When Your Sports and Exercise is Your Passion.Written by Deborah Caruana RN, MES, CPT
You’re fired up, your adrenaline is pumping, engines are revved. You can't wait to get out there and perform. You've waited all day, maybe a few days and are replaying in your mind challenges you will confront and how you will tackle them. Your time to escape day to day and become your true self, adventurer, conquerer, winner, leader, activist or dreamer has arrived. When your sport is your passion, motivation is not a problem. Sometimes though, passion can create complications. Knowing how and when to stop, slow down, change your ways, get educated, hire a pro. or just ‘take a break’ is essential to survival and ongoing fulfillment from your sports and fitness career. Your activities are precious and you want to be sure to keep it that way. You’re certainly aware of all advantages your sports participation provides. It keeps your spirits up, makes you feel and look young, gives you lots of energy, allows you to cheat on your calorie counts, your mind is sharper, helps maintain your figure, you’re passionate and optimistic, you feel fulfilled…and this only to start list of benefits. If your not feeling these benefits you may just want to stop, take a look and see if your missing something in your routine. Sports and fitness adventurers are human too. Whether your venturing into a new sport, progressing in your same sport, or cross-training here are some problems to consider, hopefully avoid or know what to do, should situation strike. Keeping it all in perspective. Let's review some basics:
PROBLEM: Too rushed to do a warm up and stretch before physical activity? Remember: studies confirm that cold muscles are prone to injury and it's times when you’re rushed that you are most prone to injury. SOLUTION: Don’t give into temptation and jump cold into your sport. Instead jump into jumping jacks, arm swings, leg swings, step out lunges, stationary cycling, running, or walking in place for three to five minutes. Then, a few dynamic stretches (to wake up muscles and prepare them for effort), while reaching out with effortless breathing. Slow static stretches (which put muscles to sleep) have been shown to dampen performance efforts, so stretch out and keep it moving. Now your ready to jump in. PROBLEM: Succumbing to "weekend warrior" syndrome. Compressing all of your physical activity into two days sets you up for trouble and doesn't increase your fitness level. You should try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. SOLUTION: If time is a problem HIIT (20 min. cardio) may be your solution. High Intensity Interval Training is really quite simple to do. You pick your favorite cardio activity and build up to a challenge pace by minute 5. Then take your pace up to a winded “sprint” state for as long as tolerable, and bring it back down for however long it takes you to recover enough to go into your next “sprint” state again. These are your intervals, which you eventually build up in numbers. At first you can only do a few intervals and entire workout will take 8 -12 minutes. So you save time while getting tremendous benefits! You will eventually build up length, intensity and number of intervals to fill up 20 minutes no more time is needed! Always include gradual warm up (5 minutes) and cool down (3 minutes), add a few stretches if you can at end. Cautionary note: work within your level as you are more prone to injury because of increased intensity. For example, if you’re a beginner use a walk into a jog. Joggers can break into a run for intervals. Runners go into a sprint, sprinters zip into light plyometrics like jump roping or track and field. It is believed that HIIT helps body to release HGH (Human Growth Hormone) which is a tremendous fat burning hormone, as well, it has rejuvenating properties for body tissues (including skin, organs and muscle). Less intense cardio programs cause fat loss but also muscle loss, plus there’s time element. PROBLEM: Guessing at how to correctly maintain your physical form or hold a piece of equipment is not smart. Improper form increases chance of developing "overuse" injuries like tendonitis or stress fractures.
Why my Lactate Threshold Training is better than any other Strength Training System. Written by Deborah Caruana RN, MES, CPT
It's a very simple training system. Consisting of using your body in space with simple counts. Music is optional. With every position and exercise your concentration is focused on alignment, form, breathing, pacing, contracting or relaxing. You can move easily and flow from one exercise to next with no wasted time or effort. Because it flows so well, you can make it cardiovascular or take designated controlled strength training time breaks. Imagine you can do a whole hour of cardio without getting on boring, dreaded treadmill or elliptical machines. At same time you can tone and strengthen your core as well as every other muscle in your body. Strength training and cardio all in one! Since you are using your own body weight in different positions you can go deeper into muscles for better sculpting and strength enhancement by holding positions, changing rhythms, or altering positions slightly. You are always in total control of how much energy you exert for each exercise. If you want to sculpt deeper into muscles, you simply arrange your positioning deeper into exercise position. If you want to lighten up load you simply release contraction to a more comfortable exertion level. You will learn specific breathing techniques to help you sustain more difficult positions, to make them more tolerable. Because you are using only your body in space there are no limitations to positions or exercises you can do. You are limited only by your own imagination. You can work every and any muscle in your entire body to its maximal exertion levels. There are no machines to waste time arranging and dismantling weights or changing positions. These exercises can be done anywhere with little or no equipment. You may want some privacy but if there is room for your body and available oxygen, you can do workout! If you've ever used those gym machines, how do you think they translate into real life everyday activities or even sports? Maybe you get stronger? Maybe, but study after study has proven that training with traditional gym equipment doesn't carry over into day to day functioning or sports performance improvement. Lactate Threshold Strength Training does though. You are imitating with exertion simple everyday movements and from those positions holding, breathing and correcting alignment and perfecting form. So it completely translates into day to day movements of life and living. Of course you can imitate your specific sports as well. Helping you make incredible sports performance gains. Lactate Threshold Strength Training also carries over into postural awareness and correction. We all know that correcting posture can make you look inches taller and years younger. Holding your body in specific positions with no distractions or machines to lean on puts you face to face with your postural habits so you work on them consciously with effort in every single exercise challenge.