Thursday, February 28, 2008


Muscle Facts:

Smallest muscle in the body-
Stapedius: the muscle that activates the stirrup, the small bone that sends vibrations from the eardrum to the inner ear. It measures just .05 inch in length.

Largest muscle in the body-
Latissimus dorsi: the large, flat muscle pair that covers the middle and lower back--and looks like wierd bat wings on body builders

Longest muscle in the body-
Sartorius: the straplike muscle that runs diagonally from the waist down across the front of the thigh to the knee.

Strongest muscle in the body-
Gluteus maximus: the muscle pair of the hip that form most of the flesh of the buttocks.

Fastest-reacting muscle in the body-
Orbicularis oculi: the muscle that encircles the eye and closes the eyelid. It contracts in less than .01 seconds.

Number of muscles used to smile-

Number of muscles used to frown-

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Q and A


I have a question about running... I am not sure if I am just really sore of if I injured my calf/back of the knee. It is so sore after a run. During the run it is kinda painful for the first 10 minutes and then it is fine. I stretch really good too, but sometimes that leg is so stiff, it kills to just touch my toes. What should I do.



Common injuries to the back of the knee (the Popliteal Fossa or Knee Pit) are due to overextention and overuse. There is actually not a muscle behind the knee, but a ligament called the Lateral Collateral Ligament that connects the Femur to the Fibula. This means that you've most likely extended this ligament too far too many times and it is sore and possibly strained. Overextention happens frequently in down hill running.
So what do you do?

First, know you're body. I can often run through a lot of injuries and heal as I continue to train. Your body may respond differently.

Stop stretching that knee! To continue putting pressure on that knee may cause further damage or keep the Lateral Collateral Ligament from healing.

Heat & Ice. I LOVE Icy Hot or some muscle rub equivalent. Put it on before you run. After you run, ice to keep swelling down (or blood from rushing to the injured area)...use a package of frozen veggies like peas & carrots for 20 minutes if you can. After that, put the muscle rub back on for the day. I've been miraculously healed by muscle rub several times!

Buy new shoes! How long shoes last is dramatically effected by how we wear them. Running shoes should also be rotated from day to day to give the cushion time to "re inflate"...they'll also last longer. A good indication that you need new shoes is to notice whether the tread on the bottom is worn down or not...take a look. Check out this site for more help.

Strength train. Once you feel your knee is adequately healed, start pumping weights! Lifts that will especially help stregthen the knee and keep it injury free are Hamstring curls, calf raisers, adduction and abduction standing leg lifts, and leg extention. These lifts stregthen the muscles around the knee, keeping it safe.

Stretch--yoga style. Again, once you feel your knee is pretty much good to go, try checking out some yoga videos/books/classes. If you've never done it before, it's much different from the normal "touch your toes" stretching that you might be more familiar with. I think it's magic. I used to get pretty serious injuries 3 times a year, but since I started yoga 6 years ago, I HAVE NOT BEEN INJURED SINCE! Yoga stretches the muscles deeply in possitions that truely engage. You don't have to do hours of it a day...some days I only have time for a few rounds of the Sun Salutation, but like I said...still injury free!

Depending on your body, as I noted earlier, and your desire to keep training you can try these suggestions as you continue to run or take a few days/weeks off and rest that knee.

Good Luck!

Monday, February 25, 2008

A diet in the life of Kelly

Okay, here's a normal day of eating for me...keeping in mind, I'm training for a 5k, which means I usually run light at 120lbs, instead of 130 which is marathon weight (I have to eat tons more just to have energy to do the training).

Morning Run:
I always run before I eat...sometimes that means I eat breakfast a little late, like on days I go out with the babe in the running stroller.

Serving Size of cereal w/ skim milk
I love frosted shredded wheat...possibly the one cereal with the most fiber AND tasty!

a bit later:
a piece of fruit (banana, mango, strawberries are some of my favs.)

sandwich with just a slice or two of turkey deli meat, mustard and lettus & TOMATO..YUM! and some carrots or bell peppers

a bit later:
YOGURT...I LOVE it can't live without it

Throughout the day:
swigs (I have my own jug and like to chug better than use a glass)of V8 and Juice

Anything from stir fry to turkey burgers! a fruit and veggie.

a bit later:
serving size of ICE CREAM!

Tips for your day:
I describe the problem in most people's diets as "Fat Free America." Everyone is worried about fat and 100 calorie snacks, but we're all still overweight! How could this be? Every successful diet I've studied and seen lies in being generally health conscious and using portion control. YES, you can have a bowl of ice cream every night...IF you're not eating the WHOLE PINT! I don't buy fat free stuff or worry about counting my calories. I don't eat out of little preservative packages or have kiddie snacks (I'm not a kiddie anymore!). I have tuned my body into knowing when I am full and then I stop eating! In general I use smaller tableware than most Americans...instead of those huge plates that won't fit inside the cabinet, I have a smaller set. I believe that we have great variety of foods available to us and that we can eat right without protein shakes and supplements.

