Greetings Who Wants to Get Active team members! Welcome to week two of the program. Although things may still feel new and even a little awkward, you should start to sense the early feelings of feeling better. You might be sleeping more soundly, have more energy or have lost a few pounds. Try to keep track of the changes by writing them in a log or journal. The visual perks are evidence that this life changing stuff really works and can really come in handy on those low motivation days.
We all know there are no style points awarded during the race, however thinking about your form can make a siginificant difference in your performance and progression along the way. The next time you head out for your walk or run perform a head-to-toe inventory a few times during the session. By making just a few tweaks, you can conserve prescious energy which will allow you to move for a longer period of time at an easier effort level.
- Head and eyes focused forward and looking to where you want to go (not down)
- Relaxed shoulders (this is a big energy zapper)
- Arm at a 90-degree bend and swinging naturally like a pendulum from the shoulders (not crossing the center line of your body)
- Hand relaxed (not clenched)
- Torso tall with your hips under your shoulders
- (Runners) landing with short, quick strides under the hips (versus out in front of the body like walkes)
- (Walkers) landing on the heel in front of the body and rolling through and pushing off the toes to maintain momemtum for the next stride
Like any sport, good form takes time and patience. The more you do it, the easier it will become. In your next workout, think through your inventory and start to gain a sense of your body as it moves forward. Small changes can make a huge difference in your form.
Speaking of change, happy March everyone! For those of us that are still in the snow and cold keep in mind that if you're heading outdoors, dress for the weather. Meaning, you need to wear less when you're moving because your body core temperature will rise as you move! We all have different barometers for temperature so I may be more comfy in capri-length tights until it hits the 60s, while someone else does better in shorts in the 50s. I saw a runner this weekend (32 degrees) wearing shorts and had a smile on his face! This is another great variable to keep track of in your log because come fall you'll be making the transition in reverse and heading into the cold weather. A general rule of thumb is to add 10-20 degrees to the current temperature (more if it is windy). You should feel chilled at the start. if you are toasty warm - guess what? You'll be pulling off the layers in a matter of minutes:) Many of you have already posted that exercising outdoors makes the time go by so much more quickly. I agree! Remember when you head outdoors to invest in a proper warm-up of 5 minutes at an easy to gradually brisk walking effort. This is a great way to warm the muscles, especially if you are a morning exerciser when the muscles are at their coldest and stiffest!
Something to sleep on...It is easy to focus on your exercise and food habits when it comes to losing weight, but did you know you could lose weight in your sleep? Yes, that's right! A Harvard study concluded that women who slept 5 hours or less per night were 32% more likely to gain 33 pounds or more over 16 years than women who slept 7 or more hours per night. When you sleep too little, the stress hormone cortisol can rise which can cause your body to accumulate belly fat, cause carbohydrate cravings and slow metabolism. As we progess through the program, think of this journey as a means to balancing your life and focusing on all aspects of your health. Balance is the key to maintaining wellness (and happiness).
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