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Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…Duffy’s Ultimate Functional Fitness on CUPPING!

You might have seen athletes around Mt. Pleasant and Charleston sporting the ubiquitous purple spots—or even seen celebs like Michael Phelps and Gwyneth Paltrow tout the wonders of CUPPING in the press.   So what is up with all of that bruising?   

This week we break down what exactly CUPPING is and WHY it’s all the rage among athletes!

WHAT EXACTLY IS CUPPING?

According to cupping expert Michael Mancuso, as quoted in People Magazine, “[Cupping is] a ‘suction cup-like tool’ used to apply negative pressure to a person’s underlying sore tissue.  The patient then moves into a position that stretches out that spot. The cups stay in place for about five to 10 minutes.”

https://cuppingresource.com/side-effects-cupping/

https://cuppingresource.com/side-effects-cupping/

WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR BODY DURING CUPPING?

MindBody explains that cupping is almost like an ANTI massage: “Rather than applying pressure to muscles, the suction uses pressure to pull skin, tissue and muscles upward…the underlying tissue is raised, or sucked, partway into the cup.”   While you will get tissue relief with massage, cupping goes about targeting the tissue in a radically different way.

WHY ARE PEOPLE CUPPING?

According to Kevin Rindal, who works with USA Swimming and Michael Phelps specifically (as quoted in Time Magazine): “The intent [of cupping] is to minimize fascial restriction so the motion is more smooth..Instead of pushing down on muscle and fascia, as massage does, cupping pulls the layers of muscle and fascia apart, much like separating the layers of a flaky pastry, so fluid can flow more easily in between them to keep them well-oiled.” 

Or in more simple terms: ‘The purpose of cupping is to enhance circulation, help relieve pain, remove “heat” and pull out the toxins that linger in your body’s tissues.”  So after hitting it hard at the gym, cupping can help recovery time.  Many believe that this process is very beneficial to functional fitness.

IS CUPPING SAFE?

According to Harvard Medical School, YES. “Most experts agree that cupping is safe. As long as those treated don’t mind the circular discolorations (which fade over a number of days or weeks), side effects tend to be limited to the pinch experienced during skin suction.” 

Worried about cupping impacting your upcoming workout?  Don’t sweat it! In fact, Men’s Journal explains: “Though cupping continues to have skeptics, it is growing in popularity with world-class athletes thanks in part to several studies that say it can provide short-term pain relief.”

https://www.thrillist.com/news/nation/rio-olympics-2016-michael-phelps-olympians-cupping-spots

https://www.thrillist.com/news/nation/rio-olympics-2016-michael-phelps-olympians-cupping-spots

SO WHY ALL THE BRUISING?

“The sucking causes small blood vessels under the skin to break, and a cup-shaped bruise to form,” explains Rachel Vreeman, MD, in Health Magazine.  And while it may look freaky or even painful, Freeman promises that it isn’t as bad as it seems: “Cupping basically feels like getting a hickey.”

IS CUPPING WORTH IT?

While every athlete is different, many people find cupping beneficial.   It’s true that there is not a lot of conclusive medical research on cupping (most scientific studies on the topic have been sited for being limited).  However according to Science Direct, “Cupping therapy, following a few thousand years of use, development and perfection, has been increasingly accepted by variety of cultures and people. Its application is extensive, its efficacy is good, its cost is low, and its easy application and safety without adverse side-effects resulted in many practitioners introducing cupping therapy into their practices.”

And most anecdotal evidence proves that cupping has major benefits.  Take this firsthand account from Elle Magazine’s Kristina Rodulfo: “Immediately after cupping, my upper back felt opened up, tension disappeared, and hours of slouching in front of a screen were undone. Post-workout soreness radiating from my lower back dissolved. Despite how gruesome it looked, my back didn’t feel terribly hurt, just a little tender in the following hours. That night, the marks darkened to a red-purple color that already started disappearing after one day. They should be gone completely within five days or less.”

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…Duffy’s Ultimate Functional Fitness on MIXING UP YOUR CARDIO

We all know that getting into an exercise routine is a good thing!  And while the gym is essential for strength and fitness, it’s always good to add cardio into the mix too!  The problem we’re seeing however, is that lots of people get into what we call “workout ruts”—routines that repeat the same activities over and over.  And it makes sense that people get into these grooves! If you’re a runner, you’re going to want to hit the trails all over Mount Pleasant and Charleston!  If you’re a rower, you’ll hit the water.  But what we’re seeing is that people are doing TOO MUCH of the same thing, which leads to fatigue and injury!

So this week we’re focusing on WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO MIX UP YOUR CARDIO!

Mixing up your Cardio—Helps you Lose those Last Few Pounds

One Medical quotes expert Arnold Lee, MD: “When you do the same activity all the time, your body gets used it and becomes very efficient.  Eventually, that adaptation will mean that you burn fewer calories even when you’re doing the same amount of exercise.

“The solution: Challenge you body in a way that it’s not used to. Your body will have to work harder as it adjusts to the new activity, which means that you’ll burn more calories when you work out. And don’t forget to eat sensibly; regular exercise and a healthy diet are both important for weight loss.”

Mixing up your Cardio—Helps Protect your Muscles and Joints

Health Magazine warns that doing too much of the same thing can cause injury.  They quote Joe Holder, a Nike trainer and a performance coach at S-10 Training in New York City: “Some  achiness (aka delayed onset muscle soreness) is normal, but this symptom shouldn’t be chronic. If you’re always sore, your body isn’t repairing properly. Recovery only happens when your muscles and nervous system get the nutrients and rest they need to adapt to fitness.”

So essentially, in order to get the most of your workouts, you need to alternate high and low intensity cardio to give your muscles and joints time to recover.

Mixing up your Cardio—Helps You Keep You Coming Back

Shape reminds us that it’s not just our body that can get bored with a workout.  They site Robert Sherman, a master trainer for Reebok University: “If you have a program that keeps surprising and taxing your body, you can avoid those plateaus — not to mention keep your fitness workouts from getting stale and boring.”  And we all know that if a workout becomes boring, it becomes a chore and we are a LOT less likely to want to do it.

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…Duffy’s Ultimate Functional Fitness on LACROSSE BALLS!

You may have seen them in the glass jar at the front of the gym or in fitness stores all over Mount Pleasant and Charleston…little orange and white rubber balls.  What are these colorful bouncy balls for and why are they EVERYWHERE?!?!?! 

Move over foam rollers!  This week we are talking about the AWESOME massaging power of Lacrosse Balls!!!

WHAT is so great about LAX Balls?

According to HealthLine, “Lacrosse balls can be used as a powerful massage device that can help relieve pain and improve function in sore muscles.

“Lacrosse ball massage is a form of self-myofascial release. Fascia, the thin sheath of connective tissue that covers all the muscles and organs of the body, is responsible for connecting muscle groups. When disrupted, it can cause pain and poor movement patterns.

Tight fascia can pull the body out of alignment and increase pressure on muscles and joints, causing pain. The goal of myofascial therapy is to stretch and loosen the fascia so the underlying tissue can move freely.”

So when you’re feeling tight and/or sore from a hard workout at the gym, these dense, concentrated balls of rubber can be used to free up that tight tissue.

HOW do I use a LAX Ball after my Workout?

Here are FIVE ways that our favorite experts recommend that you use an LAX ball to give yourself some tissue relief!

1. Soften your Shoulders

Shape Explains: “Positioning the ball in this area can be tricky, so place it in an old stocking or sock to give you more control. Stand tall with your back close to the wall. Hold the end of the stocking or sock with one hand and, allowing the ball to rest between you and the wall, position the ball directly over the stressed area. Press your back into the wall. You can rest the ball over the area or perform small circular motions until you start to feel relief.”

2. Give in to your Glutes

Runners World’s Matt McCue (no stranger to glute and hamstring challenges) recommends, “Another benefit to a lacrosse ball is that you can work out tight muscles without actually doing anything. I will often lie on my back and slide the ball under my glutes and lower back and roll around until I come across a sore spot. When I do, I let my body weight melt into the ball and allow the pressure to ease the muscle tension. I repeat this action two to three times for about 20 seconds each time. To get better leverage on my hamstrings, I like to sit in a dining room chair, place the ball under my legs and go through the same process.”

3. Free your Feet

Even if you aren’t an avid runner, spending time in the gym can wreak havoc on your peds.  Health Magazine has some LAX Ball tips to help: “Place the lacrosse ball on the ground. Stand on your right foot. Place your left foot—the ball of your left foot—on top of the ball. Put pressure and move back and forth. From here, you can go down toward you heel, over the arch, and over the side of the foot. Wherever you feel tension, focus on those areas, and make sure you do both feet.”

4. Hit your Hips

As LiveStrong points out, “Hip pain caused by trigger points can be easily treated by using a lacrosse ball. Lie on your side and place the ball under your hip. If your muscles are too tight, the ball cause too much pain at first. It may be easier to use a softer ball, such as a tennis ball or Hacky Sack, in the beginning, until your muscles become more relaxed. Locate painful points on your side hip and move your body around to massage and release these points.”  But LS experts Lucy Whyte Ferguson and Robert Gerwin advise that you should avoid the sciatic nerve to avoid worsening sciatic pain.

5. Quiet your Quads

While intense, nothing feels better than breaking up that charlie horse that forms after a heavy lifting session.  Well and Good explains how to give your self a post-gym release: “Lay on your right side and place the ball on the outer edge of your right quad in the center of the leg. From there, move the body so the ball is moving in a side-to-side, left-to-right motion. The goal is to let the ball sit in that muscle and massage it out. There’s a lot of real estate so you have a lot to work with—start by pinpointing the tightest spot.”

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…Duffy’s Ultimate Functional Fitness on OUTDOOR EXERCISE!

Last week we talked all about why working out outside is good for you!  With all of the gorgeous spots around Mount Pleasant and Charleston to explore, there is no better place on EARTH to hit the ground running! This week we have our FIVE FAVORITE OUTDOOR EXERCISES.

Outdoor Exercise Idea #1: SUP!

Shape Magazine recommends taking it to the water: “Stand-up paddleboardinging (SUP) is an amazing way to tone your whole body without feeling like you’re exercising (Because it’s fun, but it’s not so easy.) Standing on a oversized long board, you use a paddle to navigate across flat, calm waters. Don’t be fooled by how easy it looks. SUP requires the use of your entire body, with a major emphasis on core stability and control. Former pro surfer Jodi Nelson describes it as ‘hiking on water,’ making it a great choice for anyone who wants to add some water to their workout routine without having to swim in it.”

Outdoor Exercise Idea #2: Break out the Bike!

WebMD reminds us why biking is the best: “Not only is bicycling an excellent cardiovascular exercise, but you can really explore your community by cycling to different neighborhoods or in parks, bike paths, or trails. Many people cycle to commute to work.  While running tends to target the hamstrings (the muscles in the back of your thighs), cycling uses the quadriceps (the muscles on the front of the thighs) more.”

The Today Show adds: “Riding a bike outdoors offers even more benefits than a stationary bike since you’ll have to balance, steer your bike and respond to changing terrain as you pedal. Cycling works your glutes, thighs and hamstrings as well as your core.”

Outdoor Exercise Idea #3: Take a Walk!

Health Magazine must have had Charleston in mind with their recommendation, to take a walking tour of your town: “Walking is an easy way to stay in shape because it requires only a pair of supportive shoes and it’s something you can do pretty much anywhere.  A fun way to spice up your workout is by signing up for a walking tour of your city or nearby historic area. You can learn something new while fitting in a workout!” 

Check out Charleston Sole Walking Tours for a great mix of exercise and history! 

Outdoor Exercise Idea #4: Beach It!

GQ, who quotes celebrity trainer, fitness, and nutrition coach Adam Rosante, recommends:  “Protect your joints while challenging your muscles with a series of beach sprints.  The sand is low-impact, saving your joints from the pounding they take on paved streets, but provides an additional resistance challenge, cranking up the intensity of your workout.”

And of course, be sure to checkout Andrew’s Beach Workout on select Saturdays! 

(We will announce these dates on FaceBook!).

Outdoor Exercise Idea #5:  Skating is GREAT!

LiveStrong has a bevy of great outdoor exercises in their article, 10 Outdoor Activities to Help Lose Weight,  But we love how this one rolls: “Inline skating and rollerskating give you a great cardio workout and strengthen your legs and core. Find a long smooth sidewalk nearby for your inline and rollerskating outings and make sure your roller-skates are equipped with outdoor wheels. Skateboarding is a tremendous workout even for beginners. Skateboarding requires a bit more practice and technique but greatly improves your balance.”

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp, Duffy’s Ultimate Functional Fitness on EXERCISING OUTDOORS!

We DUFFNATICS love our gym.  There is no better place to sweat it out when you’re in group fitness classes, working the weights or using our equipment. BUT with all of this gorgeous weather hitting the LowCountry, we’re dedicating this week’s blog to reasons why EXERCISING OUTDOORS is GREAT FOR YOU!

There are countless amazing places to break a sweat all over Mount Pleasant and Charleston, so read on to get inspired to take it OUTSIDE!

Exercising outside is A BREATH OF FRESH AIR…LITERALLY

LiveStrong explains, “Inhaling fresh air helps clear your lungs and enables you to take deeper, longer breaths of air — which increases the amount of oxygen that’s transported to your body’s cells. Increased oxygen in your body translates to greater energy and clarity of mind.” 

Exercising outside GIVES YOU A DOES OF D

Everyday Health adds to the health benefits of working out in the daylight: “Scientists recommend outdoor exercise as a way to get your vitamin D through sunlight. This is especially important if you are overweight — a recent study found that people who are overweight are almost twice as likely to be deficient in vitamin D.”

Exercising outside BRIGHTENS YOUR MOOD

Time Magazine consulted Dr. Pamela Peeke, a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and author of Fit to Live:  “Nothing makes you feel more childlike than being outdoors.  You’re modulating stress hormones, increasing endorphins and increasing the secretion of serotonin.”  And as the article explains, the higher your levels of serotonin, the brighter your mood.

Exercising outside SHAKES THINGS UP

Take it from Active, who explains that variety is the spice of life—even in your workouts: “Unpredictability is essential for the human spirit. When you exercise outside, every day the environment is a little bit different. Even if you work out at the same park, chances are the weather and surroundings will never be quite the same as they were the day before.”

Exercising outside can MAKE YOU SMARTER

Women’s Health consulted Jo Barton, Ph.D., the lead author of a 2011 study that analyzed the mental health of 53 people who were involved in indoor or outdoor activities for six weeks:  ”Humans were hunter-gatherers and farmers for some 300,000 generations; have been industrialized for only six to eight, so we are outdoor animals living largely inside. Closeness to nature increases our well-being—it has an immunizing effect by protecting us from future stresses and helping us concentrate and think more clearly.”

Exercising outside BURNS MORE CALORIES

And leave it to Cosmo to get down to brass tacks.  They quote Simon Cowen, Fitness First PT Ambassador who explains: “Resistance from the wind when running or cycling outdoors means you often burn more calories than if you were indoors.  And slopes and uneven ground make your body work harder as it has to respond to the unknown.  So, basically, doing nothing different but taking your workout outside makes it LOADS more effective.”

For ideas on GREAT OUTDOOR EXERCISES check out next week’s blog!

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…Duffy’s Ultimate Functional Fitness on WHEN TO REPLACE YOUR GYM SHOES!

It seems that just about everyone in Mount Pleasant and Charleston participated in the Cooper River Bridge Run this weekend!  And if you were one of the fitness fanatics who crossed the finish line, you know how much work it takes to be ready for such a run!  But pounding the pavement and even working it at the gym can take a toll on your SHOES. 

So how do you know when it’s time to retire your kicks?

Read on for our tips on WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO REPLACE WORN OUT GYM SHOES!

BAD SHOES = ACHY FEET, SORE KNEES AND WORSE

It turns out, wearing workout shoes to the bitter end is a prominent factor in common gym-related injuries and workout fatigue.  According to Road Runner Sports, “Running in worn out shoes is just as bad as running in the wrong shoe…[leading to problems like] sore knees, achy feet early in the morning, shin splints, tight quads, or something else.”

BAD SHOES CAN CHANGE THE WAY YOU WORKOUT

Esquire takes it even farther.  They quote Ben Sweeney, coach at Brick New York: “Having a solid pair of shoes is important because of your foot health.  When your shoes wear down, the molding for your foot becomes flatter and flatter. This can cause stress on the foot and ankle leading to injury, and even change your gait—that’s how your foot comes into contact with the ground—over time.”

Men’s Health agrees: “Depending on how you land, you also might wear down a specific spot faster like the inside of your heel or the ball of your foot. Unbalanced tread can slightly alter your running gait, possibly causing injury over time.”

WHEN TO REPLACE YOUR SHOES

Reader’s Digest recommends that while the general rule is to replace your workout shoes every 300 to 500 miles, “there are visual clues of wear and tear that you may notice well before that. Place your sneakers on a table top and look at them at eye level, making sure to also flip them upside down and examine the soles. If a portion of the outside soles is smooth, uneven, and worn, you’re ready for a new pair.”

TRUST YOUR FEET

Men’s Journal also reminds us that our feet will tell us when it’s time to change shoes: “As unscientific as it sounds, you should replace your shoes when they stop feeling good. In fact, kinesiology researchers from the University of Calgary proposed in a 2015 review study that a runner’s personal ‘comfort filter’ is the best means of selecting shoes that support the preferred movement path and reduce the likelihood of injury.”  So if you’re shoes feel worn or your feet feel sore or tired after a workout, it’s time to change shoes.

STUDY YOUR SHOES

Men’s Health notes to “Take note of ‘bald spots’ on the outsole where rubber has worn off.”  They quote Bruce Wilk, a physical therapist and owner of The Runner’s High specialty shop in Miami, Florida.  “A little scuffing is fine, but if the tread is gone and your outsole is now white, your shoe is coming apart.” 

So in a nutshell, while it’s a pain to constantly replace your workout shoes, you need to consider them like an investment in your overall fitness.  Not doing so can cost you not only comfort, but may sabotage your workouts!

Wondering which shoes are the best for working out?  Check our our post THE BEST SHOES OF 2018!

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…Duffys Functional Fitness on WHY LAUGHTER IS GREAT FOR YOUR HEALTH!

In the spirit of April Fools Day, we thought we’d give ourselves the giggles!  Nothing takes the edge off of any situation (including when you’re maxing your workout) better than laughing your gluts off!  And it turns out that laughter is actually GREAT FOR YOUR HEALTH!

Read on to learn WHY laughter is good for you and WHERE in Mount Pleasant and Charleston you can find the funnies locally!

CATSonBALLS

LAUGHTER Reduces STRESS:

According to Time Magazine, who sites Dr. Lee Berk (an associate professor at Loma Linda University in California who has spent nearly three decades studying the ways the aftershocks of a good laugh ripple through your brain and body):

“Laughter shuts down the release of stress hormones like cortisol. It also triggers the production of feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine, which have all kinds of calming, anti-anxiety benefits. Think of laughter as the yin to stress’s yang…Thanks largely to these stress-quashing powers, laughter has been linked to health benefits ranging from lower levels of inflammation to improved blood flow.”

LAUGHTER Conquers GERMS:

The Mayo Clinic explains that laughter can reverse the damage that negativity can wreak on your health: “Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.”

So what ARE these magical neuropeptides?  Science Daily quotes experts at Weill Cornell Medicine: “The immune system and neuronal system don’t act independently…These guys are dancing like a tango…The lining of the gut is home to many immune system cells, which serve as a defense against parasites and other infections.”  So essentially, the more you laugh, the more power you are giving to these neuropeptides!

LAUGHTER Helps Your WORKOUT:

Mens Fitness has an awesome article that lists “5 Ways Laughter Can Enhance Your Workout” that we totally recommend you check out!  But our favorite nugget from this piece: Laughter can actually BE a workout!

The article states: “It’s called a belly laugh for a reason. With core strength and agility being so vital to physical fitness, its good to know that laughing exercises the diaphragm while also contracting your abdominal muscles and even your shoulders. The result is not only a mini workout crunch (according to laughteryoga.com), but also a release of tension throughout the body to keep your muscles loose and limber for the long haul.”

So let’s get laughing!  Click on the links below to find some of our favorite Workout Humor as well as local laughing spots in Mount Pleasant and Charleston!

LAUGHTER starts NOW:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6AuZS580n4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nU4EJfX2aXE

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/bioflex/2861339?snl=1

LOCAL LAUGHING SPOTS:

http://www.theatre99.com/

https://www.charlestonmysteries.com/

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…Duffy’s Functional Fitness on FITNESS EVENTS IN APRIL!

You can’t argue that spring in Charleston and Mount Pleasant is amazing!    And with the balmy breezes and gorgeous weather, the LowCountry is the PERFECT place for outdoor fitness events!  The Cooper River Bridge Run is just around the corner but why stop there!?!

Read on for some amazing community-based Fitness Experiences happening this April!

April 6th: CRBR Kids Run, Hampton Park, Charleston

Held the day before the Bridge Run, the Kids Run is for ages infant-13 years.  There are three races to chose from: Toddler Waddler (up to ages 36 mos), the 1/2 Mile and the Full Mile.  Adults are encouraged to race with their kiddos!

Click HERE to register and for more info.

April 7th: The Cooper River Bridge Run

One of the most popular 10K races in the country, the CRBR is the 3rd largest 10K in the US, bringing in over 40,000 runners each year.

Click HERE to register and for more info.

April 14th: Coastal Cyclists Spring Century

Formerly known as the “”After the Bridge Run Ride”, this annual fundraiser for the Coastal Cyclists recreational bicycle club.  The ride begins in Awendaw and winds through the Francis Marion National Forest.  The event has 4 rides to choose from (from 100 to 33 miles).

Click HERE to register and for more info.

April 21st: Citadel Bulldog Challenge 10K @ The Citadel

According to their website: “Measuring just over six miles, the race includes the Marine Corps obstacle course, portions of the Combat Fitness Test, a simulated casevac, getting wet and sandy, and much more! All are encouraged to come out, including beginners, fitness enthusiasts, and suckers for pain.” 

Click HERE to register and for more info.

April 21st: Insane Inflatable Race

Partnered with the American Cancer Society, the Insane Inflatable Race is just that!  An insane 5K trek through every type of inflatable obstacle imaginable!  This untimed race is more about fun than finishing first, so it’s a great race to share with kiddos and friends.

Click HERE to register and for more info.

April 28th Mullet Haul Trail Run 5K, 10K & 5K Relay Trail Run

@ Mullet Hall on Johns Island

This trail race offers three options to run (as implied in the title!) through the trails in Johns Island County Park.  Stay after for post-race music, munchies and drinks.

Click HERE to register and for more info.

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…DUFF on WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO LISTEN TO OUR BODIES!

With the SPRING FORWARD time change and balmy weather hitting the shores of Mount Pleasant and Charleston, we are in the season of GO!  We’re starting to shake off those winter blues and get outside, get our BODIES moving, and we’re loading up the plans, plans plans!   

And while all of that energy is exciting, it’s important to realize that doing too much at once can have consequences!  This week we are talking about learning to LISTEN TO OUR BODIES.

Athletes sometimes listen to the WRONG voice!

Here at DUFF, we get it!   It’s hard to let go of that constant need to push through the pain, whether its during a workout, fighting that tinge of a sore throat or adding on an extra project at work.   Breaking Muscle gets this conundrum perfectly: “Good athletes are typically good at listening to their coaches. But they’re not always so good at listening to themselves. Truth is, your body knows what you need better than your brain and all the thoughts spinning around inside your skull.” 

