The Importance of Exercise Recovery: Step 1 Strength Training

 

Last week I wrote an article on exercise recovery and mentioned that within the body there is a constant play of stability and mobility. Certain areas in our body function best when strong and stable and other areas of the body function best with more range of motion. I also briefly explored how six practices can help your body recover from exercise. Each week I will explore the six in more detail. 

The first practice I list is strength training, which at first may seem like a funny activity to put in a list about ways to recover from exercise. And while strength training doesn’t directly help our bodies recover from bouts of exercise, what it does do is far more important. Strength training lays the foundation to building a highly functional body. In the end this helps your body perform optimally so that it eases the demands on the body when you exercise, so less recovery is needed.

Strength training develops better force-couple relationships, which in turn creates a...

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The Importance of Exercise Recovery

 

Exercise recovery is more than just resting after a workout. In this article I go over a few important practices that can help increase your body’s ability to recover from exercise.

Within the body there is a constant play of stability and mobility. Certain areas in our body function best when strong and stable and other parts of the body function best with more range of motion.

ACE Personal Trainer manual (5th Edition) has a helpful list locating key mobility and stability areas within the body’s kinetic chain: 

  • Glenohumeral (ball and socket joint where the top of the arm and the shoulder meet): mobility
  • Scapulothoracic (shoulder blade attachment to upper back): stability
  • Thoracic spine (upper back where ribs are): mobility
  • Lumber spine (lower back): stability
  • Hip (ball and socket joint where the top of the leg and side of pelvis meet): mobility
  • Knee: stability
  • Ankle: mobility
  • Foot: stability

If you have ever taken one of my classes, you may have heard me speak...

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How to Stay Motivated

fitness health running May 09, 2020

Staying motivated can definitely be much harder than initially starting an exercise plan. It’s just a fact of life. Starting a new habit and sticking to it is super hard. In this article, I am going to provide a few helpful tips to stay consistent with your habits so you can reach your health and fitness goals.

Just as we gradually train our bodies to develop strength and endurance, so need to do the same for our minds.

  • Think of yourself as an athlete. If you put effort into consistently working out you are by definition an athlete. Your goal may be to feel better, to look thinner, and have more energy, but in the end, you are an athlete. And if you put yourself in that mindset, psychologists say you’re more likely to act like an athlete. And athletes stick to their workout program regardless if they feel like it doing it or not.
  • If you have ever taken one of my classes you know I usually say “oohhh isn’t this so much fun?” or “wasn’t that...
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A Simple Method to Avoid Injury and Live Pain Free

fitness health Apr 26, 2020

Now that is an important topic we all are hoping for, eh? Now let’s see if I can deliver…

I am super passionate about this. I’ve been for quite a while. It’s always been a focus, but definitely since I had my rotator cuff (the muscles under and over your shoulder blades) injury back in August 2018. You can read about it on my blog here.

At the time, I read a book about shoulder injuries called Framework for the Shoulder and the author, Nicholas DiNubile, mentioned that once we are in our 40s the rotator cuff muscles have received so much wear and tear and with changes in our tissue composition as we age we are quite likely to injure those muscles. A bit disheartening I should say, but I wasn’t satisfied with that answer. Nope. My plan is to not experience that pain again.

Being a Corrective Exercise Specialist with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) I knew exactly what happened. I was training 6 times a week with heavy weights with...

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Three Helpful Tips to Keep to Your Resolution of Becoming Healthier

goals health Jan 02, 2020

New Year’s Resolutions. We all make them with the best of intentions and I actually love them. Every year, the week before January 1st, I begin contemplating about what I’d like to change in my life for the upcoming year. On December 31st I carve out a bit of time with my journal to write out my plans. 

Now, truthfully, as the year unfolds some of those carefully crafted ideas don’t even get implemented. Some of those ideas live for about a month or two and then get dropped. But thankfully some of my changes do stay and new habits are formed. 

If your Year 2020 resolution was to develop healthier lifestyle habits and you are worried you may not stick to your new plan, you are reading the right article! As a Certified Personal Trainer, working for the Township of Langley, I have seen lots of success with clients reaching their goals. 

I have noticed three important steps that have led to successful outcomes for clients sticking to their...

