How To Meditate For Beginners

In this post:

  • guided mindfulness meditation.
  • how to meditate for beginners.
  • close your eyes, listen and follow instructions.

Summary Of Meditation For Beginners

  1. Sit and close your eyes.
  2. Pay attention to your breathing.
  3. When you notice your attention has wandered, bring it back to your breathing.
  4. Repeat for the allotted time.
  5. Remember that meditation is not forcing your mind to be clear, it’s just a process of training your mind to place attention on one thing. Eventually the mind becomes more clear, but if you just keep bringing attention back to your breath over and over, your are practicing meditation successfully.

For an initial consultation on learning to meditate or any other aspect of optimizing your health, click here to set a meeting.

Author:
Nick Ortego is a health coach specializing in biohacking for runners. He integrates modern methods with the ancient wisdom of yoga to help runners get the most out of every aspect of life. He is the owner of N 2 Action, a wellness studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering personal training, health coaching, yoga, and fascial stretch therapy.
Also find more on the Nick Ortego Fitness YouTube Channel

How To Exercise With A Baby: Squats

In this post:

Transcript:
Ready? Are you ready? You're getting
excited? You're ready to show these
people how to workout with your baby?
Hi Nick Ortego here. I'm going to show
you how to do squats with a baby. Good
way to get a workout in, playtime in at
the same time. So what you want to do is
just grab your baby. One hand goes
underneath the bottom. Other hand goes in
front of the belly. Then breathe in and
go down and down and up down and up down
and up. From the side it looks like this.
See my feet stay flat, my hips go back.
You want to be able to do basic
bodyweight squat before you do with the
baby. I'm going to link to to a video
that shows you how to do that. But it's
tons of fun. Babies love it. Tell them how
much you love it baby girl. So if you got
any benefit from this video and you want
to get extra content not available on
the video, then click the link that's
connected to this video you'll have a
chance to sign up for the Run Better Now
VIP club.

Author:
Nick Ortego is a health coach specializing in biohacking for runners. He integrates modern methods with the ancient wisdom of yoga to help runners get the most out of every aspect of life. He is the owner of N 2 Action, a wellness studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering personal training, health coaching, yoga, and fascial stretch therapy.
Also find more on the Nick Ortego Fitness YouTube Channel

Dynamic Mobility Warm Up Routine

In this post:

  • a complete dynamic mobility warm up routine for any workout or training session.
Video Transcript:
Hey it's Nick Ortego here. I'm gonna
take you through a complete body dynamic
mobility warm-up routine. This can be
used before a workout or a run to get
your body ready. I'm a big fan of doing
mobility work for the warm up. When
you're constantly moving, you get your
heart rate up you get your body heat up
We're also moving joints to their full
range of motion and providing a little
bit of flexibility work before a workout.
Not a big fan of static stretching
before a workout. Tends to undermine your
power output so dynamic mobility is
where it's at as far as I'm concerned. We're
gonna start off with four drills where
you're basically just walking back and
forth.
The first one is knee to chest. Basically
walk when you take one knee, opposite
hand and pull that knee up. Boom here. So
the reason I like to use the opposite
hand is because it replicates natural
movement pattern. It gets me extending
one hip and extending the opposite
shoulder. Gets me flexing one shoulder
and flexing the opposite hip, just like
you do when you're walking or running. So
you can do a certain count here like 20.
10 or 20 each side or you can just go for a
certain distance. This one is really good
if you're actually going for a walk or a
run, you can just work it into your
bipedal locomotion. So knee to chest. Next
one is heel to butt. Here I want to be
sure you can grab your ankle. Pull this
knee back. When you pull that knee back,
activate the glute, boom. That's a key part
of it. Stretching the quad. Activating the glute, knee back, knee back. Same as the
previous drill. 10 each side, 20 each
side. Or just a certain distance. The
next one is the heel crossover. So you
want to be sure here that you're
bringing the knee up and rotating the
hip to get the foot to the hand. I don't
want to be bending my spine to reach
down to my foot. This is not what it's
supposed to look like. It's supposed to
look like this: torso stays upright, the
hands just reach down, and the foot comes
up to the hand. The hand doesn't go down
to the foot. Same as the previous drill -
10 or 20 reps each side or a certain
distance. The next one is the gorilla
walk and on this one I step forward, hinge at
the hips, reach down and touch the ground.
I may not be able to reach the ground if
my hamstrings are really tight. In that
case you just reach and tap your shin.
Hip hinge not spine rounding. Same as the
previous 10 or 20 reps each side. Be sure
you come up tall at the top, finish the
motion. Bend forward, come up tall
When I come up tall and bring this other
foot forward I'm getting a little bit of
mobility here in these hip flexors. Those
are the four traveling drills. Next
couple are basically just finding a wall,
or something that you can hold
one hand onto. You could potentially do
these drills without holding on if your
balance is good enough, but I like to
hold on because it lets me get a little
bit of velocity and power into these range
of motion
dynamic mobility drills. So grab a fence,
pole, or wall with one hand. So if I'm
holding with my right hand I'm gonna
swing my right leg. I like to do about 15
on each side. You can see that my arm, my
opposite arm, swings with it. What I'm
trying to do is swing the leg back as
far as I can and forward as far as I
can. What I want to try to do as well is
not let my leg wag my torso. So I don't
want to be doing this. If my torso is
moving in order to get my leg higher,
that's too much. What I want to do is
hold the torso upright, relatively stable.
There may be a little bit of rotating and
movement going on, but I'm not letting it
deviate from vertical. And it looks like
this. And on the other side left hand on
the fence or wall, or pole. Left leg
swings. And again you can see if I overdo
it my torso starts swinging around. I
don't want to do that. I'll keep the
torso relatively upright and swing the
leg. Next is the side leg swing. It's pretty
much the same thing except I'm going to
be swinging my legs out to the side. So
if my left foot's on the ground. My right
hand goes on the wall, pole, or fence. And
the key here is that I'm emphasizing the
lateral swing. The stance leg firing up
the glute. There is a little bit of the
tilt in the pelvis when I do this. I'm
trying to get that leg as far out as I
can. I'm letting gravity take care of the
medial swing. my leg comes across the
body. I'm not trying to get farther up
here.
Don't really have too much motion in the
hip there. I'm just letting gravity and
momentum take it that way. So it looks
like this, and once again ten to fifteen
each side.
I like 15. When the right foot is on the
ground I'm swinging my left leg, my left
hand on avstable object. There you go. That's
the lower body portion. So for the upper
body, I like to do this flye exercise.
Where left goes over right, and right
goes over left. One thing that I like to
emphasize is that when my arms come
across the body my thumbs turn this way.
As I go out I'm turning the thumbs back.
That's engaging the external rotators at
the shoulder, the retractors at the
shoulder blades. So we're activating
those muscles that tend to lie dormant
and we're stretching, dynamically
stretching, the muscles that tend to be
tight for most people, the pecs. Thumbs go
in and thumbs go out. and I use momentum
here in a controlling way. Thumbs out.
Comes in, comes out. I like to do about
twenty to thirty of these. Once I've done
those I go into arm circles, really big
high range of motion arm circles like
this. I create a little bit of momentum
so I go with 20 forward and 20 backwards.
Give that a try and if you got any
benefit from this video, then leave a
comment below. If you'd like to get more
content not available on the blog or the
regular YouTube channel, then click the
link connected to this video, you'll
have a chance to sign up for the Run
Better Now VIP club.

Author:
Nick Ortego is a health coach specializing in biohacking for runners. He integrates modern methods with the ancient wisdom of yoga to help runners get the most out of every aspect of life. He is the owner of N 2 Action, a wellness studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering personal training, health coaching, yoga, and fascial stretch therapy.
Also find more on the Nick Ortego Fitness YouTube Channel

How To Exercise With A Baby: Pilates Roll Up

In this post:

Key Points For Pilates Roll Up Exercise With A Baby

  1. Be sure you have adequate shoulder mobility and stability before doing any overhead lifting movement. I like to do the shoulder wall test to determine if a client is ready.
  2. Be sure you can activate and use your lower abs before trying this. I like to use the lower ab progression before this exercise or any similar exercise. It help ensure that your core is strong enough to not overuse your hip flexors.

Author:
Nick Ortego is a health coach specializing in biohacking for runners. He integrates modern methods with the ancient wisdom of yoga to help runners get the most out of every aspect of life. He is the owner of N 2 Action, a wellness studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering personal training, health coaching, yoga, and fascial stretch therapy.
Also find more on the Nick Ortego Fitness YouTube Channel

Video Transcript:
Are you stoked? Ready to show these people how to 
work their abs with a baby?
Nick Ortego here. I'll show you how to
work your abdominals with a baby. This
is what you want to do start off. Seated.
Sit up tall. Raise that baby up, but
sometimes they prefer to be looking at
you. Looking at daddy. She
wants to look over there. She has a mind
of her own. Raise her up,
and then go down. Slowly inhale up, exhale down, inhale up, exhale roll down one
vertebra at a time. Pilates roll up.
Inhale up, exhale down, inhale up, exhale
roll down. Now if you have trouble coming
up, you can start with your knees lifted
and on the inhale roll up. You use the
momentum from your legs to create a
little bit of roll in the pelvis. That's
how you do Pilates roll up with a baby
for fun and for a little extra
resistance. Do you like that? Do you have
fun? Do you have fun? You got any benefit
from this little video leave a comment
below. If you like to get content not
available on the blog or the regular
YouTube channel, then click the link
connected to this video you'll have a
 chance to sign up for the Run Better Now
VIP club.

How To Exercise With A Baby: Seated Shoulder Press

In this post:

Key Points For Doing Shoulder Presses With A Baby

  1. Ensure that your shoulders can handle overhead pressing before doing shoulder presses with a baby. I recommend the wall test for shoulder mobility. If you fail this test, then go to work on corrective exercises before any overhead pressing movements.
  2. If you have trouble maintaining  a straight, upright spine while seated on the floor then sit on a chair or bench. This will put some slack in your hamstrings and allow your pelvis to attain a neutral position. Then you’ll be able to more easily stack the rest of your spine in a neutral position.

Author:
Nick Ortego is a health coach specializing in biohacking for runners. He integrates modern methods with the ancient wisdom of yoga to help runners get the most out of every aspect of life. He is the owner of N 2 Action, a wellness studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering personal training, health coaching, yoga, and fascial stretch therapy.
Also find more on the Nick Ortego Fitness YouTube Channel

Transcript: 
H,i this is my little baby girl Liliana.
Say hello baby girl. We're gonna, we're 
gonna exercise with Daddy today. This is
what you want to do. Start off 
with your feet spread like this. Sit up
tall, grab that baby take a breath in 
Exhale and lift the baby up. Inhale.
Exhale lift the baby up. 
She loves it. Inhale, exhale lift the baby
up. 
You having fun baby girl? You wanna do
more? "Ten more daddy!" What you want to 
do is be sure that you can sit up nice
and tall. Now if you're having trouble 
keeping your spine from rounding what
you may want to do is put a couple of 
yoga blocks or 4 inch 6 inch or 8 inch
step underneath your butt. 
It'll allow you to keep your spine nice
and long. 
Be sure your range of motion at your
shoulder is full you can get your arm 
all the way up here. You don't want to be
lifting a baby if your range is here. If 
you're putting a load on it in this position,
gonna be really tough on your shoulders. 
So be careful you got any benefit from
this video, leave a comment below. If you'd 
like to get more content not available
on the blog or the regular YouTube 
channel then click the link connected
to this video you have a chance to sign
 up for the Run Better Now VIP Club.

Prone Hip Internal And External Rotation

In this post:


Author:
Nick Ortego is a health coach specializing in biohacking for runners. He integrates modern methods with the ancient wisdom of yoga to help runners get the most out of every aspect of life. He is the owner of N 2 Action, a wellness studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering personal training, health coaching, yoga, and fascial stretch therapy.
Also find more on the Nick Ortego Fitness YouTube Channel

Transcript:
Hey it's Nick Ortego here. I'm
going to show you how to do an exercise
for your hips, a hip mobility exercise. It
warms up the hips. It gets blood flowing
into the muscles around that area. It
gets synovial fluid flowing into the
joints to help to lubricate the joints.
Basically going to be on your stomach,
prone position, and then bend both knees
and then cross your legs over so the
lower legs are crossing over. We're doing
the internal and external rotation at
the hips here. It looks like that. From
back just like this.
I'll cross one in front of the other and
then switch sides so I'm always
switching sides because the movement is
slightly different. It's slightly
different when the leg goes in front and
behind. Do that for a few minutes.
Give that a try just to warm up
your hips, get your hips more mobile. Got
any benefit from that? Then give me a
comment below. If you'd like to get more
content that's not available on the blog
or the regular YouTube channel, then
click the link that's connected to this
video, you'll have a chance to sign up for 
the Run Better Now VIP club. Thank you.

Supine Diaphragm Belly Breathing

In this post:

Main Technique Points For Belly Breathing

  1. Focus on relaxing the abdominal wall and allowing the abdomen to expand in all directions.
  2. After you’ve got the abdomen moving and the upper rib cage relatively still, try engaging the pelvic floor. Those are the muscles you would use to stop yourself from urinating.
  3. At the end of each exhale, you can draw the navel in toward your spine to squeeze a little more air out. This will facilitate expansion of the abdomen on the next inhalation.

Author:
Nick Ortego is a health coach specializing in biohacking for runners. He integrates modern methods with the ancient wisdom of yoga to help runners get the most out of every aspect of life. He is the owner of N 2 Action, a wellness studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering personal training, health coaching, yoga, and fascial stretch therapy.
Also find more on the Nick Ortego Fitness YouTube Channel

Transcript:
Hey it's Nick Ortego. I'm going to show
you how to do a breathing exercise that
allows you to use your diaphragm. It's
usually pretty relaxing and it's called
belly breathing, and we're gonna do it
supine. You can do this in any position
but on this video I'm gonna show you how
to do it lying down on your back.
Take one hand and place it on your
ribcage; other hand place it on the
abdomen. Then start to inhale and
exhale through the nose so it looks kind
of like this. As you can see, whenever I'm
inhaling my abdomen is rising and my
ribcage is remaining relatively still
and as I'm exhaling the abdomen is
sinking. Ribcage still remains
relatively still. As I'm doing this in
order to help activate the diaphragm a
little more and strengthen the pelvic
floor, I can engage the pelvic floor
muscles. So the pelvic floor muscles;
those are the muscles you would use if
you're trying to stop yourself from
going to the bathroom. If you're having
to hold it when you really need it to
urinate. So I'm holding those muscles and
then when I take that belly breath in I
can feel some pressurization in that
pelvic floor area, the muscles that keep
you from urinating and then back down on
the exhale. To take it to another level
at the end of each exhale
I can draw the belly button in
activating the transverse abdominis
muscle by drawing the belly button in
and squeezing the last little bit of air
out. So pelvic floor is engaged, inhale
let the belly expand on the inhale.
Exhale, let the belly retract on the
exhale. At the end of the exhale pull the
belly button in 
hollow out a little bit and it squeezes
the last little bit of air out. Give that 
a try for five to ten minutes. It will
enhance your breathing and relax your 
body and your mind. You've got any
benefit from this video, then leave a 
comment below. If you'd like to get more
content that's not available on the blog 
or the regular YouTube channel, then
click the link connected to this video 
you'll have a chance to sign up for the
Run Better Now VIP Club.

Yoga for Runners: Warm Up Sequence 1

In this post:


Author:
Author: Nick Ortego is a health coach specializing in biohacking for runners. He integrates modern methods with the ancient wisdom of yoga to help runners get the most out of every aspect of life. He is the owner of N 2 Action, a wellness studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering personal training, health coaching, yoga, and fascial stretch therapy.

Also check out the Nick Ortego Fitness Youtube channel.

Video Transcript:
Yoga For Runners: I'll demonstrate some warm-up 
sequences today.
Basically standing half Sun Salutation.
Anytime we're folding forward just
remember you can always bend your knees, a little bit of a bend in the knees
to protect the lower back, or if hamstrings
are really tight. So let's start standing
Mountain Pose. Feet can be close together
the toes touching and the heels maybe
slightly maybe about an inch apart. Feet
you can also be about hips distance
apart. Hips distance means the distance
between your hip joints not the outside
edge of your hips. So start here in
Mountain Pose lift the arches engage the
legs as if you're standing with weight
on your shoulders. The body is engaged
not really relaxed. It's a very firm,
active posture the chest is lifted the
chin of slightly tucked. Each inhale is
extending the crown of the head toward
the sky. Each exhale is sinking the
tail bones toward the earth. Let's inhale
lift the arms up. Exhale and fold forward.
Inhale and half lift, lengthen the
spine. The hands can be on the ground or
they can be on the shins. Exhale and fold
forward. Inhale come back all the
way. Reach high, lift at the chest and
exhale the hands back down
Mountain Pose. Go through a little faster.
Inhale arms up. Exhale fold forward.
Inhale half lift lengthen the spine, and
exhale and fold. Inhale come up all the
way, reach high, lift the chest and then
exhale hands down, Mountain Pose.
Here's a side view. Inhale, lift your arms,
look up. Exhale fold forward. Inhale half
lift, lengthen the spine. Exhale and fold
Inhale come up all the way, reach, lift
the chest. Exhale hands down Mountain
Pose, Tadasana. Namaste.

How To Stretch And Release The TFL (Tensor Fascia Lata)

In this post:


Author:
Nick Ortego is a health coach specializing in biohacking for runners. He integrates modern methods with the ancient wisdom of yoga to help runners get the most out of every aspect of life. He is the owner of N 2 Action, a wellness studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering personal training, health coaching, yoga, and fascial stretch therapy.
Also find more on the Nick Ortego Fitness YouTube Channel

Transcript:
Hey it's Nick Ortego here and I'm
going to show you how to stretch and
release a little muscle in your hip that
has a big effect on your entire kinetic
chain. It's called the tensor fascia
latae or TFL for short. If it's tight or
short, it can be a culprit in IT band
syndrome. It can also throw the mechanics of
your hip out of whack while you're
running, which will lead to possibly knee
pain and other problems. But the way to
stretch it is to bend both knees and
then take one shin and place it under
the other leg. So it's kind of like
figure four except the ankle is under
the knee. Then I take my knee line it
up with the hip. And then start to lay on
my back. So from here what I want to do
is be sure that my opposite hip opposite
side of my pelvis is down as much as I
can take it down. This knee, I want it
to be pushed as low as I can to the ground
I'm stretching out that tensor
fasciae latae right there. I'll show you
this angle. I've got this hip down,
this knee pushing it as low as I can.
After I do that I can massage right
under the iliac crest.
That's my pelvis bone and a little bit
to the front side. I can massage that
muscle, apply a little bit of pressure to
it with my fingers,
and release it as I'm stretching it. If
it's tight you may see that your knee
doesn't want to go that way or that your
opposite hip is wanting to rise up a
little bit. Play around with that.
Try for about a minute or two at a time.
You got any benefit from this video?
Then leave a comment below. If you'd
like to get more content that's not
available on the blog or the regular
YouTube channel, then click the link
that's connected to this video and you will
have a chance to sign up for the Run Better Now
VIP Club. Thank you.

How To Gently Stretch The Hip Flexors

In this post:

  • a relaxing way to gently stretch the hip flexor muscles– the psoas, illiacus, and rectus femoris–without compressing the hip joint.


Author:
Nick Ortego is a health coach specializing in biohacking for runners. He integrates modern methods with the ancient wisdom of yoga to help runners get the most out of every aspect of life. He is the owner of N 2 Action, a wellness studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering personal training, health coaching, yoga, and fascial stretch therapy.
Also find more on the Nick Ortego Fitness YouTube Channel

Transcript:
Hey it’s Nick Ortego here. I’m gonna
show you how to do nice easy gentle hip
flexor stretch using a table. You
can do this on the edge of your bed as
well.
It’s gonna be in the Thomas Test
positions. That’s a way that we
trainers sometimes use to look at
whether you need to stretch your hip
flexors. Just sit on the edge of
the table or a bed, pull your knees up.
Make sure your butt’s really close to
the edge so that you can hang one leg
off like this. And from here you want to
pull your knee toward your chest such
that your lower back flattens out. Then
you’re looking at the leg that’s hanging.
The weight of the leg is gonna give you
a gentle hip flexor stretch. Also if you
want to test it: if your leg’s not hanging
at parallel with the floor, if it’s a
little higher than parallel with the
floor, that’s an indicator that your hip
flexors are tight and needs some
stretching. Also if your shin is hanging
like this more than like this. It’s not
really vertical, if it’s kind of 20
degrees or so away from vertical it’s an
indicator that your two-joint hip
flexors (ie your rectus femoris and your
quad) is tight and could use some
stretching. Then you just hang the
other side off and breathe in a slow
gentle way allow your abdomen to expand
on the inhale see the abdomen is expanding
on the inhale and retracting on the
exhale
On that kind of stretch it’s pretty
gentle you can go for a longer duration
You can go for like two three even up to
five minutes and it won’t be a problem
Another way that you can intensify it a
little bit as if you take ankle weights
put an ankle weight on the leg you’re
trying to stretch. This is a three pound
ankle weight. I wouldn’t go above like a
five pound ankle weight. Then just
let that leg hang so the weight of the
leg plus the weight of the ankle weight
is helping you stretch your hip flexors.
Give that try and if you got any benefit
from this video leave a comment below. If you like to get more content that’s
not available on the blog or the regular
YouTube channel, then click the link
that’s connected to this video you’ll
have a chance to sign up for the Run
Better Now VIP club.