Pacer duty done…..with less drama!

It’s a wrap! Alhamdullilah, I was given a great opportunity to be one of the pacers for all the series in Men’s Health Women’s Health 21km Night Run which held in Penang, Putrajaya and the last one in Puteri Harbour, Johor Bahru last week. And it was pretty awesome!

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Team Pacers 😉

I was the pacer for 2 hours 30 minutes for Penang edition, 2 hours 20 minutes for Putrajaya edition and last one at Puteri Harbour last week, it was 2 hours and 10 minutes. Do read about my previous experience being pacer here → https://blog.nashata.com/?p=6389.

Since this was my third time become a pacer, alhamdullilah everything went well and of course gain more confident and less drama..hehe..

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For slimming effect, cross your legs when people taking your pic..hehehe 🙂

Oh ya, this is my first time running in Johor and of course I’m the one who’s running with widest smile. And the Nashata sisters ran too. Yayy!

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Nashata sisters finished modestly after running and of course still look beautiful as always! heeee

Alhamdullilah, we ‘re given the opportunity to be interviewed by NTV 7 before the event started.

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Overall, the water stations and traffic were well organised, we maintained our pace around 6.00 to 6.15 min/km to finish in 2 hours and 10 minutes. If you always train yourself to run sub 6.00min/km, you can go for sub 2 hours for half marathon 😉

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My favourite moment that night,is when my all- time- favourite running idol, best known as Malaysian’s Fastest Marathoner 2016, paced me for 500m before reached finishing line! Yes, Edan paced me towards finishing line!  And it feel like I’m running on the red carpet with flowers showering my way towards the dais..heee..And after that we accidentally met back at the nearby shop,..and here is our photo together 😉 Yayy, thanks Edan! Hope to meet you again in the future, insyaALLAH.

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Edan is very inspiring and determined. I wish one day I could be like him too, aminnn.

How do I trained?

It has been a while, since last December 2016, I had a break from any events due to busy schedule with classes and exams. But, I never miss my usual training every evening to maintain my stamina and momentum. I run at least 10 km with average pace 5.45min /km ,4 times in a week, and other 3 days I run at my easy pace,..and do daily planks as my daily routine.

The secret is,..set your goal, aim..and train for it! Get rid of any excuses that will disrupt your goal, be confidence and persistent to what you want to achieve. The utmost important is..always believe that you can do it. When your mind believed it, your body will achieve it. InsyaALLAH.

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“Believe you can and you’re halfway there”

How do I eat? 

I do eat like other people but the different is I know what i am eating and I care about it. I never miss my meals. I eat carbs for lunch and dinner. I always take bananas and half boiled eggs every morning and after running for energy and muscle recovery. Don’t skip your meal and don’t overeat.

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And yes! I had char kueh teow for my post running treat..and it’s yummeh!

Till then, we’ll meet again, keep fit and be inspired! ?

The Kuching Marathon when I no longer run with my legs

Yesterday, I ran the Kuching Marathon for the second time. It is one of my favourite homeground running events that I never miss.

At the REPC..I'm very excited to run soon!

At the REPC..Looking very excited to run!

What’s exciting about the run was that I did a back to back full marathon (FM). A week before, I ran a full marathon (42.195km) at the Standard Charted Kuala Lumpur Marathon better known as SCKLM.  My goal was to  finish BOTH marathons without injury and I did it! Hoyeahh!

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Hoyeahh! I finished strong after back to back FM.


After coming back from SCKLM, I was very busy attending classes and lectures. Honestly, a week before the Kuching Marathon I didn’t run much, only carbo-loading and hydrating myself well. I believed that all I needed was a good rest and to continue loading myself with carbs since there was only a week gap before the Kuching Marathon.

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I couldn’t wait to arrive at the finish line,..but before that let’s take a pic first!

I was glad that the number of participants at the Kuching Marathon increased this year. Yayy! Here’s the breakdown:

  • 5km – 2200
  • 10km – 1897
  • 21km – 2343
  • 42km – 1658
    (info from KPD Kuching)

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It was almost time to flag off,..and everybody was soo excited!

