The secret to hydration

Water and hydration is crucial for athletic success and human movement.  For the ability to allow our body to age gracefully and perform at optimal levels we must stay hydrated.  But how much do you understand the ability of the body to hydrate itself and what can we do to further improve our ability for increased hydration.

We need to MOVE!  And we need to move in a variety of ways.  This truly is the key to improving hydration through our system.  Drinking enough water throughout the day is only one step in a healthy level of hydration.  Our fascial system is a connection of tissue throughout our entire body.  Think of it as a net or a spider web of Soft tissue that surrounds and wraps around all structures of the body.  It’s a connection system and is also an enormous store of water in the body.

Thomas Myers The originator of the Anatomy Trains Myofascial Meridians explains through the Anatomy Trains website that “Fascia is the biological fabric that holds us together. You are about 70 trillion cells all humming in relative harmony; fascia is the 3-D spider web of fibrous, gluey, and wet proteins that hold them all together in their proper placement.”

We need to get water into the tissue by moving the body and the movement needs to vary to allow the fascia system that weaves its way through the body to be hydrated.  As we move and exercise water is squeezed in and out of tissue.  Without moving in a variety of ways the water we drink throughout the day has less of a chance to hydrate us efficiently.  The less we move, the more “stiffer” we feel.  This restriction or tightness may also happen due to inflammation and injury and usually the Fascia is ignored as a main cause of pain.  Thomas Myers (Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapist) explains that fascia has 10 times as many nerve endings as there is in muscle.  This is an important fact for individuals looking to reduce pain, inflammation and improve recovery.

For the athlete who ignores recovery and trains heavy on a regular basis you must be reminded that this training drives water out of the tissue which may lead to an increase in that feeling of stiffness.  Recovery should be doubled in the form of sleep, nutrition, massage or whatever options help you recover to an optimal level.  This is important for athletes looking to reduce their risk of non contact sport related injuries.  Keeping the soft tissue healthy is a great way to reduce the risk.

What are easy steps to improve hydration?

Drink water!

Move your body in a variety of different movement patterns!

RECOVER with enough sleep & clean nutrition.

Incorporate additional recovery choices like Massage, relaxation & stress reduction options.

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Everyone burps…everyone farts…everyone takes a sh*t!

Here’s the thing. I don’t care what I look like. Hmmm, I’m sure that could be taken many ways! But, it’s a good thing. Everyone has things about themselves that they hate. Don’t lie… it’s human nature! We pick ourselves apart probably on a daily basis. Yes, I certainly have things I don’t like about myself but I also appreciate the ability of what I can do. The older I get the more I appreciate Me and the more I don’t care, but in a good way.

It makes me glad I have two boys. I won’t have to live with the teenage years or hormonal episodes of girls. The constant social hype of looking good & being skinny. The world will never change! I really don’t see a world of acceptance for all shapes and sizes. Sorry, not gonna happen! So why stress? Wouldn’t you want to go through each day being happy about yourself for who you are? Sounds totally cliche, I know but bare with me. I don’t care about myself…. in a good way!
What the hell does that even mean? It means I don’t give a crap if my hair is constantly tied back in a pony. It’s amazing to have your hair out of your face when you are training! What a free feeling. I don’t worry that I look like a sweaty mess after a workout and my hair looks like crap because I had an amazing workout! I moved my body… I defuzzed! I made steps to be healthier and happier!

I don’t give a crap if I hunt daily for the same gray hoody I got at a Strength & Conditioning conference. It almost never leaves my body because it’s comfortable & cozy as hell and keeps me warm! It makes me happy as a pig in shit!

I don’t give a crap if my jeans are now tighter around my ass then they were a few years ago. I have worked hard on creating a powerful, strong butt! I lift heavy shit, I push sleds, I squat, I deadlift… I look forward to a great strength workout because my ass will get bigger!.. yup, that’s right ladies… my ASS will get BIGGER! Bring it on!

I don’t give a crap about what people think of me. What has that done? It has allowed me to be myself. I can laugh and act like a complete idiot in front of true friends and clients because we have fun! We laugh, we aren’t afraid to be ourselves, to express opinions or beliefs because we CAN! I have created an amazing circle of friends through my work. My days consist of nothing but laughs, happiness and encouragement because we can be ourselves!

I don’t give a crap if what comes out of my mouth shocks you? Because every single time it has allowed another individual to express a thought or emotion they were scared to mention. It means what you say can’t be that bad??? So in a sense, I am making you look better because I’m fairly certain I would probably say something a bit more stupid anyways but, remember, I don’t care…. but in a good way!

I don’t give a crap if I wear no makeup and have no super model secrets hidden in my back pocket. How refreshing is it to not worry about make-up smudges. I save a shitload on cosmetics….because I don’t buy them! I have no worries about my sweat towel getting make-up caked on it. And wearing make-up is just way too much work!

I don’t give a crap! But in a good way! Why is it good? I am happy! I am happy that I don’t need to walk around daily struggling with “how does my hair look”. Or “Does my butt look fat in these jeans?”
Everyone burps, everyone farts, everyone takes a shit! That is my mentality. It’s freeing! It allows me to focus on important things in life. How can I be a better mother and wife? How can I make my clients fitness journey better? How can I learn and educate myself to a higher level? How can I keep myself healthy & happy? Once you start to not give a shit…. you appreciate everything!

STRONG POINTS – Tips to get going

By Contributed – Vernon Morning Star

Finding balance in your training and conditioning program can be a tough call for people with busy lives. The first thing to go is usually fitness. People find it hard to find time or the energy to be involved in a well rounded program. Finding the balance between training and life doesn’t need to be difficult and it doesn’t have to take tons of time out of your schedule. If you are finding yourself in a rut or having a hard time starting a healthier lifestyle, I hope this article gives you the motivation to start!

I asked current clients for feedback on how staying active makes them feel.
Doug H.: “Working out has really helped me mentally just knowing that I can physically accomplish so much more, like longer and more productive shifts at hockey, just tying up the skate laces easily, more day to day energy. Being in better physical shape just gives you more confidence in yourself. It took hard work to get in shape and just knowing you had the discipline to accomplish that helps you in your approach to your daily life, it makes goal setting easier knowing that same discipline can be applied to other aspects of your life.”

Nicole M.: “Committing to daily exercise helps me relieve stress and tension; exercise releases endorphins in my brain, which make me feel happier and more confident.”

Gord F.: “My fitness routine helps me to stay physically mobile and mentally sharp as I age gracefully.”

Some great tips to help you continue the path of fitness:

n Find a conditioning program that helps you stay motivated and accountable. This could mean joining with friends or a program that is group based.

n Be sure to take into account adaptation. Finding activities and programs that lack proper adaptation is an injury waiting to happen! Just because it’s hard doesn’t means it’s good! Avoid beating your body into the ground with high volume and lack of technique. Training to fatigue is a sure-fire way to get injured.

Search out quality instruction and don’t be afraid to ask for credentials/liability insurance and ongoing education credits.

Now take this time to get moving and inspired — your body and mind will thank you!

Strong Points is written by certified personal trainer Rhonda Catt, with CATT Conditioning and Excel Fitness in Vernon.

Stress is a Mess!

Ya, we have heard it before… STRESS! You are stressed…. I’m so stressed. It’s unavoidable and happens daily. It’s the everyday stresses that people do not recognize such as getting the kids ready for school on time or the drive to work….. you know, those drivers that seem to forget they have turn signals for a reason! Most people just go about their day but along with physical stress, that mental stress all adds up.
Here is a daily challenge for you, choose one option below and see how you feel after one week!

Challenge 1: Increase your sleep! How much do you get per night? Do you stay up late on weekends? Are you able to get at least 8 hours sleep per night?
Challenge 2: Are you too busy? Can you say No? Do you feel like you need to help out in every situation? Take time for yourself! Can you say no when needed?
Challenge 3: Eat clean and healthy! What can you eliminate or reduce in your diet? How much sugar do you consume daily? Can you increase the amount of vegetables daily?
Challenge 4: Activity! Can you perform some sort of daily physical activity?

Pick a challenge and see what you can accomplish for one week! Good luck!

Tough Mudder

Wow! Headed to Whistler this past weekend for an amazing weekend of ..well, not too sure how to explain it! It was FUN, it was totally more then I imagined! I was on a high after completing the course! I couldn’t wait to do it all over again or at least something else similiar to it! Was it tough…no, actually! I honestly didn’t think it was tough. The cold water obstacles were brutal but they were also so much fun. I looked at that course and experience and was thankful for my background of fitness and loving the fact that I could accomplish the challenge with no problem at all. Each person I saw cramping or limping made me realize how fortunate I was to love what I do because my training background made it fairly easy, if that is the best word to describe it!?
What I realized was that it doesn’t need to be a Tough Mudder challenge to make you appreciate your fitness or training background. You could be the average Joe who just spends some great quality time with your kids and plays pretty hard with them. The fact that you have the ability to do so because of your fitness is exactly what I want you to appreciate!
For me, it was the challenge of Tough Mudder and doing it! For you, it could be the game of flag football with friends or biking with your kids. Take the time to appreciate what you CAN do but also take the time to think about what you CAN’T do? Do you have limitations simply due to the fact that you aren’t active? Are you someone who just doesn’t do much at all? Tired…aches…pains? Maybe it’s time to get moving more! There is never too late of a time to get active…get fit and move your body!
What Tough Mudder taught me was to open up to opportunities for MORE! To get out of my comfort zone in strictly training…… put that training to USE! Mountain biking, running, weight training…it all helped me but now it’s time to have some fun with other adventures. Wow… I can’t wait! How about you?

Stop the denial!

Losing weight and fatloss really is an easy concept!  Eat healthy, clean & wholesome foods 80-90% of the time!  Have smaller portions throughout the day.  Yes… I believe most have heard these same tips.  Why do most people seem to lose when it comes to losing the weight and dropping the fat?  Could it be denial?

Yes, I think alot of what is stopping people from reaching their goals is denial!  Denial of what they eat, when they eat, how they eat and WHY!  The denial of eating healthy and clean for alot of people still means pulling something out of a box or bag.  If it says it’s healthy for you on the box…. shouldn’t it mean it is!  HELL NO!

The denial of knowing what is right and wrong to eat…. or should I say, more appropriate!  Eating RIGHT takes work.  It takes courage to try new things and different recipes that you may not be accustomed to.  It means taking the time to plan your meals and preparing lunch and on the road snacks.  Stopping at a drive through and having the denial that it’s healthy is false!  Sure, there are healthier choices available but nothing beats a clean, healthy, wholesome meal or snack prepared by YOU!

Stop the denial of what you are eating.  Everyone makes the comment that “I do eat healthy…. I do eat clean”.  I think not!  The denial of most is what is stopping their success and taking them backwards … further away from reaching their goals.  The denial of food, the denial of lack of food!  It goes both ways.  When you start to treat your body with respect and your health with respect, this is when the denial stops!  This is when you get closer to your goals!  Stop the denial and take action!  Appreciate life and your body and have fun!  Denial leads to failure! 

Now, get going and start your success!

What type of athlete are you?

For the majority of people, Athletic performance and general fitness don’t match up in the same category.  In actual fact, an athlete and general fitness enthusiast can be in the exact same category when it comes to dysfunction and training.  Do not fool yourself into thinking that your training should be any different if you do not consider yourself an athlete!  The human body is athletic in every movement we make.

When it comes to fitness conditioning it’s important to get a clear understanding on what category you fall into so any program you follow will address your needs.  There are three main components to think about.  Movement which means you have optimal functional movement.  Performance which shows adequate power and coordinated movement.  And, skill, that shows you have optimal sports-specific or activity-specific skill.

For many people there is an imbalance between these areas.  There can be an over Powered or underpowered athlete/individual or under-skilled.  Take someone who is highly powered but un-stable.  This individual may seem strong but lacks appropriate stability to reduce injuries and transfer even more power.  Or take an athlete who is highly skilled in their sport but is actually lacking strength, power or consistency and fizzles out early in the game.  There needs to be a reason on why you are training the way you do!  Even basic fat loss programs need to address limitations.   

Many training programs now have become far too specialized and fancy.   You must keep it simple!  True success lies in the individual who can move with appropriate range of motion, has an increased sense of body awareness and an appropriate amount of power production.  You need to have enough stability, mobility and proper movement to handle loads and forces during training, life and game play!  You will then feel like you are in control of your surroundings and any chance of injuries is greatly reduced!

