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Sunday, June 24, 2012

The importance of flexibility; How to stretch


One of the most over-looked aspects of physical fitness is flexibility training. We all want to know how much we can lift or how fast we can run, but do you know if you can bend down and touch your toes? If not, you have a flexibility problem that needs to be address ASAP. In today's society we are plagued with postural imbalances, injuries, and low back pain. Most of these conditions can be corrected with simple flexibly routines. Sitting for long period of time, can lead to tight and weak hamstring, low back muscles, pectorals, neck and hip flexors. Let's not forget the ligaments associated with each joint. Your right, it’s ALL CONNECTED! Having tight muscles can lead to injury and cause chronic pain that your physician may prescribe medications to alleviate, but never address the muscle imbalance that you put your body through every day.

Here is a sample flexibility program for you to follow daily:

Hamstring Stretch: Lie flat on you back and lift one leg up in the air, while having the opposite leg lie flat on the floor. Grab the leg that’s in the air behind the knee and gently pull towards you. Try to keep the leg straight as you can. This should be done slowly and held for 30 secs.
Pectoral Wall Stretch: Stand in the center of a doorway. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and place them on the walls of the door. Slowly lean forward until a stretch is felt in your chest. This should be done slowly and held for 30 secs.
Upper Trapezius Stretch: Stand upright and lean neck laterally (ear to shoulder) while dropping the opposite shoulder. You should feel a stretch between the shoulder and the neck.
Hip Flexor Stretch: Kneel with front and back legs bent at 90 degrees. Gently lean forward stretching the back leg, until you feel a stretch in your back leg. Hold for 30 secs.

Try this out and soon you will notice results, like pain relief, and more movement in your joints.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Beginner 6 week Summer 5k Training Program

A 5k is only 3.1 miles of either great fun or gurgling burn. This distance is great to begin your running journey, while giving you a specific goal. It is also a great distance for all ages and levels of runners. This starter program will help you conquer this distance without monopolizing your life. Let's begin:

Week 1: Mon                    Tues           Wed                 Thurs           Fri               Sat               Sun
            15min run/walk       Off         20 min run/walk      Off         30min run/walk     Off          40min walk
Week 2: Mon                   Tues         Wed                   Thurs        Fri                    Sat           Sun
            20 min run/walk      Off         25 min run/walk      Off         30min run/walk     Off          x-train(bike,yoga)
Week 3: Mon                    Tues        Wed                   Thurs       Fri                     Sat            Sun
            20 min run/walk      Off         25 min run/walk      Off         35min run/walk     Off          30min run/walk
Week 4: Mon                   Tues         Wed                   Thurs       Fri                     Sat           Sun
           30min run/walk        Off        20min run/jog         Off         40min run/walk     Off           x- train
Week 5: Mon                   Tues         Wed                   Thurs        Fri                    Sat           Sun
           25min run/jog    Cross train  40min run/walk       Off         30min run/jog       Off     50min Moderate Walk
Week 6: Mon                   Tues         Wed                    Thurs        Fri                     Sat           Sun
            40min run/jog       Off          20min run/walk       Off          Off            15min walk          RACE DAY

   

Sunday, June 10, 2012

5 tips to protect your knees

Have you had an achy feeling in your knees? Do you find it difficult to walk long distances, go down stairs, or sit for long periods of time without having pain in your knees? You may be suffering from Patella Femoral Syndrome. This is an umbrella term, that describes a dysfunction between the patella, cartilage, tibia, femur, ligaments, and muscles around the knee. Since there is so much involve, it is hard to pinpoint what is really wrong. Here are my 5 top tips to "protect your knees":

1. Stretch-  flexibility is a key role in improving general range of motion of the knee and other body parts.

2. Improve your balance- wobbly ankles can cause poor mechanics of the knee.

3. Decrease compression- doing activites that cause you to do alot of jumping (volleyball), or hitting a hard surface (running on concrete vs. treadmill),
                                            may cause wear and tear on on the cartilage in your knees.

4. Wear proper shoes- even though 9" heels look nice, they are touture on your knees. They may put the joint in hyperextension and causes excessive
                                       wear and tear of the knee joint.

5. Exercise- doing bodyweight exercises improve your strength, and biomechanics of your joints. If you are in pain, get clearance from your physician
                    before engaging in any execises.