Holiday Hangover Workout

A Workout to Ease Your Pain

Holiday Hangover Workout

In case you've never known a personal trainer personally, I feel it's best I be honest and confess: we like to drink.  Sure, there are personal trainers who live on nothing but green tea and raw almonds.  The rest of us live on green tea, raw almonds, the odd pizza and usually some alcohol.  Generally, we consume our alcohol in large quantities, infrequently.  A few beers every night is not so good for the waistline... or for a 6:00 a.m. appointment at a client's home.  So we tend to abstain until the time is right, then drink our faces off.  No surprise, right?  We work hard and play hard. 

So I've had my share of hangovers.

I've also had my share of awesome hungover workouts. 

'Tis the season to imbibe.  If you're feeling a little fuzzy from last night's holiday get-together with the girls, or anticipating a champagne-induced haze on January 1st, try this gentle combination of cardio and dynamic stretching to energize your muscles and your brain so you can enjoy your day, hangover and all.

For a quick, energizing workout, perform 1 minute of each of the following in order.  To really get your body moving and burn a few of last night's calories, perform 1 minute of each of the following, then repeat for an additional circuit. Rest as little as possible between exercises.

Jog on the Spot - just as it sounds, jog vigorously in place.

Jumping Jack - begin with hands at sides, feet together. Jump and land with feet wide, arms overhead. Return to start & repeat.

High Knees - jog on the spot with knees as high as possible.

Bum Kicks - jog on the spot, kicking feet as high as possible behind you.

March - march on the spot, with emphasis, until your breathing calms slightly and you feel ready to stretch.

Windmill - stand with feet wide, toes slightly turned out; reach right hand to left foot and extend left arm up behind you; hold 3 counts, then return to standing and repeat on opposite side; continue alternating for 1 minute.

Hip Flex & Extend - stand, holding wall or chair with one hand for balance; lift left knee as high as possible and thrust down and back, skimming the floor and squeezing butt to lift leg straight behind you; do not bend forward or backward at waist. Continue for 30 seconds on one leg, then 30 seconds on the other.

Spiderman - begin standing with feet hip-width apart; step left leg behind you as far as possible and place hands on floor, inside right foot; stretch body as long as possible and allow left hip to fall toward floor (or rest on floor if needed); hold 30 seconds on one leg, then 30 seconds on the other.

Forward Bend - stand with feet wide; clasp hands behind back and bend forward until crown of head points to the floor, allowing arms to fall forward; hold 1 minute.

Claps - lay on stomach with arms extended in front of you; clap hands in front of you and swing arms around you, without bending arms or touching floor; repeat for 1 minute.

Looking for holiday inspiration? Visit the YMC Holiday Guide to find everything from sweet treats and delicious dishes to DIY décor and favourite family movies. If it’s holiday related, you’ll find it here.

Kelly Ripa Is Too Skinny

Fit, Fab & Maybe A Bit Compulsive

Kelly Ripa Is Too Skinny

Unless we're asking Anne Heche, I'm pretty sure anyone would agree that Kelly Ripa is skinny. Like, super skinny.

And if you're asking me, Kelly Ripa is TOO skinny.

If we needed more proof, last week Ripa appeared on stage with crutches. Apparently, she had been experiencing hip pain for quite some time and finally saw a doctor, who diagnosed her with a stress fracture.

Wait a minute! Is she 84?

No, she's 40. So how could she have fractured her hip, without even knowing it, at such a young age?

What the heck is a stress fracture, anyway? Well, it can happen, like most fractures, after a fall. If it's not a fall, then it's an overuse injury, which means it occurs due to repetitive activity such as running or jumping. Like tennis elbow, runner's knee or carpal tunnal syndrome, a stress fracture in the leg is a common injury when one is overusing the muscles and soft tissues surrounding the injury site. Usually these types of injuries occur when someone ramps up the intensity, speed or duration of their workouts too quickly, without building up carefully. The muscles can't handle the amount of work being asked of them, basically, and the repeated impact from running or jumping is transferred to the bone, causing a fracture from the strain.

Whew. Now that that's over...

So maybe Kelly Ripa just upped her mileage too quickly. She claims to exercise every single day for 45-90 minutes. Apparently she aggravated the original fracture by ignoring the pain and continuing to exercise daily for a month before finally seeking medical advice.


Here's my thoughts. Stress fractures also occur very commonly in female athletes whose diets are insufficient to meet their needs, and especially in those with eating disorders (which often cause osteoporosis... and if you want a stress fracture, stop drinking milk and get yourself some osteoporosis...).

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, "Medical studies have shown that female athletes seem to experience more stress fractures than their male counterparts. Many orthopaedic surgeons attribute this to a condition referred to as "the female athlete triad": eating disorders (bulimia or anorexia), amenorrhea (infrequent menstrual cycle), and osteoporosis. As a female's bone mass decreases, her chances of getting a stress fracture increase."

The woman is 98 pounds. What are the odds she's getting a plentiful, balanced diet? Maybe I'm a cynic. Or maybe Kelly Ripa should eat a burger. With cheese.

What do you think? Is Kelly Ripa too skinny? Super lean but healthy?

Role model or another Hollywood diet victim?



Yummy Thighs

Get Miniskirt-Worthy Legs

Yummy Thighs

how to get miniskirt legs

Not of the chicken variety, either...

Ouch!  My legs hurt today!  It's not every day that my own Belly Bootcamp classes hit me so hard I'm actually sore for a day or two... but it happens sometimes when I've crafted a particularly effective combination of exercises to target a specific part of the body.

In this case: quadriceps (the muscles of the front of your thigh) and adductors (the muscles of your inner thigh).

Is there a woman out there who doesn't want firmer, more shapely thighs?  Once again, not of the chicken variety...

Want to feel the burn?  Warm up first with 2-5 minutes of stairs, jogging on the spot. jumping jacks or other cardio.  Next, try one set of each exercise, in order.  Rest 1 minute, then repeat.  Rest again, then repeat for one third and final set.  Finally, stretch or follow with more cardio if you have time.

Here are the 3 moves we did yesterday at Belly Bootcamp which are responsible for my soreness today:

Pivot Lunge: begin with feet together.  Pivot and step to the left (turning 90 degrees) into lunge position; lower until left thigh is parallel with floor, then press back to starting position (turning back 90 degrees)  Repeat on right.  Continue alternating sides for 20-30 reps.

In & Out Jump Squat: begin with feet hip-width apart. Squat until thighs are roughly parallel with floor, then jump up explosively and land with feet wide, lowering immediately into another squat.  Be sure to land softly to minimize the impact on your joints and place your heels down after landing.  Next, from wide squat, jump again to land with feet narrow to complete 1 rep.  Continue jumping out and in for a total of 8-12 reps (16-24 total jumps).

Wall Sit: stand with back against wall, feet hip-width apart and roughly a foot from the wall.  Lower yourself until thighs are parallel with floor.  Extend arms out to side and keep abdominal muscles drawn in so back does not arch excessively.  Hold 1 minute (or as long as possible if 1 minute is too long).

Enjoy!  And prepare to curse your stairs tomorrow morning.


A little public service message here: There are risks with any kind of exercise. If you are unsure, I always recommend you ask questions first, shoot later. You can shoot me an email at dara[at]fitfamily[dot]ca if you have a question about this or any other exercise.