January Fitness Tips

from Wilmington Lady Fitness Personal Training Department

 

Fitness Foods

Whey Smoothie

These foods help build and restore hard-working muscles as well as promote weight loss.

1.    Whey Protein – Whey protein  is one of the best for muscle  repair and is high in the amino acid L-Glutamine, which is great for your immune system. Studies have shown whey improved muscle protein synthesis and weight loss compared to other proteins, has cancer fighting properties and even reduces blood pressure when elevated.

2.    Sweet Potatoes – Even though sweet, the sweet potatoes sugars are slowly digested. The sweet potato is a good source for vitamin B6, vitamin C and are rich in carotenoids such as beta carotene. And don’t forget fiber!

3.    Egg/Egg Whites – Eggs are another great source of protein and are a good source of potassium, vitamin A and B vitamins biotin, choline and folic acid. You can use eggs for  vegetable omelets and quiches for great low carb meals.

4.    Strawberries – They have a high water content as well as vitamin C and other health promoting antioxidants. Blend frozen strawberries with your whey protein for a great smoothie meal.

5.    Chia Seeds – These seeds are among the highest plant-based sources for Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3s have been shown to reduce inflammation, enhance cognitive performance and reduce high cholesterol. Chia seeds are also a great source of fiber, minerals and antioxidants.

 

Beat Back Pain Foam roll

 

Back pain will affect up to 90% of the population at some point in life. Beat the odds with these tips.

1.    Use a foam roller before exercise. Foam rolling helps stretch and expand fascia tissue that encapsulates our muscles. Use the rollers to work the glutes, middle back and IT band to improve your body’s range of motion. Tight glutes can restrict motion at the hip joint leading you to rely on the lower back.

2.    Ice after intense activities. Ice constricts the capillaries as well as has a numbing effect on the nerves for pain reduction. Activity and heat, pump fluids into tissues, it is important to reduce this swelling effect with ice, especially after heavy activities, long work days and hard workouts.

3.    Strengthen your Glutes & Thighs. Most people have weak legs, hips and knees that prolong and exacerbate back pain. Mechanically, if your range of motion is reduced in your hips and knees then the remaining workloads must be picked up by the back. Ouch!

4.    Condition your Hip Flexors. Tight and weak hip flexors pull the pelvic bone out of proper alignment leading to  additional spinal compression.

5.    Stretch and Cool Down after exercise. Taking 10-15 minutes after your workout to open up the hip joint through light cardio, stretching and foam rolling will improve circulation and expedite muscle regeneration. Not cooling down allows the byproducts and toxins associated with a hard workout are left to sit in the muscles leading to stiffness and soreness. And don’t forget the ice later!

 

Tummy Flattening 101 Ab Plank

Try these tips to help pull in your midsection.

1.     Hold good posture when exercising. You must think of your workouts as “good posture” rehearsal. Keep your chin up and shoulders back when performing all exercises in your routine, especially the ones while sitting. When your posture is good you will feel your tummy muscles pull in. This is true “CORE” training.

2.     Floor Abdominal Planks. This exercise is the fundamental exercise to teach you how to engage your pelvic floor muscles and the transverse abdominal. Align your body into the perfect posture and exhale through pursed lips while concentrating on pulling up and in. Once you have this down add more intense variations.

3.     Alternating Lying Leg Scissors. Position your body supine with both legs completely straight, one up and one down. On the side with your leg down contract your glute muscle while your foot is only 3-6 inches from ground. Remember to hold your best posture and breathe such as in a plank. Perform this exercise slowly concentrating on alignment and the muscle contractions. Hold each side for 5 seconds.

4.     Cardio Interval Training. Fat metabolism is elicited through anabolic hormones released from the muscles during intense exercise. Anabolic hormones promote the release of fatty acids from adipose tissue(fat) and the strengthen of skeletal muscles. Intense  sets of cardio will only allow you sustain muscle contractions for 20 -40 seconds before having to reduce intensity substantially.

5.     Change your diet. A flat tummy is made in the kitchen! Increase your consumption of quality protein and reduce refined starches, minimize alcohol and eat your veggies daily. Start with the list of fitness foods above.

 

If you have questions regarding any of the above information or other fitness programming questions, contact our Personal Training Department through the request form on the right sidebar. Or call 910-392-3339, email wilmlady5226@bellsouth.net

 

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