In this month’s newsletter, trainer and coach Diane Stibbard will discuss important and helpful information about mid-section weight gain, the importance of post race and training season assessment, and will give you a cool "twist" on the traditional core move - The Plank.
You are exercising/training regularly, you are eating a clean balanced diet, but you can't seem to lose belly weight. Why? One of the main culprits could be due to high levels of stress in the body. With work, family, relationship, financial and other daily irritants, stress can wreck havoc on our bodies. As well as causing premature aging, immune suppression and depletion, it also can cause mid-section weight gain.
Stress in moderate amounts is healthy and allows us to adapt to life's changing environment and can help to develop a strong immune system. One sure way to tell if your body is holding too much stress is an increase in your waist size. When the body is under stress, it releases the hormone called cortisol. Too much of this hormone causes the body to store it as fat around the middle. Over time, not only will you see an increase in body fat on your stomach, but this can also lead to a depletion of your cortisol levels in the Adrenal Glands, resulting in fatigue and exhaustion.
What to Do
Have the Adrenal Glands tested for a daily pattern of cortisol levels. A full panel includes a 4 point test of cortisol levels; upon waking, noon, early evening and bedtime.
The most accurate method of testing the cortisol levels is through a saliva test. Locate (or ask me) for a good Naturopath for testing.
How to Avoid
Avoid over scheduling yourself. Adopt stress management techniques such as scheduling regular down time, meditation, yoga, counselling, massage and of course exercise. Too much exercise without adequate rest and recovery time, can also lead to increased production of cortisol. My coaching programs promote gradual weekly mileage and intensity increases, as well as active recovery weeks to promote healing, and rest.
Training / Racing / Coaching:
Fall brings us cooler temperatures and shorter days. And it is the perfect time to assess how you did over the competitive or recreational bike, run, Triatlon or Duathlon season. This assessment process allows you to see what worked and what areas need help. This assessment tool also allows me as a coach when devising off season and pre-season training programs.
Below are a few questions I provide my coaching clients to help with this process:
- Did you reach your goals this season?
- What worked?
- What areas need improvement or need to be changed?
- Did you get injured frequently?
Now that the season is over or wrapping up, how do you feel both physically and emotionally?
Answering these questions can help you see where you have been, and provide valuable information to help lead you closer to where you want to be. And for me as a coach, to address not just the weaknesses but identify if the training program is working, and that your body as a whole is being taken care of through proper recovery, nutrition, and injury prevention fundamentals for the following season.
Strength / Core-conditioning:
Year round core training is essential part of all training programs. It provides a good foundation to prevent injury in repetitive endurance sports such as running, cycling, multi-sport, and tennis etc. As well as just providing a strong stable body with good function and form. In this months newsletter, I will provide you with a twist on a traditional core move - The Plank.
Knee to Shoulder Plank:
Resting on your knees and elbows, with the lower back in neutral. Draw the right knee slowly towards the right shoulder, depressing the hip towards the rib cage. At the same time the lower back remains in neutral. Continue the set by alternating from the right to the left for a total of 10 - 20 repetitions.
Resting on the elbows and the balls of the feet, preform the same movement described in level one, for 20 - 30 repetitions.
Resting the elbows on a Bosu and on the balls of the feet. Again, preform the movement described in level one, for 30 - 40 repetitions.
Add this core busting move into your weekly core strength routine and reap the benefits of a strong, and stable torso and pelvis
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