Mobility Monday: Ankle Dorsiflexion.

Our goal at MuvLab is to help people eliminate pain from their daily and athletic lives.  We do this by assessing the body and developing training programs to address imbalances that are present.  Each joint within the body has an optimal range of motion, if this range is limited, it can have a multiplying affect on the entire kinetic chain (body).  Today we’re going to talk about ankle mobility, specifically ankle dorsiflexion.  Ankle dorsiflexion is the motion in which you try to bring your toes to your shins.  Optimal ankle dorsiflexion is 20 degrees.

Common questions we receive in MuvLab nearly every day:

What would cause our ankles to lose mobility? 
Muscular dysfunctions are the main cause of a loss of mobility in any joint.  Many times the dysfunctions develop after an injury.  They are also caused by repetitive overuse, lack of variety in exercise and improper training technique (lack of full range of motion). 

A MuvLab movement specialist will assess you movement to determine if the decreased range of motion is coming from the joint capsule, tight calf muscles, or both.  There are many bones (calcaneous, talus, navicular, cuboid, and cuneiformis) in the foot/ankle that need to be sitting in the right place in order for your ankle to move properly. 

It’s important to note that limited ankle mobility can also be caused by dysfunction at the knee or hip.   Any injury that requires bracing, a boot, or crutches will immediately decrease dorsiflexion due to limited gait.  These injuries could also cause the hip and or knee to rotate internally or externally forcing the body to move in an unnatural manner.

Where could we develop pain if we don’t fix this issue? 
Common injuries we see due to a lack of ankle mobility include:
1. Ankle sprains
2. Achilles tendonitis
3. Plantar Fasciitis

How can we reduce pain?
A corrective exercise plan prescribed by a MuvLab coach will help eliminate this pain.  The plan incorporates manual therapy (when needed), foam rolling tight and static stretching tight muscles, activating weak muscles, and functional exercises to retrain proper mechanics.

Foam Roll / Stretches:
1. Foam Roll- entire calf complex
2. Plantar Fascia Stretch-  roll a golf ball or small ball under the foot
3. Gastrocnemius/Soleus (Calves) Stretch- against wall, on a stair or box

Corrective Exercises:
1. Seated ankle dorsiflexion
2. Single Leg Stabilization Exercises
3. Lunging with full range of motion

As with any injury it’s best to see a licensed practitioner to determine the root cause of the pain.  If you’re experiencing pain talk with the MuvLab staff to schedule an assessment.  We look forward to teaching you how to eleminate pain from your life through manual therapy and corrective exercises.

Interval Training for Endurance Athletes

One of the most common types of training these days is interval training.  The fitness industry has made this method of training very popular recently.  It’s important to understand why coaches and trainers prescribe interval workouts.  Our bodies are able to maximize the benefits of exercises in a short amount of time.  This is great, if managed properly, but can lead to overtraining and overuse injuries if not prescribed at the right times in a training program.

Phase 2: Interval Training

The goal of Phase 2 is to build the cardiorespiratory strength needed in Phase 3.  The only way to make positive changes in our current fitness level is by overloading the cardiorespiratory system.  We must challenge our current fitness level in short intervals followed by adequate recovery.  It’s important to note that the body adapts to the exercise induced stress during the recovery process.  If we do not give ourselves proper rest between intervals or between workouts, we’re not going to receive the desired benefit.

Endurance athlete intervals can be 3-4 minutes in length with a heart rate of 85-90% of HRmax. 

Workout Plan 3 day rotation

Day 1- Zone 1 (65-75%) 30-60 minute recovery workout

Day 2-
5-10 minutes Zone 1 – Dynamic Warm-up
30 minutes Zone 2 (80-85%)
5-10 minutes cool down Zone 1

Day 3-
5-10 minutes Zone 1 – Dynamic Warm-up
5 minute interval set comprised of:
3-4 minute Zone 3 (86-90%)
3-4 minute Zone 2
3-4 minute Zone 3
3-4 minute Zone 2
3-4 minute Zone 3
Recovery
3-5 minutes Zone 1
Repeat set 2-3 times
Cool Down 5-10 minutes Zone 1

As your fitness begins to improve, your heart rate drops at the same rate after each Zone 3 sprint, you can remove the 3-5 minute Zone 1 recovery period.  Again monitor recovery between intervals to ensure you’re not training too hard and are able to recover into Zone 2 after each Zone 3 effort.

It’s important to check for sings of overtraining. Common sings of overtraining include: inability to reach training zones, inadequate sleep, feeling as though the workouts are draining you or that you’re dragging, and lack of feeling refreshed after the workout.  It’s important to use recovery days for recovery, not more training, to ensure you’re able to get the most out of your next workout.

Have questions about interval training and how it can help your endurance performance?  Give us a call or ask a MuvLab coach at your next workout. We look forward to helping you enhance your performance this spring and summer. 

Building Base Fitness For Endurance Events

If you've ever been around an endurance athlete you've probably heard the term "base".  What is base fitness? Why do these athletes talk about building their "base"? Base or Phase 1 or Zone 1 fitness is often used during off-season training periods for endurance athletes.  It is also essential for people just getting into endurance sports to build a proper foundation.  The goal of this training phase is to build a strong aerobic base, which will be the foundation for all subsequent phases of training.  This phase of training also allows the body to become more resilient to injury by gradually increasing "time of your feet" which helps strengthen muscles and tendons.  A base training phase can be as shorts as a few weeks or as longs as a few months. 

Determining your Zone 1 heart rate range.  The general formula for finding your max heart rate is (220- age).  You can then take your approximate max heart rate and multiply it by .65 & .75 to find your range. 

Example: for a 40 year old athlete
220 - 40 = 180
180 x .65 = 117
180 x .75 = 135
Zone 1 = 117-135 BPM

It's important to note that in this phase of training we will incorporate some interval training in Zone 2.
220 - 40 = 180
180 x .80 = 144
180 x .85 = 153
Zone 2 = 144-153 BPM

Once you have determined your zones you can start to apply them to workouts.  Base training workouts can be completed 2-4 times per week.  As you progress through the phase your workouts can become longer and your pace can increase but remember the goal is to build fitness not speed. Focus on staying in the proper zone not on running as fast as possible.   If you're a MuvLab member you can use your MYZONE heart rate monitor to track your workouts.  

Example Training Plan:
Day 1:
5-10 minute dynamic warm-up
20-60 minutes in Zone 1 (65-75% of max HR)

Day 2:
5-10 minute dynamic warm-up
3 minutes Zone 1
3 minutes Zone 2
3 minutes Zone 1
3 minutes Zone 2
3 minutes Zone1
3 minutes Zone 2
5-10 minutes Zone 1

It's important to listen to your body during any phase of training.  You have the ability to increase or decrease your recovery time between intervals to ensure you're getting the most out of each training session. Intervals can be as long as 5 minutes and recovery can be as short as 1 minutes as long as you're able to keep your heart rate in the proper zone.

It's not too late to start training for events in May!  Get started with these workouts and we will introduce Phase 2 workouts next week.  If you have questions regarding endurance training don't hesitate to contact us or talk with a MuvLab coach next time you're in the facility.
 

3 Events To Challenge Your Fitness This Spring

Colorado has endless activities that require physical fitness and strength.  Here are three events that you can complete to test your physical fitness and mental toughness this May.  We have you covered from 10ks to Marathons to Obstacle Course Races.  Read below and don't be afraid to ask the MuvLab staff if you have any questions regarding one of the races.

1. Spartan Super and Sprint - Saturday and Sunday May 13 & 14th
The Spartan Race weekend at Fort Carson has become a MuvLab member and staff favorite.  Last year we had over 40 people race on Saturday and Sunday.  If you want more than a traditional 5-10k or 1/2 Marathon to challenge your fitness, Spartan Race will be a good choice.  You will be challenged both physically and mentally but the satisfaction is worth it! 

Super: 8-10 Miles, 24-29 Obstacles, 80 minutes Fastest Time
The Reebok Spartan Super: This is our middle distance course. With a longer distance than the Sprint and more obstacles, the Super will test your endurance, perseverance and grit. The 8-10 Mile Super packs more than 25 Signature Spartan Obstacles through tougher and more rugged terrain.

Sprint: 3-5 Miles, 20-23Obstacles, 40 minutes Fastest Time
The Reebok Spartan Sprint: This is our shortest distance. It is perfect for athletes of all levels; from Spartan first timers to seasoned racers. The 3-5 Mile Sprint may be our shortest distance but it packs more than 20 Signature Spartan Obstacles. If you think you can’t do it, you’re wrong. Get to the starting line and show yourself what you are capable of.

2. Colfax Marathon, Half Marathon and Urban 10 Miler - Saturday and Sunday May 20th & 21st
One of the most popular spring races in Denver, the Colfax Marathon is the kick off to summer endurance season.  A full marathon may be a bit ambitious for some in May but you can set a great foundation for summer running by completing the 1/2 or 10 miler.  Want to have a little more fun? Complete a relay race on the Marathon course on a 5 person team!

Marathon:
It’s the Ultimate Urban Tour of Denver.  Start and finish in Denver’s City Park. Run through Mile High Stadium – home of the Denver Broncos – twice! Run through Denver Fire Station #1, along seven miles of rivers, lakes and bridges – including Sloan’s Lake. Race through eclectic neighborhoods, historic Lakewood, the bustle of Colfax Avenue, and downtown Denver – with views of the majestic Rocky Mountains!
26.2 miles at 5,280 feet elevation? This is one for the bucket list. The Colfax Marathon is a Boston Marathon qualifier race.

Half Marathon:
Fast, flat and shady, the Colfax Half Marathon is the only race to run through Denver Zoo! Denver’s springtime half marathon takes runners on a one mile trek through the zoo, through historic neighborhoods, on eclectic Colfax, and through the Aurora Arts District & Aurora Fire Station #1.  The LIVE Colorado Firefighter Calendar will cheer you on at Mile 11 – a runner favorite.   Great mountain views along the way – and then a terrific after party in City park!

Urban 10 Miler:
Run the final 10 miles of the Colfax Marathon course! The Urban 10 Miler features an epic Mile High Stadium run-through. Downtown Denver. Confluence and Cherry Creek, 17th Avenue to City Park – and one big afterparty. Sleep in, because you get a later start time – and it’s a staggered start from Rocky Mountain College of Arts and Design (RMCAD), filtering runners one by one into the ongoing marathon. If you’re looking for a challenge at a shorter distance, this is the race for you.

Relay:
What’s better than running 26.2 miles through the Mile High City? Sharing the miles with friends! Get a team of five to run Denver’s only 26.2 mile Marathon Relay. We have 3 divisions in the Relay: Open, Corporate Cup, and Government Cup. See the great sites of the Mile High City on each leg – from Mile High Stadium to the Confluence, Sloan’s Lake, downtown, or the neighborhoods around Colfax – which one will you run?

3. Bolder Boulder 10k - Monday, May 29th
The most popular race in the state of Colorado takes place in Boulder, CO on Memorial day each year.  It's so popular that Runner's World names the Bolder Boulder America's All Time Best 10k.

Almost 1.2 million runners, joggers, walkers and spectators of all ages have gathered over the years to create a spectacle that defies description. Olympic medal winners and hopefuls, grandmothers and kids, running enthusiasts and one-race-a-year guests from all over the world come together at the foot of the Rocky Mountains to form one of the sport’s truly unique events. Each year we host 50,000+ participants and 70,000+ spectators at Folsom Field for what we like to call the biggest and best Memorial Day celebration on earth.

Whether you're looking to get down and dirty at the Spartan Race, run the streets of Denver ending with a party in City Park or join in on one of the biggest Memorial Day celebrations in the country, Colorado has you covered this spring. If you have any questions regarding training for these events talk with the MuvLab staff.  We will also be addressing endurance training in future posts.

 

MuvLab Recovery Sessions

Our goal at MuvLab is to help you move efficiently and pain free.  We use movement efficiency screenings and manual therapy techniques to eliminate imbalances and restore optimal alignment.  We're offering a maintenance package of five 30 minute sessions for only $150.  This is a savings of $100.  The sessions are a great way to compliment your training at MuvLab.  Each session is tailored to your needs and can be used to address injury, mobility, and flexibility.

Contact us to take advantage of this special offer. 

MuvLab One Year Anniversary Sale

This week we celebrate our 1 Year Anniversary at our new location.  For those of you that are new to MuvLab, we moved into this space last February after doing business as SportXcel for 7 1/2 years on the east side of 125 and Arapahoe Rd.  The move and re-brand helped us align our facility with our vision.  The mission of MuvLab is to provide movement based training that is rooted in science for all members of the community, not just athletes. 

Our anniversary sale is the perfect time to purchase MuvLab gear for yourself or loved ones.  Shirts, Jackets, Hats and Hyperice products are $10 off until the end of this week (2/12/17). 

Prices for in-stock items only.  Sizes and quantities are limited.

MuvLab can keep in you injury free on the mountain

Coloradans are fortunate to have many options for winter activities in our backyard.  Whether you like to ski, snowboard, snowshoe or xc ski, you're in luck in the centennial state.  Unfortunately many people experience injuries during winter activities.  Factors that lead to injury include previous injury, muscular imbalance, lack of muscular and cardiovascular strength.  Now throw in unstable slippery surfaces and high altitude and your risk of injury is greater.  We have developed a training program that has proven to reduce these types of injuries. 

We reduce injuries by evaluating your movement through a movement efficiency screening. Next, we help you reduce imbalances and increase mobility through corrective exercise.  Mobility and stability are increased through yoga and dynamic warm-ups that we complete prior to each strength and high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts.  Cardiovascular fitness is enhanced through HIIT and spin workouts.  The combination of yoga, strength, HIIT and spin classes provides a well-rounded program proven to get results.

Reduce your risk of injury this winter and schedule your movement efficiency screening today.  Contact us if you have any questions regarding our programs or how we can help you achieve your goals.

 

Fitness Program Design Principles

Our goal at MuvLab is to help you reach your goals while minimizing the chance of injury.  Whether you're looking to start a fitness program for the first time or to complete an Ironman Triathlon, the principle's we use to design your program don't change.  Why don't they change?  These methods are rooted in science and have been proven to work.  By adjusting certain variables, not the entire program, we're able to elicit the changes we desire.

Principle 1: Movement Efficiency
We believe, and science agrees, that we should move in an efficient manner. Compromised movement can lead to injury.  In fact, Nearly half of all injuries are caused by overuse and non-contact incidents. These injuries are preventable if specific risk factors are identified through testing and proper training programs are used. Our program starts with a movement efficiency screening to determine base levels.  We then use corrective exercise to improve efficiency and correct muscular imbalances.  A properly designed corrective exercise program will set the foundation that is needed to improve your overall fitness level.

Principle 2: FITT
his acronym stands for Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type.  It's essential that our staff properly manages the load we put on our clients.  All of these variables must be managed appropriately to avoid overuse injury and overtraining.  This is the reason we alter strength training days (M,W,F) with HIIT training (T,TH,Sat).  We also change the intensity of the workouts to incorporate stabilization, strength and power. 

Principle 3: Progressive Overload
epending on the goal of the client or group, we adjust our programing (using the FIIT principle) on four week cycles.  We build for three weeks and then take a week to actively recover, focusing on mobility and stability.  If we allowed our clients to train at very high intensity every day with limited rest breaks (like many popular programs) we'd be doing more harm than good.  A gradual increase of load leads to gradual adaptation, which prevents overt raining, excess soreness & injury!  Overtraining is most likely to occur in individuals when large increases in training occur abruptly and when the rest and recovery periods are insufficient. 

Please contact us if you have questions on any of the principles we use to design our programs at MuvLab. We look forward to helping you achieve long-term results through improved movement, a properly managed fitness program.

The Metabolic Reset by Simply Nourished Nutrition

January is the most popular time for people to focus on healthy eating and weight loss.  There are a variety of diets out there that will help you lose weight.  In fact, research shows that it doesn't matter which diet you choose, if you stick to it you will see results.  The challenge though is sustaining the weight loss and results over time.  Ellie has developed a Metabolic Reset Program that will lead you to weight loss in an approach that is sustainable long-term.

Get to know Ellie (Click to Learn More)

Just like you, I’ve had a constant battle between my head and my heart. I craved clarity and contentment but found neither in my food choices or even lifestyle for that matter. As I entered into the life of a collegiate swimmer, the intersection of rigorous practices and toxic foods, drinks, and thoughts created a recipe for inflammation and illness. Crankiness, general fatigue, sugar cravings and chronic stomach pain side swiped my emotions. My practical side coached me to push through the pain.

The more logical I became about my health crisis, the more confused I became. I tried every little “magic” trick out there. Medication? Check. Caffeine? Check. Symptom suppression? Check. I finally had to ask myself, “Why is it so hard to just find balance?” It wasn’t until a Naturopathic Doctor tuned me onto the fact that the symptoms were merely my body’s love language crying to me for survival. Given the chance, it would respond and heal.  

Why This Program?

This program is what I wish I had found when I was in survival mode.  Since then, I’ve spent years designing, tweaking, and refining this program so YOU can interpret your body, remove the main toxic offenders and come ALIVE.

When you start feeling confident in your own skin, you’ll be reminded of the sweet simplicity that FOOD can be the most potent form of medicine and preventative health care. Better yet, you’ll experience its capacity to build community, uphold culture, reunite friendships, and nourish every aspect of your body: from cell to soul.

The basic premise for this program is to create optimal conditions for your body to naturally ignite the metabolism sans stimulant, restriction or withdrawal.  We will figure out together what your body most needs to flip the switch toward healing, repair, and if needed, fat loss. We will uncover the innate intelligence of your body, mind and soul. 

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM METABOLIC RESET

If you are curious about what you’re in for with this 6 week program, here is a sneak peak…

phase 1: lighting the metabolism

If you’ve ever thought, “I’m doing everything right and the scale just won’t budge,” phase ONE of this metabolic RESET produces the results you crave. While phase ONE is the most strict, the loss you will experience will keep you energized and motivated while you are “UNCLOGGING your drain.”A pantry detox protocol outlining the “must haves” for every clean kitchen.

  • Taps into your own body’s reserves [fat + glucose stores]
  • Outlines a very structured plan + food list
  • Simplifies the process of revamping your food + fitness routine

phase 2: rebuilding the metabolism

By the time you reach phase TWO, you’ve reignited your fat burning capacity and it’s time to maintain momentum. In this 4 week phase, you’ll train your metabolism to use even more of its own stores for energy, further increasing its capacity to burn fat and develop the ability to switch rapidly between fuel sources. At the end of this program, your metabolism will be primed to adjust to fluctuations in your diet [the condition known as metabolic flexibility]. While phase ONE opened your “clogged drain,” phase TWO keeps it open and makes the drain bigger- PERMANENTLY.

  • Taps into your body’s energy production system
  • Creates a more flexible plan + food list from which to choose
  • Maintains the progress from phase ONE by instilling personalized modifications to the structure

 

 BOTTOM LINE

If there was one word I’d use to describe the outcome of my RESET and the result of engaging 100 percent with my process for 6 weeks it’s- confidence.

Some define a confidence as arrogance. Others, as the absence of fear. I believe confidence is your birthright.  But toxins [from food and lifestyle] create uncertainty and clutter. Both prevent the clarity your confidence depends upon.

My expectation is that you are filled with confidence by the end of the program. 

I know you are investing time and money into this program, which is why I’ve devoted my career to designing a program that honors your resources and goals.

While on the topic of investment, congratulations are in order. You are about to make a choice. Take action. And join a powerful and intimate group of fellow RESET connoisseurs in my virtual kitchen. I am so excited about the decision you are about to make to clean up your food, drink, hormones, and life while also quieting your inner saboteur

If you commit to following through for the entire 6 weeks, approaching it with an open heart and a beginners mind, I guarantee you will walk with a new zip in your step and a new lease on life.

I’ve been supporting others nutrition and wellness endeavors from the moment I experienced “the magic” myself. I constantly tweak and upgrade my content for maximal results, minimal time, and [most importantly] personalization. We’re in this together!

Setting SMART Goals in 2017

People set New Year's Resolutions each year.  The reason most don't achieve their resolutions is they don't plan them effectively.  Today, we're sharing the process of setting SMART goals to help you achieve those goals this year!

The acronym SMART is commonly used to help people set goals.  SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Bound.  We will explain each step below.

SPECIFIC
A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer the six “W” questions:

Who is involved?
What do I want to accomplish?
When will you accomplish your goal? Short-term and long-term goals are recommended
Where? Identify a location
Why? Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.

EXAMPLE:  A general goal would be, “Get in shape.” But a specific goal would say, “I want to lose 15lbs. I will attend a MuvLab workout 3 days a week so I feel good at my sons wedding”

MEASURABLE
What metrics are you going to use to determine if you meet the goal? This makes a goal more tangible because it provides a way to measure progress.

If your goal is going to take a few months or a year to complete, then set some milestones by considering specific tasks to accomplish.

To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as……
How much? How many?

ACHIEVABLE
Nothing happens without action. Your goal must promote action. You must be able to break your goals down into actionable tasks.

If you can't control the outcome of your goal (I want to win the lottery this year), it's not a real goal. Your goals must be something that you have control over (I want to complete a triathlon in 2017).

You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely. By establishing a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps, goals that may have seemed far away eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them.

REALISTIC
To be realistic, a goal must represent an outcome toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be.

Your goals should inspire you. If they don't, set new goals. Your goals must be inline with your values. If there is a conflict between your goals, you won't achieve them.

TIME-BOUND
All goals should have a deadline. With no time frame tied to your goal, there’s no sense of urgency. You want to lose 15 lbs, when do you want to lose that unwanted weight? “in 90 days”, then you’ve put the goal into motion.

Anybody who starts a goal with "someday I want to..." will never achieve the goal. It's too vague, and there is no time frame. The best goals have a deadline.

Use the steps to set goals for the new year.  Stay on track and measure your results.  Let us know if you have any questions on goal setting.  We look forward to helping you achieve great results in 2017!

Cocktails with a Conscience by Simply Nourished Nutrition

Seeing as we are knee deep into the Holiday Season it’s high time to sleuth out sources of sugar to maintain our sanity.  One of the sneakiest of sources are holiday cocktails.

But don’t quit cocktails just yet. Instead, UPGRADE them….

It IS possible to have your drink and gleefully sip it too when you learn simple ways to add nourishing ingredients to recreate the buzz you get without the aftermath the following day.

Below are my top 5 ingredients to balance your boozy drinks:

KOMBUCHA: a cultured tea BRIMMING with protection + immune boosting benefits and it comes in a HOST of mixable flavors.

FRESH GINGER: a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that just so happens to prevent nausea and lower your blood sugar as well!

COCONUT CREAM: think elixir of the GODS as it boasts fantastic nourishing fats while also bringing to the table that tropical flare that cold weather craves.

BITTERS: activate digestive enzymes to tame your tummy before the celebrations begin

HERBS + SPICES: the most potent powerhouses of anti-bacterial anti-inflammatory nutrients that not only pack a punch in your drink but also protection in the body

 

CHAI HOT TODDY [serves 2]:

    • 6 oz Green Tea Liqueur [Bols]
    • 8 oz steeped black tea
    • 1/2 tsp Chai Spices [1/4 tsp cardamom powder + 1 slice ginger + 2 cinnamon stick + 4 cloves]
    • 2 oz coconut cream
  1. Combine the liqueur with hot, steeped tea.
  2. Add the Chai spices and let sit for 2 minutes.
  3. Strain the liquid into a glass, add coconut cream, and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

POMEGRANATE MOSCOW MULE [serves 1]:

    • 4 oz vodka
    • 2 oz pomegranate juice
    • 2 Tbsp pomegranate seeds
    • 2 Tbsp lime juice
    • 2 tsp raw honey
    • 1/2 cup ice
    • ginger kombucha
    • sprig of Rosemary
  1. In a cocktail glass stir together vodka, pomegranate juice, pomegranate seeds, tbsp. lime juice, honey, and ice.
  2. Top off with ginger kombucha and garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary.

COCONUT CREAM EGGNOG [serves 2]:

    • 3 cups whole coconut milk
    • 4 pastured egg yolks
    • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup
    • 1/4 tsp cinnamon [ground]
    • 1/4 tsp nutmeg [ground]
    • 4 oz bourbon or dark rum [optional]
    • coconut whipped cream [optional]
  1. Heat coconut milk over medium-low heat and stir constantly.
  2. Once warm stir in the egg yolks and continue stirring to thicken.
  3. Once visibly thick stir in the vanilla extract, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and alcohol [if using].
  4. Place in the fridge until cool.
  5. Pour into individual cup and top with coconut whipped cream.
  6. Enjoy!

ELDERBERRY SPRITZER [serves 1]:

    • 1/2 oz elderberry cordial or syrup
    • 7 1/2 oz prosecco, champagne, or sparkling mineral water
  1. Place elderberry cordial or syrup in a champagne flute [or other tall skinny glass].
  2. Pour in bubbles and enjoy.

ROSEMARY GIN FIZZ [serves 1]:

    • 2 oz gin
    • 1/2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1/2 oz rosemary simple syrup [heat your simple syrup up with 2 sprigs of rosemary]
    • 3 oz club soda
    • 1 rosemary sprig
  1. Place gin, lemon juice, and rosemary simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously.
  2. Strain into a highball glass with ice and top with club soda.
  3. Garnish with rosemary sprig.

MANHATTAN [serves 1]:

    • 2 oz whiskey
    • 1 oz sweet vermouth
    • 2 dashes of artisan bitters [Dram: colorado bitters is an excellent option]
    • orange peel
  1. Place whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters over ice in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Rub orange rind around the rim of the glass and place in 1 or 2 ice cubes.
  3. Shake vigorously and strain into the glass

The Art of Savoring Food by Simply Nourished Nutrition

With the holidays RIGHT around the corner, every blog, market, and cooking show is busting at the seams with creative ways to serve a memorable meal this year. Rarely though is there a practical solution regarding how to maintain a SANE perspective when the frantic feeding frenzy begins.

Don’t lose hope. There IS a way to confidently savor a holiday meal without a bulging belly or lingering guilt. 

Below are the top 3 ways I’ve personally found and professionally created to provide freedom for others [with my #1 secret for portion control to BOOT!]

1. EAT WITH GUSTO  –

Before we can even have a discussion about WHAT or HOW MUCH to eat – I need to draw your attention to HOW to eat. There’s a moment in the movie Amelie where it highlights the simple pleasures in life, one of them being the pleasure of cracking the top of a crème brulée. I get giddy thinking about doing that. OR, think about the crispness of sweet potato fries or the smoothness of chocolate. Food is meant to be enjoyed to the fullest. Once you have filled your plate, enjoy, savor, and zestfully DINE on whatever you have chosen.  We eat with more than our taste buds.  If you SLOW DOWN and take a moment to savor the array of color you design on your plate [almost as though it is art on a canvas] you will remember so much more than feeling like turkey stuffing post meal.  Feel the textures. Let your taste buds come alive. LET yourself go “OOOH my goodness this is so good.” As the plates of greens + turkey and gravy make their way to you, don’t just settle for foods you think you SHOULD eat. Now is the time to upgrade your choices by reaching for the foods that strike your fancy based on their beauty + color + smell. Holiday meals included many dishes made with LOVE from friends and family. By choosing to indulge in these foods with INTENTIONALITY you will indulge in far more than the food alone. The experience itself is worth savoring with more than just the taste buds.

2. PARTAKE WITH PRACTICAL PORTIONS –

Now that you’ve chosen your foods and are gleefully about to dive into the foods you have chosen it’s time to starting thinking about SIMPLE ways to stay within reasonable limits sans calculator, graph, gram or cup measurement.  Intuitive eating would prevent us from having to think about portions at all. But seeing as it is a skill set typically trained out of us at the ripe old age of 3 I’ve got a secret for you that will prevent you from sacrificing your sanity during the holidays. Better yet, these tactics can be beautifully implemented on a day to day basis. 

  • Vie for vegetables FIRST. By eating veggies first you’re giving your body an abundant source of FIBER and most importantly the vitamins and minerals it CRAVES. Aim to consume 2 “fists” yes FISTS of vegetables before diving into anything else on the plate. You’ll notice if you put your fists together they happen to be relatively equivalent to 1/2 of a plate. 
  • Power up on your protein SECOND. Once you’ve savored your fists of vegetables, it’s high time power up on the protein scene. Whatever proteins you’ve chosen will suffice whether it’s turkey, cornish game hen or duck, aim to consume a “palm” of protein. While this may seem shy compared to your uncle Joe, let that settle before reaching for more and you might just be pleasantly surprised how full you feel in about 20 minutes. 
  • Cherish your carbs THIRD– Now that you’ve filled up on vitamins + minerals + protein, all the stuffing, sweet potatoes, and rolls are calling your name. You’ll have an incredible sense of satiety + sanity instead of anxiety and haste as you dive into these more indulgent foods last. Don’t forget about that pecan pie too! When you’re thinking about an appropriate portion of carbohydrates… aim to savor 1/2 fist portions of whichever carbs you have chosen, setting your fork down between each bite to intentionally + intuitively decide if you need more.  Recognize you’ve been able to taste test the best of what the table has to offer allowing you to sit back with a sigh and engage in conversation instead of post meal guilt or discomfort.

Finally…

3. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO SAY NO…

Even when your sweet grandmother encourages you to go back for that third helping of her “famous sweet potato pie,” confidently remain rooted in what you know makes you feel alive + energized.  Don’t choose out of guilt or appeasement. Just because others are eating everything offered in portions they may or may not feel good about,you are experiencing freedom through devotion TO yourself instead of discipline AGAINST yourself.

Now off you go- savor, celebrate, and BE nourished!

 

theartofsavoringfood

Stay Muving this Holiday Season

Many people lose track of their fitness plan during the holiday season.  It's easy to say "I'll wait until the new year".  However, this mentality could sidetrack you well into 2017.  It may be difficult to get to the gym with family and friends in town for the holidays.  You don't have to plan a full hour workout to keep yourself on track this time of the year. 

Three tips for workouts at home or on the road:
1. Keep it short and sweet.  Intense workouts that are shorter in duration are great for using up your energy stores and will help increase metabolism.  These workouts can be as short as 10-20 minutes. Start with 10 body weight exercises (ex. squat jump, push-ups, burpees, etc) and perform each movement for :30-:60 seconds.  Take a short break between exercises and complete the circuits 1-2 times.

2. Partner up.  Working out with a partner or in a small group will keep things fun and help you push yourself.  Get creative with partner exercises that require teamwork, coordination and synchronization. 

3. Take advantage of all opportunities. Going shopping?  Park at the far end of the parking lot and use the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator. If it snows, shovel the sidewalks and driveway.  Take a pet for a walk.  Play outside with your children, nieces or nephews.  This type of activity doesn't have to be organized but will help you get your heart rate up and will help you feel better after the holiday season. 

Heading to the gym during the holiday season? 
1. Try a new class.  What better way to challenge yourself than by trying a new class?  Yoga might be the perfect blend of strength, mediation and relaxation that you need during the often stressful holiday season.  Maybe a spin class will provide the energy and sweat that will help you recover from a food binge!  Strength and HIIT classes also increase metabolism and reduce stress. 

2. Bring a family member or a friend.  The support we receive from loved ones throughout the year often keeps us motivated to push ourselves further.  We often think of our workout community as our get away or place where we can "check out" for an hour.  Sharing this experience with our family and friends will help build the support network and let them experience the benefits of fitness.

3. Give the gift of fitness.  January is hands down the most popular time of the year for people to start a fitness program.  A fitness membership could be the spark that a loved one needs to live a healthier life.  Share the muvment this holiday season! 

As we finish 2016 make sure you don't give up on your goals and 'wait until next year'.  Staying active during the final two weeks of the year will keep you on track for a great start in 2017.  Keep it short, change it up, and enjoy workouts with family and friends this holiday season!


 

Muv Member Monday - Morey Ferguson

Morey was an original member of SportXcel back in 2008.  He began training with us before we completed the facility and has continued to train with us almost daily since that September day in '08!  He has been given the name "The Godfather" by the other members of the 11:30am strength and HIIT class because of his dedication over the years.  He uses the gains he has made to live an active lifestyle and to keep up with his kids.  When Morey is not crushing 18+ minute planks in the lab, he's out living the Colorado lifestyle.  You can find him on various backcountry dirt bike trails or the Colorado reservoirs in the summer months and the Winter Park Ski area during ski season.  Morey also loves challenging himself in obstacle course races as a member of Team Get It. 

When asked why he keeps coming back and what he likes most about training at MuvLab Morey had this to say:
"If you show up and do your best consistently, you will end in fantastic shape.  The workout program is well rounded from strength, to cardio, to flexibility.  The trainers are very good at putting together a different workout every day so you don't get ever get bored.  The spin and yoga classes are a great addition to an already exceptional program. The people who workout here are awesome.  I have made some great friends. They are very welcoming to newcomers and we all encourage each other, no matter what kind of shape we are in.  I have been training with these guys for 8 years and its been an amazing place to stay in shape, have fun and be with great people."