The full marathon flagged off at 2am. I liked it early because first  – no sunburn and second – the weather would not be not that hot. I was hoping to finish the run before 8 am.

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Yayy! Aina was back hometown for this event! Run Aina run!

The route was almost flat with some not-so-hilly, and long, never ending road. I started my first 10 km with paces ranging from 5.30 to 6.30 min per km and the timing for first 10 km was 59 min. For the next 11 km, my average pace dropped to 7 to 8.30 min per km, hence my timing was 2 hr 21 min for the first 21 km. Oh ya, I did spend 6-8 minutes for toilet stop at the Shell petrol station nearby. Hmm, how I wished that I didn’t stop.

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Running with energy for a selfie ;P The Nashata hoodie top keeps my head dry from morning dew

It was cold and humid, and was sure most of the runners performed best at their first 21 km. I then continued running until km 32. It was already 5.50 am and I stopped at the Petronas Petrol Station nearby for about 7-8 min to perform Fajr prayer.

By the time I started running back, it was already 6 am. If I really wanted go for sub 5, I only had about one hour left for my last 10 km. However, sub 1 for my last 10 km was probably impossible. I remained positive and changed my target to sub 5 hr 15 min, 1 min earlier from my timing at SCKLM – 5hr 16min.

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I like this pic very much! I look like an Olympians..teehee 😛 photo credit to DNA Sport 🙂

I kept telling myself, “just keep running, this suffering is almost at its end”

My last 5 km was really tough, as I was fighting with myself to complete within my target. I no longer ran with my legs, I ran with heart. I kept running, no matter how slow it was, at least I kept moving. I kept my pace within 9 to 10.30 km/min, and at that time, I could no longer feel my leg. All I could feel was my socks soaking in sweat, my big toes felt like being pressed, this and that…my only wish was that I could just walk.

Towards the finish line, there were a few cheering squats who kept entertaining the runners. I ran even faster towards my last 500 m., and yet that 500 m felt like 500 km. Arghh!

Finally, I finished my 10th Full Marathon strong at the Kuching Marathon in 5 hours 9 min.*drum rolls*.. Yayy, mission sub 5hr 15min accomplished and 7 minutes earlier from FM SCKLM. Alhamdullilah.

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My first time running in Amin Sports Hijab and I love it. I love the look and the feel. Yeahh! I made it! Forget the mile, and just remember the glory 😉

Overall, the traffic was well controlled and organised. However, the water stations had limited supply of  plain water and isotonic drink. Runners had to queue up and share cups to drink, to our inconvenience. My take home message is to bring small bottle at my next run. Should the organiser fail to provide enough water throughout the run, at least I have my own.

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Thank you guys for support 😉 and not to forget, Fatin finished her first run, a 10km within cut off time..congrats! *claps

Before I went back, I managed to meet up with some friends who flew in from Peninsular just to race. Ermm, not entirely, they flew in for Kek Lapis and Mee kolok too 😛

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Congrats Khairul (in black shirt) for doing his personal best for his HM. And others, congrats guys for finishing strong.

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This superman did a back to back too,..with an awesome timing ,..sub 4.30..congrats Mambo!

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My medical lecturer (in blue hijab) also ran this morning,..she’s did 5km but overmileage with 3km add on! Congrats Dr! Next time she should upgrade to 10km 😉

When someone tells you, ‘You can’t’, turn around and say, ‘Watch me!’ ….And the bragging continues ….. 😛

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We continued bragging,..because the suffer is astounding!

Before the moment ended, we celebrated our victory with…..tadaaa!

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Mee Kolok with FM finisher medal add-on!

Till then, we shall meet again in next post 🙂

Keep running and be inspired!

Words from The Pacer!

Pacers on the go!

Pacers on the go!

It was such a great honour when I was given the opportunity to be one of the pacers for 21km Men’s Health Women’s Health Night Run, for the second time, with improved timing : 2 hours 20 minutes.

