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Say “Goodbye” To Your 1 Hour Workout

This past weekend we put our bodies through the intense, exhilarating challenge of becoming certified as Tabata Bootcamp™ instructors. The experience was remarkable.  Our instructor, Mindy Mylrea – the creator of the program, had enough energy to fuel a jet plane.  She has been involved with many of the most successful fitness trends in the industry.  She is the creator and lead talent for Gliding discs and a master trainer and part of the pro-development team for Schwinn Cycling, Body Bar, Flirty Girl Fitness and Bosu.  You can read all about her here: http://www.tabatabootcamp.com/about-mindy.php

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“Tabata”, a form of HITT – high intensity interval training, is based on a 1996 study by Professor Izumi Tabata, initially involving Olympic speed skaters. According to his research, study participants who exercised a mere four minutes at extreme intensity, four times a week, improved anaerobic capacity by 28%, and VO2 max and maximal aerobic power by 15%, in as little as six weeks.  This was compared to participants who performed an hour of steady cardiovascular exercise five times a week for six weeks, and only improved their V02 max by 10% with no improvement in anaerobic capacity.

Mindy took the concept of Tabata and created Tabata Bootcamp™, a full 8-week program that transforms bodies dramatically by involving fitness, nutrition and behavioral change. The Tabata workout is built around 4 minutes of high intensity exercises, and this means the hardest kick-your-ass four minutes possible. The structure includes working out at your max for 20 seconds, rest for 10 and repeat for 8 rounds. A typical workout, with warm-up and cool-down, is only 30 minutes….30 minutes!  And it’s a lot of fun. The EPOC, excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, effects are immense – which means you continue to burn a crazy amount of calories hours after your workout.

We are working on developing our own local 8-week Tabata Bootcamp starting in April, which will offer a personalized website page that tracks your progress, achievements, nutrition and results. The classes will be limited to no more than 10 participants.  More information to follow… If this is something you think you might be interested in, please let us know via email: info@heelstolaces.com.

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Give It A Rest

Cardinal rule of exercise – you have to allow your body to rest and repair. Although this is widely known, I often talk to people who never rest and exercise 7 days a week.

Why Rest Is Important:

  • The body repairs and strengthens itself in-between workouts. Continuous training can actually weaken the strongest athlete.stock-footage-woman-drinks-coffee
  • During recovery, the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the real training effect takes place – meaning, this is where you build muscle.
    • Conditioning requires a balance between overload (pushing the muscles) and recovery. Too much overload or too little recovery result in both physical and psychological symptoms.
  • Rest helps maintain a better balance between home, work &  fitness goals.
  • Sleep is key to keeping hormone levels steady which aid in stress and muscle recovery, as well as a stable mood.  Sleep deprivation can also affect aerobic endurance.
  • Too  few rest and recovery days can lead to overtraining syndrome : when you train beyond the body’s ability to recover.

Common Warning Signs and Symptoms of Overtraining Syndrome 

  • Washed-out feeling, tired, drained, lack of energy
  • Mild leg soreness, general aches and pains
  • Pain in muscles and joints
  • Sudden drop in performance
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Decreased immunity (increased number of colds, and sore throats)
  • Decrease in training capacity / intensity
  • Moodiness, irritability or depression
  • Loss of enthusiasm for working out
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased incidence of injuries
  • A compulsive need to exercise 

Principal of Adaptation & How It Applies To Recovery

When we undergo the stress of physical exercise, our body adapts and becomes more efficient – Principal of Adaptation (also discussed in our “The Power of Your Heart” blog entry). When you do not properly rest from the stress of physical exercise, your body cannot adapt as easily to the changes.

The body can only tolerate so much stress before it breaks down and risks injury. Doing too much, too quickly will result in muscle damage and have adverse effects (too many days of exercise). Likewise, doing too little, too slowly will not result in improvement (going through the motions).

The other key component of building your fitness level is to vary your workouts between cardio and strength conditioning. All too often, people will focus on one or the other and constantly work the same muscles without rest. Ever try a new class and couldn’t move the next morning? Excellent example of muscles you are not training in your normal workout. Varying your workouts allows the muscles you typically use to rest and helps your body adapt to change (improve your fitness level).

My Take

People always ask me what I do for my workouts. I am a pretty scheduled kinda girl who likes to plan my week. I work out 5 days/wk with 2 days rest.

3 days I vary my workout with high intensity interval and strength training at K2 fitness. In between those days, I do 2 days/wk of interval sprints for 30 minutes on my treadmill (5 min running/2 min sprint circuits).

I believe in those 2 days of rest (as hard as it is sometimes to mentally convince myself to not workout). I feel so refreshed when I  go back to my workouts.

When I workout, I workout hard and make every minute count. It’s better to maximize your time at the gym and work hard the days you go then going through the motions every day and not improving your fitness level. Workout, repair and workout again.

And think of all the time you will save with less days at the gym.

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My Hangover Cure

In case some of you were still wondering, our name, Heels to Laces, celebrates the fun of going out with our heels on, but always remembering to put our laces on the next day. We believe in finding the balance between fun and work.  And nothing addresses this theme better than today’s blog.14-hangover-140612

We have all been there – a few too many drinks the night before and you wake up with a hangover.  Your head is pounding and all you want to do is dive under the covers. Hangover symptoms are a product of dehydration, hypoglycemia, and the poisonous side effects from toxins in our drinks.  There are lots of suggested cures out there, but there is only one that I have ever found to work. Time and time again, I have resorted to exercise. Pure and simple – sweat it out!  Yes, some health experts may not believe it works, but if you find a healthy cure that can fix your ailment, why not go for it?

I had heard about using exercise to get through a hangover, but I never really had the motivation to give it a try when I was feeling lousy and tired.  However, on a skiing trip a couple years ago with my sisters, I had no choice.  The three of us were on vacation together for the first time, without kids and spouses/boyfriends, so we had an excuse for a little over-indulgence.

After a late night of too many drinks, we had to get up early to hike into the backcountry for some off-piste (outside the boundaries) skiing.  So there we were, at 8am, meeting our guide and completely hungover. He showed us how to use our transponders, pick axes and shovels in case there was an avalanche – very reassuring!  After riding the gondola to the top of the mountain, we strapped our skis onto our backs and started hiking.  At this point, all three of us weren’t sure we were going to make it – our heads were pounding and we were above 9000 feet in altitude, but we didn’t really have a choice, so we just got going.

After about 30 minutes of sweating, huffing and puffing, we reached our first peak and we realized that we felt great.  My headache was gone and so was my hangover.

Ever since then, I have used exercise as my weapon against the morning hangover.  Exercise raises your metabolic rate, which helps you clear toxins associated with metabolizing alcohol. Exercise also helps deliver oxygen to your cells, which can increase the speed at which you detoxify harmful compounds.

We are not condoning weekly hangovers, but it is human to overindulge sometimes. The next time you do, remember to drag yourself out of bed and run, hike or get to the gym – whatever it is you do – and sweat it out!  One other tip – drink lots of water, both before you go to bed and when you first wake up.  Too much alcohol leads to dehydration, so it is crucial to keep drinking.  Water will not only help hydrate your muscles and organs, but, like exercise, it will also aid in flushing out the toxins.

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