The Big Four

| January 3, 2016 | 0 Comments

There are four areas in your fitness routine to be sure to include in your training design. If you are a solo artist doing it “on your own” be sure to incorporate this in to your plan. If you are working with Fitness Pro, chances are good that you already are feeling the effects of this four pronged approach.

This area is key to your long term health and safety. As we age our inner ear changes: it degrades, just like the rest of our anatomy. When we combine inner ear degradation with muscle atrophy associated with aging and sedentary existence, the chances of a debilitating fall are much greater. To fend off these risks, be sure to do some of your movements single legged. Standing on one foot is much more challenging and when your spine is loaded with both your single legged body weight and perhaps a dumb bell or two, your core has to work harder as does your muscle, and your inner ear. Try balance disks; the Bosu ball both; flat side up and round side up. Anything you can do to create instability will go along way in improving your balance. If you fall and hit your head it is estimated at fatal 30 percent of the time.

When we hit our mid-forties, or there about, nature has a way of deconditioning us and our life cycle accelerates. Let’s face it, when we hit 40 we tend to be in situations that require less strenuous activity. We ended our pick up basketball career, stopped the league play, slowed our run pace, had a sidelining injury, and/or more than likely just flat out stopped the resistance training. Problem is we start losing on average about one percent of our lean mass annually in our 40s, and if female, add in the beginnings of bone mass lose at an estimated rate of .3 to.5 percent per annum. To maintain lean weight and stave off fat weight gains which generally accompany lean mass loss, you have to keep up a resistance training regime. Start at least with body weight. Do step ups, squats, lunges. Anything aimed at those larger muscle groups require more fuel due to their size. Once you master the basic squat, lunge, and step up you can add reasonably scaled weights to bring variety of movement and added stress to the system.

Muscles are attached to the bone by tendons. The less flexible the muscle, the tighter it pulls on the bone attachment site vie the tendon. Over tight muscle creates higher loading on the attachment site and hence, in some instances can alter the normal nature of how a bone sits in its respective place. As example, people with over tight hamstrings from lack of movement, sitting all day at the desk and then side sleeping in a fetal position, tend to as a group have more low back pain.

Their hamstrings are in a contracted state most of their lives. Combine tight hams with weak abs and the problem is exacerbated. The hams pull on the pelvis and the abs can not maintain proper pelvic alignment. Start simple. Get up from your desk, stand up tall, lock your knees and slowly with your back arched slightly at the belt line, bend forward as if reaching your toes. When you feel the stretch in you hams, buns and low back, “stop” and take six nice inhales and exhales. Slowly stand up right again signaling “touchdown” and from there slowly move your arms to a Y position and then, in that position, press your arms backwards as if touching an imaginary wall behind you. Take a break and take care of you. More flexible equals less pain, better posture and less prone to injury.

If you are getting winded walking up stairs or carrying groceries, your body is asking you to condition it. Endurance training builds stamina. And, it is pretty simple to include in your workout. First off, take your rep counts from where they are now to 15, 18 or 20 per set.

Increase the pacing between sets; reducing the rest periods in between the work. This alone will give your endurance system a jolt. If you are already a high rep worker, add in complementary work in the current set that you are unaccustomed to accomplishing. For example, rather than rest in between, hit the treadmill all out for 45 seconds, or simply do 20 air squats, high knee march in place, jumping jacks, leg jacks, or run in place for short bursts. Your heart rate will sore and your perspiration will flow with thankfulness. Slowly you’ll see that you can endure.

Fitness Together Mission Hills offers personal training with qualified professionals by regular appointment in private suites. Exercise and nutritional programs are custom designed to fit your needs and abilities. Call (619) 794-0014 for more information or to schedule a free fitness diagnostic and private training session. See what others are saying about us on Yelp.

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