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As all the hustle and bustle of the 2015 holiday season comes to a close, planning for the new year may be the last thing on your mind. After all, you just spent the last several weeks picking out gifts and cooking family dinners – you likely just want to rest. Fortunately, with a little creativity, you can do just that today and for the next year. Use the end-of-year stress as a launching point for rejuvenation in 2016 with these three tips:
Don’t let workouts fall to the wayside in the new year. The U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s guidelines state that adults should get two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity each week. As a mom juggling kids, work and dinners, this likely sounds appealing but impossible. With some strategy and dedication, you can feel and look your best in 2016.
Motivate yourself by understanding the benefits of working out. Regular physical activity not only helps you manage your weight, but it will also make you feel better overall. The Mayo Clinic explained that exercise can boost your energy level, combat health conditions like heart disease and arthritis, elevate your mood and improve your sleep. As far as timing, consider integrating workouts into your morning routine. By waking up at a regular time, mornings won’t feel so hard to overcome, and you’ll experience the benefits of physical activity for the remainder of the day.
Part of rejuvenating in the new year involves making time for yourself. Moments not dedicated to carting kids to soccer practice or attending parent-teacher conferences may seem few and far between. If your normal routine doesn’t allow for breaks, you just have to carve out personal time in your schedule.
You don’t need to spend hours sitting in a spa to get “me time.” A few minutes a day or a couple hours each week will do just fine. For instance, you may find going to the grocery store without the kids or spouse in tow is a nice escape. Additionally, you can use your personal massager before bed or right after you wake up for extra relaxation. Otherwise, head to the library for an hour each week – silence is golden, after all.
You know how much fun a girls’ getaway can be, and research has pinpointed why females enjoy these rendezvous so much. A study published in the journal Annals of Leisure Research found that middle-aged women use girlfriend getaways to escape their families for a short time and feel younger. You undoubtedly love your kids, but every mom needs a break – and it’s OK to get away for a while.
While weekend trips may be difficult to schedule, get at least one on your calendar for 2016. Additionally, have a set routine where you get together with your girlfriends. Whether you meet up for lunch every other Sunday or go bowling on the first Friday each month, make sure you block off time in your schedule to hang out with your gal pals, vent, have fun, de-stress and rejuvenate.
What will 2016 look like for you? Make time for yourself in this upcoming year to feel refreshed.
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Endurance athletes who take part in marathons, triathlons or century bike rides typically have fitness goals of strength and stamina. Your body needs to be strong enough to carry you long distances, and it needs to have the proper training in order to function for extended periods of time.
Before a race it’s crucial to plan a training program to prepare, and most of this will include running or cycling through intervals of faster and slower speeds, up and down hills and longer and shorter distances. It should also include cross training with strength exercises and core workouts such as Pilates for total body training.
Another factor that should be included in a pre-race program is athletic recovery and stretching. Whether you’re a new or seasoned endurance athlete, you’ll be putting your body through more intense challenges, which is sure to leave you with sore muscles from time to time, but it can also increase your risk of injury. To prevent getting hurt and having a setback, you need to take the proper precautions, which include stretching and massage.
A century bike ride will take you 100 miles, and it will certainly test your mental and physical prowess. This may seem like a lofty goal, but it’s certainly an achievable one that many endurance cyclists aspire to complete.
Being able to bike 100 miles requires serious commitment, dedication, planning and training. Once you decide to take part in a century ride, you need to starting working at least eight weeks beforehand to prepare your mind and body for the challenge ahead. Your training program should consist of long and short rides as well as intervals of different speeds, resistance levels, terrain and hills. It’s also a good idea to cross training with weight lifting to strengthen your muscles and exercises such as Pilates that provide stretching and improve posture.
Another key component is nutrition. Your body won’t be able to last long if it is not being fueled properly. Even slight dehydration can completely zap your energy levels and cause sore musclesand cramps. If this does happen, giving your muscles a massage can help. Additionally, eating the right amount of carbohydrates and fats is needed to fuel your muscles and provide you with the nutrients to keep you going mile after mile. You’ll certainly want to pack snacks to stop and eat during your ride to replenish fuel sources, curb hunger pangs and boost energy. Remember not to pack any foods that are too heavy or hard to transport. A muffin may sound delicious, but it can be messy to eat. Also, be sure not to try any new foods in case it affects your stomach negatively and you have to stop mid-race.
Here are some tasty, helpful snack options to pack for your century ride:
Whether you’re preparing for a cycling race, training for a triathlon or simply appreciate the exhilarating cardio workout you get from riding, your body (the lower half in particular) is certainly being challenged.
Most of your focus will be on the meat of your training – developing programs for each ride to incorporate different terrain, speeds, hills and other aspects of riding itself. But it’s also important to remember that your training doesn’t stop once your session ends. In fact, time spent after you hop off your bike is just as important as time spent on the saddle. Cooling down and taking part in athletic recovery reduces your risk of sore muscles and injuries, which can sideline you and set you back in your schedule. This is especially problematic if you are on a deadline for a race.
After each bike ride you should be taking the time to stretch out your muscles and allow your mind and body to return to their resting states. It’s also useful to incorporate self massage into your routine each week, especially after an intense ride. Massage will help loosen up muscles even further, which is important so you don’t create any imbalances.
There are several key muscles you should focus your massager on after a bike ride: