In Part 1, I listed 9 Reasons Why You Should Be Strength Training. In case you missed it, you can check it out here. Still not convinced of the benefits and think that by simply performing cardio you’re maximizing your health and welfare? Well, here are 9 additional reasons why you should be strength training.
Maybe you wanted to lose some weight. Maybe you just wanted to tone up. And just maybe you wanted to be able to go for long runs . So you went to the gym and spent an hour or more on the treadmill…and/or the elliptical…and/or the stepper. And you’re proud of yourself because you’ve been sticking to your healthy meal plan. But all is not right…the weight’s just not dropping like you thought, or you’re having trouble completing your running because of nagging injuries. And you rack your brain, maybe blame your genetics for having “slow” metabolism. But truth be told, maybe you’re missing something critical…like strength training.
You go to the gym and you know you have less than an hour to get your workout in…you know you need to work your major muscle groups…annnnnd you need to work in some cardio as well. So what do you do first? Unfortunately there is no clear cut answer. Your priority in the gym all depends on your personal goals. So, if you want to lose weight, for example, then you should not be working out the same as someone who is training to run a marathon. To decide whether to work on strength training or cardio first, I’ve compiled a list of common workout goals and accompanying recommendations.
In my previous post I stated the benefits of dynamic stretching before working out and static stretching after exercising. So are we really getting the best benefits from stretching? Are we even stretching out correctly? It turns out that we just may be stretching out the wrong way for the wrong reasons. So let’s debunk some common myths when it comes to stretching so we can stretch the right way.
Myth #1: Static stretching should come first. Again, go back to my previous post that explains that static stretching before a workout when the body is at rest can be detrimental, since muscles may actually tighten up in the process. Now static stretching after a workout is typically beneficial, since it helps the warmed-up muscles to relax. Truth: Do static stretching after a workout–not before.
Ok–for some individuals, stretching in addition to a workout is the icing on the cake…a nice touch, but not really necessary. Or, maybe you’re the type of person who thinks that touching your toes for a few seconds after getting off the treadmill is plenty. As it turns out when, and how, you stretch your muscles can make or break your fitness goals.
Stretching before a workout is critical for preventing injury as well as improving performance. This is especially true if you exercise right after waking up or if you’re fairly sedentary during the day–your muscles are most likely going to be tight. One study showed that stretching for 15 minutes before a workout can help you to avoid injury.
If you’ve ever heard someone say “sleep is overrated,” think again! For something we spend up to a third of our lives doing, it’s not such a simple thing. Both sleeping too much and sleeping too little have been linked to a number of health problems, from obesity and heart disease to dementia and diabetes. Furthermore, sleep can play a role in snoring, heartburn, and even wrinkles! Here are your choices from best to worst, complete with pros and cons…I’ll leave it up to you to decide which is best for you.
Fibromyalgia...you may have heard about the condition from a friend or family member, or maybe even from your own doctor or health care professional–but do you really know what it is and how to tell if that’s what you’re truly suffering from? Fibromyalgia affects almost 5 million people in the US, 80% to 90% of whom are women. It is a chronic condition that often is extremely difficult to diagnose or agree upon. Usually diagnosed between 30 and 50 years of age, the symptoms–mainly fatigue and widespread chronic pain–can present much earlier. Although there is no conclusive cure at this time, there is help in the way of treatments. Physical Therapy can help in three important ways: