Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It's time to get DIRRRTY...(Dirty Girl Mud Run)

I LOVE all kinds of races and physical events...endurance races, road races, mud runs, yoga workshops, zumba marathons...I love them all. One of my favorite non-competitive events is the DIRTY GIRL Mud Run. I am happy to announce that I am one of the many blog ambassadors for the Dirty Girl this year! Yay!!!! Not only does the Dirty Girl support women with cancer, but it is a fun an fulfilling event. There is no competition..just fun, sisterhood and support.  I wrote about my experience with my team last year.

I highly encourage every woman to participate.  All of the women there are encouraging and help each other through the obstacles.  If you don't want to do a certain obstacle, no problem...go around it. If you can't run, walk and enjoy it with your friends.  You will leave feeling accomplished, empowered, and loved.

I know you want to do it. What's stopping you??? To sweeten your temptation to join in the fun, I have a discount code for you!!! Sign up here and use the code: DGSANANTONIO  I really hope I see you there.  If you see me, come introduce yourself to me and give me a hug! Can't wait to meet you!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pre-Workout Energy

A big question for many people is "What do I eat before I workout"?  Each person is different...some people can barely stomach a sip of water before a workout and some people need a larger amount of food before a workout.  I fall into the latter category most of the time.

I have complied a list of pre-workout snacks and meals to fuel your workout.

One of my favorites is a slice of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and sliced banana. This is a great mix of simple and complex carbs that will release steady energy to your body during your workout. The bananas and the toast are easy to digest so you don't get that sick feeling.

If I only need a small snack before a workout, I will mix greek yogurt, walnuts, berries, honey, and a few chia seeds. The yogurt is easy on your digestive system while the chia seeds and and berries give you that nice steady energy. The nuts provide essential fats and keep your blood sugar levels steady while you train.

If I'm in a big hurry, I'll blend up a quick smoothie.  My favorite: spinach, berries, almond milk, a handful of uncooked oats, and a scoop of protein powder.  This typically isn't enough for a long, hard workout, but holds me through a shorter less intense training session.

A delicious treat before workout is a small sweet potato. I microwave it until soft and mix in a bit of almond butter and cinnamon.  It's almost like a sweet potato pie.  So good!

For a more savory pre-workout meal, I will make a quick egg white scramble.  Sometimes I add veggies and a tiny bit of cheese.  Other times I will add black beans, avocado, and salsa.  You really can't mess this up.  I'll have a piece of whole wheat toast with this to be sure I get enough carbs.  This meals gets me through the days I have a longer workout or heavier lifting.

Of course, you can't go wrong with the old standards like oatmeal, apple slices with almond butter,  sliced chicken breast with rice, or a turkey sandwich.  There are so many good combinations for pre-workout fuel.

A good rule of thumb is to remember that:
1) A pre-workout meal should be eaten about 2 hours before your workout.
2) A pre-workout snack can be eaten 30-60 minutes before you train.
3)You want a 5 to 1.6 gram carb to protein ratio.  That basically means eat a tiny bit more carbs than protein.
4) Hydrate

The carb thing is always controversial ...some people think that you should avoid carbs before a workout, but I think they are essential.  I'll be back soon with post-workout nutrition tips and a give away! 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Got Granny Flaps?

Granny Flaps. Bat Wings. English Teacher Arms. Water Wings. Whatever you want to call them, nobody wants jiggly triceps, yet they seem to be one of the most neglected body parts for many women.  I get it...they are boring to work. A tricep workout  can be difficult and painful. It's easy to skip the tricep in your workout routine because it seems like a small and unimportant muscle and tend to focus more on the bicep.
 Guess what? The tricep is made up of 3 muscles and makes up 2/3rds of your arm. 

What do you use the tricep muscles for? The triceps are 3 muscles that connect at the elbow.  They extend your elbow and also stabilize your elbow when using your hand and forearm.  Strong triceps aid in pushing. As a woman, being able to push with your arms is important. We push shopping carts, baby strollers, kids on swings, wheelbarrows. Strong triceps can help you fend off an assailant if you need to push him away. Strong triceps are important...and also sexy.

Here are some tricep exercises you can do with a link to each one:

One of my favorites is Chaturanga or Yoga Push up.

I also love Bench Dips.  You can do these at home with your heels on the floor using the bottom step, a stool, or a sturdy coffee table.  Just keep your butt close to the bench and make sure you are moving your body up and down using your triceps and not your thighs. For added resistance, you can put a weight in your lap.

Skull Crushers are a favorite of mine. You don't have to go too heavy on the weight until you get used to the movement.  You can use dumbbells or a barbell.  I prefer a barbell because I can get my hands closer together.  Remember to not let your elbows flare out to the side and don't drop the weight on your head. Ouch.

Overhead tricep extensions and tricep kickbacks are also very effective. I like to go heavy with these.

Exercise alone won't get those arms toned.  Balanced and healthy nutrition plays a huge role in being fit.  I know I say it all the time, but you can't exercise your way out of bad nutrition.

These are some of my favorite tricep exercises that you can do at home. Now go get yourself some strong, sexy arms!