 So, what is next?  What does this all mean for you?  It means don’t exercise blindly!  Do not follow generic programs.  Think about your weaknesses and limitations when you move and find out how to reduce them.  Education is the key to fitness success!

How intense does it get?

Intensity has always been an issue that arises when speaking to people about reaching their fitness goals.  It’s hard to push yourself, sweat and feel the muscles burn if you truly do not enjoy that sensation!  Yes, you can make great gains in fitness with lighter/moderate intensity levels but to truly reach your goals of fat loss and sport performance, you do need to push to levels that are not comfortable!  These levels are also dependent on the individuals level of fitness.  This article will focus on the population that already has a training base.  Has followed a fitness program on a regular basis and does not have any injuries.  Increasing intensity if you are not ready for it can be a recipe for injuries so know your body!
When was the last time you sprinted?  When was the last time you skipped?  When was the last time you pushed your level of fitness beyond what was normal?  Do you find yourself reading on cardio machines at the gym?  Do you spend 2 hours on your workout?  Take this challenge for the next 30 days!  Find an activity that you feel pushes you beyond your norm.  Shorten the duration and increase the intensity level!   This will utilize more energy and overall increase your caloric output and fat usage!  Stop thinking that slow and steady will win the fat loss race!  Running 10k every day isn’t the way to lean up!  Limit your workouts to maximum 60 minutes and less and get outside and climb stairs, hike and sprint the wonderful sport fields! 
Excessive long duration activity can be a curse for Adrenal fatigue and high cortisol levels among other things but most people feel the only way to lose fat is to workout or run for hours on end!  This is the same for athletes!  More is not always better!  Most individuals respond better to high-intensity intervals incorporated throughout the week between the all important regeneration days.  Use heart rate monitors or timed trials into your workout.  Race a training buddy in sprint or agility drills and don’t be afraid of hills or stairs!
Intensity can be the one curse for so many who do not reach their goals.  How you train becomes the enemy but may also become your dearest friend! 
If you have any questions regarding this article please contact Rhonda Catt at cattconditioning@yahoo.com
 

Inspiration

I have four links below that are very inspiring!
Health & Fitness for everyone can be a challenge at the best of times!  We only have ourselves to blame, to admire, to encourage and to compare to.  How can you make your next workout better than your last!  Tomorrow better than today!  Goals are achieved through your hard work and determination!  It is what you put into today that allows for success or failure tomorrow… and the next day…..and the next day……..
 
Only YOU can get yourself one step closer to your goals!  What will you do to achieve?
 
 
 
 

Pregnancy – Jillian Michaels – The Biggest Loser!

Here I go…. yapping about this damn show again! But, as a Fitness professional and a mother, there is no way I will be quiet about this one!

Comments Jillian Michaels made in Women’s Health magazine that “she can’t handle doing that to her body” (pregnancy) has got my blood boiling! The Human body is such an amazing machine and for anyone who has had the joy of experiencing pregnancy & childbirth, should be very proud! I am writing this from my personal opinion but I’m sure countless other mothers will agree with me!

I ask …. can’t handle doing WHAT!? Pregnancy is an incredible transformation and the birthing experience is awesome! What a thing to experience! I have two young boys, ages 7 and 4! I would hate this comment to negatively change an individuals view on pregnancy or worry about what their body will go through. Will they lose the weight? Will an extra arm start growing! Seriously!!!!! I ask again…… can’t handle doing WHAT!?

Both of my pregnancies were great! Both similiar yet different in specific aspects but nothing crazy to write home about! The birthing experience ROCKED! This is when you look at the Human body in a whole new light! WOW! Plus, very empowering when you can dig in and deliver a baby… a human being! Wow cool is that! I believe child birth is life altering. It is an experience that changes views, emotions and values all for the better.

Fitness and health and pregnancy all go together! Do not be scared of what may happen or what you won’t be able to do. It may be natural to fear the unknown but staying active and strong before and during pregnancy will have you laughing afterwards that any fear entered your mind!

When it comes to fitness, my body was used to training and I only limited activities as my pregnancy progressed and when my body told me to do so! This would be no different for other active females! My post-pregnancy fitness level kicked ass over pre-pregnancy! It changed my body for the better. I was leaner post-pregnancy than before! It did my body good!

Ok…. so I have no boobs but who gives a crap! They only get in the way of training!