So what happens when you DON’T listen to your body?

US News explains, “Our bodies have to speak up like a little kid throwing a temper tantrum when they want attention. They do this in the form of illness, fatigue, stress and more. All of these things are like big fat stop signs begging us to slow down and pay attention to what’s going on inside.”  And what happens when you ignore stress and fatigue?  INJURY and ILLNESS. 

CNN bridges the link between pushing it too hard in the gym and pushing it too hard in life.  Their fitness expert Noam Tamir, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and owner of TS Fitness New York City explains: ”The more you work, the more you train, the more stress you’re putting on the body. If you’re not allowing the body to recover, you’re causing yourself more harm than good.” After all, exercise doesn’t just impact your muscles — it impacts your digestion, kidney function, hormone regulation, and more.”

Learning to listen to your body leads to your BEST LIFE!

And as Psychology Today puts it: “If you listen to your body your real life – your best life – might actually have a hope of finding you. When your life is spent rushing from one thing to another there is very little time, space or energy for creativity, inspiration, or truly useful problem solving and planning.”

So what does “Listen to My Body” actually mean? 

MindBodyGreen has an article with that EXACT title and they boil it down like this: “Stop thinking …for a moment. You need to get quiet. You need to get sensitive, to you. That feeling in your body is where you’ll find your intuition, and your capability to act…Your body is sending you messages, core, gut feelings, all the time. You don’t need to reason them, logic them, or intellectualize them. You just need to act on them.”

So when you feel tired, sore or worn out, don’t look at it as weakness.  Take these signs from your body as RED FLAGS warning you that if you DON’T rest, things will get worse!

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…DUFF on TOP 5 HEALTH TRUTHS to Live By

Hey Mount Pleasant and Charleston DUFFNATICS!  Last week we blogged about 5 health myths that can DERAIL your DIET and thus SABOTAGE any progress you may have made at working out at the gym! 

This week, we’re focusing on the positive and listing the TOP 5 HEALTH TRUTHS TO LIVE BY!Read on to see our favorite Internet experts have to say:

Health Truth #1: There Is No Perfect Diet for Everyone

HealthLine explains, “We are all unique… and subtle differences in genetics, body type, culture and environment can affect which type of diet we should eat.Some people do best on a low-carb diet while others may do fine on a vegetarian high-carb diet. The fact is, what works for one person may not work for the next. To figure out what you should do, a little self experimentation may be needed. Try a few different things until you find something that you enjoy and that you think you can stick to. Different strokes for different folks!”

Health Truth #2:  Exercise Boosts Brainpower

WebMD gets heady with this proven fact about working out explained by  David Atkinson, Director of Program Development for Cooper Ventures in Dallas: “Not only does exercise improve your body, it helps your mental function…Exercise increases energy levels and increases serotonin in the brain, which leads to improved mental clarity. All that makes for a more productive day.”

Health Truth #3 Exercise improves mood

The Mayo Clinic goes beyond the brain and makes it about mood: “Need an emotional lift? Or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A gym session or brisk 30-minute walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.”

Health Truth #4 Variety, Balance and Moderation are Keys to Healthy Eating

LiveStrong takes it to the plate by explaining that variety isn’t just the spice of life, it’s a key to happiness: “Variety, balance and moderation are three of the most important concepts to keep in mind for healthy eating. Eating a wide variety of foods can help you to obtain as many nutrients as possible and keep your diet interesting Balanced diets include the right amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and other nutrients important to health. Balanced meal plans can help you avoid overloading on one nutrient while neglecting another. Moderation is the ability to recognize your body’s hunger and fullness cues. By focusing on moderation, you can avoid eating too little or eating too much.”

Health Truth #5 Soft Drinks Sabotage Your Diet

DoSomething.org boils it down to this: ”One can of soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar and the average American adult drinks 500 cans of soda every year, estimating about 52 pounds of sugar consumed in soft drinks alone.”  Think of how many burpees it would take to work off all of that sugar!

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