My first time being a pacer was in May’16 at 21 km Men’s Health Women’s Health Night Run in Penang for timing 2 hours 30 minutes. And the next is a…surprise!

We can't wait to pace!

We can’t wait to pace!

Are you ready guys?!

Are you ready guys?!

It was raining heavily a few hours before the run, and we were worried and had questions in our minds, “Will there be lightning during the run?” “Will the event run smoothly?” But, yes! I love to run in rain.
When the race was about to start, the rain almost stopped but drizzling. I was quite nervous because my timing for pacing improved to 2 hr 20 mins, and it was raining, the road was wet and may be slippery, this and that..…
I was glad to meet other pacers for my timing and they were very friendly and kept supporting each other. As the race start, everything went smoothly until one of our balloons …popped!,..yes. It was.. at kilometers 2 (yup, as early as that,..am not sure why). Fortunately, we have another one since we were given two balloons. We kept inspiring people around us to keep up with our pace

“Keep running, keep moving guys”
“You can do it!”
“We almost there!”

We tried to maintain the pace, 6.25 – 6.30 min per kilometer. I was enjoying my run with the songs I downloaded a week before the race, and I played them on the loud speaker, and yes! Everyone seemed to enjoy them too. Yayy!

At the kilometers 14, my other pacers started to leave me behind. They ran even faster than the pace we were assigned to. Perhaps they were so used to run faster until they forgot our pace. And I kept running alone, entertained by the songs played on loud speaker. Fortunately, there were still a lot of people following me.I felt relieved –  Hoyeahh! Women power here!

With Amie Pacer 2:40 #nashatarunners

With Amie Pacer 2:40 #nashatarunners

Things got worse when I felt I needed to go to toilet so badly at kilometers 16. Unfortunately, there was no portable toilet, no petrol station, no mosque. It was just a long, straight road ahead. It was a tough run, running with full bladder, but I had no choice but to continue running. I prayed to Allah, to help me finished the race on time, and to finished strong with this full bladder! At least for this time! Please!.… I kept on running.

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Hijabi Pacers who choose to move a little more, to inspire a lot

I passed by the boards with marked “5km to go” then “3km to go” and finally I arrived at the finishing line with timing 2:20:40. Yayyy! I felt like I was on top of the world. It felt like I just crossed the finish line on a red carpet. Lots and lots of people cheered for me, “Good job Nasuha! Good job!”

I feel like a star that night. Alhamdulillah for that night!

 

Jom Berpuasa & Kekal Aktif

Di bulan puasa ini, saya tetap meneruskan latihan larian seperti hari- hari biasa untuk mengekalkan stamina dan memantapkan prestasi untuk acara2 larian selepas bulan Ramadhan. Saya merancang untuk berlari sekurang2 nya 42km seminggu dengan larian 6km setiap petang.

 

Diet Bagaimana?

Untuk kekal hidrat, saya mengambil 10 gelas air kosong antara waktu berbuka hingga waktu sahur dan elak minuman berais dan minuman manis. Semasa berbuka, nasi terhad kepada 2 senduk sahaja dan selebihnya protein dan fiber.Kurangkan makanan bergoreng dan berlemak. Untuk bersahur, saya mengambil roti wholemeal dan minuman oat untuk kekal kenyang. Saya mengambil sekurang2 nya 5 biji kurma sehari bagi mendapat nutrisi yang tinggi.

 

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Lakukan regangan dahulu sebelum bersenam

Bagaimana untuk kekal aktif?

Sebagai seorang pelajar Perubatan tahun akhir, sememangnya jadual cukup padat, kelas yang panjang, dan perlu berulang alik ke hospital setiap hari. Untuk kekal aktif,di samping diet yg sihat dan pengambilan air yg cukup, saya meluangkan 40 minit setiap petang untuk berlari 6 -7km,iaitu 1 jam sebelum berbuka bagi mengekalkan stamina.

