Another Season of Training Starts NOW

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I’m starting with a running group this Spring to train for yet another 1/2 Marathon, this season will mark my 15th and 16th 1/2 marathons.  It’s time for a new watch.  I’ve always loved the Garmin but mine is probably 10 years old.  It still works and is in great condition but I’m stepping up this year.  What features I love the best are the tracking of mileage and the fact that you can time a run/walk this way.  I love to run but running always seems just a bit easier when you have that one minute walk break built in.  This year my group will run for 8 minutes and then walk for one, without a way to track the run/walk breaks I feel lost.

This season I plan to blog post some of my best runs along with helpful nutrition, hydration and recovery tips.  This first week was just 2 miles next week 3.  For these shorter runs the thing I focus most on is hydration during the week.  It’s so important when you are active to stay hydrated, before and after your exercise.  Look forward to sharing this journey with you!

 

Strength Train

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Yes it’s true that if you don’t use your muscles you will lose them.  Starting in your 40′s your muscle tone will start to decrease if you don’t exercise them regularly.  That coupled with the fact that many of us simply don’t do a lot of heavy lifting outside the gym these days is all the more reason to strength train now.

Many of us focus a lot of attention on cardio or maintaining a healthy heart muscle, yet spend much less time working out our other muscles.  Don’t get me wrong cardio is an important component to overall health but so is maintaining that strength.

Here are 10 good reasons to strength train:

  1. Trust me you will feel stronger
  2. Better posture
  3. Less injuries
  4. You burn more calories because muscles are more metabolically active than fat
  5. You’ll be more toned and have a shapelier figure for women and more muscular for men
  6. You’ll improve in your other sports running, cycling, tennis, soccer
  7. Boost your cognitive abilities
  8. Helps keep the heart muscle strong along with your cardio exercise
  9. Helps to strengthen and build bones.
  10. You’ll feel better about yourself

I admit that I was also focusing most of my attention on training for 1/2 marathons with less attention to building good strong leg muscles.  I paid the price by having a knee injury and not being able to run for almost 6 months!  It was tough and I spent a few months in physical therapy strengthening my muscles.  What I did learn was how to build a great habit to strength train.

Now I do a few days of a solid workouts each week and then complement that with almost daily strength training.  I usually do several exercises each day and it doesn’t take a lot of time.  You can do each of these exercises in 10 minutes or less.  Here are some of my favorites from EXOS that only require some weights or other props you can find around your house:

Lower Body

Hip strengthening workout

Squat Jump

Leg Curl Slide

Upper Body

Row

Bench Press

Don’t forget to stretch

 

Walk 10,000 Steps a Day

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The second habit I am starting is about movement.  I will walk 10,000 steps on average per day,  I actually have to admit this habit I did start the week after Christmas.  I dusted off my Fitbit and started wearing it again.  The Fitbit is similar to a pedometer in that it tracks how many steps you take, but it tracks everything wirelessly and even tracks elevation and sleep patterns.

The goal of 10,000 steps means that you will walk at least 5 miles that day.

I’ve discovered by making 10,000 steps most days that it takes about one 20-30 minute walk and being relatively active during the day.  On my work days at Google when I am sitting and meeting with clients most the day, I sometimes will only clock 3,000 steps by the end of the workday.  In this case, I’d need to head to the hills for a nice 45 minute hike to make up for the extra sitting.

Here are some strategies to make sure you don’t end up at 3,000 steps at 5pm or can make up for them by the end of the day.

  • Park a little further away at work
  • Take the stairs whenever you can
  • Walk to lunch if you have options close by, if your at Google take a walk over to a neighboring buildings café (at last count Google has over 27 cafes in the Mountain view campus)
  • Take a walk at work (I like to take a walk after lunch to help keep blood sugars in check)
  • Take an afternoon walk for 10 minutes especially when you get the urge for something sweet, see how you feel after your walk if you are still craving that treat.
  • Be active around the house clean up a little, wash some laundry, organize something (you’ll get 2 benefits out of this movement and a cleaner house)
  • Take your dog for a walk or take a simple walk around the block and wave to your neighbors
  • Turn on some music and dance a little (honestly I’ve done this many times in the evening for 15 minutes or so when I ‘m pretty close to my goal but not quite there yet)

Get out there and move more!

Fitbit One

The 12 Days of Holiday Nutrition Tips-Day 6

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Turn the Heat up!

Dance at the party this weekend.  Instead of hanging out by the dessert table spend more time near the dance floor.  Whether you are that person that jumps into the middle of the dance circle or hangs out on the sidelines, let loose a little. Make sure those holiday shoes will let you dance, you don’t want to be sidelined because of achy feet.  2 hours of dancing does count as your cardio for 2 days, just like that Zumba class.


Disclaimer

Stephanie Lasher is a registered dietitian. Information contained on this site should not be used to diagnose medical conditions. Persons with serious health issues should consult a physician before undertaking any new diet or exercise plan.