Love Out Loud

Love yourself. Love Others. Love Fitness.

Archive for the month “January, 2012”

Stretching…is it necessary?

YES!! Stretching is very necessary. Shame on those who think its a ridiculous past-time. You will probably suffer more soreness and pulled muscles than those who take the time to warm-up and cool down. Here are some health benefits to stretching:

  • increased muscle suppleness
  • possible decrease of soreness (if no other reason, this reason should be why you stretch)
  • increased range of motion
  • increased blood circulation
  • increased agility
  • improved functional flexibility
  • injury rehab
  • improved posture
  • relaxation and stress management tool

There are two types of stretching: dynamic, which involves motion, and static, which doesn’t involve a lot of motion.

Dynamic stretching is used to warm up the body orthopedically, cardiovascularly, and thermally. This type of stretching should be used as the warm-up or before any type of vigorous activity. Use repeated, fluid, gentle body movements that gradually increase reach and/or speed of movement. Examples of dynamic stretching are: walking, arm circles, knee circles (so old-school, but effective), jumping jacks, leg swings, etc. Swinging a bat is considered a sport-related dynamic stretch. Dynamic stretching is any movement that slowly warms up your body and brings your heart rate a little higher. Like I said, gradually increase the speed and range of motion. Warm-up should be 5-10 minutes long.

Static stretching is the stuff most people think of when they think of stretching. The purpose of static stretching is to stretch those areas which are typically tight and could lead to muscle imbalances. This should involve stretching to the point of mild tightness without discomfort and holding that point. Use slow, controlled movement (don’t bounce!) and hold the stretch for 15-60 seconds while breathing normally (don’t hold your breath). Repeat the stretch around 4 times.  Static stretching is typically used as part of the cool down. Please, don’t forget to utilize the cool down method. Gradual reduction of activity helps prevent the tightening of muscles and also helps prevent the pooling of blood in lower extremities by facilitating the return of venous blood to the heart. Cool down should include 3-5 minutes of mild activity (slow walking, slow cycling, etc) and dynamic stretching. Then 5-10 minutes of static stretching.

If you lifted weights, your stretching afterward will usually focus more one the muscles you worked, but don’t leave out the other ones, they liked to be loved on, too. The warm-up, cool down process of dynamic and static stretching should be used for whatever type of exercise you’re participating in.

Try to avoid uncontrolled neck circles, the hurdler’s stretch, lunging too far past your toes, and laying back on your knees to stretch your quads. All of these have a high possibility of injury to your neck or knees, two very vital pieces of your body!

Now let’s get flexible!

Shout out to Rachel Armstrong for the blog idea!!


1/28/12 Workout

My bootie is yelling at me today because of yesterday’s workout. So what did I decide to do? Work her more so she’d get off my back!!! haha!  Fun fact about today’s trip to the gym: HUBBY WAS THERE!  He didn’t do what Preggo and I did, but he got his sweat on pretty good. Preggo almost punked out on me, but at the last minute felt good enough to work and rocked it out.

After a 15 minute run (walk for Pregs), we did a good all-over body circuit. 30 seconds for each exercise and 2 rounds.

  • Bicep curls, 20 lb bar, standing on an upside down bosu
  • Tricep dips, 10 lbs in lab
  • Push-ups
  • Bent-over dumbbell rows, 10 lbs in each hand, standing on upside down bosu
  • Side shoulder raises, 8 lbs in each hand, standing on upside down bosu
  • Elevated lunges, first round-front leg is elevated, second round-back leg is elevated
  • Hamstring press on stability ball
  • Squat walk with resistance band , forward round one, backward round two, explanation below
  • Squat w/ leg lift
  • Abs: Russian twists w/ 8 lb medicine ball
  • Abs: Over head straight leg crunch, 8 lb medicine ball
  • Abs: Elevated plank

The hubs was a trooper and did the abs with me. Preggo is still laying off ab work for good reason, so I was glad to have someone to do them with. Hubs needs to work on his core a little 😉 haha!

