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7 cardio workouts you can't afford to miss out on March 19 2018

One form of exercise that tends to be overlooked by many people is cardio. If you haven't been doing any cardiovascular exercises, you are missing out on many of the benefits you could be receiving. Some of the benefits include a stronger heart and lungs, less stress, better sleep, and especially weight loss. Why do you continue to pass up on the many benefits that come from cardio exercise? 

Don't miss out any longer by putting one of these seven options to work for you:

  1. Swimming: Jumping in the pool or ocean for a few laps is a proven workout that will strengthen your entire body without any major impact on your joints. You use many muscles and you have to keep moving in order to stay afloat and complete your workout. If you're new to swimming, it won't hurt to take a swim class or go with a friend who is a stronger swimmer. After a few swim sessions, you'll start to build strength and endurance.
  2. Jogging: A quick jog every morning or afternoon will help you experience several benefits which include a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure, and better bone density. Jogging is a workout that can either be done on your own or with a friend or two. Start with a sustainable schedule if you don't already have a routine you've been following. For example, focus on jogging for 15 minutes non-stop three times a week at first. It can be every Monday, Wednesday, or Friday. After three weeks, increase your time on the road by five minutes each session. You'll be able to build up your endurance by being consistent.
  3. Elliptical: The elliptical machine is a popular option at every gym. If your knees don't feel great when you run, choose the elliptical. Like jogging, work your way up to a greater intensity over time. Don't expect to go at 100% capacity for an hour if you haven't worked out for a long time. With the elliptical, you'll be able to warm up your arms to some degree as well. It's a great warm-up if you plan to lift light weights afterward. Click here if you need an elliptical workout plan.
  4. Hiking: Hit the trails in your neighborhood and near your city to get out and enjoy nature. Hiking has multiple benefits such as lowering your blood pressure, toning your body, burning calories and disconnecting from technology for a period of time. You'll benefit mentally and physically from spending time outdoors. Be sure to dress and prepare for the weather and terrain and bring water to stay hydrated.
  5. Walking: Daily walks can act as a form of meditation. If you have an hour-long lunch break every day, take 15 minutes of that time to go for a quick walk. It'll help you clear your mind, reduce stress, and feel re-energized for the rest of your workday. Regular walks around your neighborhood can also have the same effect if you prefer to go for a walk in the mornings before you leave home to go to work or school. For an added bonus, reach out to a neighbor so you can have a friend and walking buddy to talk about life and whatever else comes to mind.
  6. Cycling: Putting on your helmet and hopping on your bike for a ride is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health. You'll be able to strengthen your body, prevent diseases that come from a lack of exercise, and improve your balance and coordination. Start off by riding on flat roads then increase the level of difficulty by riding up and down hills. You'll be able to increase your strength and endurance by riding consistently.
  7. Rowing: Whether you row a boat or use a rowing machine, the motion involved in rowing will improve your health. It's a low-impact cardio workout that strengthens your upper and lower body. Rowing can be done in multiple sets of sprints of 10-30 seconds or for longer periods of time. It all depends on how you prefer to get the most out of rowing.

Which cardio exercise will you use to help you achieve your health goals? Let us know which workout you prefer! 

Before making any major changes to your workouts and lifestyle, consult with Dr. Jake Schmutz to create a custom plan that will help you get the results you need. You deserve to live the life you were meant to live.


These simple workout tips will make you achieve your fitness goals January 08 2018

Losing extra weight and improving your physical fitness is a worthwhile goal. These simple workout tips will help you achieve your fitness goals:

Warm-up

You can prevent a wide range of injuries by warming up properly before your workout. Your warm-up will depend on what you're doing for your workout. Is your preferred workout powerlifting? Take time to do lighter sets to increase blood flow and activate your central nervous system. A quality warmup will get your mind and body ready to push yourself and achieve your personal fitness goals. If you're participating in a particular sport, here are a few warmup ideas that will help you get started:

  • Long distance running: Standing leg swings (2 sets of 10 on each leg), High knees to heel kicks (2 sets of 20), Walking lunges (2 sets of 10)
  • Tennis: Jog around the court (3 laps), Side shuffles sideline to sideline (2 sets of 5 on both directions), Arm circles (30 seconds forward, 30 seconds backward)
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Shrimps (2 sets of 10), Front roll to break fall (2 sets of 10), Back rolls (2 sets of 10)
  • Rugby: Walking lunges (2 sets of 15), Neck and shoulder rotations (3 sets of 10), Bodyweight squats (3 sets of 10), 30-yard sprints (4 repetitions)

Remember that the goal of warming up is to mentally prepare and physically prepare yourself to get the most out of your workout without getting injured.

Recovery

Don't forget to cool down and take time to recover after a workout or training session. Here are a few things to do depending on the time you have immediately after pushing yourself:

  • Cool down run/walk to gradually bring down your heart rate
  • Stretch the different muscle groups of your body
  • Use a foam roller to work out any knots you have particularly on your back and hip flexors
  • Ice achy, painful joints

While you may not feel as hardcore as you would want to be when you take time off, proper recovery actually increases performance in the long-term. You are more likely to achieve your fitness goals when you take care of your body.

Hydration

Dehydration is never a fun experience. Some of the symptoms of dehydration include constant thirst, feeling tired, fainting, dark-colored urine and fewer trips to the bathroom than normal. In order for your body to function properly and efficiently, you need water and electrolytes. Sports drinks can be helpful in replacing minerals lost through sweat. Drinking water throughout the day will be more effective than binge drinking water on the way to the gym.

Putting it all together

This may seem like a great deal of information so creating a gameplan will help you implement these tips. One reason why many people do not cool down after a training session is they do not schedule enough time to do so. If you only have an hour to work out each day, set aside the last ten minutes of your workout to cool down, bring down your heart rate and stretch. Dynamic warm-up exercises will get your heart rate up quickly in five minutes at the start of your training session.

Integrative Medica specializes in complementary and alternative medicine. Patients that come into Integrative Medica can feel comfortable knowing they are receiving the most effective alternative medicine treatments available. Contact us for your next appointment!


How to rest and recover after working out December 04 2017

Taking time to rest and recover after every work out session is an important of taking care of your health. You may already know why you need to take some time after exercising or training for competition. What you may not know is how to rest and recover after working out. Patience is key as you follow these four steps:

Sleep: According to the CDC, you should be getting anywhere from 7 to 9 hours sleep every night. If you're training and pushing yourself on a regular basis, allow for more time to recover so your muscles can heal and regenerate. A few things happen when get the sleep you need such as the release of growth hormone, faster muscle recovery and improved muscle regeneration. One thing you know by now is that sticking to a healthy, consistent sleep schedule takes discipline. It's important to tune out distractions when it's time to go to sleep like putting your phone on silent mode when getting into bed and closing your blinds to block light from entering your room.

Eat: Proper nutrition plays a major role in you getting the results you want from working out. It doesn't matter if you're training for your next amateur boxing match or are getting ready for a 5k your spouse wants you to run. It turns out that your body starts to use available protein to recover after working out and that your body is able to absorb protein and carbohydrates with in 45 minutes after your workout. There are a variety of foods you can eat right after your workout to help you get the results you need to be on top of your game. Some of them include:

  • Fruit salad: What's great about eating fruit is that it's a fresh, healthy way to get enzymes you need to help break down nutrients you need for your muscles. The best route to go when eating fruit is putting together a simple fruit salad. The more color and variety, the more flavor you'll experience and more nutrients you'll receive.
  • Greek yogurt: Not only is greek yogurt effective in helping with digestive health but it's also a source of protein and carbohydrates. You can add strawberries and blueberries for more vitamins and nutrients.
  • Eggs: You could eat them scrambled or even boiled. Eggs are a great way to quickly ingest protein and nutrients that are effective in building muscle.

Hydrate: Dehydration is never a fun experience. Some of the symptoms of dehydration include constant thirst, feeling tired, fainting, dark-colored urine and less trips to the bathroom than normal. In order for your body to function properly and efficiently, you need water and electrolytes. Sports drinks can be helpful in replacing minerals lost through sweat. Always make time to drink water before and after every work out for the best results. Your body will thank you.

Mental rest: Removing yourself mentally will also help you with rest and recovery especially after finishing a grueling event like a marathon. There are many things you can do to rest your mind like spending an hour at the beach, binge watching a TV series on Netflix or meditating in a quiet room for 20 minutes. Chances are that you know the most effective way for you to take a break. By helping your mind reach a state of relaxation, it allows your body to do the little things like tissue repair and prevent the damage that comes from overtraining.

How will you recover from your next workout or competition? What things do you need to differently to get the rest you need? Share with us in the comments below!

Integrative Medica specializes in complementary and alternative medicine. Patients that come into Integrative Medica can feel comfortable that they are receiving the most effective alternative medicine treatments available. Contact us for your next appointment!