Is Your Hip-Hinge Missing?

THE TOPIC

The Hip hinge is the fundamental of hip movement.  The goal is to flex the hip without bending the spine – In layman’s terms: bend over without rounding your back. The hip hinge is important in a host of common exercises including: deadlifts, squats, lunges, hyperextensions, goodmornings, ab rollouts, mountain climbers, and many more. Continue reading

Many Benefits of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

THE TOPIC

Community Supported Agriculture, often shortened to CSA, is a way for communities to have access to locally grown foods in their area. They often operate with a subscription or membership. Subscribers then receive a box of fresh produce from the farm on a weekly basis. This arrangement has huge benefits for your health and fitness and it also has major added benefits to your local community and to the environment at large. Continue reading

The Single Legged Deadlift – Three Mistakes To Avoid

THE TOPIC

The Single Legged Deadlift has become a relatively common exercise. It is especially good and is often used for those with knee trouble, especially conditions like IT Band syndrome, also known as runner’s knee. I’d like to highlight three very common mistakes that reduce the effectiveness of the exercise. Continue reading

Diet Science: Don’t Get Buried

THE TOPIC

The science of nutrition can be long and complex. It often seems like what we believe today will be contradicted tomorrow and it can leave many feeling confused and frustrated. This past week a new study on diets was released that seemed to be another cause to throw your hands in the air. But don’t worry, look past the trees and see the forest.

WHAT YOU CAN DO Continue reading

What A Personal Trainer Does

Personal Trainers can be workout enthusiasts, drill sargeants, cheerleaders, eyecandy, or any combination thereof but this is not the whole picture. The best trainers offer much more, making them not just a luxury item for those with expendable income, but a valuable resource for those seeking better health. Here’s what Personal Trainers do and why I think everyone who is serious about exercise as a necessary part of life should have one, even if only for a short time. Continue reading

The Social Animal

imageThis book is mostly an exploration of neuroscience and psychology in which the author, in order to relay the sometimes complex information, tells the life story of two fictional characters who serve as models for the concepts. This encompasses many aspects of life, but there are two things in this book that I think are particularly worth noting as we think about health and wellness.

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Functional Aging Institute

I’m excited about a new certification that I will be doing this year. At Fitness Education Institute’s Eclipse 2014, a conference for personal trainers in New York City, I got to sit in on the lecture portion of the Functional Aging Specialist program. It is a program put together by two PhD’s out of Indianapolis who have dedicated themselves to the training of the Baby-Boomer crowd. I was impressed by their genuine dedication and enthusiasm for working with this group that can really benefit from good training! Some quick facts include:

Older Adults lose fast twitch (Type II) Muscle fibers more quickly than slow twitch (Type I). This means a loss of power and speed which is hard wired into the aging process. It is however highly reversible through strength training! Learn to love kettlebells!
Vision is critical to balance and coordination. As we age, eyesight declines (is the print on menus getting smaller?). Having strong body awareness and a good sense of balance can counteract the unsteadiness that comes with less acute vision. Single legged work like multi-directional lunges are a great way to train this.
Physical decline happens to us all, but earlier commitment to physical activity changes the trajectory of the decline. It is entirely possible for an 80 year old to outperform a 60 year old in any category!

Are Fats Good or Bad? Quick Thoughts

Fats are tricky to talk about, which is why there has been some new back and forth on them this week. An article at the Guardian, Studies Saying Fat Is Not That Bad Are Misleading, Scientists Say, states that recent articles that received widespread media coverage in March (Low Carb vs. Low Fat Diet) have led to uncertainty and confusion. Saturated fat is still bad for your cardiovascular system and polyunsaturated fats in fish and olive oils are not necessarily better for us after all. So what should you do? Eat them or not? Continue reading

Soda Regulation: Let’s Have a Real Discussion

beverages

Regulation of soda was back in the news this week. Apparently the latest is a consideration of a tax on sugary drinks. (Soda-Makers Try To Fizz Out Of Bay Area Tax Campaigns) The article reminded me of two years ago, when I took this picture, as the Bloomberg administration was attempting to regulate soft drink sizes in New York City. The idea was to restrict sugary beverages over the size of 16 oz. All of these measures are of course aimed at combating rising obesity in the United States, especially among children. In New York then, as with the tax question now, there was backlash. Unfortunately a lot of the conversation is being skewed by arguments that are misleading and failing to address the heart of the issue. Continue reading

In Fitness, More Is Not Better

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the importance of understanding how to choose exercises that directly apply to specific goals, rather than ones that we simply think are good to do for the sake of doing. We all have favorites that we have found to be effective in the past or that feel like they are targeting what we wish to target. We often are afraid to stop using these exercises, even for a little while, for fear that we will see those benefits disappear. This keeps us locked in an approach to exercise that may actually prevent us from moving forward and improving. Allow me to provide a common example, which I experienced most recently this past week. Continue reading