-Squat walk with resistance band: Truth, you will feel completely retarded when you do this, but your buns will thank you. Start in a wide squat and walk, tapping your foot each time it comes down. Now do it backwards. Its awesome.

For you beginners and intermediate work-out queens, leave out the bosu for your curls, rows and raises. If you want to work extra hard, throw it in there. Throwing off your balance works the tiny muscle fibers that lifting weights don’t get. Just be uber careful when getting on and off the bosu. Its a tricky little devil.

Now let’s get sweaty!

1/27/12 Workout

Today’s workout is brought to you by Butts and Guts at PowerHouse Gym in Weatherford. My favorite instructor Melissa teaches it. It is 30 minutes of, well, butts and guts lol. Its pretty awesome and your legs are burning afterward. She had us doing stations today. Each station was a minute long with no rest in between. That no rest give you your cardio workout. Keep that in mind when you’re working out. The shorter the rest between reps, sets, whatever, the higher your heart rate. Today we did donkey kicks, screamers, plank, side plank, squats, wide squats….and more. I can’t even remember everything because it went so fast. If you live in Weatherford, I suggest you check this class out.

My posts will be a little sporadic for the next couple weeks. (Does anyone else always think of Brittany Murphy in Clueless when they say “sporadic”?)  The hubby is coming in for his R&R from Afhganistan! In a week, we will be going to Costa Rica for 5 days, so don’t expect a blog at all during those days! Be on the look out for an entry on stretching (suggested by my lovely friend Rachel), and workouts to do in hotel rooms. No, not those kind of workouts. 😉

Get sweaty my friends!


Thursday’s Workout

My arms are so tired, I can barely type this. I did this alone today since we had to lighten up Preggo’s workout. She’s not feeling too hot in her first trimester, so lightening the load is the best idea. I will have a working out while pregnant entry soon, so those of you who are expecting or expecting to expect at sometime in your life will know how to keep your fabulousness during those 9-10 months.

Anyway, back to the workout.  I did the same treadmill workout as last Friday, so if you need to check that out:   That is a challenge for me, so if you’re just starting out, you need to bring it down a notch. If you do exactly what it says, its almost 2 miles in 20 minutes. I focused on upper body today during strength training.

  • Biceps: Bicep curl w/ 20 lb bar (the 30 lb bar was being hogged by those guys (you know who I’m talking about, the ones who talk really loudly about what they’re doing and make a big fuss…), 12-10-8-6-12 reps
  • Biceps:prone position pull-ups for 20 sec between reps of biceps curls (I explained those in the post called Today’s workout, I think I called them bicep pull-ups)
  • Triceps: Dips with a 10 lb weight in my lap, 12-10-8-6-12 reps
  • Triceps: overhead triceps extensions, 10 lb weight, 30 sec btwn reps of dips
  • Chest: chest press, 15 lb dumbbells, 12-10-8-6-12
  • Chest: push-ups, 10 between each rep of chest presses
  • Back: Seated row, 50 lbs, 12-10-8-6-12
  • Back: Assisted chin-ups, 10 between each rep of rows
  • Shoulders: Upright rows, 12 lb dumbbells, 12-10-8-6-12
  • Shoulders: Side raises, 8 lbs, 10 between each rep of upright rows
  • Abs: The Hundred (explanation below)
  • Abs: Elevated plank, 30 sec, 2 sets

The Hundred: Sit in a v-shape (legs and upper body off the floor, abs engaged), arms to the side of your legs. Pump your arms 100 times, remembered to breathe in and out, don’t hold your breath!

Good luck!

Now let’s get sweaty!

Quick tips on how to make your diet healthier…

Foods to Reduce:

  • Reduce daily sodium to less than 2,000 mg
  • Consume less than 10% of calories from saturated fatty acids by replacing them with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • Consume less than 300mg per day of dietary cholesterol
  • Limit foods that contain synthetic sources of trans fat, such as partially hydrogenated oils
  • Reduce intake of calories from solid fats and added sugars
  • Limit foods that contain refined grains
  • Moderate alcohol consumption: one drink/ day for women and two drinks/day for men.

Foods and Nutrients to Increase:

  • Increase vegetables and fruits
  • Eat a variety of veggies, esp. dark-green and red and orange veggies and beans and peas
  • At least half of your grains should be whole grains (try for most of your grains)
  • Increase intake of fat-free milk and milk products such as milk, yogurt, cheese or fortified soy beverages
  • Choose a variety of protein foods like seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds
  • Eat more seafood
  • Use oils to replace solid fats where possible

Seriously, what do I eat? Part 3

This is the third and final installment in the What do I Eat? series. So far we have covered calories, carbohydrate, and fats. Remember, just because you need carbs and fats in your diet, doesn’t mean you have free range to eat whatever you want. Fruits, veggies, and whole grains are the right carbs, and lean meats and monounsaturated fats are the good fats. Today I will discuss the last four essential nutrients that every body needs.

Proteins: Proteins are made up of things called “amino acids.” Amino acids are in charge of growth and repair of cells, synthesis of enzymes, synthesis of plasma proteins, and synthesis of hormones, and they can sometimes be minor sources of energy. There are complete proteins and incomplete proteins.  Complete proteins are foods that contain all of the essential amino acids in proper balance. Animal sources such as milk, cheese, eggs, meat and fish, and soy products such as tofu, soy milk, and soy flour are complete proteins. Incomplete proteins come from non-animal sources such as grains and cereals, legumes, nuts/seeds, and green veggies. These are missing one or more of the essential amino acids.  You can combine incomplete proteins to make complete proteins. Ex: legumes + nuts/seeds; nuts/seeds + green veggies; green veggies + grains; grains + legumes. Each of these combinations form complete proteins.

The current RDA (remember, that’s Recommended Dietary Allowances) states that protein should comprise 10-35% of daily calories. Your protein requirements are based on age, body weight and physical activity. Infants, for example, require 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram (1 gram per pound) of body weight a day, while most adults require only 0.8 g/kg (.36 g/lb) of body weight a day. If you are an adult athlete who trains vigorously on a daily basis, your body may require 1.0-1.7 g/kg/day (.45-.80 g/lb/day).  Here is an example of how to figure out how much you need. If you weigh 145 lbs and you exercise regularly, but aren’t training vigorously, your calculation looks like this: 145 lbs x .36g/lb=52.2 grams of protein/day. Proteins have 4 calories/gram, so your daily average intake of protein calories should be around 208.

  • 8 oz milk=8-9 grams of protein
  • 1 cup legumes=12 grams
  • 1 slice bread=2 grams
  • 1 oz cheese=6-7 grams
  • 4 oz tuna=30 grams
  • 4 oz chicken=30 grams
  • 4 oz ground beef=30 grams
  • 1 large egg=7 grams
  • 1 cup pasta=5 grams

Vitamins: I could list all the vitamins and which foods you find them in, but that would take forever and you don’t really want to read that…be honest. What I will say about vitamins is that if you’re eating a balanced diet and trying all sorts of fruits and veggies, you’re probably getting the vitamins you need. The only one I want to comment on is Vitamin D. There is basically a pandemic (meaning world wide) of Vitamin D deficiency. You can get Vitamin D from milk, liver, egg yolk (yes, its has good stuff in it), fortified margarine, fatty fish, and sunlight. You can see why there’s a deficiency: people don’t drink enough milk, liver can be nasty, egg yolks are the devil according to some diet gurus, margarine is fatty, and you’re told to slather on the SPF everyday. It really only takes 10 minutes of sunlight in the summer to get your vitamin D for the day. I’m all for the SPF, being a fair skinned Irish lass, but 10 minutes without it will do you a world of good.

Minerals: The major minerals a body needs are calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, and sulfur. Many of the food and drinks we consume are fortified with vitamins and minerals, so deficiencies aren’t really things to worry about. (Except Vitamin D, which I’ve already discussed.) There are many companies out there selling vitamin and mineral supplements. There are only a couple segments of the population who will benefit from these supplements, and they are:

  • alcoholics
  • pregnant or lactating women
  • those taking medication which inhibits the absorption of nutrients
  • strict vegetarians and those who are lactose intolerant
  • the elderly
  • females with severe menstrual loss
  • those consuming very low calorie diets (which is not recommended except by a doctor)

Water: DRINK IT…LOTS OF IT…ALL THE TIME. That’s all you need to know.

