Tag Archives: body image

Why You Should Not Ignore Running Downhill And How To Do So Properly

Hi there! I hope you had a terrific weekend! One thing I can tell you for sure, my weekend was absolutely AMAZING! Not only was spent with my little family and a company of our friends in the mountains, but… DRUMM ROLL… my cold is GONE! Which means that I can finally resume my training!!! YIPPEE  KI-YAY!!! *Yup, I am this happy!*

Here are a few pictures from the weekend.

At the chalet up north

The air was super fresh and the nature breathtaking!

Snow and trees

And obviously Bella was ecstatic to jump in the snow and run around. *Isn’t she beauty?!*

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I LOVE the feeling of being fresh, healthy and full of energy! But then, who doesn’t?! Haha!

Last week, I mentioned the importance of running downhill while training for the Spartan Trifecta. To be honest with you, I’ve never thought much of it. I’ve always focused on training running UPHILL like everybody else. Even though running downhill seems to be a much easier task than running uphill, it’s very simple to get injured (especially, quads) if you don’t train properly.

just run

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I found some great advice on how to avoid downhill disasters on Runner’s World. Here is a quick summary:

  1. Prepare your body: Peripheral conditioning (“mild lunges, negative or reverse squats, light plyometric work (in which you absorb eccentric shock), hopping and bounding so your muscles get used to the eccentric contractions”).
  2. Run downhill: Long runs with significant amounts of downhills.
  3. Run uphill: To take some of the load off your quads when you run downhills by strengthening hamstrings and glutes.
  4. Work on your form: As a surface slopes downward, you need to adjust your body position with a forward lean to keep you from hard heel striking, McGee says. Step down to the surface with each stride instead of stepping out to avoid overstriding and excessive impacts. Also, try to reduce upward oscillation (or bounding) and run softly with short strides and a high cadence.When you’re running downhill workouts of any speed, concentrate on your form to make sure you’re not overstriding or hitting the ground with too much impact, McGee says. “Think about trying to quickly cycle your legs under your pelvis,” he adds. “The duration of each footstrike should be very short and very light. With higher turnover and shorter, more frequent steps, you’re absorbing less shock per footstrike.”

Don't limit your challenges. Challenge your limits.

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Here you can find another excellent article with tips for excelling on declines from Runner’s World.

Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait on my running downhill until it gets warmer. Too bad they haven’t come up with a reverse incline on a treadmill! Please, do let me know if someone did! Haha!

As to my today’s workout, I’m going to cross train. According to the guide, some may find this workout difficult to swallow. *Gulp!*

Repeat 5 times:

  • 20 push-ups
  • 20 burpees
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 1 minute sprint
  • 1 minute rest

Finish with a steady state 4 miles run: run in zone 2 and low end of zone 3.

How was your weekend? Have you ever trained to run downhill? If so, what are your tips on training in winter?

xoxo
Olena

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When The Cold *unfortunately* Wins The Battle & Reddit’s Super Useful Guide To Fitness: From Skinny or Fat to FIT

As I am writing this, I have a splitting headache that doesn’t seem to go away, uncontrollable *and very loud* sneezing and fever. I am sick… I hate being sick. First of all, I don’t like feeling or looking sick *I must admit, it is a very sad and really not attractive pity look*. And… I am about to start crying here… I didn’t get to work out today! BEING SICK SUCKS!

Recently, one of my fellow bloggers Laura from This Is Thirty was also unfortunate to get a flu and wrote an interesting blog post: Am I too sick to run? What are your thoughts on exercising when sick? *obviously when you have no fever*

I’ll keep my post very short and sweet because, to be honest with you, all I want to do is lie down and rest. So here is some food for thought.

REDDIT Guide to fitness

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I personally like this Infographic a lot because it’s a great reminder for me that I’ve got to start pumping some iron soon. Not only that it helps you to become stronger and tones your body, but it is also super sexy when a girl knows what she’s doing on that side of the gym! *Yes, I just said it! Girls + Lifting = SEXY!!!*

What are your thoughts? Also what are you suggestions on how to start lifting properly?

Be healthy & DON’T get sick!

xoxo
Olena

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Ending The Week On a Flexible Note: Pilates Flexibility Workout Routine

It’s finally Friday! I’m so happy that I am literally doing an imaginary twirl right this moment. You should try too, it’s so much fun! Haha!

It’s been a long week because our little puppy *or shall I say our little shark… wait… I think I’ll settle for piranha…* is teething. For those of you who’ve never dealt with a teething puppy, think of a thousand needles piercing your body at any given point of time, all day, EVERY DAY. Add some curiosity a.k.a. constant running around and you’ll end up with this:

Bella on my laptop

Little punk!

Anyhow, I felt that it would be appropriate to finish the week off with a nice stretching routine to de-stress, re-energize and make my muscles relax – a perfect way to start the weekend off the right foot. I chose the following under 20-minute pilates flexibility workout. It’s fairly straight forward, all you have to do is to hold each position for 30 seconds.

Pilates Flexibility Workout Routine

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You can also check out this quick Yoga workout and learn the benefits of each pose, if you’d like.

mailman-being-chased-by-dog-stretching-first

What are your thoughts on this workout? What are your favorite ways to relax and re-focus? I’d love to know!

xoxo
Olena

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On A Mission To Have Killer Legs: Leg Slimming, Butt & Thigh Workout With A Ballet Twist

Okay, I’m about to tell you something which is kind of ridiculous and doesn’t really make sense, so PUH-LEASE don’t laugh at me. I saw this picture and it INSPIRED me to do a leg workout…

Leg day before & after

Yup, you heard that right, I was inspired!

The truth is I love to feel sore because I know that my body is becoming stronger. And I feel… well… ALIVE! Plus, I’ve never met a girl who wouldn’t want to have beautiful strong lean legs. I mean, isn’t it sexy?!?! To top it all off, working your legs facilitates building the rest of your body. Unfortunately, however, leg training is frequently underestimated or, even worse, ignored.

I started off with this Leg Slimming Pilates.

Followed by a Ballet Leg workout.

Let’s make those legs shaky!

Last but not least, I wanted to share this picture with you which I think is HILARIOUS. Didn’t we all have this problem at some point of time? I remember that time when I tried Insanity for the first time *and was really out of shape*, I could barely walk for a few days after that: a bathroom was definitely perceived as a torture chamber. Haha!

After a leg workout

What are your favorite ways to work your legs out? What are some of the funniest stories that happened to you when you worked out just ‘a tiny bit’ too much?

xoxo
Olena

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Workout Nutrition: The Ultimate Guide

For some reason lately I’ve been hearing more and more girls making comments about how unhappy they are with their weight. It might be an effect of the post holiday season, but I also blame media for influencing the way we see ourselves. However, this feeling is not strange to me either.

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Source: Image by Samantha Hatten

As a former gymnast from Ukraine, I struggled with my body image for many years as well. From a very early age, I’d been constantly weighed in front of others and told about how my body should and shouldn’t like. When I went to a university, many of my friends started dieting, and I even remember how at some point I hadn’t eaten anything at all for a few days and drank just water.

I’ve never really been overweight, and yet only a couple of years ago I didn’t feel comfortable wearing short shorts or a bathing suit… And this is SO WRONG! I am sick and tired of a perceived image of what our bodies should look like. Our happiness should not depend on a number on a scale!

Even though I feel comfortable with the way I look now and for the first time in my life don’t strive to lose any weight, I am still learning about how to eat properly. It’s definitely challenging to change old habits. Yet, if there is willingness, everything is possible! Don’t you think?

Anyhow, I found this great guide on Pinterest and figured I’d share it with you. Oh, c’mon, don’t give me that “I eat properly already” excuse, there is always room for new knowledge and improvement! *BOOM!* Fueling our bodies before, during and after the workout is detrimental to our fitness success. Therefore, without further ado: the ultimate guide to workout nutrition.

Ultimate workout nutrition guide

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What are your thoughts about this guide? What are your favorite pre- and post-workout food? I’d love to know!

xoxo
Olena

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