Stretch For Relief From Cramps

Do you get cramps, charlie horses or have other musculoskeletal pain?

A quick and lasting relief could be as simple as doing your stretching routine… daily.

You also need to stick with a shorter exercise program and only do what your body is trained to handle. Overdoing exercise, long and intense, when you are not ready for it, yet, will cause cramping. This is what many know as the weekend warrior.

The reason your muscles cramp is because they are not fully relaxed. Think of a rubber band that is held with slight tension applied. That is what happens to your muscles when you do not stretch daily…your muscle is under constant tension.

Now, think about a rubber band that is resting on a surface. It is fully relaxed and safe. That is what your muscles do when you stretch daily. You train the muscle to be relaxed. Stretching daily trains your muscle to be relaxed in a lengthened state which is even better. Just stay in a safe range.

Another way to look at it is to think of shock absorbers. Stretching trains your muscles to remain lengthened and strong enough to control contractions and relaxation simultaneously so you are able to move smoothly.

We get into trouble when our untrained muscles are being protected by other systems firing…the muscle spindle and golgi tendon organ. This is so we are protected from pulls and tears. In the mean time, pain can ensue. There is a much more detailed and scientific explanation, of course; but, you get the idea.

Please remember one of my many mantras: pain is your reminder to stretch. Now, just remember how to do your stretches carefully and slowly…daily, for best results. Give yourself time for the lasting effect.

Also, please remember to continue your healthy nutrition choices: water, fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins, healthy fats and your doctors’ instructions.

More than food and stretching, is to be sure you let your body rest and recover during proper sleep habits, as well.

Bottom line is to stretch daily, do what you are trained and able to handle and follow your healthy lifestyle program as much as possible.

Best of health to you and good bye.

image from unsplash.

Healthy Snacks

Fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Are you stumped for what to serve your guests?

Believe it or not, guests and visitors appreciate healthy snack options like fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, to go with the “party” snack options like pretzels, chips, dips and crackers.

If you don’t believe me or don’t have the confidence to try healthier fare, then how about trying one or two bowls and plates of my ideas along with your usual favorites? This way you are able to cater to everyone who walks through your door.

Please let me know how this worked out for you.

I know in my world, people have more energy and a pleasant attitude when we serve food that is light, nutritional and palatable.

Best of health to you and good bye.

image by Natalie~Personal Trainer~Health Coach~NAPS 2 B Fit.

Stay Hydrated for Heat Relief

It is extremely warm and humid these past few days in our area and I am seeing signs of you being uncomfortable with questions. Therefore, I have reminder tips for you:

Divide your bodyweight pounds in half, drink that number ounces of water daily. Drink more if you are still thirsty and lost weight. Staying hydrated will help you maintain your healthy weight.

Drink water before you go into a warm environment, drink about every fifteen minutes during the activity and continue sipping water after you are finished.

Squeeze lemon or lime juice into your water for an extra hydration boost.

Eat high water content food like fruits and vegetables.

Limit, if not eliminate, caffeine: chocolate, tea, coffee.

Limit, if not eliminate, alcohol.

Now you will be able to handle the heat better to enjoy your outdoor activities.

Best of health to you and goodbye.

image by Natalie~ your friendly neighborhood Personal Trainer ~ Health Coach ~ NAPS 2 B Fit.

Eat Your Calories

…don’t drink your calories.

In this age of the smoothie, please, tell me, honestly, what is more satisfying? 1.) a smoothie or 2.) a meal.

Smoothies have their place in our diets; especially, for medical reasons; but, do you really need to drink your calories throughout the entire day?

It is called a beer gut/belly, not a wine gut/belly. Why? Because, if you pay close attention, a serving of beer is larger than a serving of wine. Hmmm. Maybe not true; but, the beer bottle/mug is larger than the wine served in a glass when you are served by a bartender.

Therefore, just like the tips we get to take home part of our meal at a restaurant, maybe we should think about what and how much we are drinking when out and about celebrating.

For the youth, and the rest of us, this holds true for fruit juice. Enjoy your serving of your favorite juice; but, then try having the fruit the rest of the day for the added benefits of fiber and nutrients.

It goes without saying to savor your serving of soda pop and milk shakes, also. Then move on to enjoy the rest of your day.

Best of health to you in the new year and goodbye.

image by: Natalie~Personal Trainer~NAPS 2 B Fit

Best Diets for 2019

Mediterranean and DASH win*

You may already know that the Mediterranean diet and DASH diet are good for you; but, did you know that in some studies and news reports they are the top two diets to follow overall? These diets are approved by your friendly neighborhood personal trainer, also. 🙂

Of course, you want to check with your doctor or other specialist to find what works best for you and what is best for your goals.

This is where things get tricky; but, the DASH and Mediterranean diets are great overall for health and wellness.

Skip google and go to your reliable allied health team sources for the best of anything to do with your health. Please make sure you take good care of yourself for optimal health.

Remember the Arabian proverb: “Those who have health have hope and those who have hope have everything.” How true is that? What is worth more than your health? What price do you put on your optimal health and wellness?

Best of health to you in the new year and goodbye.

image: Natalie~Personal Trainer~NAPS 2 B Fit…

*sources: TODAY and U.S. News & World Report

Youth Activity

Today, less than one out of seven children walk to school. In 1970, two out of three children walked to school.*

I remember someone telling us at a back to school night, that children adjust better than adults. Yes, I will agree; but, that is because the children are not parents and lack life experience.

Does the mama bear jump to her child’s rescue when needed? You bet your life she will and does every time. Is not the same true for us as parents? You bet your life it is and is every time.

So, how do we get more children walking to school, again? There are many concerns to be addressed, which, just may benefit us all.

Is it possible for a parent to adjust their schedule so they can walk to school as a family? I enjoyed walking our children to school and then back home at the end of their day. We made a hiking conference adventure out of our walks and took in all that nature has to offer. During a path construction project we even had the chance to gingerly walk on a log traversing the stream, which also led to making new friends. We were disappointed when the project was finished; because, our balance beam log was removed.

Is it possible to coordinate schedules with other responsible, trusted adults? We all have different schedules that just may work out in your favor. You don’t know until you ask and I bet the other parents are in the same boat, or mama and papa bear cave.

Is it possible to form a walk to school group? This is a great way to make new friends and you have the safety in numbers working for you. This could also be your group exercise session, serving double duty. We would stop along the way to play on swings, slides, etc. Being active will get your children to open up to you, too.

Is it possible to form a walk to school watch group? Talk to people along the walking path to have their eyes and ears open during certain times of the day to help keep an eye on the children. I would nonchalantly do my chores outside with a friendly “hello” and everyone is happy, well and safe.

The benefit for us all? A windfall just may be your best health with a closer family and neighborhood relationship. How great is that? 🙂

Best of health to you and goodbye.

(image: unsplash)

*source: American Council on Exercise

Walking is Number One

Walking is the most popular form of exercise in the U.S.A.*

People ask me all the time, “What exercise burns the most calories?” I tell them, “The one you will do.” Then they ask me the same question as if I do not understand their meaning. 

No exercise will burn calories if you do not do it. Choose something you enjoy and will continue to do in the long run. Haha, a pun. It does not matter what you do, just so you move around enough to feel like you are increasing your heart rate.

Did you read that correctly? …enough to feel like you are working and increasing  your heart rate. Not everyone will need to run and some of you will feel like a stroll is enough of a workout.

Yes, that is true. We call this the RPE or Rate of Perceived Exertion. Trust me, you want to exercise safely, right? Safe means you will be able to go back out again and continue for a lifetime.

Best of health to you and goodbye.

*source: American Council on Exercise

photo: unsplash