Fitness

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Squashing The Myths About Exercise for Older Adults-Part 3


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Despite our cultural depictions of aging, we all have the ability to age well with the strength, agility and balance to maintain our quality of life and the activities we enjoy. Traditional exercise programs, and even many fitness professionals, often disregard the ability of mature adults and seniors to maintain and gain qualities like strength and agility.
Regardless of age, we should all make the time to move, exercise, or play. Let’s squash one of the myths that hold mature adults and seniors back from moving better:

#3 Okay…exercise, but just take it easy…
To counter this myth, Fred Devito summed it up with his quote “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”
Progress in fitness will only occur over time when you are challenged. Sure, it is important to start off light when you begin a new fitness program, but soon your body will become used to the exercise and a plateau will happen. Progressions should be incorporated that continue to challenge you to move forward. My clients trust that I will push them just enough so they continue to see the results of their hard work, but not to a point of injury or exhaustion. The key to maintaining the right balance of challenge versus safe progression does not require a steep incline, instead the magic word is variability.
For example, if you enjoy walking on the treadmill, instead of going at the same pace for an hour – do intervals. Try 5 minutes at a comfortable pace then 2 minutes at a challenging pace. Keep coming back to the comfortable pace to recover, then ramp up again to stay challenged. Another simple variation to stay challenged is to vary your foot pattern if you enjoy working with dumbbells. Instead of standing neutral (i.e. feet hip-width distance apart) try a staggered stance as thought you’re midway through a walking step with one foot ahead of the other. Not only are you doing your curls but also you are testing your balance and core strength.

We move throughout life engaging multiple body parts simultaneously – so why isolate just one when we are exercising? Train for life!
Don’t let these myths hold you back from living with the quality of life you want! There’s no such thing as too old to exercise. Especially as we age, exercise may become but more about what you can DO rather than just how you look. A healthy fitness program means being able to play with the kids/grandkids, enjoy a good golf game, take that trip of a lifetime, or maybe just get around easily.
It is never too late to train to move better in your everyday life!

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Maintain or Improve Your Functional Capacity


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Take a moment and take an honest look at your health and ability to move well. This doesn’t just mean being able to lift, shoulder press or leg press an impressive amount of weight. Moving well includes being able to sit down and stand up without having to rock or use the arm rests. This also includes the balance, strength, and power to climb stairs. Even if you may have restrictions because of issues like chronic disease or arthritis you can still strive to improve your quality of life and move well within those restrictions.

Challenge yourself – if you are moving well right now what are you doing to make sure that as you age that does not change? If you are not moving well right now what are you doing to improve your physical ability?

Take a look at the below graphic. It is a simple and straightforward way of thinking about aging well. To explain what a functional capacity means – think about your daily life. Think about those daily activities that you need perform every day. These activities include what you need to do to maintain your health and well-being.  This capacity includes being able to go to the bathroom to pick up an object off the floor.

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I also challenge you to also include the things that you want and like to do. That capacity includes being able to get in and out of a sailing boat, competing in a triathlon or getting on the ground to play with the grandkids. What do you want and like to do? What do you have to improve so you can do those wants and likes easier or with less discomfort?

Maintaining your independence involves having that functional capacity. Maintaining your quality of life involves being able to move how your life demands. Introducing more or different ways of exercising will not only help you physically but also mentally and neurologically. Stay “in the green” and on the right path of a good functional capacity for your life!

 

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How to Build the Foundation for A New Year’s Fitness Resolution That Will Work


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The opportunity of a new year, new starts and new beginnings often have us in an optimistic mood for what is ahead. It is great to have a resolution that includes fitness and your health. However, until there is an invention that transforms thoughts into effort – you have to put in the work yourself!

With all of that in mind here is a short list: Three things to forget & Three things to remember. These will help you set yourself up for success for this year.

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Three Things to Forget

  1. __ days to __

Forget those gimmicks that promise or promote instant results in a prescribed amount of days. A commitment to your health does not stop after 30 days. In an age of instant gratification fight that urge to jump on that bandwagon when it comes to your health. Shortcuts are not sustainable.

  1. Slogans Like: “No Rest Days”…”All Or Nothing”…”No Pain No Gain…”

It is imperative that you allow your body to rest, especially when you are getting back on the fitness train. Even when you are well conditioned, still there are days where one allows the muscles to grow & recover and the body to refuel in some way. If you are all or nothing, then a day of progress but not completion is failure. Internalizing that idea can lead to frustration and self-defeating aspects of that could make one just stop. Lastly, a biomechanically solid workout does not have to leave you barely able to move or in pain. In fact, if you are in pain every time you do workout…it is just a matter of time until you are on the injured list. A challenging workout is one thing, painful is another.

  1. Numbers Are All That Matter

Forget defining yourself solely by your measurements and weight. It can be an ineffective strategy.  Confidence, energy level, self-worth, ability to move better, better posture, feeling stronger… can’t be determined by just flipping a switch or getting a tape measure- and these are even more powerful. Fight the urge to succumb to the numbers. You are much more than that.

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Three Things to Remember

  1. Start with What Works for You

It is simple but true – the workout that you actually do is the one that works. You don’t climb a flight of stairs from half way up. Start where you are right now & work up to a more challenging workout. Set the foundation, get in the groove then when you are gathering steam then start taking the stairs two at a time.

  1. Plateaus & Bad Days Can Be Part of The Process

Factors like doing the same workout, food you consume on a regular basis, stress or sleep can contribute to being stuck on a plateau. It may also be a good opportunity to keep track of these and other things.  You will see a pattern in your behavior that affects your workouts.  Once you see that pattern you know how you can break out of that plateau or decrease those bad days from popping up. We all have days where we wonder if our brain is actually connected to our limbs and feel out of sync. Push through it as best as you can. Keeping track of things may shed some light on why…but sometimes it is just one of those days. Celebrate the fact that you did it (easier than said done on the same day but you can on the next!) & you did not give up.

  1. Walk Backwards From Your Goal…Leave Breadcrumbs

Instead of thinking in terms of your resolution to happen this year – think of it in pieces that will make up the whole. Breaking up the main goal into months and even weeks can make the chance to crush it more reasonable. When you look at the bite sized pieces it will make you re-evaluate, refine & even change your fitness resolution.

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Six Ways To Weave Exercise Back Into Your Life


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If it has been a while since you have seriously started exercising again it can be tempting to hit the ground running. Figuring out a plan of attack is a better way to set up yourself up for sustainable success. Below are 6 ways to weave exercise back into your life.

  1. Don’t restrict yourself to the stereotypical ways to exercise. Of course – going to the gym, getting a membership, attending fitness group classes etc. are all awesome ways to improve your health and move towards your goals. However, joining an intramural sports group, hiking group, biking to work or getting your hands dirty tending to your garden are all good ideas also. What works for someone else may not work for you, so explore the options in and out of a gym setting.
  1. Look at your week – find the time to schedule your activity. Hold yourself accountable to the times you set aside to exercise. If you are still paying that gym membership and have not gone for months – consider ending it. Use that money in another way that will move you towards your fitness goals. Also – work with the time that you have, then revisit your schedule in a month or so to see how you can make more time.
  1. Find a community. If you don’t already have a buddy or friends that can help welcome you back into the fray…seek some out. If you enjoy posting your workouts online and having others hold your accountable, then give it a shot. Start your own fitness blog & give updates. You will be surprised about how supportive others are & are inspired by your efforts. Offline or online find some sort of community, individual or fitness professional that will cheer you on and hold you accountable at the same time. You are not alone.
  1. Avoid defining yourself by being out of shape etc. Focus on your future of making exercise more a part of your life! You are taking ownership of your health and making an important recognition of its importance. Start making the right choices now. Be patient with your progress, exercise is not one size fits all!
  1. Recognize that exercise is an important piece of the puzzle. Exercise is a substantial move towards a fitter you. At the same time recognize other things that contribute to it like: stress, sleep, what you are eating on a constant basis. As you start getting into your exercise groove start try tracking what you are eating for a week, how much you are getting sleep and what your energy levels were. Turn to qualified individuals if you need guidance on those areas so you can see more gains.
  1. Stop Making Excuses. Until someone comes up with an invention for someone else to exercise and you receive the health benefits…you have to do it yourself! You know yourself better than anybody. If you know you don’t have the energy to workout when you get home after work – then do it in the morning. If you don’t like exercising outside – then get a gym membership and use it. If you work better under pressure – sign up for a race 4 or so months from now. You can do this. Be a fitter version of yourself.

