Fit Forever with Kathy!

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The Simple Steps to Protect your Feet...FOR LIFE

by Kathy Smith

When we hear the word “muscle,” we generally think about the biceps, triceps, glutes and shoulders. But there’s an overlooked area of the body that deserves some much-needed attention: Your feet. Think about it: Your feet are the foundation of your body and your life. Whether you’re an elite athlete or an occasional walker, your feet are responsible for carrying you everywhere you go in life. And the numbers are staggering: the foot is comprised of over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments, 26 bones and 33 joints. And at some point in our lives, almost 75% of us will experience an issue with our foot health.

I started to think more about the importance of foot health just recently. My daughter Kate is a competitive runner who went to the Olympic trials last year. Needless to say, she’s no stranger to intense physical training, and to the aches and soreness that occasionally result from it. But when she suffered a stress fracture in her foot from overuse, suddenly this part of her body she’d always taken for granted couldn’t perform its basic (and incredibly important) function. She started a new regimen for strengthening the muscles in her foot – a simple 5-minute routine that led to her recovery (and one that she still practices to this day).

These exercises can be completed during two commercial breaks, and they will save you from the months of inactivity and rehabilitation that can arise from a foot injury. Check out my instructional video, for a quick tutorial. Follow along at home or in the gym!

 

This experience made me reevaluate how crucial foot health really is. I started taking special care of my feet, researching the best shoes for comfort and overall protection. And my research revealed something interesting: It’s not just about our shoes. It’s also important to focus on what’s underneath them: Our socks.

And so began my love affair with the Thorlo brand of socks. Their philosophy is simple: Make the best product. (Their fantastic team often quotes the motto “We make socks, but we sell foot health.”) It’s all about the science of fat pads: The fat pads in our feet protect them from harm, but walking on hard surfaces destroys them over time. This process is accelerated when we wear poorly designed socks and shoes. So Thorlo set out to make a protective athletic sock that simulates nature’s fat pads with its specially-engineered acrylic fabric cushions.

I had the great privilege to visit Thorlo’s headquarters in Statesville, North Carolina, where I saw firsthand their dedication to quality and great craftsmanship. It’s no coincidence that some of the world’s best socks are being made in Statesville: At one time, 70% of American hosiery was produced in this small and lovely rural area. They have a long-standing tradition, with a heavy focus on quality. With the best tools, the best machinery and the best raw materials, they produce an exceptional product – a product that’s now a cornerstone of foot health for my family and me.

With these easy exercises, and amazing socks, insure that a most vital part of your body is always ready to support you and your activity goals!

Thanks for reading,

Kathy

 

By Collage Video | | Kathy Smith, tips, Weekly Blog | 0 comments | Read more

Three Before-Shower Strategies For A Better Body

by Kathy Smith

If you’re feeling like you've hit a plateau and can’t seem to make progress, here are three things you can do before breakfast that will jump-start your metabolism, and set your day up for success. You can improve your body by incorporating three simple habits into your routine before breakfast each day. This isn't a gimmick or impossible goal; it is something I live by each and every morning. My days begin with a 20-minute gratitude meditation, then I press play on my iPod and listen to a playlist that includes Jack Johnson and Mumford and Sons. Create your own morning ritual by trying the following three techniques. These simple changes that will give you a jumpstart to a better body and improved health. After a while, they’ll become second nature.

1. Beverage: Do three morning shots

Start your morning off with 3 shots:

  1. A shot of water to keep the metabolism high. At least 16 ounces of H2O can kick your metabolism up to 30% for the next hour.
  2. A shot of green tea. Green tea has been shown to reduce body weight, increase fat metabolism, reduce cholesterol, and release powerful age-defying antioxidants. If you’re dreading a coffee withdrawal, never fear. Green tea has just the right amount of caffeine to keep you alert at work. It’s the perfect beverage for enhancing your health and improving your physique.
  3. A ginger shot to stimulate your body and wake you up! To make your shot, boil a cup of hot water, squeeze in a lemon, and add in a few few cubes of freshly-chopped ginger. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper!

2. Activity: Roll out your mat for movements that matter

Not only does yoga help lengthen and tone muscles, but it also helps you be mindful of your breath so you make better choices throughout the day. Yoga is a simple and powerfully effective workout for toning your body and getting your muscles going. By raising your metabolic rate first thing in the morning, you’ve won half the battle towards improving your physique. A few simple yoga routines will jumpstart your body’s calorie-burning machine, and keep it burning faster all day long. Yoga has a triple benefit on your body.

  • First, it gives your metabolism a swift kick, keeping you slimmer.
  • Second, yoga tones muscle, giving you a leaner look.
  • Finally, yoga helps you to fight stress and anxiety, both of which have been tied to excess weight.

Yoga is a great addition to your strength-training repertoire, especially as a morning wake up. And it prepares both your mind and body for the day ahead. Calm your mind while strengthening your muscles with Core And More, my ultimate combination of yoga and pilates. Plus, Core and More is paired with a workout calendar to take the guesswork out of planning your routine!

3. Food: Never (ever!) skip your protein!

Your day is off to a stellar start. Don’t blow it by sinking your teeth into junk food later on. Good eating begins with good planning, and that planning happens at the start of the day. Planning will help you stick to your goals, staving off those pesky extra ounces that come from indulging. Before breakfast is the perfect time to pack your lunch, select a dinner recipe, and slip a snack or two into your purse.

Breakfast sets the tone for the entire day, and you don’t want to skip your morning meal. Here’s a delectable shake recipe that has tons of healthy goodness (and even some chocolate). If you’re in the mood for something warm and comforting, try my protein-packed Santa Monica Omelet.

The before-breakfast solution to a better body is simple. Do your yoga, drink some water and green tea, and prepare healthy food. You only have one opportunity each day to put these practices into motion. Before breakfast is the golden opportunity to create a haven of health and repose before the day begins. With each morning, you’ll be taking action toward a more vibrant body.

Be sure to check out my YOGA SCULPT DVD for Activity #2!

Thanks for reading,

Kathy Smith

By Collage Video | | DVD, fitness, fitness success, Kathy Smith, tips, Weekly Blog, wellness | 0 comments | Read more

Fit Forever with Kathy!

This is Kathy Smith - welcome to my new weekly "Fit Forever with Kathy!" blog here at CollageVideo.com. Every Friday you'll see a  new post with fitness and wellness tips and tricks as well as lifestyle advice designed to lead to you an active, healthy future.

Thanks for reading.

Kathy

By Collage Video | | fitness, fitness success, Kathy Smith, tips, Weekly Blog, wellness | 0 comments | Read more
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