VITAMIN D-THE SUNSHINE VITAMIN

May 7th, 2017 by Liz

VITAMIN D-THE SUNSHINE VITAMIN

As the sun begins to show itself again and the temperature begins to rise we are all itching to get out and about! The Sun is the ultimate inspiration for us all to be active, social, and happy! It has been a long and cold winter and I think it is safe to say that we are all ready to say goodbye to the cold and snow and hello sunshine!

Though we are blessed here in Bend, Oregon with many more sunny days in a year than most of the northern Untied States, we too lack VItamin D. Vitamin D plays an essential role in our health and well being. Not only does vitamin D support the absorption of calcium to keep our bones strong, it also helps to keep harmful diseases and disorders at bay. VItamin D, also known as “The Sunshine VItamin”, plays a role in our happiness as well. Studies have shown that individuals who had more exposure to the sun in a day had higher levels of serotonin. The Sun helps us to keep our circadian rhythm in balance, therefore improving our sleep habits.

I could go on and on about the benefits of Vitamin D, though, the point is, enjoy that sunshine! Don't be afraid to expose your skin to a bit of sun, like everything, it’s good for you in moderation, and it’s an essential nutrient for your body and spirit. Get out and about, boost your immunity and your mood with a good dose of golden rays.

We live in one of the most beautiful locations in this part of the country, and we have mother nature right in our back yard. Make time for the great outdoors; go for a walk or a hike, a bike or a jog. Five minutes or five hours you will nourish your mind body and spirit, replenish your vitamin D stores, and maybe find some inspiration you lost indoors during the winter months. Lift your face up towards the sun, take a moment to feel the warmth on your skin, see the light through your lids, and allow its familiar rays to comfort you; giving you a sweet kiss.

With Bliss,
Hannah Culver, RYT
Thin Lizzy Athletics
Bend, Oregon


Eat Healthy On A Budget

May 7th, 2017 by Liz

Eat Healthy On A Budget With These Tips!

If you've ever noticed in the produce section that we are blessed with almost any kind of fruit/vegetable year-round, it is not very cost effective to buy tomatoes, cucumbers, or bell peppers in the middle of winter in Central Oregon. To maximize your dollar and taste buds, it is best to eat with the seasons. Enjoy root vegetables and greens in the winter. Apples and pears YEAR ROUND! And a bounty of beautiful fruit and vegetables in the spring and summer months. Farmers market are the BEST!

A delicious low calorie guilt free dessert recipe to try with baked apples!

https://www.veganosity.com/sugar-free-stuffed-baked-apples/

Attached is a seasonal fruit/veggie chart for Central Oregon so you can shop accordingly and save those hard earned pennies!

In Health,
Meredith Warren ACE CPT, NFS
Thin Lizzy Athletics
Bend, OR


Accountability Matters

May 7th, 2017 by Liz

Why Accountability Matters

One of the biggest contributors to long-term fitness success is having a strong support system. A quality support system will hold you accountable, especially if it includes someone who will work out with you! We call this a workout buddy! A workout buddy can push you out of a plateau by encouraging you to do push harder than you normally would. This is a relationship where you’re helping each other, and it can create a powerful bond!

The BEST workout buddies not only provide support and encouragement, but also a little healthy competition. Think of those moments when you’re running out of steam and ready to quit. Imagine having a buddy pushing along beside you, still going strong. That’s the type of healthy competition that helps us crush our goals!

There are different ways to find accountability. This month we’re encouraging you to find a buddy to workout with, but it can be a challenge to find someone whose schedule works with yours. Working out with a personal trainer and/or taking group classes are both excellent options. A personal trainer is a guaranteed accountability partner that will keep your workouts progressive and group fitness is wonderful for the sense of community it provides.

Once you find your ideal accountability partner, practice these 5 tips to get the most out of it!

