Trick or Treat?! Importance of Fat in your Diet!

Trick Or Treat?! The Importance Of Fat In a Healthy Diet

Think fat is a villain? Think again! A few years ago the term “perfect fats” would have been considered an oxymoron. But today it’s clear that eating the right kind of fat is not only good for you… but essential to your health.  In fact, dietary fat can be an incredible tool for helping you get rid of body fat. Read on to discover why you should eat healthy fat in your diet!

Benefits Of Fat in Your Diet:

  • Fats found naturally in foods help protect against heart disease and cancer.
  • Fats crank up your metabolic rate and increase the amount of body fat you burn off. Research has shown that when you replace carbohydrates with good sources of fat, your body increases the enzymes that help turn fat into an energy source.
  • Fat supplies the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, and it helps your body produce estrogen and progesterone.
  • The right kind of fats make your skin soft and supple instead of dry, winkled, and flaky. Without fat you’d have sandpapery skin, brittle nails, and dull, lifeless hair.
  • Adding fat to meals and snacks, especially those that contain fiber, helps you feel more satisfied and keeps you feeling full longer. Good fats help to slow your digestive rate, so that food leaves your stomach slowly and enters your blood stream at a steady pace. When there is some fat in your meals, your body produces more cholecystokinin, or CCK – the hormone that makes you feel satisfied after eating. A little dietary fat also reduces the amount of ghrelin in your body, which helps suppress your desire to eat.

One Big Fat Family: A lesson in the different forms of fat

All fats are classified as being saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated. Every fat or oil is a mixture of all three of these, but one type will predominate any given fat-based food. Here are some details on the different types of fats.

Saturated Fatty Acids: These fats are solid at room temperature. Butter, dairy products, and coconut oil are good examples. These are the ones that some dietetic associations have told us to limit in our diets. However,  the 2004 American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition review concluded there to be no sufficient research to prove saturated fats affect coronary artery disease or other health issues to justify the recommendation to limit saturated fat intake. This does not mean you should eat buckets of butter, but proves that a moderate amount of saturated fat wont hurt you as long as it’s part of a diet that contains healthy amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. You can have your butter… just make sure to balance it out in your healthy diet!

Monounsaturated Fatty Acids: These fats are liquid or soft at room temperature and are found in foods like olives, nuts, avocados, seeds, and egg yolks. Monounsaturated fats are the types of fats our body prefers to use as energy. Researchers have shown that exercise increases the metabolism of monounsaturated fat more than saturated fat. This means that more fat can be burned for fuel during and after exercise when you eat foods rich in monounsaturated fat.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids: Found in many foods from both plant and animal sources, these fatty acids cant be made by your body so you have to obtain them through your diet. Food-dependent types of polyunsaturates are called essential. There are two categories of essential polyunsaturated fats: omega-3s and omega-6s. Omega-3 fats are pivotal in maintaining good health. Increased quantities of omega-3 fatty acids have been associated in clinical trials with lower rates of cancer, depression, mental illness, adverse pregnancy outcomes, infectious disease, osteoporosis, lung disease, menstrual pain, cognitive decline, eye damage, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and cystic fibrosis. They can also help control body fat and increase fat burning. You can get omega-3 fats from specially raised eggs, walnuts, flax, canola oil, salmon, trout, and sardines. Omega-6s are healthy when consumed in equal ratios with omega-3s. Too much Omega-6 in the diet can cause increased inflammation and is a risk factor for many diseases. These fats are found in the highest quantity in vegetable oils like corn oil, soybean oil, and safflower oil. Corn and soybean oil are added to many food products (salad dressings, corn chips, baked goods, and even fruit snacks). Many of us eat those products often, causing our ratio of omega-3s to omega-6 to weigh heavily toward the omega 6s. To balance out the two types of polyunsaturated fats, watch out for these added oils and eat lots of fish, ground flaxseed, and walnuts. Try to use canola, olive, or flaxseed oil for salad dressings and when cooking.

The Perfect Fat Ratios

Experts recommend that you take in equal amounts of fat calories from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat, with slightly fewer calories from saturated fat. Then, among the polyunsaturates, to eat a balance of omega-6s and omega-3s. In order for you to get this ideal balance, try to incorporate the following oil-based fats into your diet equally throughout the week. These will complement the other fats you take in naturally from foods, so that your ratio of saturates to polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats is perfect.

  • Canola oil and olive oil. Rich sources of monounsaturated fatty acids and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids.
  • Fish oil capsules. A great source of the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids EPA and DHA.
  • Flaxseed Oil. Provides the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid ALA
  • Butter. Rich in saturated fatty acids – but be sure to use small amounts!
  • Natural nut butters (no sweeteners added). Great source of monounsaturated fatty acids.


Unfriendly Fats

The following are fats that every person should try to avoid completely in their diet. These foods can greatly exacerbate risk for disease and damage your health drastically:

  • Bacon, chicken wings, T-bone steak, poultry skin
  • Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils
  • Interesterified oils
  • Soybean oil
  • Vegetable oil and shortening

CHALLENGE: Make a Healthy Fat Friend

What types of fats do you get in your daily diet? Using the information above – how could you mix it up to get a better balance of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats? What are your favorite healthy fat foods? This week I challenge you to watch your dietary fat ratios and find a balance thats right for you. Remember, the right fats in  reasonable quantities will not instantly put fat on your frame.By following a healthy diet and including good fats in most meals, you will get the health and weight loss benefits without an ounce of guilt attached to it. The creamy texture of fats will even make your meals more delicious. So go ahead, indulge a bit! Make fat your diet friend and benefit!

In Health,


Go Nuts! Make Fat your friend and Benefit!

Fearless Fitness Weekly Update 10/24: Make yourself a fearless FISH!

1.) Caroline Jordan Fitness Schedule and Special Events October 24-30

Monday 10/25: 12:05pm Cycle Express San Francisco Bay Club, 5:30pm Competition Core and 6pm Chisel’d EQUINOX

*** MONDAY 10/25 SPECIAL EVENT: FREE PUBLIC PILATES MASTER CLASS from 7-8:15 p.m.  at EQUINOX . Equinox is hosting an All Levels Complimentary and PUBLIC Master Class with talented Pilates Master trainer Carrie Macy. Join us for “Pilates Basics Refined – Core Strength Integration”. From 7-730pm the class will cover Basics and from 730-815pm work on Advanced Progressions. The class offers a dynamic, integrative, approach to the art of Pilates. All levels  are welcome to discover the positive impact that Pilates can have on the body and mind. Leap from classical to contemporary approaches to the method and find your center.   I’ll be there and would love to see you! COME . Equinox Pine Street. 301 Pine Street SF, CA 94014

Tuesday 10/26: 12:30pm Cycling EQUINOX, 5pm Ball, 5:30pm BOSU, 6 pm Spin Circuit, and 7pm Sports Stretch Club One Citigroup

Wednesday 10/27: 5:30pm Competition Core and 6pm Chisel’d EQUINOX

Thursday 10/28: 12:30pm Cycling EQUINOX , Run Club 6pm lululemon athletica Grant Ave . Never been to run club and not sure if its for you? COME! The group is fun, colorful, ALL levels, and welcoming. Meet a new fitness friend and enjoy all the free post-run food at the end.

Friday 10/22: 12pm Abs and 12:30pm Cycling EQUINOX . Friday is COSTUME day at Equinox! Come and see us all dressed up! 🙂

Saturday 10/23: 10 am Chisel’d and 11am Cycling EQUINOX

Find more information on specific club locations by clicking on the links included above.

FALL OUTDOOR TRAINING DISCOUNT! Receive $10 dollars off your personal training session for all outdoor workouts. For interest in individual, group, or corporate Personal Training Sessions – Contact Me for details.

For other wonderful community fitness events, check out the lululemon athletica Grant Avenue community online SCHEDULE.

2.) Fearless Fitness Tip Of the Week: SWIMMING!

“I DONT swim.” is the typical response I get when I ask my clients if they are into swimming for fitness. Most people feel discomfort, frustration, or confusion about swimming. Unsatisfying experiences with swim instruction, coaching,  fear of failure or the unfamiliar are to blame. I totally understand ALL of those reasons, but strongly believe swimming deserves a second chance.  Learning the sport could not only save your life..but also your fitness!

I was intimidated of swimming for the longest time – I didnt know the strokes, own a “speedo” swimsuit, and lacked the courage to jump in the pool. When a college running injury pushed me to find other ways to move my body, I was forced into the deep end. I hated it at first. I was slow, unskillful, sloppy, and angry about my injury. Frustrated, I just kept SWIMMING. All the practice slowly improved my performance and stroke after stroke the resentment washed away. I found myself becoming more skillful, fast, efficient…. and surprisingly starting to love it.

Since then, swimming has become a “moving meditation”. It always feels good, is mentally engaging, and physically pleasurable. I don’t know what I’d do without the pool – it brings me so much happiness. Swimming for the sheer pleasure of it will be the reason I swim for the rest of my life.

Not quite sure you’re ready for a swim cap and goggles? Here are a few reasons you might want to jump in to this fitness trend:

Swimming has long been herald as THE “ideal exercise” and it would be hard to find a better contender for the title. It makes your heart and lungs work more efficiently, enhances muscle strength and endurance, improves flexibility, and helps reduce stress. Yet swimming is easier on the joints than anything else that gets your heart rate up. Unless you count cross-country skiing, swimming uses more muscles than ALL other exercises. And it’s the only one that can legitimately make you feel weightless and free.

Burntout from the battle scars of other aerobic sports? Swimming is about as injury free as it gets in fitness. You wont face the bone-jarring shocks of land sports or the joint injuries that plague many joggers and cyclists. The water is kinder to your muscles. It’s massaging effect and the steady, even resistance it provides eliminates much of the postworkout muscle soreness so common in land sports.

Joints feeling stiff? One of the most important reasons for an adult to swim is to increase flexibility, because this sport promotes joint mobility better than ANY other aerobic exercise. And while swimming’s no fountain of cardiovascular youth, a 1988 study by cardiologists and exercise physiologists at the University of Texas Health and Science Center in Dallas showed that inactive adults improved their heart function significantly within just three months of beginning a swim-training program. Their hearts beat more slowly and powerfully and circulated blood more effectively. Regular swimmers have also been shown to have lower blood pressures, slower pulse rates, and much greater exercise tolerance than other people their age. On top of all this, the aerobic benefits of swimming one mile are equal to those of running FOUR miles.

Overheating is also nearly impossible in swimming. Water conducts heat from the body twenty times better than air does, so you can train at much higher intensities without the dehydration and potential heat exhaustion common “ashore”.

And swimming is an EQUAL OPPORTUNITY SPORT. Even if your weight, a physical handicap, or an injury would normally keep you out of action on land, you can probably swim. In fact many land athletes use swimming to regain strength and fitness after an injury, far sooner than they could by returning to their main sport.

Trust me, Swimming can be more fun than anything else you can do with your clothes on. It feels AMAZING and, no matter how hard the workout, you’re left so refreshed, so energized, that for the rest of the day no challenge seems too great.

3. Fearless Fitness Challenge of the Week: Be a FEARLESS fish!

You may never be a candidate for the swim team but it’s never too late to learn to love swimming. Here are a few tips that will help set you up for swimming success:
  • BELIEVE you can do it. Most people have it set in their minds that they lack the coordination or ability to swim …. or that swimming “just ISN’T for them.” That is the BIGGEST obstacle to overcome when you want to learn something. Its easy to get frustrated quickly and give up. Learning to swim will take time and you must take it at your own pace. Praise yourself for each achievement, no matter how small, and ALWAYS stay positive. If you believe you can learn to swim – you will!
  • Check out  when your local pool has swimming classes or times when the pool is usually quiet. It is probably also worth investing in a few private lessons to help you get your feet wet in the water. If you dont have a coach handy, you can always ask the lifegaurd to watch your stroke and give you tips (The lifegaurds taught me A LOT at UC Davis!)
  • Go with a friend and have a great time in the pool. You’ll want to go back if you make it a fun experience. You’ll be more motivated and consistent with your  workouts if you have a friend join you for your swims.
  • Don’t give up. Invest in PRACTICING swimming…. it will come, just keep MOVING!
  • STAY confident and enjoy LEARNING something new – swimming takes time but it’s worth jumping into!

The best part about swimming for fitness? You’ll always be able to do it. Learn now and you’ll be rockin’ that swim suit well into your 90’s 😉

This week I challenge you to take your fitness into the POOL. Become a “fearless fish” and use water workouts to improve your fitness! Cant wait to hear all about your  underwater adventures in class this week. As always, please feel free to email me with any questions…. or if you need a pool buddy to join you for a swim! Have a beautiful week and I’ll see you for a workout soon!




Friend and Pilates Instructor Amber…. BEAUTIFUL  

 Pilates 101

Burnt-out from years of dance I was hesitant to jump on the pilates bandwagon. It looked too expensive, slow, and much like the endless exercises from dance rehearsals. Then I started to get curious…. maybe there were a few benefits to discover. After all, you can’t judge a book by its cover!

This week I had the privilege of a private Pilates reformer class with talented EQUINOX trainer Joanna Hoch. And honestly? I loved it. I was surprised to find I had such a good time. Now I know there’s a reason WHY pilates is behind the health and happiness of  celebrities, athletes, and fitness folks alike! This is your week to LEARN and FEEL the effects of Pilates – read on and find out how pilates can help you find your core… and so much more 🙂

Developed in the early 20th century by a gymnast, Joseph Pilates, Pilates was originally proposed as a workout system to improve the rehabilitation program of individuals who served in the armed forces during the first world war. After the war, Joseph moved to New York City where he began working with dancers and athletes like Martha Graham and George Balanchine. Word of the dramatic results  of the Pilates method spread, and soon it became the exercise of choice for not only dancers, but also celebrities and professional athletes. For a long time, this unique form of exercise was limited to this elite community. That has all changed. Now millions of people are familiar with the Pilates method of exercise. They have discovered for themselves that Pilates can help them gain the strength, flexibility, and balance of a professional dancer, without having to spend hours at the gym. Joseph Pilates, believed an individual’s physical and mental health were strongly interrelated and developed Pilates to focus on controlling the muscles with the mind. His Pilates method is a series of about 500 exercises to improve flexibility, strength, balance and body awareness. practice these exercises regularly in pilates and benefit in more ways than one! Read on….

Benefits Of  A Regular Pilates Practice:

1. Pilates is WHOLE BODY fitness.

Unlike some forms of exercise, Pilates does not over-develop some parts of the body and neglect others. While Pilates training focuses on core strength, it also trains the body as an integrated whole. Pilates workouts promote strength and balanced muscle development as well as flexibility and increased range of motion for the joints.

Attention to core support and full-body fitness — including the breath and the mind — provide a level of integrative fitness that is hard to find elsewhere. It is also the reason that Pilates is so popular for injury rehabilitation and  used by elite athletes to build a strong movement foundation.

2. Pilates is for EVERYBODY.

The old, the young, the elite athlete, and those new to exercise can find benefits from building a strong pilates foundation. Building from core strength, focusing on proper alignment, and a body/mind integrative approach make Pilates accessible to all. With thousands of possible exercises and modifications, Pilates workouts can be tailored to fit every individual’s needs.

3. Creates Strength – Not bulk.

Pilates does not aim to build muscles “for show”. Instead works to create toned muscles that work perfectly within the context of the body as a whole. Pilates uses functional fitness principles to create long, lean muscles that help every individual move through life stronger.

4. Increases Flexibility

Pilates works toward a SAFE increase in length and stretch of the muscles and  builds a better range of motion within the joints.

5. Creates a stronger CORE.

The core muscles of the body are the deep muscles of the back, abdomen, and pelvic floor. These are the muscles we rely on to support a strong, supple back, good posture, and efficient movement patterns. When the core is strong, the frame of the body is supported. This allows the neck and shoulders to relax, and frees the rest of the muscles and joints do their jobs — and not more. In pilates you’ll work your core “deeper” than you would in a normal strength workout…. it might help you find the 6 pack you’ve always dreamed about!

