A well written article states that if a substance is a known poison, but is consumed in a small enough dose that it's effect can't be measured, then who cares. This is common thinking but not the logic I choose to live by. Consider the following scenerio.
A bunch of Native Americans agree that it is not safe to cross a frozen river because it is too thin and a man does anyway and makes it across. Who is right and does it change the mind of the other?
Tip of the day: Do not exchange principles for methods.
Digging deeper: You can't convince someone that it is a bright sunny day if they are looking through a dark and hazy window. Many people fail to lose weight because they fail to believe that they are capable of lifestyle change or that the payoff will be worth it. True belief is the only thing that can motivate people to the point of action.
One of the greatest challenges people face is behavior change. The more transparent we are, the more accurate the view and the potential for progress is greater.
I had a cookie today.
Epistemology is the study of the acquisition of knowledge. Here's what I have come to know about stretching, performance, and recovery:
- Stretching can increase flexibility and decrease injuries associated with limited range of motion.
- Stretching can be done before, during, and after a workout.
- Besides injury prevention, being more flexible allows for greater ease of movement thus can promote more movement.
- Overstretching can reduce muscle force generation decreasing performance and increasing the risk of injury.
- Drastically stretching an injured or very sore muscle may increase recovery time especially if the injured area is lacking is any one of the many required elements to the repair process.
- A healthy joint requires a balance of strength and flexibility.
- A healthy muscle is metabolically active, resistant to injury and can remain strong well into the later stages of life.
- A muscle is composed of about 70% water.
- A 3-4% decrease in body weight from dehyration can decrease performance by 10%.
- Normal muscle contraction requires the right balance of sodium and potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron.
- Dietary protein (amino acids) are the building blocks for muscle protein synthesis and life.
The main points:
- Done correctly, stretching is good.
- Done incorrectly, stretching is bad.
- When diet (hydration and nutrition at the cellular level) is compromised, performance decreases and the type, intensity, and frequency of your stretching program won't be as effective.
Funny quote: "Flexibility without strength is counter productive while strength without flexiblity is just stupid."
To hear more about epistemology and how we validate information before using it in our programs, contact me at www.strongerliving.life.
Personal trainers look for patterns in the lives of their clients with the hope of illuminating habits that are correlated with certain physical outcomes. Their motivation lies in helping people feel better. It is helpful to be reminded during their passionate attempts to identify these patterns, that they are not doctors, trained therapists, or dietians. They are observationalists, familiar with cause and effect, aware that you are unique but share some commonalities, and that change will only come to those who believe it will be worth it.
At Functional Fitness our personal trainers understand what you're looking for and will help you find and connect your dots.
For stronger living,
At each meal/snack if you consume a good balance of proteins, fats, and carbs, you will experience sustained energy. Some call this the metabolic test.
Getting the correct balance of vitamins and minerals into the body at the cellular level is much harder to do. If there is one thing I learned from my degree in nutrition it was the complexity of interactions of vitamins and minerals and the mirad of outcomes from such.
What do you do?
Literally, eat the rainbow by consuming red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple vegetables daily. Since this is very hard for me personally to do, I also take a scientifcally balanced multivitamin (Nurtrisearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements) that is thrid party tested (NSF and Consumerlab) to be such and manufactured to pharmaceutical grade (FDA Registered Drug Establishment) standards since the industry cannot be trusted.
To learn more contact me or visit my website.
1) How's that working for you?
2) Show me?
Finally, I got some adequate sleep and I feel great!!
Stress versus sleep
For the past few nights I have decided to stay up late and get some things done. Anyone been there? Knowing that my performance in mental and physically capacity will be compromised, the hightened and constant stress of not getting things done was decidedly more injurious to my overall health at this junction. Every night for the past few nights when I layed down, I couldn't help but vocally pronounce, "I love sleep" and thus offically concluding the day by closing my eyes. This morning I awoke with a logged 7.5 hours of z's. I felt energy, brain power, and a decrease in muscle achiness that I hadn't felt all week!
Through trial and error I have come to know that optimal for me is a solid 8.5 hours. Research proves that 7-9 hours is optimal if you are an adult. Research also shows that if you get less than 6 hours you will experience a significant reduction in multiple areas of funciton.
Here are some of the confusing things we hear and think about in regards to exercise:
I am physically active but I don't like to exercise. Movement in general makes me feel better when I have been inactive and stressed. I jog but don't run. Sometimes I walk/run. I do active rest days such as biking on my days off from working out. Sometimes I do head to toe pick-me-up drills or every day range of motion activities to work on form, posture, lifting mechanics, muscle sequencing, general fine and gross motor movements and/or recovery rolling out which can be painful. Ooch! Sometimes I do yoga or take a true rest day and focus on breathing, reflection, meditation, or good old prayer. General and dynamic warm-ups which sometime include stretching and neuromuscular or deep muscle fiber wake-up protocols are also helpful on these recovery days.
My overall goal is usually toning and keeping metabolically active tissue with a hint of strength training and a bit of more specific power retainment. I also like the way it feels and benefits me to work on the endurance or cardiorespiratory (heart and lungs) side of things. Of course, weight management, looking and feeling good are welcomed by products, as they are for most people, but are usually not the driving force into my personal exercise program or prescription which I think starts to sound too technical and less like Functional Fitness for stronger living (aka stay active, move it or lose it, challenge yourself, and have fun).
The key to exercise program design is similar to that of diet planning. We need to be clear on what exactly we currently doing and whether or not it is producing the results we are looking for? This approach seems to depersonalize the matter and help us analzye things more objectively.
