Halloween with a little less fright 🎃🎃

I hope you’re all dancing in the sunshine this Halloween weekend

Hi friends!!

I’m writing this on a sunny Saturday afternoon as watch my son bounce around in his Ninja Warrior class- all full of that natural 6 year old energy that seems truly endless. And I’m sort of wondering…what happens when we add candy to this already endless energy in two days 😂😂

But truly- Halloween is something to talk to my clients about every year. Because, let’s just be honest here…it’s NOT just one day of indulging, is it?? It’s the candy we sneak in when we buy the Halloween candy early, it’s the extras around the house and office for weeks afterwards…

I’ll (mostly) spare you my speech about his truly toxic candy can be. Take it from a recovering obsessed Resee’s fan. Beyond the rush of the sugar high, the ingredients in many popular candies is linked to kidney and liver problems, tumor growth, attentional difficulties and skin concerns (to name just a few). And don’t get me started on the effects to our microbiome- that’s truly a topic I can talk about forever…

But I’m also a sucker for any celebration and Halloween is fun! I want my kids to enjoy it with the carefree nature they should. But I also want us all to feel our best in the days after all that fun. So let’s chat about enjoying this holiday with a bit less of the frightening consequences of eating too much candy…

1. Give me alllll the stickers! First- THANK YOU to all the wonderful people out there who offer non edible Halloween treats!! This is so important for kiddos with food allergies, but many of us moms really appreciate it too. If we can get our kids to collect 1/4 less candy this year, that’s a win! And it’s great for handing out too- I’d sure rather my kids be playing with leftover stickers, stamps, tattoos and spider rings than eating excessive sugar for weeks on end.

My six year old concentrating hard on filling our teal pumpkin – shortly after, he and his sister took EVERYTHING out to play with 😂😂

2. Give it a few days and then give it away! This is an important rule for me. There are so many organizations that take leftover candy, or you can bring it to work. But truthfully, I don’t feel guilty throwing it away- like I said, it’s kinda toxic and no one deserves that.

3. Choose healthier brands– I don’t wanna knock any particular candies, but I implore you to read ingredients. If you don’t know something on the label, do your research. Maybe you’ll still eat it, but maybe you’ll have a few less this year. Or, you can look for healthier versions of your favorites- I love the UNREAL brand for peanut butter cups, m&m like candies and peppermint chocolates 🍫🍫🍫

4. Plan ahead– Halloween is on a Monday this year, which may have you complaining as much as me! But let’s be proactive- I’m taking time this Sunday to meal prep for healthy dinners, breakfasts and snacks- so eating well and packing food for Monday night and Tuesday morning can be as easy as possible.

5. Don’t leave your house hungry- Fuel up on healthy protein, fiber and healthy carbs before heading out trick or treating (and this goes for the kiddos too). A nice warm bowl of chili or brown rice with roasted veggies and some pumpkin seeds can be prepped the night before and reheated super quickly before heading out the door.

6. Never miss a Monday– this is my mantra every week, but seems especially important this year. Plan your workout- and this might mean planning for a morning workout this week, to be sure you get it in. Working out can help facilitate better decision making the rest of the day and raise your energy levels in ways that sugar never can. So let’s all get up and get moving early tomorrow 💪💪

Whether you’re trick or treating with the kids, handing out candy, or binge watching Halloween movies this year, I wish you a super happy, super fun and super healthy day!!

To your health!

~Jess

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What’s Eccentric Training and Why Should I Care??

Always the goal- we strive for progress, not perfection

If you’ve trained with me for any amount of time, chances are you’ve done an eccentric workout with me. Maybe you didn’t know it, but you have- and there’s an even greater chance you’ve gotten stronger because of such workouts.


Why do I make all my clients do eccentric workouts at some point?? Well, there are so many reasons, but let’s talk a bit about what the heck this means first…


Eccentric exercise essentially means working the muscle harder during the lengthening phase of a muscle contraction. This is achieved by slowing down the rate of movement to provide greater resistance.


Let’s break down the phase of a muscle contraction:
A. Concentric Phase – this is when the muscle you are working is shortening against resistance/gravity.

B. Isometric Phase– this is when the muscle is technically stationary. It often occurs as the “transition” stage between the muscle shortening and lengthening.

C. Eccentric Phase– this is when the muscle lengthens under load (gravity/resistance).
Eccentric exercise would mean slowing down that last phase, thus working the muscle harder in two phases of the muscle contraction. Win/win!
Example: during a biceps curl, it would take about 2-3 seconds to bring the weight up to the front of your shoulder. At this point, most people just let the weight “drop” (well, hopefully not “drop”, but most times we lower it somewhat quickly and without much thought. When you’re doing eccentric training, you’re gonna intentionally lower the weight slowly (I usually do it to a count of 3-4 seconds). So, double the work!!


Yay????


Yep- yay for sure. Here’s why we wanna practice eccentric movements:
For one, being able to slow down your body against gravity is actually super important for many FUNCTIONAL moves. Think walking downhill safely and with control or lowering yourself into a chair without just falling into it (working in various rehab centers as an Occupational Therapist, I can tell you this one is important for protecting your bones, spine and joints)! If you have trouble rising up and getting down to a chair unsupported, you are not alone, but you should work with a professional sooner than later. But I digress…


Some other benefits of eccentric training:
✨it makes your muscles stronger. It just really really does.

✨it’s a beneficial type of training for many sports (skiing, soccer, basketball, running).

✨it’s a great type of workout to do if you’re strapped for time. Because your muscles are essentially working 2x as hard with each exercise, you definitely get more bang for your buck.

✨when performed correctly, it can actually decrease your risk of injury by adding more control to your movements and making you stronger at the same time.


You definitely don’t need to do this type of training every time you work out. But, it’s helpful for many of us, so I have my clients do it as part of regular strength programming. You should consult with a trainer or physical therapist before initiating this type of training on your own, so that you understand which phase is the eccentric phase of each movement (as it changes with every exercise) and so that you know your form is good. But, once you’ve learned this format, I highly recommend integrating it in your routine.
Here’s a quick eccentric circuit to try on your own (I usually do 10 reps of each, twice through):

  1. Biceps curls 
  2. Squats 
  3. Shoulder press
  4. Right side lunge
  5. Left side lunge 
  6. Chest press 
  7. Tricep extensions (I prefer to do these supine- meaning on my back)
  8. Hammer curls 

I’d love to hear if you’ve tried eccentric workouts before and what your favorite exercises are.
And, as always, if you could benefit from a session or free consult, make sure you click on the “contact me” section of this page.


Here’s to a STRONG week ahead 💪💪💪

To your health!

~ Jess