As with anything, running is good in moderation!
I’ve been running since before I can remember. Growing up I was on the track team throughout middle and high school, and I ran EVERY SINGLE DAY! All running, no weight training. That was until I developed patella tendinitis in both of my knees, which let’s just say is super painful. This ailment was the direct result of the repetitive motion of running, without proper strength training to keep my legs and joints healthy and strong.
Moral of the story is that our bodies are not designed to be hitting the pavement every day. Believe me, this was a hard pill for me to swallow. I was truly inspired after reading the book Run Less, Run Faster, and with time I learned that I could become a faster and stronger runner when I ran less. By cross training, and incorporating strength training, stretching, and rest days into my schedule, I became a more balanced and disciplined athlete.
Maybe you are currently an avid runner, or someone that has been wanting to incorporate running into your regular fitness routine. Either way it is important to prioritize and plan your training in a way that optimizes your results and prevents burn out and injury!
For the seasoned runner that likes to compete:
For the beginner runner:
Regardless of what type of runner you are it is important to incorporate resistance training to help stabilize and support your joints while you run. By working on your muscle balance, strength, and power, you will become a stronger and faster runner. Resistance training will help your body prepare for the impact of the foot to ground contact. There are tons of ways to incorporate strength training into your overall fitness routine, so find a way that works for you. If you like quick and effective workouts that you can do from anywhere with minimal equipment, be sure to check out Body In Motion. I help my Body In Motion virtual gym clients plan and execute the ideal fitness routine for them. Click here to try a week for free.
Going Zero To Sixty
We’ve all been there. You feel out of shape, like you’ve packed on a few extra pounds, maybe
you’ve been lazy for just a bit too long. Then suddenly something motivates you to get your act
together and start working out. You want to ride this wave of ambition, so you go all out. Day
one you go for a couple mile run. Day two you hit up an aerobic workout class. Day three you
go for another run, this time even further.
Guess what happens on day four? You crash! You wake up sore. Your legs feel like jelly. You’re
exhausted beyond belief. Worst of all, you feel really discouraged. You consider why you even
attempted to work out in the first place. Maybe it’s just not your thing. You didn’t feel THAT
bad before you started. Certainly, you felt better then you do right now.
Here’s the harsh truth – you set yourself up for failure right from the beginning. You broke the
cardinal rules when it comes to kick starting your fitness routine. First, you went too hard too
fast. You incorporated way too much cardio into your schedule. Finally, you didn’t let your
muscles recover from the new strain you put on them.
When it comes to ramping up your workouts, or simply starting to work out, you must take
baby steps. Your body needs time to adjust to the new movement, time to repair in between
workouts, and time to ease into a new normal routine. Here are my five tips for creating a
workout routine that lasts!
1. Start Slow – If you haven’t worked out at all, start with a short daily walk. Walking ishighly underrated and an amazing way to ease into movement for your body. If youwork out sporadically and want to ramp things up, try taking things up one very minor
notch. If you use 5lb weights, try using 7lbs. If you run 2 miles, try running 2.5. If you
work out on your own, try a workout class.
2. Listen to your Body – You should feel the burn, but you shouldn’t feel pain. If your bodyis telling you to slow down, listen to it. Make sure you stretch both before and after
your workouts, this will help keep your muscles long and lean, and reduce the risk of
3. Modifications are your Friend – If you partake in organized workout classes, stick to
ones that cater to all fitness levels. The best workout instructors provide modifications
either to make a move easier, or to make it harder. When your just getting started, be
sure to try the modified version first before you work your way up to the more
advanced stuff. I promise you will still get a great workout!
4. Embrace Active Rest Days – I work active rest days into EVERY one of my clients’
routines. Active rest day means giving your body a break from the high-intensity or
resistance type workouts, without being a couch potato. As your body adjusts to more
movement, it’s important to rest your muscles, but to not leave them stagnant for an
entire day. 30 minutes of walking, yoga, stretching, or an activity like gardening or
cleaning is perfect for active rest days.
5. Find Balance – I have literally seen it all when it comes to being a personal trainer.
People who insist upon two workouts a day, people that fall for the gimmicks that
promise instant results in as little as one week, people who only do cardio and do it
every day. These things always lead to burn out, injury, and/or no progress. Focus your
workout routines on a healthy balance of cardio, resistance training, and rest. These are
the building blocks to achieving all your health and fitness goals.
The Body in Motion program is designed to help you live a happier and healthier lifestyle by
creating new habits! A behavior becomes a habit, on average, after two months of consistency.
