Is Your Body In Shape To Be Seen In Spring and Summer Clothes?
A Big Thank You!
I just want to say thank you to all of you who sent well wishes my way while I was recuperating from my shoulder surgery in February. It went extremely well and I’m back better than ever! I have had no difficulties or restrictions in the office since coming back on March 5. I would like to thank my orthopedic surgeon Dr. Steven Mirabello for a job well done and my friend Dr. Ralf Blackstone who oversaw the anesthesiology and safeguarded my sanity since he made sure nobody talked during the procedure! Dr. Mirabello also used my cold laser over the incision sites before stitching me up to accelerate healing and reduce scar tissue! A nice marriage of traditional and alternative medicine which has really paid off!
I would also like to thank Drs. Springer and Hall for a job well done covering my office while I was away. The feedback from the patients was very positive and I’m happy everyone was taken good care of.
3 major components of a balanced exercise program include aerobic training, strength/resistance training, and stretching. The following are suggestions to assist you in each one:
Stretching is typically the most neglected element of exercise programs. That is probably because its results are not as profound and noticeable as aerobic training (weight loss, endurance) and strength/resistance training (muscle building, strength gain). Stretching does improve flexibility and agility as well as potentially reducing injuries. Stretching can be done at home, with a professional, or in a group setting like a yoga class.
An excellent home self-stretch approach is using a foam roller. A foam roller is a foam cylinder typically 3 feet long and 6 inches wide in diameter. You may have seen one at your gym or even tried to use one without any formal training. It is easy to use, lightweight, and can be used and stored almost anywhere – think twice about putting it where dogs that like to chew have access to it!
You can use the foam roller to stretch many parts of the body including your low back, mid-back/ribs, chest, upper neck, buttocks, thighs, and legs. Each area takes up to two minutes to stretch including holding tender points for up to 30 seconds.
They are now available for demonstration and for sale at our office. Come in for a demonstration if you have never used one and purchase one for yourself. It includes instruction sheets for specific muscles and regions
Have you ever gone to the shoe store wondering which athletic shoes to get? There is such a wide variety these days that often times people pick shoes based on price and looks instead of
which pair suits them best. Shoe technology has vastly improved over the last 10 years and it’s important to keep up with new technology and terminology so that you can make better informed decisions. Here’s a couple links to articles to help you select various athletic shoes including running shoes: http://aapsm.org/fit_shoes.htm. http://aapsm.org/selectingshoes.html.
Since there are many categories of athletic shoes you must also consider that you may need more than one pair if you participate in more than one sport or activity: http://aapsm.org/crishoe.html.
In addition, it is highly recommended to have more than one pair of a shoe category such as long-distance running since that shoe needs times to reshape and eliminate moisture from sweat.
If you have flat feet (fallen arches) or pronate (see newsletter “Are Flat Feet a Big Deal?” from November 2010), then you can purchase running shoes which are built with the correct stability for your unique level of pronation: http://aapsm.org/runshoe.html#level. In addition, I recommend that you use arch supports also known as orthotics if you have flat feet and/or if your shoes tend to wear on the outside heels. We carry Powerstep orthotics which are incredibly comfortable and effective, not to mention reasonably priced at $50/pair. Come in and get your feet and shoes looked at to make sure that your feet are optimally supported.
Professional Strength & Resistance Training
There are many approaches to building muscle and strength today. Many people still do the “old school” approach of going to the gym and using bench press, dumbbells, and machines to accomplish this. The P90X home approach is the latest craze and is a good gradient especially for people who have been relatively inactive. All-in-one muscle building equipment is another option, but they tend to be used for short periods and then are stored away for the next garage sale.
In order to meet your individual needs, I recommend working with a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist or a Personal Trainer. These health professionals can tailor a program specific to your level of fitness and body type so that you can reach your goals safely and efficiently.
I recommend Ashleigh Gass who is an outstanding Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist as well as a Medical Exercise Specialist and Certified Sports Performance Nutrition Advisor. She is available for personal sessions at our office or at Muscle City Fitness Center on Clearwater Beach. I recommend starting with a 30-minute beginner exercise therapy session which includes corrective exercise, strengthening, and flexibility training. This is highly individualized and includes home-based techniques. Ashleigh also offers 1 hour intermediate exercise therapy sessions that focus on corrective exercises, strengthening and flexibility training to improve muscle building and fat-burning. Ashleigh can be reached at 310-666-0065.
Another excellent approach is doing Cross-Fit training with a personal trainer. I recommend The Next Level Training Center in Westchase near Oldsmar. Led by trainer extraordinaire Eric Stratman, this approach uses the concept of “muscle confusion” in which you do a totally different workout each day so that your muscles don’t become used to the same exercises which helps to challenge them and develop them better. It’s the same concept as the P90X, but in a larger setting than your living room, with more equipment choices, and most importantly professional assistance. Check out The Next Level Training Center at http://tnltampa.com/. You can reach Eric at (813) 749-0864 for a free week trial.