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Another First for LauraLovesFitness: A Different Kind of Fitness Video

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At VIDICOM’s studio in New York City

Happy MLK Motivation Monday!

Now that we’ve officially tipped the scale toward the last half of the first month of 2015, it’s time to address one disappointing reality. Traffic is getting a little lighter at the gyms and some people have already started throwing in the towel on their health and fitness resolutions. For anyone out there who’s wavering, it’s time to re-focus and get back in the game!

I often write about the fact that you aren’t alone in your health and fitness journey. Hopefully the video below offers another reminder that there are simple steps you can take to embrace a healthy lifestyle.  The good news is there are tools out there that can help you!

Before you jump in, let me say thank you to LG, Culturelle and Flight Song Wines for the opportunity to spread the word about how to keep those resolutions alive all year long. Sometimes a helping hand is all we need to continue on our journey to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

You MUST Do This Before You Leave the Gym!

coldComing off a busier weekend than usual, I’m keeping this Motivation Monday post on the short-and-sweet side.

As we take on November, it’s time for everyone to embrace the one “move” that can save you a world of hurt as we head into another cold and flu season.
You already know I want you to:
  1. Add a plank or two to the end of that cardio spree
  2. Use the foam roller on your calves before you get moving and…
  3. Stretch when you’re done.

So what extra move am I talking about? Wash your hands!

Seriously, the gym is a literal hot bed for germs. Taking a couple of extra minutes at the end of your workout to head to the bathroom and get the grime off your hands is just plain ol’ common sense. Unfortunately, the cold and flu virus can play a sort of hopscotch on elliptical machine handles, barbells and weight plates. Rubbing your sweaty, unclean hands or fingers near your eyes makes it all too easy for these sneeze-and-cough inducing bugs to invade your own body.
Of course, washing your hands also offers protection against fungal infections that also thrive at the gym, including ringworm. I know, this is a rather icky post to kick off a new week, but hey, it’s reality. The good news is it’s easy to ward this stuff off by washing your hands. Just remember to use soap and water, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and dry them well.
One final note on gym hygiene: when you get home, do not place your dirty workout wear or even that gym bag on your comforter, couch pillows or anywhere you lay your head. (You don’t even want to think about how many germs jumped onto your shorts or t-shirt from that shared exercise mat or worse from the locker room floor!) Remember, keeping it clean is one of the best ways to stay on track with your plans to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

A Not-So-Feel Good Friday?

Everywhere I’ve been this week – the office, the gym, the grocery store – I’ve found people sneezing, coughing and simply battling some kind of change-of-seasons cold. I’m actually struggling to keep the sniffles and sore throat at bay thanks to a recent “attack” by some of the top healthy-immune-system busters:

  • Mental stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Poor nutrition

So, I thought it was the perfect time to go over some of the general “rules” for modifying your fitness routine when you’re feeling under the weather.

The American College of Sports Medicine has outlined what you could call the “above/below-the-neck rule.” If your symptoms include the sniffles, runny nose and scratchy throat, studies show mild-to-moderate exercise isn’t harmful.  This could include a low/moderate intensity cardio workout that almost constantly keeps your heart rate in a range between 60-80% of your maximum heart rate.  (Reminder: to calculate max heart rate: 220-your age)  However, ACSM recommends you skip the heavy weight training or high-intensity cardio until you do beat your cold. Working out at too high an intensity when you’re fighting a bug puts extra stress on the body and can further compromise the immune system.

If you’re able to exercise and head to a gym, do your fellow gym members a favor. Wipe down any equipment you use with the anti-bacterial spray that’s sure to be made available by the facility. It’s just common courtesy!

As for the below-the-neck “stuff”: If you’re suffering from stomach issues including vomiting or diarrhea, or have a severe cough or fever, take a break from exercise until whatever’s ailing you has run its course. Also, if you’re knocked out by a serious bug for several days, remember to take it easy on your first day back in action. Your body could be recovering from mild dehydration and overall fatigue, so don’t jump out of bed and rush to your highest-intensity group exercise class the minute your fever breaks.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: listen to your body! It’s true that one the benefits of exercise is that it boosts the immune system. However, what’s also true is that depending on what’s going on in your life, your body may need an extra hour of sleep one morning more than it needs to be pushed to the max at a kickboxing class.

Remember, a minimum of one day of rest each week is important, but when you’re sick, you may need two or more. Don’t sweat it. Just rest up, drink your fluids and before you know it, you’ll be back on your feet and back on track with your plans to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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