Fitness Humor – Apparently Not Fit For Stairs!

There’s an irony to this scenario, especially if you are an active person. This happens to me ALL THE TIME! Weirdest phenomenon, positively hysterical in some ways (a little disheartening in others)…and I think more common than people like to let on.

If you feel badly about having trouble with stairs…don’t! You aren’t alone.

Health – The Freedom Of Having A Choice

This came my way this week and though it sounds a little harsh, it’s a very in-your-face truism that shouldn’t be ignored (hence, I’m sure, why it was phrased this way.)  

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Everyone is different – nutritional requirements, for example, vary depending on a TON of factors, some of which are not in our control (age is a fine example.)  But at the end of the day, we all have a responsibility to take care of ourselves – we have one “vessel” this go around, and while it can take some beating…it isn’t impervious.

Not everyone can fit in a long-winded routine during the day – I’ve been there.  At one time it was 12 to 14 hour days, sometimes with only three hours of sleep (with a three-hour commute split in half on each side.)  At another, there were weeks of frequent overseas travel with 12 to 14 hour days, and a nonexistent gym (not that I would have had the energy anyway!)  And yet another, I was balancing a competitive sport with long days and total exhaustion – work, train, sleep…with a little bit of food in between. 

BUT…despite the timeline being against me most of the time, there were things I could do – whether walking to work, taking the stairs at the hotel, doing a quick routine in my room…something…ANYthing…to get a little movement in.  It matters.  The body is designed to move – not just take in fuel and do nothing with it..

On that latter point, clean eating – a component equally as vital – doesn’t mean you need follow the same diet as a body builder (you’d be amazed how much a body builder’s diet can vary from a figure competitor, or bikini competitor…forget about just a healthy, fit adult!) What it does mean, though, is caring about the fuel you put into your body so you feel – and function – your best.  You wouldn’t put low quality fuel into a Ferrari and expect it to hit it’s potential, right?  You’re the Ferrari!!!

Keeping in mind that everyone’s needs are unique, sticking to whole, real foods (ones nature produces) and less processed items is your best bet.  Your body needs calories, by the way – it needs protein, carbohydrates AND fats to function…not only optimally, but at all!  

I see two things happen a lot in society – in the USA, at least, it’s become about convenience, and size.  If it’s easy to get, and / or the portions are enormous for the money, people flock to it without internalizing the longer-term effect.

(C) Randy Glassbergen

(C) Randy Glassbergen

I feel like if more time was spent either making food…or sitting down to savor it…and / or people ate smaller portions and let themselves digest a moment, that health would be less of a national concern.  Yes, it can be that simple. (Think I’m crazy?  The awareness is out there – example 1, example 2, example 3, example 4…yikes!  There are also, obviously, have been a ton of articles on the topic over the last few years.)

Given the time of year, as an aside, it’s helpful to remember that just because the calendar says it’s a holiday, doesn’t mean we have to go overboard – it doesn’t feel good to be overstuffed (I don’t know anyone who thinks so, honestly.) There is truly no need – most supermarkets carry holiday food items for a while before and after…so you don’t have to worry about getting it all in at once.  Smaller portions also allow you to enjoy everything, without that horrible, ruined-my-night-feeling-sick aftermath.  

There are a lot of factors going into determining our overall health – some, again, are ones we aren’t in charge of (wouldn’t it be nice if we were?!)  But there are A LOT of things we *CAN* do to take care of ourselves, to stay healthy, and in shape.  Neglecting ourselves is a quick route to sickness (and for you active people, that goes for us too – doing too much might be our trouble spot, landing us in overtraining drudgery.)  

One of many thoughts on the issue, this from Mike Adams

One of many thoughts on the issue, this from Mike Adams

We really DON’T get that many chances.  And honestly, no one wants to have to be in a precarious situation first to get the message that loving and taking care of our health is up to us, and a huge priority.

Shutter stock image

Shutter stock image

If you are new to it, DON’T WORRY!  Baby steps are a-okay. 🙂 There are a ton of resources out there to help you (like the snappy food portion visuals below.)  One day at a time always seems to be the best advice – for, ohhh, EVERYTHING!  Remember that you are in control – YOU get to choose – and that you deserve to feel your best every day. ❤

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Hungry Girl also has a few HOLIDAY TIPS…

More on the food front

Overtraining

Overtraining is a very real – and alarmingly common – habit that can cause serious setbacks if you aren’t careful.  It can happen to someone new to fitness or sports simply because they aren’t as well versed with what their body can handle yet – totally understandable.  Trainers working with new clients need to be sure the work loads are gradually increased, allowing the client to work up to higher volume / frequency.  Without some guidance, a newbie may do a little too much too soon, landing them in a frustrated, overly exhausted, and often discouraged state.

