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Wearing a Weighted Vest & Maca

Wearing a Weighted Vest & Maca


The benefits of a weighed vest:

Takes Cardio to a new level

Just as weight vests have been proven effective in the resistance-training realm, they have also made their mark in the cardiovascular arena. As if running with your own bodyweight wasn't difficult enough, consider throwing on a 50 lb. weight vest and attempting to do the same. That is exactly what 12 distance athletes were asked to do in a study published in the "European Journal of Applied Physiology." One group performed exercise with vests weighing approximately 10 percent of their bodyweight, and another group performed the same exercise without the weight vests. The group wearing the weight vests emerged victorious with improvements in both their "VO2 max (a measure of the body's ability to consume oxygen) and lactate threshold (the exercise intensity at which lactate begins to accumulate in the blood)," two crucial factors affecting endurance exercise.


Musculoskeletal Benefits

As well as making your muscles stronger, wearing a weighted vest when running will increase the load transmitted through your bones. The extra loading can result in increased bone mass by stimulating cells called osteoblasts to lay down new bone material in response to the demands being placed on your skeleton. To simplify, bones become stronger and denser to handle the extra weight.

Serves as a Tool for Variation

Constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. I’m sure you’ve heard that more than once, seeing as it is the definition of CrossFit. Human bodies adapt to specific movements over a period of time, whether positive or negative. A halted progress in exercise is usually the result of this adaptation. Weight vests provide a great tool for variation that our bodies aren’t prepared for. This unconventional exercise method allows us to throw our systems off whenever necessary.

Disadvantages of a Weighted Vest

Joint, Shoulder and Back Pain    Weighted vests add weight to the torso, which is where the body naturally stores much of its excess weight. Unfortunately, the weight in a weighted vest must be supported largely by the shoulders instead of being supported from below by the hips like natural weight. This can lead to vertebrae compression, shoulder injuries and pinched nerves in the spinal column. Those with existing back or shoulder problems should consult a doctor before using a weighted vest to make sure the added weight of the vest won't make the problems worse.  Though the immediate strain of wearing a weighted vest is borne by the shoulders, the added weight to the torso must still be supported by the hips, knees and ankles. Even natural weight can cause joint problems, and the weight added by a weighted vest can simulate this strain and irritate the joints that support the body's weight. As long as proper form is used when exercising with a weighted vest, there is generally little problem, but people who use improper form or who continue exercising while tired can suffer from lower body joint injuries as a result of the increased weight that the joints are supporting. As with back and shoulder problems, those with existing lower body joint problems should consult a doctor before using a weighted vest.

Cost    

While low-end weighted vests are available for $20 to $40, higher-quality vests sell for $350 or more. Cheaper weighted vests are more likely to have poor construction, poor weight balancing and poor overall design because of limitations imposed by designing the vests to be sold at a low price point. Higher-quality vests may not be possible for everyone interested in using a weighted vest, resulting in some users having to buy a vest that doesn't fit properly or doesn't meet their fitness needs.


I got this 12b weighted vest from Amazon Prime (free shipping) for 30$.  If you're a larger breasted gal, wearing it upside down helps.  Here, I'm wearing it right side up, but found this tip out later and it stays on a lot better!

 My Personal Experience with a Weighted Vest Thus Far:

I am really enjoying it.  I don't wear it for long HIIT or cardio sessions.  But when Fitnessblender has a 20 minute HIIT in my calendar line up, I strap that bad boy on!  It takes Pop Squats to a whole new (Mean) level.  If you desire to see results and increase your endurance, you can't stay where you are.  You have to change things up.  I get bored easily with workouts.  Working out at home has the potential to get mundane.  Doing something like adding in a new prop can really take things to a new level! 

Maca

I have read about Maca for years but was too afraid to take it because I knew that one of the benefits was fertility.  Seems like every time I went internet searching for 'natural energy' I was post baby.  The thought of increasing my fertility at that time was maddening.  No way Jose! So I always dismissed the supplement.  My husband is now 'fixed' and things like this no longer scare me.  My friend was telling me about her interest in maca, and I was like..."oh yeah, I can try that now!"

