In our December programs, I encouraged my athletes to reflect on the year and think of all they accomplished. December is a month of celebration and it’s just as important to celebrate successes as it is to create goals and resolutions for the coming year. This year has been a busy one for me and I’d like to share some of the highlights of my 2012!
Check out coach Crystal’s 2012 Healthy Gift Guide for some last-minute shopping ideas…
Paleo Chef: Well-Fed by Melissa Joulwan
Paleo On the Go: Farmhouse Delivery
The Traveler: Steve’s Paleo Kits
It’s inevitable that at some point during the holiday season you will experience some degree of stress. Whether you’re hosting out of town guests or last-minute Christmas shopping, your schedule is busier than usual and it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself. Check out this article with 9 great ways to de-stress during the holiday season!
I especially like the idea of making a gratitude list. Just take a few minutes out of your day to feel truly grateful for the things you have in life. Write it down or recite it aloud and you’ll be surprised how calming this exercise can be. I love the following quote by Emerson and adding “I’m grateful for…” before reciting is a simple mantra.
Coconut Macaroons from Elana’s Pantry
Check out my latest article on the Triune!
“The wintry months are approaching and despite Austin’s mild climate, we tend to spend less time outside in the sun getting our daily dose of vitamin D. Here’s a guide to everything you need to know about maintaining healthy levels and the potential risks associated with deficiencies in the body.
Studies have shown that 4,000 IU per day in supplementation is a good estimate. You can actually have your 25 (OH) D levels checked. Ideally, you want to be in the 50-60 ng/mL range. This chart shows disease incidences are lowest in that range. Supplementation in liquid form is best when you are unable to get adequate levels of natural sun exposure.
Luckily, we enjoy sunny weather year round and you really only need 20-30 minutes of sun exposure (sans sunblock) a day. Not all sunshine is created equal. Ideally, you want to have sun exposure when UVB rays are at a maximum and the best time for this is typically when the sun is overhead. If you’re not used to getting that much sunlight, ease into a lengthier exposure to avoid sunburn. A diet of whole, non-processed foods, however, has been proven to give a natural skin protection against the sun! Healthy fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, egg yolks and avocado provide Omega 3′s and saturated fats which help regenerate skin tissue and collagen while decreasing inflammation in the body.
Cancer is caused by inflammation in the body. Inflammation in the body is caused by poor nutrition. Studies have shown that the high linoleic acid and Omega 6 content in vegetable oils (ie: processed foods) increases risk of skin cancer as well as lowers the body’s ability to fight cancer. If the body does not receive healthy fats it will use whatever is available (including the unhealthy fats) for building skin tissue in the body and this may cause mutation, or cancer cells.
Sunscreen is laden with chemicals and the despite conventional wisdom that has told us to reapply and us at least SPF 30 for the face, sunscreen is actually very harmful. As fellow coach Crystal Bold of Fuel 21 states, “if you cannot consume something in your mouth, you shouldn’t be putting it on your skin.” If you do have prolonged sun exposure, coconut oil has a natural SPF of about 4. Furthermore, your body needs UVB rays from the sun to produce vitamin D. Sunscreen blocks these rays and inhibits vitamin D growth. Low levels of vitamin D has been linked to many types of cancer!
Moderation is key. It only seems natural that we spend some time outside. So, skip lathering up with the chemical lotion, incorporate healthy fats into a clean diet and get outside!”
Check out my latest blog post on the Triune site explaining why we do what we do in CrossFit!
CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program using “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movements”. The definition of “fitness” by CrossFit standards is largely based on the ten general physical skills – cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina,strength, flexibility, power, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. “You are only as fit as you are competent in each of these ten skills”, according to the CrossFit Journal. We train for endurance, strength, stamina and flexibility. Training is measurable and why all of your coaches encourage (or require) you to write down weights used, times, etc in your WOD journal. We achieve better coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy through practice. Power and speed are improved through both training and practice which helps us work toward the ultimate goal of improving work capacity across broad time and modal domains (i.e. lifting heavier sh*t in less time with different kinds of equipment!)
HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training. We’ve all heard of it, but what actually happens in your body and why is it effective training? Without getting too science-y, it all comes down to OXYGEN. Working at low intensity is aerobic. The body breaks down carbohydrates and fat for energy, body fat decreases and cardiovascular function improves. Working at high intensity is anaerobic. Anaerobic activity benefits cardio function as well as decreases body fat, but anaerobic activity is what improves your power, speed, strength and muscle mass. High-intensity interval Training (HIIT) is designed to develop our aerobic conditioning through anaerobic training. Perfect explanation for why your mile time is somehow faster with CrossFit training and without running tons of miles every week. Just ask our Relentless bootcampers!
Tabata – Another common term we’re all familiar with meaning “the longest 20 seconds of my life and the shortest 10 seconds ever”, Tabata is a form of HIIT that we see often. Many of you may not realize that Tabata was actually founded by a Japanese man named Izumi Tabata. He conducted tests on two groups of athletes to compare moderate-intensity training with high-intensity interval training. The subjects performed 20 seconds of super fast rowing alternated with 10 seconds of relaxed rowing, for a total of 8 intervals. At the end of the study, results showed that the athletes training in high intensity intervals improved their aerobic systems as well as their anaerobic system. The athletes who did the moderate intensity training only improved their aerobic system with little to no increase in their anaerobic system.
So, next time you’re running a 400 after some heavy power cleans, just think about how many ways you are benefitting your body (in less than a 45 minute time span!) Work hard, keep pushing yourself and before you know it, those 20 seconds won’t feel like an eternity!”