I believe in information and part of the reason for our website is to cut through the clutter of too much, and just plain garbage information. In regard to this topic stretching and flexibility definitions are a simple and quick way to understand the topic-
To stretch or not to stretch, that is the question. Sounds like that line has been used before, let’s talk about the topic. Stretching your muscles is one of the most underutilized of all exercises, and I admit I have been guilty of not stretching myself, however as I have reached the middle aged years and been reborn through fitness, thankfully it has been reintroduced into my personal routine on a regular basis. Let’s get right to the heart of it, stretching is THE MOST important of all of our routines as far as fitness, the problem is with our instantaneous society and the mindset of I want it yesterday, stretching ranks right up there with cleaning the cat litter or scooping dog poop in the backyard, frankly not high on the priority list. The topic of flexibility is an extremely deep issue and one that will take many discussions, please let me call this piece the beginning and this topic will be revisited in following articles in more detail.
In a nutshell flexibility is defined as the normal extensibility of all soft tissues that allow the full range of motion of a joint. Stretching that soft tissue, (muscles and connective tissues), allows for what is known as full range of motion, or dynamic range of motion. It really boils down to the communication of your brain and nervous system to your muscles and bones to produce efficient movement. When the communication between those parts of your body break down you can lose efficiency and run the risk of improper movement patterns, postural problems, which eventually can lead to an injury.
One of the major issues that we are dealing with in the 21st century is a sedentary lifestyle, work environments where sitting is common due in part to technological advancements. This type of environment opens the door to muscle imbalances, tightness which can be the precursor to aches and pains. It is only through stretching that we can overcome these issues, and leads us to corrective measures, and improved flexibility.
There are and is much more to discuss in regard to this topic, and as I stated earlier we will revisit this topic in much deeper detail and specifics in following articles. If you have specific questions please post to the site and we can open the forum and discuss in detail, remember the purpose of GRT Fitness and Wellness and our website is sharing information so we all can lead happy and healthier lives, everyone’s questions and opinions are important, and there are never bad questions.
Thanks for reading,
“One is happy as a result of one’s own efforts–once one knows the necessary ingredients of happiness–simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self denial to a point, love of work and above all, a clear conscience.”
Here is a great link to an awesome site full of good information, not that I try to send people away from our site, the point is sharing helping and getting into better condition together.
 Alter MJ. Science of Flexibility, 2nd ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1996
I could not write a better plug for an article than the excerpt of the following piece from the Boston Globe in regard to weight training, so read on and then follow the link to the whole article.
“The evidence in favor of strength training – at any age – “is nothing short of astonishing,’’ says William J. Evans, an exercise physiologist at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. And it is “remarkably safe. There are no reports that I have seen to indicate that there are any safety issues. . . . Resistance exercise is actually safer than regular aerobic exercise as far as risks of a cardiac event.’’
“Leaders are visionaries with a poorly developed sense of fear and no concept of the odds against them. They make the impossible happen.”
Dr. Robert Jarvik
Resistance training and the benefits to women are discussed in this piece. Now I am not going to color the opinion but I will say that I have and always will believe that strength training in women is critical to a balanced fitness regime. Read this post from the New York Times and see for yourself.
“The road to happiness lies in two simple principles: find what it is that interests you and that you can do well, and when you find it, put your whole soul into it-every bit of energy and ambition and natural ability you have.”
John D. Rockefeller III
The question that I have encountered many times is this, “does weight training really matter?” The answer to that is a whole heartedly YES. Is that clear, resistance training and or weight lifting is a critical part to anyone’s fitness routine, the evidence is obvious so let’s quickly talk about the science behind the topic. Resistance training programs are designed to produce changes in your body that will result in strength adaptations. Any fitness program should incorporate a resistance (weight bearing) training program with the goal of increasing muscle mass, develop better athletic performance, or reduce body fat. Following a detailed adaptive program a person can see a physiological change including-
- Improved cardiovascular efficiency
- Decreased body fat
- Increased lean body mass
- Metabolic efficiency
- Bone density
And in addition performance changes which include-
- Increased muscle tensile strength
- Increased endurance
- Increased power
The evidence is clear; lifting builds mass, more muscle mass more metabolic burn, and more calories consumed lead to physical fitness improvements.
I am a huge believer in what I refer to as “compound exercises”, exercises designed to work more than one body part at once. For example squats with a dumbbell curl, multiple movements in one exercise. When you begin your resistance training it is always helpful to understand and realize your own specific acute variables, and start slowly with light resistance. It can be as simple as a can of corn or as complex as a multi-movement machine, the bottom line is this, any type of safe lifting which cause you to elevate your breathing, even a small amount, will start you on the road, a journey that can take you to a new life, a physically fit life.
