Category Archives: Running

How to Warm Up for A Run, or Bike, Or Gym Workout.

1497510_10102344132067373_504368927_n

Once we get revved up to go workout it’s tempting to take off at top speed. But going straight into a sweat session —without a proper warmup—is a recipe for disaster, and injury.

If you start out too fast, you run the risk of pulling a muscle, tweaking a tendon, bone, or joint, or getting into a pace that you can’t sustain. The result? You end up slowing down and burning out before you’re done with your workout.  The worst part is that you’re likely to end your training session feeling exhausted, discouraged, and dreading your next workout. I always notice when I don’t properly warm up before a run my form suffers and when I don’t “activate my butt, hips and core” before the bicycle I get knee pain after 20 minutes or so. Warming up has become essential for me in feeling my best before and after training. I now budget time to “do my homework” with a good warm-up so that I can get the most from my workout!

Theres a lot of confusion on what a “good warmup” is. Do you stretch? Do jumping jacks? Crunch your core into oblivion? Lets clear up the fitness myths. A smart warmup up turns all the right muscles ON. It gives your muscles, bones, and joints a chance to loosen up; it gradually and gently brings up your heart rate and makes it easier to get into the rhythm you want to sustain so you can start—and finish—feeling exhilarated. A good warm up should leave you feeling energized and excited to set out for your next workout.

The Goals of a Solid Warm-Up Include:

  • Increase heart rate to get the blood pumping through the body and warm up the muscles.
  • Open up your joints, especially those within the hips, spine, feet and ankles.
  • Actively stretch your muscles to prepare them for what you’ll be asking them for during the run.
  • Reinforce great posture.
  • Hit the ground running with all systems go when the gun goes off!

Before a workout you want to Activate and Turn ON all the right muscles. For most people, the muscles you want to prep pre-workout are:

  • Butt
  • Hips
  • Core
  • Feet
  • Heart

Many people are what we call “quad and hip-flexor” dominant. This means the quads, hip-flexors, and front of the body are stronger than the back of the body (butt, hips, and core muscles). This imbalance can create issues down the road, not to mention effect the way you move and perform. Evening out this muscular  imbalance with exercises that target the back of the body and core muscles can help prevent injury and improve performance.  Not to mention the butt and core muscles are your POWER HOUSES when you workout. Being able to activate, engage, and use them when you train will change your game from surviving to THRIVING in no time. Its the secret to getting the most out of every workout, and feeling good for years to come.

*** Note on stretching PRE-workout. Static stretching, where you hold a muscle in an elongated, fixed position for 30 seconds or more, is now discouraged pre workout, as it’s been linked to injury. But dynamic stretching, which uses controlled leg movements to improve range of motion, loosen up muscles, and increase heart rate, body temperature, and blood flow will help you train more efficiently. There are many dynamic stretching  exercises included in the video routine below.

Bottom line? Turn on your butt and core, raise your heart rate, and give your body a few minutes to prep for movement. Even 5 minutes will go far in helping you feel your best both during and after the workout. Wanted to get started on making a solid warm-up a habit?  Start with this quick 10 minute routine I put together which activates the muscles used to power up your run, cycling class, or gym session. Start slowly, focus on form and quality. Use small movements for the first few reps, and increase the range of motion as you go.

The exercises included in the video are:

  • Squat with reach
  • Lunge with rotation
  • Lateral lunge
  • plank
  • Bird dog
  • side plank
  • star plank
  • bridge

As always, check with your doctor before starting this or any other exercise routine. Remember, when it comes to improving your fitness and living a healthy life, ANYTHING counts. Keep moving, train positive, and keep being AWESOME.

Do you warm up before a workout? What is your favorite warm up exercise move? If this post helped you, share it with your friends on Facebooktwitter, or email. More great content is headed your way every week to help you live a happy, healthy life! 

Yours in health and happiness,

Caroline

 Other things to Check Out This Week:

Balance Training 101. Find Stability, Boost Strength, and Work Your Total Body!

10463958_10102809999500303_8998506714011723392_n

Want stronger butt, thigh, hip, ankle, lower back, and ab muscles? You should give balance training a try! Balance training exercises can help you perform well, stay injury free, and move happy. However, it’s an area often forgotten by fitness enthusiasts and sometimes even fitness pros. You’ll miss out on a multitude of benefits if you aren’t training balance on a regular basis. Read on to learn all about balance training and how you can benefit from adding it into your weekly routine. I’ll even give you my 9 minute “Better Balance Workout” to get you started. But be prepared, balance is hard, both in life and in workouts 😉

Balance Training 101. Find Stability, Boost Strength, and Work Your Total Body!

Balance is the ability to control the body’s position, either stationary (e.g. complex yoga pose) or while moving (e.g. ice skating, running, playing sport). It is a key foundational element of fitness, along with strength, cardiovascular exercise, and flexibility. The overall benefits of balance training include improvements to overall fitness, sports performance, and of course injury prevention. Specific benefits Include:

1. Body Awareness. Body awareness is the sense of how your own limbs are oriented in space, also referred to as proprioception. Balance training promotes body awareness which makes movement more seamless, with less likelihood of injury.

2. Co-ordination. Feel clumsy and want to be more coordinated? Balance training requires all of your body to work together otherwise you might fall or stumble. By improving your co-ordination during balancing training, there should be an improvement to your co-ordination in everyday life. Essentially it will help you put two and two together and feel more fluid on your feet. 

3. Joint Stability. Balance training promotes stable knees, ankles, hips, and shoulders. This can prevent a whole array of injuries including sprained ankles and serious knee problems. These injuries are not uncommon in people who don’t do any balance training but do play a sport.

4. Reaction Time. If you slip or stumble when carrying out challenging balance exercises your body needs to re-balance immediately or you will fall. This can improve your reaction time as you learn to quickly react and adapt to an exercise

5. Strength. Balance training is challenging for your nervous system (brain and nerves). The nervous system recruits your muscle when lifting weights, so as your nervous system becomes more efficient it can recruit a higher percentage of your muscle for each lift. This means you can gain strength and can lift more weight when your body has improved balance.

6. Power. Power is the ability to exert maximum muscular contraction instantly in an explosive burst of movement. The two components of power are strength and speed. With quicker reaction times and stronger muscles, your power ability should increase too.

7. Agility. Agility means quick and nimble. It is the ability to change the direction of the body in an efficient and effective manner and to achieve this you require a combination of balance, speed, strength, and co-ordination. Therefore, the better your balance is, the more likely you are to have good agility.

8. Fun & Challenge. Adding some balance exercises into your fitness routine adds a new dimension, a dimension which is challenging but also fun too. As you know, when it comes to seeing REAL results, you must constantly mix it up and add variety to your workouts! It is motivating when you notice the improvement to the rest of your fitness regime by adding in balance training.

9. Long term health. As we get older our balance, stability, and strength can deteriorate.  Incorporating balance training into your routine will help you to maintain your balance over time, which will prevent falls and fractures as you age. 

10. Toned Butt, Legs, and Core muscles. Balance training effectively works your butt, hips, legs, abs, and lower back for a challenging and effective total body workout. If you want to shape up your hips, butt, legs, and core muscles balance training is a good way to do that! 

Want to improve your balance starting today? Join me for this balance-improving workout that you can do anywhere. No equipment required, for Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced. This video offers you stretches and exercises that will tone your body and improve your balance, ankle flexibility, leg strength, and overall agility-leaving you feeling renewed and energized. Its a great warm-up for running, cycling, and training or just good all by itself when you want to boost your fitness.

This workout effectively builds balance but also really works your hips, thighs, butt, legs, abs, ankles, calves, and arms. I thought it was HARD! Try it out and let me know what you think of all the moves – I felt really good after!

DID YOU LIKE THIS VIDEO Post? Subscribe to my YouTube Channel and SHARE IT WITH YOUR FRIENDS! Together we can connect through amazing workouts and results online 🙂

As you progress in your body weight balance training, you can begin to integrate balance and stability training exercises with other pieces of equipment.  Personally, I am a HUGE fan of the BOSU balance trainer (here are a few AMAZING moves to get you started). The possibilities are endless for fun, effective ways to train balance! 

24578_869440621893_6279075_n

Some days are good, some days are hard. What matters is showing up and training for strength through stability exercises. I hope you enjoyed this post and I look forward to hearing if you are feeling the burn from the awesome 9 minute balance workout above.

In health and happiness,

Caroline

Other Things To Check Out This Week:

Get rid of Shin Splints. Treatment and Prevention to Fix Shin Pain!

Get rid of shin splints with this helpful article full of exercise videos, fitness tips, and suggestions. Fix shin pain and feel better fast!

Get rid of shin splints

Get rid of shin splints

SUBSCRIBE to my channel for videos to help you FEEL GOOD

LIKE Caroline Jordan Fitness on facebook and join the positive community to start living your healthiest, happiest life.

Shin splints are one of the most annoying running and sports injuries that can interfere with your exercise routine. This condition is incredibly common and many tend to consider them an inevitable consequence of an active lifestyle. In reality shin splints really are curable. A few simple steps can treat and prevent shin splints from throwing you off your regular workout regimen.

Shin splints are an inflammatory condition of the shins, on the front of the lower leg called the tibia. The pain is brought on by hard surfaces, poor footwear, too little stretching, or jumping back into strenuous activity after a long break. It’s a common problem in running and stop-start sports like squash, tennis and basketball. Typical shin splints cause pain on either side of the shinbone, or in the muscle itself, and if untreated can become gradually worse until activity is too much to bear.

Signs and symptoms related to shin splints may include:

  • Pain along the inner part of the lower leg
  • Tenderness or soreness along the inner part of the lower leg
  • Moderate swelling in the lower leg
  • Feet may feel numb and weak, because swollen muscles irritate the nerves

The main cause of shin splints is too much force on the shin bone and connective tissues that attach the bone to surrounding muscle. The excessive force is usually caused by:

    • Running downhill
    • Running on a slanted surfaces or uneven terrain
    • Exercising in inappropriate shoes, including good shoes than have worn out overtime.
    • Taking part in sports that include bursts of speed and sudden stops
    • An increase in activity, intensity or exertion, especially if the muscles and tendons struggle to absorb the impact of the shock force when they are tired.
    • Exercising too hard too fast too soon after a long period of inactivity. Gradual return to exercise is the KEY!

Females and people with flat feet or rigid arches often have a higher risk of developing shin splints. It’s always best to check with your doctor or podiatrist for your personal specific foot care needs (especially if you are prone to shin splints, Plantar fasciitis, ankle problems, or any other related issues). They will be able to best advise you in a foot care program that is catered to you.

Get rid of Shin Splints. Treatment and Prevention to Fix Shin Pain. 

  • Wear proper fitting shoes. Choose a shoe that is suited for your foot based on gait, cushion, arch support, fit ,and sport. This will help decrease the risk of shin splints or other injuries.  Also, be sure to change your shoes every 3-6 months or every 500 miles. I recommend going to a running specific shoe store, like Fleet Feet, to get your custom fit.
  • Run on soft surfaces. Try to find softer surfaces to run on such as a grassy park or a dirt trail. Running on pavement creates extra stress on your legs. Don’t switch back and forth from hard to soft during the same run.
  • Increase Intensity GRADUALLY. Follow an exercise program that is catered to you and involves cross training, strength training, and a gradual increase in intensity.
  • Ice the affected area:  If you have shin splints, apply ice 4-6 times a day for approximately 15 minutes to decrease inflammation of the shins.  Be sure to protect the skin by placing a cloth or wrap between the skin and ice.
  • Rest. If your shin splints have gotten to a point where they hurt even when you’re not training, then you need to take at least a couple days off, maybe a week or two. Talk to your doctor or podiatrist if the condition continues.
  • If it hurts STOP. Don’t exercise longer than your shins can take. Be mindful to how you feel and when you sense pain stop and cool down. Some days this may happen earlier in the workout; other days you’ll last much longer. Eventually your shins will get stronger and you’ll be able to exercise as long as you’d like.
  • Warm Up Before Working Out. Lengthen the time of your warm up to make sure your body is ready to go. 5-8 minutes should be enough if you use your time right with quality exercises and good form.
  • Cross-train. Avoid high-impact sports and try other activities that don’t irritate your shin splints. I am a huge fan of low-impact workouts like swimming, cycling, and walking. With cross-training, you can maintain your fitness while healing your shin splints.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight. Many people gain weight and don’t realize that this is why their shins and knees can’t take as much pounding as they used to. Extra body weight creates more impact on the joints. By maintaining a healthy body weight, you’ll have less pressure on your body in your daily life and in activity.
  • Physical Therapy Exercise for Your Legs. Perform physical therapy exercises to strengthen your shins, ankles, calves, and feet. Making foot and ankle specific stretching and strengthening a regular part of your weekly regimen will help you treat and prevent shin pain.Here are some YouTube videos on shin splint prevention and foot exercises to help you take care of your legs. Follow these video exercises 2-3 times a week to work towards getting rid of shin splints and having healthy, injury free legs and feet.

