esp wellness

TIPS FOR STARTING YOUR FITNESS PLAN

PLAN: Start out with an activity you enjoy. If you like what you are doing or incorporate a hobby into your plan, it will become a part of your lifestyle. Your plan should take into account interests, schedule, finances and current health. Figure out what you need in order to execute your plan as far as transportation, child care or location in an attempt to bust through any potential barrier before you begin.

SUPPORT: A lifestyle change can be one of the most challenging things you do. There are several studies that indicate motivation, commitment and success significantly increases when you work out in a group. Finding a trainer, a workout partner or classes, will greatly increase your chances of sticking with it and getting you to your fitness goals.

BE SMART: Your body was built to survive. That being said, your body has a wonderful way of adapting to everything you throw at it, and your body will eventually plateau. This is why changing up your routine is so important. Throw something different into the mix and it will shock your body into surviving that. Thus…changing it.

LIFTING WEIGHTS: As a trainer, I have heard women say, “I don’t want to bulk up” too many times. Will you build up muscle with resistance training? Yes. Will you end up looking like a man? NOOOOOOOO! I usually have a little chuckle every time I hear this. Biologically speaking, it is nearly impossible. 99% of women will not “bulk” as a man does. So ladies, weights are not your enemy! It will enhance your fitness plan and ensure success.

STRETCH: Include stretching in your wellness program. Stretching is something that should be done daily for the best results. It will help release stiffness and pain caused by poor posture, occupational habits and/or muscle imbalances. I would recommend doing Yoga as well as it is safe for everyone to do, and it offers numerous different types which will ensure you can find one that is right for you.

NUTRITION: 70-80% of your success is determined by your nutrition. You can work out as hard as you can, but if you are eating a pizza that night you are setting yourself up for failure. I am not saying don’t indulge every now and then, but make sure it is every now and then. What you are putting in your body makes a HUGE impact on what it is going to do. Making sure you eat enough (restricted calorie diets are a no-no) of the right things is important. I usually recommend logging what you eat on a regular basis, getting your body fat checked, and do the math to get your basal metabolic rate. Your basal metabolic rate is the calories you need every day just to survive; this doesn’t include any type of physical activity. Thus if you are denying your body the baseline of calories, it will begin storing what you eat as fat. This goes back to my comment about the body is built to survive. If you are overeating, start paying attention to serving sizes and go from there. Get with a fitness professional to discuss your nutrition and they can help guide you to what you should be paying attention to.

REST: Be sure to take a day off of your fitness plan. Your body needs to recover from the physical activity. Essentially, to put it in basic terms, you are creating microscopic tears in your muscles when you are working out. The body repairs these muscles making them stronger, bigger, and leaner. So, taking a day off is important. Your body will be good to you if you are good to it.

ADVICE: Seek a professional in the fitness industry. When I say professional, I mean a certified, educated fitness professional. Not someone’s friend who works out all the time. Your body is different and will respond different, and a fitness professional will make sure you get the best workout built for you not what someone read in a magazine that month or what has worked for them.

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A thorn in the side…lower back pain

Research shows that almost every adult will experience some form of low back pain. Bulging discs, sciatica, etc. it is an issue that many people face. A proper assessment from a health/fitness professional can reveal what the major issue is. Whether it is a foot/ankle complex issue or the knee, the human bodies kinetic movement chain will indicate what you should be focusing on.

For a person who experiences low back pain, it can be a serious detriment to their wellbeing and quality of life. In the exercises below, we will examine exercises that will help aid in alleviating that pain and strengthen the lower back.

*You should always consult your physician before participating in any exercise program*

First of all we will focus on inhibiting and lengthening the overactive muscle tissue which pulls the body in an unnatural way causing those muscles to compensate for the weaker ones. We use Self Myofascial Release in order to inhibit those muscles with a foam roller, and static stretching techniques to lengthen. Muscles that are commonly overactive in association with low back pain are the Quadriceps, TFL/IT band, Adductors and Piriformis. Each muscle should be foam rolled for a minimum of 30 seconds one time.

Quad FRQuadriceps: Lie facing down on the ground with your forearms and elbows propped to support yourself. Place the top part of your quads on top of the foam roller. Roll slowly down your legs toward your knees. Bend your legs slightly to increase the pressure of the massage. Keep your head in alignment with your spine and pelvis. Do not stick your neck down or hyperextend your lower back. Hold the tender spot once you feel it, and breathe deeply. Gently rub it by slowly moving your legs up and down. Continue to roll up and down the thighs until most of the tenderness and pain subside.

 

TFL FRTFL/IT Band: Sit on the foam roller and roll to put your weight on your left upper leg, just below the hip. Stretch your left leg out straight, in line with your hip and knee. Place your right leg, bent in front of you on the floor and both your arms in front of you with your hands on the floor for balance. Push off with your right foot as you roll down your entire leg from the hip to the knee, keeping your arms straight and non-moving in front of you. Try to avoid rolling over the hip or knee joints. You can vary the pressure and the iliotibial band stretch, by how much you sink your weight into the foam roller. Shift your weight on the foam roller slightly, to the left or right to get the exact sore spot.

 

addcutor foam rollAdductors: Face down on ground with one leg to the side and foam roll under the inside of your other thigh. Roll along the inside of your thigh from your pelvis to the inside of your knee. The more uncomfortable it is, the more that muscle needs to be massaged. Hold on sore spots for an extended time to release them

 

piriformis FRPiriformis: The piriformis is a small muscle of the hip near the glutes. Using a foam roller to relax the piriformis also targets the gluteus medius, gluteus maximus and gluteus minimus. To foam roll the hip, sit on the center of the roller with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Cross your left leg onto your right thigh and lean to the right so the outside of your right glute is the only part of you touching the foam roller. Then, straighten your right knee to roll up your glute. Do not roll the center of the glutes as this might compress the sciatic nerve.

 

 

Next you want to perform 30 seconds of each of these static stretches.

Kneeling Hip Flexor StretchKneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

 

 

 

seated adductor stretchSeated Adductor Stretch

 

 

 

biceps femoris stretchBiceps Femoris Stretch

 

 

 

 

 

piriformis stret supinePiriformis Stretch

 

 

Next we will focus on strengthening the muscles that are underactive preventing low back pain from returning. You will perform one or two sets of each exercise doing 10-15 repetitions.

side lying gluteus mediusSide-lying Gluteus Medius

 

 

 

QuadrupedQuadruped Opposite Arm/Leg Raise

 

 

 

stability-ball-bridgeStability Ball Bridge

 

 

Perform these exercises every other day for four weeks.

For more exercises contact us at zac@espwellenss.com

~Zac Linton CPT, CES, FNS