Barefoot Tiger Blog

What You DON'T Have to do to Be Healthy...Cardio?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

 
 

We're starting a new series called "What You DON'T Have to do to be Healthy." And it's just that - things you can scratch off your most-dreaded list when it comes to going to the gym, eating healthfully and living the good life.

First up, cardio! Cardio Health

We're not saying you shouldn't do cardio at all - cardio is good for heart health. But what you don't have to do to is spend an hour on one machine (or several), waiting for the clock to count down to zero. In fact, spending an hour, or even 30 minutes, on one machine at the same pace is a complete waste of time.

Here's why.

Your heart is a muscle just like any other muscle in your body - you have to put it under (good) stress to make it stronger.

When you do steady-state cardio and the resistance and your effort are steady throughout the entire workout, the heart muscle adapts very quickly and doesn't have to work very hard. You might see some improvement in your heart health at the initial outset of a steady-state cardio routine, but it quickly diminishes, especially if you're doing the same steady-state you did 3 years ago.

What to do?

Simple. Cut your cardio time in half or even 1/4 (yes, really!) and add in interval sprints. Alternate between very high and lower effort every 30 seconds to 1 minute, eventually decreasing the recovery periods and increasing the sprint time (and resistance!)

The great news is you will end up burning the same amount of calories in 30 minutes that you would in 1 hour, PLUS you'll burn more calories after your workout is over. Bonus.

How do you know if your heart is getting stronger?

The best way to tell is by your heart's recovery after a really intense sprint. If your recovery heart rate is 120 bpm, you get your heart rate up to 170 bpm during a sprint and it takes about 30 seconds for your heart rate to go back to 120 bpm after a sprint, you're in business!

Need help coming up with your own quicky-cardio routine? Give us a shout!



Barefoot Tiger is in New York & Los Angeles! Choose from Personal Training, Pilates, Yoga, Massage Therapy & Nutrition in your home, at a studio, or on set.

Carpal Tunnel..Solved!

Thursday, August 21, 2014



Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. We like to call it 'techno tunnel.'

We spend so much time typing and pressing our big fingers on to tiny screen keyboards that many of us have created a spindle of pressure in our hands / arms / necks.


CTS is caused by compression of the median nerve found in the wrist, and can also stem from tightness in your arm and neck. (Who knew?!)**


Fortunately, you can do a lot to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome before it starts. First, consider that your arms and wrists often express the positioning of your shoulders and back. If your shoulders are hunched over, what will your arms and wrists do? Focus on stretching not just the affected area, but the connecting areas as well.

If you're like most of us and type / email / tweet / post all day long, try doing these several times a day to stretch your arms and back:

- Interlace your fingers in front of your chest and turn your palms to face out. Push your palms forward stretching the base of your palm as much as possible and round your back. Lift your palms toward the ceiling, straightening your back and dropping your shoulders. Exhale and reach forward, inhale reach up. Do a set of 15.

- Sitting up or standing tall, reach your right arm out to the side with the palm facing up. Extend your hand down toward the floor and stretch the fingers long. Place your other hand on your right ear and gently pull your head to the left, stretching your neck and shoulder. Take 10 breaths, then switch to the other side.

- Standing next to a desk or sitting on your knees, turn your palms up to face the ceiling with your arms straight. Bring your fingertips to the floor or desk a few inches in front of your knees or the edge of the desk. Gently press the base of your palms to the surface away from your knees, stretching out the inside of your forearm.- Stand facing a wall and raise your right arm out to the side, parallel to the floor. Slowly turn your feet and body away from the wall so the shoulder of your outstretched arm is being stretched. Breathe here for 10 breaths. Turn back toward the wall, take the hand higher on the wall, rotate away and repeat for 10 breaths. Finally, turn back to the wall and lower your arm toward your hip on the wall, rotate away and repeat for 10 more breaths.

 **Before assuming that you have carpel tunnel syndrome, it’s a good idea to have a doctor look at the inflamed area to get a diagnosis. Information in this post is not to be considered medical advice.
 

Balancing Act: Find out Your Risk of Ankle Injury

Monday, August 04, 2014

 

For the weekend warriors out there, listen up! You can find out your risk of suffering an ankle injury with a simple test. Try to hold your balance on one leg with the other leg bent and eyes closed for 10 seconds to see if your ankles need to be strengthened.

In a recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, 230 high school varsity and intercollegiate athletes were asked to perform the balance task. Those who had balance problems during the drill were two and a half times more likely to suffer ankle sprains. The athletes who lost balance but didn’t tape their ankles were 9 times more likely to face an injury.

The bottom line? If you have a hard time keeping your balance during this test, incorporate balancing exercises into your every-day life to strengthen the 'bootstrap' muscles of your feet and ankles. A great tip: stand on one foot while you are brushing your teeth!

Choosing the Best Personal Trainer for Your Needs: Part 3

Thursday, April 17, 2014

 

Part 3 of a 3-part series:

We know how important it is to choose the right personal trainer. You'll be spending a LOT of time together and it's a big investment. 

In Parts 1 & 2, we explored the first important traits to look for in a trainer:

* Certifications.
* A strong knowledge of anatomy.

* Ability to listen to you and understand your goals.
* Willingness to work with you on your goals, not theirs.
* Flexibility
.
* Encouraging and willing to help you feel successful.

* 100% focused on you, 100% of the time you're with them.
* They genuinely care.
* Can tell you why they are choosing a particular exercise, and what the goal is.

Which all leads to:

1. They teach you strategies rather than making you dependent on them. One of your personal trainer's goals should be to help you discover how your body works, what strategies to use to keep injuries at bay, and teach you how to exercise efficiently and safely for your body / conditions / injuries. Which also leads us to...

2. Learning new techniques and being interested in learning more is one of their top priorities. Your personal trainer should be learning all the time. Research and trends change constantly in the health and wellness industry, so it's very important that your trainer stay on top of them and always be curious...so they can teach you more too!

3. They are ok with saying "I don't know, I will find out" Nobody knows everything. A great trainer should be willing to admit when they don't know something, and have the interest to look it up and learn the things they may not know.  

4. Using proper form and your safety are top priorities. Sure, there are people out there who love to be screamed at and tortured in the gym. But most of us are not into the yelling and hardest-workout-ever techniques, and for the majority of us, it's just not safe. A great trainer will help you correct imbalances in your functional movements, give you exercises that are beneficial for your body, and take your individual concerns and injuries into consideration.

5. Last but not least, they know their scope of practice and refer you to a medical professional or another practitioner when necessary. Ideally your trainer is part of a team of practitioners, both fitness and medical, whom s/he can refer you to if you have pain or an issue that pops up. Be it a physical therapist, medical physician, massage therapist or acupuncturist, your trainer should be confident enough in their abilities (and aware of their scope) to know when to refer to another professional. This will also help you heal faster, so you can get back to working out sooner rather than later!

 
Barefoot Tiger is in New York & Los Angeles! Choose from Personal Training, Pilates, Yoga, Massage Therapy & Nutrition in your home, at the office, on set or in the Park!

Choosing the Best Personal Trainer for Your Needs: Part 2

Thursday, April 10, 2014

 

Part 2 of a 3-part series:

We know how important it is to choose the right personal trainer. You'll be spending a LOT of time together and it's a big investment. 

In Part 1 we explored the first important traits to look for in a trainer:

* Certifications.
* A strong knowledge of anatomy.

* Ability to listen to you and understand your goals.
* Willingness to work with you on your goals, not theirs. 

And to continue:

1. They are flexible. Say you had a bad night's sleep last night because your dog kept you up all night, or your back feels a little 'tweaky.' A great trainer can switch things up at the last minute if you need them to and tailor the session to meet you at your energy level and ability that day.

2. They are encouraging and help you feel successful. Your personal trainer should be your biggest cheerleader. Even if you have some setbacks toward your goals, they are always encouraging and right there with you to keep you motivated. A great personal trainer will also choose exercises that fit your level of ability, so you always feel successful.

3. They are 100% focused on you, 100% of the time you're with them. A great personal trainer is completely focused on you during your session. Their cell phones should be nowhere in sight and you should feel like the only person in the room when you're working together. If their focus is elsewhere, how can they keep you safe?

4. They genuinely care. You know that comforting feeling you get when you spend time with someone you really like? That's a great way to feel about your personal trainer and a good trainer will go to great lengths to help you feel well cared-for.

5. They can tell you why they are choosing a particular exercise, and what the goal is. Your personal trainer should be able to communicate the purpose behind a specific exercise. S/he should be able to tell you which muscles  working to help you feel it in the right places, and help you understand what you're trying to accomplish with the exercise. Which leads to:

Part 3...coming soon!
 
Barefoot Tiger is in New York & Los Angeles! Choose from Personal Training, Pilates, Yoga, Massage Therapy & Nutrition in your home, at the office, on set or in the Park!

Homemade Hemp & Chia Seed Quinoa Granola

Monday, April 07, 2014

  

Who knew raw quinoa could be so delicious in granola?!

After an unsuccessful quest to find a high-protein, nut-free granola on the shelves in the grocery store, I decided to make my own. I didn't realize it would be crazy delicious, super easy to make, and much cheaper than buying the pre-made stuff in the store. Not to mention that you can tailor the ingredients to fit your own tastebuds. I'll definitely be making this a LOT!

I was inspired by this recipeQuinoa Granola

Ingredients:

2 cups whole rolled oats
1 cup raw, uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup shelled hempseeds
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup whole flax seeds
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 225 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients: oats, quinoa, hempseeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds and flax seeds. Stir to combine and mix well.

Warm and melt the coconut oil together, being careful not to cook or boil it. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Add cinnamon, raisins and cranberries and mix well.

Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper, then spread the granola mixture out over the baking sheet. Cook for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure everything cooks evenly.

Once cooked, remove from the oven and cool. Once cooled off, break the granola into bits and keep in an airtight container. It will last for up to a week, if it's not eaten before then!

 

Choosing the Best Personal Trainer for Your Needs: Part 1

Thursday, April 03, 2014

 

Part 1 of a 3-part series:

We know how important it is to choose the right personal trainer. You'll be spending a LOT of time together and it's a big investment. 

personal trainers new york citySo how exactly do you choose the right trainer who will motivate and support you? Here are a few tips and some questions to ask:

1. They are certified. Of course, this is number one. The major certifying bodies for Personal Trainers are ACSM (American College of Sport Medicine), NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine), ACE (American Council on Exercise), NSCA (National Strength & Conditioning Association). A certified trainer will have the minimum requirements to make sure you are working safely, and...

2. They should have a strong knowledge of anatomy. You might think this goes without saying, but unfortunately many certifications don't require that a trainer know more than just where the major muscles are. This can be a major problem because we use ALL of our muscles when we're working out, and if someone doesn't know how they all work together (and what happens if they don't), it can be a recipe for disaster. Strong anatomy knowledge = a stronger you!

3. They listen to you and understand your goals. This should actually take the #1 spot. A trainer who listens to what you need (and really takes the time to hear you) will be able to connect with what your goals are, and help you get there! A great question - if they don't do this already: "Could you repeat my goal back to me so I know you understand?"

4. They work with you on your goals, not theirs. A great personal trainer should ask you how you're feeling each and every time you work out, and then - keeping your overall goals in mind - base the workout on your answer...not on what they have planned for that day. Which brings us to:

Part 2...coming soon!

 
Barefoot Tiger is in New York & Los Angeles! Choose from Personal Training, Pilates, Yoga, Massage Therapy & Nutrition in your home, at the office, on set or in the Park!

LiveWell: Beware of the Killer Girl Scout Cookies

Friday, March 14, 2014

Yesterday, I chimed in on a friend's Facebook post when she asked to be talked off the 'eating an entire sleeve of thin mints' ledge. And she's right, opening a sleeve is like diet suicide. They are SO addictive!

So, I was interested. Exactly how many calories are in a sleeve of Thin Mint girl scout cookies? 

1,120 to be exact.

To burn off that many calories, you would have to:
run for 2 hours on the treadmill at a 6.0 speed.
or
ride a bike (very vigorously) for 1 hour & 45 min.
or
Do jumping jacks for 2 hours & 15 minutes.

Yep, it takes that much. Are the cookies really that good? Hmm..

I posted this little tidbit on her Facebook feed, and do you know what my friend ended up doing? She left the sleeve of cookies unopened, and went to the gym instead! How cool is that?

We want to know, what are some of your tactics when you're 'on the ledge'?

** Photo image © Sierpniowka | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images



Barefoot Tiger is in New York & Los Angeles! Choose from Personal Training, Pilates, Yoga, Massage Therapy & Nutrition in your home, at our studio, or in Group Classes 

 

LiveWell: Make the Most of Today

Monday, February 24, 2014


We all share the same 86,400.

What are you doing to make the most of today?

EatWell: If You're Cutting Back Sugar, Is Fruit OK?

Friday, February 14, 2014


 

We all know it's good to cut back on sugar, but the question always comes up - "What about fruit?"

The good news is, fruit can stay! But there are some fruits that are lower in sugar than others...and some that are very very high in sugar. We break it down for you.

Low in Sugar (all raw, unsweetened):

  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Strawberries
  • Avocados (yep they are a fruit!)
  • Papayas
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Blueberries
  • Watermelon

High in Sugar:

  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • Mangos
  • Bananas
  • Tangarines
  • Oranges
  • Any dried fruit (of any kind! The sugars are concentrated.)
  • Juice of any kind

This doesn't mean that you can't eat the fruit on the 'high in sugar' department, but this is a good list to follow for choosing a sweet snack if you're cutting back. Which we could all do once in a while.

What are your favorite ways to enjoy the fruits on the 'low in sugar' list?

Praise From Our Clients…

“I owe my body and my sanity to Barefoot Tiger. Best personal trainers in NYC.”

- Chloe D. | New York City

© Barefoot Tiger. All Rights Reserved. Site by Namaste Interactive.