Are You Lifting Heavy Things?

Are you lifting heavy things on a regular basis?

Have you heard that “women shouldn’t lift heavy weights”?

Are you afraid that if you lift anything heavier than a 5 lb weight you might “bulk up”?

I call b.s. on these claims.

What does your suitcase weigh?

How about a bag of mulch, or dog food?

If you want to be able to chuck your suitcase into the overhead bin, or load your kayak onto your car, or if you are concerned about losing muscular strength or bone density, you need to lift weights, and 2 lb dumbbells aren’t going to cut it.

To develop massive, bulky muscles takes a lot of work (and often supplemental help from steroids or testosterone). Doing weighted squats, or chest presses twice a week is not going to make you look like a monster.

One common theme I hear from most new clients is “I’m walking almost every day, but I don’t do strength work on my own”. I’ve heard lots of reasons women do not lift weights. You may be afraid of injuring (or reinjuring) yourself, or you’re not sure exactly how to program, or schedule your workouts. Maybe you find it boring, or prefer the camaraderie of a group cardio fitness class, to the solitary, sometimes lonely experience of taking yourself through a strength workout at home or at the gym.

If you don’t know how or where to start, give me a call. We will chat about your goals, and your current activity, and set a plan going forward to help you live your best life!

We can meet for one session, then you can take yourself through your workouts on your own, we could meet weekly until you feel comfortable with your knowledge of the exercises, and your form.

If small groups are more your thing, join an ongoing class. In our Monday yoga, Wednesday Pilates, and Saturday Barre classes, we incorporate weights and resistance training, often doing squats, lunges, rows, and push ups.

If you don’t have equipment at home I will provide you with everything you need to set up a basic home gym, or we can look around the house for tools you can use for now to get started. A large bag of rice can provide dynamic load. A step stool, or sturdy box, can sub for a bench. If you are new to exercise, or recovering from an injury, bodyweight workouts may be the way to go.

To get started, give me a call today and we will set up a complimentary consultation to see if we are a good fit.

I look forward to meeting you!

~Anne

(503) 705-4762

Healthy Recipe – Cilantro Kale Salad With Buttermilk Dressing

Here’s a spring salad recipe to brighten your day. You’ll need a food processor and a sharp knife. Try it and let me know what you think.

p.s. I get super annoyed when I’m scrolling a page looking for a recipe and they post it waaay down at the bottom, so I’m starting with the recipe here. If you’re wondering why buttermilk is “healthy” keep reading down below the recipe for my notes.
xoxo
Anne

Cilantro Kale Salad With Buttermilk Dressing


Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 5 oz baby kale
  • 5 radishes
  • 5 Tbsps buttermilk
  • 3 Tbsps sour cream
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. Wash and de stem cilantro. I usually soak mine in cold water, swish them around real good, and drain. Do this three times to get all the dirt off. You’ll be using the stems in the dressing, and the leaves as garnish. If you really like cilantro, and you are short on time or patience, you could put most of the leaves and stems right in the processor and not even mess around with picking the leaves off which is the most time consuming part of this recipe.
  2. Rinse (if needed) and roughly chop your baby kale into bite sized pieces. Spin the leaves in a spinner or pat them dry in a kitchen towel to remove as much moisture as possible before you dress your salad. (if you bought prewashed kale you can skip this step).
  3. Thinly slice radishes.
  4. Make dressing – combine buttermilk, sour cream, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and either the cilantro stems, or about half the bunch of cilantro (if you’re doing the lazy way I mentioned above) in a food processor. Process until combined.
  5. In a large bowl toss kale and radishes with dressing. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

This is a great, sturdy make ahead salad you could bring to a potluck, or meal prep on the weekend for your lunches during the week.

A note about my “healthy” recipes.

Buttermilk gets a real bad rap. Buttermilk is the sour probiotic laden liquid left over after churning milk to make butter.

Years ago I can remember my grannie enjoying a cold glass of buttermilk. She was raised out in the country during the depression and they did not waste anything. When she was a child, her family churned their own butter and as a result they had buttermilk they kept in the ice box.

Recently I had some leftover buttermilk from a cake recipe, so I stated researching it. I compared the labels with the yogurt I eat regularly and turns out buttermilk has more protein and less sugar than yogurt. It can also be easier on your tummy if you are sensitive to dairy. My schedule and meeting with clients means I’m moving my body throughout the day and sometimes I struggle with timing my meals. A small glass of buttermilk comes in handy when I need a light snack but don’t want a bloated belly.

