Finding the Perfect Exercise Intensity for You

Exercise intensity is the most influential aspect of a workout. It impacts how many calories are burned, how much blood is delivered to muscles, the amount of CO2 removed and what the body uses as its primary fuel source. All that basically means is that the body responds and adapts to the demands placed upon it during exercise.Its important to understand what exercise intensity matches your goals in order to see the results you want. Whether burning fat, strengthening the cardiovascular system or increasing performance is the goal, there is an appropriate intensity to match each.

Lil guy running

Now lets back up and spell everything out.

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Making a comeback this flu season

Flu season is here in full swing and I did not get so lucky this year. I caught the stomach bug that has been going around Charlotte and have been out for 3 days now. Getting the flu makes me feel so defeated. I think to myself “how the hell do I do what I normally do day to day?” Waking up at 5:00am to get to work, getting an afternoon workout in, coming home to make dinner, prepping breakfast and lunch for the next day and then unwinding with Shan before we call it  a night. It all sounds so exhausting…

Now I am finally starting to feel like a human again, thankfully! But the thought of jumping back into my normal routine is really overwhelming. I feel like I put this un-neccessary pressure on myself to bounce back quickly in order to make up for lost time. I need to work on being patient with myself and listen to my body. Right now I need rest, fluid replacement and fuel. The body won’t be able to train efficiently again until its healed and all the bad bacteria is gone.

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Life Lately + Weekly Workouts

This marks my third week as an intern at Carolinas Medical center. I am finishing up my graduate degree in Exercise Physiology through Eastern Michigan University. Since I moved to Charlotte NC over the summer, I found my internship down here. I am working in cardiac rehabilitation and I really like it so far. It’s such a relief that I am enjoying the work and picking up things quickly. The pre-graduation excitement/ nerves are starting to hit me. I am thrilled to be graduating, yet slightly terrified because now I really have to put my big girl pants on and enter the real world.

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Whats the craze: health foods we’ve been hearing about lately

As someone who is invested in health and nutrition, I want to be aware of all the latest products that have major health benefits. There is so much hype in the fitness world about new foods, supplements and drinks. It can get overwhelming at times to decipher between the fads and quality products.

Just take the time to research and find whats best for you. Try new foods to get your own opinion and see what works. Even is your not into it, hey, you gave it a go! Be proud that you took a step to do something better for yourself. On the other hand, you could find your new go-to food that has tons of health benefits.

Four products that I have heard a lot about lately are apple cider vinegar, bone broth, coconut oil and ghee. I have outlined what each product is, the health benefits and how to incorporate them into your diet.

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The 5 Puzzle Pieces of Fitness

So what makes someone physically fit and healthy? Of course lifestyle choices, diet and exercise are things that influence our fitness and overall health. But when thinking about what makes someone physically fit, what comes to mind? Being strong, energized, lean and confident are a few that come to my mind. There are 5 components of physical fitness and its important to train each part in order to increase performance or reach goals. Can you name all five?

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Weekly Workouts

I have been keeping a fitness log since September of last year (so about 5 months). I started tracking my exercise because I signed up for my first Reebok Spartan race! With something specific to train for, I have been much more motivated to keep up with my workouts. Having a goal makes such a big difference. It pushes you on the days your really not feeling it and its something to look forward to. My race date is in April, so I still have plenty of work to do.

When I track my workouts, I include the following:rpe-scale.gif

  • Main activity (HITT, yoga, running, weight training, etc) & duration
  • Main muscle groups targeted
  • RPE- rate of perceived exertion, which is a fancy way of stating how hard I worked. I use the Borg 6-20 scale.
  • What was most challenging
  • Any other notes- how I felt, if anything come up mentally, how sore I feel or just anything else I feel like noting.

 

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5 New and Fun Workouts to try in 2016

Dancin’ and Drumming

This workout is what inspired me to write this article. I was home over the holidays and my mom brought me to this class on new years eve (which was her birthday, so of course I was excited to work out with her). You set yourself up with an exercise ball on top of a couple aerobic step risers and each person has a pair of drumsticks. During the workout we did various drumming movements (working the upper body), squats behind the ball (hello legs), reaching over to drum your neighbors ball (obliques) and intricate footwork around your ball. We did not stop moving for the entire hour. This class was great steady state cardio and it was so much fun! It also gets your brain working in order to pick up the choreography and various drumming rhythms. It felt great to be synchronized with the group. It was like we were all united together and when we pulled off all drumming at the same time, it looked really cool. This workout will for sure put a smile on your face. Its a great workout for all fitness levels. Im so happy I tried it (Thanks mom).

Dancing Drumming.jpg

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