Getting in Shape for Spring. Fitness and Health.

gibbsgardenSo spring has finally arrived after a cold and very wet winter.  Like most, you have likely become more sedentary and stiff than in past years.  Here are 5 simple tips to get you back into shape without causing new injuries:

1) Take it slow and steady!  Better to have a few shorter or slower workouts rather than overdo it and hurt yourself.  Check out runkeeper a cool and free app for your smartphone.

2) Fitness and Health are 2 different things.  Now is a great time to clean up your diet and take high quality nutrition to enhance recovery and easily shed some pounds too.  Stay away from Gluten, sugars and refined products.  Good veggies are now available from local markets and get some good quality fats in your diet too.

3) Most people who injure themselves already have something out of balance before they in fact get “injured”.  Plenty of tennis elbows, low back spasms, knee and foot issues are from prior imbalances that flare when exercise is started.  While I am biased, see a Professional Applied Kinesiologist or health oriented provider to clear out some underlying issues.  This is especially important since many injuries occur do to imbalances in other systems or parts of the body.

4) Drink Water!  So many health issues can be resolved just from being properly hydrated.  Graze drink water in between meals.  Try and get 1 Qt per 50 pounds of body weight.  Stay away from soda’s including the horrible “diet” versions.  Cold dry air causes people to not sweat and likely dehydrate without even knowing it.

5) Get sleep!  We recover and heal when we sleep.  As you increase your exercise you will need more sleep to recover.  Many cyclists, tennis enthusiasts and similar multi-hour athletes usually need about an extra 1.5 hours of sleep to recover.

Be safe, Have Fun and use that one thing we seem to always forget “Common Sense”

Is Gluten really that big of a deal?

First off, the mainstream everything continues to use the term gluten so I will as well.  However, gliadin is actually a type of gluten but not all of them.  Therefore the correct term would be to say you are gliadin free.  But alas, i digress.  The answer to this question is YES.  The statement should not be are you gluten sensitive rather “how much” gluten sensitive you are.  Two very good books are out right now that go into good depth on how big of a problem Gluten is, why it is, and what all it is doing to people.  The key is not to just remove gliadin from the diet.  You will just replace it with other refined products and likely more sugar/carbs.  It needs a total shift in diet away from the style of foods that are made with Gliadin.

Why Isn’t My Brain Working?: A Revolutionary Understanding of Brain Decline and Effective Strategies to Recover Your Brain’s Health

Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers

Do you know how to walk?

Humans have been around how long?  Whether you believe we have been here a few thousand years or hundreds of thousands of years, we have been doing one method for getting around since the beginning: We walk.  Yet it is amazing how many people do not know how to walk!

At a conference many years ago,  Dr. David Leaf stated quite perfectly, that you can fix a person’s structural problem but if they do not walk correctly, they will walk themselves back into that same or another problem. Everyone should do some serious thinking about their walking.

People frequently ask, “Which exercise is best? Water aerobics? Swimming? Cycling? Elliptical?” To me the answer is simple: humans walk. Walk properly and you can literally walk yourself to health.  On the other hand, if you have problems with your walk (gait), you will literally walk yourself into problems.

walkpic

Going on a trip? Let’s say sightseeing in NYC. You dress in comfy clothes and shoes. You will probably walk many blocks without even thinking about it, and over the course of a long day you might walk 8-10 miles. Think about it: That distance is somewhere between a 10k race and half marathon.  Would you choose to wear those shoes for that distance? One of the iconic images of the dot com era is CEOs and other white-collar types wearing sneakers to work. Rethinking footwear conventions is still a smart idea.  I have had countless women defend that their profession requires high heels, etc.  In fact in any style there are good and bad choices.

Here are a few of other benefits people may not realize about walking.  It helps every part of your brain, from balance, to cross cortex communication, and even emotions and eyesight.  It helps balance hormones, blood sugar and stimulates a good immune system.  Additionally when you walk properly it is one of the best activities to loosen up your spine itself.  So many people say they “hold their stress” in their shoulders when in fact it is that they walk wrong and breathe wrong.

The best starting point I have learned was people should walk 10K -12K steps per day.  This equates to about 4 miles.  Therefore all you need to do is walk about 45 min per day and the rest of your day will likely get you to the goal.  For most people a good gait is about 16-18minute miles).  I recommend families take a walk around dinner time for 20-30 minutes.  It is good for everyone’s health, a great way to connect with your children and gets us off of the electronics we are obsessed with.  Then on a weekend day take a much longer walk.  Runkeeper is a great free app that tracks a walk and even maps it and estimates calories burned.

So what should you wear?  For some help deciding, read my blog on shoes and gait.