Follow these 5 Tips:

  1. Consistency: Come up with a schedule and stick to it. Life will ALWAYS throw obstacles in your way, but with a buddy you won’t want to face the consequences of bailing on your workout!
  2. Practice Goal Setting. Be clear about your goals, write them down, and then say them out loud to your buddy. It’s amazing what happens when you’re honest about your goals with another person!
  3. Establish consequences and set rewards. If you miss a workout you owe your buddy a coffee, or you both make it to all your sessions for a whole month so you schedule a girls night on the town. Be creative, but also choose consequences and rewards that are meaningful to both of you or it won’t work.
  4. Be honest. Let your buddy in and be honest about your successes and failures. It’s great therapy- we all need someone to talk too.
  5. Keep it positive. Don’t turn your workouts into gossip sessions or pity parties. JUST DON’T DO IT!!

In Strength,
Lizzy Sawyer; NASM CPT, NFS, WLS
Thin Lizzy Athletics
Bend, Oregon

Move. Sweat. Sculpt.


EAT WITH A PURPOSE

April 15th, 2017 by Liz

EAT WITH A PURPOSE

by: Meredith Warren

Our awesome motivated members have been asking me what are some good, nutritious, and filling foods they should include in their diets. While everyBODY is different, here are a few suggestions to get you started on a nutrient dense path of foods that nourish the body and support active lifestyle's!

Protein, followed by fat, are the two most satiating (filling) macronutrients available to us. When we properly fuel our bodies, we can sustain longer harder workouts, are less tempted to indulge in unhealthy treats, and our muscle tissue will repair quicker and more efficiently!

Good sources of protein:
-Boneless skinless chicken breast
-Boiled or poached eggs
-Unsweetened plain greek yogurt
-Ground turkey

Good sources of fat:
-Hemp hearts
-Chia seeds
-Avocado
-Pistachios

EAT GOOD. FEEL GOOD.

In health,
Meredith Warren; ACE CPT, NFS


Balance your Pushups with Backbends

November 8th, 2016 by Liz

Counter Stretch: Balance your Pushups with Backbends!

Balance your Pushups with Backbends

Balance your Pushups with Backbends

Because we spend most of our time in a forward position, backbends are always an important part of finding balance in our bodies, and with our push-up challenge this month we have one more reason to do them. Backbends are an excellent way to stretch out the muscles used to preform a pushup, especially our pectoralis and abdominal muscles.

But, push-ups aside, we are a society that spends most of our time in an unsupported forward bend, making it critical that we practice backbends every day. We bend forward to pick things up. We sit forward while we eat, work, read drive, and socialize. We clean, garden, and cook with our arms forward. In addition to the amazing stretch to offset our pushups, here are 5 MORE reasons to do backbends.

And here are my top 5 Reasons why:

  1. For Better Posture:
    We are hunched over the majority of the time. We are hunched at work, while driving, and while eating. Backbends are an opportunity to reverse that damage by bending the spine in the opposite direction. This helps realign our vertebrae and stimulate the sympathetic nervous system. Backbends allow us to open our chest, elongate the spine and strengthen our upper back, all helping to improve our posture.
  2. To Breath Easier:
    Backbends open up our shoulders and chest. Most of us have shoulders that roll in and some of us have heads that crank forward (think “turtle” neck). This posture compresses the lungs and shallows our breathing. When our chests open up we have more space for our lungs. We can take deeper breaths, allowing more oxygen to flow through the body. Deeper breathing also means optimal mental and cardiovascular function, and big bonus- increased energy!
  3. To Stretch Your Hip Flexors:
    Hip flexors are what allow us to bend our knees and hinge at the waist. Tight hip flexors are a major source of pain for many of us, but especially for bicyclists and runners. Backbends allow the hips to extend and stretch. (Hint: If your hips flexors are extra tight- backbends can be uncomfortable and difficult to get into. If this is you, we recommend starting with easier hip openers before coming into a backbend. For ideas check out:  http://www.livestrong.com/article/174240-hip-flexor-stretches/)
  4.  4. To Reduce Back Pain:
    This is huge- and for many of us the most important reason to practice backbends daily! Our constant state of being forward creates a tremendous amount of tension, and in many cases results in chronic back pain. With back pain our first instinct might be to fold forward, when in fact a backbend is what our body actually needs. Backbends give the posterior side of your spinal column the rare opportunity to compress, while the front of your vertebrae decompresses. This helps reverse damage and reduces back pain.
  5. 5. To Connect:
    Backbends allow us to open up our heart space, which is tied to our wellbeing and feelings of human connection. Deep backbends can cause intense emotional release. This is a very important part of health (and overall fitness) that some of us may want to run away from, but if we can tune in- backbends can do amazing things for us physically AND emotionally.

