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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My Thoughts On Blogging

It is hard to believe that I have been blogging since November 2011. Wow. I wanted to share some recent thoughts I have had about blogging. If you are a blogger perhaps you can relate and if not maybe it will give you a behind the scene glimpse into the blogosphere. I have had my content stolen by other bloggers, mine and my children’s images used without permission, and most recently my entire blog was hacked. If you visited here last week and were redirected due to the hack I would like to apologize. I never thought this would happen to my blog. I am so happy to be back up and running thanks to Ryan and the amazing team at Southern Web. If you need any help with your website or blog I highly recommend them! 

When I first started blogging I overshared. I cringe when I look back at some of my posts. Most of which have been removed from being public at this point. And the area that I overshared the most was discussing my children. Thankfully I felt convicted on this more and more over the years. Last year Josh and I made the decision that we would not be posting photos of the kids on our social media accounts and I would not share photos on the blog. As a mother I am choosing to make their security a priority and limit their digital footprint.

About 5 years ago my husband was at the mall with our son who was 18 months old at the time (yep you can tell this story is old because people still shopped at the mall instead of on Amazon). Two women came up to Josh that he had never met before. They were saying hello to him and our son by name, saying how cute our son was, and that they read my blog and really loved our family.

While I think the intention of those ladies at the mall was harmless, I also couldn’t stop thinking about how that scenario would play out as my son grew older. Would he one day resent me for sharing his images and stories on the internet without his permission? Would I regret the amount of information I had shared, knowing that I had helped build his online presence and history from a young age?

As a grappled with those questions a few months later our daughter was born. Though I continued to share photo’s and information on this blog and my social media channels a nagging feeling was lingering underneath my writing. I wondered should I really be doing this? I didn’t want to stop blogging but maybe I needed a course correction.

At this time my life felt like it was spiraling out of control. I had postpartum depression and anxiety after our daughter was born and I felt overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with figuring out how to take care of two kids under the age of two, overwhelmed with what direction I should be blogging and honestly just overwhelmed with life in general. At this lowest point I realized I could no longer just say that God was fully in control of my mind and heart. I would actually need to surrender control over to him. The course correction I was seeking wasn’t only for what direction I should be blogging. Ultimately I was trying to figure out who I was living for and who I was trying to glorify in the process.

The ugliness and brokenness inside me wasn’t something I wanted to glorify. Instead of seeking out what the world was offering me through mind numbing reality television, social media feeds, and the latest headlines of breaking news I started to pursue Jesus. And my soul started to rest.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28 – 30

I would love to say this was easy but it wasn’t. It was hard and painful. But the more I kept pursuing Jesus the more I started to find peace that I hadn’t felt in years. Through this refining process I let go of areas in my life that didn’t honor the Lord, like teaching yoga. In letting areas of my life die, God in his goodness, breathed new life into me by leading me into pursuing foster care.

It has been really amazing to see the transformation of my writing style and content over the last 7 years. This blog started out as a way to document my health and wellness journey. It has provided our family with additional income and allowed me to connect and build relationships with more people.

The biggest and most unexpected blessing blogging has provided me is the ability to witness and revisit the greatest transformation happening in my life. I am being made new in Christ.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

2 Corinthians 5:17

I am thankful for the ability to freely write about any topic I wish and to encourage others in the process. Thank you so much for reading! I appreciate all of you who take the time to visit The Workout Mama.

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