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Why Am I So Sore?

You are really pumped about the work out that you have accomplished! You have started to get focused on your health and are feeling like a CHAMP! Your leg workout consisting of lunges, squats, leg extensions, leg lifts, and lying leg lifts was such a good workout and you left feeling like you left all you had at the gym. You are feeling like a super hero!

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Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

But there is just one thing…

You wake up the next day and are so SORE

You are literally choosing to go to the handicap stall knowing full well that you feel like you need that bar to help you get on and off the toilet.

You look at the stairs going up to your office – and then you see the handicap ramp and decide that is the best decision for you mentally (and quite frankly physically).

You are crying every time you have to move after sitting still for even 5 minutes – or when you all of the sudden realize you have to go to the restroom and you are not already sitting on the toilet.

You cringe at the thought of the fact that you are going to have to move when the alarm goes off the next morning and are contemplating if you could call in to your doctor for a excuse note.

Sore

I hear you – and I can explain…

When you work out – you are actually creating microscopic tears in your muscle fibers. May sound like the opposite of what you are wanting to do – but those microscopic tears heal to build and strengthen your muscles.

An example of what I can compare this to is if you have a deep cut and it starts to heal, it starts to itch – its like that in your muscles but with them being sore. 

Still with me?

OK – let me explain Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness DOMS – (which is the pain you feel the day after or several days after) – if you were to Google it – you would see that it is because your muscles are damaged. 

“But Meggs – why would I want to damage my muscles?”

Those very small tears are the way that your muscles are re-building and getting stronger. The muscles adapt and change to the lifts that you put your body through. 

muscl fibers

I want to discuss one thing – whether or not you are sore – DOES NOT mean you had/or didn’t have a good work out. Ok – go read that again. There is a common misconception that you have to have some soreness in order to prove you had a good work out and that is simply not true. Those who are new to working out, sure you are working out hard and getting sore… then you notice as time goes on, that you are not as sore. Your muscles are adapting and getting stronger. 

Now that does not mean that you need to up your weights right away. A great way to gauge if you need to increase your load (weight) that you are lifting is if you are completing a set and are not feeling a slight shakiness or exertion the last few reps in your set… if you are breezing through – up the weights. **Or if you are working out from home with limited weights that you can increase – increase the number of sets in your workout**

One more thing – this is NOT lactic acid built up into your muscles. This is a slew of old theories – stating that “you have lactic acid in your muscles”… and that is not the case. I too used to believe this before I became more educated on the matter of DOMS.

myth

Now I want to give you some helpful tips if you ARE sore and how to minimize the number of days that you are walking like a penguin, or simply unable to wash your hair…

#1 – Self-Myofascial Release (aka foam rolling) – here is the trick – when you are foam rolling you do not want to roll your muscles on the foam roller back and forth. What you do want to do – is to roll the foam roller to the first spot of tension that is a 7-10 on the uncomfortable scale and hold the roller there for 30 seconds max. Make sure that you breathe through the hold (because you may want to hold your breath – but don’t). After the first 30 seconds roll about an inch more and hold again for 30 seconds. Do this for each muscle group that is sore for 3 or 4 holds. 

Foam Roller

#2 – Walk – “A body in motion, stays in motion.” Go for a walk. The more that you move your the more that they will have the blood pump to them and to help them heal.

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Photo by Achim Bongard on Pexels.com

#3 – Do some lighter sets – do a few set of lighter reps. You may feel some light soreness during the exercises but you also could feel some release after the lighter weight workout.

Meg Work Out

#3 – Epsom Salt Bath – Take a 30 min bath with some Epsom Salt. You can add a couple of drops of some essential oils and as relaxing as it is – it can also help you heal.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Now these are not a “THIS MAKES YOU NOT SORE” type of “prescription”… These are things that will help you recover a tad bit faster – plus all of those things make you feel good – so there is that!

If you really can’t stand being sore at all (sounds funny but many people LOVE that sore feeling) you can make sure to not do as much in your work out. Do lighter workouts, do fewer sets, just have a less strenuous work out. Again – this does NOT mean that you are not having an effective work out – it just means that you prefer to not be sore – which is totally OK! You do You BOO!

Everyone’s work out looks different. That is the beauty of Life Stride Fitness! I get it! I wan your fitness to be unique to you – that is the beauty of working out in YOUR stride of life!

If you would like some more information about workouts that are tailored to you and your needs – fill out the information below and I will get back with you AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

XOXOXOXO Meggs

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COVID-19 and Your Gym

It is more than likely that this pandemic is not going away anytime in the near future.

Most likely your gym will soon shut down for a time being as an act of precaution, and this might make you go crazy inside because YOU ARE NOT SICK!

I get it – but there are people out there who are sick and who’s immune systems are compromised and who could have a dire situation on their hands if they do become sick with the Corona Virus.

 

People being treated for cancer have no immune system…

People with COPD or auto immune disorders have compromised immune systems, and just because you may not be showing the signs or you think you can work through your fever – these people can get much more sick than your chills and fever…

So how do you not lose all of your progress that you have worked so hard for in the gym?

Workout at home!

Sure, it takes discipline to work out at home – but you can… you just have to make yourself do it. Body weight exercises can still be done to help you maintain your muscle growth.

You can do some HIIT cardio sessions at home if you are a Cardio Queen and can’t stand not being able to go for a run…

Have kids? Play with them… Lay on the floor and use them to bench press. (Or – “Ketlebell” swings with your baby strapped in her car seat)

Don’t have kids but have a dog? Pick up your dog and do some squats!

Living it up bachelor style and are completely solo? Use your dining room chairs – sure it may be awkward lifting all of your furniture – but it is something!

And let’s say by some chance you get COVID-19 (Corona Virus) and you feel like crud and need to take some time off and REST because your body says so… trust me when I tell you it is NOT THE END OF THE WORLD! The rest and recovery IS what your body needs to get stronger and beat the virus.

Getting a session in at the gym is NOT going to cure you.

Running on the treadmill is NOT going to cure you.

Being able to bench press or dead lift your PR is NOT going to cure you…

SO, if the gym is closed – don’t go and curse out the gym owners for trying to keep everyone safe… respect their decision as this is probably hurting them more than it is hurting you – and return when the “all clear” is given…

It is not a personal attack on you and your gains.

If you need some at home body weight workouts, I am taking online training clients and would be happy to get you set up with home workouts so you don’t lose your mind (or your gains).

Meggs

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How to Renew Your System After A Round of Antibiotics

Antibiotics might be unavoidable at times, especially if you have a severe
infection that won’t be treated with natural remedies. Prescribed antibiotics
are usually very broad-spectrum, aimed at killing all the bacteria in your
system to make sure that the infection subsides once and for all.
Unfortunately, this means that antibiotics will wipe out the good and bad
bacteria. The immense impact that our gut microbiota (the population of
good bacteria) has on every single system in our body is being more
revealed in recent years.


We need a large and diverse microbiome to make sure everything from our
digestion, immune system, reproductive health, and even our mental health
is functioning at its best. When we take antibiotics that wipe out the good
bacteria, the space they occupied in our gastrointestinal tract is now
available for the bad bacteria to settle in and possibly invade, which will
lead to further infection in the future, digestive issues, and chronic
inflammation.


So, what can you do about this?
There are few things you can do before and after taking your antibiotics to
minimize the damage done to your gut bacteria ecosystem. The delicate
balance might still be disrupted while you’re taking the antibiotics, so the
most repair can be done once your round of antibiotics is finished. During
your course of antibiotics, make sure to have plenty of nutrient-dense
meals that are low in simple sugars and rich in fiber. Simple sugars can
increase inflammation and worsen your symptoms, whereas low-glycemic
foods will not.


Instead of containing simple sugar molecules, complex carbohydrates
contain fiber, which our bodies are unable to breakdown. Instead, fiber is
the food source for our beneficial gut bacteria. Sweet potatoes, oatmeal
and other whole grains, dark leafy vegetables, beans, and seeds contain
lots of fiber. Avoid junk food and treats with added sugars.
After taking your antibiotics, have some probiotics. This can be in the form
of probiotic supplements or foods and drinks that contain bacterial cultures,
such as kefir, yogurt, kimchi, tempeh, and kombucha drinks. Probiotics are
strains of good bacteria that are made for us to consume. High-quality
probiotic supplements might be pricey, but they are well worth it, especially
if you are trying to restore the balance in your microbiome after antibiotics.
Please, don’t take your probiotics right before you take antibiotics. This will
be counterproductive because the antibiotics will wipe out all the newlyintroduced
good bacteria directly after you’ve consumed them.


Once you’re finished with your round of antibiotics, increase your
consumption of both probiotics and prebiotics to most effectively restore the
balance in your gut microbiome. You can also up your intake of certain guthealing
nutrients, such as vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin A has
a protective effect on the intestinal lining and can help repair any damage
done to the intestinal barrier during your course of antibiotics. Omega-3
fatty acids have been shown to increase the population size and diversity of
gut bacteria.