Help for Shin Splints. Exercise Video to Get Rid of Shin Splints and Pain

Foot and Ankle Workout Videos for Injury Prevention and Pain Relief

If you liked these videos be sure to hit LIKE and SUBSCRIBE to my channel for videos to help you FEEL GOOD . These foot and ankle videos will help you get rid of shin splints and stop shin pain. Follow these guidelines to keep your body healthy, strong, and free from shin splints. Have you ever suffered from shin splints? What is your top tip for taking care of your shins and staying active longterm? Leave me a comment below and let me know if these shin splint videos help you feel better. 

Knowledge is power. Here’s to getting rid of shin splints and enjoying an active life.

In health,

Caroline

My mission is to empower feel good fitness inside and out. I am here to be of service in your wellness and help you get your mind, body, and spirit in shape so you can love your life. Lets work together and live well. Contact me at carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com 

Want to build a balanced body? Check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape so you can love your life.

Other Things To Check Out:

“I Left My Heart In San Francisco” Hill Workout

How You Will Feel After Winning This Workout.

This past weekend the San Francisco Giants won the World Series Championships. Being a local this event was exciting and a cause to celebrate. I am so happy for my city, the team, and the community. Some might think it trivial or call it “just baseball”, but the win made me feel more connected to this town. It made me proud to be a San Franciscan.

I have lived in San Francisco for almost 5 years and have loved the experience. Its a romantic city, full of character, history, and natural beauty.  Excluding the foggy summer moments, I feel my life has been pretty blessed living here (I mean how could it NOT be when the Golden Gate Bridge is in my back yard?!). When I first moved to the city there were a few things I quickly learned; like the need to dress in layers and the difference between the diverse collection of neighborhoods (the Marina and the Mission could be considered two different worlds!). I also learned that in San Francisco theres really no such thing as walking. In this city there are two forms of commuting by foot: running and hiking. There are so many hills in the little 7 x 7 landscape that a “walk” isn’t much of a leisurely stroll but rather an interval incline circuit with incredible views. The terrain is enough to make anyone’s heart strong and butt toned. I still remember my first few weeks living in the city, just the addition of my walk to work allowed me to sleep like a baby by the bay!

The unifying energy of the GIANTS sweeping win put me in the San Francisco spirit and I thought it would be appropriate to post a HILL workout for this week’s post. This circuit is appropriate for all levels and can be modified or intensified to meet your needs. As always, please check with a doctor before making any fitness changes and honor your body and it’s injuries. Some tips: if you choose to perform the workout on the treadmill, make sure to keep a TIGHT core, take deep breaths and strong strides. Throughout the workout, occasionally look at your hands and make sure they aren’t clenched into fists. That’s wasted energy you could be using on your legs, your breath, your heart- all of your major muscle groups. Keep your fingertips nice and loose and your face relaxed. Its also a good idea to avoid holding onto the hand rails as you’ll burn 30% LESS calories if you cling to the treadmill during your workout. Pump yourself up with one of my workout playlists, challenge yourself, and GO FOR IT.  Before you know it this quick 30 minute circuit will be OVER and you’ll feel sweaty and triumphant.

