Jennifer Hanway

Enliven Your Lightest, Brightest You

Jennifer Hanway is a Holistic Nutritionist, Bio Signature Modulation Practitioner and Certified Personal Trainer, originally from London but now living in Newton Centre and working in Back Bay, Boston.

Filtering by Tag: Fitness

5 Simple Ways to Ease Post Workout Soreness

A lot of my personal training clients are ‘mentioning’ their post workout soreness after their sessions. These particular clients are in the middle of tough training phases right now, so a little muscle soreness is natural, but there are some simple things that can be implemented to help ease the pain! When a client asked how much soreness is natural I tell them that it differs from client to client and depends on the workout / training phase, and a little soreness up to 48 hours post training can be expected. A red flag for me is when the soreness is debilitating and affects everyday life, other overtraining signals can be lack of progress in the gym, disrupted sleep and feeling like there is ‘no gas in the tank’. At this point training should be reduced and strategies such as extra rest, yoga, and nutrition support should be implemented.

If there are no red flags then I ask them to implement the following, and may even bring them in an Anti Inflammatory Mango Smoothie if they are working extra hard!

Drink more water: I know this may sound obvious, but proper hydration can increase performance and reduce post workout muscle soreness. Ensure you are drinking water throughout the day, not just during and after the workout, and aim for at least 0.7 ounces of water per pound of bodyweight as your personalized water goal.

Train more often: this may sound counterproductive, but training large muscle groups at least 3 times a week can condition the muscles to hard training and eventually reduce post workout soreness. This is also why new trainees may experience more soreness than those more experienced, and why you may be more sore after a changing your workout. So hang in there - it gets better!

Warm up and cool down properly: boring, I know, but reducing muscle soreness starts even before your workout does. I ask my clients to walk, bike or row for at least 8-10 minutes (more if they have a desk job and are coming to me during their work day), then complete another 5 minutes of mobility work and dynamic stretching. Warming up has so many benefits, preventing injury, improving performance, preparing the mind for exercise, and reducing soreness post workout.  After working out I ask my clients to foam roll and stretch for as long as they can. If they are in a rush then I advise them to stretch post shower or in the evening before they go to bed. 

Take a cold shower: this is my favorite way to ease muscle soreness post workout, and can be really enjoyable once you are used to it! A cold bath or shower post workout increases circulation, bringing fresh blood to your muscles to help repair, lower inflammation and increase recovery speed. It also has the added benefit of tightening skin and giving you a great glow! If this is too much to bear try switching to a cold shower for the last 2 minutes after your hot shower.

Supportive nutrition and supplementation: if you are working hard in the gym your nutrition should support your efforts. Ensure you are well fueled before training (a mixture of protein, carbs and fat 60-90 mins before training is ideal), and a strategic post workout shake can give your muscles the materials for repair whilst lowering inflammation.

Turmeric (the active ingredient being curcumin) is a wonderful anti inflammatory, and can be use to great effect either in food or supplement form. One of my favourite functional foods is Inflam PX from the Poliquin Group, which contains turmeric extract (along with other anti inflammatory and healing compounds) that can be consumed on its own, or I like to add it to a vanilla protein shake. I recommend Inflam PX to all my clients if they get injured or after surgery, but it can also be used everyday to support hard training. 

You can also replicate this at home with my Turmeric Mango Coconut Protein Smoothie, which also contains collagen powder which is my go-to for muscle repair and ginger which also has anti-inflammatory properties: 

Anti Inflammatory Mango Protein Smoothie 1 scoop vanilla protein powder 1 cup coconut milk ½ cup filtered water ½ cup frozen mango ½ banana 2 teaspoons collagen powder 1 teaspoon fresh grated turmeric or turmeric powder 1 teaspoon fresh grater ginger or ginger powder Throw ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Anti Inflammatory Mango Protein Smoothie 1 scoop vanilla protein powder 1 cup coconut milk ½ cup filtered water ½ cup frozen mango ½ banana 2 teaspoons collagen powder 1 teaspoon fresh grated turmeric or turmeric powder 1 teaspoon fresh grater ginger or ginger powder Throw ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Anti Inflammatory Mango Protein Smoothie

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1 cup coconut milk

½ cup filtered water

½ cup frozen mango

½ banana

2 teaspoons collagen powder

1 teaspoon fresh grated turmeric or turmeric powder

1 teaspoon fresh grater ginger or ginger powder 

Throw ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Pelvic Floor Health - Not Just Mama Drama!

One of the reasons I love having this blog is to be able to give a platform to experts in all of the fields of holistic health. This week I asked the wonderful Dr Sarah Duvall to explain the importance of a strong pelvic floor for everybody, not just mamas and mamas to be! Sarah holds both Masters and Doctorate degrees in Physical Therapy and has over fifteen years experience as a Personal Trainer - I am delighted for her to share her expertise with you.  Pelvic floor strength is extremely important even outside the pre- and postpartum time period. Sure, being pregnant and giving birth does have an impact on your pelvic floor. It would be silly for us not to admit that! BUT, I’ve seen numerous clients that have weak pelvic floor muscles but have never had kids. Crazy, right? And what about all the men having pelvic floor weakness? They have certainly not had babies. So, it’s a topic worth a closer look no matter where you are in life.

Your pelvic floor affects and is affected by your kinetic chain. Just like I can fix a patient's neck pain by turning off their hip flexors and activating their glutes, we can activate or deactivate the pelvic floor through muscle firing. I’ve seen some crazy cases. Take, for example, an old ankle injury that turned into a hip compensation pattern that then shut down this runner's pelvic floor.

Or Sam (not the client's real name), the runner with a chronic hamstring strain and pelvic floor weakness that had a dysfunctional diaphragm. She could take a deep breath at rest just fine, but when I added in exercise her system fell apart, hence the chronic nature of the injury. Sometimes a system looks great at rest, but then falls into compensation patterns when you up the intensity. Being able to keep great muscle firing patterns allows an athlete to remain injury free over the long haul.

If you are suffering from anything chronic, you better believe there is more involved than just the site of injury. (Probably why just foam rolling your IT band is not fixing your IT band problem.) In order to fix the issue, you have to look at what’s going wrong in the entire kinetic chain and fix that.

We should all focus a little more on the pelvic floor because it’s a great indicator of your pelvis as a whole. Is your pelvis in correct alignment? Are all the muscles firing like they should? Your pelvic floor will often tell you.

I’ve had several women that came in thinking they were going crazy because they had trouble making it to the bathroom, but the feeling would come and go, sometimes weeks apart. I thought it had to do with pelvic alignment. Alignment puts muscles in advantageous angles to work. Ready for the catch? Muscles determine alignment! Yep, we just got on the proverbial wheel. I often hear the complaint that “I got adjusted but it doesn’t hold,” and that’s because it’s how your muscles are firing that caused the misalignment in the first place. So, if you realign without changing the firing, then you will go right back. This can be very frustrating!

Let’s take a second to talk optimal pelvic floor alignment. The pelvic floor is the base of your pelvis and spine. It’s a sling of muscles that helps hold up internal organs and keep proper alignment. Because your pelvic floor sits in the middle, it helps stabilize against lateral forces to the sacrum and pelvis. A lateral force can simply be your body weight when stepping off a curve. Ever step funny and feel like you tweaked something?

So, what in the kinetic chain helps the pelvic floor stay strong? The diaphragm is a clear driver of pelvic floor strength. It acts like a piston, when you take a deep breath in the diaphragm expands down, pushing pressure down into your pelvic floor. Then, on the exhale, your diaphragm recoils back up and so does your pelvic floor. Well, at least it’s supposed to! This system often gets mixed up. The pelvic floor will go down when you exhale due to diaphragm dysfunction. This is bad for building and maintaining proper pelvic floor strength and firing.

One of my favorite exercises for getting diaphragm expansion is a full squat. This is such a great exercise for getting your paraspinals to release, which allows for back body diaphragm expansion. Plus, it gets you ready for glute activation! This PRI squat really promotes diaphragm expansion and pelvic floor response:

Squat down, feet close together. Balance weight between balls of feet and heels. Really try and sink into your glutes. Hold on low but keep your arms straight and relaxed. It may take a little playing around to find the perfect distance from what you are holding on to.

Inhale: pelvic floor relaxes down, should feel a great stretch across your midback

Exhale: pelvic floor naturally comes up, try and relax on the exhale and just let it happen.

The other common kinetic chain issue for the pelvic floor is hip rotational strength. Part of the pelvic floor is made up by the hip rotational muscles. Now that’s pretty cool in my book! I love it when systems in the body overlap. When I watch clients exercise, I will often see a hip collapse or knee cave in -- think running, step ups or single leg squats. This tells me that their hip external rotators and lateral stabilizers are weak. This is a glute medius and pelvic floor weakness issue. My favorite glute med exercise is as follows (this is also a great exercise for the VMO and creating a healthy knee):

http://www.coreexercisesolutions.com/wall-squat-enhance-glute-medius/ 

If you are in the Boston area and would like more information on the importance of Pelvic Floor Health, Dr Sarah is running some FREE workshops over the next couple of weeks, for more details and to book click HERE.

About the Author: Dr. Sarah Ellis Duvall, PT, DPT, CPT, CNC

A wife, mom and adventure sports athlete, Sarah takes functional training to a whole new level. In her unique approach to treating patients, she believes in teaching. Fully understand every aspect of the body is a necessity to complete healing. To learn more about her approach to the Pelvic Floor, check out her Pelvic Floor Video Series today. When she is not hanging off the side of a mountain, Sarah enjoys writing and presenting at http://www.CoreExerciseSolutions.comand figuring out how her patients can continue to pursue their dreams and lead a strong, adventurous life.

Training Tuesday: GBC 1 - The Muscle Building, Fat Torching Workout Perfect for January!

Just like last week's Training Tuesday workout: The Double Whammy, this week's workout also builds muscle and burns fat, but uses different programming methods and utilizes different metabolic systems. This style of workout is called GBC, which stands for German Body Composition. GBC workouts are characterized by using multi joint, full body exercises, with higher rep ranges and short rest periods. The goal of GBC training is to increase lactic acid which raises levels of Growth Hormone, which in turn results in greater fat loss.

GBC workouts can be performed using all types of resistance training equipment, but for this week we will focus on just utilizing dumbbells. There are many benefits to this style of workout, below are just a few of them.

  • Perfect for a busy gym, all you need are dumbbells and a bench
  • Great for all levels of trainee, if you are new to training use lighter weights, a more experienced trainer can up the intensity by lifting heavy
  • Dumbbells allow for more natural movement and a bigger range of motion
  • Higher reps and short rest periods result in muscle growth and fat burn

Inspiration for this workout was taken from the  Poliquin Group.

Perform each exercise for 12-15 sets, taking 30 seconds between exercises. A1 + A2 = 1 set. Repeat each set 3 times before moving on to the 'B's.

A1) Front Foot Elevated Split Squat

A2) One Arm Bent Over Row

Perform each exercise for 12-15 sets, taking 30 seconds between exercises. B1 + B2 = 1 set. Repeat each set 3 times before moving on to the 'C's.

B1) Single Leg Deadlift

B2) Neutral Grip Bench Press

Perform each exercise for 12-15 sets, taking 30 seconds between exercises. C1 + C2 = 1 set. Repeat each set 3 times.

C1) Step Up

C2) Standing Shoulder Press

 

Thank you to the wonderful Melissa from BFX Studio Back Bay for being my awesome fitness model!

I would love to hear from you below if you tried this workout! Leave a comment below and I will always reply, or post a pic of you on Instagram or FB and tag me so I can see your hard work!

The information and materials provided in this blog are to support and assist people who are looking to improve their health and wellbeing I understand that all new dietary/supplements/ exercise programs should be undertaken after consultation with a medical doctor. Jennifer Hanway is not responsible for any injury or illness sustained whilst following the information in this blog.

My Top Five: Apps for Health, Fitness and Wellbeing

  The new year comes with a lot of resolutions for all of us, and if those resolutions include improving your health and wellbeing then read on!

It has been proven many times that we are more likely to stick to our healthy habits if they are made easily accessible to us, and what could be more accessible than our smart phones, tablets and laptops that we cant seem to live without these days!

You can use all of these apps without having to purchase an expensive gadget such as a Fitbit or Jawbone (I don't own any of these).

I love anything that makes wellbeing easier, and as someone that couldn't live without her iPhone I wanted to share with you my top five apps that I use to help with my nutrition, fitness and wellbeing.

1) My Fitness Pal

Available as an App and via their website, My Fitness Pal is my go-to for food tracking for both myself and my clients. It is so easy to use, and has a huge database of foods ranging from grocery store goods to restaurant dishes. Even better, you can scan barcodes on food packaging for easy uploading.

You can also allow your friends to see your food diaries, and this can help accountability, and also makes it very easy for your nutrition coach to keep track of your food intake too (I see you...)

As with all food tracking apps I do not agree with their 'one size fits all' approach to calculating calorie allowances, so I suggest setting your own custom macros in accordance with your goals.

My Fitness Pal is free.

2) Nike+ Training Club

One of the originals and in my opinion the best of all workout apps available, you cant beat the behemoth that is Nike for a huge variety of beautifully shot and easy to follow workouts.

You can set the workout to music from your iTunes library, reiview all the exercises before you start the workout (I love this feature), and view the workout on your television if you have Apple TV. Workouts range from 15 minutes to 45 minutes so even those strapped for time have no excuses!

Nike+ Training Club is free.

3) Yoga Studio

Yoga Studio by Gaiam is my favorite of all the yoga apps available as it is so easy to use, clearly shot, and easily accessible to beginners. It has options for viewing ready made classes, from which you can select based on focus, ability or duration, or you can create your own class depending on what you want to achieve from your practice. From what I have seen so far all you need is a mat and some space, and you are ready to go. I love the Yoga for Back Pain classes, and the Deep Relaxation ; )

Yoga Studio is $3.99.

4) f.lux / Sunn 

Such a simple concept, but I've really found these two apps life changing. Both apps make the color of your computer or smartphone displays adapt to the time of day showing as warm at night (less blue light) and like sunlight during the day. Bringing down the amount of artificial light you are exposed to after dark can lower cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and normalize our circadian rhythms, helping us sleep better at night.

I use f.lux for my laptop, and Sunn for my iPhone, as Apple do not allow f.lux unless you jailbreak the phone.

f.lux is free and Sunn is $3.99.

5) Headspace

Headspace is a relatively new app for me but I love it already. Think of it as 'meditation for non-meditators'. You are guided through a series of  'brain training sessions' by the creator Andy Puddicombe (a meditation and mindfulness expert and a fellow brit - this app is worth downloading for his soothing British accent alone), in which you are asked to focus on your breath, physical sensations and noise around you, making for practice that can be adopted by anyone.

Your are also able to track your progress, find friends who are also using Headspace, and pick practices from collections to suit your mood and lifestyle.

Headspace is free for the first 10 sessions, then moves to a paid subscription starting at $7.99 if you sign up for a year.

 

I'd love to hear about the apps you use to enhance your nutrition, training and wellbeing! Please share your suggestions below so we can all reap the benefits!

Training Tuesday: The Double Whammy

Happy Training Tuesday! I often get asked whether cardio or strength training is more important, and my answer is usually the very vague 'Both. Depends on your goals...'

The majority of people (including me) can benefit from more of both in their lives, so I've designed a workout that combines building strength (weight) training with cardio that will build muscle and burn fat, and is suitable for all.

The beauty of this workout is that in can be done with minimal equipment, and is a great go-to for when the gym is super crowded (I see you January)...

Dumbbell Complex 1

The key to making this workout more beneficial is to move quickly between each set of 8 reps to the next exercise (use the same dumbbells) for maximum fat burning effect.

Beginners: choose lighter weights and aim for 4-6 rounds in total. Take up to 2 minutes rest between rounds. 1 round consists of all 5 exercises (8 reps of each) and the bike sprint.

Intermediate / Advanced: choose heavier weights and aim for 6-8 rounds in total. Take up to 1 minute between rounds  (1 round consists of all 5 exercises (8 reps of each) and the bike sprint.

Thank you to my wonderful Private Training and Thrive client Laura for being my amazing model! 

1) Dumbbell Push Press x 8

2) Dumbbell Bent Over Row x 8

3) Dumbbell RDL x 8

4) Dumbbell Split Squats x 8 Each Leg

5) Push Ups x 8

(rest 30 seconds)

6) Stationary Bike Sprints (go hard) for 30 seconds

Rest and Repeat

Rest: Beginners = 90-120 seconds / Advanced = 45-60 seconds

Repeat: Beginners = 4 to 6 rounds / Advanced = 6 to 8 rounds

I would love to hear from you below if you tried this workout! Leave a comment below and I will always reply, or post a pic of you on Instagram or FB and tag me so I can see your hard work!

The information and materials provided in this blog are to support and assist people who are looking to improve their health and wellbeing I understand that all new dietary/supplements/ exercise programs should be undertaken after consultation with a medical doctor. Jennifer Hanway is not responsible for any injury or illness sustained whilst following the information in this blog.

Training Tuesday: Home for the Holidays Workout!

Its Training Tuesday! Last week a lot of my clients and readers asked for a workout they could do at home as they won't have access to a gym over the holidays, so here it is!

No equipment needed, just a little room and a little energy! From beginning to end the workout should only take 45 to 50 minutes to complete.

Warm Up 

perform once

Walkout to High Plank to 4 Shoulder Planks x 4

Worlds Greatest Stretch x 2 each side

Down Dog to Yoga Push Up x 4

Lower Body

perform each exercise 10 times (each leg for lunges)/ repeat block 3 times

Upper Body

perform each exercise 10 times / repeat block 3 times

Push Up

Dolphin Push Up

Tricep Dip

Mountain Climbers

Core 

perform each exercise 10 times / repeat block 3 times

Dead Bug

Alternating Single Leg Raise

Russian Twist

Plank Up

Stretch 

perform once, twice, or as many times as you like!

I would love to hear from you below if you tried this workout! Leave a comment below and I will always reply, or post a pic of you on Instagram or FB and tag me so I can see your hard work!

The information and materials provided in this blog are to support and assist people who are looking to improve their health and wellbeing I understand that all new dietary/supplements/ exercise programs should be undertaken after consultation with a medical doctor. Jennifer Hanway is not responsible for any injury or illness sustained whilst following the information in this blog.

 

 

Stop, Drop and Meditate: Post Workout Meditation

Every Friday I am going to be helping you to 'Stop, Drop and Meditate' with the help of Meditation Expert (and wonderful friend) Charity Collier. This week's guided meditation is perfect for when you have just finished your workout. Training can cause a raise in cortisol (the stress hormone) which is great for giving you that push when you are sprinting on the treadmill, hitting that punchbag, or PR'ing your Deadlift, but for both our health and our body composition we want to bring cortisol levels down as quickly as possible once we have finished our session.

So what are you waiting for, lets 'Stop, Drop and Meditate' with Charity!

[embed]http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFmDVUb2JG4[/embed]

For more information on Charity and Meditating Together check out her daily meditation affirmations, inspirations and education posts on:

Facebook: Meditating Together

Instagram: @meditatingtogether

Twitter: https://twitter.com/meditating2ther

Email: meditatingtogether@gmail.com

YouTube: Meditating Together

Periscope: @meditating2ther (Every Wednesday I do a live meditation on Periscope at 9pm EST)

 

 

Happy Hump Day!

I'm delighted to invite my partner in crime, Cassie Brown, to the blog for the first time! Cassie is a kick ass trainer based in the Boston area, and her and I are about to launch a series of events and retreats in 2016! Below is one of Cassie's 'go-to' moves for a great booty - try incorporating it into your next workout!

Step ups are a great way to build a firm, round booty. I've shared a few step up variations as my Hump Day Booty Moves in the past, which you can check out at cassiebstrong.com/blog/. But the deal with exercising is this: activating the muscles you're focused on targeting is just as important as the exercises you choose to work that target area.

This flow activates your glutes (booty) and hamstrings (back of thigh), so that you're super stable while balancing on 1 leg. Warming up with movements like this also helps your body engage as many muscle fibers as possible during your workout for an increase in calorie burn and optimal results!

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wma1ihIdoO8[/embed]

Perform this flow 2-4x through on one side, then switch to the other leg without resting. Do this for 2-4 sets to feel a burn in your glutes and core.

Share when you incorporate this flow into your workout on Instagram and Twitter @cassiebstrong #BStrong!

If you are looking for more ways to get into shape this holiday season join me next Tuesday at 6.30pm in Boston for the second of my Wellness Talks: Healthy Holidays: How to Stay Slim over the Festive Season.

We will spend an hour discussing easy to implement nutrition, training, lifestyle and supplement strategies to help you looking and feeling your best this festive season, then will take a field trip over to Athleta Newbury Street to join Cassie B for a super fun HIIT (optional).

To book please click on the link below:

https://www.movewith.com/events/healthy-holidays-how-to-stay-slim-over-the-festive-season-with-jennifer-hanway

Weekend Wellness Round Up

Grab a coffee or a green juice and take a seat on the couch! Every Saturday I will be posting links to five of my favorite blog posts of the week in the fields of nutrition, health, fitness, wellness, beauty and self care to help you learn even more about these topics, and to introduce you to voices in the wellness sphere you may not have heard of... Amy Myers MD is a Functional Medicine doctor based in Austin, Texas. I have just finished reading her book, The Autoimmune Solution, and I learnt so much that I intend to implement in both my nutrition plan and that of my clients.

http://www.amymyersmd.com/2015/10/is-stress-damaging-your-gut/

Danielle La Porte is like the strong, feisty, no B.S. big sister I wish I had. I first came across her work in her book The Desire Map, which focuses on setting 'goals with soul'. I have followed her ever since, and love this post with Kate Northrup about a topic that definitely falls into the 'self care' category: money.

http://www.daniellelaporte.com/kate-money-interview/

Madeline Shaw is a fellow Brit who is having huge success in the UK and beyond. Her website is filled with beautiful photos and delicious recipes that prove that eating clean does not mean being deprived.

http://madeleineshaw.com/recipes/sweet-potato-fennel-and-chilli-stew/

Hip and Healthy is another website from across the pond that I have had the pleasure of guest blogging for in the past. I love this article addressing lower back pain as I find this is a common thread among my training clients due to their sedentary jobs.

http://hipandhealthy.com/the-10-minute-workout-to-ease-lower-back-pain/

And finally, a little weekend fun! Ben Greenfield is a personal trainer and author with extensive experience in the fitness and wellness industry. I love his podcasts and always learn something. This post however, is something a little different than Ben's usual material, and is best read in private!

http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2015/10/how-to-increase-sexual-endurance/

Contact: jenny@jenniferhanway.com