Arginine Containing Foods

Are you training for an endurance event? 

If so try increasing your intake of Arginine to boost your exercise capacity, improve your endurance performance, and improve your body composition by increasing muscle mass.

How can it do such wonderful things you might ask?

Arginine increases Human Growth Hormone, which in turn increases blood flood and mitochondria biogenesis (creation). Mitochondria are involved in the creation of ATP, which is your muscles’ energy source. Since the body is using more energy to create more mitochondria to produce more energy… it burns more glucose (without effecting insulin) and fat, improving body composition by increasing lean muscle.

Arginine is also a precursor for Nitric Oxide (NO), which has been studied to help increase the endurance threshold by vasodilating blood vessels and allowing nutrients to flow throughout the body more freely, increasing oxygen delivery to the tissues.

But I am not saying go pick up a supplement today! No way… you can increase your intake of Arginine by the food you consume.

Top 4 Arginine Containing Animal Sources:

  1. Turkey – has the highest amount
  2. Pork Loin
  3. Chicken
  4. Dairy

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Top 6 Arginine Containing Non-Animal Sources:

  1. Pumpkin Seeds – 4th highest source
  2. Soybeans
  3. Peanuts
  4. Spirulina – blue/green algae if you didn’t know, add it to a smoothie
  5. Chickpeas
  6. Lentils

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If you can eat at least 1-2 servings per day of Arginine containing foods you will be well on your way to maximize your workout goals!

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 4th year naturopathic medical student at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio or my LinkedIn. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.

Naturopathic Medicine & Sports

Come hear me speak at PSU about Naturopathic Medicine and sports, two of my PASSIONS!! Event description and link to the event details below.

Naturopathic medicine focuses on treating the whole person, preventing disease, teaching our patients, and helping everyone become the healthiest versions of themselves. It is widely accepted that physical activity can decrease a variety of illnesses and conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and even depression to name a few. But what happens when you are trying to be active, but get injured or are “too sore” to go back out the next day? That’s where natural medicine can help. Learn how to utilize natural techniques to increase your tolerance to exercise, improve recovery times, and focus your exercises to maximize your health gains and improve your quality of life. Using naturopathic medicine modalities such as exercise prescription, nutritional/herbal supplementation, nutritional changes, and physical medicine techniques including massage, chiropractic manipulation, cupping, and more you too can become a natural athlete and take steps towards becoming the healthiest version of YOU!

More info about the event here!

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 4th year naturopathic medical student at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio or my LinkedIn. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.

Summer Home Strength Workout

I got out early from class today and decided to get a work out in, but I didn’t feel like going into the gym… I wanted to work out and lay by the pool (it is still hot here ya know). In lieu of my normal lifting schedule… this is what I did to change it up!

Upper Body:

  • 3 sets of 10 reps Push Ups
  • 3 sets of 15 reps Bicep Curls (5 lb ‘weights’ – all I had was cans from my kitchen)
  • 3 sets of 15 reps Shoulder Press (5 lb ‘weights’)
  • 3 sets of 15 reps Tricep Dips

Lower Body:

  • 3 sets of 15 reps Squats
  • 2 sets of 10 reps Lunges (right & left leg)
  • 3 sets of 15 reps Toe Raise
  • 3 sets of 15 reps Heel Raise
  • 3 sets of 15 reps Kneeling Kickback (right & left leg)
  • 25 reps of Side Leg Lifts (right & left leg)

Core:

  • 25 reps of crunches
  • 25 reps of toe touch crunches
  • 25 reps of side crunches (right & left)
  • 25 reps of reverser crunches
  • 25 reps of leg lifts
  • 25 reps of lemon squeezersa6de8b13-5157-42e5-a5b9-237710605d86

Now time to relax and take a dip in the pool to cool down!

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 3rd year naturopathic medical student at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.

Summer Fitness Challenge

This is not really a challenge, but I am working on my level of fitness this summer and wanted to share what I do… The good, bad, and ugly 🙂

Weight Training:

3 sets of 15 reps for the following exercises

  • Biceps curls (10 lbs)
  • Dumbbell bench press (12.5 lbs)
  • Shoulder press (7.5 lbs)
  • Upright row (20 lbs)
  • Squats (70 lbs)
  • Leg curls (20 lbs)

The weight that I was using was about 20% off my maximum. So light weight more reps; heavy weight less reps. 

The following I did without weights (just body weight):

  • Lunges (90 reps)
  • Calf raises (45 reps)
  • Toe raises (45 reps)

Then I finished up with a core workout (25 reps of the following):

  • Crunches 
  • Side crunches (right & left)
  • Reverse crunches (2 sets)
  • Lemon squeezers
  • V-ups
  • Straight leg crunches

Today I am going to bear the heat and go on a hike out in the gorge to mix it up! Pictures will follow…

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 3rd year naturopathic medical student at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.

Workout Wednesday – Track Warm Up

As most of you already know, I am the head coach of a high school Track & Field team! Besides coaching specific events in the sport, I have also developed many off-season and pre-season training guides for athletes both in high school and beyond. Since indoor season has officially started and I am beginning to get my workouts together for the team, I wanted to share with you our typical team warm-up.

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My crazy girls and boys track team at districts 2015

This workout can be used as a warm-up to a more extensive running workout or it can be used as a quick cardio/strength work-out by itself as is or by adding on reps to the drills. It is best to do this workout outside, but you can do it inside a gym or long hallway (be careful of others and objects… I have tripped over a desk before while doing this workout indoors and it was not pretty).

Track & Field Team Warm-Up

Warm-Up:

  • Jog 2 laps around a track or infield (0.5 mile)
    • This should be at a comfortable pace approximately 50-60% of your fastest speed. If you are new to running feel free to take breaks to walk, but do not stop moving forward!

Dynamic Stretching:

  • 10 Leg Swings Forward & Backward (right & left legs)
    • Stand sideways next to a wall or fence and grab on for balance. Swing your right leg forwards and backwards 10x feeling a little stretch. Try to swing a bit higher each time. Switch legs and repeat.
  • 10 Leg Swings Side-to-side (right & left legs)
    • Stand facing a wall or fence and grab on for balance. Swing your right leg across and in front of your body and then out to the side 10x feeling a little stretch. Try to swing a bit higher each time. Switch legs and repeat.
  • 10 Arm Circles (forward & backward)
  • 10 Ankle Rolls (right & left, clockwise & counterclockwise)
    • Stand on one leg, place the toe of your other foot on the ground, and roll your ankle clockwise and counterclockwise 10x. Switch legs and repeat.

Dynamic Warm-Up:

Do each of these exercises twice about 20 meters or 60 feet for a warm-up. Increase the distance of each exercise or the reps for more of a workout. 

  • Toe Walks
    • Walk on your toes.
  • High Knee Run
    • Run with your knees reaching at least hip height. Try not to lean your chest back. Focus on being light and quick off your feet.
  • Heel Walks
    • Walk on your heels.
  • Butt Kick Run
    • Run with your knees reaching at least hip height, BUT this time tuck your feet under your body so they kick your bum. Focus again on being light and quick off your feet. 
  • Knee Pull to Chest
    • Walk forward and every few steps grab just below your knee and pull it toward your chest. Feel the stretch. These should be at a relaxed pace. 
  • Karaoke (right & left)
    • Like the grapevine you used to do in school. Side step, over, side step behind. Work on getting quicker and not moving your hips from side to side, this isn’t salsa people!
  • Walking Toe Touch
    • Walk forward and every few steps kick your leg up and ‘touch’ or attempt to your opposite hand to your foot. Feel the stretch. These should be at a relaxed pace. 
  • Cross Overs (right & left)
    • Same idea as the grapevine/karaoke, but there is NO BEHIND step. Just side step, cross over in front, side step, crossover in front, etc…
  • A Walks
  • A Skips
  • B Walks
  • B Skips


3 sets of 50 meter (150 feet) – Builders:

  • Start jogging slow & speed up gradually. You should end the 50 meters at almost your fastest speed. ***Slow down on your toes & gradually to avoid injury***

YOU DID IT!!!! Welcome to the track team!

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Make sure after every workout you take sufficient time to cool down (at least 10 minutes). Jog a little and then do some static standing/sitting stretches.

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 3rd year naturopathic medical student at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.
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Best part of coaching is seeing my athlete’s grow up, learn, and have success! Same goes for medicine 🙂

15 Minute Winter Workout

Don’t have enough time or energy to work out! Take just 15 minutes of your day today and add this workout to your routine. Small steps are the way to make conscious positive changes in our lives! In honor of the recent “Snowmageddon” in Portland, OR (it snowed 1-2 inches and iced over the next day), here is a 15 minute workout that can be completed in the warmness of your own home/apartment/cabin/etc…

Winter 15 Minute Workout

Legs-for-days

Cardio (5 minutes)

  • Run in place x 5 minutes

OR

  • Squat jumps (literally squat then jump) – 2 sets of 30 sec
  • Running High Knees – 2 sets of 30 secs
  • Single Leg Hops (in place) – 2 sets of 15 sec (right & left leg)
  • Running Butt Kicks – 2 sets of 30 sec
  • Jog in place – 1 minute (cool down)

Strength (5 minutes)

  • Lunges (hamstrings) – 2 sets of 15 reps (right & left leg)
  • Wall Sit (glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps) – 2 x 30 secs
  • Squats (glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps) – 2 sets of 30 reps
  • Heel Raises (calf muscles) – 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Toe Raises (shin muscles) – 4 sets of 15 reps

