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Bringin’ Back Your Mojo

It’s so easy to get into a routine and feel like you’ve hit a plateau. Your body is not changing, you aren’t as energized as you used to be and you just go through the motions to get in a workout.

What’s it going to take to inspire you again? You need to re-ignite your mojo. Two solutions:

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

If you find yourself doing the same exercises week after week, in the same sequence, your body is going to adjust. Monday cardio, Tuesday Tabata, rest Wednesday, Thursday Tabata, comfort-zoneFriday cardio. There is a lot of comfortable anticipation and you may have stopped pushing yourself hard in each workout. It is critical to get out of your comfort zone. Change it up.

Instead of running on a treadmill for 30 minutes – change it to intervals. 5 minutes at 6mph, then 2 minute sprints at 7.6mph and repeat. Keep that going for 30 minutes, increasing your speed a little more each set. You will be much less bored and your body will be shocked into having to react to a new movement.

During your HIIT class, contract your abs the whole time and set yourself a goal of jumping the highest in the class…measure it – seek it out. Push yourself.

Keeps your muscles and body guessing…and readjusting…and changing.

Find The New

I was in my normal weekly routine (with a few summer schedule quirks) and scheduled to teach Tabata outside at my pool club and no one showed (tough summer vacation schedules!). Instead, the tennis director offered me a one hour private session. Holy kicked-my-ass. I was so rejuvenated, pumped up and excited I could not contain myself. I had a perma-grin the remainder of the day. I was so energized from the change, I came home and ran another 40 minutes outside (which I also never do) – from pure exhilaration of something new and challenging my body in new ways.

Find something new to get you excited. Try rock climbing – go for a hike – try a new class – something to remind you how much fun it is to challenge your body.  Change your playlist. Set yourself a new goal – “I will run 3 miles in 26 minutes.” Find a partner in crime and run on the beach – or try kick boxing.  There are so many clubs, gyms, boutique studios that offer free or reduced trial classes. Take one week and try them all: Barre, Trampoline, HIIT, Yoga, SLT… call it your exercise renewal.

You will be exhilarated by the change and it will trickle down into future workouts.

Finding the new will give you that extra spring in your step and change in your body.

 

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It’s Gettin’ Hot In Herre

Your heart is racing, you can’t catch your breath you feel dizzy…no, I’m not talking about being in love 😉 I am talking about heat exhaustion.  And I’ve seen it first-hand. Last weekend my daughter played a full 80 minute soccer game in the 85 degree, humid climate. Three of the girls came off the field crying, unable to catch their breath – one of them being my daughter, who gave us the scare of our lives as we waited for her to regulate her breathe outside of the Morristown ER.

Warmer weather = more outdoor activity/workouts. Often, our bodies are not yet acclimated to the fluctuation in heattemperature, especially when it’s 40 degrees one day and 85 the next.

A high heat index, coupled with strenuous physical activity, can be the perfect combination for a heat exhaustion episode. Humidity levels of 60% or more hampers sweat evaporation, which leads to your body overheating and being unable to cool itself. Heat exhaustion can occur from water or salt depletion and can includes symptoms such as:

  • excessive thirst
  • confusion
  • rapid heart beat
  • weakness
  • headache
  • loss of consciousness
  • dizziness
  • nausea/vomiting
  • profuse sweating
  • goose bumps in the heat
  • muscle cramps

When heat exhaustion goes awry and is not treated, it can lead to heat stroke – which is a whole other level of seriousness as it can damage the brain and other vital organs, possibly even lead to death.

How do I relieve heat exhaustion?

It is essential to get out of the heat immediately and try to cool off your body and rest. Drink plenty of fluids, remove any tight or restrictive clothing, take a cool shower or bath and apply cool towels and/or air.

How do I avoid heat exhaustion?

One of the most important things you can do is listen to your body. If you feel yourself getting overheated, stop all activity and try to get to a cool place. You should also try to wear loose fitting clothing, stay out of direct sun, avoid caffeine and alcohol, drink lots of fluids and let your body acclimate to the heat.

Be careful! Heat exhaustion is not something to be taken lightly – for you or your children.

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Burn Baby, Burn

You might be diligent about going to the gym and spending hours doing cardo on a treadmill or eliptical machine – which is great for your cardiovascular health- but are you left without burn-fat-970x727noticeable results?

In a cardio session, you burn calories, but the calorie burn ends when you finish your cardio session. If you want to maximize your calorie burn, you have to take it up a notch and achieve something called EPOC, or “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption”. It is a “measurably increased rate of oxygen intake following strenuous activity intended to erase the body’s ‘oxygen deficit.'”

What does that mean?

It means, “afterburn” – the continual burn of calories after a very high-intensity workout. It also means your metabolism, highest post exercise, is fired up much longer after you finish a workout session. Your body is working hard to re-coup a normal heart rhythm and resting state. You burn calories by consuming more oxygen. Therefore, the longer it takes you to regulate your oxygen intake, the more calories you are burning. This post-consumption state can burn as much as an additional 150+ calories throughout your day. More calorie burn & a higher metabolism = more results, faster.

So how do you achieve it?

Higher intensity workouts. This means bringing your heart rate to 75% or more of your resting heart rate. The longer you perform high intensity exercise, the larger the EPOC effect. It also means performing a high intensity workout for 30 minutes is much more effective than a steady state on a cardio machine for one hour.

Resistance training (with weights or body weight), especially with high intensity interval training, is one of the best ways to increase EPOC.

Guidelines to reach EPOC:

  • Perform at a high intensity (out of your comfort zone) – at least 75%+ of your resting heart rate
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes
  • Include resistance training in your workout
  • Incorporate interval training

Although high intensity workouts are effective, it is recommended that you limit this type of workout to only a couple of times/week as you need time to rest and recover your body.

Try to push yourself and work past your current limits and there’s a good chance you will start to see results much faster.

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