Thanks for reading
“He who labors diligently need never despair, for all things are accomplished by diligence and labor.”
There are plenty of articles on diet and weight loss, this one has very good merit, I hope you think so too. Fads have been around forever, and they will continue to proliferate. Just don’t let yourself fall into a “its to good to be true” trap and waste your money.
There is this multi-billion dollar network of businesses out in the world, can you guess, its the DIET industry. Before I go into my rant on the negatives of the hated “D” word let’s get something clear and right out front.
I can truly empathize with anyone and everyone who wants to control their weight. Weight issues are a huge issue in our country, 33% of our population is considered obese, and the health related issues that are directly attributed to weight problems are very clear, for example diabetes and high blood pressure, just to name a few.
As has been stated in my earlier writings, personally I have been the driver of the overweight bus off and on throughout my life, so yes seen it, lived it, been over and back with it, its tough.
We have a certified weight management and wellness person on our staff and she can give you the science behind the nutritional aspects. I on the other hand am a personal trainer, fitness professional, who has been overweight (very and no longer is, thank god), and so my reference to this issue is along the lines of the physical side of weight management and what has worked for me.
I will expand the topic of how I did a body building show as a rookie 50 year old, and the whole food meal plan I followed, down the road, but suffice to say it was an experiment to see how the nutritional thing would work for me, as my own test case. However I do not want to digress and the theme of today’s blog is the dreaded “D” word.
That being said I do know enough about the “law of thermodynamics” to be able to make an informed judgment and share what it actually means. And this is where we get into the logical thinking as relates to the dreaded “D” word.
Ok so here you go, in trainer vernacular—–eat less, work out more, lose pounds. Wow, an epiphany, but that is basically it, now the other tangible in the equation as you start to boil everything down is eat less, but eat quality, and train more, more efficiently. So reiterating the thought, develop a solid meal plan, (see no more “D”), increase your output physically, anything you want, just move more.
Ok, one last fact, straight out of the textbook. If you achieve a 1000 calorie deficit a day, through more exercise and less calories consumed you will lose two pounds a week. Sorry if that seems low, but it’s a fact, and it is doable.
In our instantaneous society everyone wants fast, right now, well it does not work that way, although the diet, (had to use the word), industry wants your money, and will tell you more is possible, they prey on poor people who want the quick fix, don’t do it, spend your money wisely, and eat better. DIETS don’t work, there really is only one way and we are here to help educate and share the knowledge.
Much more on the topic from our weight loss, nutritional expert down the road, until then,
Thanks for reading-
“Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm; it moves stones, it charms brutes. Enthusiasm is the genius of sincerity, and truth accomplishes no victories without it.”
So in this piece you can get the feel for all of those, and I mean everyone who loses there ambition, just remember to just get started, everybody, (mostly anyway) has the rollercoaster effect in life. You know the high and low of being in shape; frankly you are not alone, so read on.
Always understand the inherent risks of beginning a program, always be safe and have your physician’s approval before beginning any program.
Now this is a really great article- and getting your workout going in the right direction plus including your family is what it’s all about.
There is a vast amount of information in regard to the topic of getting in shape. So much information is almost dizzying, so this is the place to get some honest, simple answers to this question. It is our hope that the GRT website becomes your go to spot for good, honest, tried and true information. It has been my dream to build this site, with the help of our team, team GRT, the mastermind group, into a kind of Wiki for exercise and nutritional information. A place that is comfortable, manned by a variety of people on our team who are diversified, older and younger, with a variety of experience and expertise, who care about other people and do not want to just take your money and run. A place for the sharing of knowledge, it is through the growth of our site, and the input from all that will make sharing and helping others a way of life. As time goes on we will be developing and expounding on the facts that our nation and our people are going down the wrong road as far as our health and wellness, that we have a need for becoming more educated as far as nutrition and physical fitness, and that as time moves forward I believe everyone realizes that our health care system is broken, and we need to help each other find the fix. If you like these ideas then bookmark our page and join in our online group and contribute, either through questions and or view points. So for today’s topic in fitness, “Where do we start”?
For individuals who want to get in shape, for whatever reason, cosmetic, health issues, more energy etc, the thing to realize first and foremost is that you already have made the first step. The desire to change is the very first thing that we need to embrace, that without that we do not have a starting point, and therefore no chance. So always keep that in mind, and as you will find when you read my articles, think positive. Because it is always the first step that makes a journey, together we all can help each other climb the mountain. Really what other choice do we have, and no one can exercise for you.
As we move forward keep what I have said in mind, that it is never ever too late to begin, as you get to know us in more detail you will learn that I know what I am talking about as far as being out of shape, that’s why I have posted before and after pictures, believe me my friends I walk the walk.
Good luck on your journey, we are here to help.
“Enthusiasm is the most important thing in life.”