5 Ways to Boost Recovery Times from Exercise

 

Exercise is a vital part of staying fit and healthy, and in a world where obesity is on the rise and a quarter of the US population does not engage in any physical exercise at all, being able to incorporate exercise into your day is an excellent way to stay healthy and support your body.

But with exercise comes the all-important recovery period. For newbies or those pushing themselves to achieve more, the dreaded DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) can be off-putting and create mild pain and soreness for a few days post-exercise. Exercise can also cause fatigue and make you feel like you cannot physically do anything else for a while afterward.

But with recommendations that you need to be engaging in at least 150 minutes of exercise that raises your heart per week, how can you improve recovery times from your workout?

 

Stretches

Never underestimate the importance of stretching post-workout. You should be doing dynamic stretching before your workouts, i.e., high knees, arm circles, lunges, or squats, and static stretching, which is holding the stretch afterward to help your body recover faster. Make sure you stretch each muscle group you have used for at least 30 seconds once you have finished the exercise, as this helps to reduce muscle soreness and pain.

 

Replace Fluids

You should be making sure you drink plenty throughout your workout, but if not, you need to replace fluids post-workout to let your body recover fluids it has lost during this period. This will allow your body to retain and continue its normal functions without dehydrating. If you are training for any type of sport or working out for longer than an hour, a drink with added electrolytes is particularly useful.

 

Massage

My absolute favourite way to recovery from exercise. Massages are an excellent way to promote recovery from your workouts. You can invest in at-home massage equipment, such as massage guns or chairs, to soothe and relieve muscle tension, or you can look into remedial massage therapy to help you work out any muscle tension or soreness in your body.

 

Ice Baths

Ice baths have become increasingly popular of late, and many athletes swear by them to help improve recovery times and boost physical and mental health. The idea behind ice baths is that plunging into cold temperatures will help to constrict and dilate blood vessels, which can help muscles get rid of waste products easier.

 

Recovery Foods

Ideally, you should be looking to consume some type of protein within 60 minutes of exercising. Protein and carbs can help your body repair, recover, and get stronger, so taking a high-protein snack, shake, or eating a protein-heavy meal post-exercise can improve recovery times and help you build strength and muscle. Adults need to eat 20 to 40 grams of protein after working out to maximize muscle growth.

 

With exercise comes the aftereffects in the form of soreness and fatigue; however, these tips can help you improve your recovery times, get back to working out with minimal downtime and soreness, and give your body what it needs when it needs it.

Happy working out friends,

xo

Mia

 

My favourite hiking apparel

This summer I came up with a Sea to Sky hiking Bucket List: The top 10 hikes I wanted to try near my own backyard. We are half way through the summer and I have been able to cross off 3 of these incredible hikes: Slhanay, Echo Lake, and Panorama. I am starting to feel more confident in my ability to hike more challenging trails and am loving being in the mountains now more than every before and a big part of that is having the right gear and knowing what to pack.

Of course I always take the 10 essentials with me to help me stay safe in the mountains, but I wanted to share of the gear that I love that helps get me to the peaks.

My favourite hiking gear 

Hiking boots: One of the most important pieces of gear is your hiking boots. My go to for longer and more challenging hikes is the Trezeta Argo. I really love the grip on this boot and also how light it is despite it having a lot of support. I also love its waterproof feature, especially when I had to do some river crossings for Echo Lake. Another big selling point for me was the double density EVA midsole cushions the support to reduce impacts on the ground, minimize vibrations and accompany the step.

T-Shirts: I recently started hiking in Devold Merino Wool t-shirts and I don’t think I will ever be able to go back to anything else. I love everything about these shirts, but mostly the breathability of them. Even on a really hot day on an exposed mountain I never feel sweaty or heavy in them. This is thanks to their thermo regulating and moisture wicking, keeping you nice and cool in the summer heat.

Hiking Pants: When it comes to pants I am a sucker for anything Luluemon – I just love their flexibility – it helps me climb when some of the hikes get technical. I am a big fan of the Base Pace High Rise Shorts for summer hikes – I especially like that they are pocketed .

Layers: No matter how hot it is I always bring layers with me (one of your 10 essentials my friends) I am a big fan of Columbia’s sweaters  – I have a few of them for work and they just really fit well and are very breathable. Their Omni Heat is also really great for base layers when hiking in cooler months.

Socks: Ok I didn’t think this was an important hiking element until it became a very important hiking element. I remember I was getting really bad blisters and thought it was because of my boots but then my husband asked what kind of socks I was wearing. Now I will only hike in specific hiking socks and in particular smartwool socks. They are also made from merino wool, so temperature regulated, but they have cushion in all the right places and are very breathable, which is great on hot days when you do have proper hiking boots on.

Sports bra: Again Lululemon is my go to here. I just love the support and comfort that I get from their sports bras. And it doesn’t hurt that they are cute so that when I want to go for a glacier lake dip they can double as a bathing suit.

Happy hiking my friends

xo

Mia

What’s the best way to measure body fat

When reducing body fat (or even gaining it), it can be useful to have a means of measuring your progress. Stepping on the scale isn’t always the best indicator of whether or not you’ve lost or gained fat – changes in muscle mass, bone density and even the amount of urine in your bladder could interfere with results. So just how do you know how much body fat you’ve lost/gained? This post lists a few different methods for measuring body fat. 

The scale test

As mentioned above, the scale test isn’t always a reliable way to measure body fat, because so many other tissues and fluids within our body can influence our weight. The biggest benefit of stepping on a scale is that it is easy to do compared to many other body fat measurement methods. You can also improve the results of a scale test by buying a smart scale, which ‘estimates’ the amount of weight that is body fat. Check out this guide at tomsguide.com to compare some of the best smart scales. 

Tape measure

Using a tape measure, it’s possible to measure areas of the body such as the waist or thighs to see if they have become larger or slimmer. Like stepping on scale, this is a fairly easy way to measure body fat, although it’s not particularly precise or accurate. You need to make sure that you measure the exact same part of the body each time. You also need to account for factors like muscle growth or bloat, which could interfere with results. 

Skin callipers

You can also use skin callipers to check how much fat is under a fold of skin. This is another relatively easy way to measure body fat and can be more precise than using a tape measure as you can avoid including muscle. However, like a tape measure, you need to measure the exact same part of the body each time for results to be consistent. 

BMI test

A BMI (body mass index) test involves dividing your weight by your height. As you can imagine, this is another very easy way to measure one’s body fat – but it is definitely not accurate. Still, it is recommended by many health professionals to get a rough estimate idea of whether you weight less or more than most people your height. Learn more about the BMI test here at nhs.uk

Body composition scan

Body composition scans are designed to provide the most accurate results when it comes to body fat, muscle mass and bone density. These scans involve using DXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) to get a 3D model of the inside of the body. Such scans are provided by specialist companies as found at sites like dexacan.ca. It’s definitely not the cheapest or most convenient method of measuring one’s body fat – however, if you want truly accurate results, it’s the best option. 

Hydrostatic weighing

This method involves sitting in a tank of water and measuring one’s underwater weight compared to one’s out-of-water weight. Because fat is less dense than bone and muscle, it weighs less underwater, and it is therefore possible to estimate the amount of fat in a person’s body by comparing the results to their out-of-water weight. Hydrostatic weighing is fairly accurate compared to other methods (although not as accurate as a body composition scan). The drawback of this method is that there are few places that provide it and it’s often at a high cost. Because it involves staying underwater for a long period, it is also not for everyone. 

 

The only tips you need to stay motivated on your fitness journey

The excuses are done. For way too long now I have told everyone including myself that I am a new mom and my fitness will come. I don’t care about losing all the baby weight or cutting into time with my son to workout – but the thing is as a former professional athlete being fit has always been part of my identity and I know I feel better overall when I am in better shape. The thing is – is you don’t just snap your fingers and magically reach your fitness goals. There’s diet, exercise, and the motivation. All of these pieces are important if you want to see real results. And while it can be tough to stay motivated on your fitness journey (like I have learned in the last 11 months) I am learning that some things do make it a bit easier and I wanted to share a few of these tips with you.  

#1 Track Your Progress

Keeping track of your progress is one of the best ways to stay motivated. It’s easy to get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results, but tracking your progress over time can help you stay focused and motivated to keep going. For some people tracking your workouts helps – for others it might be keeping a food journal. But alas it is important to find a fine balance and not become too fixated on the numbers and lose sight of why you started your fitness journey in the first place. This will only end up demotivating you.

#2 Celebrate Your Successes

When it comes to long-term goals like health and fitness, it’s important to celebrate the successes that come along the way. It can be easy to get trapped in a negative mindset and focus on all the things you have yet to do, but celebrating your successes is essential to keeping yourself motivated.

Take the time to recognize your accomplishments and treat yourself to reaching milestones or meeting new goals.  Take yourself out for a nice dinner, treat yourself to a new outfit. Do something for you! This will help motivate you to keep going when times are tough and remind you of why you started in the first place.

#3 Get Help From A Personal Trainer Or Coach

If you’re struggling to stay motivated on your own, finding a personal trainer or coach can be a great way to keep yourself accountable and motivated. Having someone there to provide support, guidance and encouragement can make all the difference. Plus, they can help you learn the jist when it comes to proper nutrition and exercise too.

There are plenty of online options for trainers and coaches if you don’t have access to in-person services. Just make sure you find someone who is knowledgeable and supportive so that you get the most out of the experience.

#4 Find Your Why

At its core, staying motivated is about understanding what drives you. What inspires you? What makes you want to continue despite how hard it may be? Knowing your “why” is key to staying motivated on your fitness journey.

Take some time to reflect on why you chose to pursue this journey in the first place. Is it for better health? To lose weight? To look and feel better about yourself? Knowing your reason for wanting to get fit can be a great source of motivation when things get tough.

 

Staying motivated on your fitness journey can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. By following these four tips – tracking your progress, celebrating your successes, getting help from a personal trainer or coach and finding your why – you’ll be on your way to achieving the desired results.

Top tips for hiking with a baby

Hiking has always been a big part of my life – most of my days off work you can find me in the mountains. I love exploring the beauty that B.C.’s backcountry has to offer, and so when I had a baby I promised myself I wouldn’t lose that identity  as a hiker and adventure enthusiast. Sure I knew it was going to be harder to get out there with some extra weight on my shoulders, but I knew it was important to me and so I would figure out a way.

So far, Max and I have conquered some great hikes together including the Chief, Lakside Loop, and Mt Crumpet and are planning to get out on some more adventures in the near future. I wanted to share with you all some tips that have helped me be able to get out on hikes with a baby successfully.

1. Find a comfortable carrier

Once your little one has enough neck strength to hold their head up (usually around 6 months) then you are able to put them in a backpack carrier ( steep hikes with them strapped in front is not enjoyable). The key here is finding the right carrier for you and babe. I have heard so many friends say that one brand is better for tall people, another for shorter  – you have to find the right fit for you because remember, you are carrying an extra tiny human up a mountain. After some research we went with the Dueter Kid Comfort. The selling point for this one was the comfort for both baby and parent, as well as the fact that it comes with a sunshade and a decent amount of storage (one issue I have with this carrier though is that the sunshade keeps hitting me in the head #tallgirlproblems). Some of the other top brands when it comes to carriers are Thule and Osprey. Do your research, read reviews, and test them if you can because this will be the difference between being able to hike for long distance and be comfortable vs. breaking your back along the way.

2. Start slow

My first hike with my little one was the Chief, and let me tell you, my back and shoulder weren’t too happy with me the next day. Remember that this is new for you and baby. Get out on a few easier hikes or trails so that both of you can get used to the carrier and this new method of hiking.

3.Bring Snacks

I feel like this is a top tip no matter where you are going with your baby. If you want to be out on a hike that is several km and you want baby to be happy the whole time – the key here is lots and lots of snacks. I love taking mum mums with me (my son is only 9 months) because he is able to eat those on the go – I can keep him happy even if it isn’t time to take a break

4.Take Breaks

Your baby and your back will thank you. The great thing about babies being 6 months is they have enough head strength for longer hikes, the hard part is they are usually starting to become mobile and sitting in a carrier for several hours can be a little boring for them. If you are doing a bit of a longer hike, just expect it to take some extra time and allow your little one to get out of the carrier for a quick crawl every once in a while. Hey we aren’t trying to set records, we are trying to get out in nature with our babes (I keep reminding myself now hikes are different, more about the journey with Max than the destination).

5.Time the hike with naps

I usually set out after nap time so that Max is awake and happy and can take in the surroundings. If we are going to be out for a while, I will try and plan the longest leg of the hike during a nap time since Max still falls asleep in the carrier – try and get a feel for your baby because this will be different for everyone.

6. Bring Layers

Weather in the mountain can be unpredictable and while it is always important to bring layers for yourself, even more so for babe because they aren’t moving. You might be sweating after an incline on a coolish day – but your baby is just enjoying the ride so make sure they are dressed for the weather.

7, Plan out diaper changes, if you can

Thankfully at this age you are probably passed the dreadful poo explosions – but if you are out for a few hours it is likely baby will need a change at some point and so planning the right time is key. I try to avoid anything too high in the alpine because there is less protection from sun or wind and will also be cooler.

Happy exploring mommas,

xo

Mia