Exercise is the world's best medicine and the greatest positive influencer of the 4 other major health influenceing variables already blogged about. Exercise appears to "unlock" the body to best respond to the stimuli we expose it to (i.e. pollution, fresh naturally filtered sea breeze, unhealthy substances found in processed foods and drinks, vitamins and minerals found in fresh foods, a surplus of stress hormones (overstress) from inadequate coping skills, exercise without adequate rest periods, poisonous substances such as cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and alcohol, meditation, hydration, sleep).
When designing an exercise program focus on:
1) TRAINING FOR LIFE via a varity of intensities (steady stamina, working hard and pushing the limit).
2) MOVING IN 3D as in front to back, side-to-side and rotation.
At Functional Fitness of DuPage we provide an array of services to fit your exact needs.
- Corporate fitness (exercise, diet, total life coaching)
- Wellness consulting and Stronger Living presentations
- Personal training, semi-private, and group
- Individual program design and basic dietary guidelines
- Post-rehabilitation exercise therapy
- Residential Senior Fitness Programming
- Off-site coaching and tailored programs to fit your exact needs and budget.
Our team offers the highest degree of fitness consulting and real-life experience possible to help you get the results you're looking for. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set-up a free consultation or visit www.fitdupage.com.
Diet- Latin from Greek diaita ‘a way of life.’
In this case, diet refers to the way we live. This aligns with our stronger living platform. We, at Functional Fitness of DuPage, recognize that it is the way we think, eat, and move that determines our overall health and fitness status. The Big 5 (major health influencing variables) that we are highlighting each contribute 20% towards the goal of stronger living.
Now, the more common use of the word diet refers to our general food intake practices. For example, do we think more about calorie reduction or nutrient consumption? Which would be more helpful to our goals, fit our lifestyle best and how do we know? Do we focus on the most impactful and proven science or stay focused on that which is creating an uphill and losing battle with weight management diminishing our hope that we can actually achieve and maintain a healthy weight? Have we sought professional guidance? Who are the professionals? If we consider the who, what, when, where and how of our diet and gain an accurate perspecitive of what we are doing, we can hold it up and know the results that it produces. The phrase we like to use is, "how's that working for you?" Do you have the energy, health, weight, and looks that you desire?
Diet is one of the most read about topics of our day which I think is the reason 2/3 of the country of overweight. With everyone writing books, articles, blogs, etc. and trying to cash in on the trillion dollar industry, there is just too much information out there for the lay person to know what to focus on or they come to believe that they know what to do but aren't doing it because of a belief in the all of none concept. In reality, it is the small doable changes that yield the best results.
Tip of the day:
1) EAT FOR ENERGY by balancing your marconutrients (protein, carbs, and fats) and getting optimal micronutrition (vitamins and minerals).
2) COMBAT TOXINS by limiting intake and increasing output through clean and powerful dietary choices.
Diet and its impact on our health is a fascinating topic and heavily involves exercise physiology and psychology. For more information on our fitness consulting services contact us at www.strongerliving.life.
This title is the tag line for Functional Fitness of DuPage. A company that made sense to start in 2007 when I recognized there was a need for more trainers who emphasize improving the aspects of your life through better health, better movement, and more passion.
Our beloved huskie passed away a few days ago and starbucks just switched over to their Christmas cups and peppermint lattes. My awareness that life is short is heightened and my resolve to help as many people as possible live life to the fullest is strengthened.
Thank you to all who continue to read this blog, receive our newsletter, check our website, use our exercise, diet, or coaching services, and have joined us in the self-empowered fight against mediocrity.
For stronger living,
I used to reference the RDA measures for water intake and discuss 3.2L for men and 2.9L for women to my clients. I would mention that some hydration comes from your food (like the 9-13 servings of fruits and vegetables you should be eating everyday) and some from the liquids you drink (straight water and other beverages). Empathetically, I might quote a company that manufactures high tech body composition testing equipment who use total body water readings and admit to using a suboptimal average in their calculations because virtually everyone is dehydrated to a degree. My disgust would become apparent as I simply cannot disgest such backwards logic. I might also mention out of empathy that the USDA reports that less than 1 in 10 people get the RDA (or minimum amount) of fruits and vegetables. I would assume that people know that our cells are mostly made of water and that the function (of every cell in our body) would be diminished if not properly hydrated. As a former wrestler, I have been made very aware that even a small percentage of dehyrdation leads to reduced strength, coordination, stamina, and cognitive response time.
All of this is overwhelming to me and my clients and it gets confusing. So, my new strategy, in regards to water intake recommendations, is to simply highlight the extremely positive impact proper hyration can have on our health and energy and challenge people to actually measure their intake for a few days and stop assuming that they drink enough just because they carry a bottle around. I mention that many fitness professionals still use the goal of 64 ounces of water per day. I use this amount as a minimum goal for myself. Some of my clients start with a goal of 20 or 40 ounces because they are used to drinking less than that. They report feeling better almost immediately. I have determined that I feel the best when I get about half my body weight in ounces which is a rule of thumb that many other fitness professionals use.
Here's the catch, water consumption is a good thing but it is not the only variable that affects hydration and therefore I don't believe it should be used as the sole measure of whether or not we are hydrated. Some people drink and drink but then have to run to the bathroom just as much. Although there are worse things I agree that this can be annoying. Have you ever consumed glass after glass only to still feel dehydrated? Variables that can have an impact on your hydration and energy level include medications, alcohol, the amount and type of caffeinated beverage you drink, the amount of plants you eat, exercise, the timing and number of meals you consume, salt intake, potassium intake, the environment, the clothes you wear, the health of your gut, the overall balance of your entire system (called homeostasis) which is largely impacted by your nutrition at the cellualr level, and oh yea how much water you drink. It's rather fascinating to me.
Water is mother nature's energy drink or health and wellness beverage of choice. Know how much you're getting and figure out how you might be able to get more because chances are you will feel the difference.