Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, Owner, Working Well Massage

Taylor Polak a Content Marketing Specialist representing Concept Seating, sent me this infographic to share with my readers. The idea is that you can do a few simple exercises while at your desk. While none of the exercises are new, the infographic does a nice job of summing up and reminding us that we can do a  few simple movements each day from our desks to keep our bodies more limber and bring fresh oxygen to our bodies and brains as we work!

Note: I do not receive any advertising income from Concept Seating and sharing this infographic is not an endorsement of their products or services. Looking at their chairs, they appear to be very ergonomic and the company is located in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

 

Concept Seating is a Division of LJ Design and Manufacturing an is located at 3205 N 124th St Brookfield, WI 53005. For more info about their chairs and stools, call them at 800-892-5563

Read Full Post »

By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer, Owner,Working Well Massage

In her post, Losing Inches but Not Losing Weight, Paige Waehner talks about how focusing on the scale and pounds as a measurement of wellness and fitness is a losing proposition (bad pun intended). I really like this post about how to conceptualize body fitness versus focusing on weight loss.

8102631-a-woman-has-a-ball-and-chain-on-her-leg-and-standing-on-the-scales

I frequently hear people say, “I need to lose weight,” but that is a frightening idea if you really think about it. Losing weight implies losing important parts of our bodies. What people likely mean is they want to lose fat, get more fit, feel better about my body. The words we use to describe our goals are important. What we tell ourselves effects how we feel about ourselves. Telling ourselves we want to feel better, be more fit is a positive empowering thought. Telling ourselves, I need to lose weight is a more punitive judgemental and frequently unrealistic thought.

A few highlights of Waehner’s post: The number you see on the scale of your weight is a measure of every part of your body. Your bones are heavy, your muscle is heavy, your organs have weight. And most of your body weight is in water!

She also mentions that the weight you measure is not an accurate measure of your overall health nor the proportion of muscle to fat.  And she also agrees with me that focusing on losing “weight” is not a strong motivator to work out. Focusing on feeling better, stronger, more fit helps motivate us to work out.

Lastly she gives great tips about how to change your fitness focus to be more motivating and positive and kind to yourself!

Read Full Post »

By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

One of my previous posts, Treating Your Sore Muscles: When to Use Ice or Heat gets a lot of website traffic. In my view, that means there must be a lot of people out there feeling muscle soreness! So I thought I’d do a quick follow up to see what my fellow web writers have to say about dealing with muscle soreness.

How-to-Treat-Sore-Muscles-Fast-and-Feel-Good

Men’s Health, one of my favorite magazines about health and fitness, has a short post on the 5 top muscle soreness relievers: They list deep tissue massage, cherry juice, coffee, ice and arnica (nature’s Bengay) as their top 5 Cures for Sore Muscles That Really Work.  And WebMD has a nice post on How to Manage Sore Muscles and Joint Pain. In this post, WebMD lists common pain relievers (mainly NSAIDs), stretching after working out and easing into exercise to reduce muscle soreness.  I really like this article because, 1. it validates much of what I tell clients and believe myself about muscle pain and 2. it emphasizes that any time we do an activity beyond what our bodies are capable of doing or are accustomed to doing, we tend to become sore. This is where mindfulness comes into our workouts!

Image from Huffington Post, Why the Mindfulness Fad Won't Go Away

Image from Huffington Post, Why the Mindfulness Fad Won’t Go Away

It’s one thing to take on an unexpected task like a surprise snow fall that requires you to shovel 8 inches of snow in April. We can’t always plan for these types of tasks and shoveling snow is hard work and does not have a nice stopping point like doing sets at the gym. With some task, you have to keep going until the job is done! However, starting a workout routine or even pushing yourself in your normal routine can lead to joint pain and muscle soreness beyond normal wear and tear if we overdo it. Approaching your workouts (and even snow shoveling) with mindfulness can help reduce not only muscle soreness, but injury as well.

Chris Willitts of Mindful Strength offers  $97 online strength training program centered in mindfulness. I have not completed his program myself but it looks like a good approach to using mindfulness to improve your muscle strength.

Chris Willitts, found of Mindful Strength

Chris Willitts, found of Mindful Strength

Chris looks a bit like a younger Liam Neeson and it sounds like he has a strong background in meditation and mindfulness. If anyone has tried Chris’ program, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

Another Chris, Chris Presto, writing in Sonima.com, offers up The Surprising Ways Mindfulness Can Improve Strength Training.  Chris offers practical insights into how being mindful, focusing awareness on your muscles and form during resistance training can greatly benefit your workout. I also think it benefits our bodies by helping avoid injury due to mindlessly whipping weights around or going too fast through our sets.

How do you use mindfulness in your workouts?

Read Full Post »

By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

You don’t need to be an Arnold Schwarzenegger to life weights! Read more for ideas on getting started.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Photo by Carter News agency

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Photo by Caters News Agency

Note: Make sure you doctor clears you for exercise before attempting any form of new physical activity.

There are a number of useful articles and videos to help you figure out how to start a resistance training (weight training) program. I like this bodybuilding guide Best Beginner Weight-Training Guide With Easy-To-Follow Workout! for men here, although most of us look nothing like the guy demonstrating the activities.

For women, Nia Shanks, Lift Like A Girl blog has a great post, 11 Beginner Strength Training Tips for Women on getting started with weights for women.

Nia Shanks, Lift Like Girl

Nia Shanks, Lift Like Girl

I like this workout video overall for a basic beginners weight training workout: 15 Minute Beginner Weight Training – Easy Exercises – HASfit Beginners Workout Routine – Strength. Check it out here on You Tube. HASfit also has an Interactive Trainer App for your Android or iPhone: To download the app for Android, click here. For  iPhone, click here.

I also like Scooby 1961’s 20 min Full Body Workout for Beginners on You Tube here. 

Scooby

Scooby

 

Scooby seems like a super nice (albeit fairly muscle-bound) guy, in his 55’s who shows great form, provides slow, simple instructions. Scooby’s website is Scooby’sworkshop here.
What are your favorite weight lifting articles and videos?

Read Full Post »

By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

I’ve been lifting weights (also known as resistance training), since I was  a young woman. I am by no means a body builder and at some points in my life, I have lifted less and my body has paid the price (less energy, less muscle mass, feeling more sluggish and low energy). Overall,  I feel much better when I lift weights, even dumbbells, or especially, dumbbells because many weight machines are made for people who are taller than I am.

Weight training isn't just for young people

Weight training isn’t just for young people

Men’s Health posted an article about a study from Penn State College of Medicine that indicates that lifting weights can help us live longer. Dr. Jennifer Kraschnewsk and colleague’s study, Is strength training associated with mortality benefits? A 15 year cohort study of US older adults, found that adults 65 and older who reported that they participated in strength training twice each week had 46% lower odds of all-cause mortality than those who did not. The association between strength training and death remained after adjustment for past medical history and health behaviors.

Another study, “Mental health benefits of strength training in adults,” by O’Connor, Herring, and Carvalho  shows that resistance training also helps us maintain our cognitive abilities (ability to think clearly), longer as well as having other important mental health impacts such as reducing anxiety (American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 4(5), 377-396.).

I try to lift 2-3 time a week with dumbbells and bodyweight, nothing fancy, just the basic muscle groups.

What is your weight lifting routine?

Read Full Post »

By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Recently I was looking for a new yoga class. I visited a local yoga place, hoping to get a gentle, basic hatha yoga class. The class was okay, but the teacher spent more time talking than she did having us relax and rest in the poses. Which was not actually relaxing.  So I went online and found a really great basic class on Amazon! After an hour going through the poses on a yoga mat in front of my very own television, I decided the video was worth sharing, for those of you that want to do yoga on your own in the comfort and warmth of your own home. many yoga classes are great in person, but I was happy to find this video for days that it is to cold to leave the house, or when you want a yoga class but your favorite teacher is not teaching that night!

 

71cBszbGrbL._UY200_RI_UY200_
Yoga For Beginners: Poses for Strength, Flexibility and Relaxation is a basic yoga  class taught by Kanta Barrios, a Spanish yoga teacher. The class is taught by the ocean on a wooden pier. Barrios teaches in English, and when she has you hold each pose or she transitions between poses, the video shifts to pictures and sounds of ocean waves. Very relaxing and calming! One thing I like about this video is that she does not have you hold the poses for very long, so it is easier for those new to yoga to participate. Barrios only speaks about the poses and relaxation, she does not intersperse her class with ideas about her view of the world. It’s just pure yoga and it is very calming!

Barrios has other yoga videos on Amazon and once you master the first Beginning yoga class, you may want to check out her Yoga for Beginners: From Basics to Expansion class. Both classes are free with Amazon Prime, but are available on DVD from her website as well here.

Kanta Barrios, yoga teacher

Kanta Barrios, yoga teacher

More about Kanta Barrios from her website here. According to her website, she currently teaches at two studios in Dublin, Ireland. if that’s too far for you to trek to check her out, try her online or DVD classes!

Read Full Post »

By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Chicago has had a very wet Spring, like much of the U.S. Hiking in boggy muddy land is not as easy as hiking on dry land. Sitting inside and waiting for Summer to arrive can be frustrating. While we are waiting for Summer to warm up, it is a good time to start planning some hikes and getting yourself ready for warmer weather. Or venture out and brave the elements now!

Waterfal Glen

Waterfall Glen

Backpacker magazine recently posted lists of great local hikes in major cities around the U.S. They have a few good suggestions for Chicagoans in an article entitled Chicago’s Best Local Hikes.

Keep in mind that some of the best trails in the Chicago area at and near Waterfall Glen are lined with limestone (gravel), not dirt. So although they may be wet, the trails there won’t be as muddy! The trails also make mountain biking a bit more adventurous (versus biking a paved trail like at Tinley Park.)

If you want to brave muddy trails between Spring showers, Outdorky has some great tips for hiking in mud here. And SunValleymag.com has some additional tips of Spring hikes in muddy terrain Sun Valley Mud hike tips.

What are your favorite trails to hike this Spring? Share your thoughts in our comments section

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: