recovery needed  You’ve been told weight loss, exercise, and nutrition must be your priority.  That monologue is usually followed by an “or else” phrase.  You may be hearing it for the first time from your physician, or the hundred and first from your spouse.  The underlying theme might carry more weight from the MD.  However the meaning remains the same–get up and get moving.

You’ve seen the ads for P90X.  INSANITY pops up on an infomercial at 2am, just as you were starting to doze off.  It promises results in 60 days.  After previewing parts of it on You-Tube, you understand why.  You’ve also seen ads for Urban Rebounder, 10 minute trainer, and Tracy Anderson on nights when the television was your Ambien.  Yet for all of the choices offered; the rigor, intensity, or daily grind wasn’t for you.

Another scenario.  You want to exercise but your joints?  Not so much.  There are days when getting out of bed and walking to the bathroom is a challenge.  Sitting on the toilet and then getting up? Well–that’s another story.  What choices are there for you?

Believe it or not, the advice remains “get up and get moving.”  But how?  With what?  Doing what?  Here’s a few options.

1. Sit & Be Fit.  If the description above is part of your life, even if only a few times a month, these videos offer movement on your “off” days.  You-tube has a few selections; ranging from 5-30 minutes.  The key to remember is that even with altered or limited mobility, you have to move.  Range of motion is essential for ADLs (activity of daily living).

2. T-tapp.  T-tapp is a series of exercises isometrically designed.  They are low intensity, and promise to rev up even the most stubborn metabolism.  Posture and “muscle activation” are the core principles here.  Check out http://www.ttapp.com

3. Yogalates.  This is a video I found on You-tube, which is divided into sections.  If you are looking for a slow-paced introduction to yoga, this might be the answer.  The instructor is soothing, articulate, and moves with intention.  The entire video is 90 minutes, but again, there are 4 sections to choose from.

4. 60 minute Yin Yoga for Spine.  This is another You-tube find.  It may be an ideal start for those wishing to begin a yoga practice.  Even if yoga isn’t quite your thing, it will serve tired, achy muscles well.  Stretch days should not be an option; they should be part of your routine.  You can also check out http://www.eckhartyoga.com for more ideas.

5. Tai Chi.  Tai chi is quite possibly 2500 years old, if not older.  While many videos display smiling seniors performing rhythmic movements, don’t be fooled.  There are more rigorous forms of Tai Chi–including techniques used in MMA.  Whether you are seventy-five looking to improve posture and mobility, or twenty-five using it as part of your Crossfit routine, there is something for everyone.  Meditative as well as restorative, Tai Chi is adaptable–yet its principles remain the same.  Effective breathing coupled with fluid technique.

As with any workout, cleanse, or change in dietary habit, it is always a good idea to talk to your medical professional.  You are responsible for your own healthcare.  However, part of that responsibility means enlisting the guidance of a trusted physician or nurse practitioner.  This is essential if you are just beginning to exercise, have mobility issues, in need of cardiac rehab, or taking prescription medication.

While not every exercise is for every body, every body is in need of some form of exercise.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it. 

Questions? Comments? Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

recovery neededFrom my teen years till now, I considered cardio the ideal fat burner.  High intensity exercises, ranging from INSANITY, back to 80’s style aerobics, were (and still are) the core of my routines.  Strength training, machines or free weights, were a distant second.  If I was too tired for cardio, machines and weights were my “back-up.”  I tolerated strength training; like many tolerate or endure uninvited in-laws; after two weeks.

While that ideology has changed for me, most of you familiar with my posts, realize running preserves my sanity.  Even after a car accident, running was my constant–the north star in a time of uncertainty.  It was there for me to shed the “baby weight.”  It was there after a long work day; working with people who made snobbery an art form.

Since most of my running consists of submaximal workouts, not sprinting, this information would not apply.

Did you know that fat oxidation is reduced, with increasing exercise intensity?

Scraping the surface only, here are a few reasons.

Intramuscular triglycerides (lipids inside of muscle) are used 1st.  Then comes fatty acid oxidation.  Possibly, your body likes to hang on to its excess baggage; for a couple of reasons.  Just in case there’s a famine; just in case you decide to skip a meal or two–just in case you become pregnant.

Lactate also plays its role; it stops fatty acid mobilization.  The good news:  if you are an endurance athlete, you produce less lactate.  Yes, it’s a slow process to become one of those.   BUT, another perk of endurance training–when you finish, fat oxidation is increased.  Free fatty acids in plasma and intramuscular triglyceride oxidation is increased; contributing to fat usage.

What’s the take away if you want to burn fat?  Slow and low.  More to the point, you might want to alternate low and moderate intensity workout days.

My opinion?  High intensity should be part of your regime.  Why?  To shake things up a bit.  Your body can reach a set point with any routine; high or low.  However, if you start low, you still have somewhere to go.  If you start high, your appetite will definitely match that.  That will leave you with an ever-increasing hunger–quite disconcerting if you are trying to lose weight.

In subsequent posts, I will try to address more on this subject.  The exercise physiology class in which I’m enrolled and deriving this information, should shed additional light.  There is more to fitness than just the newest 3 day detox, or trendy workout routine.  It entails, as with nursing, evidence based practice.  Coupled with experience, this is the premise from which I operate–both as a nurse and now as a nurse personal trainer.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.