So what do we do with all of this information? In past articles we’ve talked about the importance of heavy (enough) weight lifting, cardio, and stretching, but now I’m asking you to include backbends. How are we supposed to fit it all in? The answer is- BALANCE. Per week aim for 1-2 sessions that focus on strength training, 1-3 sessions that focus on cardio, and 1-2 sessions dedicated to the other- stretching, foam rolling, back bending, meditation, etc.

For an extensive library of backbends, and how to do them safely check out these links:
http://www.yogajournal.com/category/poses/types/backbends/

http://breakingmuscle.com/yoga/backbends-101-yoga-teacher-training-journal-3

In Strength,
Lizzy Sawyer, NAMS CPT, FNS, WLS
Thin Lizzy Athletics

Move. Sweat. Sculpt.


Why We Love Push-Ups!

November 1st, 2016 by Liz

WHY WE LOVE PUSH-UPS!- OUR TOP 10!

why we love push-ups

why we love push-ups!

I've really been looking forward to our 'Show Us Your Push-up' challenge, and it probably comes as no surprise that push-ups are my very favorite exercise of all time! Why? The standard push up activates just about every muscle in your body, and you can do them anywhere, anytime! Need more convincing? Read our Top 10 reasons why we love pushups- and why YOU should too!

10. For the good stretch: Surprising to some is the awesome stretch push-ups provide your biceps and back muscles. Upon lowering, your back muscles are stretched and as you push back up your biceps are stretched. This improves flexibility, reduces injury and improves the appearance of those muscles.

9. They reduce risk of lower back injury: Some of us are quite familiar with how frustrating and painful a low back injury can be. The most proactive thing you can do to prevent such an injury is to strengthen your core, and pushups are one of the best ways to do that.

8. They reduce risk of shoulder injury: The standard pushup is one of the best ways to PREVENT shoulder joint injury, especially in older adults where these injuries are most common. This is because pushups recruit the stabilizing muscles that surround the rotator cuff joint, building strength and reducing potential for injury.

7. They build upper body strength: While pushups work the entire body, they effectively target the upper body- especially the chest and shoulders. Pushups help develop a strong, defined upper body with ZERO equipment.

6. For that 6-pack: Although your upper body is the primary target, your abs have to be fully engaged to keep you stabilized throughout the move. Specifically, your transverse abdominous and rectus abdominous work hard to stabilize your spine as you lower and lift into a pushup.

5. For improved posture: Many of us have jobs where we’re hunched all day with bad posture, which is one of the biggest culprits of back pain. To maintain good posture, the core needs to be strong enough to support a healthy vertical position in our spine. And guess what? Pushups happen to work the same core muscles responsible for good posture!

4. For all the variety: There are so many pushup variations, it’s impossible to get bored with them! And- just when you think you’ve got ‘em mastered, you discover a brand new type just waiting to be conquered!

3. For the metabolism boost: Pushups are considered a compound exercise, which means multiple muscles are working at the same time! When several muscles are firing together, your heart has to work extra hard to pump all that blood. This causes your breath to quicken, your heart rate to go up, and ultimately raises your metabolic rate- and promotes weight loss!

2. For the quick energy boost: Pushups improve circulation, increase body heat, and stimulates your brain. If you're having an afternoon slump, we guarantee a quick set of pushups will do just the trick!

1. For the ‘no excuse’ workout!: That’s right! There is absolutely no excuse for not doing a set of pushups. It’s quick, you don’t NEED any equipment, and you can do them anywhere. How’s that for motivation!

So what are YOU waiting for?! Get on board and start our November 'Show Us Your Pushup' challenge and start taking advantage of all these benefits TODAY! For more info on our challenge, scroll down!!

In Strength,
Lizzy Sawyer, NASM CPT, NFS, WLS
Thin Lizzy Athletics

Move. Sweat. Sculpt.