on the importance of water ? check out my article by clicking here.?My top favorites:
- ?24 oz. Tervis Tumbler w/lid ? 4 of these a day and you are hitting your daily intake of h20
- 20 oz. camelback spill proof water bottle?
- Brookstone ? flavor it water bottle
4)?? Food Journal + water journal? most popular is by www.myfitnesspal.com
5)?? Gym membership ? not all gyms are created equal. Many will be having the join for a $1 promotion but keep in mind all you get is the space and equipment ? no plan on how to actually develop a workout to benefit your body, its needs, and your goals. Once they get you in the door its up sell time so be ready! Instead consider what we have to offer ? straightforward monthly fee that gives you the plan, the coaching, the progressions as you improve, and outlets to learn more about healthy habits.?Click here to learn more about us.
6)?? Shaker bottle with storage – I love the ProStak by blender bottle ? check it out.
7)?? Great pair of shoes ? Reebok Nano?s and Inov-8 is my top choices for everyday workout shoes.?? Plus the color options are endless!
8)?? Recovery tools ? consider a package like the one offered by Rogue Fitness.
9)?? Gift Card to their favorite apparel store so they can stock up some goodies!
10) Subscription to a health magazine where they can continue to learn tricks of the trade! Some ideas to get you started:
- For him – Men?s Health: http://www.menshealth.com
- For her – Women?s Health: http://magazine-subscription.com-sub.info/Womens-Health/Welcome
- For both: http://www.theboxmag.com
Feel free to share some of your pics. Happy Holidays everyone!