Bottom line, guys, you need to change your habits to get healthy. If you’re craving something sweet, eat some grapes or peaches. If you’re craving something tangy, cut up a red pepper and put it over some spinach. If you change the foods that satisfy what you’re craving, you’ll be surprised at how much better you feel. (You’ll also be surprised that the unhealthy stuff just doesn’t taste as good anymore. I had some Dr Pepper for the first time in forever today and I almost threw up.) A good, balanced diet is a lifestyle, not something that happens quickly and goes away just as fast. And don’t worry, a cookie or bowl of ice cream for dessert every now and then won’t kill you, so enjoy it, don’t stress.

Now let’s get sweaty!!!


Thanks for the info Cooper’s Institute and!

Seriously, what do I eat? Part 2

Yesterday I talked about the dreaded word, calories. We learned that “calorie” shouldn’t strike fear into the hearts of healthy eaters. Today, we learn what the body truly needs to survive.

There are six essential nutrients that the body NEEDS to function. When I say essential, I mean, you CANNOT survive without these!!!  They are carbohydrate, fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, and water. The first three are considered macronutrients because you need them in high quantities, and the last three are micronutrients because they are needed in smaller amounts.

Carbohydrate: Let’s get this straight right now. YOU NEED CARBS FOR ENERGY, CARBS ARE FUEL!!!! Cutting all carbs out of your diet will cause your body to start using muscle tissue as a fuel source. A low carbohydrate diet is NOT recommended in most cases. (You hear that Atkins?) This type of diet will cause chronic fatigue, ketosis, dehydration, loss of lean mass and decreased exercise performance (that makes sense, you’ll have no energy). In fact, according to the Cooper Institute, American Heart Association, American Dietetic Association, American Diabetes Association, American Cancer Association and a whole bunch of other legit people, carbohydrates should comprise 45-65% of daily calories. What? You mean I can go eat a whole bunch of breadsticks from Olive Garden and not be concerned? Slow your roll, hotshot. There are good carbs and there are bad carbs, and as good as those breadsticks are, they are refined grains and covered in butter and considered to be in the not-really-good-for-you category.

Simple carbohydrates such as honey, soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, candy, cookies, cakes, syrup and molasses are “empty calories,” meaning they have low to no nutritional value. These are the “bad” carbs.

Complex carbs include fruit, grains, breads and cereals, rice, pasta, potatoes, pancakes, legumes and other vegetables. These have high nutrient density and provide fiber, vitamins and minerals. Fruit does contain natural sugar, but since it has high nutrient density, it should be eaten frequently. Load up on the fruit people! Although rice, pasta, bread and other grains were listed, it is highly recommended that whole grains be used over refined grains. So if its a bread, pasta or rice and its white, it shouldn’t really be eaten. (Is that racist?) Complex carbs are a great source of fiber, which means good things for your digestive track.

To sum up the carbs section: CARBS ARE GOOD FOR YOU!! Simple carbs are a no-no, because they are empty calories. Eat more complex carbs like fruit, veggies, and whole grain.

Fats: Another hot button topic in the diet world. Guess what? You need fats. Yes, you do. Stay with me now, I’m not telling you to go eat McDonald’s as much as you want. That crap is high in saturated and hydrogenated fat, which is the bad fat. We’ll talk about those later. Your body needs fat because its the most abundant energy source available and can be a huge source of energy for exercise. Fat also insulates our bodies against loss of heat and protects vital organs. So, the right fats help our bodies function. The wrong fats can lead to colon cancer, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The current RDA (recommended dietary allowances) says that fat should compromise 20-35% of total daily calories, but less than 7% should come from saturated/hydrogenated fat.

“Good” fats: Monounsaturated fats are the “heart healthy” fats that you hear about. These fats tend to decrease your LDL (the bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (the good cholesterol).  Examples of monounsaturated fats are canola oil, avocados, and nuts. This fat is the kind you should be getting more of.

“OK” fats: Polyunsaturated fats tend to decrease LDL, but may decrease HDL, too. You want your HDL to be higher. So these are still fats you should be consuming, but watch your intake. Examples are oils like corn oil, soybean oil, and safflower oil. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fats inhibity blood clot formation, promote dilation of the blood vessels and prevent fatal cardiac arrhythmias. These are found in fatty fish.

“Bad” fats: Saturated fat comes from animal sources and tends to increase LDL, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Insulin resistance, which is a precursor to type 2 diabetes, has been linked to diets high in saturated fat.

Hydrogenated fats (or trans fats) are as bad for you as saturated fats. Hydrogenation is a process where hydrogen atoms are added to monosaturated and polyunsaturated oils to increase shelf life of the product and improve texture (peanut butter). These fats increase LDL cholesterol levels and increase the risk of coronary artery disease.  Fried fast food, baked goods, stick margarine and peanut butter contain many hydrogenated fats. Neither hydrogenated fats or saturated fats are needed at any level in a heart healthy diet.

To reduce the consumption of saturated/hydrogenated fats:

  • select lean cuts of beef and pork and limit portion sizes
  • reduce consumption of butter and stick margarine
  • reduce consumption of fried fast food
  • reduce consumption of pastry and other baked goods
  • reduce consumption of whole milk dairy products
  • remove skin from chicken and turkey before cooking, select white meat

Ok, I think that’s enough for tonight. Tomorrow we’ll talk protein, vitamins, minerals, and water. Things to take away from what you’ve read: Carbs and fats are good for you, you just have to make sure you’re consuming the right carbs and fats. Eating Mcdonald’s and KFC every day will kill you, if not from cardiovascular disease or coronary artery disease, then from type 2 diabetes.  More fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meats and monounsaturated fats. 🙂

Now let’s get sweaty!

Shout out to Cooper’s Institute for the info!

Tuesday’s workout

After a nice relaxing day yesterday, Tracy and I hit the gym hard today. Yay, preggo is working out with me again! She’s a little on the tired side, but still powered through the workout like a rockstar. Last week when we did this workout, we were super sore for like four days afterward. I wanted to do it again because its obviously is awesome lol. Its almost like a super set (where you do a couple exercises all in a row, then rest), but one person is doing one exercise, while the other person is doing the other one. If you’re alone, do both exercises with the reps 12-10-8-6-12, and rest for 30 seconds in between reps, not in between exercises.  The short rest gives you a little cardio. Oh, if my weight is too hard for you, please lower it. And if its too easy, by all means crank that sucker up!

  • 5 minute warm-up on the treadmill, speed 3.5, incline 3.0
  • Squats 50 lbs, plus the bar, 12-10-8-6-12 reps (on 6 we added 10 more lbs to each side, then took them off for the 12)
  • Side step squats with a resistance band around your ankles, one step to each side, as many as you can while the other person does their reps (if you’re alone, 12-10-8-6-12 on each leg)
  • Dead lifts, 40 lb bar, 12-10-8-6-12
  • Hamstring curls on the stability ball, as many as you can until the other person stops (explanation below), if you are alone, 12-10-8-6-12
  • Inner thigh: hip adductor with a band, 12-10-8-6-12 (explanation below)
  • Wide plie squats on toes, 10 lb weight, as many as you can while the other person finishes
  • Lunges, 30 lbs plus bar, 12 each leg
  • one leg dead lift, 10 lb weight, 12 each leg
  • roundhouse kicks, low then middle, then high, 5 each leg
  • abs: arm pull-over straight leg crunch (explanation below), 8 lb medicine ball, 10 reps, 2 sets
  • abs: mountain climbers on stability ball, 12 reps, 2 sets
  • abs: oblique roll on stability ball, 10 reps, 2 sets (explanation below)
  • stretch

Hamstring curls on stability ball: lay on your back with both feet on the ball, legs straight. Lift your hips and pull the ball toward you with your feet until you read a 90 degree angle, then push the ball back out. Keep your hips lifted the whole time.

Hip adductor with band: Attach a circle resistance band to something stable and place it around one ankle. Stand perpendicular to the stable pole or whatever you’ve attached it to. Legs hip width apart. Pull your leg (the one closest to the stable object should have the band around it) toward your other leg. You should feel it in your inner thigh.

Arm pull-over straight leg crunch: start on your back with your legs straight on the ground and your arms straight over your head on the ground. You should be holding a weight or medicine ball. Crunch up to bring your legs and your arms together, keeping both straight, then bring them back down again. Repeat.

Oblique roll on ball: This is a super hard move and you will feel utterly retarded until you can get it. At least that’s how I feel lol. In plank position, your arms are straight under your shoulders and your feet are up on a ball. Pull your knees (and the ball) in and to one side and then back out to starting position. Repeat to the other side. Again, this is super hard and it takes a while to get the hang of.

Now let’s get sweaty!

Seriously, what do I eat? Part 1

Ok guys, let’s talk nutrition. If you’re just starting out on this whole diet and exercise thing, eating right can get pretty confusing if you listen to all the “experts” out there. Any yahoo with a pen can write a nutrition book or come up with a crazy diet. What I’m about to tell you comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, so you know its good. I’m going to break this up into a couple blogs over the next couple days so I don’t come at you with a novel of information.

First, let’s talk about the dreaded of all words: CALORIES!!!! Dun dun duuuuun. What is a calorie exactly? A calorie is the amount of heat necessary to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by 1 degree C. (That doesn’t sound scary at all.) Food energy is measured in calories. When our body breaks down energy producing nutrients such as carbs, fat and proteins, heat is produced. Here’s an example for you: if an apple has 100 calories, it means that enough heat is produced to raise the temperature of 100 kilograms of water by 1 degree Celsius when the apple is broken down and used for energy. To me, this shouldn’t strike fear into the heart of women everywhere, but for some reason, that word CALORIE is one scary word.

Calories come from carbohydrate, fat, protein, and alcohol. Carbohydrate and protein contain four calories per gram, fat contains nine calories per gram, and alcohol contains seven. So, if you’re reading the nutrition label of something, now you know where all your calories are coming from.  Example: one 8 oz. serving of whole milk has 12 grams of carbs, 9 grams of fat and 9 grams of protein. I’ll wait while you get a calculator…………………………………………..thats 165 calories, with about 50% coming from fat (saturated fat at that).  When you read labels, make sure you’re looking at the serving size. If a container has two serving sizes and you plan to eat the whole container in one sitting (ice cream comes to mind), double everything on the nutrition label.

How many calories should you be eating?  To begin with, men should not go below 1600 cal/day, and women should not go below 1200 cal/day.  If you’re working out, you need more calories. Remember, calories are food ENERGY. In the next part of the series, we’ll talk about what foods should be in those calories you’re consuming.

Lesson to be learned from this entry: Calories aren’t to be feared as long as you’re getting them from nutritional sources. Calories are just units of heat.

Heat up those calories! Get sweaty!

Saturday’s Workout

Today my friend Ashley was my workout partner. She wanted to see what it was like to sweat with me. I don’t know if she’ll be back. MUAHAHAHA! 😉 She worked through it like a champ though! Everything we did, we did for 1:00 intervals, if we needed to, we switched legs at :30.

  • 5 minute warm-up on the treadmill, 3.5 speed, 2.0 incline
  • Walking lunges with 10 lb weight
  • Mountain climbers
  • Side-step squats with 10 lb weight
  • jumping jacks
  • One leg hamstring press on the stability ball (I’m actually not sure what to call it, but it works)
  • burpees
  • Static lunges with back leg elevated
  • high knees
  • squat jumps onto step
  • jumping jacks
  • One leg dead lift with 10 lbs
  • high knees
  • donkey kicks
  • Mountain climbers

The stability ball hamstring press looks like this: put one foot on the ball with knee at a 90 degree angle, the other leg is straight up with your foot flexed, with the leg on the ball raise your butt off the ground, pulse. Switch legs. You can do this on the ground if the ball is too much right away.

Post Navigation