If you enjoy kefir or other drinkable yogurts but want a lower sugar option, the next time you are at the grocery store compare labels and see how buttermilk stacks up. Look for grams of protein, and grams of sugar and you might be surprised.

As with all these recipe and dietary suggestions, you are in charge of taking good care of you! I’m a personal trainer and licensed massage therapist. I am not your doctor nor am I providing and dietary prescription for you.

Please see your medical professional for specific dietary advice.

Strength training with Anne in June at no cost to you!

Are you the perfect person for our June Personal Training experiment?

Find out what you can accomplish when you commit to taking good care of YOU!

  • You are ready to make positive changes.
  • You have a specific goal.
  • You are able to commit to Wednesdays 5:30 – 6:00 pm PT on Zoom, June 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd.

I’m offering four weeks of personal training with me, at no cost to you.

We start with a zoom call to see if we are a good fit. You and I will meet for thirty minutes once a week for strength training. We will finish with an assessment to see what specific what improvements have you made.

To take advantage of this fabulous opportunity to work with me one on one, call or email me today!

(503) 705-4762

Anne@FluidPortland.com

xoxo
Anne

Pilates core strength exercise

May Five Exercises

About the May Five: Each month we work specifically on five exercises to improve your strength, balance, flexibility, and mobility. I include these in my classes and training sessions, and my hope is that you will go through these on your own at home. Some moves, like this month’s baby bear, you could do every day. In fact, you could baby bear in bed!

  • Baby Bear
  • Criss Cross
  • Roll Up
  • Deadlift
  • Tricep Extension

Our first exercise is everyone’s favorite, Baby Bear! This is a capital “L” LAZY move. Not always easy to do (to be lazy that is). My goal is to reclaim this word, so that we view being lazy as a positive thing. Really do try to release any tension in your back, neck, and hips, and let yourself roll side to side as if you were a baby being rocked to sleep.

My second favorite move this month, is Deadlift. If you have ever watched an older relative struggle to get out of a chair and thought “well I’d like to avoid that if possible”, this is hip hinge exercise is a good move to master. This is the basis for our squats (aka going from seated to standing). 

I do have a couple clients I meet with in person, but as of May 2021 most of my classes and training sessions are on zoom. This pandemic experience has been so interesting, as I notice the differences in how I train my clients virtually.

Deadlift has been the most challenging exercise to cue on Zoom. While this is a very simple move, it ain’t always easy. Watch this video above of yours truly talking you through this move, and as always, if you’d like specific one on one guidance, give me a call (503) 705-4762.

If you’d like to do these moves with a lovely group of friendly faces, come to class! We would love to have you!

Please use your best judgment as to how suitable these are for you right now.

Baby Bear

Criss Cross

Rollup

Deadlift

Tricep Extension

These photos are meant to remind you of work we have done together. Please see your medical professional prior to beginning a new exercise program.

If you’d like more detailed information on these exercises, click one of the links below:

Join Fluid’s Fit Club

Join a class

Schedule a 1:1 with Anne

The April Five

About the Five:

Each month I offer five exercises to improve your strength, balance, flexibility, and mobility.

Could you do these exercises for one minute each every day this week, and see how your strength and mobility improves?

  • Cat/Cow
  • Leg Pull (Back)
  • Warrior II
  • Side Raise
  • Rolling to Standing

This month we feature a fun mobility exercise – Rolling to Standing!

How easy is it for you to get up and down off the floor? While we can use a variety of markers to gauge our health (waist measurements, cardiovascular tests, and strength tests, for example) an often overlooked aspect of fitness and longevity is mobility. If you have trouble getting up off the floor, this move is for you!

Please use your best judgment as to how suitable these are for you right now.

Cat/ Cow
Leg Pull (Back)
yoga standing balance, leg strength
Warrior II
shoudler strength
Side Raise
mobility exercise, fall prevention, core strength
Rolling to Standing

These photos are meant to remind you of work we have done together. Please see your medical professional prior to beginning a new exercise program.

If you’d like more detailed information on these exercises, click one of the links below:

Join Fluid’s Fit Club

Join a class

Schedule a 1:1 with Anne

March 13th – The 7 year anniversary of my back surgery, a lumbar discectomy!

This is me holding a heavy box (~35 lbs).

Why am I smiling?

7 years ago I couldn’t have done this. In fact, 7 years ago I could barely stand for longer than about 30 seconds. I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t lay on my back, the only sort-of comfortable position was laying on my tummy on the floor. So I did a lot of that.