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How getting enough sleep puts you “in the mood”

I came across some interesting numbers the other day that I had to share with you. If you’re feeling tired, you are NOT alone!

Did you know that we’re getting less sleep than ever? Almost 60 years ago, a survey of more than 1 million people found that most people got 8 to 9 hours of sleep every night.

By 2000, that number dropped to about 7 hours a night. And now almost 20 years later, sleep experts say we’re sleeping even less – with many of us only 5 to 6 hours a night!

Woah! That’s a big drop in a short period of time.

I guess it’s not surprising that energy drinks are so popular, right? But “powering through” on too little sleep is not a good idea for the long-term health of your body.

The fact is, you don’t have to wait to feel the impact of too little sleep on your hormones. You might be feeling it today!

There are two major hormone “pathways” that take a big hit when you don’t get enough sleep – including hormones that handle things like your sex drive, stress, hunger, and blood sugar … and (ironically enough) even your ability to fall asleep!

It only takes a night or two for them to get out of balance.

One pathway is governed by your pituitary gland and the other is your autonomic nervous system. But they are intertwined, and they have a hand in virtually every function of your body. Keeping your hormones in balance is a huge part of feeling focused, strong, and vital.

I’m going to hit on just a few ways your sleep affects your hormones.

Hunger: When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases two important hormones that affect your appetite.

Ghrelin is your hunger hormone, which tells you to eat. Leptin is your “I’m full” hormone, which signals you to stop eating. Having disrupted sleep can throw these out of whack, leading you to feel hungry – and to stay hungry, even when you eat!

On top of that, when you eat your blood sugar levels can spike, causing your body to release insulin (another hormone) to help offset it, followed by a rapid decrease in blood sugar that can make you feel hungry again.

As you can imagine, this can cause round-robin effect, leading to weight gain and a long list of related health problems (i.e., leptin resistance, insulin resistance, metabolic disorders, etc.).

Stress: Lack of sleep can cause stress – and stress can cause lack of sleep! The two go hand-in-hand.

When you’re stressed, your “fight or flight” hormones like adrenaline and cortisol can rise and lower (also affecting your blood sugar and insulin levels, see above!), making it hard to sleep or wind down.

Over time, your cortisol levels – which normally rise in the morning to help get you going, and lower at night to help you sleep – can get turned around, throwing your sleep cycle off.

Libido: Being sleep deprived for one week can cut your testosterone levels by as much as 15% (even in women!). This can have a pretty big impact on your sex drive, making you feel less “in the mood,” less often!

All of that adds up to have a pretty big impact on your quality of life!

It can be tempting to think of sleeping as wasted time, but it’s actually the opposite. It’s when your body recovers, restores and recharges for the coming day, helping you live your best life!

My ebook Supercharge Your Sleep contains a lot of great info about sleep along with tips you can use to improve both the quality and quantity of sleep. It also contains info about when to get help for possible sleep disorders – according to the Cleveland Clinic, about 70 million Americans suffer from them.

If you need guidance about ways to improve YOUR sleep or other healthy habits, I’m here to help!

I’m committed to helping you reach your wellness goals!

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7 ways your smartphone might be hurting your health

Quick! Do you know where your smartphone is? I bet you do – you might even be reading this blog on it.

Here’s the deal with smartphones: they are AMAZING inventions that let us stay plugged in 24/7. You can learn the answer to just about any question with a few taps of your finger. It’s incredible.

But smartphones can have a pretty big downside on your sleep, your connection with other people, AND your health!

I’m not going to suggest you get rid of yours (I never could!) but how you use it is definitely something to be mindful about.

Here are some ways your smartphone might be having a sneaky effect on your life and your health.

Connection

One study found that many of us touch our phones about 2,600 times a day! That has powerful blowback on our ability to concentrate and focus – as well as engage with people around us.

Another study found that simply having a cellphone in the same room can make it difficult for us to engage in deep conversation with others.

The impact of smartphones on our brains (and, importantly, the developing brains of children) is a huge area of research right now. Some research hints phones have already cut down on our ability to read emotions on other peoples’ faces as well as engage in simple, casual conversation.

Germs

Chances are you bring your cellphone with you everywhere (even the bathroom). #nojudgment

But when was the last time you gave it a thorough cleaning? You unknowingly might be carrying around viruses, bacteria or other germs in your pocket.

One study of cellphones found that 1 in 6 phones have E. coli bacteria on it! That’s often caused by people not washing their hands enough. Yuck! The good news is that bacteria won’t live long on your phone.

That being said, it’s always a good idea to clean your smartphone on a regular basis!

Aches & Pains

Neck Pain: If you spend a lot of time looking down at your phone, you can strain your neck muscles and cause pain in your shoulders/neck/jaw that can even radiates down your arm. Over time, this can create some real problems for your posture. Step away from your phone and stretch out!

Trigger Thumb Pain: Have you heard of trigger thumb? This is when your thumb gets stuck in a bent position or pops whenever you try to straighten it out. If you text a lot using your thumb, or hold your phone with your thumb, your tendon can thicken so it won’t slide freely. (No joke, my father actually has this from playing too much Nintendo in the 80s and 90s!)

Blue Light & Your Eyes

Devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers emit blue light, which is known for its energy efficiency as well as its short wavelength.

Because blue light has a shorter wavelength, it can tire out your eyes fast and even cause eye pain. There’s also some evidence it can also cause damage to your cornea and hurt your vision.

Blue Light & Your Sleep: You definitely want to avoid getting too much of ANY kind of light after sundown, since it can make it hard to fall asleep. Blue light is especially bad because it seems to suppress your body’s secretion of the hormone melatonin, which helps you fall asleep.

(You can learn more about this and other sleep disruptors in my free Supercharge Your Sleep ebook! You can get by clicking here!)

Possible Cancer Link?

Whether radiation from cellphones is linked with cancer is a topic of ongoing study. So far there has been no clear, proven link.

But if you’re worried about it, limit your use and don’t sleep with your phone next to the bed (that’s probably a bad idea anyway, just from the distraction angle!).

There has also been a ton of research about how our brains become addicted to a dopamine-feedback loop that gives us a little “jolt” of happiness every time we get a notification.

Now, no one is suggesting you get rid of your smartphone, because they are here to stay! So maybe rather than trying to get rid of our phones, it’s a good idea to aim for moderation. That way we can enjoy the benefits of them without any of the risks.

Try cutting back on your screen time, and experiment with leaving your phone in another room whenever possible. If you notice that you feel anxious or compelled to keep looking at it, that’s a sign you might want to take a step back for a while!

I hope this helps! When you start looking into this, it’s pretty mind-blowing.

If you’re looking to make healthy lifestyle changes, I’m always here to help.

Have an awesome day!

YOUR NAME

YOUR BUSINESS

References:

www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side

www.webmd.com/balance/ss/slideshow-smart-phone-health-problems

www.pcworld.com/article/226625/how_to_clean_your_smartphone.html

www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/surprising-ways-smartphones-affect-our-brains-our-lives-ncna947566

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Taking a Step Back…

Even those who seem the strongest have set backs.

Superman had kryptonite, Aquaman was lack of water, Green Lantern was yellow, Shazam was saying his own name… all things that caused them pain…

Mine is comparison. I compare myself to other trainers – I compare myself to the abilities of others or their highlight reels, a.k.a. social media.

Do you know what my word for 2019 is? CONFIDENCE… and I have not felt less confident than I do right now. And here is the kicker – it is not because others have it together and I don’t. It is not because I have a lack of knowledge.

It is because MY priorities are out of whack. It is because I have compared myself to what others have going on… It is because I am having a hard time prioritizing important things in my life – because I am so focused on scrolling through other peoples, businesses (etc) highlight reel…

A friend was over and was watching me look at my phone and mentioned to me, “You scroll so fast, do you even stop to look at anything?” And here is why I don’t – and it is a personal issue… if I stop for a certain moment of time to look at someone else’s snap shot of their life, then I start to compare and over analyze my own life… and the standards I have placed on myself…

So this is what I need to do for ME… My Husband, My Daughter, My Family, My Friends… I am taking a BREAK from social media. I am taking a BREAK from things that DRAIN my energy.

I will still be around to answer emails, answer texts, answer calls… but as far as social media goes – you wont see me… I just need this time to recharge, revamp, and restructure ME.

If you need me – I am STILL HERE FOR YOU… lifestridefitnesstraining@gmail.com.

XOXO Meggs

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Sick and Tired

 

 

Are you TIRED of being SICK AND TIRED?

I am!

Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in the Summer/Fall of 2017. Since that natural disaster, the allergen count in Houston has been on the rise… as it was predicted.

I have suffered quite a bit, and I used to only really get it twice a year… Now I feel like I am battling it all year long! I consulted my cousin (well known ENT Dr. Brad LeBert of ENT & Allergy Clinic) a few weeks ago and he told me that what I described to him sounded like it was a sinus infection. He also told me that I needed to pick up some Flonase and to start using it daily… basically he told me that I am a grown up and to start taking care of myself – yes sir!

But ya’ll… I am so TRIED of being SICK AND TIRED!

I run myself ragged. There are a lot o responsibilities we have as adults – and here is the thing – THAT’S NOT GOING TO CHANGE! So here is the thing… we MUST start taking care of ourselves. Just like my cousin told me to do – basically – START TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF DAILY and not when it becomes a problem…

If you are an avid gym go-er when you are not feeling your best – here are some things I want you to consider:

Fever – Don’t go to the gym and risk infecting other people… don’t be selfish that way – you are not helping ANYONE!

Achy – Did you check for a fever? I often find that even though I may not have a fever, if my temperature is much lower than normal – I find myself feeling achy and under the weather…

Dehydrated – When was the last time you checked your hydration levels? I know it is disgusting – but is your urine thick? (EWW I know – but it is important to check – especially when you are sick) Is it really light yellow? Has it been several hours since you last went? Do you even know the last time you went? Hydration is KEY to helping you flush out what is in your system and to keep you well. Check yourself. If you are not well hydrated – do not risk injuring yourself by going to the gym and passing out…

Coughing – Are you coughing up phlegm? Are you constantly hacking lugies? Do yourself a favor – and everyone around you… STAY AWAY FROM SHARED SPACES.

There are some instances where if you are a tad bit under the weather or feeling not like yourself that going for a good sweat session can help boost your mood and help you feel better – but the times listed above – PLEASE DO NOT!

You’re Welcome!

Meggs

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The Importance of Rest

REST

 

I think everyone would agree that Sleep is important rest – but this time we are talking about resting from exercising and lifting weights. Now before we get too far down the rabbit hole of discussing the importance of rest, we need to talk about what happens to your muscles during workouts.

When you are lifting weights or even doing bouts of cardio and HIIT, your muscles are being damaged. I know some of us think – but we are getting stronger… but did you know you actually are allowing your body to get stronger when you rest? During exercise your muscles are being damaged and microscopic tears are ripping into your body’s musculature. When you rest you allow those tears to heal and the muscles become stronger than they were before.

Here is my problem with #NoRestDays… when you don’t allow your body adequate time to rest and heal and strengthen you open yourself up to a world of hurt – literally. Without healing time your body is susceptible to major injury. That is just the tip of the iceberg, as there are more complications than that.

You can become irritable and depressed. Speaking from my own experience – when I used to think that if I trained as hard as I possibly could 100% of the time that I would have results as fast as I could say the words “Lean and Mean” I was not a very nice person. I became obsessed with the scale and the mirror. I had to be in the best shape of all time at all times. Depression would set in when I did not see the results that I wanted in the time frame I expected to have them in.

Your body can go into adrenal fatigue and your body could start producing more cortisol (the fat storing hormone) which is the opposite of what the goal of getting in shape is. Who knew right? SCIENCE…

Lack of sleep – you work out all the time as hard as you can and you are exhausted… but you can’t get any sleep either? Its because your body does not know how to rest. Your mind is now always in a hazy fog, and you can’t seem to think straight – which then makes you start overthinking. And with the lack of sleep comes a compromised immune system. Notice you are getting sicker? When was the last time you allowed yourself to rest? Here is the thing… keep depleting your body of rest and recovery – and see if your body does not turn on you and give you one of the following:

  • An injury – forcing you to take time to rest and heal.
  • Sickness – forcing you to take time to rest and heal…

Are you noticing a theme yet?

So if the opposite of overtraining is resting – let’s all do ourselves a favor and allow our bodies the time that they need to rest and heal. Now if you are doing an active rest day such as doing some yoga, or going on a relaxed walk – there is nothing wrong with that, and that is great to keep your body moving a little bit… but overtraining is the problem. So here are the major benefits of rest and recovery (which you could just say the opposite of everything listed above):

  • Increases serotonin (working out can create that as well – but it is depleted when we overtrain)
  • Stabilizes your mood (We all need a little happiness in our lives)
  • Reduces the production of cortisol. (No one wants that tire around their waist)
  • Can increase your REM sleep. (The deep sleep, where you wake yourself up from snoring)
  • Muscles repair and are stronger the next time you lift. (Doesn’t mean you MAX out at every workout)
  • Can help you stay healthy and out of the doctor’s office. (Who has the time or money for that with rising health costs and co-pays)
  • Prevents Injury (See above)

So REST ASSURED (see what I did there) – taking the time to properly recover when you are training and on your rest days can improve many parts of your life and prevent you from some financial burdens of being sick and injured. If you don’t listen to your body and rest – it will make you like the bully it is sometimes.  So #TAKEARESTDAY