But the truth of it is, it can happen to ALL of us.  As a trained athlete I can safely say that we (those of us used to physically demanding routines) still fall victim to overtraining as much as the next person.  Possibly even MORE!  

Despite that we *should* know better, we tend to push to the point of failure a far too frequent basis sometimes.  Sure, we know we need rest days.  We also know a week off can sometimes be exactly what our body needs…much to the chagrin of the mind.  But we don’t always apply that sound advice to ourselves.

I do a lot of Martial Arts classes during the week – it used to only be three or four.  Now I’m doing four in one Art (Ninjutsu) AND four in another (Gracie Jiu-Jitsu) every week.  I haven’t totally tapered off with my three-times-a-week cardio and several days of weightlifting, mind you…so it’s catching up.

The last two weeks have been EXHAUSTING.  On top of it, I turned 38.  For me “age is a number”…generally speaking.  It always HAS been “just a number.”  This morning, though, after a few weeks of feeling off my game, and physically sore and exhausted?  38 felt ancient…and distressing!

Healingfeet.com

Healingfeet.com

Up front, it’s an overwhelming sensation of feeling like I’m slowing down – like my body can’t keep up, and that my mind doesn’t even want to.  For a person who can usually push through and stay positive, that’s a tough mental place to find myself in – no motivation AND physical exhaustion. Ugh.

When I take a step back it’s so much easier to weed things out.  Is it really allergies?  I mean, there’s pollen in the air more so now but. . .body soreness?  Nice excuse.  It’s NOT allergies.  

Could it be a virus?  Sure, they’re going around…I may have caught a little something.  But WHY?  That’s the question.  

I don’t get sick often, or even much at all. . .the only conditions under which I do are – BINGO! – when I’m physically sub-par.  Too much at one time will absolutely wear you thin, not only causing fatigue, soreness and depressed emotions, but also a weakened immune system.  Running yourself into the ground is like posting a sign “viruses and colds, welcome.”  

No good.

The topic is an easy one to get into…and to write at length about.  I appreciate that there are so many articles out there, because sometimes we all need a little bit of a reminder to reevaluate.  Your exhaustion and “not feeling like it” certainly might be chalked up to “one of those days.”  But it’s important to know when it’s something MORE than that.  Learn the difference, and check back if you feel like you might be crossing the line. 

Articles:

Marksdailyapple

JiuJitsu Brotherhood

Men’s Fitness

Bodybuilding.com 

Muscle For Life

For more of my own Fitness Photos and Posts…

Battle Bruises

The other day my training partner and I started laughing in the middle of a mount technique – She is awesome about “staying heavy” and totally crushed me from her mount. My chest was beyond sore from class the day before and there was something ridiculously comical about the fact that I could scarcely move (not to mention remember what the heck we were doing!)  I couldn’t quite laugh without groaning from the discomfort but I think most of us in there air on the side of finding humor in the ass-kicking we give ourselves – self-imposed after all!

We kept at it – myself, I have to say, firing on less than all pistons.  I don’t like to half-ass anything but my body was just too exhausted and sore to be as optimal as I’d have liked.  Off we go into another technique and… *PiNcH!* A trap and roll gi grab produced a lovely, almost-instantaneous heart-shaped bruise on my inner arm.  Ahhh… LOVE!

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A few minutes later I managed to totally slam my elbow to the mat.  I’m not sure if it was the impact, or the additional rolling over it by another body but within seconds I knew I’d have another battle wound (really racking them up that day!)

I love being a Martial Arts practitioner and though some days are rough-and-tumble (literally!  “Throw week” is one I look forward to less than, let’s say, small joint manipulation or weapons)…it is very much par for the course.  

A training partner at Ninjutsu the other day was totally out of it – I was admittedly frustrated by the spaciness and unwillingness to at least try.  Some days your body has less power, but you can still make the (mindful!) effort.  At one point he said “don’t really do it” about the block-and-striking technique we were working on at that moment.  Now, with two damaged knees I am the FIRST person to say “go easy,” or “let’s walk through this as we learn, without going to hard.”  But the reality is…you are in a Martial Arts class!  

You aren’t going to leave completely unscathed.  That doesn’t  mean you can’t train smart – you absolutely can (frankly, that’s ALWAYS my goal.)  Still…bumps and bruises happen.  You are going to need to accept that there will be some injuries (hopefully nothing major, however, which I’ve also endured.)  Martial Arts aren’t for the faint of heart by any stretch so it is important to know what you are getting into.  For me…I love to wear my heart on my sleeve…or my biceps! 😉  

My goal is to train as intelligently as I can so my partner and I get through with just a bunch of sore muscles at most.  But…when those bumps and bruises happen, I wear them like jewelry because I’m pretty darn sure I was working hard when I got them!  (I hope tomorrow when I go to try on bridal gowns, the wedding ladies don’t cringe too much! *lol*)

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For more of my Marital Arts and Dance jazz…