Vacation should include an adventure. An adventure that lets you escape from normal life. Siren Surf Camp with Farmdog Surf School in Nags Head, NC was the perfect addition to a family vacation and to having an Adventurous August.
I’ve never worn a wet suit. I felt like I was a sea mammal with my extra coating of blubber, I was so warm and it made me fearless of cold water and wipeouts. I could throw my body into the surf and I had this amazing protective layer to make sure I stayed warm and scratch free. It was a hot mess to get on though. Skinny jeans are nothing compared to the dance I did to get my wet suit on!
We met our instructors. The knowledgeable and teacher-esque, Skyla. She is also a ocean lifeguard so if was a very safe feeling knowing if something happened that she was already in the water with us. Hannah was all surfer girl-cool in her trucker hat. Then Hailey who was super bubbly and I loved her energy! Each of them were in the surf with us, pushing us into waves, cheering us on and giving us tips and pointers before and after wipeouts!
Each day of camp began with a picturesque yoga sequence facing the Atlantic. Bailey taught our class and was all warmed up because she taught a sunrise class right before ours. We all had a large piece of canvas that we shared. I expected sand to be flying around vigorously during any transition between a warrior and a downward dog; that was not the case at all. She had us do a number of yoga poses specifically for surfing. Hips and shoulder opening. Lots of child’s pose and a little bit of balance. Her voice was clear and likeable, always a good thing for a yoga teacher. There is no equivalent to being able to sit in the sand with your eyes closed, the morning sun on your face, the sound of waves smashing and hustling into and away from shore, and the clarity your mind is able to regain.
Getting zipped up, ankle strap attached and picking up your board lets your body know “get ready!” The water is shallow enough to wade out with your board but the waves are strong and our boards were easier to control while on them and paddling. Can you say shoulder workout!? I loved the challenge of paddling out into the water and digging in and picking up speed to catch a wave. Your focus shifts you are now in surfing survival mode; float and wait for a wave, scan the horizon for a set, pick your wave, paddle for your wave, catch a part of that wave, wipeout, tumble under the water, grab you leash and board, paddle back through waves out to the flat water and then catch your breath. I wanted to catch as many waves as I possibly could which equaled a massive workout for me. Pretty sure my lungs were still being tossed around in the surf for most of the session! Standing up on your surfboard is like standing up on top of the world. It is exhilarating! All the ladies were cheering each other on, we were so excited when we caught waves and just as excited for the wipeouts. At the end of Siren Surf Camp I felt so accomplished and adventurous! It was the perfect addition to summer. For more information, check out www.farmdogsurfschool.com or follow Farmdog Surf School and PlayHardGetFit on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Millions of people ask that question daily. You spend hours in the gym, try to eat healthy, take your vitamins and do your kick butt workouts. You lift heavy weights and heavy responsibility. You complete 5Ks and half marathons. You wrestle toddlers like the Crocodile Hunter (they are strong, feisty little buggers). You multi-task through your workouts better than a Google search engine, and no matter how much time and effort you put into your sweat sessions you are still staring at your thighs in the mirror.
Cellulite is not a serious medical condition. It is not harmful or detrimental to your health. It is only visually a thing that bothers the individual. It does not restrict body function, skill or ability. Cellulite is normal. The cause of cellulite is not bad karma. You did nothing wrong in a past life. A gypsy did not curse your thighs with dimples. Cellulite is caused by connective tissue that tethers your layers of skin to your muscle. Between these fibrous connections and your skin is a layer of fat. The fibrous tissue is pushing down and the fat is pushing up and the result is dimpling or puckering seen on your skin.
In the era of summer rag mags gracing every grocery store checkout line, (my mom told me not to read those when I was a kid, she said it would rot my brain; I believed her and used to walk through the grocery store line staring intently at the floor.) They always include a hot or not issue which circles any awkward body angle they’ve caught a celeb at, saggy butts and of course, cellulite. If everyone has it how come we point it out and glorify it? That’s like circling someone’s wrists and saying OMG! Look! Those are in fact wrists. There is at no point in my beach day that 99% of people are close enough to me to see my freckles, let alone my cellulite. Iggy Azalea just went through a paparazzi and social media whirlwind over pictures of her in a bikini and she left social media because of it. The cruel comments and scrutiny are truly unnecessary. Google any female celebrity and there are pictures circling their cellulite. It doesn’t make any sense. In the year of booty, it makes me wonder, what does everyone think is in a curvy, round derriere? (peaches, clouds and cinnamon buns?) NO! Muscle and fat!
There is a laundry list of procedures, of varying levels of invasiveness, that are available. There has been very little conclusive evidence that any of them actually work or give you long lasting effects. For now, the best option is exercise. A loss of body fat, if needed, may also contribute to the decrease in visible cellulite. Talk to your doctor or fitness professional about normal body fat percentage for your body and activity level. The most effective routine is one that incorporates aerobic exercise AND strength training.Lifting heavy and focusing on the glutes, hamstrings and quads will show positive improvement to areas you may have an issue with.
I’m staying away from lasers and liposuction, that is not my purpose here. The FDA has approved massage and combined laser/massage therapies for the TEMPORARY decrease in the appearance of cellulite. These are both costly and time consuming and require continuous treatments to maintain any effects. Patients should be very cautious before trying out surgical procedures, dietary supplements, or elaborate techniques of unproven value. Beware of “snake oil,” meaning an advertising company has done its job of trying to convince you to buy a product that has no scientific merit. Unfortunately, there is no compelling or statistical evidence that creams containing caffeine, aminophylline, or theophylline can have a beneficial effect on cellulite. There are also no studies that back up the claim that topical herbal creams can penetrate deeply enough to have a real effect either. Some of the chemicals in these creams may also cause allergic reactions in some people.
I’ve include 5 possible treatments that run a very low risk of complications or adverse reactions.
Strength training 4 days per week + increased hydration level + vitamins through a variety of fruits and vegetables+ getting your daily amount of calories (not starving or omitting food groups) = Increased metabolism and resting metabolic rate + decreased body fat percentage + decrease in cellulite visibility.
5 POSSIBLE TREATMENTS FOR CELLULITE:
1. Exercises to Strengthen Muscles-
Hamstring Curls on a Stability Ball- Lie on your back with feet on the ball. Lift hips and curl ball towards and away from you. 3X15
Romanian Deadlift (RDL)- With dumbbells or kettlebells, knees are soft (not locked but not bending either), back STRAIGHT, chest out, push your hips back and lower down until your back is flat like a table, then stand up (squeeeeze your glutes!) 3×15
Sumo Squats- Feet wider then hips (about 2-3 feet apart), toes slightly turned out, push your hips back (your BUTT moves first!) and lower down into a squat, knees are looking the same direction as your toes. Try a few with out weight then add some weights! 3×15
Women won’t get bulky when we lift heavy weights, we don’t have nearly enough testosterone in us! BUT we do get stronger, more definition and more shape to those body parts! Yay!
Mix coffee with a little olive oil and you will have your own homemade cellulite scrub. Coffee is used as a possible topical treatment because it’s a stimulant. It works because caffeine, supposedly, amplifies circulation and extracts water from the body, which improves the look of cellulite. Again, not proven but also if you are not allergic, has very low risk factors if you try it. So you come out smelling like a Starbucks and looking like a grande macchiato. http://us.frankbody.com/ make it yourself or check our Frank! Your skin will be smooth and smell delicious even if you are still rocking your cellulite.
3. Massage– A firm massage improves circulation and redistributes the fat back under the connective tissues. Either done manually or with a method called Endermologie which uses a hand-held machine which kneads your skin between rollers. It sounds quite uncomfortable to be treated like Play-doh and only get brief results.
4. Less Stress– Cortisol (a hormone released by stress) and insulin change the way fat cells function. Some ways to maintain low stress levels, include but are not limited to: yoga, meditation, enough routine sleep for your person, actually taking your lunch break, leave work when you are scheduled to, maintain active hobbies, green tea, look for whole grains, no preservative foods and lower sugar intake.
5. Hydration– Foods with high water content will boost skin hydration. Melon, cucumbers, celery and leafy greens are excellent examples of fruits and vegetables with an increased amount of water. Staying hydrated means drinking enough for your size and activity level. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. A 150lb. female would want to consume about 75 oz. of water daily.
Find what works for you. Recognize that anything you rub on whether it’s a scrub, or cream, is not a permanent fix. A balanced diet and exercise may not get rid of your cellulite but they will improve muscle definition and strength, body composition and may reduce the desire for cellulite therapy. Cellulite is not a medical condition.