How important is your Muscular System to you? As an avid weight lifter and fitness enthusiast, muscle health is paramount in allowing my body to function at optimal levels and allow me to push them past the point of fatigue and exhaustion! Therefore, taking care of my Muscular System after taxing it, day in and day out, is imperative! The article below introduces Self Myofascial Release and how it can help everyone keep their muscles healthy.
The common thread I read and hear is results don’t come fast enough, I am not reaching my goal. Have a tiny bit of perspective and read on, I hope this helps and you stick with your program.
“All acts performed in the world begin in the imagination”
Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
If the Mayo Clinic can write a piece on staying healthy and goals then it must be something special. I really enjoy finding and reading the pieces written by these astute people, read on.
“We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon”
It’s never too late, and the story of setting long term and short term goals-
As I started to consider this blog it dawned on me that people need to relate to others stories of climbing mountains and the desire to change. I believe that everyone has that diamond in their soul, that shining piece of life that wants to be polished and brought out to show to everyone, like a 5 carat engagement ring, flash it. Now this story relates to my personal mountain, I will keep it brief because I realize that 400 words come fast so here it goes.
I did not reach the physical condition I am in at this point in my life overnight, and for those who do not know me you can look at the body building show pictures on our website, that I competed in April of 2010, pictures, journal entries, training log, that condition did not just magically happen it took time. However it did not take that long; just a goal, a purpose, a reason to share success with others and perhaps hopefully motivate. GOALS
My story has a series of goals, at 40 I decided to go back to college and finish my long dormant unfinished Bachelors degree, an unfinished goal. At 49 I had not only finished my bachelors I had completed a Masters and it was on to the next goal, personal training and fitness. It was at that point the show became a reality, and through hard work, a couple of great people to train with and a plan, a goal the unachievable were achieved. Competing in that show was a key, but really just another goal, a sense of purpose, and when the dreaded January Midwest winter sets in having a goal to keep you occupied is needed. The point being GOALS!
Begin the new you by stretching your imagination; life is way too short to let a tendency to take the easy way suck the life out of you. Think of it that way, it’s a personal choice, you can polish your diamond, the one that is located inside your soul, or let it lay on the couch wishing that someone would notice it. Don’t wait, let’s get moving, let us at GRT Fitness and Wellness be your motivation and inspiration. We are real people like you who have been there, and we want to help, so read our blogs, watch our videos, and contact us for questions and or motivation.
Thanks for reading, I appreciate your time and look forward to helping,
“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible”
This article from the Mayo Clinic explains in excellent detail many of the benefits of stretching and flexibility. I hope you find it helpful in your quest for better health and fitness.
“Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under differing conditions”
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
Upon first mention you may be thinking that Thermodynamics is some Physics property that you slept through in 10th grade, but let me be the first to tell you that this Law may be the one that changes your life when it comes to fitness and wellness. Too often information is presented in a way that just doesn’t mesh with the method at which we learn or absorb knowledge and apply it. Essentially, this law states that body fat reduction can only occur when there is more energy being burned than consumed on a daily basis. So before you crucify me for stating the obvious, let’s examine this law a little closer and see if we can apply it to our lives from day to day.
By doing the math we figure that if your Basal Metabolic Rate burns 2,000 calories a day and you consume 2,000 calories daily then your weight will remain the same. Add in an exercise session of 1,000 calories burned and you have a total number of 3,000 calories burned in a day. Therefore, we could theoretically consume those 3,000 calories and keep our body weight constant. Weight loss clients could begin lowering caloric intake to 2,500 calories and create a deficit of 500 calories which in turn contributes to a loss of body fat. While this may seem very simple, we as Americans need to take a hard look at the amount of calories we consume on a daily basis but MOST IMPORTANTLY, the type of calories we are consuming.
While calorie consumption is crucial in identifying the amounts we consume daily, it is equally important to examine the type of calories we are consuming and our macronutrient breakdown. Macronutrients are defined as Fats, Carbohydrates, and Proteins with the caloric breakdown of 9, 4, and 4 grams respectively. Let me be the first to tell you that 2,000 calories of French Fries and Pizza are not going to produce the effects of 2,000 calories of lean meats, yams, asparagus, whole grains, and steel cut oats! The saying “you are what you eat” has never been more effective at portraying the difference in body composition of the individual who consumes 2,000 calories of whole foods versus the person consuming their calories from junk food. When consuming these whole foods that are rich in anti-oxidants, nutrients, and quality calories the human being can see a plethora of changes when accompanied with exercise and restful sleep.
Ultimately, I believe that the Law of Thermodynamics is a portion of a successful nutrition program designed for an individual utilizing an exercise program along with it. By providing our bodies with the correct nutrition we begin to allow it to function at its peak, working in synergy with whole foods to achieve our exercise and fitness goals along with propelling our spirits to a wellness revolution! So get out there, start moving, and BURN, BURN, BURN!!!
In reference to our topic this week of Thermodynamics, I’m providing a link to a Scientific Research article on Calorie restriction and its effect on a human being’s life expectancy. This article could be viewed as controversial, but it is my opinion that viewing all angles of a theory can help us find knowledge that can be applied to our lives individually from one person to the next. Take the time to read this article and examine what it means to you while comparing it to other theories you have heard that may contradict this application!——> R’s
The Laws of Thermodynamics have been discussed and reviewed by brilliant scholars and professionals from all over the world. This topic has been debated endlessly but the article below does a decent job of explaining some of its intricacies and how it can be applied to weight loss. Give it a read and decide how it applies to you!——-> R’s
In a day and age where “super size it”, “I’ll have fries with that”, and “do you have these pants in a size 44 Waist” are common phrases we often have trouble finding the motivation to invest in our Health and Wellness! As Americans we are currently facing tighter deadlines, pay cuts, reductions in force, and a heavier workload professionally and personally with our families. Stress is overwhelming our lives yet we don’t look in the mirror and question what we can do to fight these Assassins that are taking our health, vitality, and mental clarity from us on a daily basis.
That’s where exercise, nutrition, and wellness come in as the savior’s to our vicious circle. As a former college athlete I know the importance of an active lifestyle but still struggled with translating that knowledge into health and happiness as I moved into another chapter of my life. At the age of 25 I was newly married and the heaviest weight I’ve ever been. One morning after stepping on the scale the number I saw sent me into a quest for finding my healthy alter-ego! I was determined to leave the habits that were hurting my life behind me and begin adopting new strategies that would help me fight those Assassins that were attempting to rob me of my happiness.
Through exercise, proper nutrition, quality rest and relaxation, hard work, and dedication to following through I have been able to make lifelong changes that last and could be adopted long term rather than following the newest “crash diet” or useless diet pill. Working with GRT Fitness and Wellness is a vehicle that can help me reach out to people who may be struggling with the same issues I faced and allow me to work with those individuals to find their healthy alter-ego as well! I look forward to learning and growing with everyone I meet along the way and truly believe that proper exercise, healthy nutrition with whole foods, and a passion for hard work are the tools that help us complete our Health and Wellness Toolbox! Join us on the road to Health and Wellness, it’s the superhighway to your Happiness!
In reference to the first post of the week, 10 ways exercise can change your life, this article gives a fantastic description of reason number one!…..The importance of exercising your heart and promoting overall heart health. As we are all well aware, heart attacks are the biggest killer of men and women in the United States which drives home the emphasis of exercising our most important muscle!——-> R’s
Although we as Human Beings are well aware of how important exercise is to your overall wellness I wanted to provide a link to an article that does an adequate job of explaining some of the most important reasons exercise can not only improve your physical state but your psychological health!–> R’s
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.