Leg Exercise is Important

17 06 2012

Article printed in the Weekly Record Herald on June 10, 2012.

When meeting with a new client at the gym where I work as a personal trainer, I will ask them to give me a little background on their past exercise experiences and future goals. What I hear most is the desire to firm up, get healthy, and lose weight.

The legs and buttocks make up the largest muscles of the body. Working these muscles not only tones and strengthens, but also increases the metabolism. Leg exercises are a must for strength, flexibility and functional mobility.

Leg exercises promote working the largest muscles and muscle balance, while remaining healthy and pain-free. Proper form is most important to avoid injury and build muscle strength.

One of my favorite leg exercises is the squat. The squat requires the gluteus, quadriceps, hamstring, and calf muscles to work, which strengthens the leg and supports the knee.

The squat: If you are currently working with a health care professional, you will want to consult with them before trying the squat. You do not need a gym or special equipment to perform a squat. For a beginner you may want to stand near a wall or chair for support. • Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes pointing straight ahead • Tighten and pull in abdominal muscles • Lower body as if sitting in a chair, slowly • Stop when legs are parallel to the floor • Hold squat for a few seconds • Now press through the heels and return to standing position • Repeat for 2–3 sets, 8–12 repetitions each • Rest 60–90 seconds between sets

The easiest way to minimize stress on the knee is to be aware of the positioning of your knees and toes during the exercise. Simply, keep your hips from moving forward when your knees are bearing the load. If you ever feel knee pain, you need to stop. The knees are very complex joints and are highly susceptible to damage. Did you know, when we are standing, the knee carries approximately 80 percent of our body weight?

Functional “real life” movement is something we want to maintain throughout our lives. The squat will help you keep the strength and flexibility in your lower body to be able to bend down to pick something up. You will be glad you kept up with your squats!

Tammy’s Challenges

Growth does not come from one perspective. To achieve a healthy lifestyle, you must do more than concentrate on exercise alone. Diet changes will enhance your wellbeing, but it alone is not healthy. Let’s not forget the soul or spirit. It needs nurturing as well. So, here are a few mind (diet) – body (exercise) – soul (mental) challenges for you to try.

Mind: No trans fats – read the labels of everything you eat.

Body: Do three sets of squats, three times a week, with a day of rest in between.

Soul: Write down 10 things that make you happy and smile.

I would love to hear from you. Email me at
Tammy@TammYoga.com, visit my TammYoga Facebook page, or tweet me @TammYoga.

Namaste  (The spirit in me respects the spirit in you.)

Tammy





Karma Is Where Change Happens

30 05 2012

Article printed in the Weekly Record Herald on June 27, 2012

Hi, my name is Tammy Shellhaas. I am a yoga instructor/personal trainer and I would like you to join me on a journey to challenge your mind, body, and soul. Every other week we will explore a new aspect of a healthy lifestyle. My hope is to offer new information, or a new perspective to what you already know, or reintroduce an idea that may have been forgotten. So, let’s get started…

Have you seen the TV show, My Name is Earl? I saw an episode when it first aired. I do not follow the series, but the concept stuck with me. The show begins with Earl explaining the premise for the series:

 

“You know the kind of guy who does nothing but bad things and then wonders why his life sucks? Well, that was me. Every time something good happened to me, something bad was always waiting round the corner: karma. That’s when I realized that I had to change, so I made a list of everything bad I’ve ever done and one by one I’m gonna make up for all my mistakes. I’m just trying to be a better person. My name is Earl.”

 

Earl has been in and out of jail and seems to have been living a life of criminal behavior, until he wins the lottery. While out celebrating his win, he is hit by a car. During his hospital stay, under the influence of pain killers, he hears about karma on a TV playing nearby. Soon after that, Earl decides he needs to make a life change and heal his karma. He makes a list of everyone he has treated unfairly and commits to repairing the damages. After his first good deed, he surprisingly finds the lost lottery ticket. It must be a sign that his karma has changed. So, with the help of his lottery winnings, he proceeds onward with his list.

 

The karmic concept may seem confusing. What is it really? In Sanskrit, it means “action”. Whatever we think about, do, or say determines our karma. In the yoga tradition, karma is threefold: our current actions, the effect of our past actions, and what we could call our destiny. This is where it gets interesting. Our actions do not only shape our karma, but anyone else touched in some way by our actions is also affected. Then each person’s karma reaches others and exponentially spreads beyond what we could ever imagine.

Back to Earl: as Earl continues to right his wrongs, his motives appear selfish, in that, he is only trying to improve his karma. However, Earl shows signs of change toward a sense of morality and ethics. He no longer is drawn to the criminal behavior to attain his means. So, from the yoga perspective, karma is where change happens. What we have done in the past creates our lives today. What we do today creates our lives in the future.

Look at your life. Would you like to proceed in a new direction? Change one action, thought, or comment, just one.  It will change your path in the direction of your desires.

Tammy’s Challenges

Growth does not come from one perspective. To achieve a healthy lifestyle, you must do more than concentrate on exercise alone. Diet changes will enhance your wellbeing, but it alone is not healthy. Let’s not forget the soul or spirit. It needs nurturing as well. So, here are a few mind (diet) – body (exercise) – soul (mental) challenges for you to try.

Mind: Measure food servings.

Body: Balance on one foot for one minute, repeat on the other leg. Repeat 5 times. This is a good core exercise.

Soul: Sit quietly, eyes closed, and take 10 deep breaths. You can do this anytime, anywhere, to relieve anxiety and clear your thoughts.

 

I would love to hear from you.           Email: Tammy@TammYoga.com

Facebook: TammYoga

Twitter: @TammYoga

Namaste  (The spirit in me respects the spirit in you.)

Tammy





TammYoga In Balance

15 04 2012

In Balance

I will be writing a new column entitle, TammYoga In Balance, for Tipp City Record Herald. This first column is a question and answer piece to introduce the column. It was printed on Sunday, April 8, 2012. A new column will be printed every other Sunday. I hope you enjoy following me. Please let me know what you think.

Look for the next column on Sunday, April 22, 2012.

Name: 

Tammy Shellhaas

Family (spouse and/or kids):

My husband, John, and I have been married for almost 29 years. We have two children: Ben, who graduated from Ohio State University and is currently serving in the National Guard in Afghanistan and Betsy, who is attending Ohio University.

Occupation:

I am an ACE certified personal trainer and yoga instructor at La Bella Viaggio in Troy.

Where you’re from and where you live now:

I grew up in Troy and currently live in Troy.

How you first got interested in health and wellness:

My initial interest in health and wellness began in college. I was overweight and did not eat right and began to educate myself on what I needed to do to make a change for the better. I started jogging and making healthy changes to my diet. When John and I were first married and starting our family, I took exercise classes and worked out at home to exercise TV shows and tapes I rented from the library. When our daughter was a senior in high school and we would soon be empty nesters, I made the decision to become a personal trainer. I knew I would need something to occupy my mind during this stage of my life. Once, I became certified and was training part-time, the transition to becoming a fulltime personal trainer and, eventually, yoga instructor was a natural progression. I enjoyed helping others to achieve their goals and share what I had lived and learned.

The most common fitness or nutritional mistake people make:

The biggest fitness and nutritional mistake I see is when a client makes a drastic change in diet or exercise at the very beginning. It is unrealistic to think that the goals they want to reach will be accomplished quicker if they skip meals or lift too-heavy of weights. I’ve been there, done that. It doesn’t work. And more than likely, they will not stick with it because they cannot do this long term.

The best advice you’ve ever been given:

There is no quick fix. Consistency to a healthy diet and exercise program will help you to achieve your goals so that you can maintain the achieved results. I had to learn this after many trials and errors. It may not be easy or fast, but it is possible and has greater results for success.

Favorite music to listen to when you workout:

I like most genres of music. I listen to oldies (Oldies are now the music I grew up with!), as well as, Adele, Rihanna, Pink, U2, Rolling Stones, and Lady Gaga. I recently downloaded Shazam to my phone, so, when I hear a song playing over the speakers at the mall, I can download it and add it to a Spinning playlist. So, it could be any artist, it just needs to catch my attention.

Future goals:

My future plans are to continue learning from my fellow trainers and clients to challenge myself and be the best that I can be. I feel I am doing what I was meant to do. I enjoy seeing my clients surprise themselves by doing something they never thought possible.

 





Tree Pose

10 01 2012

I love Tree Pose. Whenever I need to calm my mind and re-ground myself, I move into Tree Pose. I can do it anywhere.

Try Tree Pose:

Stand with feet hip-width apart, feeling the feet grounded into the floor. Body weight is distributed on both feet. Find a focal point and shift weight to the left foot. Bring the sole of the right foot to the left ankle, big toe touching the floor and heel near right calf. Stay here until you feel comfortable to move on.

Tree Pose with Toes

You may bring the sole of the right foot up to the calf or inner thigh, avoiding the knee. Bring hands into prayer at your heart. Lengthen the spine up through the crown of your head, while keeping the foot grounded.

Press the sole of the foot into the thigh and press the thigh against the sole of the foot.

Repeat on the other side.

Tree Pose

Benefits:

* Strengthens thighs, calves, ankles, and spine

* Improves concentration and balance

Try not to judge yourself. One side may be easier than the other. One day may be easier than another. Accept what your body can do today.

Namaste

Tammy