The Whole Body Not Just Parts
Science has found that the best way to achieve maximum health and fitness
benefits from exercise is to work the entire body as a whole. So whether
you need to condition your heart and vascular system; strengthen bones;
reduce excess body fat; alleviate pain or just improve any other health
condition; a whole body conditioning approach is superior for your health
and fitness. Why is this? During work and play, each muscle is connected to
and supports the others. To maximize benefits, you must condition your
muscles in an interconnected way. One of the simplest strategies for
integrating your workout is to combine rather than separate all strength
training and cardiovascular time. Take fewer breaks, use heavier weights
and try exercise combinations to keep your heart rate elevated and many
muscles working together.
Include the Extensor Muscles
Most fitness programs spend more time on the muscles you can see and less
on those you can't. The ones you can't see, called the extensor muscles,
are vitally important to good posture, a healthy spine, shoulders, knees
and hips. These muscles: the erector spinae, middle and lower trapezius,
gluteus medius and maximus muscles are the primary support muscles of the
spine, hips and pelvis. Many back, neck, hip and shoulder pain syndromes,
headaches, slipped discs and poor posture patterns can be attributed to
weakness, tightness or imbalances in these muscle groups. So just because
you can't see them doesn't mean they are not important. Ask your trainer or
fitness professional to show you some good exercises for these muscles and
add them to your current workout right away.
Maximum Benefits Come With Exercise Support
Your exercise program needs to be well supported to maximize health and
fitness benefits. A proper warm-up, water intake, post workout cool down
and stretching, nutrition and adequate rest all improve exercise benefits.
Exercise without stretching afterwards is a recipe for disaster. Tight
muscles will narrow joint spaces, placing abnormal forces on the spine,
shoulder, hips and knees. This increased pressure results in pain and
degeneration (arthritis) in the joints. Adequate water is essential for
proper function of muscles, kidneys, heart, joints and digestion. Good
nutrition provides necessary energy and adequate protein plus other
essential nutrients for bone and muscle growth. Eight hours of restful
sleep allows the body to adequately grow and repair the tissues of the
various organ systems.
Osteoporosis Specific Exercise Programs
For maximum safety, exercises involving flexion, twisting and trunk
curling (crunches) should be avoided if you have osteoporosis. Stronger
extensor muscles help reduce fracture risk by improving posture,
stabilizing the spine and taking the weight off the vertebral bodies. In
addition to extensor exercises, there are two exercise programs that are
backed by good research and are shown to be helpful for osteoporosis. The
first is the "BEST" Study regimen and the second is "The Rehabilitation of
Osteoporosis Program-Exercise" (ROPE) instruction. The ROPE program was the
only study that reduced the incidence of fracture. Generalized exercise
programs do not offer as much benefit as individualized ones. For maximum
benefit, any program should be modified to address your specific needs.
Good posture is more important than just sitting up straight. Your posture
affects your breathing, spinal alignment, blood pressure, digestion and many
other bodily functions. Fresh Start Fit After 50! helps improve posture as well
as reduce stress, improve balance, strength, flexibility, energy and stamina.
After just a few weeks, you will feel like a new person. Call Woody McMahon at
703-464-5171 to schedule your no cost Fresh Start consultation. You can also
email to Woody@SequoiaHealth.com.