January 22, 2011

The Dangers of Shoveling Snow!!!

The snow fall this winter has created many problems already.  Many towns are already at or above their budget for snow removal, I've personally witnessed two car accidents, and three of my clients have fallen because of the ice (fortunately... they're strong enough to get back up injury free ;-)

With all this snow, the snow removal business must be booming, but for those of us who have to get out there and shovel this stuff ourselves, it is now time to be thankful for the fact that you've being working out consistently.  I keep hearing these generalized statements on news like, "if you're over 40 you shouldn't shovel any snow."  Huh???  Now I'm not 40 years old and it will be a while before I get there, but a 40 year old man should be and is very capable of shoveling a lot of snow IF he has taken care of himself. 

How do I know this???  Because I train many 40 year old women that are very capable of getting out there and shoveling their fair share of snow.  Unfortunately, these general warnings are needed because most of our population is too unfit to do much more than sit at an office desk. 

So, ask yourself an honest question...  Are you confident that you can go out side and shovel a small driveway or walkway without any problems???  (Disclaimer: I am NOT challenging you to go outside to find out)

If you have not been weight training properly and doing consistent cardiovascular exercise then answer to this question is no.  So consider this, if you're capable of shoveling snow you can consider yourself to be more fit than most of our population.  If you can not shovel snow confidently because you run the serious risk of a heart attack or back injury then it's time to start taking care of your body.  Get your cholesterol and blood pressure down and improve you functional strength.  You can do this all with a healthy diet and a balanced and progressive exercise program.

A quick note on functional strength:
Balancing on one leg on an unstable device and doing curls is often called "functional" right.  Personal trainers will tell you this and some schools will even teach this, BUT what functional task does this exercise help you perform?  I'll be back with more of an explanation in another post, but the short answer is that this does not help you perform any functional task at all.  So when I speak of functional strength, I'm talking about taking an object that is an adequate load and moving it throughout the correct range of motion(i.e. actual weight lifting).

There are roughly 100 deaths and 11,500 emergency department visits annually because of shoveling snow.  These are not freak accidents.  This is yet another sign that we need to encourage our out of shape friends and family members that it's time to get moving again. 

Check out the statistics here  Snow Shoveling Injuries

For some snow shoveling tips from the American Physical Therapy Association click here


January 14, 2011

Increase you protein intake and BURN FAT!!!

There have been numerous studies showing that diets containing a high amount of protein result in greater fat loss when compared to diets that contain a moderate amount of protein. 

The Health's Dietary Reference Intake recommends that you consume 10%-35% of your calories in the form of protein.  The upper end of this recommendation is where you will receive many of the weight and fat loss benefits.  The good news is that no negative effects have been found from consuming higher than recommended amounts of protein unless you already have kidney problems.  So... eat away!!!

To start bump up you're protein to at least 120 grams/day spread out evenly over 5-6 snacks/meals.

Here are some great protein sources...   
4oz of chicken ~22 grams
3oz of fish ~25-30 grams
1 scoop of whey protein ~ 24 grams
1 small chobani yogurt ~18 grams
8oz of low fat milk ~8 grams
1 large egg ~ 7 grams
1 egg whites ~3.5 grams

Remember that most of your protein should come from animal sources.  If you follow a vegan diet them please seek a qualified nutritionist to make sure that you learn the importance of complementary proteins.  Consuming only incomplete proteins like those found in grains, legumes, nuts, and vegtables in the wrong amounts can lead to deficiencies and a slowed metabolism.

See what WebMD has to say... http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/high-protein-diet-weight-loss


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3 Great Core Exercises that work MORE than just your core!!!

bosu ball planks
BOSU Plank with alternating leg lifts- This move will challenge your ability to stabilize your core through motion and instability while activating your gluteal muscles.
Tip- Focus on stretching your leg back as far as you can instead of lifting it up as high as you can, pause for 2 seconds on top.  About 12 inches of motion is ideal, any more than this and you risk hyper-extension of your lower back.

russian twist on the ball russian twist
Physio ball Russian Twist- This move will challenge your rotational core muscles(obliques)while requiring you to contract your gluteals and hamstrings to maintain complete hip extension, balance, and stability throughout your trunk. 
Tip- Drive your heals down into the ground as you rotate towards one side.  Drive the bottom shoulder into the ball allowing it to roll slightly sideways until your shoulders are perpendicular with your hips as seen in the second photo.

isometric stomach exercise
Plank with feet on a Physio ball- This move will work the entire midsection.  Having you feet elevated places and addition load on your shoulders and triceps.
Tip- Keep your ankles flexed so that you toes are pressed firmly against the ball as seen in the photo.  If this is too difficult you can start with both shins on the ball.

These exercises are meant for healthy injury-free individuals.  For modifications, loading, and/or set and repetition schemes please contact me at chris@203fitness.com

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