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Friday, September 22 2017

The average American is inactive nearly eleven hours per day, independent of sleep, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Despite the human body being designed as a perpetual motion machine, modern life has allocated our daytime hours to sitting in cars, on couches and in front of computers, which has left many of us hunched over and in constant pain.

You might be wondering, “How can doing NOTHING actually cause problems?”

The human body is extremely efficient. The form and function of muscles adapt almost immediately to the demands placed on them. When you are perpetually active, your muscles improve their neuromuscular, biomechanical and metabolic machinery to accommodate your activity. Oxygen and glucose are transported to the cells more and more efficiently. Muscles contract and relax as they were designed to do.

When you’re not active, however, your muscles adapt to inactivity. Metabolism of lipids slows down, oxygen and glucose transport to the cells becomes less robust and efficient. Sitting for hours at a time convinces your muscles to accommodate this “scrunched” position. Hip flexors shorten, the neck and upper spine protrude forward, and the glutes and hamstrings weaken. Over time, this creates tension, compression and other pain-inducing joint pathologies.

Posted by: fitgal@befitgal.com AT 01:14 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, September 13 2017

In common usage, “mobility training” has come to mean what “flexibility training” once meant for many of our clients. Whatever we are calling it, it’s a good idea to examine two joints essential for movement.

The hips and shoulders provide the most potential mobility in all three planes of movement and they form the point of connection between the extremities and the torso. As a result, successful movement is only possible with sufficient mobility in these two joints. An individual’s arm movement is only as good as the shoulders; likewise, leg movement is only as good as the hips.

This article highlights two very common problems for each joint and presents a few exercises to work on a solution for each.

The order of the exercises will follow a sequence of:

SOFTEN >> LENGTHEN >> STRENGTHEN

  • Soften = Self-massage, with the intent of either regenerating the tissue we want to be more active or softening restricted tissue that is preventing movement of the target area
  • Lengthen = Stretching, joint distraction
  • Strengthen = Activating muscle or “strengthening” (even though we are not using strength loads, this term will be most familiar to clients)
Posted by: fitgal@befitgal.com AT 08:55 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, September 07 2017

There’s no question: Most people aren’t getting enough sleep. According to the American Sleep Association, 35.3% of Americans report sleeping less than seven hours a night (that’s more than one third of the population!). The sleeping sweet spot is closer to seven to nine hours per night all days of the week, and anything less can have a profoundly negative impact upon your health. In fact, chronic lack of sleep lowers immune-system functioning and increases one’s risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Lack of sleep also negatively impacts cognition, impairing memory, judgment and concentration.

Posted by: fitgal@befitgal.com AT 08:25 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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