Tag Archives: fitness

Self Myofascial Release

1 Jul

Myofascial release is a great way loosen tight muscles and alleviate muscle pain. The use of foam rollers, sticks, and balls can help restore muscle function. What is myofascial release?

  • A technique of applying pressure to myofascial connective tissue to relieve pain and restore function.

I am a big fan of using foam rollers to ease tight muscles. In the past 9 months I have been working, interning, and going to grad school, so I have had less time to dedicate to stretching and using my traditional foam roll. I used to stretch and roll every night before going to bed. Since I haven’t had time for that, I noticed my muscles are much tighter than they used to be and it has negatively impacted my exercise performance. I decided to get a rumble roller which gets deeper in to muscle and connective tissue, in order to get my muscles back to where they were before. Pictured below are a traditional foam roll and a rumble roller.

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  Traditional foam rollers with smooth surfaces compress soft tissue as you roll on them. This improves blood flow and tissue flexibility. There are now rollers available that have uneven surfaces that work like a deep tissue massage. The bumps knead and stretch soft tissue. This helps to breakdown knots, which restores flexibility and relieves muscle pain. Using the rumble roller has definitely been a new experience. I have only used it a few times but I can already feel the difference. There are may products available, do your research to find out which myofascial release tool is right for you. Myofascial release tips

  • Start slow breaking down soft tissue is a gradual process.
  • Keep muscles relaxed as you roll.
  • Move slowly, rolling back and forth quickly is not as effective.
  • When you find a painful point stay there for a few seconds to release this spot.
  • It can be painful, but stick with it! As you do it more your muscles will become more supple and it will hurt less.




12 Nov

Yoga is one of my favorite forms of exercise. It has many benefits and is a great compliment to strength and cardiovascular training. There are also many types of yoga, providing something for everyone.

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I have been practicing yoga for the past 8 years with power yoga being my method of choice. I love it because it engages your mind, body, and spirit and never fails to make me feel great or put me in a better mood. When practicing it is one of the only times I am able to fully clear my mind and let go of every thought.

Benefits of Yoga

  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased strength
  • Improved posture
  • Improved lung capacity
  • Stress reduction

Types of Yoga-these are just a few, there are many more

  • Hatha- The foundation of all yoga styles. It incorporates postures, breathing, and meditation.
  • Bikram- Practiced in a heated room, which promotes flexibility, detoxification, and the prevention of injuries.
  • Kundalini- Thought to be the yoga of awareness it focuses on the breath and movement to awaken the energy at the base of the spine to travel up through the 7 chakras.
  • Power- A faster paced practice where one pose flows in to the next, creating an aerobic workout.
  • Restorative- A method to passively let muscles relax buy using/lying on blocks, blankets, and bolsters

As with all activities there is the risk of injury when practicing yoga. It is important to listen to your body and know your own limitations to prevent injury when doing physical activity. In yoga there is the potential to over stretch or strain muscles.  Also if you have a preexisting condition such as severe osteoporosis or are pregnant consulting your doctor before beginning a yoga practice is advised.

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Winter Hydration

30 Oct

During fall and winter we do not have as many cues for hydration. When the temperature drops we do not sweat as much or feel thirsty as often compared to when it is warm. We also lose more water due to respiratory fluid loss through breathing. When exercising our bodies are working hard and sweat evaporates quickly in cold dry air. All of these factors make it easy for someone to become dehydrated.


Tips for staying hydrated this winter:

  • Carry a refillable water bottle with you
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol-which act as diuretics
  • Drink warm beverages-warm lemon water or herbal tea will also help keep you warm
  • Drink water before, during, and after exercise-dehydration can negatively effect performance
    • Depending on the activity have a sports drink to replace electrolytes
  • Monitor the quantity and color of you urine
  • Good fluid sources include water, sports drinks, soups, fruits and vegetables (whole or juiced)

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3 Oct

Interval training has multiple functions depending on what you are trying to accomplish, such as improving V02 max, speed, or increasing energy expenditure. Interval training is a combination of intense and moderate periods of exercise. By utilizing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) someone can improve glucose metabolism and fat burning, HIIT is also great for performing large amounts of exercise in a short period of time.

The rational behind this is that you are engaging in aerobic and anaerobic exercise, recruiting both fast and slow twitch muscle fibers. This causes muscles to adapt by enhancing fat oxidation and improving glucose tolerance.

Things to consider when planning a HIIT session:

  • Length of the work interval (distance to be covered during the work effort)
  • Intensity of the effort (monitor using heart rate)
  • Duration of the rest interval (should be at least as long as the work interval)
  • Number of interval sets (the number of work efforts performed as a unit)
  • The number of work repetitions (the number of work intervals with in one set i.e. 3 x 400 meters is one set and you do this 5 times)

Do a 10 second heart rate count upon completion of the work interval. 10 second heart rate count x 6 = heart rate/minute. During interval training heart rate should reach 85-100% maximal heart rate. Also heart rate should drop about 120 beats/min near the end of the rest interval.

In untrained athletes it is best to start with a work:rest ratio of 1:3 or 1:2 and work your way up to 1:1.

Sample treadmill workout using 1:2 ratio

Warm up: 10 minute jog

Work interval 30 seconds-fast paced run/sprint

Rest interval 1 minute-moderate to fast paced walk

That represents 1 set. Repeat this 10-15 more times, 11-16 total repetitions.

Cool down 5 minute jog/walk

HIIT is a great way to burn calories and increase your athletic performance.  Add it to your routine 2 days/wk, start slow and work your way up to 1:1 ratio.

HIIT can be done in the gym or outside; you can swim, bike, run, lift weights, or circuit train and incorporate HIIT principles to achieve your desired results.

*Remember to refuel with complex carbohydrates and protein to replenish and repair those hard working muscles!

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Downhill Running Technique

28 Aug

If you are like me, you love to run, despite the wear and tear it can put on your body. In this post I am going to highlight downhill running technique. Utilizing the proper technique can minimize the impact on joints and help prevent injury.

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When running downhill

  • Lean slightly forward keeping your body perpendicular to the ground.
  • Land on the balls of your feet with your knees bent. This will reduce impact on the knees.
  • Take quick steps minimizing contact with the ground.
  • Shorten your stride. This will help you to stay in control.
  • Engage your core to help with stability.

Gym Jams-Cardio Edition

20 Aug

These are some of my favorite songs to listen to when doing cardio.

1. No Surrender-Bone Thugs N Harmony

2. Deceptacon-Le Tigre

3. BYOB-System Of A Down

4. Break Ya Neck-Busta Rhymes

5. Krack-Soulwax

6. Greyhound-Swedish House Mafia

7. Hollaback Girl-Gwen Stefani

8. Get In To The Groove-Madonna

9. Don’t Stop Movin’-Kid Sister

10. Sweat-Snoop Dogg (David Guetta Remix)

11. Atom-Nari & Milani

12. Kryptonite-Big Boi

13. Call Me A Spaceman-Hardwell

14. Rock That Body-Black Eyed Peas

15. Bring Em Out-T.I.

16. Revolver- Madonna (David Guetta Remix)

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Raise your heart rate and drip sweat!


Post Workout

18 Jun

I previously posted about post workout recovery. The following recipe is for my current favorite shake to have after a hard workout. I do not always have a shake after working out, eating real food and getting nutrients from the source is the best option. Also not all post recovery shakes need to be this hearty, because it is functioning as a meal and is consumed after a hard/strenuous workout it has higher calories, fat and protein content.



14oz Chocolate Coconut Water

1 scoop Egg White Protein-I used Jay Robb Vanilla

1/4 cup Uncooked Oats

1 medium Banana

1 Tbs Very green-Trader Joe’s

1 Tbs Chia Seeds

1 Tbs Peanut Butter

Blend all ingredients and enjoy!

Calories 615

Total Fat 10gm

Cholesterol 0gm

Sodium 598mg

Potassium 1607mg

Carbohydrate 78gm

Fiber 11gm

Protein 35gm