If someone told you how much their body ached after a day of skiing, you’d probably never want to click into a pair of bindings and hit the slopes. Do not fret. Pain and agony are not the only words you need to describe the first day of your ski vacation. With a little bit of preparation and maintenance, freedom from post-ski day soreness can be yours.
The following are a few yoga-inspired tips and techniques that will help sharpen your fitness edge and get your body tuned up for some downhill fun.
Just say no to quivering quads
At least six weeks before a ski vacation, take every opportunity you can to strengthen your quadriceps. Perform wall sits, yoga chair pose, warrior lunges, and horse stance squats as often as you can, intermittently throughout the day. There is no need to try and fit a full yoga class into your already busy schedule. A little bit of time spent here and there will suffice. Just be sure and do it, or you will suffer the consequences of tired legs too early in the ski day. (more…)
For some, sitting for hours at an office desk is an absolute nightmare. Being sedentary while displaying poor posture is not just painful, it’s bad for your health. A decrease in productivity, a negative attitude, and a disdain for your work are all unpleasant side effects of having to be chained to your desk all day. So I say, let’s fix that.
If you care about your attitude, your career, and your health, I encourage you to take some time and practice the following stretches. Do not be a victim of the spine-wrecking 40-hour work week. Instead, take charge and move your body throughout the day by stretching, bending, and breathing.
You may notice a theme with these suggested stretches, and that is to stand up! Even if you don’t get around to stretching, at least stand up from time to time while at work. A little bit goes a long way in keeping your body healthy.
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Are you traveling during summer vacation? Probably so.
Do you stretch on these trips? You can guess the answer to this is usually NO!!
Personally, I travel at least twice a month and I use these two following stretches all of the time to open my tight hips and lengthen my hamstrings after hours of sitting.
It’s important to remember excessive amounts of sitting may cause lower back pain from shortened hip flexors that can pull the pelvis forward resulting in discomfort. Also, sitting will place increased amount of pressure on the spine compared to standing or lying down.
Here’s a simple solution that will keep you feeling good as you take on all of the adventures and activity in your vacation itinerary.
Super active quadriceps, strong hamstrings and monster gluteal muscles are what propel a road bike across pavement. Just take a look at the lower bodies of famed cyclists such as Lance Armstrong or Cadel Evans and you will see some serious power pent up in their legs. In professional racers, the contractibility of muscle fibers is beyond efficient, and the speed at which they fly up steep grades is unimaginable.
While we may not boast the title of ‘Tour de France winner,’ we can still enjoy trying our best in a local bike race or just having fun while riding along our neighborhood bike path. Either way, nursing our well-used legs is of great importance. Post ride or race, ice and massage are crucial for speed of recovery, and so is yoga.
The following yoga poses are superbly beneficial to anyone who enjoys spending time in the saddle, i.e. the bicycle seat.
You might as well call this ‘cyclist’s lunge,’ as it is helpful for runners and riders alike. With the front knee directly over the ankle and the back leg stretched as far back as possible (toes on the ground) the psoas muscle receives a lovely stretch for restoration of length and suppleness. In cycling, the psoas muscle is responsible for bringing the knee forward at the top of the pedal stroke, as well as keeping the pelvis stable while pedaling. (more…)
2011 is rapidly approaching and it’s time to ask yourself, is your bottom half where you what it to be?
This 2011 New Year’s Butt Blast is a workout designed to target every muscle of the lower body and push it to the max. Every muscle is challenged, both strength- and endurance-wise. The front squats and squat jumps are designed to target the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, and calves, all while increasing your heart rate to burn calories and build endurance. The lunges, backward lunges, and side lunges are designed to target the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and hip flexors. The step-ups are designed to target the quadriceps, calves, glutes, and hip flexors all while increasing your heart rate and, lastly, the bend over kickbacks are designed to target the glutes and hip flexors.
The following 600 second body blast workout was designed to target the entire body while increasing the heart rate at a rapid pace. This is a short, but perfect little workout for the holidays due to the lack of time, unpredictable weather, and the versatility to be performed at home- and to get a jump start on that New Years resolution!
600 Second Body Blast Workout (each exercise appears below for easy instruction)
Jumping squat thrusts (90 seconds): This exercise increases your heart rate while challenging your upper and lower body. Try to perform this movement for 90 seconds straight.
Bicycle crunches (90 seconds): This exercise targets your entire core region while helping improve your stamina and endurance. The hip flexors are also isolated. Try to perform this movement for 90 seconds without stopping.
If you’re anything like me, stretching is your least favorite part of a workout (even though you know you need to do it and it feels good!). Working on your flexibility is so important for injury prevention, improved circulation, alleviating muscle soreness and more! So, if you’re like me and have trouble finding time to stretch, try these three sneaky ways to squeeze stretching into your everyday routine. By working flexibility training into your usual routine, there are no excuses!
1. The great shower stretch. Stretching after you workout is so great because your muscles are warm. You know when else your muscles are warm? In the shower! Tack on a few extra minutes in the shower each morning to do some neck rolls, forward bends or even some chest or back stretches. Not only is it good for you, the warm water makes it feel fantastic!
I just recently got back from Maui, Hawaii and what a beautiful place; it is truly paradise. I had the privilege of snorkeling for the first time and it is now a hobby of mine, especially because it is such a low cost hobby: you can pick up a mask, snorkel and fins for around forty bucks.
Snorkeling is absolutely amazing and I totally recommend it if you have never been. Being able to see life under the sea is simply breathtaking. The coral, rock formations, thousands of different species of fish, and, of course, the gigantic sea turtles are all a sight to see.
Although snorkeling was a blast and a half, it was definitely a workout. My entire core, shoulders, hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and ankles were completely worn out. Below are the benefits of snorkeling, as well as an exercise routine that will help condition you for your next snorkeling adventure. (more…)
Back pain is the number one reason for doctor visits in America. It’s no question that hours in front of the TV and computer, coupled with our generally sedentary lifestyles have much to do with the back pain epidemic, but what about the way we walk?
According Esther Gokhale, the author of 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back, walking a specific way will not only eliminate chronic back pain, but lift and firm your butt at the same time.
Gokhale grew up in India, earned her biochemistry degree from Princeton, and suffered from back pain for years. After back surgery didn’t work, she decided to find the cure to her pain on her own. (more…)