Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cure For Writer's Block

I have writer’s block. I have been challenged with this for the last couple of days. Normally, I’d be upset because I’m putting in a less than perfect post.

News flash: I am less than perfect.

And it’s ok.

We’ve all had times where we feel that we’ve tried and failed.

Or messed up.

So what? The last paragraph was one sentence that is actually a fragment.

So what?

What can I concentrate on here? I’m actually writing. I’m being honest with you and myself.

How does this relate to health and fitness?

Sometimes we feel like skipping the gym. We’ve had an argument with the boss, or the spouse. Received a speeding ticket. Maybe you just had a bad day.

What do you do?

Carry on. Go anyway. Sometimes you surprise yourself with your results. Sometimes you just need to push yourself.

I have said to myself subconsciously that I’m not good enough and people don’t like me for YEARS! Ridiculous, I know.

Before I wrote this there was a little voice telling me that I’m not a good writer and no one will read my blog, so why write?

Why write?

I love to write even if it’s just for me. I love to exercise and that’s completely for me, although my girlfriend reaps the benefits.

I also do them for you.

I want to be an example. I want to cause a change in this world.

Maybe one word I say will change someone’s life.

Maybe my written word will inspire.

Who knows?

It’s irrelevant. I do it for me…and that’s enough.

Just being honest.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Flexibility and Strength at the same time?

Yes, you can use flexibility to get stronger!

Most of us stretch using the old fashioned method we learned in gym class. The classic example is the good ole sit and reach. We reach as far as we can until we can’t go anymore. What stops you from reaching your toes or farther is the stretch reflex.

The stretch reflex is what kicks in to keep you from hurting yourself. If you’ve never touched your toes before and you reach down to do so, your body is going to protect itself and not allow you to do it.

So, how do we fool it?

If you reach a full stretch, and then tense the muscles being stretched, what will happen is the stretch reflex in the muscle will not resist nearly as much…for a little while. So, after relaxing the muscle, you will be able to stretch a little bit further. I have helped a friend who had never touched her toes touch them for the first time using this technique.

How does this make you stronger?

Whenever you contract the muscle you are making it stronger. When you do a bicep curl, you are contracting the bicep to move the weight. If you stop the weight in the middle of the rep, you are still contracting the muscle, this is an isometric contraction.

Isometrics is a very powerful tool for strength development.

To develop strength-flexibility, stretch as far as you can, then flex the stretched muscle.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Yes, your kids like broccoli

Well, they might. I hear a lot about children only liking certain fried foods and that they won't eat anything else. As a former stubborn child with an equally stubborn mother, these are some of the ways that she got me to eat what I "didn't" want. This was also verified by listening to my girlfriend, Christa, who is a nanny and "Child Whisperer."

1. YOU control the supply lines.

You decide which foods to buy and when to serve them. Yes, your kids will pester you for less nutritious foods. Just remember you’re in charge!

2. Kids need to have some say in the matter.

Make sure that the choices they have are nutritious ones. From the selections YOU offer, let them choose what to eat and how much of it they want.

3. End the "clean-plate club."

Let them stop eating when they feel they've had enough. This teaches your children to respond to feelings of being full and prevents overeating

4. Remember drink calories.

Soda and other sweetened drinks add extra calories and get in the way of good nutrition. Water is the best drink for kids.

5. Kids do as you do.

You are your child’s biggest role model. To teach good eating habits, set the best example possible. Choose nutritious snacks, eat at the table, and don't skip meals.

6. Limit TV and computer time.

When you do, you'll avoid mindless snacking and encourage activity. When TV and computer time are limited, kids will find more active things to do. And when the whole family limits "screen time," you'll have more time to be active together.

Remember this: No one will let themselves starve! Yes, children can be very stubborn. Chicken fingers and french fries are poor substitutes for food. The biggest reason I've noticed that children eat poorly is because they are hesitant to try something different. Your children deserve the best so they can grow. Give it to them.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

About Flexibility

When I started massage school, I thought I knew quite a bit about the human body.

I have been using my body physically to make a living for most of my life and still I am realizing how little I know. It’s a humbling experience and a fun one as well.

Here’s a good example. I have heard quite a bit about flexibility and stretching since I started playing sports all those years ago. We all know that we are supposed to stretch before our physical activity. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and relax. Sometimes do it twice with the same stretch and move on to our activity.

During massage school, I learned that there was quite a bit more to stretching and flexibility other than what we were taught in gym class. Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to explain a few of them to you, and educate you on some things that you are probably new to you. The first is one most of us are the most familiar with: Static Stretching.

Static Stretching is when you gradually lengthen a muscle to an elongated position (to the point of discomfort) and hold that position for 30 seconds to two minutes. The classic example is the toe touch to stretch the hamstrings (muscles on the back of the thighs).

Here’s the interesting thing about static stretching is that there is some research that suggests that static stretching before your activity can hinder your performance. It also seems to be the least efficient way to gain flexibility. After your activity, however, static stretching is great for helping alleviate the soreness that could come later.

Next week, we’ll talk about a way to stretch that will make you stronger.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Raising Healthy Children

It never ceases to amaze me when I see children that are overweight or obese. Nothing breaks my heart more knowing that there are children out there who will not reach the age expectancy of their parents. To me it’s a form of child abuse, and I’ll rant about that more in a future post. The point of this one is to offer a solution.

We have all heard and read that we all need 60 minutes of activity.

“Easier said than done,” you say?

I say better done than said.

Yes, I understand that you’re busy. I understand that time is a precious commodity, and we want to enjoy our children and the growing up process. I am here to make it easier for you.

Here are some activities that children already love to do:

• Bicycling
• Dancing
• Jumping rope
• Rollerblading
• Running
• Skipping
• Swimming

With it being summer time, let your children go out and play and enjoy life!
Here’s the best part:
You can go out and do it with them.

Your children want something more valuable than toys and ice cream, and that is to spend time with you. Some of my favorite memories growing up are with me spending time with my dad in the various sports I played as a kid. That’s what matters most.

Any comments, questions, or suggestions? Leave a comment and let me know!

Make today your day!