Tips for Post-Workout Recovery

30 Jan

How%20to%20prevent%20this%20post-workout%20pain[1]Post-workout muscle soreness (pain and stiffness that peaks 24–72 hours post-workout), also known as delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), is a mostly normal after-effect of exercise or exertion.  DOMS is less related to the intensity of a workout, and more attributable to the “newness” or variety of movement.  New and different exercises, drills, and movement patterns seem to have greater potential to induce post-exercise soreness than familiar exercises, even at higher intensity levels.

And, while experts agree that there’s nothing you can do to completely alleviate post-workout soreness, there are some strategies that may improve treatment and recovery of sore muscles — before, during, and after your workout.

Here’s a resource titled, Fuel Your Sore Muscles, that provides some insight and tips for managing post-exercise soreness.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that rest is a vital component of the muscle- and strength-building process.  Sore muscles need time to heal and recover.

Your thoughts?

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10 Rules of Life and Lifting

23 Jan

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Your thoughts?

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5 Ways to be More Confident

16 Jan

confidence[1]I saw this recently on social media, and thought it was worth sharing.

Believe in you.

Be your best. Do your best. Give your best.

Work hard, stay positive, and good things will happen.

Your thoughts?

WE BUILD STRONGER ATHLETES!

We provide motivated athletes with a simple, customized training plan to help them improve performance and reduce injury risk.

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Your Goals Won’t Achieve Themselves

9 Jan

Man on top of mountain.Question 1: What do you want to do? Who do you want to be? Where do you want to go?

Question 2: What are you doing to make that happen?

You can’t wait and wish for something to happen.  If it’s important to you — something you really want — you’ve got to make it happen.

Don’t wait for inspiration or motivation, just get moving and take a step in the direction of your desired goal.  It may seem counter-intuitive, but action precedes motivation.

Sometimes, getting started (and staying on course) may seem a little scary, but you’ll be surprised by how much the fear and apprehension subside once you get going.  Once you take action — even the smallest step — toward your goal, you will feel empowered, energized, and motivated.

  • Focus on your dreams and goals, and don’t allow yourself to be discouraged or distracted by short-term adversity and obstacles.
  • Stay determined, even when things aren’t going as planned.
  • Take calculated risks; understand that goal achievement will require change, in some way.
  • Engage in positive self-talk, and surround yourself with positive and encouraging people.
  • Be accountable for your daily actions.

Perhaps your goal requires some assistance along the way.  There are lots of willing and qualified people who can get you started and provide guidance on your journey.  No matter what your goal, identify and acquire the resources you need — equipment, education, assistance, or apparel — to achieve it.

Your thoughts?

WE BUILD STRONGER ATHLETES!

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Happy New Year! (it’s resolution time)

2 Jan

Happy New Year, and welcome to the first few days of 2023. Although I’m not a big proponent of annual resolutions, this time of year certainly lends itself to that process for lots of people. If you’re one of them, here are some considerations in your quest for self-improvement:

  • Upgrade your pantry and fridge. Replace the high-sugar, refined, processed, and fried foods and snacks with healthier options like nuts, fruits, and veggies.
  • Schedule your workout. You’re more likely to commit to a regular workout if you schedule it as part of your day/week as you would any other appointment or obligation.
  • Train with a buddy to keep you motivated and accountable. Research shows that you’re more likely to stay on task if you workout with a partner, especially if he or she is more fit than you.
  • Try new foods.  Experiment with new recipes and try to avoid stuff that comes out of a bag, package, or box.
  • Get your sleep.  You’ll feel and perform better when you are well-rested. Aim for 7-8 hours of shuteye per night.
  • Try a new activity.  If your current routine is getting stale, move on. Finding an activity you enjoy increases the likelihood that you’ll make it a priority.
  • Take a break.  Set aside time in your daily calendar for two 15-minute breaks — one in the morning and another in the afternoon. Go for a walk, listen to music, or grab a healthy snack to improve productivity.
  • Get more color in your diet. Try to include at least three colorful fruits and vegetables on your plate at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Colorful meals are packed with antioxidants and nutrients to help fight illness and decrease inflammation.

Best wishes for a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2023.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Your thoughts?

WE BUILD STRONGER ATHLETES!

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New Year, New and Improved You

26 Dec

No matter how good you are, everyone has room for improvement. How will you improve yourself in 2023? Here are a few thoughts:

Do Something

Challenge yourself to develop a new skill. Start a new project. If it’s making you better — taking you in a positive direction — continue and improve what you did in 2022. Commit yourself to self-improvement in some area. If you’re not satisfied with a certain area of your life, do something about it. Then, keep doing it… every day. The cumulative impact will be considerable.

Get Moving

Inactivity is the enemy of productivity. Get started. Take action. Move. Nothing will change until you get going. Beginning a new endeavor can seem daunting, but Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu reminds us, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

The best and brightest individuals in every field were once beginners. No one starts as an expert. The greatest accomplishments all have the same common denominator: At some point, someone was willing to take the first step toward greatness, even if they didn’t realize it at the time. American Author Zig Ziglar said, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.

Be Confident

Believe in yourself. You have positive attributes. You have strengths and skills. Use positive self-talk as a motivator. Surround yourself with people who are positive and encouraging. Learn to view setbacks as nothing more than learning experiences — steps on the path to success. “Believe you can and youre halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Risk New Things

You know the “definition” of insanity: “Doing the same things over and over, and expecting different results.” Take a chance. Be open-minded and adventurous. Step out of your comfort zone. Go out on a limb — that’s where the fruit is. Change can be scary, but it is a necessary component of progress. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” – Ben Franklin

Stick With It

Creating a better you won’t necessarily be easy. Some days will be better than others. There will probably be some obstacles and growing pains along the way. Be consistent and be persistent. Follow your plan and do something to move forward, every day, especially on the “low-motivation” days. Don’t give up, don’t give in.

Then, Be Ready for Big Surprises

You’re as good as you think you are, and as good as you want to be.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Your thoughts?

WE BUILD STRONGER ATHLETES!

We provide motivated athletes with a simple, customized training plan to help them improve performance and reduce injury risk.

A Visit from St. Nicholas (The Night Before Christmas)

23 Dec

‘Twas the night before Christmas

When all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with  care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their  beds,

While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.

And Mamma in her kerchief and I in my cap

Had just settled down for a long winter‘s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave a luster of midday to objects below.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick;

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came.

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by  name:

“Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen!

On Comet! On Cupid! On Donder and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall!

Now, dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane  fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the  sky,

So up to the housetop the coursers they flew

With a sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas,  too.

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his  foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his  pack.

His eyes how they twinkled! His dimples how  merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a  cherry.

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard on his chin was as white as the  snow.

The stump of his pipe he held tight in his  teeth,

And the smoke, it encircled his head like a  wreath.

He had a broad face and a little round belly

That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of  jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of  myself.

A wink of the eye and a twist of his head

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his  work,

And filled all the stockings, then turned with a  jerk.

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a  whistle,

And away they all flew, like a down of a  thistle.

But I heard him exclaim as he drove out of  sight,

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good  night.”

— Clement Clarke Moore, December 1823

Healthy Eating Tips for the Holiday Season

19 Dec

Well, it’s that time of year… the holiday “weight gain” season.  And, although there is anecdotal speculation — via media reports, surveys, etc. — that the average American gains 5-10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas, several studies now show that the average weight gain during the winter holidays is just a pound or two.  But here’s the real problem: Most people don’t ever lose the weight they put on during the holidays, according to a report in The New England Journal of Medicine.  Since the average weight gain during adulthood is about one to two pounds a year, that means much of midlife weight gain can be explained by holiday eating.

Here are some healthy eating tips to help you stay on track and get through the holidays:

  • Exercise! Exercise! Exercise! Stay committed to your exercise/training program. Physical activity can help relieve stress, regulate appetite, and burn up extra calories.
  • Be realistic. Perhaps the holiday season is not the best time to try to lose weight. Aim to maintain your current weight instead.
  • Portion control. Keep your portion sizes small. Eat small portions of a variety of foods rather than a large portion of one food.
  • Eat breakfast. Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day. It jump starts your metabolism and helps to stave off hunger and cravings.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. Alternate cocktails with unsweetened iced tea or seltzer to reduce the quantity of alcohol consumed. Choose wine, light beer or spirits mixed with no calorie beverages.
  • Drink lots of water. Drinking water can decrease the chance of overeating by temporarily filling your stomach. Also, caffeine and alcohol can lead to dehydration which increases your need for water.
  • Snack sensibly. Choose fruits and vegetables and dip with veggies instead of chips. Limit fried foods, high-fat sauces and gravies, and cheese cubes.
  • Eat slowly and stop when you feel satisfied (not stuffed). Listen to your stomach! It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to signal your stomach that you’ve had enough. Pay attention to what it feels like to be satisfied and not full.
  • Prepare for temptationNever go to a party or event hungry. Prepare yourself for distractions by eating before you go. Have a small meal or a snack which contains a combination of carbohydrate, protein, and a little healthy fat to fend off hunger, such as natural peanut butter on whole wheat bread or low-fat cottage cheese with fresh fruit.
  • Visualize success. Make an action plan. Think about where you will be, who you will be with and what foods will be available. It’s much easier to deal with a difficult social eating situation if you’ve already planned for it. Parties are a time to mingle with friends and loved ones. Focus on interaction instead of on the food and drinks. Food very often is center stage of any party but you can guarantee success by visualizing the enjoyment of the company and not just the food and drink.
  • Don’t deprive yourself. Don’t spend all your time obsessing over the not-so-healthy delicacy that you’re really craving. Instead, allow a small portion and savor every mouth-watering bite so that you do not feel deprived.

Eating a bit too much one day is not the end of the world! It takes consecutive days of unhealthy eating to gain weight. If you slip up, put it behind you and return to your healthy eating plan, just don’t allow it to become a habit. You are in control of your lifestyle choices so choose wisely. It’s all about lifestyle changes, not diets.

Your thoughts?

WE BUILD STRONGER ATHLETES!

We provide motivated athletes with a simple, customized training plan to help them improve performance and reduce injury risk.

This Holiday Season…

12 Dec

10559911_10202096199965891_1793992248399861668_n[1]I saw this Holiday “To-Do” List, years ago, on a social media site, and thought it was worth sharing.  Enjoy.

  • Don’t just buy presents… BE present.
  • Don’t just wrap gifts… wrap someone in a HUG.
  • Don’t just send gifts… send PEACE.
  • Don’t just shop for food… DONATE food.
  • Don’t just make cookies… make LOVE.
  • Don’t just see the lights… BE the light.

Brighten someone’s holiday this year.  Make someone’s day.  Be the reason someone smiles.

Your thoughts?

WE BUILD STRONGER ATHLETES!

We provide motivated athletes with a simple, customized training plan to help them improve performance and reduce injury risk.

Characteristics of Mentally Tough Athletes

5 Dec

kevin-love[1]There are lots of different ways to describe and define mental toughness.  It can be described as the ability, willingness, and discipline to perform effectively and productively, regardless of the situation or circumstances.

Mental toughness involves positive thinking, focus, concentration, persistence, perseverance, and a strong belief in self.  It is the ability to ignore distractions, focus on what is important, and block out what is not.

Mental toughness is working through adversity, overcoming obstacles, and refusing to give up or give in.

And, although the focus of this blog post primarily relates to athletes, mental toughness does not apply only to athletes.  Since we all face obstacles and adversity, mental toughness can be an asset to students, business professionals, teachers, coaches, parents, and any other situation or life experience.

Here’s a list of 10 Characteristics of a Mentally Tough Player, excerpted from the article, Developing Mental Toughness:

  1. Doesn’t let one bad play lead into another. Short memory.
  2. Is able to take constructive criticism from a coach or teammate with the right attitude.
  3. Is still able to be a good leader even when they aren’t personally playing well.
  4. Is able to run offense and execute the correct play even when they are physically tired.
  5. Still shoots the basketball with great form and technique when they are physically fatigued.
  6. Doesn’t check out of a game that they are losing, and looks like there is no chance to win.
  7. Doesn’t complain about something being too difficult, but finds a way to get through it.
  8. Stays patient and is able to run offense even when being pressured by the defense.
  9. Stays in control of emotions and doesn’t let the size of the stage negatively effect them.
  10. Doesn’t put in the bare minimum during conditioning, but looks to try and win every sprint.

Your thoughts?

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