Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Should I Stretch Before or After I Workout?

Stretching can be a tricky thing when it comes to exercising. We never want to stretch out when our muscles aren't warm and yet, we want to make sure to stretch before we workout so that we don't pull anything. Sounds like a catch 22. When it comes to stretching we should be stretching before and after our workouts. However, we need to pay attention to what kind of stretches we are performing.

We should use dynamic stretching when warming up for a workout. A dynamic stretch is a stretch done with controlled movement. This type of stretch enables our muscles to warm up without overly stretching the muscle. Arm swings, leg swings or arm walks (reaching for the floor and walking your arms out) are all great stretches to do before you workout.

Once our muscles have warmed up, we use static stretches to work on flexibility and prevent soreness after a workout. During this type of stretch we hold the position as we elongate the muscle. Static stretches are a great way to cool down post workout, but again, don't get too cool or you may risk a pulled muscle. Some of my favorite static stretches include pigeon pose, seated straddle and spinal twist.

It is so important to incorporate stretching into our workouts. We should use dynamic stretching (controlled movement) before our workout and static stretching (holding the stretch) during or immediately after we exercise. Flexibility is just as important as strength and endurance so stretch it out babes! x

Friday, November 14, 2014

Magical Mushrooms [Post Workout]

I just got back from one of the hardest workouts of my life. I tried a Bari Fitness class at their new studio here in Newport Beach (highly recommend). I rarely get the chance to actually take a class since I'm always teaching so it was a real treat. However, I can already feel my muscles getting sore, which is great except I have to teach in a few hours... yikes.

In search of something to boost my energy and help my muscles recover I remembered that I was recently sent some samples of (obviously organic) mushroom powder by Mushroom Matrix. Have you heard that mushrooms can help with everything from recovery to stamina to beauty? I hadn't. Well, I've done some investigating and here's what I found about our magical mushrooms (they really are super).

Shitake, Cordyceps and Reishi mushrooms have been shown to...

  • Strength & Endurance: Cordyceps increase ATP production... which gives us energy and help build our muscles!  
  • Anti-Aging (ok, yes please!)
  • Boost Immunity
  • Antitumor
  • Antidepressant
  • Increases Blood flow
  • Anti- Inflammatory
  • Excellent source of Vitamin D

And even more! I have to ask myself, why aren't I taking this stuff everyday?! Well this week I've been adding it to my Greens First and I'm starting to reap the benefits. With zero flavor, I've got nothing to lose! Have you tried mushroom powders yet? If so, have you noticed a difference?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Beach Barre Thighs & Booty (with a Stroller!)

Hi Babes! It's time to work off the weekend with this brand new Beach Babe (stroller) Barre Workout. As you can see, I'm using my stroller as my Barre, which is perfect for mamas. But this exercise isn't just for moms, if you don't have a stroller, you can always use a chair or a wall. Feel the Beach Babe burn as you work the thighs and the booty. It burns so good! x

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Barefoot Workouts : The Good and The Bad

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Yoga, Pilates, Barre, boxing and even running all encourage people to workout with bare feet. But what about our expensive (and cute) shoes that support our feet and ankles to protect us from injury? I've been teaching Barre for the past 5 years and in all of my classes, I've always gone barefoot (or with these cutie sox or these super cool studio wraps). It's got me thinking, is it good to constantly workout with bare feet or do my feet need a little more support? Today I'm giving you the pros and cons to exercising barefoot...

The Good:
  • Shoes can alter the foots natural strike with the floor causing injuries like planar fasciatis and shin splints
  • Barefoot exercise strengthens the arches and muscles in the foot and ankles (if you don't use it, you loose it)
  • You can "feel" the floor beneath you improving balance
  •  Increases flexibility and mobility of the foot 

The Bad:
  • Exercising barefoot can cause injury if the feet and ankles are not strong enough
  • You have to build up callouses for outdoor running... ugly
  • There's no cushion between you and a hard floor (like concrete) 
  • You might step on something like a pebble or glass... ouch.

I always encourage my students to exercise in whatever way they feel most comfortable. But, if you've never exercised with bare feet before, it's time to give it a try. Barefoot exercise is the best way to strengthen your feet and ankles and since this area of the body is the foundation of everything else, strong feet can lead to a stronger body. 

Getting Started:
Like every other part of the body, start slow and work your way up. Also, keep in mind what kind of surface you're exercising on. I recommend starting out with a low impact workout (like barre, yoga or Pilates) and as you get stronger, try more high impact workouts (like running) on grass or sand.  Oh, and skip the callous removal on your next pedicure (wink, wink).

Thursday, October 16, 2014

(The Best Ever) Sweet Potato Salad

Ok babes, this sweet potato salad is seriously the bomb dot com. Loaded with healthy fats and vegetarian, it's my new favorite go-to meal or snack. It's one of those throw it all together, can't really go wrong kinda salads, so I'm not giving any measurements. Here ya go...  make now and thank me later.

Baked Sweet Potato
Cooked Red or Tri-Color Quinoa
Organic Mixed Greens
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Pine Nuts
Herbs de Provence
Olive Oil
Sea Salt

To Make:

Heat oven to 400. Wash sweet potatoes and use a fork to pierce them several times. Coat sweet potatoes in olive oil and bake for 45 minutes or until tender.*  While the sweet potatoes bake, bring two cups of water and one cup quinoa to a boil, then let simmer until all of the water has dissolved. Once cooled, cut the sweet potato into bite sized pieces. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl. Mix and drizzle with olive oil. Yum!

*If you want to save some time, you can microwave sweet potatoes for about 5 minutes (or until tender)


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