Posts Tagged ‘exercise tips’

Are you self aware of your body? Most of us don’t understand that what you tolerate you accept, but it is reality. Think about it for a minute. You get used to the way you feel and consider it to be normal. My dad tells me he has knee pain, back pain. He says the pain is part of life and you learn to deal with it. Tolerate it! I disagree. Many of our bodies are locked. The joints and tissues have aged and begun to lose integrity.

One reason the joints are locked is due to fascial restrictions. Fascial restrictions often occur in response to injury, disease, inactivity, or inflammation (stress or poor diet), causing fascial tissue to lose elasticity and become dehydrated. When fascia loses its elasticity and becomes dehydrated, fascia can bind around the traumatized areas, causing a fibrous adhesion to form. Fibrous adhesions are known to be painful, prevent normal muscle mechanics (i.e. joint range of motion, muscle length, neuromuscular hypertonicity, and decreased strength, endurance and motor coordination) and decrease soft-tissue extensibility. In other words, you get tight, lose flexibility, and decrease muscle efficiency. In time, the lack of proper joint mechanics will takes its toll on the body causing pain and structural dysfunctions.

What do you do about it? There are many treatments plans to choose from. I’d like to mention what works for me and many of my clients, use of a roller. Foam rolling is a form of fascial tissue release. Most foam rollers are just a basic foam cylinder, others are more dense and have PVC pipe wrapped with a rubbery cushion. You can also use a tennis ball, racquet ball, or lacrosse ball. It all depends on what the individual person can handle with regards to tenderness. 

One of my clients walked in the other day while I was rolling on the roller. She says, “Are you in pain?” This is a typical question I get from time to time. Think of using the roller as preventative maintenance. It is not just for rehabbing an injury or reducing the symptom of pain. Breaking up the knots on a regular basis will not only prevent injury but will allow you to have more efficiency during your training. This efficiency will be increased strength, improved range of motion, and enhanced force production. I recommend using this fascial release technique prior to any sporting activity, workout session, and first thing in the morning upon waking. The last one especially if you are a bit older and your joints have been locked up for quite some time.

I’ll link a video or two below for those of you who haven’t used one before. You can purchase a roller online or at your local sporting goods store. I’d start by focusing on rolling the major joint areas. These include the hips and glutes, upper back areas and shoulders. Also, I’d suggest rolling out the lower leg and calf region. You can find many videos on foam rolling via Youtube. Add rolling as a supplement to your flexibility program.

http://youtu.be/jZ3ITngLsm0

http://youtu.be/wr2mQmF5R-Y

http://youtu.be/v7zsbbBnBh4

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Hey all, it’s that time of year again, Happy New Year! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I thought I’d start off the year right and get one in the books.  Some of you have surely set out on a mission to get healthy, lose weight, and get in shape. This happens every year at this time.  I’m not a big fan of the New Years Resolution but they happen and I’ll deal with it. Although, my business does see a slight increase so it does help the pocketbook, whick I like. 

I’m a firm believer in a lifestyle change to get healthy and in shape. It’s a process that takes time, patience, and alot of consistency.  Making changes doesn’t happen overnight.  If you go into this gauging your success based on a number on the scale, you Will Not Succeed!  You need to develop a passion for your health and fitness.  You don’t necessarily have to like going to the gym or enjoy eating lots of vegetables.  But, if you are passionate about being healthy, then you will incorporate some of these into your daily regimen, every day for the rest of your life.

commitment

So, here a few tips to guide along the way:

  1)     Choose an obtainable goal. To say you are going to look like a super model is not realistic  for most of us, but promising to include more daily physical activity in our lives is very possible.

 2)     Avoid choosing a resolution that you’ve been unsuccessful at achieving year after year. This will only set you up for failure, frustration and disappointment.  If you are still tempted to make a promise that you’ve made before, then try altering it.  For example, instead of stating that you are going to lose 30 pounds, try promising to eat healthier and increase your weekly exercise.

 3)     Create a game plan.  Write a comprehensive plan.  All successful businesses start with a business plan that describes their mission and specifics on how they will achieve it.  Write your own personalized plan and you’ll be more likely to succeed as well.  Make your health your own business that you work on day to day.

 4)     Break it down and make it less intimidating.  Instead of creating one major goal, break it down into smaller pieces.  Setting several smaller achievable goals throughout the year, will help you to reach your main goal. Then, if you aren’t able to reach your final goal, you will have many smaller, but still significant, achievements along the way.  For example, if your goal is to complete a 10K race, your smaller goals could be running a 5K in less than 30 minutes and adding strength training weekly to help with your endurance.

 5)     Get Support for Motivation and Accountability.  Just be sure to set limits so that this doesn’t backfire and become more irritating than helpful.  You want people to help  you but not too pushy.  You just need a little kick in the rear on occasion.  For example, if you resolve to be more positive ask them to gently remind you when you start talking negatively.

 6)     Reward yourself with each milestone. If you’ve stuck with your resolution for 2 months, treat yourself to something special.  But, be careful of your reward type.  If you’ve lost 5 pounds, don’t give yourself a piece of cake as an award.  Instead, treat yourself to a something non-food related, like a pedicure or a massage.

 7)     Get professional assistance.  Everyone needs help and sometimes a friend just isn’t enough. Sometimes you need the help of a trained professional.  By hiring a fitness professional, the chances of injury and burnout will be diminished.  Research studies have shown that assistance from a fitness professional greatly improves peoples success rate.  Just make sure you do your homework and find the most qualified person.  Ask around, get reviews.  Training with a friend also reduces the total cost of the fee.

 8)     Limit your number of promises. You’ll spread yourself too thin trying to make multiple changes in your life.  This will just lead to failure of all of the resolutions.  Stick with what you can attain and don’t make promises you can keep.

Start today and begin to better your health and fitness by making a commitment to yourself to change.  It only takes a few simple steps to make a difference.  Maybe you are stuck in a rut, maybe you have been hitting the fitness thing for awhile and have hit a plateau, whatever the deal just make one change for the better.  This change could be with regards to your nutrition.  A change to your activity level or workout.  Everyone is eligible.  No one person is Perfect!

The change in your diet can be a simple one. You can start with adding a serving of fruit or vegetables to each and every meal and snack.  That is it.  All you have to do is have a half cup of cooked vegetables or a cup of raw or leafy green vegetables or a medium sized piece of fruit.  Another step would be to eat 80% of your meals at home.  That means cooking your meals and not using pre made dinners or take-out meals.  If 80% is more than you are ready for then start with 50% of your meals, or just pack a healthy lunch for work everyday.  Any step, even a small one is a step in the right direction.

Steps to your activity level to becoming fit and strong can be simple too.  If you have not been working out then just make a commitment to walk 10 minutes a day and build from there.  If you cannot make it 10 minutes yet, then do what you can.  If you’ve been walking regulary, challenge yourself to get in a certain number steps each day.  You just have to start somewhere and work towards improving your time or distance.  Maybe you want to get in a workout and going after work is not cutting it.  How about waking up early each day this week and going before work? I bet your body will feel better for it.  Your energy levels will increase. 

Your change doesn’t have to be just diet and fitness.  Find ways to reduce stress, to get more sleep, or even spend time with loved ones.  All of these changes will make your body more healthy and will increase your longevity. 

But, whatever it may be, just choose one this week and challenge yourself.  Then, next week or in a couple weeks, choose another.  Even if you cannot see results right away you can start feeling better about yourself and the body that you are in. A few small changes can lead to big results over time.  Just make manageable changes and stick to them consistently.  If you do that you can start feeling better today.

Happy Monday Everyone!

Stay Focused, Eat Right, and Move

Eating right and getting fit is just not about trying to change your appearance to look and feel good.  Getting healthy is a Full Body transformation that takes time and patience.  Your body is an ever changing machine.  You will come across many obstacles, various bumps in the road.  Stay focused on the matter in hand and continue to be strong toward your final destination.  Make sure you have a plan set in motion.  This plan has to have the ability to adapt to change.  Stick with it.  Make the necessary changes.  And, continue to strive forward to reach your goals.  You can do it!

Research shows that people who are more physically active throughout the day can burn an extra 300 calories per day, over 12 days that can add up to an extra pound of weight loss.  Our bodies were meant to move so don’t become victim of the “sitting disease.”  By just doing a little more throughout your day you can increase the total number of calories you burn.  To accomplish this just reduce the time you spend sitting, while adding calorie burning activities to your day.  Challenge yourself to sit for no longer than an hour at a time even if that means just walking around the office for 2-3 minutes at a time.  This summer wash your own car, mow the lawn, garden or weed, get out at lunch for a brisk walk, take a bike ride, etc.

To be more in tune with how much you are really moving you may want to invest in a pedometer.  First, determine how many steps you are averaging each day.  Then,  set goals for yourself to increase those steps.  You should be getting in at least 10,000 steps a day!

Here’s a sad fact: About half of those who start a new exercise program abandon it within 3-6 months.  The reason is no mystery- people often are lazy.  We can thank technological advances for that.  Modern humans walk less, sleep less, and eat more.  Years ago we had to work for our food via hunting, farming, and/or foraging.  Add cars, computers, and fast food to the mix and people literally don’t even need to move to get what they desire.

So, how do you get lean, get healthy, and have a better quality of life?  Make the choice a Lifestyle change.  Make health and fitness a priority in your life.  Change your habits.  If you see it as, “I need to lose wait before my next vacation”, or “my wedding is 6 months away, am I going to fit into my dress”,  chances are your successes if made will soon be failures.  Conquering the short term will only last for a short time.

I was talking with one of my clients the other day and I was amazed by the story she told me.  Actually, I wasn’t because she has spoken of her family many times over a period of sessions throughout the years.  But, some of her reflections on her past with her family were truly remarkable.  Her dad, who turns 97 in a week or two, just got released from rehab and back into assisted living.  This fellow had fractured his hip and had a total hip replacement within the last 6 months.  He is fully recovered at 96.  Wow! Impressive!  This wasn’t at all a shock to my client.  Maybe he was lucky and was given some high quality genes.  But, my client stated her father once recorded his stretching activity for 3000 days straight.  How about 8 years worth?  That’s commitment.  The same person who was an avid skier into his 70’s and lifted weights into his 80’s until dementia began to set in.  This style of healthy living has been a lifelong priority for my client’s father.  He instilled the same standards for his children, all of which are healthy eaters and very active people. 

Start slow, incorporate daily movement into your day.  Begin to write down a food and activity log.  Determine what changes you can make for the better.  Make a healthy lifestyle a part of your day.  Put it on the to do list.  Mark it on your calendar.  Get other people involved: family, kids, co-workers.  You don’t have to go overboard, just add small changes to your week to develop healthier habits.  Use a macro, long term approach.  This way you won’t burn out in 3-6 months.

 

Spring is here and summer is right around the corner.  Pool season is coming upon us.  Outside events and dinner parties wearing sun dresses and shorts.  You’ve probably been going at it hard for awhile or maybe you are just starting.  Either way, right now, your decision to get lean and in shape for the warm weather is decided now.  Maybe you’ve been try to lose weight and have been working hard to sculpt those shoulders but just haven’t found the right mix to get it done.  Use these strategies as they are the Keys to Getting Lean.

  • Get the proper amount of sleep.  Aim for 7.5 hours a night.  The human body requires fuel in order to function correctly.  Just as a machine would malfunction if you take away an essential part, the body fails to operate in a competent manner if you remove an essential component. Sleep is a crucial element to retain energy and stamina throughout the day.  In addition, sleep supports the maintenance of balancing in hormone levels, which significantly affects body weight and body fat.  A good night’s sleep allows the body to restore the physical and mental stresses of the day and provides the body with the vital means to function correctly.

 

  • Be consistent. Make a commitment and continue to strive for excellence.  Even when you don’t feel like the scale is reflecting the effort you are putting in, keep pushing.  Don’t rely on a number.  Instead, base your results on how you feel with regards to energy and stamina.  The scale may not have changed but your clothes are fitting better.  Remember, this is a process and it takes time to achieve your goals.  Stay motivated and remain consistent.

 

  • Nutrition is very important.  How’s the saying go: “Nutrition is 80% of it.  Results are based on the quality of foods you put in your mouth.  Abs and lean bodies are made in the kitchen.  You are what you eat.  If you eat cookies and doughnuts, you’re physique is going to look and feel like them, soft and round.  You want results, start eating better.  Incorporate lean proteins from lean beef, chicken, turkey, fish, preferably organic and wild caught.  Cut out all your sugar, bread and other processed food items from your diet.  You don’t need them.  Energy is minimal if you make those choices.  Eat a lot of veggies and fruits in moderation.   Also don’t forget your healthy fats.  Sources such as avocados, nuts, and Omega 3 oils.  Drink plenty of water.  Your body cannot burn fat without proper hydration.  Limit the consumption of alcohol.  If the liver is metabolizing alcohol, fat burning is non-existent.

 

  • Strength train 2-3 times a week.  Focus on all the major muscles groups.  Stay away from machines and use your own bodyweight, dumbbells, functional apparatus like bands, kettlebells, and the Trx.  Add a little muscle and your body becomes a more efficient fat burner.  Do not, I repeat, do not go all out on your cardio.  Chronic cardio will only raise your stress hormones.  Higher stress hormones (cortisol) cause more carbohydrate consumption.  Hormonally your body doesn’t know the difference between you having fun running on a treadmill or you fleeing a predator.  Chemically, the system sees it as a fight or flight response.  Instead, be active and do some light activity throughout the day.  Continuous movement and walking are the best ways to burn energy.  

 

  • Write stuff down. Write your goals down, write your measurements down, record your workouts, write it down or keep track of it with online tools.  There are many websites and applications you can use.  Two that I like are myfitnesspal and lose it.  Seeing your daily progress serves as an inspirational motivator.  Studies have shown better weight loss results and goal achievement with those individuals who keep a diary.

Look at this as a lifestyle, a journey with continuous change.  There will be times when you falter.  But, remember, it’s only a mere bump in the road.  Have a strong reserve and move forward with a consistent valiant effort and you will achieve excellence!