Fitness & Wellness Newsletter - May
Check out The J's NEW monthly Health & Wellness newsletter. Each month you'll find:
How to do it:
Front to back:
Side to side:
Caution: Do not overstretch your hips and legs! Keep the stretches within a pain-free range of motion. Contact a Fitness Professional to get advice on your specific needs and avoid injury.
Target Muscle Groups:
Benefit: Dynamic flexibility
To stretch, or not to stretch? Experts used to claim that stretching before a workout can help decrease the risk of orthopedic injuries; however, more recent research shows that stretching is ineffective for warming up your body. Some research is even proving that pre-workout stretching can be harmful to athletic performance.
As an active person, you may not always be looking for peak performance, but you always strive to be healthy and avoid injury. So what is the best way to warm up?
A warmup should be designed to move your body in motions similar to the actions you’ll perform during your workout. If you’re going to do an upper body workout, your warmup must simulate that action in your upper body muscles. A warmup should also increase blood flow, which in turn increases muscle elasticity. This process requires elevating the heart rate.
Dynamic Stretching (DS) is stretching performed by moving a joint through its full range in a challenging but comfortable motion. The goal is to lengthen and shorten a muscle by activating your nervous system. Static stretching does not have this effect. DS can increase joint range of motion, increase blood flow and increase body awareness, just to name a few benefits. It also requires a fair amount of coordination, which stimulates neuromuscular activity and alertness.
This month's Exercise of the Month, hip swings, are a great form of Dynamic Stretching! Contact a Personal Trainer to learn customized stretches specific to your needs!
Just like the New Year, the coming of spring can inspire people to think about freshening up their diet. This “freshening” can mean everything from expensive detoxifying diets to liquid fasting. Tweaking your diet can indeed be a good thing; however, some nutrition experts believe that many chosen methods may be unnecessary.
In addition to detoxifying your system, paying for one of these diets can also wipe everything from your bank account. Although a “detox” may be alluring, these types of diets are not scientifically proven. Anytime a person changes their dietary habits from poor to better choices, it’s natural to feel better and for the functions of the body to improve.
Or, Not To Pay? The Au Naturale Way
The body has an amazing detoxification system of its own that relies on your organs, cells, tissues and lymphatic system. The liver and kidneys filter impurities from the body as part of their normal functionality. Take care of these systems and enjoy the benefits of a natural body detox!
Tips for Enhancing your Body’s Natural Detox Function:
Take a “Spring Challenge” of your own – instead of ”detoxifying,” try instead to think in terms of clean-eating more often. Stock your fridge with lemon to add to water that you’re drinking, and while you’re at it, give the not-so-clean items the spring cleaning treatment!
By Jane Macintosh, MA, CNS
You know you should move more, but did you know you also should sit less? Research continues to show that the longer you sit, the higher you risk factor for developing health issues like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Jobs that require long periods of sitting (e.g., behind a desk or wheel) can be hazardous to your health. Regular exercise during the week is hugely beneficial, but simply decreasing sitting time each day could provide important health benefits as well. Surprisingly, your workouts at the gym a few hours a week don’t seem to counteract the negative effects of extensive sitting. To improve, keep doing your workouts – just incorporate more standing (movement) time throughout your day.
Another consideration is the number of extra calories expended while standing. The small daily increase in calorie expenditure can equate to a loss of almost 12 pounds for women and 14 pounds for men in one year.
How do you change your habits? Try these simple steps:
Check out our past wellness newsletters: