I’ve heard them both on many occasions.
“I didn’t get a good workout, I don’t feel anything. I am just not sore at all.”
“I had the best workout ever yesterday!! I am so sore I can barely walk!!”
So why do muscles get sore?
Muscles are fibers. As they get worked, they get stretched and get little “micro tears. Then the muscles actually do the growing that we desire, during the repair phase of the fibers. The soreness associated with this process is known as DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) 24 to 72 hours later.
So now, is it good to be sore after a workout and how sore?
Getting super sore is not necessary to have a good workout. Likewise, if you don’t get sore that doesn’t mean you didn’t get a good workout. Most of us like a happy medium and that’s actually best. You are going to be sore, especially if you are new to fitness.
Here’s the rule of thumb, if the severe soreness lasts more than 72 hours, or is debilitating and alters your ability to do life, you did too much and need to back off the next workout! NOTICE I did NOT say stop working out! The worst thing you can do is lay around stagnant.
So, what can you do to minimize muscle soreness?
Stretch, foam roll, or do yoga
Move: go for a walk
Ice or Heat
Epson Salt Bath
Drink lots of water
Don’t just stop working out
Your next workout decrease intensity: grab lighter weights and do less reps or less total time.
The bottom line is, YOU WILL (very likely) be sore when you first start a new workout program, so suck it up Buttercup, haha! But you do not need to be uber sore! That’s just not necessary! Listen to your body; learn when you need to back off and when you could push yourself a little more! Increasing the “overload” and intensity will come as your body gets more use to the workouts. And yes, you will likely be more sore when you push yourself harder or do something new.
A little sore feels good for the body and soul!
TO BE HEALTHY AND FIT:
You need to do several things: eat right, get your water in, do weight resistance training, and cardio training etc! Well, these are all great and necessary for staying healthy and fit! However, if you don’t actually do any of these things I suggest and don’t do them consistently then my advice is totally worthless!!!
As a personal trainer, I can build you a great workout plan and even guide you with your healthy eating to help you produce some amazing results, but how many people adhere to my protocols and get these these amazing results?
If you think you are doing just fine on your own, let me ask you this, “How often do you skip your workouts or splurge on your eating?”
If you answered (honestly) you don’t listen to your personal trainer and you skip and splurge more often than you should you would benefit from something else…
YOU NEED AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER!
You need someone who won’t accept your lame excuses! When you begin, discuss your goals and your plans. You also might need to share with your accountability partner what the rewards and consequences will be for your actions or inaction’s. If there’s no real consequence for your inaction then you are more likely to quit on your goals! Let your accountability buddy in! If you don’t allow them to call you out or you are lying to them, you are only hurting yourself!
BE POSITIVE! Stop saying “I’ll probably fail!” and start saying, “What if I am successful?”
Look forward to your accountability partner’s praises and look forward to encouraging him or her!
You don’t need to do it alone! Link arms with someone you click with, and reach for those goals!
Now GO get an ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER and GET SERIOUS!
Your loving trainer,
Sometimes it seems like the world is full of perfect people.
There’s perfect family photos on social media, perfect bodies on magazine covers, or the perfect lives of the people within them. Most days I feel far from perfect myself, just like I’m sure you do as well. What we often forget is that some people only share the perfect moments and those pictures of perfect people in the magazines are more often than not heavily edited and staged.
Trying to Attain Perfection Leads to Despair
You fill in these blanks yourself, some of these may sound familiar. “I want hair like___, I wish I had (insert body part here) like____, I wish I had as much money as____” We often think if we had those things we wished for our lives would be perfect. In reality, those people whose lives we wish we had are just as imperfect as we are.
The Perfection Phenomenon is Most Evident is the Fitness World
We are surrounded by perfect bodies on TV and magazines. Those perfect bodies you often see are the result of people whose job is to look that way, and what bits they have that are still imperfect are easily covered up with makeup and edits. Rather than trying to be them or be as perfect as them, why not be the best you, that you can be.
You only get one body and the better you treat it, the better it will treat you. The more fit you are the more energy you will have. Your fit body will also be more mentally healthy, mobile, stronger bones, and many more beneficial effects.
You might not be able to be perfect but you can be the best version of you!
So… I just went down memory lane yesterday as I was talking to a client! I was thinking of way back in 1999 when I was about 40 pounds over weight! I lost the weight with Weight Watchers! So, even though this is NOT a Weight Watchers endorsement, I have to say, WW got it right with their recommendation of high fiber foods! Say WHAT? Why do we need to increase our fiber?
What is Fiber?
Dietary fiber is the edible parts of plants or carbohydrates that cannot be digested. Fiber is in plants, including fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds.
You might be asking yourself what is the difference between soluble vs. insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber absorbs water and bulks up in your stomach, which promotes a feeling of fullness. It’s also the type that acts like a sponge on cholesterol. Good sources of soluble fiber include beans and lentils, carrots, oatmeal, apples and citrus fruits. Insoluble fiber (most vegetables) is like nature’s broom. It helps sweep up the passage of waste through your digestive tract and reduces the risk of colon cancer and other diseases.
Why do we need fiber and how can it help us (lose weight?)
Fiber can help you lose weight and keep it off. Fiber not only fills you up faster and keep you satisfied longer, it also helps prevent your body from absorbing some of the calories in the foods you eat.
Fiber can help improve your heart health because it binds to cholesterol and helps flush it out!
Fiber can improve your gut health. Your good gut bacteria feed on fiber and produces short-chain fatty acids. These are absorbed into the bloodstream and both regulate your immune system and decrease inflammation.
How much fiber do we need?
Woman 25 grams
Men 36 grams
However, you should be aware! If you up your fiber too much, too fast you may experience digestive upset, until your body gets use to it. This is normal, but sometimes not very handy!
BUT, just like Weight Watchers told me back in the day, “Foods with high fiber are less points!” So, EAT MORE Fiber!
Try it for a month and tell me if you lose weight!
The staff at New Heart Fitness hear what people think about weight lifting. It’s time to dispel some myths.
The one we hear the most from men and woman is, “I don’t want to lift weights because I don’t want to bulk up.”
Well, that’s great because bulking or growing your muscles bigger than the average just doesn’t happen easily. Even if you are an “easy gainer” you would have to lift, eat and consume some serious supplements like its your full time job to get huge muscles. But here’s my disclaimer, if you lift heavy weights, take too many breaks, and eat too much crappy food you will gain (but it won’t be all muscle, if you know what I mean.) However, with an average lifting program, you are more likely to just tone up, have more energy and feel stronger!
Machines are better than free weights,,, or are they!?
I know some will disagree, but hear me out. With free weights you have to keep stability through the core, as well as balance and coordination and you can work through different planes of motion. Where as the machines only allow you to work through one plane which in turn means your focus is only one body part. So, to clear up this myth: Free weights are just as good or even better than machines. You get more bang for your buck!
In order to lose fat or work your cardiovascular system you must stick to the cardio machines! (ie treadmill or bike)
I’m sorry but this is just not true! Yes, cardio machines have their purpose and can be a great addition to lifting weights but did you know, doing weight bearing exercises can also help you lose weight. Muscle mass helps increase your metabolic rate.
I like to explain it this way, “The more muscle you have on your body the more your body becomes a fat burning machine!” Did you know short bursts of higher intensity weight lifting can give you quite the cardiovascular workout? Try it; you will feel your heart pounding at the end of each set! Also, just for the record: lots of hours on the treadmill will actually burn off your muscle.
The Bottom line:
There are way more benefits of weight lifting (okay that could be a whole other post) than these 3 myths can prove. But doing weight resistance exercises with free weights will not make you bulk up, and you do not need to spend hours on the treadmill.
I know it’s freezing outside and believe me, some days I just want to curl up in a blanket, get warm, and take a nap on days like these. But I know if I don’t want my joints to freeze up too, I have to get up and move. Did you know your body is a move it or lose it system? It’s true!
IMPROVE E EVERY PART OF YOUR BODY THROUGH MOVEMENT
Your muscles, as you probably already know, get stronger with resistance training (lifting weights). Even your bones increase in density with resistance training. Your joints are actually lubricated when you move them! Your fascia (the connective tissue that connects and surrounds every muscle) gains more flexibility and mobility the more you move and stretch. Even your brain functions better the more you exercise.
EXPERIENCE HEALING POWER OF MOVEMENT FOR YOURSELF
There are of course many scientific studies that prove all of these points about the human body. As they say the proof is in the pudding! You can experience this phenomenon of the healing power of movement for yourself. Have you ever felt lethargic and stiff after a long day of sitting at work or a lazy winter day warming up on the couch? I know I have! Often times when I feel this way I find I feel much better after a good warm-up, a sweaty workout and a great cool down. The older I get the more I learn the warm-up and cool down are just as important as the workout.
NOTICE EACH PART REQUIRES MOVEMENT
You have to warm your body up and prepare it to move intensely. The intense movements of the workout improve your future movements by building strength or cardiovascular fitness. The cool down often stretching or slower movements helps maintain mobility and healthy movement. If we chose to move less or not at all which is our human nature, over time we will build up inflammation, scar tissue, tense muscles, which lead to pain and dysfunction and even injury. It is almost paradoxical how our bodies work. Yes you can get injured working out hard or playing hard but the chances for injury and some diseases like heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and many others are much greater if you chose not to move at all. So what are you waiting for get out there and move!
WHAT I THOUGHT I WANTED!
I come from a long line of stubborn Norwegians, and the last thing I was when I went into New Heart Fitness for the first time was open-minded. I had had my first baby just shy of a year before and was feeling pretty desperate for an hour out of the house a couple times a week. And by an hour out of the house, I meant an hour by myself. I didn’t want to make new friends or join a class full of women at different ages and levels. This precious hour away from my family needed to be intense and effective, and no Curves class was going to give me that!
HOW IT ACTUALLY TURNED OUT!
Now Stacey, the dear that she is, smiled and recommended I come to a week’s worth of classes before she would write up a program I could do on my own time. I hid my annoyance, smiled and agreed. As it happens, what I thought would be a silly waste of time, has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself. And I mean that in the least cheesy way possible. The all too pleasant Curves class of my imagination ended up leaving me sore but energized and made me realize I was getting all the benefits of a personal trainer at the price of a class. Stacey was still there watching my form and changing up certain moves in the workout to fit my personal needs. The friends I wanted to avoid ended up being pretty dang cool women, that I believe are a huge part of the reason I’ve been able to stay so consistent with going. They make working out 100% more enjoyable and I push myself harder when they are around.
WHAT’S HOLDING YOU BACK?
Don’t be afraid to spend time away from your husband or kiddos to improve your health. The few tears that might be shed when you walk out the door to head to the gym will always be drowned out by the giggles that come playing with a healthy and re-energized mom. Plus, some one-on-one with Dad right after work has been one of the best things ever for my little guy.
BE OPEN MINDED!
I could honestly list fifty more reasons for you to try the gym, but the truth is, they aren’t going to make a lick of difference until you have your sick and tired moment. BUT I can tell you that when you do make it into the gym for the first time, or the first time in a while, keep your mind open. You might think you have yourself all figured out, but if I had taken my own advice that day and not given Stacey’s ideas a chance, I’d be less of a person, wife and mom. I know, again with the cheesy, but we’re trying to be open-minded, right? Who knows, I might be doing yoga next!
Well…maybe we should pace ourselves. haha!
I workout in the mornings before hitting the road to go to work. I work 30+ minutes away from home, so my mornings are rushed, to say the least. I brew coffee before my workout, then sip it on the way to work. But I am also slamming down my post-workout recovery protein, too. After arriving at work, a real breakfast may or may not happen… it’s hectic. I’m always looking for fast, on-the-go breakfast options. I stumbled across an article that had a wonderful solution to my problem!
There is a way to boost your morning coffee to include all the macronutrients you need (protein, carbohydrates, and fat) plus a few micronutrients.
Here’s a way to boost your coffee to cover breakfast and your coffee addiction!
12 oz. of hot coffee
4 oz. cashew or almond milk
1 scoop vanilla whey or plant based protein
1 date, pitted (for added carbohydrates to sustain energy)
1 tbs. MCT oil**
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until frothy!
**MCTs or medium-chain triglycerides are a form of saturated fatty acid that has numerous health benefits. Approximately sixty-five percent of the fatty acids found in coconut oil are MCTs, but concentrated MCT oil is growing in popularity due to research on the health benefits associate with the saturated fat.
If you are making this at work or on the go, you can sure omit the date! I also like to use “chocolate” protein instead of vanilla. That makes it a little more like a mocha. Protein options are endless these days! On the warmer days, I throw all the ingredients in a blender with ICE and make a Frappuccino.
So tasty! ENJOY!
IT IS CRAZY HOW FAST 2018 WENT BY!
I didn’t even take the time to think of a New Years Resolution. If you made a resolution this year I hope a little advice will help you on your way. If you haven’t made one yet, it’s not too late! My wife and I have been on a big Dave Ramsey kick lately. If you don’t know who Dave is, he is a millionaire finance expert that gives seminars and even has his own radio show teaching people how to become debt free. Dave always talks about baby steps. He teaches there are multiple baby steps to take on your path to financial freedom. As a trainer, when I hear great advice like taking baby steps, it only comes natural for me to put the same logic towards a fitness goal.
HOW BIG IS YOUR GOAL?
In my opinion one of the biggest reasons people fail to keep their resolution is that they make too lofty of a goal and then they fail to make a plan to take steps towards that goal. For example, if your goal was to lose 40 pounds, how would you do it? Maybe read up on the latest fad diets and run to the nearest gym to start clocking miles and miles on a treadmill to burn it all off. Next thing you know you’re sore, tired, worn out, and you might even get injured.
Instead, I suggest the baby steps approach to any health or fitness goal. With a weight loss goal still in mind, instead of the fad diets , try abstaining from a few of those foods that you already know are bad for you. Maybe stop buying fast food at lunch and pack a healthy salad or trade the sodas & other sugary caffeine laden drinks for a cup of tea or black coffee for just one week. If you handle that fine keep it going then change a new thing that week.
DO YOU NEED HELP?
How about instead of torturing yourself on that treadmill you hire a great personal trainer to help you make those smaller steps? Okay, shameless self promotions aside, if that treadmill really is your thing you can easily take smaller steps towards a long distance run. Try running for just thirty seconds at a time with rests in between, slowly building up your endurance each day until you can run the time or distance you desire.
Achieving your goals doesn’t have to be complicated or even all that difficult. All you need to do to achieve anything is to make a plan, take small steps towards it and never get discouraged if you have a bad day. We all have our slip ups, those who succeed are the ones who don’t give up; they just keep going the next day and take that next small step.
Good luck and God bless this year!