 

Caroline’s “I left my heart in San Francisco” Hill Workout

0:00 – 5:00 Warm-up pace, 3% incline (RPE 5-6)

5:00 – 9:00 Walk or jog, add resistance every 30 seconds (start at 5% incline and increase from there ending at a RPE 7-8)

9:00 – 13:00 Increase your speed (power walk or run), decrease incline back to 2.5 % (RPE 7)

13:00 – 17:00 Slow down speed to walk or jog, increase incline every 30 seconds (start at 6.0 % to max out RPE at 8)

17:00 – 21:00  Increase your speed (meet or beat last time). Incline 2.5 % (RPE 8)

21:00 – 25:00 Slow down pace to walk or jog. increase incline every 30 seconds (start at 7.0 % and hit RPE 9)

25:00 – 30:00 FAST pace, 2.5 % incline (RPE) 9

31:00 – 35:00 Cool down with an easy walk or jog

Take your time bringing your heart rate down after the circuit and STRETCH using this quick video routine: 

 

Looking to do your hill workout OUTDOORs? Check out my tips on Running Hills and the Hill Repeat workout that works wonders in my “Holy Hills!” post. 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave me a comment below once you’ve completed the workout and let me know how you do! And if you want to run some real hills, you are always welcome to come visit me in SF 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful week and cant wait to see you soon!!

 

GO GIANTS!

Caroline

Other Things To check Out This Week:

 

The Anti-Gravity Treadmill and a 30 minute RUNNING workout! RUN ON AIR.

Caroline Jordan Fitness Tip Of the Week: Anti-Gravity Running…. WHAT IS IT?!

Caroline Jordan Fitness has teamed up with the M2 Revolution Performance Center in San Francisco, home of the ANTI-GRAVITY TREADMILL. This endurance training center in Nob Hill houses a CycleOps Indoor Cycling studio, power-based fitness testing, a functional training floor, and the unique anti-gravity treadmill. This week I took a test run on this revolutionary piece of training equipment and had an incredible experience!  I’ve been trying to share my story of weightless running in class…. but it seems to be a hard concept to convey in conversation! Instead of confusing you all, I thought I’d make it this week’s blog topic. What is Anti-Gravity Running and how does it work? Read below for all the details on this dream machine….

From M2 Revolution Website:

“Get ready for access to the most cutting edge run training and injury rehab technology.  M2 Revolution now offers what until now only a small group of world class runners secretly practice – NASA technology that defies gravity.”

The Alter G-Trainer offers personalized precision un-weighting benefits that build run specific endurance without the pain and risk associated with full-weight impact on joints, bones, tendons, and muscles. With a simple touch of a button, a runner can reduce bodyweight in 1% increments, all the way up to 80% of bodyweight.

How does it work?

An air sealed cushion around a runner’s midsection uses air pressure to un-weight the runner – imagine a cork being pushed up through a wine bottle.  Meanwhile, the runner enjoys normal run range of motion – minus those pounds that the runner wishes to eliminate.

Who can benefit from running with Alter G technology?

Injured Runners

  • Rehab AND Train with your natural gait and rhythm
  • Reduce your weight to that level where impact is not harmful
  • Maintain fitness while practicing rehab
  • No more water-run drudgery!

Performance Runners

  • Add Volume without the wear and tear
  • Over-speed training
  • Active recovery runs can see quicker pace for improved turnover

Ironman & Ultra Marathoners

  • Un-weighting allows tired legs to remember quick running gait and muscle patterns
  • Add volume without destructive wear and tear

Older Runners

  • Oh to be young again!  With the Alter G, yes you can!
  • Faster and more frequent running without age’s next day penalty

Post-Surgery

  • Walking and eventually running at a fraction of your bodyweight will greatly speed your rehab and recovery period
  • Maintain basic fitness levels
  • Rehab now becomes a more positive experience
  • Interesting BLOG post on running with TWO knee replacements, must read! http://jessicafewless.blogspot.com/2009/12/i-can-run.html

Motivational

  • Run at your college weight!
  • Curious as to how losing 10 pounds would impact your running?  Touch a button and be amazed – and then motivated to drop the extra luggage

M2 Revolution provides a variety of packages for its members and visitors to take advantage of this leading edge gravity technology.  Come join us for a run, and check out M2’s power-based cycling classes while you are there.