This is my back story (p.s. this is a long one. For the TL/DR version jump right to the bottom of the page to learn how I got out of pain, what’s I’m doing now to keep my back strong, and how I can help YOU if you are suffering from chronic pain.)

For as long as I can remember, I have suffered some sort of low back discomfort on a semi regular basis. Tightness, pain, my back “going out”. Trips to the chiropractor. Several other members of my family suffer from back pain. I thought this was “normal”.

That is until I tried Pilates in my 20’s. I woke up one day with zero back pain and thought to myself – Ok now, this is “normal”. And this is what I want!

Jump to 2014, I’m running my business here in Portland, teaching weekly Pilates and yoga classes, doing about 10-15 massages a week. My back and hip started to tighten up to the point I am suspecting that I have a pinched nerve. I am terrified that I may have a disc issue that will need medical attention as I do not have health insurance and am self employed. By early 2015 I had tried everything, chiropractic, acupuncture, massage therapy, private sessions with my Pilates instructor, ice, heat, movement, rest.

Nothing gave me lasting relief and I was now at a constant 8 out of 10 pain.
Everything hurt.

By February 2015 I had signed up for a high deductible health insurance policy. My plan kicked in and I immediately got at MRI which showed a herniated disc. I was thrilled to finally have an official diagnosis, and it just so happened that one of the best spine surgeons in Portland was available to see me. Within a week of my diagnosis I had a successful surgery to remove the disc material that had been pinching the nerve in my hip for months.

I woke up from surgery confused because they had rolled me on to my back. I remember asking the nurse why I was on my back (I had not ben able to lay on my back for months) and then once I realized I wasn’t in any pain I just started sobbing. She thought there was something wrong, and I just sobbed “I’m not in any pain!”

I can not tell you how good this felt. I was so relieved to finally be out of pain. I was able to walk, to stand, and to sit relatively comfortably for the first time in months!

My sweet mommy came to stay with me while I recovered. We walked the Springwater trail like a turtle after having eaten a large burrito pace – I think we covered 1.5 miles in about 90 minutes. I didn’t care how slow I was moving, I was walking! I was showered with love and support from all my people. Every day someone stopped by with food, flowers, or just to visit.

I started back to work very slowly. I taught one class while talking my ladies through the exercises, while I remained seated or standing, not demonstrating any of the moves. I rested. I walked in nature.

Now 7 years out I still do have some residual tightness in my hip. I have also learned lots of tools, both to relive pain and tightness, and, more importantly to help calm my mind when I feel myself getting wound up.

Experiencing something like this is traumatic, any twinge of back tightness used to send me into a fear response, what if this happens all over again and I can’t move? Now, I can catch my spiraling thoughts, take a look at them to see if they are true, and decide how I want to proceed, rather than being driven by the fear of “what if?”. Most of the time anyway.

So what’s my current plan, and how did I easily lift that 35 lb. box?

  • I’ve been doing weekly Somatics classes to help calm my mind, and connect my brain and my body.
  • For the past 6 months I’ve been following a structured strength training program.
  • I average 3 strength sessions per week.
  • I do some type of gentle exploratory movement most days.
  • I work on my hip and shoulder mobility several times a week.

The biggest thing I have learned thru all of this is that when something hurts I can now stop, listen, gather information, then take action (or rest).

Before this experience, I didn’t know what to do. I was waiting for someone to “fix me”. After having gone through this, I now have a variety of tools that I use on myself, and with my clients to help both the physical, and the mental aspect of chronic pain.

If you have suffered, or are suffering from chronic pain, I feel for you.
AND, there is a way out! Call me if you’d like support.

TL/DR*:
I suffered a herniated disc that left me paralyzed with fear and in constant daily agonizing pain. I had a successful surgery that led to me learning about different types of movement that helped me realize that no, my body was not broken, no I didn’t do anything wrong, and yes it was ok to move again! I now incorporate aspects of mobility work, soft tissue mobilization, Somatics exercises, and traditional strength work (squats, deadlifts, chest presses, rows…) as part of my ongoing self care plan.

I am thrilled to share what I have learned with you! If you are ready to take control of your pain, if you are willing to work to get better, if you see the value in having me lead you to the land of mind/ body connection and pain free movement, give me a call.

(503) 705-4762

xoxo

Anne

* What the heck does TL/DR mean? It stands for “too long, didn’t read”…all the kids are saying it! 😃