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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Stretching to Relieve Back Pain

I threw my back out last night doing pretty much nothing. Oh the joys of Fybromyalgia! So today I am going to talk about stretching to relieve back pain. Even with a chronic pain disease I have found that stretching can make quite a  difference in pain levels. Plus stretching daily can help lengthen and strengthen your back muscles, improve posture and make it less likely to injure yourself in the first place.

I know what you are thinking, my back hurts no way do I want to exercise, stretch or even move. Everyone knows that exercise is important for our overall health but people sometimes forget the importance of stretching. The back and spine are made up of muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments, it is made to bend, twist, and carry quite a bit of our body weight. Stretching on a regular basis helps reduce stress on joints, improves blood flow and adds flexibility. Also, stretching before exercise helps prep your muscles for activity and reduces the risk of injury.

Not everyone hurts their back during exercise or vigorous activity. I know this and I have hurt mine doing what? I have no idea, I was standing in the Little League Concession Stand volunteering, at that time I was bagging popcorn. Popcorn is not heavy, neither are teenie popcorn bags or the scoop I was using. It just happened. Maybe there was a moment where I twisted strange or maybe it is because I am a cripple. Either way, it hurts and it is improving because of stretching it out.

Here are a few things to keep in mind while you are stretching:

  • Start at the top, if you stretch  your neck then work your way down you use already stretched muscles in the rest of your stretching routine.
  • Don’t stretch until you are in pain, go slow and only until you feel a bit on tension.
  • Be sure to stand steady, no bouncing around. Think strength in stillness.
  • Hold in your stretch for 10 to 20 seconds and do not forget to breathe! Be sure to inhale before the stretch and exhale during.
  • Small sets of 3 is enough, do not over do it! You can always add more as you are more flexible.

Personally I stretch daily, more than once in the instance that I am stiff or sore. Today there will be a few sessions of stretches going on to get this pain worked out of my back. You do not have to do it daily but I really would recommend doing it a few times a week (personal opinion, I am not a doctor.)

Here is the routine I use. I do believe that I first found it on http://www.webmd.com. I do not have a link to their direct article, but the routine is now in my memory.

Neck Stretch

  • Stand with your feet flat , knees bent just a little bit.
  • Tilt your head slowly forward, bringing your chin toward your chest.
  • Turn your head to the left until your chin is lined up with your shoulder.
  • Do this again on your right side
  • Tilt your head to the left so your ear is to your left shoulder.
  • Do this again but on your right side.

Shoulder Rolls 

  • Stand with your feet flat on the floor, knees bent a little bit.
  • Roll your shoulders forward 10 times starting with small circles.
  • Roll your shoulders 10 more times in large circles.
  • Roll your shoulders backwards 10 times starting with small circles.
  • Roll your shoulders backwards 10 times using large circles.

Hamstring Stretch

  • Lie down and bend your knees.
  • Grab one leg around the thigh and slowly bring it toward your chest.
  • Pull until you fee a light stretch.
  • Hold for 10 to 20 seconds.
  • Repeat with you other leg.

Hamstring Stretches 2

  • Stand with one leg out in front of you, straightened and put your leg on a table or chair, I use the stairs.
  • Bend the leg you are standing on until you feel a little stretch under the thigh of the raised leg. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds.
  • Repeat with your other leg.

I also like to do Sun Salutations for a sore back. Here is a video for you to check out that will show you how to do a Yoga Sun Salutation:

On today’s workout menu I have Les Mills Pump Step as well as getting back on the horse with my running. I know I may not have the best run (I usually kind of stink at it anyhow) but I am going to get out there and do what I can. Hope you all have a fit and healthy day! Time for me to go stretch out this sore back and work on getting my workouts in.

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Week One of Les Mills Pump Ultimate Cross Training Completed

So, I have made it through the first week of LMP Ultimate cross training. On my last post I reviewed LMP Step. Throughout the week I have also done LMP Sports Attack, it is a high energy cardio workout that incorporates various sports moves including track, football, boxing and basket ball. It is fairly close to a basic aerobic workout but if you really get into it and push hard you get a great workout and work up an amazing sweat. I burned a lot of calories and was drenched after the short 30 minute session and my legs were sore like crazy for the remainder of the day and the following day. LMP Combat was a 45 minute workout. It was a challenge for me. It is based on Martial Arts inspired moves, quite a bit like Kenpo. It drained all my energy in that 45 minutes and there were literally little puddles of sweat on the floor when I was done. my heart rate was up after the “cool down” as they tried to call it so i had to follow it with yoga just to get back to a lower HR.

I know that I have not blogged in a week. Life was crazy this past week, tons of landscaping was done, I got some cardio in uprooting trees (on my own, just me and a shovel), weeding, planting, mowing all that fun stuff. I hosted a jewelry party so one day was shopping and prep, the day of the jewelry party turned into a bonfire and more drinks. Tons of fun! of course the kid had sports, we attended a BBQ for Memorial Day and of course there was the everyday stuff too. I still got my LMP workouts in though.

