Monthly Archives: March 2017

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Let Your Fitness Power 2017

Dave Brown, NSCA Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist

I love April! It’s a time of renewal and looking forward. With longer days come more opportunities to get outside and enjoy the warmth of the sun. For me personally, it’s a time when I’m deep in my trail run training with a half marathon coming up in Fruita in the middle of the month. It’s also a time where I’m thinking about what other runs and hikes I plan to do during the year.

Spring is when people start making plans; vacations (fitting into summer clothes), signing-up for endurance events, hiking, deciding which mountains they want to summit over the summer, etc. All of these have one thing in common: being in better shape makes everything more enjoyable. Let’s delve into the Why!

When we exercise we’re pushing blood flow to every part of the body. More blood flow means more energy and oxygen available to the body. This process also powers our muscles during our workouts. The longer and more consistently we exercise our muscles, including our heart, they become stronger and operate more efficiently. This is what drives the possible!

EXERCISE AND MOVEMENT

Anyone who has started a new exercise program has noticed the body is initially uncoordinated and resistant to movement. Why is that? Put simply when you’re not exercising, especially after 40, you’re becoming both weaker and less coordinated. The term Use it or lose it! could not be more true.

Fortunately for us the body is an adaptive machine. It loves to move and rewards us greatly when we do. When we start exercising, the first thing that happens is the body starts to move more efficiently. This process is called Neuromuscular adaptations. The body never uses one muscle when performing exercises. Many muscles must be able to move together in concert for efficient movement.  If you’re pushing weight while standing in an upright position, your chest, shoulder and tricep muscles work to push the weight, but if we can’t stabilize the body with our abdominal muscles we’ll have a tough time. Believe it or not the abdominal muscles actually have a job other than being airbrushed on magazine covers.

Let’s take an example of running. Most people think about just the legs working, but there’s so much more going in. We have muscles in our hips and inner thigh that help stabilize the knees. Our abdominal, back, and lateral stabilizer muscles must also work to stabilize the upper body. If our upper body is stabilized we run more efficiently. A properly designed workout program takes all of these factors into account to build a stronger runner.

THINGS BECOME POSSIBLE

When we are stronger and can move better new things become possible. The hike/summit we once thought impossible happens. The half marathon or cycling event that was once just a dream is now a reality. On vacation, you have the strength and energy to experience more, making for a more enjoyable trip with new memories you can look back on years later. I love looking back at pictures of our family adventures. Many not possible if I was not in good shape.

My favorite stories from clients are when they experience new things due to their increased fitness. You can see examples on our web site in the Client Photo Gallery section. That can be you in 2017! All it takes is getting started.

Nature – Renew Yourself by Getting Outside

Dave Brown, NSCA Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist

Earlier this week I had the pleasure to run on Mason Creek at Staunton State Park. It’s that time of year where one day there’s snow on the trail and after a few days of a melt/freeze cycle it’s an ice flow. With our warm weather of late the changes are happening quickly and it can make for interesting gear choices. The ever changing trail conditions is a beautiful sight to see. The frequent changes portends of the coming changing of seasons. For many, the next few months is the time of year when they come out of hibernation to enjoy the beautiful outdoors surrounding us. Being outside provides so many positive things for our body and mind.

Numerous studies continue to show the positive effects that being in nature has on our brain. With all the new research telling us what we already know, the act of actually getting outside and enjoying our beautiful surroundings is not something most do enough. With so many known positive attributes to being outside, why do many not enjoy the outdoors while knowing so well how good it is for us?

Unfortunately renewing self generally comes last on the list of to-dos. This time in nature allows us time to reflect on our lives and to reset our personal compass in the direction of what’s most important. For me personally, being outside on a run, hike or mountain bike ride is truly like a drug. So much so, that many of the people working at Staunton know me well. I’m generally there at least 3 times a week. This time in nature provides a time for my mind to rest, bring clarity and remind me that every day we have on this earth is truly a gift.

The great thing about where we all live is that we have so many wonderful places to spend time outside. It doesn’t matter if it’s a short or long hike. The key is to just do it. It could be a stroll up Staunton Ranch trail or maybe a longer more intense hike up Mason Creek in Staunton. They each have their magic. If you have not hiked up Mason Creek, it’s like entering a different place.

So here’s a challenge this week: get outside for a hike. Head to Staunton State Park or another local Open Space and just hike. Don’t go heads down trying to just get it done. Stop occasionally and take in the view of all of the surrounding beauty. Close your eyes and just listen. Look at the trees and see how many colors of green you can see. If there’s a stream, sit next to it and clear your mind. Listen to the water; observe how it flows. Before you know it, your mind will become clearer and you’ll have a sense of lightness. This is relaxation. It’s sadly too foreign for most people these days.

If you accept this challenge, I can guarantee that you’ll have a clearer mind, you’ll approach the next day or coming week happier, more patient and more fulfilled.