We all have different needs as well. Sometimes I have a sweet tooth, but instead of running for a cookie or candy I have a yogurt, fruit or a 'swig' of juice. I know people that wouldn't dream of wasting calories on juice, but will instead eat a few brownies throughout the day. Hum. I'm not a crazy health nut and I still like a treat, but I indulge occasionally instead of constantly.

Most people need to re tune their appetites. It has taken me a while to get my body and mind working together to KNOW when I am full. I usually eat too fast, but instead of chowing down on another sandwich, I go and do something else for 1/2 hour and then think about my stomach again to decide if I need more food or not. This is IMPORTANT because it takes about 20 minutes for the body to register that it is satisfied. Most people eat and eat and eat until they fill full right then. Many people enjoy the feeling of being REALLY full. You have to program your body away from this feeling, this can take time and effort, but is very rewarding in the end (future posts will cover more on this topic, including the benefits of fasting).

Most importantly this is a day in my diet life. You'll probably have different caloric nees based on height, current weight, exercise and just the way your own body functions. If you are struggling with this, it is a great idea to enlist the help of a trainer, dietition, nutritionist who can design a program that's just right for you. Nothing is more important than your health and how you ties into all other aspects of life. Eat well and enjoy!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Monday Motivation

I was recently talking with a good pal and she remarked how she would be starting her exercise plan today. We talked about the side effects of NOT EXERCISING:
one is usually less productive throughout the day, eats more/worse (interesting!), feels about a downward spiral! Who wants to go through all of that when instead, you can workout, feel good, get lots done, eat healthier and look better? Hum. There are usually about a million + one excuses people use to NOT EXERCISE, but most are easily resolved. You probably know how to resolve your own do it!

Here are a few things that help me stay motivated:

Sign up. Sign up for a race, an event a competition that you'll have to train for. This gives you a goal and a deadline. Whether you want to win, finish or just not embarrace yourself, you will be motivated.

Plan ahead. Since I usually workout in the early morning I think about my workout the night before. This helps take the decision out of exercising. I already know what I'm going to do and don't have to even think about it come morning. I also have time to get excited about it. If one option doesn't sound appealing, I think of something else that I can do that will give me the exercise I need. I even put my clothing/shoes/socks out the night I don't have to stumble around in the myself time to chicken out and hop back in bed.

I think of how good I'll feel later. If you skip out on your workout you usually feel guilty about it later...instead of feeling good...hum (another no brainer!).

So, whether you've already pumped up your heart rate for the day or you're debating on getting at it now, JUST DO IT!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Get over it

Never say "abs" again! Appearently we all (myself included) need to get over 'abs' and start thinking core or pillar strength to include the stomach, hips and shoulders...according to one of my new reads Core Performance.
"[There] is a tendency to think of movement as starting from the limbs...Uncountable exercise programs promise bigger arms or sexier legs as a primary benefit. Movement, however, starts from the very center of the body, the core area of the torso...we refer to the torso as the pillar..." The way we maintain that pillar and its alignment and function directly correlate to the health of our organs and the rest of our bodies"(p.27)

Further reading points out that by simply strengthening and perfecting the pillar we can improve all other aspects of our training, including injury prevention, power, flexablility and endurance.

The first step to this is posture. Begin each strength training movement with good posture, work on it and soon maintain it throughout the entire day.

Perfect Posture:
Shoulder blades pulled back and down
Tummy drawn up and in
Ears should be in line with your shoulders
Hips in line with knees
Knees in line with ankles
-if seated, ears in line with hips

Here are some more Core Strengthening moves that I'm dying to have you all try out! A few are probably old news, but there are probably some new cool ones that you can try.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Q & A


I hope this is you- I have a question about running shoes. I bought some in December but haven't really ran in them, just working out. I ran Monday night and this morning and rubbed a blister on the arch of my foot. ( I am flat footed). Is it the shoes or do I need an insert or what do you think?


Hello there!

What kind of "working out" did you do in the shoes? A lot of side movements is going to wear your shoes much differently than running (straight forward)...and this might be the culprit. I don't think the shoe is worn out, but you may need a pair strickly for running and another for other working out. I'm not a big fan of inserts because they usually mask a larger problem...but this might also depend on what you're willing to pitch out moola wise. I always encourage people to own 2 pairs of running shoes and rotate them...they'll last as long as 3 pairs! But if you are going to do a class or something you'll be fine with one pair for aerobics and one pair for running...that will give your shoes time to pump back up between workouts, thus extending their life.



I just want to know what your fitness routine is, Kelly, and what the heck do you eat??



My fitness routine changes a lot depending on what I'm training for. I love to break up the year into marathon training and 5k training...I know it's a drastic change, but I love it. 5k training time is usually less time consuming and includes more weight lifting and lots of speed workouts...I love to go fast! My most regular routines include running, yoga, and weights. I love to add a spin class when I can and LOVE to rock climb whenever possible. I've also recently purchased Capoeira 100 and can't wait to get into's fun and a GREAT workout!