6. Perfect Posture and a long, lean appearance

Good posture is a reflection good alignment supported by a strong core. The functional exercises from Pilates and the focus on neutral alignment trains the body to support a perfectly aligned spine. There’s no doubt about it…. when you look at a pilates instructor, their posture is perfect! Perfect posture combined with the exercises of pilates helps the body look like a long, lean, well-balanced machine!

7. Prevents  Future Injuries

Pilates helps to condition the whole body, not just certain muscles. This helps balance the muscle and strength of the body. Since no set of muscles is ever over or under trained, there is less risk for injury. The body becomes more fluid and supple and is better protected against injury.

8. Mind-Body Connection and Increased Awareness

Pilates is founded on  “the complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit.” Each movement is practiced with total attention. Exercising this way unites the mind and body for the best possible benefit. Using the Pilates principles — centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow –the body and mind is integrated as a whole.

3. Fearless Fitness Challenge of the Week: PILATES!

This week I challenge you to step outside your comfort zone…. and onto the mat with pilates! Not sure if pilates is for you? I wasn’t either…. but a great instructor and a fun class quickly fixed that! Can’t wait for another class…. maybe you’ll be in it!

Try out either of the two most common types of Pilates.  The first, Mat-based Pilates, is a series of exercises performed on the floor using gravity and your own body weight to provide  resistance. The central aim is to condition the deeper, supporting muscles of the body to improve posture, balance and coordination. The second, Equipment-based Pilates includes specific equipment like the ‘Reformer’ or even free weights to offer resistance to the muscles. It’s best to learn how to use the reformer first in a private lesson, and then move on to explore group reformer workouts.

All of the gyms I work at currently offer many group and private pilates lessons. Be sure to check out the following instructors for excellent instruction and a fun pilates session:

EQUINOX: Jayme, Amber, Lia, and Joanna are all wonderful!

SF Bay Club: Angeles, Stephanie, Elizabeth Larkum are excellent

Club One: Both Rachael and Angeles are perfect picks 🙂

More of a studio person? Check out INFORMED BODY pilates. Fellow lululemon Ambassador Katie teaches an early morning “Bend Bitch and Burn” class that the lululemon ladies can’t stop raving about. Owner Jill Harris and her team are all amazing and will teach you something new in the beautiful Hayes Valley studio.

This week is your chance to MAKE IT HAPPEN on the pilates mat! have a great time…. I cant wait to hear about it when you come to class! See you soon!


Fearless Fitness Weekly Update 10/10: Make a new Fitness Friend!

1.) Caroline Jordan Fitness Schedule and Special Events October 10- 16:

Monday 10/11: 12:05pm Cycle Express San Francisco Bay Club, 5:30pm Competition Core and 6pm Chisel’d EQUINOX

Tuesday 10/12: 12:30pm Cycling EQUINOX, 5pm Ball, 5:30pm BOSU, 6 pm Spin Circuit, and 7pm Sports Stretch Club One Citigroup

Wednesday 10/13: 5:30pm Competition Core and 6pm Chisel’d EQUINOX

Thursday 10/14: 12:30pm Cycling EQUINOX

*** Thursday Oct. 14th SPECIAL EVENT: FOOTLOOSE with lululemon athletica Grant Avenue. Running a race this season? Nike Women’s? California Half? Not a “runner” but want a workout with an amazing stretch? Come out and join us! This special workout will have you FLYING in your running shoes and feeling  your BEST! Join me and lululemon grant avenue for a shake out run and a gentle stretch to get your muscles loose and mind pumped. This complimentary event meets Thursday October 14th, 6pm,  at lululemon athletica Grant Avenue (Between Bush and Sutter). For more information or to sign up online: Or Call: 415.402.0914. Would love to see you all out and have your support – this RUN CLUB is going to ROCK!

Friday 10/15: 12pm Abs and 12:30pm Cycling EQUINOX

Saturday 10/16: 10 am Chisel’d and 11am Cycling EQUINOX

Find more information on specific club locations by clicking on the links included above.

FALL OUTDOOR TRAINING DISCOUNT! Receive $10 dollars off your personal training session for all outdoor workouts. For interest in individual, group, or corporate Personal Training Sessions – Contact Me for details.

For other wonderful community fitness events, check out the lululemon athletica Grant Avenue community online SCHEDULE.

2.) Fearless Fitness Tip Of the Week: Get With The Group!

The real reason I LOVE my job? Sharing workouts with all of YOU. Group Fitness can provide an extremely powerful experience. The energy,  community,  and positive environment of people together enjoying movement brings me so much happiness. Of course…. you already know that 😉

But can group workouts can bring you more than just a good sweat? Actually YES. Several studies done by Oxford’s Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, proved that group fitness classes provide a rush of chemicals in the brain that trigger the same responses that have made collective activities like dancing, laughter, and religion enduring aspects of human culture.  Researchers took a rowing team and divided them into teams of six.  Each performed a series of identical workouts on rowing machines, some alone or  in a team. After each workout, a blood-pressure cuff was tightened around the arm of each subject until he reported pain, an indirect method of measuring endorphin levels in the brain. Endorphins – the same chemicals that stimulate “runner’s high” – produce a mild opiate high and create a sense of well-being as well as blocking pain. The rowers’ pain threshold was consistently twice as high after exercising with their teammates as compared to exercising alone, even though the intensity of the workouts was identical.

Now that’s some powerful evidence to get into group fitness! Here are a few other reasons why you might want to consider leaving your solo sweat sessions behind…

Safety and instruction: Correct technique is important in any workout to prevent injury and to maximise results. If you are intimidated by particular equipment, trying a new workout, returning to your routine, or new to the fitness thing, you can learn safe form in a group setting.

Motivation: No doubt about it – your less likely to quit with group fitness. The support, accountability, and environment will keep you motivated and challenge you to push your limits. You’ll find it much easier to show up for your workouts when you have a group cheering you on towards success.

Fitness Friends: Group fitness is a great way to find friends that share similar interests. They will keep you motivated to stick with your fitness and make it even more fun in the process. I’ve found most of my best friends through fitness and continue to find more with each new workout I explore.

Consistency and routine: Classes can be great for those looking to set or keep a  workout routine. Providing a well-rounded workout in a specific amount of time will keep you fit within a set time frame.

FUN. The most motivating thing about the group fitness scene? It’s entertaining. With new music, moves, and challenges to explore…. the “fun factor” leaves you consistently wanting more.

3. Fearless Fitness Challenge of the Week: MAKE A NEW FITNESS FRIEND!

This week I challenge you to make 3 new fitness friends. Bond through a hard fitness class, strike up a conversation in the locker room, or share winded words during this week’s RUN CLUB with lululemon grant avenue.

Who knows… you might just meet someone who will make your workout…. or your life…. just a little bit happier.

Cant wait to see you this week for a workout or two…. and let’s make some more fitness friends this Thursday night with LULULEMON GRANT AVENUE!


Eric Prydz LOVES group fitness….. his “Call On Me” Music Video might explain why…..

Fearless Fitness Update 10/3: Ready, Set, STRETCH!

1.) Caroline Jordan Fitness Schedule and Special Events October 3- 9.

Monday 10/4: 12:05pm Cycle Express San Francisco Bay Club, 5:30pm Competition Core and 6pm Chisel’d EQUINOX

Tuesday 10/5: 12:30pm Cycling EQUINOX, 5pm Ball, 5:30pm BOSU, 6 pm Spin Circuit, and 7pm Yoga Flow Club One Citigroup

Wednesday 10/6: 5:30pm Competition Core and 6pm Chisel’d EQUINOX

Thursday 10/7: 12:30pm Cycling EQUINOX

*** Thursday SPECIAL EVENT: 6pm Run Club with lululemon athletica Grant Avenue. Meet at the store at 6pm for a fun (colorful!) run club. ALL levels of runners (or walkers) are welcome to enjoy a complimentary 3 or 6 mile group workout. I led the warm up last week and it was a BLAST. The group is warm, welcoming, and wonderful – trust me, this event is not to be missed!

Friday 10/8: 12pm Abs and 12:30pm Cycling EQUINOX

Saturday 10/9: 10 am Chisel’d and 11am Cycling EQUINOX

Find more information on specific club locations by clicking on the links included above.

FALL OUTDOOR TRAINING DISCOUNT! Receive $10 dollars off your personal training session for all outdoor workouts. For interest in individual, group, or corporate Personal Training Sessions – Contact Me for details.

For  other wonderful community fitness events, check out the lululemon athletica Grant Avenue community online SCHEDULE.

2.) Fearless Fitness Tip Of the Week: STRETCH your way to fitness!

You pound out a few miles on the treadmill…. sweat through an intense strength session…..or put in some time on the spin bike. Nothing to do now but hit the shower…. right? WRONG! How often do you enjoy a challenging workout but leave the post sweat session stretch out? Stretching is one of the most undervalued components of fitness – yet one of the most important. MAKE TIME to stretch and uncover amazing fitness benefits. Here are Caroline’s top TEN reasons to incorporate stretching into your fitness regimen:

  1. Stretching decreases muscle stiffness and increases range of motion. Stretching helps improve your range of motion which may also slow the degeneration of the joints.
  2. Flexibility training may reduce your risk of injury. A flexible muscle is less likely to become injured from a slightly extensive movement. By increasing the range of motion in a particular joint through stretching, you may decrease the resistance on your muscles during various activities.
  3. Stretching helps relieve post-exercise aches and pains. After a hard workout, stretching the muscles will keep them loose and lessen a shortening and tightening effect that can lead to post-workout aches and pains.
  4. Flexibility training improves posture. Stretching the muscles of the lower back, shoulders and chest will help keep your back in better alignment and improve your posture.
  5. Stretching helps reduce or manage stress. Well stretched muscles hold less tension and therefore, leave you feeling less stressed.
  6. It can help reduce muscular tension and enhance muscular relaxation. Stretching allows the muscles to relax. Habitually tense muscles tend to cut off their own circulation resulting in a lack of oxygen and essential nutrients.
  7. Stretching improves mechanical efficiency and overall functional performance. Since a flexible joint requires less energy to move through a wider range of motion, a flexible body improves overall performance by creating more energy-efficient movements.
  8. Pre-workout stretching prepares the body for the stress of exercise. Stretching prior to exercise allows the muscles to loosen up and become resistant to the impact they are about to undergo.
  9. Stretching promotes circulation. Stretching increases blood supply to the muscles and joints which allows for greater nutrient transportation and improves the circulation of blood through the entire body.
  10. Stretching decreases the risk of low-back pain. Flexibility in the hamstrings, hip flexors and muscles attached to the pelvis relieves stress on the lumbar spine which in turn reduces the risk of low-back pain.

3. Fearless Fitness Challenge of the Week: Get Ready, set, STRETCH!

This week I’d like to challenge you to stretch TEN MINUTES a day. That’s a total of an hour and ten minuets of stretching this week…. think you can handle it? You can stretch anytime, anywhere — in your home, at work or when you’re traveling. Here are some stretching essentials to get you started:

  • Target major muscle groups. When you’re stretching, focus on your calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck and shoulders.  Stretch the muscles and joints that you routinely use at work or play.
  • Warm up first. You may hurt yourself if you stretch cold muscles. Warm up by walking while gently pumping your arms, or do a favorite exercise at low intensity for five to 10 minutes. Better yet, stretch after you exercise — when your muscles are warm and more receptive to stretching.
  • Pace yourself. It takes time to lengthen tissues safely. Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Do each stretch three or four times.
  • Don’t bounce. Bouncing as you stretch can cause small tears in the muscle. These tears leave scar tissue as the muscle heals, which tightens the muscle even further — making you less flexible and more prone to pain.
  • Focus on a pain-free stretch. Expect to feel tension while you’re stretching. If it hurts, you’ve gone too far. Back off to the point where you don’t feel any pain, then hold the stretch.
  • Relax and BREATHE freely. Make sure not to hold your breath while you’re stretching.

Still need some extra help? Check out my online stretching video HERE . You can download it and take it with you ANYWHERE! Enjoy!

Thanks again for being an amazing fearless fitness family. As Always, if you have any questions or feedback feel free to email me. Share the love and pass this newsletter along to your friends and family – INSPIRE them to be “fearlessly fit” with you!

See you in class this week – cant wait to work it out with you!