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Cuaca yang baik untuk mulakan aktiviti larian 😉

Larian bermula seawal pukul 5 petang sebaik sahaja kelas tamat pada pukul 4.30 ptg. Saya mengambil masa 40 – 50 minit untuk larian sejauh 6-7 km. Pada jam 6 petang larian berjaya ditamatkan dan saya segera bersiap sedia untuk persiapan berbuka puasa. Alhamdulillah, selesai berbuka saya boleh meneruskan solat tarawih dan bertadarus bersama rakan2 seperti biasa. Di Kuching, waktu berbuka puasa ialah seawal 6.40 petang.

Lari cepat sebelum berbuka!

 

Ganjaran kekal aktif

Oh ya, saya lebih bersemangat apabila HotFM’s Cergas Ramadhan bersama AIA Vitality turut menggalakkan kita semua untuk kekal aktif di bulan Ramadhan. Dan saya juga begitu teruja untuk sertainya, begitu juga dengan anda bukan?

Jom sama2 kita sahut cabaran HotFM’s Cergas Ramadhan bersama AIA Vitality dengan upload gambar atau video anda melakukan aktiviti senaman di Instagram atau Facebook.

Berikan kepsyen kenapa anda pilih untuk kekal cergas di bulan Ramadhan untuk peluang menang baucer barangan sukan bernilai RM 300. Anda juga boleh upload gambar bersenam bersama rakan dan jangan lupa #sayapilihcergasramadhan dan #aiavitalitymy serta tag @hotfm976

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Sweat is fat crying! Jom bersukan dan menangi contest ini 😉

Sticking to Your New Years Goals Part 3: “I want to eat breakfast everyday.”

While breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, it is often the hardest to implement. Morning-times tend to be rushed; you overslept, you have to get the kids ready for school and make it to work on time, you can’t find your keys. It’s no wonder why so many people skip it.

However, adding breakfast into your daily routine may be worth it. A nutritious breakfast has been shown to:

  • Aid in a more nutritionally complete diet
  • Give a mental edge
  • Help with energy and alertness throughout the day
  • Provide more strength and endurance during physical activity
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Aid in weight control and appetite control

 

WHAT SHOULD BREAKFAST CONSIST OF?

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Adding a lean protein to your breakfast, such as eggs, Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, will keep you feeling fuller longer. It may even hold you over until your lunchbreak at work!

Complex carbohydrates, like oatmeal or fruit, provide a slower-releasing energy which will last throughout the day.

Healthy fats, such as nuts, nut butters or avocado will not only provide you with extra energy during workout time, but will also promote the fat-burning process.

A little caffeine can give you that quick mental alertness that you so desperately need in the mornings!

 

HOW CAN I EAT BREAKFAST EVERYDAY?

  • Wake up early enough to give yourself time to prepare and eat breakfast
  • Prepare breakfast ahead of time: overnight oats are a great option
  • Have a ‘no-cook’ breakfast like Greek yogurt with granola or cottage cheese and fruit
  • Take breakfast on-the-go: Quest bar or a piece of fruit with nuts are good choices
  • If you are able you might even take some breakfast with you and eat it while you are at work

I hope these tips were beneficial and can help you to add breakfast into your daily routine, inshallah.


 

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6 Tips to Staying on Track

It’s easy to get started, exciting actually. It’s Sunday afternoon and you sit down with a cup of coffee and your last cookie, and begin to plan out the next week. Healthy meals. Gym sessions. You have everything all set up and ready to start your new journey on Monday. The week goes really well, but then it begins to fall. You’re sick of the eating the same meals and your schedule is way too crammed to keep up with these workouts. You lose all motivation and eventually fall back into old habits.

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This is a very common scenario for someone starting down their healthy journey. The slip ups become more frequent and eventually discouragement and hopeless take over the once so lively enthusiasm. It seems to be that other people live up to their goals but you are just not made to do it.

Maintaining motivation it the hardest part of any fitness journey. But, it is not impossible! Many times, people are just going about it in the wrong ways. Here are some pointers what will help you to stay on track all the way to your goals and beyond.

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1. Don’t Rush

The biggest reason for a lack of motivation is that people try to do too many things at once. Think about the years of unhealthy habits you have down your belt. You can’t try and change them all in one day and expect to keep it up. Take small steps. Don’t go from laying on the couch everyday to 6 days a week of intense exercise. Start with 2-3 days per week, even for only 10 or 20 minutes. After about a month, once you feel it’s become a habit and your body is more accustomed, start adding in a bit more and overtime you will be a pro!

 

2. Plan Ahead

Don’t go into the week blindsided. Go over your schedule for the week and plan your meals and workouts around your schedule. Take one or two days to do some food prep for the week. Schedule your workouts on days where you have more free time and schedule your rests on busy days. If you have any plans to go out to dinner, check on the menu ahead of time and plan out your meal. Having things written out will make the week a lot easier.

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3. Make the Time

This goes along with planning ahead. While you don’t want to overwhelm yourself, you also don’t want work and other responsibilities to take over your YOU time. If you really want to be healthy, make the time. 10 minutes of fast-paced exercise is better than nothing.

 

4. Have a Plan B

There will be many times when uncontrollable situations might ruin your plans. Always have a backup plan. Design a few quick at-home exercise routines in case you can’t make it to the gym. Keep smart food items in the house that will be there in case you have no time to cook. Examples of back-up foods I always keep in my house are canned beans, non-fat Greek yogurt, eggs, cans of tuna, and frozen vegetables. Just because you have to throw something together quick doesn’t mean it can’t be healthy.

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5. Modify When Needed

Never be ashamed to modify. If you don’t have the time, modify your workout. If you’re trying a new workout class that is a little too intense, ask the instructor to show you some modifications. It’s great to push yourself, but when you go too far beyond your limits you may discourage yourself and drop out. Stop right at the edge of your comfort zone and work there.

 

6. Make a List

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Write a list of your reasons for beginning a health journey. Don’t be afraid to make it personal, after all, it’s only for you. Whenever you need a little pick-me-up, dig out your list and remind yourself of why you started in the first place. This can be a powerful tool to bringing motivation levels back up.

 

Most importantly…have fun. There will be times when you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone. There will be times when you will have to force yourself to work out when you are dreading it. But always remember to keep it balanced. Push yourself, but not over your limits. Recognize the times when you have to listen to your body and just take a rest. The most important means of staying on track is enjoying the journey.

 

xoxo

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**Download a FREE Meal Plan from Fit Muslim Girl >>> FREE Meal Plan <<<

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7 Principles of Healthful Eating

The key to maintaining a healthy diet is understanding how to eat right in the first place. The diet industry could not be more confusing with its conflicting views, fad diets and continuous altering of information.

In reality, a healthful diet is actually quite simple. Once you know the basics you can alter it to fit your lifestyle and your taste buds. Here are 7 principles of healthful eating.

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Eat Real Food

In general, you want to be sure you are consuming whole, nutritious foods such as in-season fruits and veggies, whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, etc.), whole grain bread/pasta, lean meats, Greek yogurt, hummus, nuts and seeds, all natural nut butters, organic eggs, beans, and water.This is not a definite list but a general idea of good foods to consume.

For the most part try to avoid processed/boxed foods, sodas and other sugary drinks, fast food, fried food, white bread, refined pasta, canned foods, chips, and candy.

The 80/20 rule

While it is important to get the majority of your calories from clean foods, there has to be some room for treats, otherwise you will be miserable and probably won’t last too long on the diet. A general rule of thumb is to eat clean 80% of the time and treat yourself the other 20% of the time. Allow a small treat every day or every other day, or allow for a big treat a few times per week.

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Eat Less Meat

While meat offers a good source of protein, iron and vitamin B12, it also packs a lot of saturated fat and cholesterol. For this reason, meat should make up a small majority of your diet. For the most part the baseline of a healthful diet should consist of grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables; think Mediterranean diet. Nuts, beans, and whole grains are all great replacements for meat as they contain a lot of protein with better (or no) fats and a lot of fiber.

Reduce Sodium and Sugar Intake

While both sodium and sugar are essential parts of the human diet, it is safe to say that most people get more than enough. How can we avoid eating too much? First of all, staying away from the boxed foods is a start. These foods typically contain a huge amount of added sodium or sugar, especially if the labels read “low-fat” or “non-fat.”

Try to avoid adding extra salt while cooking; remember that a little bit can go a long way. Use flavorful spices and a lot of fresh herbs to count for a lack of salt.

It is also wise to limit fruit intake to 1-2 servings per day, as many fruits contain a lot of sugar. Instead of reaching for an apple, go for a serving of berries as they are known for their low sugar content.

Wholesome Grains

Replace refined grains such as white bread, white rice, white potato, white pasta with whole grains. Whole grains are foods like steel-cut or rolled oats, brown rice, sweet potato, whole wheat bread/tortilla/pasta, quinoa, couscous, whole grain barley, lentils, etc.

Instead of white toast in the mornings try having some oatmeal and berries with your eggs. Instead of croutons add some quinoa to your salad. Try some brown rice on the side for dinner.

Healthy Fats

245470Many people are confused about fats. Fats are an extremely important energy source for the body and the brain. There are two important things to know about fats.

1) You want to know which fats are good for you. The “bad” fats are saturated and trans fats which are found in foods like dairy, beef products, palm and coconut oil, butter, and fried foods. The “good” fats are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which are found in foods such as nuts and seeds, nut butters, vegetable oils, oily fish like salmon, avocado, olives, etc.

2) You need to know that fats contain more calories per gram than do carbohydrates and protein. So, although fats are extremely beneficial, you need to ensure you are not over-eating them. I will discuss this next.

Watch Portion Sizes

The easiest, and really only, way to gain extra unwanted weight is by eating too much. While unhealthy foods may be the culprit of various diseases, calories are the one and only culprit of weight gain. No matter what you are eating you need to have an understanding of healthy portion sizes. Does that mean you need to measure everything you eat? Certainly not. Here are some general tips.

  • Women should have about 3-4 oz of meat or a portion of meet the size of your palm
  • Carbohydrates (rice, beans, quiono, etc.) should be between ½-1 cup or a portion the size of one cupped-hand.
  • Because they are so low in calories yet high in nutrients, there is no limit of vegetables. In general about 2 cups, or two cupped-hand sizes is recommended. Shoot for a lot of leafy green vegetables.
  • Have 1 medium sized whole fruit or 1 cup (or size of a cupped-hand) of berries
  • Consume about 1 oz, or a serving the size of your thumb, of nuts/oils.
  • The portion size for nut butters is 1 tbsp per serving.
  • Listen to your body: eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full.

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To sum it up 

The majority of your diet should consist of real, whole foods

Limit processed and junk food but do not completely cut it out. Follow the 80/20 rule.

Try to consume less meat and more beans and whole grains.

Be aware of your salt and sugar intake.

Replace refined grains with wholesome grains.

Pay attention to the type and amount of fats you consume.

Be conscious of portion sizes.

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What Is the Best Time to Exercise?

Many people swear by early morning sweat sessions as the best method for losing weight. But what about those of us who couldn’t fathom a workout that early in the morning? The good news is that finding the perfect time for exercise is more about personal preference than it is about physiological benefits.

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What is important is finding a time of day that works best for you in order to make exercise a habit.

Morning Perks

  • You have the psychological pleasure of knowing your workout is done.
  • It is easier to keep a consistent routine in the morning.
  • There is less room for other responsibilities and time pressures to interfere.
  • A full day of work can take a toll on one’s willpower, no matter how well-intentioned you may be.
  • Early workouts may help with a more sound sleep, while workouts too late in the day may make it harder to fall asleep at night.

Advantages of Later Workouts

  • Body temperature is higher later in the day, which leaves the muscles less stiff and less susceptible to injuries.
  • Muscle strength and endurance may be at its peak in the afternoon.
  • The body produces more testosterone later in the day which is important in strength and muscle building.
  • You may have more energy later in the day after fueling your body with some nutritious meals.

Listen to Your Body

While there may be some advantages to working out at different times of the day, those differences would be minor, with a bigger significance lying in the psychological effects of the workout. If you are not a morning person there would be no advantage to forcing yourself out of bed at 5 am to workout, only to be miserable the entire time. The benefits of working out come in consistency, so pick a time of day that will allow you to enjoy your workout and become consistent.

Be Realistic

Picking the perfect time of day may not be as easy as choosing a number on the clock. Take a look at your daily schedule and pick a realistic time that will not interfere with other responsibilities. If your days are packed from morning until night, a morning routine might be best. If you have a free schedule after work and morning is not your thing, go for an after-work routine. If you have some little bits of free time in the middle of the day, throw in a quick 20 minute workout in the afternoon.

Consider the Social Setting

To some people, the social setting is a very important aspect of their workout. Some prefer solitude and alone time which you can get early in the morning, in the middle of the day during the work-week, or much later at night. Others prefer a gym atmosphere with plenty of people to keep them motivated. The gym tends to be packed mid-morning, or around rush-hour time between 5-6 pm. You may even do better with an exercise partner. If that is the case, try to come up with a time that works for the both of you, even if that means a quick walk during your lunch break with a co-worker.

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The Bottom Line

The most important things to consider when coming up with a workout time is your preference, your schedule, and how you can be consistent. Exercise is not a “one-size-fits-all” kind of thing, so don’t be fooled by the people who say that one time of day is best. If you find mornings the best for you, just be sure to warm-up a little bit longer than normal to avoid injury. If afternoon/night time is better, keep the timing consistent and eat after your work out, not before.

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A Proper Cool Down

This is going to be my last post for my #workoutwednesday series. I thought it was a good idea to close it out with a cool down routine, which is often the most overlooked aspect of exercise, although it is equally as important as the warm-up.

 

The Importance of a Cool Down

A cool down takes place after a workout with the goal of slowly getting the heart-rate, breathing, and body temperature back to its pre-exercise state. A proper cool down usually lasts for about 5-10 minutes, and should start off with some low-intensity exercises followed by stretches.

The benefits of cooling down include

  • Bringing the body’s physiological state back to normal
  • Reduces the risk for muscle cramps and spasms
  • Helps to offset some muscle soreness
  • Aids in muscle recovery
  • Removes waste build-up (like lactic acid) that occurs during physical activity
  • Prevents dizziness and fainting after exercise

 

How to Cool Down

Step 1: Light Activity

The first part of a quality cool down should start off with about 3-5 minutes of light activity. This can differ depending on the individuals workout.

Here are some examples:

  • After a run you might take a light jog for 2-3 minutes, followed by a 2-3 minute walk.
  • After a spin or bike workout you might pedal on a flat road (light resistance) for 3-4 minutes, followed by 1-2 minutes pedaling with no resistance whatsoever.
  • After a strength training workout it’s a good idea to do 3-5 minutes of dynamic stretching, like we saw in our warm-up routine, or even some yoga poses.
  • After a swimming workout one can swim a few leisurely laps around the pool.
  • Instructor-led fitness classes typically have a warm-up and cool down built into the routine.

Step 2: Stretching

The second and last part of a quality cool down will consist of stretching for another 3-5 minutes. You want to make sure you are focusing on the muscles that were being activated during the workout. In order to incorporate relaxation into my cool-down routine, I like to hold each stretch for 5 deep breaths.

Here are some examples of stretches:

Front Shoulders Stretch 

rotator-cuff-stretches-0

Triceps Stretch 

tricep-stretches

Standing Side Stretch

_h400_w284_m1_bwhite

Chest Opener Stretch 

chest-opener

The Forward Hang 

Forward-Hang-strench

Upper Back Stretch 

Upper-back-stretch

Quad Stretch 

Best-Quad-Stretches

Calf Stretch 

41107-1_asl

Forward Fold

Standing Forward Bend Yoga(1)

Glute Stretch 

glute-stretch

Hip-Flexor Stretch  

hip_flexor_stretch_214__1

Lower Back Stretch 

images

Cobra Stretch 

Super-Cobra-Stretch

I truly hope that you all enjoyed this series! The aim of #workoutwednesday was to share some information related to proper exercise, promote a healthy lifestyle, give ideas of some different types of workouts, and most importantly, to inspire you to exercise and take control of your health!

Please keep checking back on this blog for more health and fitness posts, and possibly a new series =).

Enjoy your cool down and don’t forget to incorporate it after every workout. If you are short on time, modify; something is always better than nothing.

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A Dynamic Warm-Up

For this weeks #workoutwednesday I decided to talk about warming up. Your warm is just as important, maybe more so, than the actual workout itself. Therefore, it’s imperative to understand the importance of warming up for the body and which types of warm-up exercises are best.

The warm-up is meant to gently prepare the muscles for physical activity by increasing heart-rate and blood flow. It is also a means of mentally preparing for the upcoming workout. A warm-up is the best way to loosen up the muscles and prevent injury.

About a decade ago, static stretching, which requires holding a stretch for about 8 or more seconds without movement, was considered to be the best way to warm-up before sports or any type of physical activity. However, we now know that dynamic stretching, which is a combination of stretching and movement, is in fact the most effect method to engaging the muscles before physical activity.

Through a mixture of stretching and light cardiovascular activity, dynamic stretching will activate the muscles, improve range of motion, and enhance muscular performance.

Here is a quick dynamic warm-up that can be done before any type of workout. You will perform each exercise once for 30 seconds each.

 

Knee Highs 

Glute Kicks 

Alternating Knee Hugs 

Alternating Ankle Grabs 

Alternating Leg Kicks

Walking Squats

Lateral Lunge Stretch

DESCRIPTIONS & VIDEOS

Knee Highs

Start by standing straight with feet hips width apart and arms hanging down by sides. Jump from one foot to the other while at the same time lifting the opposite knee as high as possible. You should be jumping onto the balls of your feet and arms should be swinging in motion with the movement. You may move forward while you perform this exercise or remain in place.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFfyYiaGq-4

Glute Kicks

Start by standing with the knees close together and arms by the sides. Flex your right knee behind you so that the heel of the foot touches (or comes close to) the glutes. Then lower the leg back down and do the same thing with the opposite leg. You may do this at a faster (almost jogging in place) pace, or you can do one leg at a time and do more of a stretch pace. You may also move forward while performing this exercises or remain in place.

Alternating Knee Hugs 

This exercise is similar to the high knees only it is performed slower and more like a stretch. Start by standing tall with feet under hips and arms by sides. Lift one leg to bring the knee as high up as possible while grasping it with your hands and hugging in towards the body. Lower and repeat on the opposite side. This can be performed while moving forward or while standing in place.

Alternating Ankle Grabs

This exercise is similar to the glute kicks only it is performed slower and more like a stretch. Start by standing with knees close together and hands by the sides. Flex your right knee behind you while grabbing the ankle with the right hand and squeezing it closer towards the body to close the knee joint. You should feel this stretch in the thighs. Lower the leg and perform on the opposite side.

Alternating Leg Kicks

Start by standing with the feet shoulder width apart and arms by your sides. Engage the core and kick your right leg forward with flexed feet as high as you can (hip’s height is advisable) while reaching the opposite arm forward to meet the toes. Lower the leg and bring the arm back to the starting position then perform on the opposite leg. This can be done moving forward of by standing in place.

Walking Squats

Start with feet together and hands by the side or on hips. ‘Walk’ the right foot out to the side until the feet are about hips distance apart and perform a squat. Then, using the same leg you stepped out with, push back to the starting position. Repeat with alternating legs.

Lateral Lunge Stretch

Start by standing tall with feet hips-width apart and hands on hips. Step out with your right foot and shift your weight over the right leg while holding the leg at a 90 degree angle. Push with that same leg to bring yourself back to the starting position. Repeat with alternating legs.

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