Morey, we can't thank you enough for all of the support over the years!  You're a great ambassador for MuvLab and an integral part of the program.  We look forward to helping you achieve your health and wellness goals for years to come! 

MuvLab-DTC : The Perfect Lunch Hour.

You have many options when it comes to your lunch hour.  This group regularly chooses to take advantage of the time away from their desk to workout.  Take a look at a Tuesday HIIT training workout in Centennial, Colorado.  Our lunchtime group training classes start at 11:30am Monday-Friday.  We offer all new clients three free workouts to get started.  You have nothing to lose, call us to get started and to experience the MuvLab difference. 

MuvLab-DTC Friday Five- 5 Activation Exercises for Runners

This is part four in our injury prevention series for runners.  To review, we've introduced our Corrective Exercise Training philosophy, taught you foam rolling exercises, and static stretches that can be incorporated prior to running.  Today we introduce activation exercises to help reduce imbalances in the body.  These exercises target areas that are often weak in endurance athletes. These weaknesses often lead to overuse injuries.

Floor bridge marching
Set Up

Lie on your back with your arms at your sides, knees bent, feet hip width apart and toes pointed straight forward.
Movement
Push through the feet and squeeze your glutes to lift your hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line from the knees to the shoulders.  Stabilize and hold this position.  Without letting your hips drop toward the floor or rotate, life one foot off the floor only as far as you can control correct posture.  Hold for two seconds and then lower your foot back to the floor. 

Tubing resisted TKE
Set up

Place a band or tubing behind your knee.  Position your body so that the resistance is coming from a point straight in front of the working leg.  Both feet should be pointed forward, shoulder with apart and staggered so that the working leg is behind the other.
Movement
Maintain proper posture and alignment, slowly straighten the knee of the working leg (back leg) against the resistance of the tube by pushing through the ball of the foot and contracting the upper thigh and glute muscles until the leg is fully extended.  Hold, and then reverse the movement until the working leg is back in the starting position. 

 

Tube Walk
Set Up

Place a mini band around your ankles and stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointed straight ahead, and the knees slightly bent.
Movement
Make sure to keep your feet pointed directly in front of you, take small steps laterally.  Do not hike your hips (or lean away from the movement) and don’t let your feet turn outward.  Perform the prescribed number of repetitions and then repeat in the opposite direction.

Ball Cobra
Set Up

Lie face down with a stability ball under your hips and stomach.  Your feet should be hip width apart and pointed directly toward the floor, legs are straight and fully extended.  Lift your chest off of the ball, contract the glutes and position the arms straight down in front of your body at shoulder level.
Movement
Keep your elbows straight and glutes contracted, lift your arms to your sides and squeeze your shoulder blades together.  Focus on pulling your shoulder blades down toward the lower back.  Hold the contracted position and then reverse the movement to return your arms to the starting position.

Single Leg Balance and Reach
Set Up

Balance on one leg, stabilize in the balance position with one foot up in front of the body.  Knee and hip are both flexed and 90 degrees and the ankle is dorsiflexed.
Movement
Reach the lifted foot back behind your body as far as can be controlled.  Squeeze the glute of the lifted foot to extend the hip, don’t allow your body to lean forward.  Point your toes and extend your knee.  Hold the reach position for two seconds and then reverse the movement to return to the starting position.

Incorporating these movements into your pre-run routine will help restore function and improve range of motion.  By activating weak muscles we're able to correct imbalances that exist in the body and ultimately reduce common overuse running injuries.  Perform 1-2 sets of 10-20 reps of each movement 3-5 times per week for best results!

If you suffer from pain or injury while performing endurance sports, contact us to set up your Fusionetics Movement Screen.

MuvLab-DTC Muv Member Monday - Steve Noth

Steve has been training with us for 2 1/2 years.  Prior to training with us Steve did a lot of coaching but didn't have a lot of time to devote to his own fitness.  He did some cycling but didn't get the results that he wanted.  Steve regularly attends our 5pm Adult Team Training Class, hikes 14ers with us in the summer and runs with us on Wednesday evenings.  His dedication to living an active lifestyle and healthy balanced diet has helped him lose 30 pounds since starting in 2014.  He said "it feels great to have lost that weight while gaining strength!"

Thanks for trusting us help you achieve your fitness goals.  We're excited that you take the time out of your busy schedule to join us so frequently!  Keep up the great work!

What is your favorite thing about training at MuvLab?
Honestly, my favorite thing is that I know I can show up and don't have to think.  I'm able to shut my brain off and I know 60 minutes later I'll have gotten a great workout.

Honestly, my favorite thing is that I know I can show up and don’t have to think. I’m able to shut my brain off and I know 60 minutes later I’ll have gotten a great workout.