Other interesting articles on the Alter-G Treadmill

Read more about the M2 Revolution Studio here: http://www.m2rev.com/index.html
Would you try the ANTI-GRAVITY Treadmill? Leave a comment below if you would give it a test run and why you think it would help you improve your fitness or performance. I want to know if you would be daring enough to give it a go!
Caroline Jordan Fitness Challenge of the Week: Fast and Fearless Running Workout!
Anti-Gravity Treadmill or not, you can still partake in this week’s Fast and Fearless Running Workout Challenge. Try out Set #1 for 20 minutes and give it your best. If you are feeling fiesty, continue on for set #2 and a longer 40 minute treadmill interval workout. LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW when you have completed Set #1 or Set #2 of this weeks workout. I want to hear how you liked it 🙂
Fast and Fearless Treadmill Workout Challenge: 20-40 minute RUN!
Speed is just a guideline and gives you an example of how this workout can be done. Please feel free to modify/intensify to meet your running needs and just use the directions of the workout not the MPH. The entire workout can also be a power walk if you’d prefer to walk instead of run! Enjoy 🙂
Set 1. 20 minute run.
    • 0-5 minutes. Warm up with a 5 minute jog. Level 6.2 mph.
    • 5-10 minutes. Increase the pace for 5 minutes. Level 6.5 mph.
    • 10-15 minutes. Pick up the pace for another 5 minutes. Speed 6.8 mph.
    • 15-20 minutes. Just a little bit faster for another 5 minutes. Speed 7.0 mph.
    • 20-22 minutes. Rest if you need it by walking for 2 minutes. Speed 3.8-4.0 mph.

Set 2Interval time. Run 2 minutes, rest 1 minute (5 times).

    • 22-24 minutes. For 2 minutes crank up the speed. Speed 7.5
    • 24-25 minutes. Rest for 1 minute by walking or slow jog. Speed 4.0 or 6.0 mph.
    • 25-27 minutes. Increase the speed by 0.1 mph and run for 2 minutes. Speed 7.6 mph.
    • 27-28 minutes. Rest for 1 minute by walking or slow jog. Speed 4.0 or 6.0 mph.
    • 28-30 minutes. Increase the speed by 0.1 mph and run for 2 minutes. Speed 7.7mph.
    • 30-31 minutes. Rest for 1 minute by walking or slow jog. Level 4.0 or 6.0 mph.
    • 31-33 minutes. Increase the speed by 0.1 mph and run for 2 minutes. Speed 7.8 mph.
    • 33-34 minutes. Rest for 1 minute by walking or slow jog. Level 4.0 or 6.0 mph.
    • 34-36 minutes. Really crank it up now. Increase the pace by 0.2 mph and run for 2 minutes. Speed 8.0 mph.
    • 36-37 minutes.Rest for 1 minute by walking or slow jog. Level 4.0 or 6.0 mph.

The Finish.

  • 37-42 minutes. Let’s finish strong. Run at jogging speed for 5 minutes. Level 6.2 mph.
Be sure to complete your walk/run with a cooldown and stretch. Drink plenty of water and congratulate yourself for another fearless workout! Dont forget to LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW when you have completed your session. I want to hear how it went and congratulate you on your success.
Most importantly…..  TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 27th is my BIRTHDAY! Join me in class for a special CELEBRATION WORKOUT. Details for all the fitness festivities can be found HERE. Party playlists, colorful spandex, and coconut water…. what more could you want?! Hope to see you there!
Thanks again for everything! Have a great week and happy running!
Caroline
Other Things To Check Out This Week: