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

 

 

IV: Getting Back on The Track still – Achieving Balance and Single-Limb Training

This is a reoccurring theme.. Maybe it’s because it is so difficult to achieve and maintain.  At least for the time being this theme keeps coming up for me in my recovery.  It’s like two steps forward one step back.. Just as I begin to think I’m done with this recovery thing something pulls me back to let me know that I’m still in it.

SL stepupThe imbalance between the right and left side is persistant at making me notice that I still have work to do.

Six months out now and feeling frustrated … more than slightly.  Just the other day I decided to test my body.  I tried a light jog only to wake up 2 days later and find my neck stiff as a board and couldn’t turn it.

Thankfully nothing that a chiropractic adjustment couldn’t fix but still a reminder that there’s more work to be done before I’m free.

These imbalances between right and left occur more often than you think.  If you get used to doing things always with your dominant side and never train the other side, over time  you are more than likely to develop an imbalance. You may not notice it for years to come but prepare yourself because when it does hit you will feel the pain in all areas that will be trying to overcompensate for your weakness. You’ll be dumbfounded wondering what hit you.

SO how to correct these imbalances or prevent them before they get you?

SINGLE LIMB TRAINING

Single-Limb training corrects left-right strength and size asymmetries and improves general balance and proprioception different from the way heavy resistance training does.

SL deadliftAnother method I implement is adding one extra set on the right.  So basically I start and finish with the right side for 4 sets on the right and 3 on the left, in an attempt to correct the weakness on my surgical side and bring it up to par with the left.

Here are some examples of exercises you can incorporate into your workout:

•Single-leg deadlift

•Single-leg squats

•Balance lunges SL Balance lunge

•Strict step-ups

•Single-leg hops

•Single leg calf raises

These provide the smallest possible base of support and require the greatest proprioceptive response. An excellent tool for developing stability, balance and strength interdependently of each other.

Though it takes twice as long to train each leg individually as it would to train them both at the same time this can serve as a bonus to increase your metabolic conditioning which means you can burn more fat  : )

Well at least with the two step forward and one step back method I’m still moving forward :)

Hit me up for more exercises.

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™joycethumb

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

 

III: Getting Back on the Track and Getting Creative With My Rehab

Even with limitations, I’ve 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 .

Getting creative with my rehab and making it a little more challenging and exciting by incorporating strength, balance and flexibility into my program in creative ways here’s my report:

Still no jumping or running but in the meantime…

In Tai Chi I have progressed to using full weight bearing, range of motion, strength, balance and flexibility.

At Force PT they have the Alter G, Anti Gravity treadmill.  I zip into the harness and the system calibrates my weight with the desired percentage of how much of my weight I can bear.  As of today 5 and half months post op I am at 75 percent of my body weight at a speed of 5.0 for 45 minutes.  This is a great tool to teach my body how to run again and develop endurance in the process.

Yoga incorporates isometric strength, balance and flexibility.

Figure Skating helps with my stabilizers and balance.

This surgery was a Glute Max (Butt) repair and that will be the last muscle that will work for me. Until then I’ve been strengthening every muscle around it. Often times this creates discomfort because my quads, hip flexors and hamstrings are doing double duty for that large muscle that doesn’t work to its full capacity yet.

All these modalities are teaching my body to move the way I’m going to ask it when all is said and done. Using functional and creative training methods to get me back on that track while keeping sane.

Almost there I can see the light : D

For fun watch video all the way through..

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

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

VIII: Getting Back on theTrack, Why I Choose Isagenix and About My Results

It’s Tuesday and things are flowing a lot better today. While still in recovery things are not moving as fast as I would like, but trust they are moving at the speed which they must,  I feel like I get  stuck in all sorts of places.  It seemed everything I tried to do was met with a complication, a challenge, or a brick wall so to speak.  Since I entered the world of Isagenix, I discovered an almost miraculous tool, the 2-day cleanse.   No matter how many times I’ve tried it, it always elicits a different experience with the same result, I ALWAYS FEEL BETTER!

On the morning after the second cleanse day, I wake up feeling energetic and positive with a renewed sense of perspective and magically I’ve been transformed in what seems like another world.

First thing I do is jump on the scale and I’ve lost at least 4 pounds- water, maybe. Four pounds may not sound like a lot but I’ve lost stress and blocks and negative feelings and loads of other …  lets call it 4 pounds of stuff.

It’s the end of something old and the start of something new.

My day begins with a renewed sense of self and I feel like I’m starting over.  Suddenly new opportunities are knocking on my door.  I now have clarity in situations where I couldn’t see the light.  In just 2 days I’ve managed to let go of other gray matter that no longer holds any significance in my life. I can move forward with a sense of freedom and no longer feel tired or locked down. Even my writing, where I once had writer’s block now flows effortlessly like a stream of consciousness.  My breathing is easier and my smile is my smile.  I feel amazing!

A jump start to feeling fresh and new or a reset button. I get to start over on a new path with a new perspective. Miraculously I’ve been catapulted into being in the here and now. I am present once again. :)

Attitude adjusted…

Feeling Grateful

Plus It’s time for that Spring Cleaning so Hit me up if your interested or follow this link….

http://jbefit.isagenix.com/

( copy/paste link to browser if doesn’t take you there)

GO for Life! ™

contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

VII:The Importance of Muscle Balancing and The Correlation Between Mind, Body and Spirit

sarong saluteI could talk about the importance of skeletal alignment, improved posture and improved proprioception but instead I’m going to go off the beaten path and refer to the correlation between mind, body and spirit, and how the physical manifests the spirit and what the spirit needs will manifest physically. Into the esoteric I go…

While I’ve been trying to balance my muscles to work symmetrically, it seems my life mirrors just that.  Things have been a bit off balance since my surgery as well. It should be no surprise when you come to realize how the physical reflects the spirit. In our lives we fall into patterns and routines, and during my recovery, hard as I try I can’t seem to keep my routine while trying to restore balance and stability into my body and my life.

There seems to be no routine and maybe that is because what I’m going through is not part of my routine or will never be and I’m just passing through.

Some days are easier than others and some just don’t make sense at all. I’m getting through it though :)

Sometimes things have a flow and then for no reason at all everything seems all over the place.  At times I feel like I’m going nowhere, other times I feel like a turtle moving ever so slowly and sometimes I don’t know where this going at all. I try to listen to the messages the universe is sending me and continue on the healing path.  It’s amazing the things you can discover here. Just the change in perspective from my pre-surgical days has led me here. My routine has changed the things I see and the way I see them, the things I do, the people I meet and the places I go.  I remind myself that like Tai Chi,  take one step at a time, take it slow, remember to breathe, where you are is where you are and therein you are in the flow…

You will be guided by your recovery.   Listen closely…As strength is restored, balance is recovered and life is uncovered.

Namaste

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™lotus pic

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

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