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ELEVATE YOUR GAME
14 Nov

Why Am I So Sore?

You had a super workout. You challenged yourself and went beyond your usual limits. Well, you probably felt great after your session; congratulating yourself for getting through such a challenge. But how did you feel a day or two after that? Were your muscles sore? I mean, really sore. Like, you could hardly move your body you felt so stiff? You weren’t sore after the workout or the yoga class. It seemed like the soreness snuck up on you over night and you could hardly get yourself out of bed. This is called delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS. It’s a common occurrence after strenuous exercise or when you use your body in a way that is different from your normal routine.

Although it is a fairly common experience, even among pro athletes, DOMS is a mysterious after-effect of muscle stress that science is still trying to explain. Even with the verdict still out on this one, let’s see if we can give it some meaning here so that you can have a better understanding of the condition and what to do about it.

Above And Beyond

If you regularly attend a yoga class, for example, with the same teacher and they have a consistent style in their classes, you probably leave your practice feeling pretty amazing with little muscle soreness. But what if it was your very first time taking a yoga class or you went to a different instructor for the first time, your experience may be completely different. Because you are stepping out of your comfort zone, your body gets stimulated in a way that is outside the norm. Moving your body into positions that are unfamiliar to you can create a strain to the muscles. Here’s an example, lets say your instructor guides you into a very deep runner’s lunge. In the posture, you may have your hands on the floor. But let’s say the teacher has you place your elbows on the floor in this lunge instead. This will create a much deeper stretch in the inner thighs, especially if you hold it for several minutes. At the time, the stretch may feel great, but because of the demand on the newly or overly stretched muscles, it may result in soreness.

What’s Happening to an Overworked Muscle?

In the yoga pose example above, the deep lunge takes the muscle grouping in the legs further than usual. The result is definitely a stress to the body; science even states that it might be considered a “metabolic stress.” There are certainly chemical changes occurring in the body when the muscles are under stress, whether its from an unfamiliar deep stretch or pushing heavy weights in the gym. But as mentioned before, the evidence of what it is exactly is still in the laboratories. To put it very plainly, after an onslaught to those meager muscles, a chemical change occurs. A change that propels the body into a state of healing. In a sense, in strenuous exercise, you are essentially damaging muscle cells and other tissues in the body. The body however, wants to remedy that damage. Those few days after the challenging yoga class is the body in full response to the chemical change: 1) it is responding to the muscle damage resulting in pain and soreness, and 2) the body is moving into a state of repair.

How Do You Prevent DOMS?

Probably the only way to prevent this soreness is to not exercise at all or always move your body in the same way each time you go to the gym or yoga class. Over time, your body gets accustomed to the repetitive nature of the exercises. Your muscles are not being challenged to a new state, they can accommodate the same movements. This may result in no physical changes in the body. This is true if you’re trying to lose weight or put on some lean muscle mass. If you are doing the same exercises with the same intensity and the same weight, then your body does not change.

So, is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness Good?

There are several ways to answer that question. If you are a pretty active person and you enjoy your workouts with the intention of changing your body in some way, then you will most likely experience some soreness during your progression. When you are sore after a workout, it may be a positive sign to you that your body is changing. When muscle cells repair themselves naturally, it is gearing up for the next challenging workout so that it can withstand the new stress. That can be considered a good thing. But pay attention to this soreness and pain. If it is occurring too often or when the exercise is relatively easy, or other parts of your body feel compromised, then you may want to consult your doctor. There may be other things going on that are beyond the delayed muscle soreness.

Can I Make it Stop?

As mentioned, muscle soreness may be inevitable when it comes to exercise and stressing your body. So, if it is going to happen, what should you do to treat it when it occurs? You can do several things. If the soreness is pretty debilitating, then you may want to simply rest before you workout again. Remember, your body is in repair. Further, your muscles, especially the ones that you worked, are a little weak. Give them time, maybe a day or two, for the soreness to subside and for you to regain your strength. Do your best to stay motivated, though. Feeling sore can be a deterrent for some people; they may stay away from the gym or yoga studio because they don’t like the sensation of being muscularly stressed. Even if you’re feeling some discomfort when you return to the gym the next day, focus on another body part. If you maxed out those shoulders in your workout yesterday, then focus on your legs today. And when you go to your next yoga class, feel free to take it easy; there’s no need to completely stress your body. Ease up on your poses, modify the positions, don’t go as deep, or use props to support your yoga practice.

Overall, listen to your body and its needs. Your body and mind endure enough stress as it is. Use your workouts and yoga sessions as ways to take care of your body and mind. If that means slowing down, modifying, or taking a break, then honor that decision. Feel proud that you are doing something to nurture yourself when you take time off and allow your body to heal when it is feeling sore. Then you’ll feel great when you return to fulfilling your personal goals.

13 Nov

That Title Was Not Berry Good

Okay, enough of the berry puns!

Berries are everyone’s favorite, and they boast of being among the healthiest food on earth. They are delicious, nutritious and also provide a number of impressive health benefits. The family of berries includes strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and acai berries, among others. What makes berries so nutritious and highly beneficial is the number of phytochemicals that are present in these small fruits. Berries are rich in vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants and adding them to your diet will benefit overall health in a significant manner.

Let us now see how berries can benefit your health;

12 Nov

This is the Gym?

Sometimes your job will have you on the road somewhere. What is the road warrior to do when he’s trying to be fitness warrior, too?  You brought your workout clothes, so you could slip in a 30 minute workout session. You open the door to your hotel’s “fitness room” and promptly turn around.

Plan Ahead

We know it can be difficult to follow your workout regimen when you’re on the road – even with the best intentions. Here are some ideas that can keep your gains in place.

  • Call ahead. Call the hotel directly and ask what kind of equipment is the fitness room. Ask about cost. If possible, have the staff send you a photo of the room.
  • Do a search. If you prefer to work out in a real gym, find one near where you’ll be staying. Call and ask about day passes.
  • Bring your own gym. You can pack a few resistance bands in your bag and have a decent workout.
  • Run. Working in a cardio workout can benefit a fitness program. Try an early run to get your blood flowing before your big meeting.
  • Plyo. You don’t need anything but yourself. Knock out some pushups, lunges, squats, and wall headstand pushups. Voila! Instant workout.
08 Nov

Don’t Let Your Injuries Sideline Your Fitness

Engaging in sporting activities is recognized to have a host of beneficial effects on the participant, including but not limited to its positive effects on the heart and weight loss. In spite of these beneficial effects, participation in sports also carries the attendant risk of development of sports injury. Thus, it is pertinent for one to be aware of some of the more common sports injuries and steps that can be taken to prevent or at least reduce the risk of developing some of these injuries to a bare minimum.

We take a look at some of the most common sports injuries and simple measures that can be taken to prevent them:

  1. Achilles Tendinitis. This injury is an inflammation of the tendon at your heel which typically occurs due to misuse or overuse of the tendon. It usually presents as pain in the heel when the leg is put into use. As with many sports injuries, a general key to prevention is to start exercises that work the heel in a graded pattern – start slowly and then increase the duration and intensity of exercise over time. Allow the muscles
07 Nov

I’m Fit, So Why Does Dietary Fat and Cholesterol Matter?

Many people are confused about the effect of dietary fats on cholesterol levels. At first glance, it seems reasonable to think that eating less cholesterol would reduce a person’s cholesterol level. In fact, eating less cholesterol has less effect on blood cholesterol levels than eating less saturated fat. However, some studies have found that eating cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease even if it doesn’t increase blood cholesterol levels.

Another misconception is that people can improve their cholesterol numbers by eating “good” cholesterol. In food, all cholesterol is the same. In the blood, whether cholesterol is “good” or “bad” depends on the type of lipoprotein that’s carrying it.

06 Nov

Are You Missing Something?

Have you ever tried to stretch a rubber band quickly? You stretched it to its limit, and likely it snapped as you continued to pull on it. Believe it or not, your muscles react in a similar manner when you fail to properly warm up your muscles, especially before exercising or other strenuous physical activity.  When muscles are “cold” and lack adequate blood flow, they are stiff and lack flexibility.  This inflexibility could lead to a serious injury.

Warming Up

Go back to that rubber band. If you rubbed it between your hands for a few moments, stretched it slowly and held it in place for another few moments, and repeated this process a couple of times, you would find that you could stretch the rubber band quite far.  By warming up your

06 Nov

Caffeine, It’s Everywhere

Caffeine is known to be a widely available drug contained in regularly consumed products such as coffee, tea, commercial soft drinks, chocolates and even in fitness supplements. The major effect of caffeine is stimulatory activity within the nervous system within an hour of intake which could last a few hours after, the most obvious effect is usually alertness. There have been trends in creating awareness for consumers of caffeine to be cautious with their intake of the stimulant as certain levels could be termed abusive. It is important to understand the role(s) caffeine plays in the body both in isolation and integration with other products and what quantity is necessary per time.

The Good and Bad

There is so much the presence or absence of caffeine in your body could do to affect or influence the overall state and functioning of body organs. Some of the healthy uses of caffeine include;

05 Nov

You started an active lifestyle for your own personal reasons. You may have gone down the path of trying to lose a few pounds or maybe you wanted to run your first marathon. Whatever your motivation, good for you! 
In your daily routine, you probably also noticed other benefits in your life.
1. Daily Calorie Burn
Depending on the physical activity of your choice, you can burn a few hundred to over a thousand calories in a session. Out of curiosity, I calculated that I burned 1,200+ calories in one of my half-marathon runs. When you consider that you have to burn 3,500 calories to lose one 

 

05 Nov

Should I Try Yoga?

Ok guys! You’ve been putting it off for long enough. You keep telling yourself, “yeah, I should really try that yoga thing sometime.” Well, maybe now is the time. What are you waiting for? I know…I know…there’s still some hesitancy, but that’s okay. It’s totally expected. Yoga is something new and a bit foreign and you’re not sure if it’s right for you. Keep reading…..I’d like to address some of the questions most guys have about yoga so that you’re more likely to give it a try.

It’s A Good Thing

The first few questions to ask yourself is “why do I need yoga? How will it help me?” Maybe you’re not as limber as you used to be. You may not be touching your toes like you did as a teenager or twenty-something, but as you’ve aged a bit, the flexibility tends to fly out the window, too. Maybe you want to improve

02 Nov

That Feels Good…Ouch!

Everyone likes a massage now and then to relax and melt the stress into the blissful atmosphere of the spa. A sports massage can be relaxing at first. The purpose of the sports massage becomes abundantly clear when the therapist puts the right amount of pressure on your tight muscles and makes you flinch.

What’s So Different About a Sports Massage?

Sports massage is to help the serious athlete achieve for their best performance, reduce fatigue, and relieve muscle swelling and tension. When you’re

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