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You got this! Welcome back!

 

-Damien

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Five Reasons To Incorporate Balance Training Into Your Workout


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Balance is more than just standing on one leg. It is important in so many activities that we do daily. Here are just five of numerous reasons why you should spice things up with some balance training when working out.

  1. It improves your joint stabilization. Stabilization is “the ability to maintain or control joint movement or position. Stability is achieved by the coordinating actions of surrounding tissues and the neuromuscular system.” Thus, to break it down you can be able to stay strong and steady when walking up a flight of stairs with a heavy bag of groceries in one hand. Or if playing sports, running etc. and you don’t have a good joint stability you can run the risk of tearing or stretching a ligament.

 

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Having some fun going for a hike up & over this terrain is much more fun when you have some good balance.
  1. We live in an unstable world. Even if you don’t consider yourself athletic – you still balance every day. Getting out of the car, walking up stairs, going for a hike in the wilderness are all instances of balance plays a part in your life. Sure, you may not be walking a tightrope – but better balance means better reaction time or better coordination. For instance – tripping over a crack on the sidewalk and catching yourself takes balance. Thus, you are more aware of where you are in space and can better react with good balance.
  1. It strengthens your core. An example would be a single leg deadlift – even without any weight you are firing off the stabilization muscles in the planted leg. Of course, the rest of the body is attached and you are focusing on staying upright. The muscles around your spine and abdominal area are activated also. Your core is much more than that 6-pack. Keep that core strong so it can support the spine, pelvis and joints. You bend better, you lift better you can shift things away from your body better. Play sports? Compete? You are a more powerful athlete or competitor.
  1. Stronger core =’s better posture. With better posture then it means that the deck is stacked properly. When bad posture creeps in the body is smart – it compensates. But when the body compensates then that is when the chance of injury or tightness will occur. Everything is connected in the body. Just got some new sneakers and noticing that your knees stopped hurting? That is an example of how the shoes affected your posture. Now imagine if it is something inside of you that is not as stable and strong.
  1. Fall Prevention. Yes, this is a risk for individuals when they are getting older. It was noted that in San Diego “one in three older adults (65+) falls each year.” Balance is one of the reasons for these falls. For that reason, it is important to improve and challenge your balance in various exercises. Any age group can benefit from this and it is important to keep on incorporating it as we get older. In addition, those who play sports that are moving in all directions also benefit from this as it substantially improves their athletic performance.

Sprinkle in some balance training into your workout regime. Regardless your age or your athleticism, it is an important component to a stronger, stable, confident and fit you!

-Damien

 

 

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Writing A Blog Post Instead of Working On My Business Plan – Events on My Horizon In 2017


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So the last couple of weeks I have been working on my Business Plan when I am not doing anything else. It is a process. Let us not talk about that.

 

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Insert caption regarding working on a Business Plan yourself. Try to keep eyebrows raised & head cocked.

Instead I am going to daydream about events I am either planning to do that I am considering in 2017.

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Great group – the Goruck event I did earlier this year.
  1. Goruck Tough Challenge. This one is a given. I do it every year now. It is the first event I do of the year to get things kicked off right. I won’t talk again about why I do it as I have done that before. This is probably the hardest event I usually do all year so why not start off on top & everything else is a tad bit easier. Also I always feel absolutely accomplished after it. Each one is a different experience.

 

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There they go…hills, stairs & the wilderness awaits.
  1. Dipsea Race. I was looking into some different races & came across this one. Now even if I do throw my name in the hat I won’t hold my breath if I get on the list. But come March I will do so. Number if racers is limited to 1,500…500 of that are first come first serve (via post)…then there is a lottery for 300 and there are a few other ways to get invited to the race. Why is this on my list? It is challenging, quirky and has history to it (been going since 1905!). I like that.

 

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  1. Civilian Military Combine (CMC). This one looks interesting. It has an OCR angle to it but also a strength element that will draw those who like the Workout Of The Day format for 5 minutes. It definitely will even the playing grounds from those that are good at solely lifting & those that are great on the obstacles as the 5 min strength element is done before the race.

 

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Photo Credit
  1. Tough Mudder. Now this one arguably I have to do…since I volunteered earlier this year at one & now have a much cheaper entry fee. I am not gonna lie. I am not a big fan of the bigger races trying to outdo each other with over the top obstacles. Being shocked by wires or jumping into an oversized bathub of 500lbs of ice is not on my bucket list. That is why longingly looked at my calendar at the race I was to do last weekend. That was a great race. Oh well. But I guess I will give it a shot also.

 

If I am able to do even three of these I will be happy. I like my races spaced out a bit so I don’t over train or get injured. Goruck will be in March. The rest we shall see!!

 

Okay, I guess I have to get back to this other writing. More substantive posts after Turkey Day! Have a great holiday all!!

 

-Damien

 

 

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Useful Resources For Fitness & Related Topics – YouTube Channels & Videos


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Knowledge about proper form, different ways to exercise, body mechanics or nutrition is quite useful when you are trying to attain your version of fitness or just want to understand more about your body. These are just a few resources that are constantly on my rotation that I find useful.

I will break up the resources post to keeping this one just to YouTube Channels & Videos.

Dalibor Petrinichttps://www.youtube.com/user/DaliborPetrinic

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This guy is amazing. Way back before I started getting underneath sandbags I started watching his videos and not long after I purchased my first. Don’t expect him narrating everything, as I have not found any yet where he is talking about form or whatnot. Instead the videos are him focused on his movements & showing what can be done with sandbags, body-weight and other tools. Some of the videos will have a list of what he will be doing prior, which is helpful. Lastly chances are if he is speaking it will not be in English but I personally don’t think it really matters.

 

The Movement Fixhttps://www.youtube.com/user/themovementfix

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Dr. Ryan DeBell has very informative and helpful visual examples to fixes and movements. It is helpful as he breaks down whatever topic (like running cadence) he is discussing into easy to digest examples and queues. Most of the time he will show a movement or area of the body he is talking about using that part of a skeleton before doing the movement himself. Initially I was directed to his site by Squat University (I will get to them later) of his discussion about how hip anatomy can easily differ between people. It is a really important article that touches on the importance individualization when it comes to squat form. Our bodies are not alike, nor will our squats necessarily be.

 Tony Gentilcorehttps://www.youtube.com/user/HurstTony/featured

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There is a wealth of knowledge in these videos ranging from stretches to specific exercises. I enjoyed his video on real vs. BS hip flexor stretch. It definitely made me check my form closer & make sure my clients are not doing the BS version. His website is chock full of info also: http://tonygentilcore.com/

 

 

 

Squat Development With Pat Sherwood https://youtu.be/WOLyHSIsPk0

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I have found this video is a really good video about developing & improving squat form. Of course there are a lot of videos out there as it is important.  It is always helpful when the individual explaining form has a subject to use while explaining it. This video is a good way to reset and assess yourself. I have and still will watch this as a refresher and pick up cues that are quite helpful.

How To Crawl The Right Way by Tim Andersonhttps://youtu.be/iPdTS4WIvZ8

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Crawling is such a great full body exercise and I think underutilized. Tim of Original Strength gives a lesson on crawling. I find this a good intro for my clients, I just tweak it a bit to make it a bit easier & progress to his version over time.  His book Original Strength (book) is on my shortlist to buy. I am really interested in learning more about animal movements such as this as they are a good test of not only full body strength but mobility and agility.

BONUS (since I mentioned it above)

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Squat University –  @squatuniversity     OR   squatuniversity.com

I first came across them on Twitter and saw this article Can The Knees Go Over The Toes? (Debunking Squat Myths) . Dr. Aaron Horschig & the rest of the crew always have great tips & suggestions constantly. What I was also impressed with is how much and often they respond to questions and comments on a pretty consistent basis on Twitter and Instagram. If you want to go straight to the articles check out the website.

Other YouTube video channels I should check out? Let me know.

As always, any questions or inquires about Incremental Fitness & Outdoor Personal Training Services in San Diego you can drop me an email at: incrementalfit.com

Damien