V: Getting Back on the Track -Next Up… Plyometrics

Plyometric training and why it does the body good.

How these explosive jumping exercises will help recovery and bring us back to speed….

Tendons take A LONG- VERY LONG time to heal.

As I watch my gluteus maximus  (aka. my butt), tendon repair, which incidentally is the largest muscle in the body, it helps power you up hills and stairs and supports your hip and pelvis, little by little I’ve been adding on to my regimen by increasing the level of difficulty and strength.

Without getting too technical, I will try to keep this simple…

Box jump Plyometric exercises like Squat Jumps, Box jumps, Lunge Jumps, Single leg hops, Leap Frogs and skaters strengthen the tendons and improve their elasticity by placing stress on them in a controlled setting. There are numerous studies that support the use of plyometric and dynamic stabilization/balance exercises in neuromuscular training to alter movement biomechanics. The stronger the tendons, the less the risk of injury.

The nervous system also has to be trained to switch on.lungejump

By training the body in a plyometric way, the body makes demands on the muscular system, whose needs are met first by the nervous system. Plyometric training improves the efficiency of this system as well.

lungeThe ability to control the degree of eccentric movement before an extension or concentric movement is key to all explosive sports. This is known as the stretch-shortening cycle. Over time this strengthens the stabilizing muscles to lessen the degree of flexion before the subsequent extension.  This in turn improves coordination and produces more efficient movement patterns. Through this power and speed are born.

Plyos can be subbed for cardio or a sprint day.  Plyos raise the speed of force and speed of your muscle contractions leading to higher explosive power that is needed in sports activities. Every sport can benefit from plyometric training.

To recap plyo training benefits:squat jump

Stronger tendons +Better coordination + Increased stabilization + Strength + Speed=Increased power output systemically and safely

Among all the other benefits, the bonus again is plyos are one of the most effective ways to torch calories and burn fat!

Slow and easy does it but still moving forward.  : )

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

 

 

II: Getting Back on the Track, The Journey Continues – Proceed With Caution

Thank you to Everyone who reached out with messages after my post a couple of weeks ago  … for sharing your honest journey with me and thank you for being a part in mine and making me feel like you’re holding my hand.. It helps :)

Doc says I can start swimming. PT has me on the Anti-Gravity Treadmill to simulate running. LOOK I am moving forward…

AlterG

It’s been almost 5 months since my second surgery though it does feel like a year and 4 all lumped into one. That said I intuitively picked month 4 as the turning point when things would start to seem less challenging rather than the uphill battle I feel I’ve been fighting.  The weight would magically start to disappear from around my hips and thighs. That bloated feeling would begin to wither away.  My clothes would start to fit more like it should and I would start to look and feel more like myself again.

As can be expected, I still have limitations and staying within them is like coloring inside the lines. Even though I feel better there are still warning signs reminding me to proceed with caution.

My current challenge is finding the balance between doing and not doing too much.  Allowing my body to continue healing while I continue to strengthen and start integrating functional movement.

Moving forward cautiously…

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

While STILL On the Road to Recovery VI- Muscle Balancing- Patience and Time is Required

BicepjbefitIt’s about a month since we last spoke.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been feeling a little stuck.  You know that feeling when things are moving so slowly that you think nothing is happening.   But that’s exactly where I need to be to heal.

And thank goodness film work has been keeping me quite busy and mentally occupied.

Here at week 14-post op my natural body strength is finally starting to come back to its senses  : )

As I have mentioned before, strengthening the muscles around the injured area is paramount to a safe and quicker recovery. And I have found quite a bit of things that I can do. I started integrating activities that would challenge my balance, work my stabilizers, and of course continue to strengthen my core. We’ll get into those soon enough.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on muscle balancing which means making sure that each muscle is working interdependently and doing their part in doing what each one is designed to do and working synergistically with the whole.  Sounds simple but really very complicated and takes a long time to achieve that balance, especially after 5 weeks non weight bearing plus.  Though the core work I’ve done throughout has made it easier and safer for me to do it’s still a process and the one I’m living through at the moment.

As proactive as I’ve been throughout the course of my recovery I am still reminded, by my body and my physical therapist that I keep around for adult supervision, that it takes TIME.  And though I want it yesterday I am at this point today: Accept here and now and find the message in each day and grow through this trying experience.

At 14 weeks, strength is starting to be restored and balance of muscles and stabilizers are coming back, but when I call on power I get no feed back. Nope, not there yet… Still more patience is required.

Cant rush through this, like anything it’s a process that takes time.

Thankfully, I have found plenty I can do while my body heals to keep my head right. There is no pain and minimal discomfort. More on that in blog to follow…

In the meantime, get back to work, stay positive, BE patient and

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

On the Road to Recovery IV- Cardio – Keeping the Heart Healthy when Using Your Legs is a ‘Hard Limit

What’s worse not being able to train your legs or not being able to do cardio?

Not being able to train both is catastrophic to both your metabolism and your heart health. Since both control your heart rate and both control the rate at which you burn fat, maintaining your weight or keeping body fat levels at bay can be challenging if not straight up difficult. (Continue reading for the answer…)

Finding ways to keep my heart rate up without using my legs was challenging for me.  Here are 2 ways I found to keep my heart up at least at a recovery rate of 120 bpm:Bouey

•The first was to put a buoy between my legs and swim with my arms for 30 minutes.

•The second, the arm bike, I would slap on my heart rate monitor and monitor my heart rate for 30 minutes to stay within a recovery heart rate fat burning zone.

armbikeThis is turn does a few things:
1. Put me in a recovery-training zone, which helps to speed up recovery.
2. Helps to circulate blood around the body, to the working muscles and into the healing area to once again speed up recovery.
3. Keeps my heart rate just high enough to burn a minimal amount of fat and train my heart without overstressing the body and again helping to speed recovery.

I can’t say this was fun but I was determined to keep some semblance of physical fitness throughout my recovery to make things easier on me both during and after.

It helped keep me focused and maintain a positive perspective and help attain that feel good serotonin release, even if just for a little bit.

The answer: Leg Training

When training your legs you can elicit both a rise in heart rate for a cardio benefit and strength training to maintain strength and lean muscle for a speedier metabolism and increased circulation for a speedier recovery.

Keep moving people.

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

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

Avoid Carbs and Insulin Before Bed

SWEETFRIES5964Carbs are a poor choice as a pre-bed meal. Complex carbohydrates that is.

The reason:  Consuming carbohydrates will result in a significant insulin release. This will  put the breaks on fat-burning.  If that is your goal. Carbs are also much more easily stored as fat in the evening hours when metabolism is naturally slowing in preparation for sleep.  You have very little opportunity to burn off that energy when consuming carbs at night – unless you have some nighttime activity or running a marathon the day after.

Also, remember insulin production is partly influenced by your previous meal. The more carbohydrates consumed the more insulin produced.

Otherwise, stick to protein, veggies and healthy fats for your last meal…

and have a good night : ) zzzzzz

GO for Life! ™jefitthumb2

In peace, health & with much love,

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