Therefore, it’s important to have a program that fits your busy schedule and allows you to stick
with it. Check out Body in Motion and sign up today to receive your first week free!
The Power Of A Challenge
Maybe it’s my competitive nature, or perhaps I just like the idea of having a solid plan that I don’t have to make - but I love a good challenge! Is anyone with me? I am talking about anything from 5k races to participating in dry January with a group of girlfriends! Something about the comradery of mutual suffering just sparks something within me! (Just kidding… kind of!)
For my challenges I like to create workout programs that give you a flexible set of guidelines to follow that help you stay motivated in reaching your goals. I have found these challenges to help my clients time and time again, and now I am sharing the secret to their success by breaking down the top three reasons why joining challenges simply work!
1. Accountability - With my challenges I always accompany them with support. Because some days you just need that little extra push to get your butt moving! As a virtual personal trainer, I encourage my clients to share their experience on social media and in our community forum group so we can cheer each other along. I also make myself text me with any questions throughout the challenge. A little support goes a long way, and if nothing else, feeling like you don’t want to let your trainer down is sometimes motivation enough!
2. Structure - Let’s face it, we could all use a little more structure in our lives to keep us on track. Fitness challenges help by providing us a routine that we can stick to, rather than leaving the decision making up to our own devices. Fitness challenges provide you with a clear schedule, ensure you are working different muscle groups each day, and optimizing your results. (Side note: the good challenges work in rest days to help your muscles recover and prepare themselves for your next workout which is super important!)
3. Consistency - Whatever your goal might be - losing weight, toning up, running a 5k, increasing your endurance etc. - consistency is really the only way to achieve success! Challenges build in consistency for you by providing you with a structured schedule to follow that includes a plan for each day of the week! If you stick to the challenge, you won’t go days without making progress and set yourself back from your goals!
So there you have it! If you are in dire need of accountability, structure, and/or consistency, then maybe signing up for a fitness challenge is your key! I find that challenges are a great way to kick start a new habit, or level-up your current routine. Challenges are a great way to change what you are currently doing, to experience different results - whatever your goals might be!
Challenge yourself today by signing up for Body In Motion today and try out the latest 4-week challenge designed to help you grow your strength and endurance!
Go ahead girl – eat the burger!
A couple of weeks ago Stew and I had a craving for a real Philly cheesesteak! We didn’t think about it too much, we didn’t try to talk ourselves out of it, and we certainly didn’t feel guilty for it afterwards. Why? Because we all need and deserve a cheat meal once in a while.
Growing up with a mom that’s a chef, meant I have had a love for food since the very beginning. Yeah, I’m all about healthy balanced meals, but I am equally all about treating myself to comfort foods and treats when appropriate!
I am a firm believer in moderation, and every woman needs some steady carbs and chocolate in her life! When I indulge I do it smartly so that it doesn’t throw me off track completely for the week, yet I still get to enjoy my favorite foods with an occasional cheat meal.
Want to know my secrets on how to indulge in moderation?
Practice these cheat meal tips next time your cravings strike and get the most out of your indulging!
Stretch It – Stretch It Real Good!
When it comes to squeezing in a quick workout, the number one thing people often neglect is the all-important stretch! I get it – the sweat seems more valuable than the cool down. But the truth is when you do that, you’re missing out on an important part of your workout!!!
Last week I talked about not being afraid of getting bulky from picking up weights. Well stretching is a SUPER important part of making sure you get long and lean defined muscles. Stretching keeps you flexible, strong, and healthy!
What are the benefits of stretching? It can improve your posture (humps aren’t sexy!), reduce pain, prevent injury and muscle soreness. Most importantly, stretching helps improve your range of motion(ROM). As you build and tone with resistance training, you work your muscles through the full ROM. This helps you improve your overall strength and achieve lean muscle mass. Stretching helps you relax and lengthen your short and tight muscles, allowing your joints to move throughout the range better. Not to mention it just feels sooooo good after a workout!
Next time you’re in a rush...
...Give your body what it needs and try these five stretches. You will thank yourself!
When you are stretching, hold for a minimum of 30 seconds - this time gives your muscle the ability to relax so it can lengthen in during stretch.
1. Pigeon Pose – Stretches your piriformis muscle (your tushy!)
2. Kneeling Lunge with Overhead Triceps – Stretches your hip flexors, triceps, and lat muscles (and it hurts so good!)
5. Doorway Stretch – I am a fan of stretching on the go, pretty much every time I walk through a doorway, I do this one! Stretches your pec muscles!
Jenna Webster, ACSM, ACE – Personal trainer specializing in empower busy women to live healthy and active lifestyles!”