How to Keep Exercising with a Foot Injury

 

Note: These free tips are great and may be all you need. If you think you might like some more individualized help to live the healthy lifestyle, fill out this form and I will be in touch to help you get started!

 

Got a foot injury? Think you have to quit working out and sit around getting flabby? You don’t! After you check and make sure it’s okay with your doctor, here’s several steps you can try.

Cushioning! Make sure the surface you are using for your workout has some give and cushion. I bought some interlocking mats that I set up in my home gym. No working out on concrete for me. I also bought some cushiony inserts for my sneakers. I have Dr. Scholl’s inserts for plantar fasciaitis. The two together work wonders.

Any cardio you do should be low impact. That means no jumping! Modify current workouts or find special low impact cardio workouts. When I am having foot trouble, I use low impact Zumba or TurboFire. Google them!

Change your exercises to get you off your foot when you can. Change walking or running to biking or swimming. A variety of weight exercises can be done from your knees or a chair instead of your feet.

Cut out exercises that irritate your injury. My foot injury could not tolerate the stationary bike, so out it went until the injury was healed.

Incorporate more rest days into your routine until the injury heals.

Here’s a sample workout schedule I am using to rehab a bout of Plantar fasciaitis:

Monday Low impact TurboFire
Tuesday Upper body weightlifting
Wednesday PiYo Core with modifications
Thursday Upper body weightlifting
Friday Low impact TurboFire
Saturday Choice of what I can tolerate or rest day
Sunday Rest day

Hope this helps YOU if you are struggling with a foot or ankle injury.

Check out the Facebook live video for a few more details:

 

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Modify Any Workout

Note: These free tips are great and may be all you need. If you think you might like some more individualized help to live the healthy lifestyle, fill out this form and I will be in touch to help you get started!

Do you feel like you are too old, too heavy, too out of shape too whatever to do certain workouts? It’s not true! We often realize that you can modify a weight workout by lifting lighter weights or using fitness bands. If you are doing cardio, you don’t jump around. You do low impact.

If you are doing an old school Bodyweight workout you can modify any exercise to your fitness level. How? Well I’m here (in YouTube form) to show you how!

I’ll show you five basic exercises here and how to modify them. These five are used in a ton of bodyweight exercise routines. You can modify many “extreme” workouts to your own fitness level.

1. The jumping jack. This is a staple of many workouts. Here’s how you can adapt at several different levels

2. Crunches Get your abs in shape or step at a time

3. Squats. This exercise is so good for revving your metabolism. Start at level 1 and work your way up!

4. Push ups. You may think your push up days are over but think again using these many progressions

5. Burpees A great total body exercise that can be daunting at it’s highest level for some people. Never fear! You can start with an easier version and work your way up.

Why do YOU Exercise?

When most people start an exercise program, the reason they give is “to lose weight”.  It’s no wonder. Our culture is obsessed with thinness and equates being thin with being happy.

If you ask someone who has made exercise and fitness a part of their lifestyle, you will get a very different answer.  Did you know that money, looks and status contribute to only 10% of our happiness?  (Idea Fitness Journal, “The Skinny on Happiness”)

A long-term exerciser will have other reasons as to why they continue to work out. They feel healthier, more relaxed or less stressed.  They have more energy, more focus, are more productive at work. They can keep up with their kids or grandchildren.  They experience a reduction in chronic pain. They are training for a future fitness event. They have made a new set of friends they enjoy.  And the list can go on.

Here’s just one example of the  reasons I exercise almost every day.  On October 18th, my oldest daughter got married.  We have been planning and preparing for this day for almost a year.  The weekend involved a trip to Pittsburgh for my side of the family.  On Saturday morning, I woke up with an overabundance of energy.  I’m not one to show my excitement on the outside.  It all builds up on the inside.  By 7 a.m. I felt like I was about to jump out of my skin.

Marladownaisle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank goodness the hotel had a nice size gym.  A half hour on the elliptical and the stationary bike and I was much calmer.  Good thing..as later in the day we were stuck in a traffic jam getting back from hair and make-up and it was touch and go on the decision about an outdoor service.  Thanks to my workout, I was able to stay much calmer and really enjoy such an important day.

sueandbobdance1

 

So what are YOUR reasons for working out regularly?  If you  haven’t started yet, why do you want to get started? #notjustweightloss

The Shorter More Intense Workout Trend

In the last year or so , there has been a switch in the fitness world to shorter, more intense workouts.  Many of the people who joined the P90X and other extreme fitness movements got great results.  They also found that they couldn’t fit hour long workouts into their schedule six days a week for the long term. People still wanted the good results, but they wanted them in a shorter period of time.

 

Enter High Intensity Interval Training and Tabatas type workouts. After all, who doesn’t want good results in a fraction of the time, right?  The at home fitness industry has answered with workouts like T25, Turbofire and P90X3. These are great, but what if you are just starting out? You have to be careful that a more intense workout doesn’t leave you injured.

The key is starting at a lower intensity level and working your way up. If the workout calls for a burpee, for example, there are several different levels you can start at and work your way up.  Most DVD type workouts have one person demonstrating the modified version.  Stick with that until you are fit enough.  Want to put your own workout together or modify a more intense one you already have? Here are several videos I made that demonstrate body weight exercises at several different levels.  Use them to pick the intensity that’s right for you.  Then get more intense as you get more fit!

How do I Keep Fitness Fun? Try “1000 Steps”

This past weekend, hubby Bob and I decided to try something we’ve never done before and climb the “1000 steps” on Jack’s Mountain.  This lies between the towns of Huntingdon and Lewistown, PA.  Our motivation was a cooler summer day and the fact that it was on my Summer Bucket List for Mifflin County School District’s Wellness Project.

Hubby Bob starting out.
Hubby Bob starting out.

1000 Steps was quite the workout!  This is not something you want to try if you are a complete couch potato. The steps were originally constructed in 1936 as a “shortcut” commute for sand miners who worked near the top of the mountain. The sand was mined to make silica bricks.  The miners would climb the steps to go to work in the morning and climb down at day’s end.  In between they worked a very physically demanding job.  After completing these steps I have a whole new appreciation for what good shape these workers must have been in. This is approximately an 800+ foot climb up Jack’s Mountain.  The steps are uneven and cut back and forth. This was a nice day.  Imagine commuting in the rain, sleet or snow. Yikessteps2It took about 45 minutes to get to the top.  It was a good cardio workout and the glutes and hip flexers worked hard on the way up. On the way down, it was the quads and hamstrings. It was worth it when we reached the top and saw the great views.   view3   view6   After our climb, we treated ourselves to lunch at Boxer’s Cafe.  This is a local eatery in the town of Huntingdon.  The cafe specializes in homemade food with local organic ingredients. We had sandwiches (a Reuben for Bob and a grilled veggie sandwich for me) and garden salads.  Mine had homemade ginger balsamic dressing.  Everything was delicious.  Boxsers

So to wrap up, we a had a really good workout that was a lot more fun on a Saturday than the usual circuit workout.  We learned some local history, took in some beautiful views and had a delicious locally grown lunch. That’s how to keep fitness fun. How do you inject a little fun into your fitness routine? Let me know below.

Staying Fit on Vacation-Kayaking

I sure am glad I got started on this blog thanks to #TravelFit2014 and Jennifer Whitehead at the Aria Las Vegas hotel. Otherwise I may not have been as motivated to get this trip arranged. Today we took kayaking trip at Assateague Island. If you are not familiar, this is one of the islands in Maryland and Virginia that are inhabited with wild horses.

We booked our ecotour with Coastal Kayak. Chris and Steffan were our guides. My family and another family on a day trip from Philly were in the group. We had a 45 minute van drive to the island. Steffan is the”lucky guide” and always spots horses when he leads a tour. Luck was with us as soon as we crossed the bridge to the island. There were several horses on the road including the only baby born on the island this year.


We unloaded the kayaks and got underway. The water and the weather were both beautiful. We spotted several native birds to the island and a few crabs in the water. Not long after that we saw a “band” of horses which consists of a male and several females. They were feeding on sea grasses. This is their main diet, along with lots of water since the grass is very salty. Our kayaks were only about ten feet away from the horses. They seem very used to people and watched us about as much as we watched them.


Our kayak trip was about 90 minutes of paddling. This was a good workout for the day. I think we made a convert to kayaking out of hubby Bob. He had never gone before and he was really into spotting all the wild horses.


Before we got back in the van, we had a visit from a lone male horse. He acted like he wanted a food handout. You aren’t allowed to feed the horses so they don’t get dependent on humans for food. The guides told us they get enough food from the campers (they steal it from the campsites just like bears or raccoons). When we didn’t give him treats he lumbered away to see what else he could find.

What a fun day! I would recommend a kayak tour for anyone looking for an active adventure on the water.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

How to Stay Fit on Vacation

Recently I was invited by Jennifer Whitehair (she promotes vacationing in Las Vegas and it sounds like there is tons to do there besides gambling and going to see shows on the strip) to blog about staying fit on vacation. It’s a part of #TravelFit2014. She contacted me right before I was headed to South Bethany Beach Delaware.

We have been going to Sunset Beach, NC (and loved it) for years. This year all of our young adult kids have jobs that don’t mesh too well with traveling 12 hours away so we decided to bring the party North.

This is a perfect time for me to explore what kinds of fun things I can do to stay in shape while I enjoy the shores of South Bethany for two weeks.

June 15 was our first full day here. I decided to try some Yoga on the beach. I have my P90X Yoga X pretty well memorized so I just walked down the beach access and gave it a shot. It was great gazing at the ocean while doing my sun salutations. I felt very relaxed after about an hour doing Yoga in the wind and salt air. Sure beats my basement home gym!


Today my sister and I took a two mile bike ride up highway 1 to Bethany Beach. There is a bike path that runs parallel to the road. We were able to park the bikes and walk around, check out the shops and restaurants, and walk the boardwalk a bit. It was a beautiful day for it! On the way back DelDot had a bike safety station and installed free lights on our bikes. Thanks 🙂

When we got back to the beach house, I decided to use my 12 Minute Athlete app on my smartphone to get some resistance exercise. This app is great for traveling and it only costs about a dollar so the price is right. You just put in how long you want to work out (12 or 16 minutes) and what equipment you have and it creates a workout for you. If you don’t like it, you just shake it and it creates another one. Since it didn’t have resistance bands as an option for equipment, I had it create a bodyweight workout and substituted 2 band exercises for two bodyweight exercises. I just went under the beach house in the shade. Who needs to spend extra money to go to the gym?

How Do I Stay Motivated to Eat Healthy and Exercise?

Since becoming a personal trainer, I hear this from many of my clients: “I know what I changeblvdshould do.  I know what I should eat.  I know that I should exercise regularly but I just don’t do it.  I don’t know how to stay motivated.”  When it comes right down to it YOU are the only one who can make the choices for a healthier lifestyle.  The trick is to take the “willing mind” and turn those thoughts into actions.

First and foremost, if you are eating poorly and living a sedentary lifestyle you will not be able to change overnight.  If you think about it, you probably got to that point gradually (perhaps over a number of years) and you won’t go the other way in a heartbeat.

  1. Pick your one most unhealthy habit.  Maybe you drink soda at every meal. Work on changing that habit gradually.  Should you pick a “give up soda” day and quit cold turkey?  NO!  You will probably feel deprived, give up in a few days, beat yourself up for failing and not try it again for months.  Instead, pick the meal that you could most easily swap out a soda for a glass of water, and then do it.  Don’t change anything else about your diet until you start noticing results from that action.  Now, swap another soda for water and repeat. Write down what results you are seeing (more energy, a small loss on the scale, better sleep). Refer to this list if you start to waver.
  2. Add some exercise.  If you are a total couch potato, are you going to go to boot camp?  Again, NO.  Add some light exercise.  Fifteen minutes each day is fine. Walking is fine.  The important thing is to set that time aside and DO IT. When it starts feeling easier and when you start seeing benefits, add a little bit more.
  3. If you mess up, that’s all it is.  The next day you get a clean slate and you get back to business.  It is not time to give up and go back to the “old you”.
  4. Get someone else to hold you accountable.  Tell them what your goal is and ask them to check in with you at regular intervals. It’s a lot harder to blow off your workout and eat six donuts if you know you will have to tell your accountability buddy it happened.
  5. Try something new.  It’s always fun to try something different and it can keep you motivated.  Find a cookbook full of healthy recipes.  Cooking Light’s Complete Meals in Minutes is a great place to start.  Ever tried Yoga, kickboxing, Zumba, kayaking or circuit training?  The list could go on and on.  Sign up for a class or find a good DVD.  Just remember to build up to this kind of exercise (see #2)
  6. Make it social. Share your experiences (both successes and setbacks) with others.  Find a workout partner, post about your journey on Facebook or on your blog, start or join a support group, take some healthy meal prep lessons.  There’s nothing better than getting healthier except making new friends while you get there.
  7. Challenge yourself.  You may not think you will be able to ever do a push-up from your toes or run a whole mile, but if you take it one step at a time you CAN! When I did 90 days of P90X the thing that motivated me the most was seeing my ever increasing number of repetitions on my chart as the days went on.  Check out challengeloop.com to find a challenge that will keep you going!

Research shows that if you do something for 30 days, it becomes a habit. If you trade that ONE soda for a glass of water and continue for 30 days, you will soon wonder why you ever wanted a soda. Before you know it, you won’t want any other beverage but water and all that soda and extra calories will be a distant memory.

Now I will challenge you! Post the one unhealthy habit you would like to change here. What is your plan is to change it?  Tell me.  Putting your goal and your plan in writing makes it real and that’s motivating too!

Pinterest No Equipment At Home Workouts

Here’s my daughter’s first in a weekly series of blog posts.  Enjoy!

Marla’s Fitness Corner – Week of June 17

Last week Sue (my Mom!) posted that I would be writing a weekly blog about doing a Couch to 5k Program. It’s true that I found a free Couch to 5k Trainer app in the Apple app store. I did the first few days of the program and really enjoyed it, but I’ve realized I’m not going to be able to run seriously until I get a pair of good running sneakers (very important everyone! Don’t run in a bad pair of sneakers. It’s a good way to hurt yourself). I’m planning on going to True Runner, a store specifically for runners, to get fitted for the right pair of sneakers in the next week or two, and then I will begin blogging about the awesome Couch to 5k program.

In the meantime though, I thought I’d blog about another great way I like to keep fit – Pinterest Workouts! If you’ve never been on Pinterest, you’re missing out. It’s a social media site based around “pinning” photos that link back to all kinds of cool websites. You can pin recipes, outfits you like, house decorating ideas, pretty much anything you can think of! My favorite thing to pin though is different workouts that you can do at home with minimal equipment or no workout equipment at all. You can find workouts to work your whole body or to focus on a specific problem area.

Let me give you an example. Lately I’ve been feeling a little flabby in the love handle region. So I found a workout on Pinterest with exercises that focus on burning away your love handles.  Here is the workout:

It may not look like a lot, but I was sweating bullets! I chose to repeat the workout twice, but you can choose to do a Pinterest workout however many times you want. Another thing I like to do is find two short workouts for the day and do them together. Tonight I did the ‘Lose Your Love Handles Workout’ as well as this, a workout called “I love My Arms”:

The only equipment that you need for this workout is some sort of weight for the bicep curls, but if you can’t find one, you can just skip that step! That’s what I love about Pinterest workouts, you can take parts of different workouts and customize them to fit what you want to do for yourself.

You can see all of my workouts pinned to my Fitness board on Pinterest here: http://pinterest.com/marlak91/fitness-and-motivation/

Use these workouts to start your Pinterest workout regimen, or else create your own Fitness board on Pinterest!

Working out is great, but you have to eat smart too.  You can get 7 quick, healthy, kitchen tested recipes here.

 

Fitness for Health-Conscious Travelers

Welcome Mike Manning, guest poster!  Mike has written some great tips for those of us who are travelling and don’t want to throw our exercise routine out the (airplane) window. Lame joke, I know. He recommends doing some research to plan ahead for your workouts. The internet can make it easy and fun to plan your next trip with fitness in mind.

 

Fitness for Health-Conscious Travelers

People travel for many different reasons and in several different ways. Whether your travels are for business or pleasure, you may find that the stress of changing schedules and unfamiliar surroundings make getting enough exercise difficult. Even if you exercise regularly at home, staying fit during your travels requires a little planning and awareness.

Learn about your destination before you leave. You might be able to select your own accommodations, and if so, you can book at a hotel that provides fitness amenities that suit your lifestyle. On my most recent trip to California, I researched my hotel beforehand. I found a list of the top San Francisco hotels on a travel review site. I was able to choose a hotel based on amenities. I chose a hotel that had a 24-hour fitness facility so that I could get a workout in at any time of day.

In other circumstances, you might be required to stay at facilities reserved by your company or another party. Either way, learning about the area will help. If you belong to a fitness organization, find out if a nearby gym is available for you to use during your stay. If you enjoy running or walking, learn about local trails or tracks that you might be able to use. Some hotels actually have such amenities on their property for the use of guests.

During your flight or drive to your destination, be sure to stretch and do a few simple exercises in you chair. This will help eliminate stiffness; pain and swelling that can be associated with sitting in a cramped space for extended periods of time.

During layovers or breaks, take time to walk around. Some airports now provide Zen rooms or walking paths for travelers to use.

At your hotel, locate the fitness facilities and learn about amenities such as in-room yoga or aerobic videos that you can use. Before engaging in any activities, take the time to go to your room and stretch or move through a few basic yoga poses to become centered in your new surroundings.

Throughout your stay, be realistic about your fitness goals. You probably won’t be able to keep up the exercise regime that you do at home, but you will be able to spend some time exercising each day. If possible, get up a little early to spend time running, doing yoga or participating in a fitness class at the hotel’s fitness center. If you have a demanding schedule, take advantage of breaks to get your blood flowing. Even five minutes is long enough to stretch and do a few crunches, pushups or leg lifts in a restroom or other secluded area.