I <3 my foam roller!

Seriously tho…does any else foam roll? A foam roller is an amazing little tool that I have just started using over the past year.

foamroll

Some of you may be thinking…what is foam rolling?

It’s a form of stretching used by athletes or anyone needing relief from tight muscles. It’s technically referred to as self myofascial release, and it’s a little bit like giving yourself a deep tissue massage to release knots and ease tight areas.

Releasing tight muscles is essential, not only because you’ll feel awesome afterwards, but also because it helps prevent injuries, improves posture and increases range of motion.

How do you roll?

It’s best to foam roll after a workout when your muscles are warmed up. Place the roller behind soft tissue like your calves or thighs, avoiding joints, and slowly start rolling. When you find a tight spot, hold it for 30 – 60 seconds until it releases. It might feel a little uncomfortable or tender, but go at your own pace and follow your comfort level.

Some Tips from Tone it up:

  • Foam rolling is great for anyone, but it’s especially important if you’re active to help with muscle recovery, circulation and even performance. Tightness can occur from regular workouts – or even from sitting at the computer for long periods of time.
  • Always listen to your body! Foam rolling may hurt, but it should also feel good, like a deep tissue massage. Never force or continue to foam roll in an area where there’s sharp pain.
  • We love to foam roll a few times a week! Start with shorter sessions and work your way up to longer ones.
  • Remember to always stretch after foam rolling and just like with a massage, to drink PLENTY of water afterwards!

I used to run half marathons and a lot of 10k’s and 5k’s and always had really tight hip flexors and hips as well as my IT band. If you are unsure where you IT band is here is quick breakdown:

Your IT bands mediacal name is: The Iliotibial Band (ITB). It is a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs down the outside of your leg from your pelvis to your knee. Some of the buttock and hip muscles attach to it, and the ITB co-ordinates how these muscles work and stabilises the leg.
Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) is one of the leading causes of pain on the outer (lateral) side of the knee, which can radiate up the thigh.
Iliotibial Band Syndrome is when the ITB gets irritated and inflamed due to friction. This most commonly happens on the outer side of the knee. As the leg bends and straightens, the Iliotibial Band glides over a bony lump on the side of the knee that sticks out slightly, the lateral epicondyle.

Ok….so enough about the IT Band…this post is really about Foam Rolling!! So, here are some of the benefits, streches and types of foam rollers in a nifty little diagram I found:

foamroll2So, if you don’t have a foam roller I suggest you invest if you are a runner or active at all…it can dramatically increase your performance, decrease injury, and relieve tension!

If you are looking for a great foam rolling video I suggest this one by my favourite tone it up girls: http://toneitup.com/2014/09/frisky-fall-foam-roller/

Meet me on the mat – Yoga mat that is!

Lunchtime yoga may be my new favorite thing! I work from home, so it is perfect for me to run out from 12-1 for a quick hour yoga class and I come back feeling focused and ready to work the rest of the day. Does anyone else enjoy lunch hour yoga?

IMG_3890I am a huge fan of hot yoga! I’ve tried multiple studios and different types of yoga and usually buy 10 class passes to various places to try them out and see what I think. I am going to breakdown some benefits and different type of yoga for you guys incase you are considering trying it out. I would HIGHLY recommend it because you feel fantastic afterwards and if you are a runner or have tight hips/back/neck etc. this could be a life changer 🙂

I am guilty of not stretching or barely stretching after most of my workouts, so yoga fits perfectly into my routine. It lengthens and elongates the body while making you feel all nice and relaxed. I have VERY tight hip flexors and I find I hate my life when the instructor starts the pigeon or other hip openers, but I am so thankful after.

Ok…so here we go…

Types of Yoga:

yogatypesI am a big fan of Moksha Yoga studios which they have all over Ontario because of a few reasons:

1. They play music
2. They don’t take it too seriously and make the classes fun
3. They mix it up with different poses every class
4. They often mix in some pilates, push ups, sit ups, etc.

But, you can make your own choices on what you like as you experiment with different studios!

Now…the benefits:

YogabenefitsSome other benefits include: Improved brain function, better focus, improved digestion, lower stress levels, improved sexual function, anxiety relief, strong bones, etc, etc, etc.So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and try a class today!! Here is a little laugh for your Friday hehecatyoga

Frisky Fall Stair Workout

Hey hey!

Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! I know I did! We held a surprise birthday party for one of my best friends on Saturday night and it went really well. I was a little worried we wouldn’t be able to keep it a surprise, but we did and she loved it.

In other news, I weighed myself this morning and am not feeling great about that pesky number on the scale. I think I may have been over indulging a little too much lately…SO….I am starting the #friskyfall challenge today!! woohoo!!

This is an 8 week workout routine that can be found on the Tone it Up website here: http://toneitup.com/2014/09/frisky-fall-fitness-challenge-week-1-schedule/

I started this morning with the stair routine in my house and I loved it! IMG_3805

Stair Work-out
Do this 3x through

Run up every other stair (3x)
8 burpees
Run every stair (3x)
20 Tummy Tucks
Run up every other stair (3x)
V Sits with a twist
Run every stair (3x)
20 tricep dips (using the stairs)

Anyone interested in joining it with me for the frisky fall challenge?! 🙂

 

Motivation & Mantras

As it is now September and thing are getting busier in our lives because of school, less vacation time, people are more motivated in the work sense and the healthy lean clean green eating as well as constant working out is falling a little to the wayside.

It’s not always easy to stay on track especially when you don’t have the “I need to wear a bikini” this weekend looming over your head. So, I thought I would share some Mantra’s that I try to live by for some extra motivation:

This one is so close to my heart, as I tend to overeat and really not pay attention to my diet as much as I should from Thursday – Sunday….which is really more than half of the week…:S Yikes!

bad diet kitchen

The duration of a workout is always a mystery…how long and how intense should I work out? You should try to go at LEAST 30 minutes and always put everything in…don’t phone it in (Thanks Jillian Michaels for that one!)length

Don’t quit when you don’t see results right away…4weeks

This one really speaks for me…for those days when you really don’t feel like it just do it before you do anything else and you will not regret it!mantra2

Here are some great reasons to work out….  mantra1 And lastly, some Ryan Gosling…because who doesn’t love him?!

ryanAnyone else have some good tips to stay motivated when you fall off track?

 

HIIT – Try it today – YOU won’t regret it!

It’s a gloomy day today here in Barrie, so after walking the dog and eating breakfast I was thinking that I really need to step up my fitness game. Recently, I have been doing all the motions of my workout, but not really pushing myself as hard as I was pre-vacation. Does this happen to anyone else? It’s much easier for me to push myself when I have a goal or event to attend that I am working towards.

HIIT workouts are a form of cardiovascular exercise that are an enhanced form of interval training. Generally this consists of alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. Some HIIT workouts are as short as 4 minutes and usually stay shorter than 30 minutes. These short, intense workouts provide improves athletic capacity and condition, improved glucose metabolism and improved fat burning.

Benefits of HIIT:

  1. Burns more calories and continues to burn calories  (hormones released during HIIT help your body burn more calories even when you’re not working out)
  2. Burn more FAT – Not only do you burn more calories, but the effect of all that intense exertion kicks your body’s repair cycle into hyperdrive. That means you burn more fat and calories in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout than you do after, say, a steady-pace run
  3. Increase metabolism
  4. Healthier Heart – Most people aren’t used to pushing into the anaerobic zone (that lovely place where you can’t breathe and you feel like your heart is trying to jump out of your chest). This helps your heart by building endurance – those who practiced HIIT for multiple weeks were able to cycle twice as long at the same speed.
  5. Efficient workouts – minimal time required
  6. No equipment required – do these workouts anywhere with only your own body weight!
  7. Lose weight, not muscle

Here are a few on my favourite HIIT Workouts:

****Remember to take short rest periods (I usually wait 10 seconds) in between sets and a 1 minute recovery period before repeating the whole series again***

THE TONE IT UP GIRLS: HIIT WORKOUT FOLLOW ALONG VIDEO

 hiit2   hiit5

 

hiit4