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Somatotypes

health nutrition Jan 31, 2019

A little while ago I was complaining to my hair stylist. I was complaining about the fact that for the past four weeks I hadn’t been consistent in my workouts because of a serious chest cold that just wouldn’t go away. You remember that nasty chest cough that everyone had in December? During cardio (or really just laughing) would send me into a flurry of deep chest coughing. I could still do weight training, but I thought it wouldn’t be so considerate to be at the gym hacking away spreading my germs everywhere, so I focused on performing light weights at home. 

My biggest complaint was that I was losing weight. And that made me annoyed because I knew I was losing lean muscle mass, not body fat. And that muscle was hard earned. For the past year I trained 6 days a week, lifting 6-12 reps for 3-5 sets, twice a week per body part. 

So here I was in my stylist’s chair complaining about losing weight because I wasn’t exercising. I said...

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Healthy Habits Are Hard to Keep When Stressed

flow health yoga Dec 22, 2018

I am a person who likes to get things done quickly. I develop a plan and stick to it, with 110% effort and enthusiasm. It’s been great for achieving goals. But sometimes I wonder, at what price?

As I age, I am noticing how setting my mind on a goal definitely can be beneficial, but with such rigid firmness comes drawbacks, especially depending on how much stress and friction it causes my life.

Stress. Looking up the word in the dictionary, there are multiple definitions, but two definitely stood out for me: 1) importance attached to a thing; and 2) the physical pressure, pull, or other force exerted on one thing by another.

The importance to a “thing.” Hmmm, importance on things, don't like that. “Pressure” and “force.” Another hmmm, just thinking those words invoke stress!

I was recently reading a Precision Nutrition blog post and I really liked Coach Craig Weller’s advice:

(Clients say) “I was doing great...

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What’s the best diet? Paleo? Vegan? Keto? Atkins? Zone? The list goes on...

health nutrition Dec 11, 2018

I often answer “the best diet is the one that you can maintain long term.”

This is such a complex discussion. And really there is no right answer as to whether there is one diet that works for all people. Well….maybe one right answer: whole foods. Selecting most of the food you eat from whole sources, meaning minimally processed, feeds your body the nutrients it needs and keeps it healthy.

The reason that no one diet works for everyone is that people are diverse. Every body needs different macros (carbohydrates, fat, and protein) depending on several important aspects.

In the first chapter of the Precision Nutrition's “The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition” textbook for my Level 1 Certification I am currently enrolled in, it gives an excellent and explained overview of several ways that people are diverse. Allow me to paraphrase…

Body Type – some of us are tall and thin, some short and stocky, and some in between....

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BMR, and Why It's Important

health Aug 07, 2018

I am at that age (early 40s) where I have many family members and friends trying to lose weight. It’s definitely tough for us to stay slim as we age. One of the main reasons is that we have been steadily losing precious muscle since our early 30s. It’s called sarcopenia. On average, physically inactive people lose 3-5% of their muscle mass per decade, my 6th edition NASM textbook states 5% per decade. That might not seem like a big deal, but it is. Your amount of muscle mass pretty much dictates your BMR.

Your BMR (basal metabolic rate) is the amount of energy expended while at rest. Your muscles burn more calories in order to function, meaning the more muscle mass you have the more energy (calories) your body burns. Pretty cool, eh?

So as we age, it’s important that we exercise. Walking and light aerobics are great for our cardiovascular health (which lengthens our life expectancy), plus it will burn a little extra calories. However, it’s only...

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Joint Pain & Exercise

fitness health Jul 14, 2018

Several years ago I went through a stressful patch in my life with over programming (driving kids everywhere), too many volunteer commitments, selling/buying house, moving to a new city. And so, amongst all of that I wasn’t taking care of myself all that well: I ate a lot of prepackaged convenience “vegan” foods, lived on caffeine, often skipped meals, wasn’t consistent with exercising, didn’t get enough sleep or even down time. I was about 8 pounds underweight (when I am stressed I don’t eat). So my health was at an all time low. On top of that I started having severe peri-menopausal symptoms: delayed cycles, hot flashes, extreme fatigue, urgency to pee, joint pain. Fun times.

Many of those symptoms were eased by slowing down, cutting out a few programs from the family schedule, making healthy meals at home, eating animal protein, taking a compounded T4 hormone for my hypothyroid. But my joint pain remained. It wasn’t awful, just an...

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