Here are the top 7 benefits of Maca from the internet:
  1. decreases menopausal symptoms
  2. improves sexual function
  3. aphrodisiac 
  4. supports mood
  5. fertility 
  6. increases bone density
  7. energy enhancer
I did a ton of reading about maca and found out ONE VERY IMPORTANT THING!!!  Only take GELATINIZED MACA!  Most of the time raw is best, except in this situation!  You can read more about the process here! I took raw maca for a week and had the worst stomach cramps of my life.  After reading this article it all made sense to me.  I now take gelatinized (cooked) maca and haven't had any issues!  

My Personal Experience with Maca Thus Far:

I have been on Maca for a few weeks now.  My most major, noticeable imprint from the superfood is ENERGY!  I am really ready to take on a cleaning project mid afternoon.  This isn't the norm for me!  I still drink coffee and still do all my other routines but this has really put the 'gas' back in my tank.  Especially in those afternoon slumps.  Once I took maca late afternoon and had trouble sleeping that night.  I now take it in the morning.  

My last period lasted only 4 days and it normally goes on for 6-7.  This was the first time I've had cramps in years.  It wasn't bad.  I would take cramps and shorter period any day!  

My mood is noticeably better in tolerating stress.  I still have my 'moments'.  (Yesterday was a beast and lost it!  So don't expect it to turn you into Donna Reed!) But I am a tad calmer in situations.  I wrangle my 6 kids by myself a lot.  (The husband works late nights.)  I'll just say I'm feeling less crazy and leave it at that! 

Sexual function.  The verdict is still out on that.  I'm not one to kiss and tell.  It's a private matter.  Getting into the mood isn't as hard as it was with all the crazy baby hormones like in the past!  I have only been taking this for a few weeks and read that the improvements mentioned above couldn't be noticed for a month or more.

How do I take it?  

I do put 1 tsp in my smoothies.  Sometimes I think it over powers them and really have to up my cocoa powder to mask the taste.  I'm not 100% excited about it's earthy tones.  I also want another shake flavor that maca doesn't compliment, so I keep some 'maca energy balls' in my fridge to eat.  This is great before a morning workout or post snack with your shake!  Maca is suppose to be cycled.  This is a good idea with most natural supplements.  You don't wanna take this stuff day in and day out, forever.  Give you body a break or it could build a tolerate and you'll have less effects.  Just put on your calendar when you started taking it.  After a few months, take a week or two off of it and then start again! 

MACA ENERGY BALLS
1 Tablespoon Peanut Flour
2 Tablespoons of Almond or Peanut Butter
2-4 teaspoons of THM Super Sweet (depending on your sweet level)
3/4 teaspoons of sunflower lecithin (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons MCT oil
a few pinches of salt
3/4 teaspoon of unsweetened almond milk

Mix all ingredients together and form into 3 balls and refrigerate.  If the balls are too squishy
and don't hold form, add some more peanut flour.  If they seem too dry then add a dash more of milk!

For a chocolate version, instead of the tablespoon of peanut flour,
add 2 teaspoons of peanut flour and 1 teaspoon of coco powder.

For all my Trim Healthy Mama's this is an S snack.  To make it an E just reduce the
MCT to a splash and substitute the nut butter for Peanut Butter Junkie (found in the cookbook)


All the ingredients for the S snack, except the almond milk


I mixed with my hands to make a 'crumble'


added the milk and formed a ball


I weighed each ball so I had the same amount of maca in each ball 
(it's my OCD coming through)


See how the top left is a tad firmer than the other peanut ones?
Just showing you that they all come out a little different.
The chocolate is yum!


Hope you enjoyed today's post.  Let me know if you tried a weight vest or the maca energy balls!  I would love to hear your experiences!








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