until later

All the world’s a stage…

It’s been almost two years since my first post. I’ve had periods where I could write 4 posts in one week. And then there has been times where a month would almost pass before I could put something up. And in both cases I have felt that what I wrote was something that someone could read and bring from it at the least some insight into their health and well being.

Have I achieved that? I don’t know. I hope I have. Only you know if I have.

And what lies ahead of me are a few things that will consume more of my time. I have a very important grading coming up at my home dojo. I also then have a very important trip to Okinawa Japan to also grade at our Hombu (head) dojo. And lastly  I am teaching Wednesday nights and soon to come Friday nights in addition of my regular nights of Tuesday and Thursday.

I don’t want to end up posting entries that are less than what I expect from myself. And that takes time. So what I’m getting to is you probably won’t see any new postings from me probably no earlier than August this year.

I know, how will you get through your week. I look at it as a great time to go through the archives and reread some posts.

Take care, and I look forward to my next post.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

It seems pointless

You’ve been working really hard. Been very diligent with your eating habits. But your body has stopped responding. It’s been weeks since you have noticed any weight loss. Why?

Influences

Eating: What we eat can have the largest influence on our weight. The quality and amount of carbs, the quality of fat and protein. There is the saying “calories in vs calories out” that concludes if we use more calories than we consume we will lose weight. But this doesn’t take into account the type of calorie.

Calories from simple carbs has a much different impact to our body then calories from fat or protein. Eating simple carbs causes a release of hormones that negatively impact our body causing greater fat storage.

Try to consume quality calories to help lose fat.

Also be sure to not skip meals. If our body is not getting the calories it needs when it needs them the body will go into starvation mode slowing down the bodies metabolism, thus slowing down weight loss. Eating less does not always mean you will lose weight.

Exercise: Most of us think that the best and quickest way to lose weight is to do lots of cardio. Doing cardio is great for health and fitness but we need to also include resistance training into our workouts. Resistance training done properly increases muscle mass which increases our resting metabolism rate thus increasing the amount of calories our body requires daily to function.

Basically,the more muscle mass, the more fat burned.

Counting: How many of us actually know the amount of calories we consume daily and also the type of calories? We may think we know but more than likely we are consuming more than what we think we are. Take the time to measure your meals over a few days to really know how much that is.

Change: The body is a wonderful thing. It can adapt to change and will adapt. What used to be a workout that shocked your body no longer has the same affect. The body isn’t challenged the way it used to be.

Mix up your workouts every six weeks or so to introduce change and shock the body into getting results again.

Priority: Are you fit? Is it only that last 10 pounds you are worried about? Are you kicking ass in your workouts? Then be happy with who and what you are. Our focus should be on being healthy not just looking healthy. There is a phrase skinny fat which talks to being thin but not really healthy.

last

focus on your health and the rest will take care of itself. The fat will eventually come off. And your health is much more important than your appearance.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

as concrete is to the foundation…

stabilizers are to the body.

In a previous post I described and provided exercises for some of the body’s stabilizer muscles. I’d like to continue the theme of stabilizer muscles specifically hip stabilizers. If you are someone active in sports, a runner, walker, or someone who wan’ts explosive power than you will want strong hip stabilizers. Having said that, everyone can benefit from strong hip stabilizers, especially having to do with injury prevention and quality of life.

What

What are our hip stabilizer muscles? We all have heard of our glutes. The muscles of our bum. Yes, muscles as in more than one. There is the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. The three glute muscles. The gluteus maximus is the largest of the glute muscles and the one most people think of when referring to strengthening the glutes. The gluteus medius, or glute med, is the stabilizer muscle that I want to cover.

How

Having a week glute med can result in injuries to our knees, hips and ankles. It’s funny how that works. When we injure one of these areas we think it has to do with an issue with that area. A pain in our knee? Yep, must be an issue with my knee. Just like having week glute max can cause back pain, week glute med can cause pain in these areas.

Ok, so knowing that, what can be done to strengthen our glute meds? Time to get into the exercise portion of this post.

  1. The clamshell: Laying on your side, legs bent at the knees, place a fairly firm ball roughly about 30 cm in diameter between your knees. Now bring your knees together by squeezing the ball. Hold the squeeze for about 3 to 5 seconds. Do this 10 to 12 times and repeat 3 times.
  2. Leg raise: You have a choice doing this exercise. You can do it just using body weight, or you can use a band to add resistance. I’ll leave this up to you. Laying on your side again, keep your legs straight. Now raise the upper leg straight up as far as you can and hold for 3 to 5 seconds. Do this 10 to 12 times using both legs. Repeat 3 times.
  3. Lateral step: For this exercise you need a band. Standing with legs shoulder width apart, having the band above your ankles step to the side with one leg until you feel a fair amount of resistance. Now bring the other leg towards the one you used to step but not too close because you want to maintain the resistance. Keeping that resistance keep stepping for about 6 times and then step in the opposite direction using the other leg as the lead.
  4. Single leg squat: Whenever you can work one side on its own, such as the single leg squat, do it. Working on body so we isolate each side allows us to bring continuity between the two sides, eventually no longer having a ‘weaker side’. The way to accomplish this is to start with the weaker side and do the same amount of reps on the stronger side that you did on the weaker side. Single leg squats are what they sound like. Using your body weight and the weaker leg, raise up the other leg so it is off of the ground and lower yourself into squat position. If you are nervous about doing this exercise due to fear of falling over, or not being able to get back up, do it with a chair or bench under your butt so you can land on it if necessary. If you don’t need it, don’t use it. You can also use it to know when you have lowered yourself far enough by starting the upward motion as soon as you feel the chair touching you. If you have never done this exercise you may only get off about 4 to 6 reps. That’s ok. Actually that’s great! Keeping the reps low will result in increase in muscle strength and size.

You

Now that you have read this post how do you feel? Overwhelmed? Excited? Tired? Do you feel this is just another thing I don’t have time to do? I get it. I do. This is one reason why I recommend people take the time to see a personal trainer. Not everyone has to work on everything. Through a body analysis process, the personal trainer should be able to point out the week spots and put together a program to address them. This should result in you being able to better utilize your exercise time instead of increasing it and feeling overwhelmed.

Something else to try. Try visualizing being injured and losing some quality of life. Has your furnace ever failed during winter (more than likely because it always fails when you need it the most)? Do you remember how much you wanted that furnace to work and how long you were without it and how cold you were? Days? It sucked!

Just like the furnace our body can fail if not maintained. And usually it fails when we need it the most.

Yours in health,

Darryl