Stretching

Don’t Blame it on Your Age

Most people never think about old age until they are in their 50’s and 60’s. I remember when I was 49, my friends started teasing me about all the pain I would start feeling after I turned 50. Though they were teasing, my friends, like most people actually do believe this. Most people think that there is something about 40,50,or 60 that causes aches and pain. The truth is it takes 40 or 50 years of abuse before it catches up to us.

If we could teach young people how to care for their bodies correctly, many aches and pains that plague older people would disappear. This change in our lives could have a major impact on health care costs.

Do you think that going to the gym is enough. Maybe you prefer yoga, pilates, or any other activity for fitness. All of these are great ways to increase your strength, but can lead to injuries because we leave out releasing the muscles. The core question should always be, am I stretching or strength training? Even in yoga, if you are holding poses, you are stamina training which is not stretching, or releasing, the muscles. Once you learn how to release your muscles emotionally, then releasing physically becomes easier. This can be harder than it sounds.

Stretching is very meditative if done correctly. You must feel your muscles letting go and slowly apply gentle pressure to give you brain time to release. Without doing this, you are just strength training which will tighten your muscles as if you were lifting weights.

Our muscles can tighten from stressful thoughts. Think about this, “Have you ever seen a stressed person look relaxed?” No! Their bodies are tight and that tightness comes from the thoughts they are having. My point is, when stretching,if you are thinking about the errands you must do, the bills that need to be paid, or the things you dread doing, you are tightening you muscles and therefore cannot stretch your body.

When you see a yogi master stretching, the music is very soft and soothing, it is quiet, and they are focused only on their body. It is difficult to stretch listening to fast paced music, weights clanging around, or people talking loud around you. Your brain has to relax before it can relax your muscles.

Some muscle experts will speak of muscle memory. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that every muscle has its own brain. We only have one brain and it creates the habits we do every day. If you change what you think, you can change how you feel. How many times have we heard motivation gurus say that? The reason is our brain determines how well we feel based on our habits. Change your habits, your life changes.

Please leave your comments below and suggest any new topics you want to hear about. You can watch and learn from my videos at my YouTube channel, The Muscle Repair Shop, or visit my website at http://www.MuscleRepairShop.com

Stretching

#1 Reason People Fail the Fitness Resolution!

 Happy New Year! Yes, it is that time of year again when we all create our New Year’s resolution. Not surprisingly, getting in shape always seems to be at the top of the list. Unfortunately, by February 1 we feel we have failed then just quit. I used to do the same thing. I had great intentions to lose the weight by going to the gym, but the problem was I felt worse after working out than I did fat. You miss a few training sessions and now you feel it is hopeless.

   I remember working in a gym as a trainer and  see the same people come in every December, buy a membership for themselves or a partner.  They would usually come in with new gym outfits and confident this would be the year to lose that weight. Sadly, by the second week of January, many would no longer come back. Then the next December it would start all over. Why is this so difficult?

   It can be hard to believe that we are no longer 22 years old anymore and the in the gym, that is very apparent. Members would come in and try pick up their workouts where they left off in high school or college. Of course that was 20 plus years ago which is a recipe for an injury. So the injury would stop them and leave them feeling like they are too old to work out. Others would come and workout as instructed but would wake up the next day sore and stiff. They would feel hopeless because they had pictured themselves feeling awesome as in the ads for the gym. Sometimes a trainer’s ego can get the best of them and they can work you too hard, too fast. Sadly, few people understand the value of proper stretching. Traditional stretching like you see in most gyms and schools is not correct stretching and may lead to more injuries.

   The #1 reason people fail to get fit, STIFFNESS! Yes, the work out will make you stronger, give you more stamina, and it will definitely make you stiff! I am not saying you should not work out, but you must add the stretching into the routine as well. Think of your car. We all know we need gas and oil for the car to keep running, correct? Think of strength training as the gas and stretching as the oil.Leave one out and the car stops, so will you.

  Strength training will build strength and improve stamina, but it shortens the muscles which apply pressure to your joints and nerves, including your back. That pressure will stop your body from producing enough lubricate in the joints and discs which allow you to move smoothly. The joints and discs will dry out and create arthritic conditions.

   Stretching, on the other hand, can free those joints by creating space between your vertebrae and joints which allow the lubricating fluid to soften and cushion to alleviate pain. Unfortunately, too many people hold their stretches too long and apply too much force which switches the stretching to strength training.

  So let’s make plans again this year to get in shape. Begin your workouts as soon as possible, let us teach you how to stretch properly, and visit a nutritionist to learn how to eat a proper diet to achieve your goals.  No diet that requires deprivation only will work. It is not about calories in, calories out, but your emotional tie to food. The quality of the food, like the quality of the gas in your car, will determine how well you run.With the proper plan you can achieve your goal. I know this works because I lost 105 lbs. in 1997 and I never re-gained it back by staying on the plan.