Do Sore Muscles = A Good Workout?

Maybe you took a summer hiatus from your training program. Good job for taking the step to get back into it! (you have started back, right?!) When starting up again, or starting an exercise routine for the first time, you will most likely experience muscle soreness. (I most commonly hear grumbling related to trying to sit while using the bathroom, trying to walk up stairs, or when picking up the groceries/kids after a workout!)

But does this muscle soreness represent the quality of the workout you performed? The short answer is NO! Delayed onset muscle soreness (aka DOMS) is most pronounced when you have introduced a new training stimulus. This could be from returning to exercises after a break, trying a new activity, or simply by increasing the intensity or weights of your workout. The soreness is felt most strongly 24-72 hours after the exercise. The technical reason for DOMS is the micro trauma to your muscle fibers caused by the eccentric (lengthening) of the muscles during training. As your body adapts to your training program and learns to distribute the workload across your muscle fibers more effectively, you will feel less sore. Nonetheless, there is a genetic component to our individual response. Some people are more sensitive to pain and soreness. Proper nutrition also plays a role in how your muscles respond and heal.

We often believe if we’re not sore after a workout, then we’re not doing enough. Some like to think of soreness as their “good job!” sticker, but it’s not the case. There are many factors that influence how significantly DOMS presents itself. And you can perform a highly effective workout while not experiencing any muscle soreness.

So does the old saying no pain no gain really stand true when it comes to physical fitness? No! And DOMS should not be feared or revered. It is a natural muscular response to training.

Looking for that new program to get you back into a fitness routine? Don’t miss our Back to School Bootcamp starting next Tuesday, September 6th.

Have a great week,

Time to Workout

I get it. Getting started again is hard. Maybe you did some traveling over the holidays that put a halt in your workout regime. Or maybe the classes you’ve been attending took a winter break. Whatever the case, I know pushing yourself over the hurdle to start again can sometimes be more difficult than your actual workout. Just pushing play on a home workout video can even be a challenge without a little motivation.

Just start. It’s time. Time to feel better again, time to get moving.

I promise if you can just push yourself  to get started, you will agree.

Here is a workout you can do anytime, anywhere, without any equipment. So no excuses! This is one of my favorites. It’s an instant stress reliever, pick-me-up, mood boosting kind of 20 minutes.

Let’s Go!
Watch a timer or download a timer app on your smart phone. Make sure to warm up and then you’ll do each exercise below for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds recover for a total of 2 minutes. Take a one minute break and then repeat.

Round 1:
-Jumping jacks
-Plank with alternating arm punches
-Split squat (switch the leg that is in front on next round)
-Jump back and forth over imaginary line
Rest 1 minute and Repeat

Round 2:
-Mountain climbers
-Bicycle crunch
-Lunge jumps
-Squat jumps
Rest 1 minute and Repeat

Take a 2 minute rest and start again at Round 1.
Cool down and stretch.

Have a great week,

Congratulations to all who completed the #12DaysOfChristmasSquats
This was definitely a Challenge!!!
By the last day we were up to about 20 minutes of Squats.

squat chall

Featured Recipe

Hearty Minestrone Soup
2 Carrots, chopped
2 Celery Stalks, chopped
1 Onion, diced
2 small potatoes, diced
2 zucchini, diced
1 small butternut squash, diced
1 cup of tomato sauce
1 box of vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
Olive oil

Sauté onion in olive oil until translucent. Add carrots and celery and sweat the veggies with the bay leaves for about 10 minutes. Add a little broth if they start to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add all the other vegetables, broth, and 2-4 additional cups of water. (Enough to cover the vegetables completely with liquid) Bring to a boil, add a cup of tomato sauce and continue to simmer at medium-high heat for about 30 minutes. Once squash and potatoes are tender the soup is ready.

Healthy, Happy Holidays

You’re busier than usual, you’re more stressed, and it’s cold out … so why not just take a break from your fitness program until the New Year?  There’s not enough time for everything, so why not just slack off on your fitness program for a few weeks?

NOOOOOO!!!!  Don’t do it.

Sure, you can always come up with an excuse not to exercise. But slacking off on your fitness program during the holiday season will only leave you with more pounds and more stress come New Year’s.  I get it.  The holiday season can be enough to derail even the most dedicated exerciser, but it’s also the most critical time to stick to your exercise program.  Your exercise regime will actually help you get through the season with less stress and more clarity to focus on the joy the season brings.  And maintaining some type of a workout schedule is even more important this time of year because most of us are eating more than usual.

Here are my top 5 tips to help you stay fit during the time-crunched, temptation-packed holiday season:

  • First, acknowledge that the holidays most likely will affect your exercise program to some extent. And then don’t beat yourself up when you can’t fit in every workout.
  • Take an honest look at your schedule, and instead of trying to squeeze exercise into your schedule, take other things out and make sure you actually schedule time into your day for exercise.  Be flexible when your days get busy. Instead of simply blowing off your 5 p.m. trip to the gym in favor of an office party at the same time, wake up an hour earlier and do a home workout. Squats, lunges, push-ups, and crunches are just a few of the many exercises you can do at home without any equipment. Or fit a brisk walk into your lunch hour.
  • To save time, try combining exercising and family commitments. For example, hauling the kids up a hill a few times can make a sledding trip as beneficial as a jog. Or take the family out for a long walk to look at Christmas lights.
  • Create a holiday wish list that includes something health and fitness related (some new workout clothes, a pair of dumbbells and gliders for your home workouts, or how about a block of personal training sessions? – check out the Just feel it fitness holiday promotion!)
  • Have a snack before you head out to the holiday party. Some carrots and hummus, or a small piece of cheese and some almonds. This way you won’t be starved and tempted to eat every single hors d’oeuvres that is passed.

Give yourself a little slack during the holidays.  After all, it’s a time to have fun and be with family and friends, and if you have a rigid attitude toward your diet and exercise, you may end up just giving up because you’ve set the standard too high.  Allow yourself some “cheat” days. In reality, what matters is the overall total calories you consume and the overall total you expend through physical activity over the entire holiday period. One or two splurges aren’t going to derail your efforts. Just make sure you’re still fitting in time to exercise. Make it a Healthy and Happy Holiday Season.

Have a great week,

shrimp salad

December Holiday party recipe ideas

Shrimp Salad with Mango Vinaigrette

For the Mango Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup peeled fresh or thawed frozen mango pieces
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. minced shallots
1/2 tsp minced chilis
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Dash salt
-Combine all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.

1 bunch of asparagus spears, blanched and chopped into 2inch pieces
1 1/2 cups peeled orange sections, pith removed (about 2 oranges)
1 bag (about 3/4 pound) of cooked shrimp

Mix together the asparagus, oranges, and shrimp in a large bowl. Pour the mango vinaigrette over the mixture and toss well.