Now, I will admit that I have not run in a week. Not good. So tomorrow I start back up and I am sure my lack of pushing myself to do it is going to show. Thank goodness there is time to get ready for The Color Run and I didn’t totally screw myself. So I call do-over!

So here is my progress for week one of LMP UCT and the first 98 days in general of Les Mills Pump:

  • Chest: 32 inches (-0 inches)
  • R Arm: 12 inches (-0 inches)
  • L  Arm: 12 inches (-0 inches)
  • Waist: 32 inches (-0 inches)
  • Hips: 41 inches (-0 inches)
  • R Thigh: 23.5 inches (-0 inches)
  • L Thigh: 23.5 inches (-0 inches)
  • Weight: 167 pounds (-1 pound)
  • Pant Size: 12
  • BMI: 29.5% (-0 %)

Add more fiber?

Adding more fiber to your diet is definitely a good thing. Fiber helps fill you up, it keeps you fuller longer and even aids in digestion. This in turn can add to weight loss. So now fiber is all of a sudden the answer to the reason why I have only lost 11 pounds in 90 days (losing fat and gaining muscle seems to be the actual reason). Everyone has an opinion and I hear I should be thinner because I could have lost more pounds if I ate more fiber. Fiber is not something I am lacking in the least bit, I am usually between 35 and 45 grams a day, so major fiber consumption here. I appreciate the advice but also it irks me that someone who is sedimentary, eats fast food daily and is overweight (I am too but at least I try) has an opinion on my diet and how I should be losing. Opinions are like… I won’t finish because I don’t tend to swear here on my blog. I agree 100% that fiber is important so I can’t argue with that point one bit.

So here is a few real facts on fiber:

  • It controls hunger
  • It helps you feel fuller longer
  • Fibrous foods take more chewing to eat so it slows down your eating and gives the brain time to signal that you are full
  • Women need about 25 grams of fiber a day, men need about 38
  • Dietary fiber is the fiber that is naturally found in the foods we eat
  • Functional fibers are manufactured (I avoid these fibers)
  • Soluble fiber dissolves in water, insoluble does not, both are found naturally in fruit, vegetable, nuts, beans and grains
  • Studies show that fiber reduces your risk of heart disease,, obesity, diabetes, constipation and diverticulitis
  • Eating fiber will not make you thin but it will help you in your journey to

Easy ways to get fiber:

  • Eat more beans
  • Snack on fruits and vegetables
  • High fiber cereal for breakfast can boost your fiber intake
  • Switch to whole grains
  • Add seeds and nuts to your daily diet
  • Add unsweetened cocoa powder to your smoothie
  • Sprinkle wheat germ onto your salads

 

 

 

Day 1 of LMP Ultimate Cross Training

29 Days to Go!

So yes, today was day 1 of 30 days of Les Mills Pump Ultimate Cross Training.  On the schedule today was Step. I did not watch the video ahead of time so I was not sure what exactly to expect. Honestly I figured it would be a basic step routine. It was more than that for sure! Step of course began with a warm up, I found that it went through enough of the movements that would be used throughout the DVD to learn proper steps and form while moving through the rest of the workout. The entire thing was pretty intense. My legs are still on fire and I was sweating for over an hour after I finished. Even the cool down was crazy! i had to do a round of yoga afterwards to get my heart rate down and to stretch out my legs, and they are still on fire!! All in all I can not wait until I do it again and to try Combat and Sports Attack! Tomorrow is Flow and I will add some light cardio and maybe some abs on the balance ball or Hard Core Abs (we will see). To sum it up, I had to push to get through it, I wanted to quit at times but I didn’t. Getting through made me feel accomplished and I can see Step making a huge change in my legs and butt.

I want to thank all of you for all your kind words, words of encouragement and complements. It made me feel a little less embarrassed about the pictures. I am too shy about some things. Especially my body so it was nerve-wracking for me to do. Everyone made it easier for me and I love you all for that. Today the Les Mills Pump Facebook Page put up the  link to my blog (I posted it yesterday, they re-posted) My blog has had major traffic from that. So now I feel the whole world has seen them so I am over it. LOL!As far as weigh and measure in I did not do one today I am just using my end results from my LMP 90 day challenge it was yesterday so I figure what is the point in a remeasure the next day. I will start posting results each Tuesday again starting next week.
So here is where I stand right now:

  • Chest: 32 inches
  • R Arm: 12 inches
  • L  Arm: 12 inches
  • Waist: 32 inches
  • Hips: 41 inches
  • R Thigh: 23.5 inches
  • L Thigh: 23.5 inches
  • Weight: 168 pounds
  • Pant Size: 12
  • BMI: 29.5%

No more pictures until the 30 days is over!

