As much as it is important to build strength as we age, it is just as important to maintain our mobility in our hips, ankles, hammies, etc.
And if you are not one to just stretch on your own, try adding yoga on any level to your routine. You will see great benefits ? not just in your body, but also in your mind.
Here are my top 3 reasons to add yoga to your routine:
Yoga Increases Range of Motion
You might?have a tight muscle group or two?most frequently the hamstrings, glutes, pecs, and shoulders. You may?not realize the limitations any of these place on your?ability to train through a full range of motion. The more you train them through a limited range of motion, the more limited you become as a lifter?and a functional human being.
A well-designed yoga class emphasizes moves that open up virtually all of these problem areas, because everyone can benefit from opening up their rounded shoulders and tight hips. Also, as we age our posture gets worse and yoga can help counteract sitting at a desk all day.
Yoga Quiets the Mind
A quiet mind is a clear mind. ?In yoga it is imperative to focus on your breath and stay in the present. ?This will help benefit you in all aspects of your life. Most people are also attached to their smart phones, and its a great way to escape from the day to day grind and attempt to quiet your mind from the outside. The more you practice yoga, the better you get at clearing your mind. It is truly?movement meditation. And we all know the benefits of meditation for stress relief.
Yoga Strengthens your Stabilizer Muscles
A lot of traditional lifting exercises like shoulder press and chest press neglect the small, stabilizing muscles that a yoga practice can help build. That?s why you will occasionally see a strong muscular guy get owned in a class full of small, less muscular women. Doing down dog, straight arm plank (or side plank), and warrior variations can help strengthen the smaller muscles (rotator cuff, erector spinae ? low/mid back) that get neglected by traditional lifting.
Yoga Improves Balance
Balance often gets neglected in the weight/cardio room, but in yoga it is incorporated into most practices. This will improve your?neuromuscular coordination. Basically, it helps improve the communication between your brain and muscles. It helps with muscle isolation, too. During balance training, you have to maintain stabilization. You are forced to engage an individual muscle so that you are not using other muscles to help you ?cheat.? With single leg-type balance exercises, your glute medius is engaged and worked. Therefore, this helps with hip stabilization and core stabilization, improving your coordination and posture.
I prefer warm/hot yoga because it helps to get into the poses (injury prevention). Getting a good sweat helps rid the body of toxins.
I recommend going at your own pace, and don?t compare your practice to others in the class ? that is when you can get hurt.
So give it a go, and let me know how it goes.?
There are so many ways to eat, that it?can all be very confusing!
I have found the most success helping individuals understand how foods affect the body through?Glycemic Index?and?Glycemic Load.
GI?measures how quickly foods breakdown into sugar in your bloodstream. High glycemic foods (70+) turn into blood sugar very quickly. Starchy foods like potatoes are a good example. Potatoes have such a high GI rating, that it?s almost the same as eating table sugar. Low glycemic (0-55) take longer for your body to break down and will give you sustained energy (broccoli, apples, etc.).
But the GI won?t tell you how much carbohydrate per serving you?re getting.?Glycemic Load?measures the amount of carbohydrate in each service of food. Foods with a glycemic load under 10 are good choices ? these foods should be your first choice for carbs. Foods that fall between 10 and 20 on the glycemic load scale have a moderate effect on your blood sugar. Foods with a glycemic load above 20 will cause blood sugar and insulin spikes. Try to eat those foods sparingly.
What if we just counted calories? Is every calorie equal? ?Let?s see?
Medium Chocolate Glazed Donut ? ? ? ? ? 195 calories
14 Halves of Walnuts ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?185 calories
If we just went off calories these would be pretty equal. ?So why do we crash after eating a donut and have sustained energy after consuming walnuts?
It?s how these foods affect our blood sugar, which is based on the glycemic index and glycemic load of that food.
Let?s look at the same chocolate donut and walnuts. It?s a scale of 0-100.
Medium Chocolate Glazed Donut ? ? 76 GI (high) ? ? ? ? ? 24 GL
Walnuts? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?0 GI ?(low) ? ? ? ? ? ? 0 GL
So make sure you graze on low to med GI/GL foods to keep your blood sugar steady throughout the day. Also, adding high-quality protein helps lower the GI of the meal because protein has a 0 on the scale. If you want to search certain foods, go to?GlycemicIndex.com.
Feel free to?message me?with any questions?
As we age, it?s important to find ways to maintain joint health and stay in shape! Playing basketball is fun and a good workout, but eventually we all get too old, and the last thing we want to do is get injured. So what is a healthy alternative?!? You guessed it? swimming! All you need is a Speedo, some goggles, and a well-maintained pool. If you don?t know how to swim, it?s never too late to learn.
But why swimming?!? ?Well, here are 5 reasons to jump in:
1. ?Builds Cardio Fitness without Overheating
It engages every muscle in the body, including the heart, and improves blood circulation. This is among the few aerobic exercises that can burn a lot of calories without putting too much pressure on the limbs. Further, swimming tends to engage a large number of calories per stroke.
2. ?Reduces Stress and Clears the Mind
Everybody is always attached to their phones even when they are in the gym working out. ?Well there is none of that while swimming ? no texting, Facebooking, Snapchatting ? just you and the water. ?How refreshing!?? Also, splashing through the water tends to engage our bodies and minds, which induces the release of endorphins (your body?s feel-good hormones that help neutralize depression).
3. ?Improves Flexibility & Mobility
Most of us don?t do any stretching and end up losing our mobility as we age. ?Well swimming not only works our muscles but also stretches muscle fibers and ligaments. ?Reaching, stretching, twisting and pulling your way through the water is a great way to stretch without even realizing you are doing it.
4. ?Builds Most Muscle Groups
Swimming recruits all major muscle groups, including shoulders, back, abs, hips, and glutes. Water provides 12 times the resistance as air in every direction and helps build overall physical conditioning while being easy on the joints. I believe a combination of weights and swimming provides great balance for your joints.
5. ?Swimming Surpasses Limitations of Age, Availability and/or Serious Illness (might help you live longer too!)
You can swim your whole life, and it is equally suited for small children and elderly. ?South Carolina researchers followed 40,547 adults ages 20 to 90 for more than 3 decades and discovered that swimmers ? regardless of age ? were about 50% less likely to die during the study than were sofa sitters, walkers, and runners. (source: Prevention Magazine) ?Also, a person with physical disabilities can do water-based exercises they couldn?t do on land.
Are those enough reasons to grab a suit, goggles, and about 30 minutes of your time? ?Trust me ? give it a go and your body will thank you!?