On the Road to Recovery III- Meditation in Motion- Tai Chi..Exercise or Therapy? (Video Post inside)

BOTH

While in recovery, two times a week I report religiously to my Tai Chi class. I try to keep my schedule the same as much as I can.

My friend asks, “How am I able to do Tai Chi while on crutches?”

Med beadsI explain, I sit in a chair and I focus on the breathing aspect and use this time as a meditation.  Healing can be very stressful and at times even breathing becomes difficult.  Taking the time during my recovery to breathe and meditate has helped to keep me in a positive state.  I remind myself that this is temporary and soon I will be free.  The Rehab is actually shorter in duration than the 4 years plus that I have been living in pain.

CHI or QI means Life Force.  It is evoked by the intentful integration of body and mind.

Tai Chi Chaun or the Supreme Ultimate Fist is a mind-body practice. Tai Chi is considered a soft or internal form of martial art.

The breath, mind and movements are coordinated. The movements are usually circular and never forced, the muscles are relaxed rather than tensed, the joints are not fully extended or bent, and connective tissues are not stretched.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the combination of Yin and Yang creates a dynamic inner movement to move chi and blood flow to elicit a natural state of self-healing to help correct health imbalances.

The practice of Tai Chi as ‘meditative movement’ is expected to elicit functional balance internally for healing, stress neutralization, longevity, and personal tranquility.

The art has been associated with reduced stress, anxiety,depression and enhanced mood, in both healthy people and those with chronic conditions.
     Tai chi can be easily adapted for anyone, from the most fit to people confined to wheelchairs or recovering from surgery.

“What about the form, how can you do that, “she asks?

I sit up tall in the chair and move my arms as if I were doing the form and in my mind I feel as though I am.  When I complete the form I am relaxed and find that it is easier to breathe. I explain that if even for just that evening I have found inner peace and a feeling of serenity I will sleep better and wake up in a better and more positive state of mind to make it just a little bit easier to continue on my ‘Road to Recovery.’

This is ‘meditation in motion’!

Tai Chi Classes are taught at Kung Fu Connection Tuesday and Thursday nights @ 8pm

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™med bow

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

On the Road to Recovery II- Keeping the Strength at your Core (video post inside)

While I’m still in the transition phase from non-weight bearing to weight bearing, core strengthening and pilates is helping me to rebalance my entire system as I reintegrate myself.

Since exercise progression begins from a supported position Pilates is a great tool to assist me in going from 5 weeks of non–weight bearing to weight bearing, to open chain and later progressing to explosive movements…I’m not there yet.

By aligning my skeletal system, and strengthening my core, I am able to stabilize and move easier by alleviating excess stress on peripheral joints and other areas while I heal.

My limitation here is not to use my glutes and abductors, (butt and outer thighs) So I work around them to keep everything else strong while the affected area heals.  I also keep blood circulating and focus on breathing, this in turn will help speed my recovery.

Pilates promotes an even musculature throughout the body by stabilizing muscles around the joints. It also stresses spinal and pelvic alignment. The focus is on active lengthening of muscles and mobility of the joints, rather than traditional prolonged static stretching. All of which is critical in getting us to move the way we’re supposed to move to avoid injury, facilitate recovery and improve athletic performance.

The core is considered the “center” of the body and consists of the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine. Recruiting this system helps to facilitate pelvic stability, muscle balancing, neuromuscular coordination, biomechanical efficiency, increased proprioceptive awareness and increased muscle-firing patterns as well as muscle activation.

A strong core provides a dynamic link between the upper and lower body.  By including stabilizing and strengthening moves at varying angles and ranges of motion it trains the neuromuscular firing patterns, musculoskeletal and fascial systems to work together more effectively and efficiently.

Gratefully, my friend and Pilates instructor, who owns Nomi Pilates has been helping me with this transitory phase.  Naomi Weyrowski thinks that “Pilates is a safe and effective workout to continue strengthening and stretching to help recover and also begin to hone in on having “conscious competence’ and begin to see the imbalances and weaknesses and misalignments in your own body and work to correct these faulty movement patterns.”

Naomi also thinks that with the Pilates principles, breath, movement, flow, precision and control, not only will it help speed recovery but puts one on to the path to overall awareness and quality of movement to prevent injuries in the future.

What I have found, is that the longer it takes to heal, the weaker you get, the harder and longer the recovery will take a toll physically, mentally and emotionally. By going into the surgery strong, maintaining and fortifying what I can keep strong, will help the recovery process to be easier and seem shorter.

Coming out of a prior surgery with a one-year recovery, I have another 6-month recovery ahead of me.  My biggest challenge… staying as strong and as positive as I can on the road to recovery.

Keep moving people and

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

 

ref article: http://physical-therapy.advanceweb.com/Features/Articles/Pilates-for-Injury-Recovery.aspx

The Road to Recovery – Do What You Can When You Can’t DO (workout video inside)

Over the years I can’t even tell you, pardon my being so blunt, the number of dumb excuses I’ve heard why people can’t workout.

You’ve been sidelined by injury, illness or limitations, the road to recovery can be long arduous, boring and depressing but you can make it easier for yourself by staying active and  keeping the rest of you strong.

People are always asking me to post workouts videos and my feelings were, there are so many already out there, why post another one when you can google any exercise you want to see.

I found no reason to post and share until NOW

My restriction is non weight bearing lower body for 4 weeks.  That seemed impossible to someone like me.  Here I post my first upper body circuit workout 2 weeks post op after my 2nd hip surgery this year : o

My point is this, there is plenty you CAN DO while you are recovering from an injury, a surgery or any thing that creates limitations for you, the trick is to work around it!

Do what you can to stay strong while the rest of you mends.  Keep moving what you can and get the blood circulating.  The stronger you are the faster you will heal : ) This will cut your recovery time make it that much easier to get back to where you were and stay in shape while you recover.

NO MORE EXCUSES PEOPLE!

Keep Moving

GO for Life! ™whoefoodscrutches

In peace, health & with much love,

 

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Go Slower to Go Faster -Heart Rate Training with Phil Maffeton

So you got the fit bit with the heart rate monitor and you want to know how to determine your zone for increased fitness and fat burning potential…

If you really want to increase your fitness level here are the rules…

Taken from Maffetone’s Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing:

1. Subtract your age from 180.

2. Modify this number by selecting from among the following categories the one that best matches your fitness and health profile:

a. If you have or are recovering from a major illness (heart disease any operation or hospital stay, etc.) or are on any regular medication, subtract an additional 10.
b. If you are injured, have regressed in training or competition, get more than two colds or bouts of flu per year, have allergies or asthma, or if you have been inconsistent or are just getting back into training, subtract an additional 5.
c. If you have been training consistently (at least four times per week) for up to two years without any of the problems just mentioned, keep the number (180 – age) the same.
d. If you have been training for more than two years without any of the problems listed above, and have made progress in competition without injury, add 5.

Stay within the 10 beats do not go lower or higher.  The hard part is not going past your zone.  Staying slower will actually help establish a baseline and then you can improve your heart rate conditioning.  It will get frustrating but it will give you you a chance to practice patience and it does work!

What this does is stimulate the full spectrum of slow-twitch muscle fibers to rely on fat for fuel. Besides burning fat, it puts you in a recovery zone and helps improve heart and lungs, increased circulation, and better brain function.  This also helps the joints, bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles prevent injuries, avoiding chronic pain conditions in areas like the low back, knee, shoulder, wrist and neck.

Going slower to go faster Check it out..  “The Phil Maffetone Method”

GO for Life! ™ jefitthumb2

In peace, health & with much love, 

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Thank you Edgar Romero for turning me on to this.

Another Bit About the “Fit Bit”

You’re still addicted and you’re still counting your steps and you think that this will burn those extra calories.  Counting your steps and counting your calories will keep you in that same vicious cycle getting you no where :/

You can only drop your calories and work off calories for so long before your metabolism slows down.  The idea is not to decrease your caloric consumption it ‘s actually to eat the required number of calories for your BMR Basal metabolic rate and then get your body to burn excess fat through cardiovascular exercise in your target heart rate zone!

Keeping your calories high while working in this zone will actually increase your metabolism and work in your favor to once again decrease fat, improve heart rate conditioning and improve your overall fitness level, after all isn’t that the goal?!

Do you still believe in your Fit Bit now?

Did I also mention the golden gate bridge was for sale and you can charge people to walk across it?

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,
Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

 

A True Bit on “Fit Bit” and What Marketers Don’t Want You to Know

fit bit

You got your Fit Bit and you’re addicted to counting your steps.  Unless you’re a couch potato this is useless information and here’s why …

If your Fit Bit doesn’t have a heart monitor and you are not working in your heart rate zone, counting your steps will have no bearing on your fitness level or your ability to burn fat.

If you’re an active person, and I mean someone who moves around all day doing all sorts of things and are not sitting around, this gadget is not for you. Unless you have the one with the heart rate monitor and are using it to work in your heart rate training zone to either burn fat or improve your heart rate in which case you can forgo the Fit Bit and move right into a good old fashioned Heart Rate Monitor which actually does the trick of burning fat and improving your heart rate to increase your fitness level, none of which counting your steps on the Fit Bit will do.

So maybe you burned a few more calories by taking a few more steps but you could burn a ton of more calories by monitoring your heart rate and working in your heart rate  zone all of which is more efficient and leads to greater success to achieving your fitness goals of the afore mentioned burning fat, improving heart rate conditioning and increasing your fitness level.

Then there’s your nutrition, IF you’re still keeping to your same dietary habits then all of this effort will go to waste and you will remain just the same and you should just as well stay on the couch and be a potato.

Unless you are a couch potato, PLEASE don’t waste your time counting your steps this will only keep you walking in circles.

Why be a couch potato when you can be a track star? : )
Heart Rate Monitor ( No Chest Strap)

With Chest Strap

GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love,contact

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Insulin Resistance and The Rx

Here is the Rx …

sugarI too am insulin resistant and this has been a constant struggle for me in managing my weight. How I manage it is by keeping my complex carbs in small amounts. For instance I take one baked sweet potato and cut into quarters and only eat that quarter at that serving, in combination with protein so that it slows down the insulin rush. Adding a small amount of olive oil to them will also slow down that rush.

As my complex carbohydrate sources, I stick mostly with sweet potatoes, and some white, yucca and butternut squash. Generally, I don’t eat grains or legumes. When I start to get a reaction I pull them out completely for a few days until my system is balanced. Your energy levels, sleep patterns, and hunger pangs will tell you when to put them back in, it’s a cycling effect.

Insulin is a natural hormone made by the pancreas that controls the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood and allows the cells to use the glucose for energy.  When glucose floods the bloodstream the pancreas has to pump out enough insulin to drive that glucose into cells. The more glucose, the more resistant your tissues eventually become to the effects of insulin so the pancreas has to secrete even more and work overtime.

Diet certainly plays a factor but exercise can greatly improve insulin resistance.

Resistance training- is one of the best ways to improve insulin resistance and glucose control. Creating more muscle tissue creates more insulin receptors, improving the absorption of glucose into muscles so that it’s not floating in your blood or being converted into fat for lack of storage space.  As the muscle absorbs the glucose, the pancreas can now relax.

Interval training- which alternates a relaxed pace with bursts of high-intensity movement – like HIIT Training, generates better glucose control than steady-state cardio. The intense contractions that fatigue muscles also break down carbohydrate stores in muscle. The muscles then become much more responsive to insulin as they attempt to replenish these stores.

As discussed in previous blogs  another reason to get a heart rate monitor. This will help heal yourself while you’re getting in shape and losing weight.

Insulin resistance, is a major risk factor for the development of Type II diabetes.

The prescription…exercise!

GO for Life! ™joycethumb

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal

HIIT Cardio for Intense Fat Burning

heart rate watchHigh Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time.

In this type of training  you give one hundred percent all-out effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active, recovery periods.  Because This gets and keeps your heart rate up it burns more fat in less time.

By taxing both the anaerobic and aerobic systems you are able to increase your endurance while improving your conditioning level, improve glucose metabolism and burn more fat.

HIIT increases the resting metabolic rate  (RMR) for the following 24 hours due to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption , and may improve maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) more effectively than doing only traditional, long aerobic workouts.

However, HIIT is not an everyday activity!

Repeat

DO NOT try this everyday.. it WILL lead to overtraining, injuries and metabolic disorders and this will lead you nowhere fast!

Because the central nervous system (CNS) is primarily affected by this high-intensity work it takes a minimum of 48 hours to recover.

HIIT sessions may vary from 4–30 minutes. These sessions are short but intense.

HIIT Cardio sessions can be performed on a bike, elliptical, treadmill running, or even on stairs.

For example 20 sec intensive work 10 sec rest – repeat 4 minutes, also known as Tabata Training.

Training intervals once/week can improve body composition along with conditioning levels.  To improve your conditioning levels aim for 2 x week.

This type of training puts serious demands on the body and should leave you physically and mentally drained after a good workout.

Recovery antidote for this is old fashioned steady state cardio training : )

Use slow fat burning cardio at about 120 bpm the other 4-5 days/week to recover and continue burning fat : ).

*HIIT Training can be incorporated into your routine only after you have safely built an aerobic baseline.

More on this soon…
Heart Rate Monitor ( No Chest Strap)

With Chest Strap

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal

How to Calculate and Determine YOUR Specific Heart Rate Zones

Now it’s time to get specific YOUR training heart rate.

We are all different, with different fitness levels, with differing Resting and Maximal Heart Rates.  All this will play a factor in calculating your numbers so you can stay in YOUR zone.

An acceptable approximation:

MAX HEART RATE  (MHR) 220- Age

*After the age of the 30

MHR = 190- (age-30)/2

Now calculate your Resting Heart Rate (RHR)

Take your pulse for 60 seconds when you wake up in the morning before you start fiddling about.

Then you’ll need your Heart Rate Reserve (HRR), to determine a more accurate training zone.

MHR-RHR=HRR

Now you can figure out YOUR specific Fat Burning Range at the bottom range

RHR+(HRR*.5) @ 50%

RHR+(HRR*.6) @ 60%

*MHR for swimming and cycling may be lower by 5 to 10 bps.

Got It!

Hit me up if you have any questions

Heart Rate Monitor ( No Chest Strap)

With Chest Strap

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

The 30-Day Yoga Challenge – a personal journey

I decided to make a 30-day commitment to change.  I signed up at my yoga studio for the 30-day challenge or mat crawl as the Green Monkey would call it.royal dancer

You commit to your mat for 30 days. This means show up to this space everyday for one month. Everyday be present, be mindful and for that time give all you have of yourself.

The challenge here at the Green Monkey went beyond 30-days.  You had take 30 different teachers in 31 days which meant you couldn’t take the same teacher or class twice and had to flip your schedule upside to get the classes in.

Just to be clear Yoga is something I do, not the “Thing” that I do.  So I decided I wanted to change my routine and deepen my yoga practice.

At first I’ll admit I was apprehensive about taking other teachers classes.  I wanted to take the classes and teachers that I had come to know and love.  But I signed up for this commitment and I was going to complete it. As I began the journey and got out of my daily routine I immersed myself in the process of change.  By experiencing other teachers classes I realized that everyone had something to teach and there was something to be gained from every one.  Not a bad class or teacher in the bunch.  I had now been exposed to umpteen different styles of yoga and each one selflessly shared their own practice. By physically letting go of my routine and set patterns, internally I began letting go of my own preconceived notions about everything.wildthing

I released restrictions in my shoulders and chest and my heart opened wider.  New people started coming into my life and sharing their positive energy with me.

handstand in the cloudsI let go of fear and my hand stands magically improved : ) .
(check out my feet in the clouds)

I practiced hip openers. As the tension and pain in my hips decreased, my mobility increased. I found myself moving more freely and lighter and  the energy in my life was flowing with ease. ( I got my lotus back : )lotus pic

Everyday was a new experience. With each passing day I found myself feeling better and growing happier.  At the end of the 31 days I had completed my commitment and my Yoga practice had gotten stronger and deeper. I felt less restricted, more open, restored and renewed and once again there was a bounce in my step : ) .

Feeling accomplished!

Namastecontact
&
GO for Life! ™

Photos taken at the Wabi Sabi Eco retreat in Jamaica!

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer