Join me for a Pre-Turkey Comparsa

Corral your friends, put on some comfy clothes and come dance jog along the lake to some fresh tunes. There will be light choreogrpahy and instructions but all levels of movers are encouraged to come. After we get our blood pumping we’ll sprawl out on the grass for some body weight movements and stretching.

We will meet in front of the Fairyland Sign along Lake Merritt, 699 Bellevue Ace in Oakland, at 9 am and end on the grass behind Fairlyand at 10. This is free and open to everyone!

Its All in the Hips, How Deadlifts Can Benefit your daily life.

Deadlifts can be intimidating because they require good form and technique to get the benefits and prevent injury. They engage your entire posterior chain (all the muscles that run along your back side from below your neck to your ankles) and when performed correctly you can pick up dead weight from the floor without hurting your back. I apply the same form of a deadlift to my daily activities like picking up my daughter or packages on the front porch.

Square up to whatever your going to pick up, slightly bend your knees, stick your butt out like you are about to sit on a chair, roll your shoulders back, grab your item and then push your hips forward to stand up.

It’s a simple action but can feel a little awkward at first because in our culture we tend to have pronated shoulders and rely on our back to pick things up. Practicing having a flat back and letting our legs do the work can keep our bodies injury free.

5 Tips to Living Processed Food Free

1.Have a plan

Find time on the weekend to sit down and make a plan for the week. Knowing what your going to be eating in advanced helps you to avoid getting home tired at 6:30 to a hungry family, which often leads to less healthy choices. Write down meal ideas for the week and prepare a grocery shopping list to stock your kitchen with everything you’ll need for the week.

2.Double up recipes 

Making extra is always a good idea. Leftovers are excellent to pack for lunches or reheat the next day. It’s ok to eat the same thing multiple times a week.

3.Your freezer is your friend

Since you’re making double batches anyway, you might as well freeze some to heat up next week. This is also a great way prepare and ration snacks or foods to go like homemade waffles or muffins.

4.Slow cookers are useful

Take advantage of the time you won’t be in the kitchen. You can toss meat and veggies with some spices into the slow cooker for a ready to eat meal when you get home.

5.Get help

All members of a household can contribute to meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking. Kids can also be in charge of cooking, cleaning or packing lunches. And if you need more help, you can always try a grocery or meal delivery service.

Fruit is Fine all of the Time

There is a common misconception floating around the internet that you should only eat fruit in the morning or on an empty stomach. The myth tellers report that for proper nutrient absorption, the enzymes in your stomach need to focus on just breaking down the fruit or it will halt digestion leading to fermentation or rotting. Frankly non of this is supported with scientific evidence.

Fruit is high in fiber so it was theorized that all the fiber would slow down your digestion. The truth is that fiber does slow down your digestion but not to the point where anything could “go bad” in your gut. Somewhat slowed digestion is good because it allows your body to release a steady flow of insulin into the bloodstream helping your blood sugar stabilize and prevent spiking. Also your stomach is a vat of acid that is supposed to hold food before it steadily releases it into the intestines where nutrients are actually absorbed.

So enjoy those berries on top of your parfait and that post-dinner fruit salad because fruit is fine all of the time.

 

Show Up for Yourself

040917 Molly exercice outdoor-77-Edit

Injuries are a drag. In our fast paced world we are constantly exploring more ways to be efficient, we are often thinking about our next move, which can be dangerous. When it comes to exercising it is important to leave that busy mind at the door and take the time to connect with yourself. It’s easy to slip into thinking about our to-do list but when you let your mind wander you might let your form wander too and that is what often leads to the aching back or knee.

Good form is key to a good workout. I workout as an investment in myself. I use it as an opportunity to quiet my mind and be present with myself. When I’m being mindful of my body, my stretches go deeper, my movements are smooth and  I feel stronger. As a mom I do a lot for other people so my workout is my time for myself and I try to make to the most of it by focusing on just that, myself.

When I show up for myself, I feel the difference so I encourage you to show up for yourself and invest in your body and well being.

New and Expecting Mom PT Special

After presenting to a group of new moms about how to strengthen their core, I realized that the majority of information about how to exercise is designed around male bodies. As mothers our physical needs and demands are very different. Crunches and sit ups don’t help tighten our tummies or make carrying a sleeping baby in a car seat any easier.

If you are a new or expecting mom and want guidance about how to regain your core strength and stability you can buy a package of 3, 30 minute in home personal training sessions for $120 during June.

It can be hard to get out of the house with a new baby, so I will come to you to customize a workout plan that works for you. We will establish goals, define metrics and establish a plan for you to achieve your goals. Get in touch if you are a new or expecting mom and want support on regaining core strength and stability!

I Don’t Use Shampoo

Or conditioner. Hair care products often contain harsh chemicals which can be absorbed and directed into the blood stream. A few years ago I stopped using all commercial hair care products and started using a variety of oils, like coconut and olive oil. The main treatment I use is an apple cider vinegar hair rinse.

Mix equal parts water and organic apple cider vinegar in a squirt bottle. Add 5-10 drops of rosemary essential oil (for dark hair) or chamomile essential oil (for light hair). Spray on dry hair, brush through and rinse. The acidity of the ACV helps balance your hairs pH levels and close the scale like cuticles that coat each hair follicle. Open cuticles promote tangles and frizzy hair, closed cuticles give that glossy look.

 

*side note if the smell of vinegar offends you, increase the amount of water.

Your Body on Chairs

Many professionals in the health world are now saying that sitting is the new smoking. Sitting is hard on your body in a variety of ways. It strains your low back, doesn’t engage your posterior chain (the back of your legs) and decreases your metabolism.

Here are some tips if you spend a lot of time sitting.

  • Try to stand. Contact HR, your office manager or whoever may be in charge of ordering office equipment and get a sit/stand workstation.
  • Try to move around during the day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, take time to walk to the water cooler or take the long way to your next meeting.
  • Do little movements. Roll your neck and shoulders throughout the day. spread your fingers wide apart and squeeze your shoulders blades together.
  • Squat. Squatting is one of the best things you can do for your health, it relieves your low back, engages your legs, opens your hips and enhances digestion. We were designed to squat.
  • Stretch and exercise. After work make time to move your body, get your heart rate up and stretch.

Have a Strong Core

When people find out I am a personal trainer, it is usually followed up with a question about a minor injury they are currently suffering from. My response is most often strengthen your core.

Our core is a complex series of muscles including the abs, obliques, transverse abdominus and psoas. These muscles are most often act as stabilizers to other muscle groups  either providing or absorbing force. Increasing core strength can help prevent injury by reducing the strain on other muscle groups.

I had a weak glute and certain activities, including sleeping, would inflame my hip and low back. I began daily exercises to strengthen my glutes and core to stabilize my pelvis.

Core strength comes from more than crunches. You want to do activities that engage our deep muscles like bicycles and leg lifts.

Feel free to reach out to me about your core.

 

 

The Other Four Letter Words

Bone-Appetit-2014-12-17-15

CARB, EPOC and HIIT! I’m fairly confident that fad diets will never go away, at least until the current political structures that subsidize unhealthy lifestyles, like the farm bill and oil wars, are dismantled. Carbohydrates fuel our bodies. But too many carbohydrates can make us sick. And our current system likes to feed us a lot of carbohydrates.

I eat carbs and it make me happy. I have food sensitivities and I don’t really care for sweets so a lot of carbs are off limits already but I don’t deny myself the ones I can eat, like tortilla chips. In general I eat on the lower end of the carb spectrum but I don’t count calories or grams.

If you are going to eat carbs try to make sure they’re worth eating. That means whatever is about to go in your mouth should be packed with nutrients and fiber, like whole grains or sweet potatoes. Fiber helps slow down the release of glucose into our bloodstream so our bodies can release an appropriate amount of insulin to transport the glucose. Too much unused insulin can lead to insulin insensitivity or diabetes.

Our muscles have 3 energy systems that come into play at various stages in our workout. They all essentially run on adenosine triphosphate, ATP. A small amount of ATP is stored within our muscles for short burst of energy like catching a falling baby or throwing a spear at a predator. After a few seconds your glycolytic system kicks in and starts cobbling together ATP from stored glucose. This system is also short lived while a build up of hydrogen ions, a byproduct of glycolis, starts to inhibit muscle contraction.

Finally the oxidative system comes into play. Our aerobic system is constantly humming in the background of our daily life, fueling our muscles for basic functioning, like walking and digesting. When we put extra stress on our muscles, especially during exercise our oxidative system goes into overdrive. After just over a minute of intense movement or lifting our aerobic system redirects its efforts to focus on delivering oxygen to our muscles and will continue working well after a workout. This is know as the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, EPOC. Basically our muscles are still “burning” calories for hours after we’ve completed a workout.

This EPOC effect has contributed the success of high intensity integral training, HIIT. Doing intense activities for short periods of times (20-90 seconds) with short recovery times (10-60 seconds) repeatedly helps our bodies utilize all our metabolic energy systems and keeps us metabolically flexible.

Our bodies most easily use glucose from carbohydrates to fuel our muscles so don’t feel bad about eating carbs, feel good about putting them to use!