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

AUGUST CHALLENGE – Who’s with me?

HAPPY AUGUST EVERYONE!

So, with this new month brings a new challenge! I am always looking for new ways to improve my fitness and I came across the perfect post on pinterest (follow me here). I am very excited about this! I am going to do this every morning as my bootycall. 

Here it is:

CHALLENGE

When I was in Europe a couple weeks ago backpacking I was finding it really hard to find time to workout so I challenged myself to do 20 squats every single time I went to the bathroom. This is not easy when there is a line waiting and you are wondering if the people beside you in the stall are hearing you squat – but who cares!! It’s a great way to burn those extra calories and rev up your metabolism! If you work larger muscle groups you burn more calories simply because you are moving more mass. This is great for busy days when you can’t seem to squeeze in a workout. So, who’s with me on the 30 day challenge?

Jillian Michaels is no joke!

Hey hey….so this morning was a busy one starting with dropping my car at the GM dealership for the recall. Was anyone else driving around with major anxiety thinking that their ignition could fail at the same time as their brakes and airbags! Hello deathtrap!! But, no more worrying for me…phew!

I came home and did the Jillian Michaels: Banish Fat Boost Metabolism Workout….and it is a doozy! Seriously hard. You can find it here. Challenge yourself through this workout and you will not regret it! You may want to lay down and die half way through, but don’t quit and I promise you will feel amazing after!

After that workout I was starving so I decided to make some protein pancakes. Have you ever tried these? They are seriously delish! I made chocolate pancakes and put some pure maple syrup on top. I initially got this recipe from the girls at Toneitup.com – they have great lean, clean, and green recipes.

Protein Pancakes:

1 Tablespoon Chocolate protein powder
1/2 Frozen banana (mashed)1/4 Cup of egg whites
1/2 Tablespoon of coconut almond milk (you can use regular if you like)
1 Teaspoon of cinnamon

Directions: Mash the banana and almond milk together before adding the other ingredients. Then mix it all together and cook on the stovetop on med-low heat. Flip once you see the bubbles forming. These are a little hard to flip and a little runny so they may end up a little ugly. Then serve with your favorite toppings! Sometimes I add fruit or just pure maple syrup – or both. Yum yum!

Anywho….gotta run and get to work! Happy Thursday 🙂