Ask Dani – Hobbled in Hoboken

Dear Dani,

You have really nice toes, by the way :)

Last week I went running on a dirt path trail thinking it would be less impact on my joints. It was, but ironically enough I ended up tripping on the roots of a tree and got a minor fracture in my ankle. It doesn’t need to be in a cast, but it is in an ACE bandage, and I was told by my doctor to lay off of it for a little while. She said that cycling is ok, but nothing with any major impact. I’ve recently lost some weight and have been working hard at staying in shape, but now I’m worried that I’m going to lose my momentum, strength, and gain the weight back if I have to lay low for a while. Do you have an alternative workout that I can do while still allowing my ankle to heal?

Thanks, Hobbled in Hoboken

Dear Hobbled in Hoboken,

So sorry to hear about your ankle. Injuries are the worst to get after you’ve worked so hard to get where you are. But fear not, because an injury doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything, it just means that you have to change some things up a bit. You should actually look at it as a good thing, because it’s going to give you the chance to try something new out and shock your muscles in a different way.

I came up with a workout that will work your opposite leg, so that it doesn’t lose it’s strength while you’re recovering and I also added a bunch of upper body and core exercises. Simply click here and print out the workout. If you have any questions, just let me know! This is also a great workout for anyone else looking for something else to do. There are a lot of stability exercises to challenge and keep you motivated.

The last thing I want to tell you is to remember to RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Rest the leg as much as possible, ice it after you’ve used it to reduce swelling, compress it with a bandage (such as an ACE bandage), and elevate the leg above your heart when sitting. A few pillows under the leg should be just fine. Be religious about this treatment and it will be healed in no time. And whatever you do, avoid the temptation to rush back into working out – it will only delay recovery or make the injury even worse.

Feel better!

Help! I Have Bat Wings!

Dear Dani,

I’m in my 30′s, but my arms look about 70. I hate them! I work out about 2-3 times a week, but the bat wings, or mud flaps as I call them, won’t go away (you know, the extra flabby skin under the arms…). I’m really frustrated and wish I could just have nice toned arms without worrying that eventually it’s going to extend down to my knees. What can I do to get rid of it?

Thanks, Batwing Girl

Dear Batwing Girl,

I’m not sure how long you’ve been exercising for or what you’re eating is like, but 2-3 times a week isn’t really going to cut it if you want super sleek arms. You have to work at it 4-5 days per week and you have to include a balance of cardio, to burn calories and ultimately fat, and resistance training to tone the muscles underneath the skin. A sample schedule would look like this: Monday – 30-40 minutes cardio, Tuesday – resistance training, Wednesday cardio, etc… Keep alternating like this for a total of 4-5 days per week. Perform 8-10 repetitions of exercises such as dips, tricep extensions, push-ups. You want to choose a weight that is heavy enough so that by the time you get to 10 you feel like you can’t do another one even if someone paid you. Another thing to take into consideration is your food: Make sure your carbs are coming from whole-grains, fruits, and vegetables, and that you’re also getting adequate amount of calories, so that you’re body doesn’t go into starvation mode and try to hold onto every little morsel you feed it. Never dip below 1200 calories per day.

Also, take a look at your mother and grandmothers. Your arms may be the product of genetics, which doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything about it, it just means that you have to be realistic about your expectations. You can get arms that you’ll feel good about, but it just may take longer to accomplish and you might not end up looking like a fitness model. There’s a reason I never use videos or photos of women who look like that, and it’s because it takes either super lucky genetics to easily build muscle like that or such intense amounts of training and nutrition that it’s not really doable for the average person.

In the meantime, don’t hate on yourself. Most likely no one else is staring at your arms the way you are, so channel your inner black woman (as I always say) and flaunt what your momma gave you!

Have a question that needs answering? Send ‘em in! Every Thursday I’ll be answering a new question, and it might just be yours!