Exercise- Good for you, Good for Baby!

It’s common knowledge that regular exercise is all-the-more important during pregnancy. Why? Well, for one thing, because the combination of developing child, hormonal fluctuations, and other factors means you will likely gain a moderate amount of weight as part of the natural process.

Moreover, as any mother will tell you, delivering a baby can be a physically traumatic – albeit joyous – experience; exercise in the months leading up to that day helps strengthen your muscles and heart, which can be placed under severe stress during delivery.

Less well-known is that exercising during pregnancy may make for a healthier child.

Consider a recent study involving pregnant women (ages 30-35) who were divided into two groups – one group that performed moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for 30 minutes per day at least three times per week, and a second group that did not perform regular exercise over the same time period. The study revealed the following:

-Fetal heart rate was significantly lower (a good thing, within reason) in the exercise group during fetal breathing and non-breathing movement periods.

-Fetal short-term and overall heart rate variability (indicative of a mature neurologic system) were higher in the exercise group during breathing movements.

-The exercise-exposed fetuses had higher measures of vagal (cardiovascular) control during breathing movements.

If you are uncertain on how to stay active during your pregnancy, talk to our exercise specialist today!  She can help you develop a personalized exercise plan to keep you and your baby healthy before, during and after your pregnancy.

 

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Reap the Benefits of Running!

Every time you think of putting on your running shoes, you should think about the great benefits you can reap. Running is incredibly effective at making you healthier in a number of ways. While it may not be everybody’s favorite form of exercise, knowing what it can do for your life just may make you look at running in an entirely new light.

Improve your health: Believe it or not, running is a great way to increase your overall level of health. Research shows that running can raise your levels of good cholesterol while also helping you increase lung function and use. Running can boost your immune system and lower your risk of developing blood clots.

Prevent disease: For women, running can actually help lower your risk of breast cancer. It can also help reduce the risk of having a stroke. Running is recommended for people who are in the early stages of diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis, and it is proven to help reduce the risk of having a heart attack.

Lose weight: Running is one of the best forms of exercise for losing or maintaining a consistent weight. You will find that it is a leading way to burn off extra calories and that it is the second most effective exercise in terms of calories burned per minute, surpassed only by cross country skiing.

Boost your confidence: Not all of the benefits of running are physical. Running can provide a noticeable boost to your confidence and self-esteem. By setting and achieving goals, you can help give yourself a greater sense of empowerment that will leave you feeling much happier.

Relieve stress: Stress can cause a number of health and mood problems. It can also diminish appetite and sleep quality. When you run, you force your body to exert excess energy and hormones. Running also helps to reduce your chances of developing tension headaches.

Eliminate depression: When you are depressed, the last thing you likely want to do is get up and go for a run. Yet you will find that after only a few minutes of running, your brain will start to secrete hormones that naturally improve your mood.

Now that you know the benefits of running it is time to get started!  It’s not to late to start training for the Minser 5K walk/run which takes place on September 16, 2017.  Don’t wait!  Start reaping all of the benefits running has to offer today!

 

Benefits of Foam Rolling

If you haven’t heard about the benefits of foam rolling, then you may be missing out on one of the most effective tools at your disposal for increasing muscle flexibility, recovery and injury prevention.

Rollers are the most popular tool for self-myofascial release and are gaining popularity among athletes and non-athletes alike because of the often dramatic and almost immediate impact it has on performance and overall health.

Myofascial release is a technique used by massage therapists to help release the tension between sliding surfaces of muscle and its surrounding fascial tissue.  To make these changes oneself, a foam roller is used in place of the therapists hands.  The foam roller will never completely replace the therapists hands, but serves as a great daily alternative.foam-roller.jpg

The benefits of foam rolling are increased blood flow and circulation, better movement and range of motion, and a decrease in recovery time after working out.  Proper foam rolling techniques can be used on all major muscle groups and can make a dramatic difference in overall muscle soreness and flexibility.

If you would like to know how you may benefit from foam rolling, please speak with our Exercise/Rehab department today!!

 

7 Steps to Be a Morning Workout Person

Even if you are an early bird, getting up before the sun rises to go sweat your butt off can be seriously daunting. The good news: It is possible to become a morning workout person. Just follow these 7 steps.

Step 1: Pack a bag. Every night when you get home from work, put your dirty gym clothes in the hamper and set aside a crisp, new exercise outfit. Having to dig through your dresser drawers at 6 am is no fun.

cardio-running-on-a-treadmill-picjumbo-comStep 2: Force yourself out of bed.  Move your alarm clock across the room That way you can’t sleepily snooze-button your way through your morning sweat session.  By forcing yourself to jump out of bed to silence the dreaded buzzer, you are forcing yourself to wake up quicker.

Step 3: Have a light snack. Eating a full meal in the morning before your workout can make you feel sick. Instead, try something light before your workout so you are not starving and then another light snack after.

Step 4: Skip the booze. A glass of wine at dinner can be a great way to unwind, but even a small amount of alcohol can make you sluggish in the morning. If you do drink the night before, just make sure to drink extra water before you go to bed.  Otherwise, you could be dehydrated during your morning routine.

Step 5: Go to bed early. Once you get into a routine of waking up early, you’ll automatically start going to bed earlier.  Adequate rest will not only improve your mood but it will allow for adequate recovery time for your body.

Picture1Step 6: Make friends. It can be easy to slip up and forget to go to the gym. Something that can keep you motivated is making friends at the gym who will help you stick to your routine. Set up a schedule to encourage these dates and watch your health improve with a buddy!

Step 7: Plan your routine. Having a plan will make hitting the gym early in the morning much easier. Sign up for a fitness class or map out your exercise routine. Utilize technology and try a new workout routine from the web. This will help spice up your daily workout and you may find a new exercise that’s just right for you!

If you need help getting started on an exercise routine let us know!  Our exercise department can help you create specific routines to focus on your target areas!!

Take a Hike! Tips for changing your walking game

Are you tired of walking the same streets and sidewalks in your neighborhood? Try a Hike this Summer! Hiking can provide a unique setting and experience to exercise the body, clear the mind, and enjoy Mother Nature at very little cost.

Unlike specific sports, hiking does not require any special skill or expertise. Hiking is essentially walking, which is considered to be one of the most perfect forms of exercise for your body.

Various trails provide grounds to accommodate the beginner to advanced hiker. If you are just starting out, choose a wide trail with low grades, and then advance to more steep and rocky grades.

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The health benefits of hiking are nearly endless, including weight loss, prevention of heart disease, decreased hypertension or high blood pressure, improved and maintained mental health, prevention of osteoporosis, prevention and controlled diabetes, improved arthritis, and relief of back pain.

  Here are a few tips for a successful hike:

-Wear comfortable shoes and socks to prevent your feet from blistering

-Be careful when hiking up and down hills

-Keep your knees bent and use side-stepping maneuvers when hiking on steep trails

-Use hiking sticks or poles when needed

-Take your time, it’s not a race

-Be careful when crossing streams or other bodies of water

-Bring your own water and a snack if you’re doing a longer hike

-Check the weather before you go! Don’t want to get stuck in the rain or get a sunburn

-Dress in layers (it is better to start off warm and remove layers)

-Do not leave trash behind.

So grab your family and/or friends and check out these local Saint Cloud trails:

Quarry Park & Nature Preserve; St. John’s Arboretum in Collegeville; Warner Lake County Park: Mississippi County Park; or any local state park or state forest.

 

6 Workout Mistakes That are Sabotaging Weight Loss

For most weight loss regiments there is the same formula to reach your goal: exercise and eat healthy. Mistakes in your diet are pretty easy to spot, but what about your workout?

The first step to avoiding mistakes in the gym is to recognize when/if you’re making them. Changing your habits can take some time, but if you start small and keep with it you will become knowledgeable and eventually see results.

  1. You didn’t warm up – Failing to warm up before a workout in one of the most common mistakes people make. You should warm up for 3-6 minutes before your workout. This warm up should include stretching muscles you will be using and a quick light jog, jumping jacks, skipping, or brisk walk to get your blood flowing. Warming up can also help prevent injuries.
  2. You are using the wrong weights – When doing weight lifting workouts in the gym (or at home) a common mistake is the weight you are using. Ideally you should to be doing 3 to 4 sets with 7 to 10 reps per exercise if the main goal is to put on walking-vs-running-featuremuscle and decrease fat. Find a weight that challenges you but is also realistic. It’s better to start off lighter and go up than start heavier and risk injury.
  3. Don’t rush your reps – To maximize your workout you should focus on each and every rep and go at a steady pace. If you’re pumping through reps too fast or swinging weights around you are increasing the risk of injury, therefore putting your goals at risk. By the time you reach your final set, the last few reps should give you a deep burn. If you’re not feeling that burn, maybe you need to go up in weights or do one more rep.
  4. Stop doing so much cardio – Running is a great cardio workout but 15 to 30 minutes is plenty for most of us, even if your goal is reducing fat. A good mix of weight-lifting and different forms of cardio 2-3 times a week is a good place to start. It’s different if you are training for a race (like the Minser 5k) ; keep running!
  5. You are working out too much – Don’t get us wrong, it’s healthy to workout, but you shouldn’t be pushing yourself too hard. If you push yourself way over your limit, you could easily injure yourself. Working out, whether at the gym or at home,  about 2-4 times a week is a good amount for anyone just starting.
  6. Not setting goals – Setting goals is a great way to keep you accountable for working out. It’s important to have a workout plan to help you stick with exercising. This way you can focus on the right exercises and equipment to use when you workout. Having a buddy workout with your is a great method to keep yourself (and your friend) accountable for your goals.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or getting back into an exercise routine, it’s important to avoid these mistakes and decrease risk of injury. If you need help with your workouts contact us and we can set you up with our exercise specialist to go over your goals and get you working out!

Is Vibratory Therapy Right for You?

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What is it?

Vibration training takes the same forces that traditional exercise uses and turbo charges it. Simply put; if you do one regular squat, you did one squat. If you do one squat on a vibration machine, it equals up to 50 normal squats in the same time. Vibration therapy works by pulling and tensing the muscle the same as it would in regular exercise, but in very small amounts and very quickly. Your muscles cannot tell the difference between the regular squat and the vibratory therapy squat, other than the vibratory therapy squat was done at a rate of 50 times more.

 What does it do?

~Increases cellular oxygen circulation

~Stimulates cellular nutrient uptake

~Enhances cellular fluid movement

~Assists cellular waste removal

~Accelerates the body’s natural healing response

As a result, new cells are more resilient, vibrant, and function together as a healthier, longer lasting body.

What is it good for?

~Weight loss

~Improving mood and energy

~Strengthening muscles

~Toning and tightens skin

~Increasing serotonin levels

~Decreasing join pain and blood pressure

~Improving flexibility and balance.

Our exercise studio is equipped with our very own vibratory therapy exercise machine known as The Wave! We are excited to incorporate vibratory therapy into your pursuit of wellness.

Make an appointment with our rehab specialist to get started with an individualized training program for you!