April 2019 Fitness/Wellness Update

Welcome back to another fitness/wellness update! This last month I tried out Intermittent Fasting, walked for 30 minutes each day, and also continued to track my macro’s.

In mid march I actually took my measurements because I was curious to see any results with what I was going to be doing in April. I am happy to report that I lost a total of 5 inches and I am down another 5 pounds. Yay! It is crazy to see how much has changed in a relatively short amount of time. Click HERE to see my first pictures from February.

Eating

For the last several weeks I have been tracking my macros in MyFitnessPal. While I normally don’t track my macros I really wanted to focus more on what I was eating. What I discovered is that I was consistently not getting enough calories + not eating enough carbohydrates.

My macro breakdown looks like this: 50% carbohydrate, 30% fat, and 20% protein protocol. I have also been intermittent fasting, something I NEVER thought I would do. As far as calorie/macro consumption goes I am still consuming the same amount of food I should be eating in a 24 hour period of time. The only difference is I am shortening the window of time I am eating. In April this looked liked me starting to eat at 11am or 12pm and being done eating by 8pm.

I am not sure I will continue to do this but might incorporate intermittent fasting into the days I am not lifting moving forward. Because I am doing all my workouts in the morning before I have eaten it would be better for me to eat within 1-2 hours after my workout. So on days I am strength training I am planning to eat within an hour of my workout unlike in April when I didn’t eat anything until lunch time. I know this will be better for my body.

Workouts

My workouts have been super consistent lately. In April I exercised 6 days a week for around 30-40 minutes and focused on separate muscle groups as opposed to doing a total body workout. For May my plan is to switch to total body workouts to change things up.

I am naturally an early raiser and wake up around 5am to get my workout done. I set any equipment I will need out the night before so I can roll out of bed and get right to it.

Wellness

In April I started my varicose vein treatments again. I actually don’t mind the treatments. I have to walk everyday for 30 minutes which has been a nice way for me to get outdoors. Aside from the bruising my legs are already starting to feel better! My legs had been swelling, achey, and super heavy. I had been putting off this round of treatment since after my third was born over two years ago. So it was definitely time.

After treatment, taped up and stocking on.

Josh and I even made it back to the chiropractor in April. We went once a week for years and got out of the routine of going. It had been a long while since our last visit and I felt so great after an hour massage and adjustment. I felt like I could breathe more deeply and grew an extra inch taller! Adjustments alone are great but adjustments + massage are so much better!

And that is a quick update on how I am doing! This week I decided to take a week off from my early morning workouts and give myself extra time to sleep. I am still walking daily and will continue to do that into May. Hope you are all having a great day and thanks for stopping by the blog to read :),

xo, Tamara

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NASM Corrective Exercise Specialization (NASM-CES) Review

I recently passed my National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Corrective Exercise Training Exam. Two years ago I purchased this course in order to fulfill my Personal Training continuing education credits with NASM. The course was online and included a textbook for $576.

Before the book was even mailed I remembered I had taken another course that would count towards renewing my certification. I decided to wait to take the NASM-CES until my next renewal date, which would be later this year. And that is when I discovered something I didn’t know about NASM certifications…

Buyer Beware: Your NASM Course Has An Expiration Date

This month when I went into my NASM account and online portal I discovered I could not access the NASM-CES course content. Upon emailing NASM I discovered that I only had access to the course material and exam for 365 from the purchase date 🙁. I went back through all the paperwork and checked online and could not find any documentation stating that the course would expire. If I had known about the expiration date I would have studied and taken the test at the time of purchase instead of holding it until my next renewal.

On the phone with NASM I learned I could renew the course materials to gain access to the modules and final exam for $99. During the call I explained that I had never accessed the course materials online and was granted a 30 day extension at no cost. If I needed more time after the 30 days I would need to pay the $99 to keep studying and take the final 100 question exam.

Thank you to NASM for granting the extension! I only put this in the review to let others know that if you plan to buy a course or have purchased one complete it within a year of purchase. It is a bummer that the course material will be removed from my portal because there is a wealth of knowledge and information. I would love to continue to go back and refer to the videos and lectures at later dates.

It was 13 days from the time my extension was valid to when I took the exam. While I don’t recommend rushing this course it is possible to successfully complete it in a short amount of time if you have a good working knowledge of functional anatomy of the major muscles and human movement science.

Why Corrective Exercise? Who Can Benefit From Corrective Exercise?

I have always been fascinated with how the body works and enjoy learning to improve how the body moves and functions. Corrective exercise is the process of identifying neuromuscular dysfunction and then creating a plan to implement a corrective strategy.

Everyone can benefit from corrective exercise. In fact while I was going though the course work I did a few assessments on myself and was able to evaluate certain muscle compensations on my own body. I have started to implement what I have learned into my own workouts and I am already noticing a difference in my stride and squat.

While exercising is great it is even better to be exercising using the correct muscle groups for a squat, row, pushup, etc.. Many times people don’t even know they are overcompensating for a weak muscle or muscle group. It can be hard to near impossible to determine this until an assessment is done to determine what muscles are over/under active. Once that is done a plan can by implemented to inhibit and lengthen the overactive muscles, strengthen the underactive muscles, and then retrain the entire function of all muscles to work correctly together by integrated dynamic movements.

What You Will Learn With NASM-CES

You will learn how to discover movement compensations using a variety of assessments and how to implement a plan to correct these compensations. Here is a breakdown of the sections in the book.

SECTION 1: Introduction to Corrective Exercise

  • Chapter 1: The Rational for Corrective Exercise
  • Chapter 2: Introduction to Human Movement Science
  • Chapter 3: An Evidence Based Approach to Understanding Human Movement Impairments

SECTION 2: Assessing for Human Movement Disfunction

  • Chapter 4: Health Risk Assessment
  • Chapter 5: Static Posture Assessment
  • Chapter 6: Movement Assessments
  • Chapter 7: Range of Motion Assessments
  • Chapter 8: Strength Assessments

SECTION 3: The Corrective Exercise Continuum

  • Chapter 9: Inhibitory Techniques
  • Chapter 10: Lengthen Techniques
  • Chapter 11: Activation & Integration Techniques

SECTION 4: Corrective Exercise Strategies

  • Chapter 12: Corrective Strategies for Foot and Ankle Impairments
  • Chapter 13: Corrective Strategies for Knee Impairments
  • Chapter 14: Corrective Strategies for Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip Complex Impairments
  • Chapter 15: Corrective Strategies for Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist Impairments
  • Chapter 16: Corrective strategies for Cervical Spine Impairments

Tips On How To Pass The Exam

Read the book. Obviously this one is pretty straight forward. But if you aren’t reading the material you most likely won’t be as successful when you take the exam.

Buy a hard copy of the textbook. More on this below.

Review all the online course material and watch the videos. Like I said above, I did all this in 13 days between my kids napping and after they went to bed at night. I was averaging about three hours of course work a day.

Take the practice exam. The practice exam helps so much. You can see the types of questions asked and also how the questions will be worded.

Make sure you know the movement compensations for the overhead squat assessment. This is a major portion of the exam. Knowing overactive and underactive muscles for each compensation will be highly beneficially.

Make the most of your exam time. You have 90 minutes to answer 100 questions. I went through the entire test and answered only the questions I was positive I knew the answer. Then I went back and answered any question I had left blank (about 20). I ran out of time answering those questions and had about 6 questions unanswered when the timer ran out. However you decide to take the exam just be sure you don’t get stuck on a question. I passed the first time using this method and it worked for me.

What I Liked & Didn’t Like About The Course

My favorite part of the course was the lectures and cueing videos. The cueing instruction videos are super engaging and contain great information. The cueing videos are super high quality and crystal clear.

The lecture videos are old and grainy. For the cost of the program this surprised me. I did however like the lecture videos because they cohesively bring together all the main points in each chapter in a more tangible way.

There are two entire chapters in the course that focus on range of motion assessments and strength assessments. They contain so much information but NASM recommends not to use any of these techniques unless you have had further training. These techniques would and should require much further training in order to properly and safety implement them with clients.

NASM-CES is expensive. When I purchased this back in 2017 it came with a book. Now if you purchase the course you have to pay extra for the book. If you decide to buy this course get the book. I personally do better with a hard copy of a textbook when studying material.

The information is fantastic and I would like to be able to reference it in the future. In my opinion if I paid for a course I paid to be able to access the information now or at a later date.

There you have it! I am glad I passed the exam in such a short amount of time and also grateful to not be out of pocket anymore money :).

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March 2019 Fitness/Wellness Update

I am not sure how it is April already, this year is flying by. I wanted to do a quick update on how I am plugging along with my fitness and wellness journey in 2019. March came and went and I am happy to report that I am down another 4 pounds! I am beyond thrilled. In total I have lost 10 pounds since February!


If you are just joining the conversation I gained 15 pounds in 2018 and was determined to get back on track with my eating and finding more consistency with my workouts. You can read about that and see pictures HERE.

Eating

I am still not eating eggs or drinking caffeinated drinks, but have been a bit more lax on the sugar ;). I am not wanting to be restrictive with my eating and think it is totally appropriate and necessary to have a few treats here and there.

Mid month I also started tracking my macro’s because I was curious how much food I was actually eating. I discovered I was not eating enough carbohydrates during the day and was overeating fat and pretty frequently not getting enough calories. I love avocado’s and nuts and was easily eating an avocado daily if not more because I was adding them to smoothies. Right now I am using a 50% carbohydrate, 30% fat, and 20% protein protocol and eating just shy of 1700 calories a day.

Workouts

In March, I finished up 1 month of The Fitnesssita’s Home Workout Warrior Fit Guide and loved it so much I purchased the entire program. I am planning to continue this plan later in the year. If you want to read more thoughts about this program click HERE. After I had completed the 4 weeks of this plan I began to incorporate more HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and dedicated muscle group strength training days into my week.

For the HIIT style workouts I am using a battle rope because it can easily spike my heart rate and it does not require my legs to be pounding on the pavement like running or jumping would. I did some type of exercise 6 days a week for about 30 minutes each workout in March.

Wellness

For overall wellbeing I am still consistently reading the bible daily. I am clinging to Jesus and the hope that he brings. Reading God’s word renews my focus on pursuing holiness so I don’t get caught up in the pursuit of chasing happiness. While it is great to be transforming on the outside I am more concerned about my inward transformation and that others can see Jesus in me.

Thanks for reading and stopping by the blog today!

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