Balance

No, not work/home life balance, muscle balance/imbalance…

Per the NASM blog, “efficient human movement and function requires a balance of muscle length and muscle strength around a joint”.

Causes of muscle imbalances can include stress, bad posture (especially with technology – mouse, keyboard, phone), chronic sitting, repetitive movement patterns or prior injury.

Consequences of muscle imbalances can include increased risk for falls, injury, and muscle strain.

When you work with a trainer, pre-existing muscle imbalances can be identified and corrected which may  allow for reduced risk of falling, reduced risk of injury, improved efficiency and results from a personalized exercise program.

Goal:Fit Method training starts with a thorough assessment and is followed by a personalized, tailored plan of corrective exercise targeting increased flexibility, balance, strength and endurance to maximize quality of life.

Squeeze it in

Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good…

Crazy day get the best of you? No time to hit the gym or yoga studio?

Just because you don’t have time for a full workout, there are likely plenty of opportunities to squeeze a few minutes of movement into your day:

  • Do a few 60-second wall-squats while on a call
  • Planks are a great position for reading – set up your stopwatch and alternate planking on forearms/elbows followed by a rest then a plank from the top of a push-up position – repeat 5 times for 30-seconds each interval
  • Double stairs: if you need to go up or downstairs, go twice (e.g. go upstairs, back down, then back  up)
  • Do a 10 or 15 minute yoga sequence via YouTube (Yoga With Adriene has a ton of free, easy options that you can do at work without getting sweaty)
  • Stand up & sit down from chair or couch while scrolling social media

Try it today -be intentional about adding small bursts of activity throughout the day

Pre workout

People ask me all the time about pre and post workout supplements.  I prefer to stick to whole foods, so a processed or packaged ‘supplement’ is just not for me.  I do find a good beet juice to be a great pre-workout, though.

Beets are rich in nitrates and can convert in the body to nitric oxide which can relax blood vessels, which may increase blood flow to working muscles.  A fairly recent study in The American Journal of Physiology found that consuming beet juice can increase blood plasma nitric oxide levels and may result in vasodilation of blood vessels while resting and working out, which may translate to decreased stress on the heart during intense workouts, allowing for a longer workout and greater blood flow which may mean more nutrients hitting your hard-trained muscles .

I’ll either juice my own organic beets before a strength training session or hit The Weekly Juicery for either their Sweet Beet Punch or Debo’s Remedy.

Strength training reduces all causes of death

An article out this week on Forbes.com references RunRepeat.com ‘s “78 Science Backed Benefits of Weightlifting for Seniors” .  To summarize, gains included:

  • Fighting sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss)
  • Increasing muscle mass and fat burning
  • Supported functional independence
  • Better quality of life
  • Improved bone health and osteoarthritis
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Improved mental health
  • Better cognitive function
  • Decreased mortality risk
  • Fighting type 2 diabetes
  • Improved sleep
  • Greater mitochondrial health
  • Improved recovery from hip fractures

Read the articles linked above, get the all-clear from your doc and work with a trainer to improve your physical and cognitive function and overall quality of life!

Say What? Fitness jargon decoded

“Wait- how many reps per set? Or was it how many sets per circuit?” All this lingo can get confusing.

Here are some common terms you may see/hear me use related to workouts:

Rep: (“repetition”): One complete movement of a single exercise

Set: A group of consecutive repetitions

SuperSet: Set of two exercises that are performed back-to-back, without any rest time between them

Compound Sets: Involve the performance of two exercises for antagonistic muscles (e.g. bench press <chest> followed by cable rows <back> ).

Circuit Training: A series of exercises that an individual performs one after another with minimal rest

Split Routing Training: A system that incorporates training an individual’s body parts with a high volume on separate days

Cardio: Physical exercise that involves and places stress on the cardiorespiratory system

Strength Training: Exercise that works the muscles; the ability of the neuromuscular system to produce internal tension to overcome an external load

Stability: The ability of the body to maintain postural equilibrium and support joints during movement.

Flexibility: Normal extensibility of soft tissues allowing full range of motion of a joint; training that integrates various stretches in all 3 planes of motion to produce maximum extensibility of tissues

Intensity: The level of demand that a given physical activity places on the body

Core: 1. The center of the body and the beginning point for movement; 2. The structures that make up the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex, including the lumbar spine, the pelvic girdle, abdomen, and the hip joint.

Core Strength: The ability of the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex musculature to control and individual’s constantly changing center of gravity

Agility: The ability to accelerate, decelerate, stabilize, and change direction quickly while maintaining proper posture

Dynamic Balance: The ability to move and change directions under various conditions without falling