Q: What can I do to make my regular walks with my dog more healthy?
A: Walking your dog is a great way to stay active, but sometimes the dog wants to do a lot more sitting or sniffing than you’d like! Any time your dog stops, start doing squats or lunges to challenge your legs a little more, or some high knees to boost your heart rate. When they’re ready to move again, get right back to walking!
Q: What is a healthy alternative to rice?
A: First, keep in mind that rice isn’t necessarily unhealthy! I even recommend white rice over brown, as it tends to be easier to digest; my favourites are jasmine and basmati! However, if you find that eating rice doesn’t make you feel your best (low energy, poor digestion, mood, etc), or if you’re trying to avoid carb sources with a low nutrient density, I recommend potatoes! Believe it or not, they are far healthier than the low carb world has made them out to be. Now, if you have decided that you do feel best on a low carb diet, you’ll want to load up on more vegetables! Whether you want to use cauliflower “rice” as a substitute or just add more carrots and broccoli to a stir fry, vegetables will keep you full and nourished so that you don’t miss the rice too much.
Q: How can we combat muscle soreness?
A: Ah, sore muscles…satisfying, but really frustrating every time you want to sit or stand! After your workout and while your muscles are warm, spend 5-10 minutes stretching out the muscles you just worked. You can do this every 12 hours to help ease the soreness when it sets in, which is usually about a day or so later. While your muscles repair, be sure to eat healthy so they have the necessary building blocks to become stronger. Warm baths with Epsom salts, a magnesium supplement, and plenty of water can help too! Finally, be sure to rest. If you are sore, it’s because your workout caused microscopic tears in your muscle fibres. This is a good thing, but it also means you need to give your body adequate time for the muscles to repair and grow back stronger, so switch to a different body part, take a rest day, or even better, an active rest day! Active rest days involve light activity that gets the blood pumping but doesn’t challenge the muscles like your regular workout did – walking, yoga, mobility work, or even a light jog are all great options.
Q: Should I exercise while sick?
A: That depends! If you’re sick with the flu, you should rest as much as possible, except for maybe some stretching or low-intensity yoga to help with any aches and pains you’re experiencing. If you have a cold, you may enjoy going for a walk or lifting some light weights, but you should keep the intensity low as your body really does need to rest in order to recover, as your energy will mainly be going to your immune system to fight whatever bug you’re facing. Steer clear of the gym, to avoid spreading your germs to others! Give yourself a little grace while you’re sick and try not to worry about staying in shape; being under the weather is the best excuse you have to catch up on your favourite show or some extra zzz’s.