200818 Exercise clothing

 Exercise clothing 200818

Lifting weights implies wearing the correct attire to help prevent injuries from occurring. Some of the personal adornments that have shown up in the gym are just this side of ludicrous and certainly not appropriate in the weight room. Some examples are listed next.

*Large necklaces that make it difficult to rest a bar on the upper torso are something better left in the locker or at home.
*Rings on every finger that dig into the skin during a chin up, curl or dead lift.
*Flip flops or sandals of any sort have no place in the gym.

The last mentioned is in my opinion the most critical of those on the list. A shoe that fully encloses your foot provides a bit of security if a piece of equipment falls and hit the foot. A sandal gives you no protection at all.

Select shoes that give good ankle and solid arch support. They should also provide your foot with superior lateral stability by having good upper support; unlike the smaller low cut running shoes. The shoe also needs to have enough room in the toe box to prevent your toes from rubbing at the tips. If you plan to do lateral cutting drills in your program then make certain the shoes you chose have excellent traction capabilities.

130818 VO2 Max Formula

VO2 Max Formula 130818

By Danny M. O’Dell, M.A. CSCS*D

Interested in what your VO2 Max may be?

Here is a quick method to find out without using high priced equipment. It is equated to how far you are able to run in 12 minutes. K. H. Cooper, of the famed Cooper Institute came up with this equation for aerobic fitness.

The protocol is to warm up efficiently as it will be a maximum effort. Warm up and run on a level course. The course selected should have markings in meters so you know how far you have gone at the conclusion.

The equation:
VO2 max= 33 + 0.17 (x-133)
X is the distance (in meters) covered in one minute

From Science of Sports Training by Thomas Kurz published by Stadion Publishing Company Island Pond, VT.

040618 Balancing Out Your Exercise Program

040618 Balancing Out Your Exercise Program

By Danny M. O’Dell, M.A.CSCS

It is well established that exercise benefits us in many areas such as increased self confidence, improvements in our moods, and longer healthier lives. Simply being able to do what you want to do physically and mentally may be made easier by engaging in a long term pattern of running, weight training, stretching/balance, and recreational sporting exertions.

During spring time the runners start hitting the road, especially those who are getting ready to run Bloomsday here in Spokane, Washington. While running is an admirable endeavor, it is not enough to keep your body in top physical condition. Our body needs physical and mental stimulation which is only achievable through the use of a variety of methods.

Cyclic exercise, similar to running, stresses the cardiovascular abilities thereby increasing the capacity to engage in lengthy activities through enhanced oxygen transfer to the working muscles. However, exercising in this manner will not increase the lean muscle mass composition of our body. In order to do that resistance training is necessary.

010513 Ankle weights

Ankle weights

Questions often arise as to the usefulness of the small Velcro style attached weights. But that may be the wrong question to be asking if you are interested in safe, healthy exercise.

Attaching the weights to your ankles and doing any type of fast movements, where your legs are extending, such as happens when running or jogging puts an excessive strain on the knee and hip joints. Over time, this can cause problems leading to laxity in the joint capsule, potential constriction, and/or adhesion of the surrounding tissues resulting in abnormal wear patterns in the joint.

Thus, using these ankle weights for any type of aerobic exercise is not recommended. However, there are times when they are useful in an exercise program. And those times are when you need some extra resistance doing leg curls and quad sets at home.

These little weights are ideal when you are recovering from a lower joint surgery, particularly a total knee replacement. They will help you get back your range of motion, help develop endurance and eventually increase your strength in small increments. All of which you will need to completely recover from this surgery.

They can be useful when rehabbing your ankle from a strain if you follow your doctor and physical therapists advice on when and how to use them.

Although I have never used them when riding a stationary bike they may even be of benefit here too.

120413 Developing a basic fitness plan

Developing a basic fitness plan

Losing weight is a topic of many conversations in the United States and for good reason; we are nation of obese people. For this reason, it makes sense to follow a soundly designed overall fitness plan. A good fitness plan makes it easier to control your weight, while at the same time improving your physical health and fitness.

Regular exercise improves the capacity of your heart to furnish the nourishment that is so necessary to your body and if done effectively, gives your lungs a good workout. Exercising and strengthening these two major systems in your body, make up the basics of any fitness plan.

You can reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure and even lower it, if it is high, by engaging in a regular program of physical fitness. Additionally your risk of heart disease, suffering a stroke, developing type II diabetes, and even certain types of cancers, along with Alzheimer’s can be reduced by increasing your physical activity.

Not only will you be physically healthier but also an added bonus will be improvements in your brain power, elevated moods, and a higher quality of life as you grow older.

By participating in a moderate aerobic style of exercise, which by the very name implies increasing your heart rate, and holding it there for a certain amount of time you will deprive many healthful benefits. One of which is losing weight.

The best part about aerobics is you do not have to buy a lot of equipment. It would be wise to purchase a high-quality pair of running or walking shoes if your budget allows. If not, simply start walking or doing yard work. Anything that will increase your heart rate above its normal resting rate will be beneficial. Other options include jogging, running, swimming, biking, or my favorite, skipping rope.

Aerobic conditioning

Aerobic conditioning is your body’s adaptations to working continuously with oxygen or in other words with air. Aerobic conditioning is cardio respiratory endurance or aerobic power. The word power indicates a strong response to imposed conditions.

Cardio work is a continuous activity that puts an increased demand on the heart, lungs, and circulatory systems of the body. Generally, large muscle groups of the body are involved for extended periods without a break, thus the term, with air. The original term “aerobics” came from the father of cardiovascular training, Dr. Kenneth Cooper, of the famed Cooper Institute.

Ideally, you need to be working up to 30 minutes a day with an aerobic exercise if you want to see good results. To make this type of exercise beneficial to your cardiovascular system, do 30 minutes of an aerobic workout at between 75 and 80% of your maximum heart rate.

The easiest, although not necessarily the most accurate, method of finding your target heart rate percentages is to subtract your age from 220. This gives you the starting point of your potentially maximum heart rate from which you multiply the percentage to get your target heart rate (THR).

For example, if you are 50 years old subtract 50 from 220, which results in 170. The 170 is the beats per minute (BPM) and it is this number that you will multiply by 70% to give to your target heart range of one 19 (BPM).

So, if you are going to exercise for 30 minutes use the first two or three minutes warming up with your exercise of choice and then increasing the intensity until your heart is beating it 119 BPM. Continue at the same pace until your 30 minutes is up and then spend 5 to 6 minutes cooling down with a slower level of doing the exercise until your heart rate is back to near normal.

100313 Healthy movement

Healthy movement is beneficial to your body and at its lowest level, even some activity is better than doing nothing. If you are just starting out then gradually build up your endurance with 5 to 10 minute exercise breaks throughout the day. At the 10-minute level, your body begins to adapt and then noticeable changes become evident.

After you are able to exercise aerobically for at least 10 minutes, it is time to branch out by adding resistance exercises to the daily routine. One way to begin is by doing one 10-minute session of endurance work and then later on in the day doing 10-minutes of resistance training.

Alternate between aerobic and resistance training for at least thirty minutes for the day.

The aerobic exercises can be brisk walking, skipping rope, riding a bike or any other activity that is continuous and places a demand on your breathing and heart rate. After you are finished then cool down with static stretches, holding each one for fifteen to thirty seconds. Do this three to five times for each stretch.

For the resistance training start out with body weight calisthenics by doing 3-5 sets of fifteen to thirty bodyweight squats, push ups, calf raises, prone back extensions, curl ups, leg raises or others of your choosing. You can do these in a circuit or one exercise at a time. Stay with it for the full 10 minutes.

If you are over sixty-five, the health benefits of activity are just as important to you as they are to the younger people. Start slowly and build up your fitness levels over time. If you have chronic health problems, work around them and do what you can.

If you aren’t able to ride a bike or have access to a treadmill or other such equipment, then get one of the hand ergometers available at Costco for about $49.00 and exercise your upper body. Do counter top pushups by standing two or three feet away from a counter top and then doing pushups on it.

Do chair sits. Sit in and stand up from a chair without pushing on your legs with your hands as you stand up. Practice sitting down on a chair; standing up, walking away briskly for 10 feet, and then coming back and sitting in the chair again. Repeat this for a minute or more. This builds up leg strength and helps with your balance.

Practice your balance to help prevent falls by walking sideways, standing heel to toe; practicing the stork stand on one leg with the other bent ninety degrees at the hip and knee or any of the many other balancing exercises.

Are you starting to run?

Many times a new runner will make the common error of training too much and trying to go too fast at the same time. This inevitably leads to an injury or, at the very least, a lack of enthusiasm which eventually leads to no running at all.

It is a natural tendency to want to go faster or go farther every time you run just to show yourself and everyone else that your fitness is improving. However if you are into a running program long-term then you must build your base.

Slowly increasing your training load for the first three to six months allows your body to adapt. This improvement in the cardiovascular systems goes along with the adaptations your body makes in tolerating the mechanical loading on the joints. These loads can be as high as three times your bodyweight with each step.

Starting out in a reasonable manner helps to build up the discipline that is so necessary to keeping on track with your training.

Here are a few steps to consider if you intend to stay with it long-term.

Look at your motivation and decide whether not you have the discipline to continue running each day. It is not going to be easy the first three months. It will take that long before running is a habit. Those who do find it easy to stay with it normally have previously demonstrated personal perseverance and have a healthy mental attitude to succeed in whatever they try.

To start with, set your goals. These goals should be achievable in the short term. Keep a logbook so you can track your progress. Writing down how well you are doing encourages continuation down the successful road the fitness.

Once you believe you are ready to go it is time to decide if you need to check with your doctor to review your past health history. If you both decide that it’s okay to start running then you need to pick out a good pair of running shoes. You don’t have to spend a fortune for your first pair. However you need to get some that are going to withstand the stresses you are about to put onto them each time you run. The best thing to do here is simply go to a reputable shoe store that deals with athletes and seek their advice.

After you pick out your shoes, it is time to decide whether not you have lightweight porous clothing to run in. Again, you don’t need to spend a fortune on running clothes either. The purpose of the clothing is to keep you covered and to allow evaporation to take place while you exercise.

Now that you have your shoes and running clothes it is time review a few laws of training.

Make no doubt about it, consistency counts. Therefore, train frequently, preferably all year round. As was mentioned in the very first paragraph, begin slowly and be gentle in your training.

No matter what type of training you are doing, it is always best to get as much as possible out of the minimum amount of training.

Train for the distance first and then later for speed at that distance. You will be more successful if you don’t set your training time in concrete. Give yourself leeway to lead your life. When training it is recommended that an easier day, or more follow a hard day, if your hard day was especially strenuous. Don’t race during your training and don’t run at a race pace for distances that exceed 16 km.

Decide what distances you want to run and specialize in those distances. You will avoid overtraining if you train with a knowledgeable coach and are consciously aware of the signs of overtraining. Train your mind by practicing mental rehearsal techniques.

Finally, it may seem obvious, but you need to rest before your big race. How do you expect to do well if you are tired because you stayed up too late?