The Evolution of Fitness and Data Tracking

Strength Training Helps Prevent and Fight Cancer

There is plenty of evidence that that people with high levels of muscular strength have a lower risk of cancer – a 40% lower risk to be exact. A study looked at almost 9,000 men aged 20-82 and found that men with a stronger one-rep max on bench press and leg press had a 40% reduction in their risk of dying from cancer. They adjusted for body mass index (BMI), body fat, and aerobic fitness and the results still held. There seems to be something about simply being stronger that is associated with a lower our risk of getting cancer. In addition, strength actually seems to lower our risk of dying from…
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Endurance Exercise can Help Muscular Growth

In a recent study (http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0149082 ) researchers looked at changes in muscle fiber sizes in response to training with and without endurance exercise. The resistance training group performed leg presses only, whereas the endurance training group performed cardiovascular exercise and leg presses.    Prior to the beginning of the study muscle biopsies to measure muscle fiber types and sizes.  There are two primary types of muscle fibers:  Type 1 aka slow twitch endurance fibers and Type 2 fast twitch “power” fibers. After 7 weeks of training both groups increased their one repetition maximum leg press (showing both groups increased in strength).    However only the group doing endurance training increased their…
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The Single Deadlift – Not to be Confused with the Single Leg Romanian Deadlift!

The single leg deadlift aka skaters squat is NOT the same as a single leg Romanian Deadlift.    It is mix of a hip hinge and a squat movement with movement at the knee and hip.   It is essentially a single leg version of a bilateral (two leg) trap bar deadlift/squat. Start with shoulder width apart with a page directly behind both heels.    Use a thicker pad – the lower the pad the more difficult the movement and try to start with at least a two-inch pad. Hold onto two 5 – 15 lbs dumbbells or plates that you will need to counterbalance the rear movement of one of the legs.…
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Strategies for getting a good night sleep – part 2

The combination of controlled breathing with counting can be particularly effective. One breathing exercise involving counting that you could try is called 4-7-8 breathing which also helps with anxiety.    Here is a video of Dr. Andrew Weil explaining how to perform this simple exercise which can be done anywhere:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRPh_GaiL8s Importance of Food Choices and Meal Timing for Sleep As mentioned before alcohol and caffeine are the first things to cut out when experiencing sleep problems. Spicy foods and sugary foods can also impact sleep especially when eaten with 2 hours of bedtime. Try to not eat anything for at least 3 hours prior to going to bed. How Electromagnetic…
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Strategies for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep – Part 1

Most people intuitively understand that lack of sleep is not good for you, but it goes way beyond that!   The Centers for Disease Control has stated that lack of sleep is a public health epidemic and is linked to a wide variety of health issues. Among other issues, lack of sleep greatly increases risk of serious accidents, significantly reduces productivity in the workplace, cause psychological deterioration even in otherwise healthy individuals, and has direct and serious negative physiological effects. Research shows that adults need right around eight hours of sleep each night for optimal health and disease prevention.  Children and Teenagers need even more.  Illness also tends to increase the…
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The Most Common Nutrient Deficiency

Even in overfed western countries like America nutrient deficiencies are prolific, and they can seriously affect quality of life and contribute to many diseases. Of all the nutrient deficiencies Magnesium is likely the most common and most serious nutrient deficiency. Many experts believe that upwards of 80% of Americans are deficient in the important mineral. Most of the 28 grams of body magnesium is in muscles and soft tissues, 1% is in extracellular fluids, and the remainder in the skeleton. Magnesium is essential for all biosynthetic processes including carbohydrate use, energy-dependent membrane transport processes, and the transmission of genetic code. More than 300 enzymes (of a total 1,500) are known…
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The Best Glute Exercise You Are Not Doing!

Everyone wants a stronger and more shapely set of gluteal muscles for many reasons including the fact that the Gluteus Maximus is the largest muscle in the body, and arguably the most powerful. The main function of GM is to extend the hip and prevent the upper body from falling forward relative to the lower body and hip. The most powerful exercise for targeting the glutes is the hip thrust because it emphasizes the fully contracted position loading which is how we get the maximum activation of the glute. Initially hip thrusts aka bridges can be done on the floor lying on the back with knees flexed at 90% and…
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Downhill Skier Exercise

Proper hip hinging technique is critical for the prevention of injuries and being able to perform many exercises properly such as the deadlift, kettlebell swing, and single leg deadlift. The squat is another primary movement pattern that must be learned to prevent injury and optimize movement. There is a great exercise that teaches the relationship between the hip hinge and squat and is a fantastic dynamic warm-up and corrective exercise that can be done every day. It is called the downhill skier. Start by placing the hands palm down on the top of the thighs. Keep the back straight slide the hands down until the palms are resting on the…
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The Straight Arm Band or Cable Pulldown

Many people have issues with scapular control that manifests and scapular winging and is also referred to as scapular dyskinesia (see here for how to assess if your client has this issue: https://mikereinold.com/a-simple-test-for-scapular-dyskinesis-you-must-use/). Clients with this issue will often show shoulder elevation during overhead movements and the scapula will wing out away from the body. The straight arm pulldown is a great exercise to work the latissimus muscles without having to go overhead and learning to keep the shoulder down and preventing scapular winging. The exercise can be done with a cable or two cables or a resistance band. Execution Grasp handles or if using a flat circular band wrap…
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Dark Chocolate – Sweet and Good for You!

Most people have heard that dark chocolate can be good for you, and there are several reasons to include it in your diet! It can lower your risk for diabetes by helping to stabilize blood sugar and reduce insulin resistance. Dark chocolate can also help improve mental function and brain health and has been shown to boost mood and help with stress relief. Epicatechin from dark chocolate lowers inflammation in your central nervous system which protects against stroke. Dark chocolate can lower heart attack risk by reducing platelet aggravation (safely lowering clotting factors to reduce the chance of a blood clot). Dark chocolate also actually helps to reduce anxiety and…
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