I made it through..alive

The 90 day mark has passed. This means I have completed Round One of Les Mills Pump. I know I have been whining about the embarrassment of before and after pictures, and I decided I may as well do it. My pictures are terrible. with my lack of camera (Canon customer service is still on my hit list) they are taken with a phone by a six-year-old. So ya.. bad pics. I was kind of bummed that my 90 days hit when they did. I have some major monthly bloatage going on and it shows. But, oh well, I can’t control nature. Maybe I will redo pics in a few days.

This is where I started at Day 1:

  • Chest: 38 inches
  • R Arm: 12 inches
  • L Arm: 12 inches
  • Waist: 43 inches
  • Hips: 45 inches
  • R Thigh: 29 inches
  • L Thigh: 29.5 inches
  • Weight: 179 pounds
  • Pant Size: 16
  • BMI: 52%

This is where I am at today:

  • Chest: 32 inches
  • R Arm: 12 inches
  • L  Arm: 12 inches
  • Waist: 32 inches
  • Hips: 41 inches
  • R Thigh: 23.5 inches
  • L Thigh: 23.5 inches
  • Weight: 168 pounds
  • Pant Size: 12
  • BMI: 29.5%
So if we do the math this is my loss:
  • Chest:  -6 inches
  • R Arm:  -0 inches
  • L  Arm:  -0 inches
  • Waist:  -11 inches
  • Hips:  -4 inches
  • R Thigh: -5.5 inches
  • L Thigh:  -6 inches
  • Weight:  -11 lbs
  • Pant Size: -2 sizes
  • BMI: – 22.5%
That is a total of  32.5  inches, 11 pounds, 2 pant sizes and 22.5% body fat lost.

After

Before

Tomorrow I start Les Mills Pump Ultimate Cross Training.  It is a 30 day workout schedule. Still debating on what is after that, either a Pump/Turbo Jam hybrid or a Pump/Insanity hybrid. We  will see. I have 30 days to figure that out.

My dress is too big

I just bought this dress two weeks ago? It is too big on me now. I found this out 1.5 hours before a wedding. To late to shop. So I will wear it as it is.

Happy Saturday peeps!

The End is Near!

Well, I did get outside…

Holy cow did I struggle with my run this morning. my lungs apparently do not like chilly air at all. I had my inhaler with me thank goodness! Then as I am running my allergies kick up and my nose starts running, coughing begins and my sinus’ start draining. YUCK! I ended up going for a bit over 3K in 25 minutes doing  walk to run intervals, then I decided that I couldn’t take it anymore. Running outside is hard, on my lungs and allergies that is. I did find though that my legs and feet were far better off than they are after putting in my 5k on the treadmill. The time passed quite a bit faster, I thought I was throwing in the towel too soon but once my Nano voiced the time to me I realized it wasn’t just 10 minutes so I didn’t feel so bad. Easing into this is something that I am going to have to do, oh and take an allergy pill afterwards.

To sum it up here are my pros and cons of outdoor running:
Cons:

  • Lungs hate cool air
  • Allergies and no tissue
  • Couldn’t breathe because of both of these things
Pros:
  • Time passed quickly
  • Less pain
  • Scenery
I think that in time the cons will work themselves out. it will take some adjustment, maybe will have to stick with intervals for a while but I will get to the 5k in no time, I hope 🙂

After my grueling run I did my Pump workout, had breakfast, then started yard work. Next I went and purchased more plants for the yard, came back and started ripping out shrubs and HUGE, well rooted bushes (I planted then five years ago), showered, went to dinner with my in-laws came home and finished ripping out shrubs and bushes. I have everything now measured out and started placing the plants where I want them to be so I can get them in on Sunday. I just gave up on the yard for the night. It just got to dark and I am all sorts of sore. I think the tub is calling my name. And with only getting under 2 hours of sleep last night I am a bit worn out. Boy, do I wish some days had more hours in them!

Wedding tomorrow so I better go get cleaned up and get some sleep, have to get up early and get Emma ready for a game, squeeze in a run, Pump, then shower and get ready for the festivities. I have an awesome looking tank top/sports bra farmers sunburn, should look sexy with my one sleeved dress! HAHA!

I am going outside.

 

It has been decided that if I am going to successfully do The Color Run 5k I should start running outdoors, on the cement. The treadmill was good to get started on but experiencing and getting better a the real thing is probably a good idea. Without the treadmill pulling my feet along lets see how I do today 🙂

Today is day 88 of Les Mills Pump, that means two more days to go! It is almost unbelievable that it is this close to the end the 90 days of Round One! Sometimes it surprises me that I was able to stick it through!  Hoping my hormones don’t mess with my final weigh in, I know, TMI, but for a few days I am always 10 lbs heavier. I am sure that it will work out fine.

I do not think I will be blogging tomorrow (may squeeze in another today though). I have a wedding to attend. It will be the first time I will be wearing my new dress. So excited. I love dressing up. I have to wash and curl my extensions, get ready, you know the usual. Have to get ready early because the wedding is two towns over. I am sure I won’t be home until the wee hours of the morning. So I will see all of you Sunday!

I’m doing it and so can you!

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