Category Archives: Stretching

Include Stretching Program Into Your Workout Routine

20 Ways Exercise Improves Health and Function

There are a hundred ways to exercises but we can lump exercise into three broad categories: strength training (weightlifting, core training), cardiovascular conditioning (running, cycling, aerobics), and flexibility training (yoga, stretching).  Let’s look at the specific ways in which each promotes optimal health and function:

Flexibility Training24-fit-workout-program-jpeg

  1. Improves range of motion
  2. Reduces risk of injury
  3. Reduces post-workout soreness
  4. Improves posture
  5. Improves circulation to muscles
  6. Enhances neuro-muscular coordination
  7. Improves balance

Cardiovascular Conditioning

  1. Increases oxygen intake
  2. Increases the body’s oxygen use efficiency
  3. Increases cardiac output and efficiency
  4. Increases blood volume
  5. Improves stamina
  6. Improves lung health and capacity
  7. Reduces blood pressure and lowers resting heart rate
  8. Improves cholesterol ratio (HDL/LDL)
  9. Increases insulin sensitivity
  10. Improves circulation to active muscles
  11. Decreases symptoms of anxiety and depression

Strength Training

  1. Maintains strength and power
  2. Increases lean body mass
  3. Greater core strength prevents back problems
  4. Boosts metabolic rate by up to 15%, aiding in weight control
  5. Prevents osteoporosis
  6. Increases ligament tensile strength
  7. Increases tendon tensile strength

The 24 Fit Programme, developed by Robert Forster in conjunction with Herbalife , includes stretching exercises, metabolic workouts and strength training.  Forster of Santa Monica is a physical therapist and is Founder and CEO of Phase IV Scientific Health and Performance Center in Santa Monica California specializing in rehabilitation and health and fitness programs for athletes and the general public.

One  key to exercises is to find something that you can do on regular basis that dosent take too long i.e. 30 minutes, thats habit forming. With 24Fit alternate daily between cardio and strength training exercises, and include flexibility /stretching exercises with every workout.

Take the 24 Fit Challenge

Thanks to Dr. Louis Ignarro and Dr. Andrew Myers for this list. Health Is Wealth

What physical therapists want you to know — and do

This article takes advice from physical therapists to make sure you never need to see one of them! Heed their top 10 tips to ward off aches and pains.

When its comes to maintaining good posture, for example, spending 30 mins at the gym each week dosent compensate for the 40 hours + spent at your PC each week. The article includes  tips from Robert Forster Los Angeles-based physical therapist to 38 Olympic medalists and member of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness.

Good posture starts from maintaining activation of your transverse abdominals (the deepest layer of your abs). If you have a sedentary lifestyle — or a typical 9-to-5 job — these muscles become less activated as you age, so your lower back loses its main support. That allows the rest of your upper body to slouch forward, applying more pressure through the lower discs of your spine. Eventually, you overload your tissue, which can lead to system overload and failure — or a herniated disc, arthritis or muscle strain. So keep your shoulders back over your hips to maintain the alignment

Pull, don’t push

In the gym, you should do more pulling exercises than pushing exercises. Most injuries and painful conditions are caused by weakness of the muscles in the back of the body. That’s because the typical gym program focuses on stretching the “glamour” muscles in the front of your body and those you see in the mirror. Pulling exercises include lateral pull-downs, low rows and hamstring curls. Pushing exercises include bench presses, biceps curls and leg extensions.

Stretch

You need to stretch daily. The connective tissue structures of your body — the tendons, ligaments and fascia — will shorten naturally every day if you don’t stretch. Stretching is important in the morning to get your body ready for the ergonomic stress related to daily activities. You should also stretch before and after all workouts to prepare your body for exertion and recovery. Finally, stretching at night will reduce stress and improve rest.

For optimum fitness, include posture and stretching exercises in your program.

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Pre-ski Fitness Tips

But fitness experts say proper conditioning can make the difference between a fun weekend on the slopes and one waylaid by injury.

To minimize fatigue and risk of injury, Forster, physical therapist to 42 Olympic medalists, suggests getting in ski-shape before hitting the slopes.

“All fitness begins with an aerobic base,” he said. “So six weeks before, start training with an elliptical trainer or stationary bike, or running or walking. Build up to 20 to 30 minutes three times a week.”

Aerobic training also strengthens muscles, Forster said, so any subsequent agility drills, such as running sideways or skipping, will be even more effective if you’ve established an aerobic base.

Stretch before skiing to protect against injury and enhance freedom of motion; stretch afterward to return the muscles to their normal length, said Forster.

He calls stretching the single most important thing people can do for body health maintenance.

“Connective tissue shortens with time,” he explained. “We stretch to maintain good alignment of the bones.”

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