Blog

Uncategorized

Active Recovery!

What is active recovery?

– Active recovery is a type of workout that is meant to aid in injury prevention, soreness prevention, and managing sore muscles. It is not designed to max the heart rate or build muscle.

What are some types of active recovery?

– Stretching, yoga, going on a walk, swimming, foam rolling, or body weight workouts.

– These are meant to be low intensity.

Why do I take time for active recovery?

– Active recovery is different than a rest day. I prefer to take active recovery instead of rest days to improve soreness, flexibility, and get some blood moving. With prolonged rest, muscles can stiffen up and you may actually get more sore from resting. It is important to do active recovery to prevent future injury/pain and improve any soreness you have from prior workouts. Tight muscles can cause injury so it is important to be preventative by stretching it out.

What type of active recovery is best?

– The answer to this question is simply- It depends! Listen to what your body is asking for. Some days I like to go on a light bike ride while other days I feel the need to stretch. You do not have to take a full day for active recovery. You can incorporate it throughout the week. Listen to your body and do what makes sense to you!

How do you guys recover from your workouts??

Stay fit with a purpose!

-Jordan and Katie

WoW

Workout of the Week

This week is all about active recovery! Stay tuned for a blog post about this topic later this week.

Who else is feeling a little overwhelmed with the start of this week? Let’s take a moment for some relaxation today!

This video is designed to follow along to! However you do not need to watch the video to complete this active recovery workout.

Hold each stretch for 1 minute:

  1. Forward fold trying to get palms on the floor while keeping knees straight (modify using a stool or a book to place your hands on)- this stretch is for the hamstrings and calves
  2. Samson stretch for the quads with left leg in front and holding your right foot with your right hand
  3. Hamstring stretch kneeling on the right knee while leaning over your left leg straight in front of you
  4. Hip flexor stretch (runners stretch) with left leg in front- you can place your hands or elbows on the ground
  5. Pigeon pose for the piriformis with the left leg in front- you can place your hands or lie on the ground
  6. Downward dog
  7. Samson stretch with right leg in front
  8. Hamstring stretch with right leg in front
  9. Hip flexor stretch with right leg in front
  10. Pigeon pose with right foot in front
  11. Prayer pose centered x20 seconds, to the right x20 seconds, to the left x20 seconds
  12. Breathe while lying on your back for as long as you need

If you follow along- consider playing music for yourself! Also note my cute cat Lola making a guest appearance throughout the video.

Let us know how it went for you!

Stay fit with a purpose!

-Jordan and Katie

Blog

Consistency!

Along the lines of last week’s post which discussed consistency with exercise- let’s talk about consistency with diet! Half the battle with fitness goal attainment has to do with diet consistency. Different fitness goals require different approaches to diet but the results will never come if you are not consistent. Although it’s ok to indulge in treats and snacks, overall changes will occur when the diet and exercise are balanced.

For myself, I have a hard time maintaining my diet if I do not meal prep over the weekends. I’ve heard often that people skip breakfast due to lack of time to prepare it or simply not having the appetite. I used to be one of those people and often skipped breakfast. These past few months I have made eating breakfast a habit and my energy has greatly improved as well as my ability to avoid those tasty treats throughout the day. I am overeating less often now that I made eating breakfast a routine. I, like many, have minimal free time in the morning to cook and eat breakfast. I find myself rushing around to get ready and get out of the house on time. So I have started making things easier on myself by meal prepping over the weekends at least breakfast and lunch. I have not skipped a breakfast since making this change.

One of my favorite easy breakfast meal preps is overnight oats! It’s super quick, stays good for many days, and is modifiable if you want to change it up!

Here’s my baseline recipe:

1/2 cup old fashioned instant oats

1/2 cup water (can also use milk, milk alternatives, a combination with yogurt, etc)

– occasionally I add 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries which will thaw overnight and my the oats pretty and delicious

In the morning I add a few of the following ingredients:

-Fresh berries

-Bananas

-Shredded coconut

-Cinnamon

-Brown sugar if I’m craving something sweet

-Peanut butter (or other nut butter)

-Fruit preserves

-Hemp seed

-Flaxseed-Chia seed-Cocoa powder if I want to make it a dessert

*Hint: if you want to change it up, I have found many different preparation ideas on Pinterest!

I make 5-7 at a time in an air-tight container and place it in my fridge. Even though they are called “overnight oats”, I have seen them be ready in an hour. If I forget to make them the night before, I will quickly make one baseline recipe before my workout in the morning and it is usually ready after my workout has finished.

Post below if you have other ingredients you add to your version of overnight oats!

Stay fit with a purpose!

-Jordan and Katie

Blog

Foot pain!

With the weather (maybe) warming up in Chicago, I wanted to write a post for all the runners and walkers out there!

Today I’m focusing on foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis.

What is plantar fascia?

Let’s back up a second- plantar fascia is a thick band of fibrous tissue that lies on the bottom of the foot. It’s main job is to provide stability to the bottom of the foot and assist in maintaining a good arch.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

This is one diagnosis I come across often both in my clinical practice and from friends/family. This diagnosis can hit anyone whether you are a runner, weight lifter, walker, or weekend warrior- it plays no favorites! Usually, this occurs due to over stretching of the plantar fascia in a weight bearing situation over a period of time. When all the foot muscles are functionally strong, we maintain a good arch in our foot and give the plantar fascia an optimal environment. However if these muscles are weak, or lack appropriate muscular endurance for the task you are performing, the arch is not well maintained and the plantar fascia gets over stretched. This over stretching then causes tightness and inflammation of the plantar fascia. Over stretching leads to pain!

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:

– Sharp pain in the bottom of the foot or feet, especially in the morning.

– Tenderness with touching of the bottom of the foot.

– Pain in the bottom of the foot with walking, running, weight lifting, standing, etc.

Treatment:

– Roll a tennis ball or lacrosse ball on bottom of foot.

– Freeze a water bottle of water and roll on foot.

– Supportive footwear.

– Supportive orthotics (with good arch support), not the squishy gel kind!

– Stretch those calves!

– Towel curls.

– Alphabet writing with ankle.

Prevention:

– Stretch your calves out.

– Make sure you are wearing footwear with good arch support. Looking at you ladies! Yes you- the ones that wear those stylish flats and boots to work. Those shoes have no support! Although they are stylish. So it’s ok to wear them but if you start to experience pain try on some supportive gym shoes and see if that helps.

– Using supportive shoewear: I recommend New Balance, Brooks, Asics, and Saucony. Although there are other great options out there as well! I recommend going to a running store to get fitted for the proper shoe for you if you haven’t found a pair that works yet!

As always, comment your thoughts below! What is your experience with plantar fasciitis? What are your favorite supportive shoes?

Contact us with questions!

Stay fit with a purpose!

-Jordan and Katie

Uncategorized

Workout of the Week!

Another week, another workout! This week’s workout is focused on modification. Like we have said previously, if there is ever an exercise that you may not be able to perform, always send us an email and we can easily provide a modification! In this workout I’ll show option one which is the given exercise and I’ll  show option two which is the modified version.

To complete the workout set a timer for 10 minutes. Perform each exercise 10 times and then repeat until the timer is done! 10 minute AMRAP!

Exercise 1: Squat jumps, modified -high knee steps-ups

Exercise 2: Jumping jacks, modified -alternating sidesteps

Exercise 3: Squats, modified -sit to stand

The video below is me showing examples of each of the exercises and the modified versions.

Stay fit with a purpose!

-Jordan and Katie

WoW

Workout of the Week!

Happy Monday!

Did this past week speed by without completing all your fitness goals? That’s okay, sometimes weeks are long and stressful. But once things calm down, find the  motivation to try again. There are priorities that come before completing a workout. But sometimes getting moving can be a stress reliever. This weeks workout is aimed towards those individuals who seem to have their weeks sneak past them.

Grab a towel or some really fuzzy socks to complete the short workout below!

4 rounds of:

8 reverse lunges (each side)

8 lateral lunges (each side)

10 bridged hamstring curls (use your heels)

10 plank tucks

1:00 minute rest

The video below is showing examples of each of the exercises.

Stay fit with a purpose!

-Jordan and Katie

Blog

Accountability and Consistency

For many, like myself, it can be hard to stay motivated with a workout regimen. Life events like vacations, cleaning, studying, work, running errands, and taking care of kids become priorities and exercising goes by the wayside. I struggled with consistency throughout my schooling. This can lead to inconsistency with training and lack of results over time which is frustrating when attempting to accomplish goals.

Goals/Rewards:

One thing that has helped me stay consistent is creating goals for myself. I sign up for races to train for to force me to commit to a training regimen with the race being the goal. I also will set workout goals for the week, for example: 4x per week strength training, 5-6x per week do 30-60 minutes of cardio. I will also reward myself. If I get to a goal weight or am consistent with strength training I will buy myself new clothes or training gear. It’s fun and reinforces exercise.

Time:

I find periods throughout the day to exercise when I can. Sometimes when I take a bathroom break at work, I do a few heel raises while washing my hands and stretch a for a few seconds (standing of course because who wants to sit on the bathroom floor). In my office when I’m doing paperwork, I occasionally do squats or stretch in my work chair. I do isometric abdominal holds (squeeze my core for 10-30 seconds) when driving or sitting in a chair for prolonged periods. I take the stairs up to my 3rd floor condo building or park far away to make me walk more. This enforces small sets of strength training each day which is more than I would do otherwise. Each week/day I schedule exercise into my schedule so I cannot use time as an excuse. Workouts do not need to be 1-2 hours long. Most of the workouts we post are 30 minutes or less! And will still give you results.

Accountability:

I have a hard time with consistency frequently. A way I address this is holding myself accountable. I have some friends who I have a deal with: we must send each other a picture during/after/of our workouts each day. This helps us to ensure we stay on top of our workouts and can support each other with each workout. I have had days where I don’t feel like hitting up the gym but then my friend sends me a picture and suddenly I am motivated to go. Occasionally, I will have friends who are on the same training plan as me and we will check in with each other to ensure we are staying consistent. This has helped us all tremendously in maintaining accountability and consistency. Jordan and I would be happy to hold you accountable with frequent check-ins, if you sign up with them for online coaching! Visit the contact us page for inquiries!

Workout Buddy:

Sometimes it is hard to workout alone. I love having a person to workout with to push me in my workouts and to make exercise fun. Jordan and I did a workout together last week and it was a blast! Exercising never seems to feel like work when filled with good conversation and laughter. I have also taken my sister with special needs to the gym and this a bonding moment for us. Find someone to workout with if that helps you stay consistent! It doesn’t have to be someone on your same fitness level because almost everything can be modified!

Fun:

Exercising should be fun and enjoyable. Your chances of maintaining your consistency will decrease if you are not enjoying what you are doing. Jordan and I both enjoy doing olympic weight lifting, howeverI prefer to use it in my workouts mixed with cardio at lighter weights and Jordan utilizes it for heavier weights and competition. We both have ran races, but Jordan prefers short bouts of running at higher speeds and I prefers the long slower runs. If you haven’t found something that is fun for you, contact us and we can help you find what is!

Let us know how you stay consistent by commenting below!

Stay fit with a purpose!

-Jordan and Katie

WoW

Workout of the Week!

This week’s workout was focused on combining two different exercises into one fluid motion. These worked the whole body, requiring only a bench or chair. Any of these exercises can be modified to meet the demands of your desired workout intensity. If you are interested in modifying the workout, but aren’t sure where to start, send us an email!

Complete 5 rounds total of 4 combined movements below:

  1. 30 seconds of chair squat to walkout
  2. 30 seconds of side step to a lunge
  3. 30 seconds of push-up to mountain climber
  4. 30 seconds of tricep dips to leg kicks

The video below is Jordan showing examples of the 4 combined movements. The workout should only take 10 minutes!

Stay fit with a purpose!

Jordan and Katie

Blog

Stretch Those Hip Flexors!

Let’s talk about hip flexors!

There are a few muscles that flex the hips. The most problematic is the iliopsoas. The iliopsoas is actually 2 muscles that combine at the tendon and attach to the femur (leg bone). The first muscle is the psoas major which originates on the front of the spine; the second muscle is the iliacus which lies of the front of the pelvis. When this muscle is tight, it causes excessive arching in the low back. It also causes excessive low back movement with walking and running activities. We (as physical therapists) do not like this!

Let me tell you why- excessive arching and rotation causes more force on the low back vertebral joints than it is equipped to handle. Over time the joints can start to break down, discs may herniate, and even stress fractures can occur. This arching in the back is dangerous, especially with any lifting, squats, running, etc. I actually had stress fractures in my low back from tumbling and cheerleading over many years with tight hip flexors- IT IS NOT FUN! I could barely walk 5 minutes without tears. I started stretching my hips and going to physical therapy and have yet to have issues again (knock on wood)!

Anyone can be a victim of tightness in the hips, especially those who are pregnant, lifters, runners, or whose who spend most of their day sitting due to their job/student lifestyle/disability. So let’s prevent this from happening and stretch those hip flexors out!

WoW

Workout of the Week!

This workout is a whole body workout meant to be performed without requiring any equipment. Although you can modify any of the exercises as you wish to increase or decrease the intensity. We set up this workout in the form of an AMRAP- this means As Many Repetitions As Possible is the time provided. The goal of this type of workout is to improve your strength and cardiovascular capacity in a single workout.

If you do not wish to perform it in the AMRAP format, feel free to just perform 3 rounds of the exercise without focusing on time!

AMRAP in 7 minutes:
1) 10 Burpees
2) 10 Air Squats
3) 10 Push-ups
4) 10 Sit-ups (or crunches)
5) 10 Lunges (on each leg)

 

Here is Katie performing her last round of this workout:

 

Katie performed this workout 172 reps in 7 minutes. Each round is 60 reps each! Post your results below!

 

-Jordan and Katie