As far as eating, we all know that is different for each person based on height, age and what a healthy weight for you is. I will be posting a normal eating day in the life of Kelly, but that's for someone who is 5'6", 120 lbs and training for a 5k :) I'll also be posting several differnt eating stay tuned and make sure to check out the Food Pyramid link on the side for more help.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

3 days to a 5k

By popular request I'm posting some good 5k workouts and suggestions. What most people don't know about 5k's is that they're FAST! Even as a beginner, you should get some fast track/treadmill/road workouts in to feel MUCH better in your race. Instead of just plodding along, mile after mile after mile (and .2 of another mile) which will only serve to help you plod along during the race, you should include speed workouts to improve lung capasity, lactic acid threshold and will help burn fat and produce more muscle than your average plodding session.

...and you can do it in just 3 days a week (of course more is better, but give what you've got to give).

Just chose two of the following track/treadmill/road/hill workouts per week and then add on a decent distance run of between 4-6 miles for your 3rd workout of the week. Space these workouts out and get some weight training/yoga/walking/fun in on the days between.

Warm up before each workout with a little jog and some faster accelerations

1) 200 meters x 8: Run each 200 at a fast clip and rest 2 minutes between each...I recommend slowly jogging to keep your muscles from becomming sore during this time. Beginners should range between 45-50 seconds for each 200. This may seem slow, but remember you have to do 8! Intermediate runners should range 40-45 seconds and advanced runners around 35 seconds each. Just feel out your first one and find the pace that will allow you to work hard, but still be able to finish the workout. To progress the workout every two weeks take a couple of seconds off your time and run one less 200 until you're running just 200 x 3 AFAP (as fast as possible).

2)800 meters (that's .50 on a treadmill)x 6 or 8: Use your goal race time as a guide. If you want to run a 5k in 30 minutes divide that number by 3 which gives you your minutes per mile, in this case 10 minutes. Divide that number in half, 5 minutes. Run each 800 at this 5 minutes pace. This isn't extremely hard, but will push you a bit and help with recognizing your pace. Rest for a 400 meter jog inbetween and repeat 6-8 times.

3)MY FAV! Must be done on the road or track. Put one minute on your watch alarm. Find a starting point and count each time your right foot (or left) strikes the ground going an easy pace until your watch goes off. Mark where you end. Job back to start. Add 3-5 foot strikes in the marked distance...this means you have to speed up your turn over but NOT increase your distance. I usually start at around 95 strikes. Continue to increase your turn over about 4 times, until you're going pretty much all out...I'm usually at around 105 strikes. Then repeat this 2-3 times. As I said, you're increasing turn over, NOT distance. By the time you're going all out, you're pretty much running high knees and not moving much distance wise...just trying to get that turn over in. THIS WORKOUT ROCKS and has taken minutes off my time!!!!!

4) Mile repeats: Do between 3-5 miles one mile at a time running at your goal pace with an 800 jog in between. If your goal is to run a 6 minute mile, run one mile at 6 minutes and rest for the 800 jog, then run another at 6 minutes and rest...and so on for 3-5 miles. Super hard workout for me, but good!

5) Hill WORK: Find a steep but short hill. One that will take you about 40-60 seconds to sprint up or elevate your treadmill all the way and crank it up to a 10 speed. Anyway, do between 5-7 sprints up the hill and jog back down...throw in some bounding too...long hard jumping bounds. Jog a mile to cool down.

Cool down after each workout with a 1/2 mile to mile or more jog. Stretch (as in sun salutaion, not just touching your toes and done stretch).

Any questions? Ask away! Try a few out and let me know what you think!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Monday Motivation

It's Monday morning! Time to start the week right. Lace up those sneakers, get to the gym, get outside, turn on some music and get your heart rate up for at least 20 minutes. You'll thank yourself the rest of the week.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Diet Resource

What to eat, how much and when are questions I am frequently asked. Although every person is different and may have unique dietary concerns, as a basic guide I encourage people to stick to the good ol' food pyramid. This is an amazing site to help you answer some of those questions for yourself. This site includes a peronal food guide plan based on your height/weight/age, a personal food intake tracker allowing you to see what you're eating and what nutrients you're obtaining from that food (just register at the bottom) and a plethora of other interactive and valuable tools FOR FREE!

Please visit this site and see what it has to offer you! Feel free to comment with questions that might not fit into the nice triangular food pyramid.

In the beginning

The truth is there is no begining nor end to the vast amount of studies, tests, ideas and research being conducted in the health and fitness world. It's a science that is continually changing as we learn and discover. For this, it can often be confusing. Should I eat carbs? Will my knees go bad if I run? How many reps should I do while lifing weights?

I have a love and a passion for health and fitness. Although confuising at times, this science somehow makes sense to me and I love to help others understand it as well. My goal is to provide a simple site to help guide and motivate you in your own health and fitness. Take advantage of my knowledge as a Nutritonist, Trainer, Yogi and Athlete to help you on your way.