Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"Ooh Baby, It's Raining, Raining"

It's Thanksgiving week and we all know what that means: food baby galore! The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is when majority of weight is gained. People pay no attention to their food consumption and have many "cheat days". Remember you can still enjoy your favorite holiday dishes, in moderation. Don't stop exercising because you "don't have time" or "you have family in town". If your health is important to you, you can scarface, what, 30 minutes- 1 hour a day to exercise. Yes, that's it. No excuses. Let me point out that I am not saying you can then eat whatever you want during the holidays and remain the same weight. We all know holiday food is more like comfort food times 100,000,000. Tips for holiday eating:

1. When filling your plate, if you can't see the bottom/color of the plate you have too much food.

2. Don't go back for seconds.

3. Eat before hand. I know that sounds odd, but if you have a snack or small meal you will tend to eat less.

4. Picking at food adds up in calories.

5. You don't have to try everything. Life will go on. (I fall victim of this, I won't lie).

6. Dessert is not a must. If you have dessert, have a small piece.

7. Treat the meals just like any other meal. Basically don't go overboard.

8. Try cooking traditional holiday dishes with healthier alternative, ie: whole wheat flour, whole wheat bread, greek yogurt, skim milk, etc.

9. Remember alcohol adds up in calories, empty calories.

10. EXERCISE! DON'T CUT BACK! Also, don't have the mind set that just because you exercises you can eat whatever you would like.

11. You can always utilize a Thanksgiving Calorie Tracker if all else fails! :-)

Training Exercise: Stability Ball Plank lifting 1 leg. We all know planks work our abs and with different progressions you will fill the "burn" more. Plank on the stability ball is obviously harder than on the floor. You have to support your body weight at an angle on a rolling surface. Hard enough? Nah. Now, lift one leg up slightly off the ground and hold the plank. Now not only do you have to support yourself on your elbows on the ball at an angle, but now you have to balance on one leg. You will feel the burn more in the stomach, for sure. Remember a simple exercise can always be made harder. Progression, progression, progression.

Training Tip: Challenge yourself and add something new to your workouts weekly. It can be a new road, course, exercise, weight, etc. Adding something new will challenge your body to work harder resulting in gains. If you do the same thing day in and day out your body builds an adaptation and a plateau will be eventually reached. Plateau = no gains in power, strength, endurance, weight loss, or whatever your goal may be. Your body wants to be challenged!

Below are pictures of the trail outside my apartment that I finally went out to explore. I won't lie, I always thought the homeless people hung out there, but nope, no homeless people. It's weird to me that there is this beautiful natural trail in the middle of busy Buckhead! :-) Hello new running path!

Believe it or not, this is right below the AT&T and Marta Parking decks.

Tatum enjoying the Trail :-)

Training Songs: Oldies and Newbies! Enjoy!

1. Shake Your Tail Feather- Blues Brothers ft. Ray Charles
2. Umbrella- Rihanna ft Chris Brown
3. Under Control- Parachute
4. S&M- Rihanna
5. See Me Now- Kanye West ft. Beyonce & Charlie Wilson

Training Lagniappe: Running in the pouring rain is actually enjoyable. It's like being a child again playing in the rain. I thought I escaped the rain and could get my 4 miler in between showers, but oh boy was I wrong. Half way up the huge hill outside my apartment it started pouring! I thought about calling it quits and turning back, but then I thought "what's the point, I'm already wet and It's not going to kill me". I needed to get my run in and I refuse to run on a treadmill. So I kept on. You do what you got to do, right?! Well, as I passed car after car, I felt as if they were either (1) judging me, or (2) felt extremely sorry for me. At that point I was soaked and could care less. I was actually having fun. I was in my own little world. I know it sounds weird, but what can you do at that point? There's no point in getting mad, and how often do you get to run in the pouring rain? I felt as if all my worries went away and it was now a game of dodging puddles and Marta bus splashes. It took my mind off of how tired I was from the day, and helped me get through the run. My point is, have fun while exercising. Don't take it too serious. Play in the rain. It won't kill you! :-)

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist

Monday, November 15, 2010

GOTR 5K- Atlanta Chapter

November 14, 2010 marked the day as the Fall GOTR (Girls On The Run) 5K in Atlanta. This season I volunteered as a Coach for MSE working with 3rd- 5th grade girls. The season had it's ups and down, but seeing all the girls from Atlanta come together with their family and friends to run the 5K (3.1 miles) made it all worth it! To see the girls so proud of themselves at the end brought a little tear to my eye. To feel so selfless in doing something so good for the community made me have a new appreciation for people who volunteer on a regular basis. To dedicate your time to an organization is a big deal, and sometimes frustrating. However, at the end of the day it's worth having those parents thank you for your time, encouragement, knowledge, leading by example of a healthy lifestyle, and tell you how good of a job you did. My point is, it was fun to volunteer for an organization structured around something I love to do, run, and teach girls many life lessons including health.

The weather was perfect in Atlanta for the run. The picture above was the morning sky before the race. It started out a little chilly, but by the time the start of the race came around it was shorts with a light long sleeves running type of weather. All of the MSE girls finished under 40 minutes, with more than half of them being their first 5k! So proud of my girls! :-)

Remember it is important to give back to the community in any way you can. Teach people your skills and knowledge and feel good to contribute. It's important to take the seriousness out of some things. For example, I normally always try for a new PR, or just work my butt off when running. But to take time to "enjoy" the 5k and take my time was something new. Not to mention I had done a 6 miler Friday and an 8 miler the day before, so my muscles got a nice active rest. I got to see how hard the girls worked, enjoyed the motion of running, and not be so competitive. Everyone has their own reasons to why they exercise (weight loss, muscles growth, because they "have to", etc), but remember sometimes it is nice to have an "easy" or light exercise. You let your muscles rest while still doing work, active rest!

Training Exercise: 100 Jumping Jacks/ 1-2 minutes of high intensity cardio after a workout! After a hard workout add in a minute or plus of high intensity cardio to keep that heart rate up resulting in burning more fat! Not only does this give you the feeling of being exhausted after the workout (some people like it as a feeling of accomplishment), burning more fat, but it also give a little stretch to your muscles. It keeps them "warm" allowing you to have a nice cool down/ stretch afterwards. Your muscles are still lose; therefore, resulting in a longer and further stretch of the muscles. High intensity cardio helps keep the blood blowing throughout your body, as does stretching! Do both!

Training Tip: Relax while exercising! Remember to relax your shoulder, stand up straight, keep your chest out, back straight, and breathe in your nose out your mouth. This will help to keep you from cramping. During running, runners sometimes have a tendency to shrug their shoulders when stressed. This causes the neck muscles to contract, they tighten up, and you feel a cramp/pain like feeling around your neck. It can cause your breathing to be off forcing you to cut your run/workout short. So remember to relax, it will help you cover more distance regardless if it is in miles or time! This is your "me time" so enjoy it!

Training Songs: I kind of have a "love" type theme going on for some reason, well kind of. I love Ray LaMontagne and his voice always puts me in a good mood even if it is a sad song. Weird, I know. Enjoy!

1. Love- Matt White
2. Cameras- Matt and Kim
3. Trouble- Ray LaMontagne
4. Let It Be Me- Ray LaMontagne
5. Forever My Friend- Ray LaMontagne

Training Lagniappe: I just love Fall and everything about it. I know I say it a lot. There is something about it that motivates me to run further, especially in the mornings. I love the cool weather, pretty colors, and falling leaves. So I took some pictures, of course! Enjoy! :-)

The tree outside our front door!

Fallen leaves!

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Victim of Love: Trail Running Style

I finally got out and did my first true trail run last week and boy oh boy am I falling in love! There's an endless pile of words to describe the feeling: exhilarating, thrilling, peaceful, beautiful, relaxing, quiet, and the list goes on and on. Let me back up a little. I love running in the city and road races; however, lately I've feel as if I am stuck in what I call my "runner's block". I need a change of scenery, less traffic, and less paved hills. I don't like when I feel as if running has become a chore, that's not why I run. Therefore, I decided I needed to add in a little spice to my running. After talking to numerous people the concenus was to try trail running and to slowly step back off the curb of road running. It goes back to the basic theory of exercise and adaptation: our bodies adapt to the same routine after time; therefore, variety is needed in order to gain strength, power, and endurance. I've set a goal for myself to slowly add in a new course/ trail to my weekly runs. Remember it is always important to shake up your normal routine. Your body thrives for it, I promise. This applies to almost everything in life such as exercise, food, running, and the list goes on. Try something new at least once a month. This way you're challenging your body to make new gains in whatever way it may be.

Training Exercise: Squat to Ball Toss. This is a good exercise to get your heart rate up, blood pumping, and build that endurance. Remember the longer your heart rate is elevated during exercise the more fat you will burn. The squats work your lower body while the ball toss above your head works your upper body. Therefore, this creates a full body endurance workout.

Squat to Ball Toss:
  • Grab a weighted medicine ball, or even just a basketball/volleyball/ soccer ball (whatever you have around the house).
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Squat down as low as you can go.
  • On the way back up, toss the ball above your head.
  • As you catch the ball, squat back down.
  • Repeat for 15- 20 reps OR 30-45 seconds for 3-5 sets.
Training Tip: Hydrate even in the cold weather! You may feel like you sweat less during the winter time when running outdoors, but that's not true. You are still sweating and loosing important fluids. Remember to rehydrate yourself before, during, and/or after you finish running. Always drink water throughout the day even if you are not thirsty. Once you reach the feeling of thirst you are already dehydrated. It's important to drink water throughout the day to prevent cramps and/or injury during your exercise/ runs. Remember, it takes a 1-2 days for water to reach the cellular level to refuel the muscles!

Training Songs: This week I am all over the map. Enjoy!

1. Touch The Sky- Kanye West ft. Lupe Fiasco
2. Tonight- Enrique Igleias ft. Ludacris
3. Fader- The Temper Trap
4. Girls' Night- First Rate People
5. Wishing Well- The Airborne Toxic Event

Training Lagniappe: As many of you know the ING New York Marathon was this past Sunday as well as World Running Day. I hope everyone got a good run in, if possible! Congrats to all the NY Marathoners including the US runners: S. Flanagan bring the medals back for the USA women by finishing 2nd! Let me also point out this was her 1st EVER marathon and she totally killed it! Congrats to Meb for finishing strong in the top 10 along with a couple other USA men. Edison Pena, the trapped Chilean Miner who ran every day while trapped, has one of the best stories out there. He was invited to run the marathon, he accepted, and finished in over 5 hours. He's made a few talk show appearances before the marathon, which there he showed his love for Elvis. As you may have guessed, as he crossed the finish line to Elvis.

There were also some other celebrity noteworthy times including Bobby Flay in a time of 4:03. Let me tell you, I for some reason have a true obsession with him. I think mostly because he loves to cook (as do I), loves to eat (oh yea, as do I), he loves to run (as do I), and trains for marathons (as do I).I really think we could be great friends who cook, eat, and run together. Bobby if you see this, hit me up! For real, lets be BFFs.

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist