Monthly Archives: December 2014

4 ways to combat holiday stress

We all know how it feels when we’re tense. And the rush before and after the holidays really adds to the stress load.

Stress takes a toll on our bodies. It affects your workout program, too. That tense feeling means your muscles are tired even before you start using them. Consequently, your workout performance is going to take a hit. To avoid that, there are several things you can do to help.

1. Get more sleep. If six hours do it for you normally, you might need eight or nine for a few nights to get back on track.

2. Drink more water. Stress leaches water out of the system. That dehydration makes muscles sore. Avoid that by sipping water throughout the day.

3. Watch what you eat. When we’re stressed we tend to reach for “comfort foods” that are high fat, high salt and high in calories. Stress depletes the body of nutrients making it more important than ever to make good food choices — even during the holidays.

4. Don’t get discouraged. Understand that when stress makes that workout tougher and less rewarding, it’s temporary. Don’t let poor performance turn into an excuse to quit.

The key is to be on the lookout for the signs that you are at the stress threshold. Pay attention to what your body is telling you. Once you recognize the signs, you can manage the situation and keep your program on track.

Six things you can do to prevent workout injuries

Once you have started working out regularly, the last thing you need is to be sidelined with an injury. Once injured, many people never get back to their regular routine.

Working to prevent injury in the first place helps. We can’t promise you’ll never get hurt, but these six points will help decrease your risk:

1. Layer your clothing. When you start a workout, keep your body warm until your internal temperature comes up, then eliminate layers as needed.

2. Start slowly. Don’t just jump right in at full speed. Start slowly and work up gradually.

3. Stay well hydrated.  Many people don’t realize that you should sip water continuously throughout the day – every day – not just before and after working out.

4. Watch your form. Pay attention to the position of your body as you work out. If your stance changes when you are walking or running, it’s time to stop. Don’t continue if you find yourself using your whole body to lift, rather than the intended muscle.

5. Don’t push through pain. If something hurts, stop.

6. Make sure you allow time to rest and repair. You need to rest the body to repair muscles after intense activity. One day on, and one day off is a good rule of thumb.