The Benefits of Cross-training

Posted: 1874 days ago in Lifestyle Wellness

crosstraining

Bravo to you if you are exercising on a regular basis! Getting started is half the battle.

The other half of the battle is making sure that the exercise that you do is working for you, and not against you.

Repetitive stress on the same joints, day after day, month after month, will wear them down. Do you notice how your most oft-used eyeshadow in the bunch wears out the soonest? Or how the most frequently pushed button on your keypad fails first? The same thing happens with your joints.

Oh great, something else to worry about, right? As if it’s not good enough that you are exercising. It is, it is! But distributing the stress amongst several different areas of your body will make it last longer and go a long way in preventing injury. When you switch activities, say from running to swimming, this break will give your knee joints a chance to heal from the repetitive impact of running. Additionally, participating in different types of exercise will keep your body guessing. Which means that cross-training results in… well… better results!

Our bodies are very efficient machines – challenge them with cross-training.bike

Let’s say during your first few runs you burn 250 calories. If you keep running at the same pace for a similar distance, your body will figure out a way to be more efficient at that, which means it’ll burn fewer calories. This is why programs like Cross Fit and P90X work so well; every day brings a new approach and challenge to exercise. Triathlon training also has a built-in cross-training aspect. I was amazed at how quickly my body changed for the better when I started alternating biking, swimming, and running instead of my usual daily step class.

And an added bonus for those of you who would like to cross-dress: you get to wear different wardrobes for each of these individual activities.

Who can argue with that?!

Pure Heaven – Pure H*%! – Pure Barre

Posted: 1922 days ago in Wellness

purebarre

Well. Be careful what you wish for, right?  

You know I love my yoga, but I’m always on the lookout for a new, fun workout. My friend Susan was so excited about a new type of exercise class – Pure Barre – that she opened her own studio. How could I not try it?

The studio looked like a Pottery Barn catalog, and that’s a good thing. It had that rustic-chic thing going on, very warm and welcoming. My favorite part about the studio? The well-equipped restrooms were easy to find, thanks to the “Pure Potty” signs. It almost fooled me into thinking that I was in for a light workout. A few plies, a pirouette or two, then I’d arabesque my way down to Starbucks for a post-workout latte, nary a brow out of place.

Uh, wrong.

Three minutes in (all held in various plank positions), I was plotting my exit. Or at least how to survive the 55-minute class without losing face.

How in the world could moving my leg just ONE INCH be so freaking hard? Granted – I am of the sturdy-legged variety – but still! It’s amazing the things we did with the small, red ball that is recognizable to PB enthusiasts everywhere. My arms, and core – especially my core! – will not let me forget that ball anytime soon.

Meg led the class with concise, enthusiastic instruction, giving extra attention to us newbies with some gentle form adjustment to keep us safe or encouraging words to keep us going. I envy both her headset-microphone and muscles. I would have taken off with the mike but she could have flattened me, easy.

If you quit ballet in kindergarten but have always wanted to go back, or are just tired of the same old exercise classes, Pure Barre is a great place to get in fierce shape.467636873

And I think they’d be juuuuuust fine if you wore a tutu to class.
(Because clearly that’s what you were thinking this whole time…)

Balls Are A Girl’s Best Friend

Posted: 2088 days ago in Lifestyle Wellness

ballsareagirlsbestfriendExercise. Balls.

That’s right ladies, the one thing I recommend that no woman go without is a trusty exercise ball. If you want perfect posture, stronger abdominals, a hotter sex life, better balance and flexibility; then grab your balls!

If you’ve read my post, ‘Sitting is the New Sugar’ then you know it’s not a good idea to sit all day. Whether it’s in a car, at work, or on the couch in front of the TV – sitting for a prolonged period of time is poison. The people who partake in these habitual postures are wreaking havoc on their bodies; compressing their spines into oblivion, constricting blood flow to other parts of their bodies, and experiencing debilitating back pain, or pain in other areas of their bodies.

It’s a slow, painful death, that sitting.

So sit on your balls! Replace your normal seat with an exercise ball, and presto! Your weight is evenly displaced on your entire perineum (that’s the area where your groin and posterior meet) and your abdominals are instantly engaged. Instead of your chair doing the work to hold up your increasing ‘goo-i-fying‘ body – you are doing the work to keep your body upright.

And ladies, the benefits continue on into the bedroom. Kegel exercises can be time consuming, so sitting on a ball is a great substitute. The groin is forced to engage itself while ball sitting, so your vagina will naturally tighten, prolonging your reproductive health and well-being. So say ‘hello’ to an instantly better sex life.

Now, what’s that last one? Oh yeah, it’s the “exercise” in exercise ball.

Ball exercises go without substitute, especially when you consider their ability to improve balance and flexibility. Just ask local yogini, Kathleen Schuman, owner of Prana Studio in Annapolis, Md. Kathleen believes that a, “stability ball is a great way to get extra support for moves that require endurance and flexibility and it also adds a balance challenge to some [yoga] poses.” Her studio hosts a weekly class called ‘yoga on the ball’ where the focus is on using a ball to intensify yoga poses. The result is an all-around more toned, and balanced body.

So yeah, whats a few bucks for some balls when you consider all the benefits gained? If you want more information about Kathleen or her studio, please visit www.pranastudio.com or call 410-266-3401.

Namaste!