Core (5 minutes)

  • Plank (on elbows) – 2 x 30 secs
  • Hollow Body Hold (back/feet off the ground) – 2 x 30 secs
  • Superman Hold (on stomach w/chest & feet off ground) – 2 x 30 sec
  • Leg Lifts (lie on side, lift top leg) – 2 x 15 reps (right & left leg)
  • Reverse Leg Lifts (lie on side, lift bottom leg) – 2 x 15 reps (right & left leg)

Feel free to change up this workout as you see fit! Too easy, do it 2-3 times. Too difficult, break down the sets into smaller intervals or reps! Message me or comment for more tips on how to change it up!

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Winter break is long and gone (tear)… working on getting these muscles ready for track & field season

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 3rd year naturopathic medical student at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.

 

Core Challenge – November

This is your monthly core challenge… For the next 4 weeks, do these exercises AT LEAST 3 days a week alternating with days off in between. Core strength is vital excellence in any sport and it increases the amount of fat you burn overall!

Fun Fact! Did you know that you abdominal muscles could support up to 40% of the weight of the spine! Strong abs can improve posture and decrease the strain put on the lower back. This means fewer back aches for you.

The different exercises below target different abdominal muscles to give you the best overall strength and best overall workout.

Kid version of me when I thought I had abs, but I really didn't but was probably stronger than I am now... (I am the one on the right)

Kid gymnast version of me when I thought I had abs, but I really didn’t but was probably stronger than I am now… (I am the one on the right)

CORE CHALLENGE – November

Upper Abdominals

Crunches ———— 3 sets of 15 reps
START…
  • LIE ON BACK WITH FEET FLAT ON FLOOR & KNEES BENT (APPROXIMATELY 60 DEGREES)
  • PLACE arms across chest
MOVEMENT…
  • CURL TORSO UP, SHOULDERS LIFT OFF FLOOR
  • FEEL ABS CONTRACT, HOLD FOR A COUNTY OF 1
  • RETURN SLOWLY TO STARTING POSITION & REPEAT

Lower Abdominals

Reverse Crunches ————— 3 sets of 15 reps

 START:

  • LIE ON BACK, knees bent to 90 degrees, feet off of the floor
  • PLACE ARMS OUT TO THE SIDES OR BY YOUR HIPS TO STABILIZE
MOVEMENT:
  • CONTRACT YOUR ABDOMINAL MUSCLES & BRING YOUR rear in the air
    • Important: try not to rock your hips back wards and ‘roll’ your rear off the ground, this should be a stable/slow movement to work your abs
  • HOLD 1 COUNT
  • RETURN TO STARTING POSITION AND REPEAT
Reverse crunches

Reverse crunches

If the reverse crunches above are too tough for you to start out, try this similar lower abdominal exercise here

 

Obliques

Oblique Crunch ————— 2 sets of 12 reps R & L
START:
  • LIE ON BACK WITH FEET FLAT ON FLOOR & KNEES BENT (60 DEGREES)
  • ROLL YOUR KNEES TO THE SIDE THAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO CRUNCHES FIRST (I.E. ROLL THEM TO THE RIGHT SIDE FOR RIGHT SIDED CRUNCHES)
  • HANDS BEHIND YOUR HEAD, ARMS BENT
MOVEMENT:
  • CURL TORSO UP, MOVING CHEST TOWARD SIDE, SHOULDERS LIFT OFF FLOOR
  • FEEL ABS CONTRACT, HOLD FOR A COUNT OF 1
  • RETURN SLOWLY TO STARTING POSITION & REPEAT ON BOTH SIDES

 

Combo Crunch (works all parts of core)

Crossover Crunch ————— 2 sets of 12 reps
 START:
  • LIE ON BACK WITH FEET FLAT ON FLOOR & KNEES BENT (60 DEGREES)
  • HANDS BEHIND YOUR HEAD, ARMS BENT
MOVEMENT:
  • CURL TORSO UP, MOVING right elbow toward, left knee, SHOULDERS LIFT OFF FLOOR
  • FEEL ABS CONTRACT, HOLD FOR A COUNT OF 1
  • RETURN SLOWLY TO STARTING POSITION & REPEAT moving the left elbow to right knee

CHALLENGE!

Here is my challenge to you all… do the core challenge at least 3 x a week for 1 month (until the next core challenge is posted). Take a picture before you start of your abs, whatever state they are, and take a picture after so you can track your progress. Measure your waist around the point of your belly button and measure again in 1 month.

Tell me your success stories or your struggle stories! I am here for support, guidance, and advice to tailor your core training to your needs! 🙂

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 3rd year naturopathic medical student at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.