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Warm Up or Stretch First Before You Workout?

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, January 28, 2010

Contrary to what some believe muscle stretching should not be the first thing you do prior to starting your workout. Do a light cardio warm up instead - Warm up first with a 5-10 minutes of walking, cycling, etc., and then stretch. You can also do stretching exercises at the end of your full cardio workout.

Stretching cold muscles (not warmed up) can cause or lead to injuries. There is also some research indicating that a lot of excess stretching can cause a short-term reduction in muscle strength. Therefore those doing weight (strength) training should save the serious stretching for after the workout is over. Remember, be smart about making sure you are warmed up.

Weight Loss and Cardiac (Heart) Health

Joseph Coupal - Saturday, January 23, 2010

Obesity or being grossly overweight puts a signifcant strain on your heart. Exercise and a fitness program will improve your heart health and assist in losing weight. However, some dietary adjustment is absolutely neccessary if you want to lose weight and improve your overall health.
 
If you want to lose weight, improve cardiovascular health, and lower cholesterol, you need to cut back on calories from saturated fat and sugar, eat more fiber and lean protein, and stock up on fruit and vegetables. Once you are in a soldi routine and feeling good about your health you can treat yourself once in awhile ... just stay away from indulging or binging.

Post Workout Consumption - What and when should you eat after you exercise?

Joseph Coupal - Friday, January 15, 2010

Basically there seems to be two types of people when it comes to eating after a workout. The ones that don't eat anything and the ones that eat right away. The 'Non-Eaters' will eat later in the day but will treat themselves to sweets/alcohol/chips because they feel this is ok since they already exercised. The ones that eat right away finish their workout and simultaneously consume a protein bar (or small meal) and a post-workout shake within 5-15 minutes after their workout is over. Although better than not eating at all, this consumption  can have more of a positive effect on their workouts if the timing is altered.

For the first thirty minutes after a workout your body is still ready to exercise ... your muscles have been innervated, they are ready to be pushed, and are not ready to begin the repairing phase just yet. However, thirty minutes after workout is over your muscles relax and begin to repair themselves. This is when one would want to consume protein, because protein aids in the muscle rebuilding process. So, if you consume your post-workout protein beverage 30 min to 1 hour after your workout, you will be helping your muscles rebuild during their peak rebuilding process while maximizing the benefits of the protein you're consuming.

Phase 2 consumption should 2-3 hours after workout concluded.  Here you should eat a regular meal (with high quality protein in it) to continue aiding in the muscle rebuilding process. Do not 'treat' yourself to sweets or alcohol or junk food because your muscles still need protein at this point.  High quality carbs fond in vegetables and fruits should be part of this meal as well. Remember 'You Are What You Eat'? That is especially true on the days when you exercise. If you control your consumption and the timing of it after a workout, your results will come faster than you expect.

Lower Back Pain Prevention by using proper form - MA, RI

Joseph Coupal - Monday, January 11, 2010

Proper Form - Lower Back Pain and Prevention - MA, RI

Almost all cases of lower-back pain can be attributed to a 'rounded' lower back. Meaning that instead of having an arch that in a sense makes your butt stick out, your lower back rounds during exercise making you look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. This form needs to be avoided at all costs!

The shape of your spine (side view) should look like a thin 'S' shape, beginning at your head and going down to your butt. When people exercise/workout, this 'S' shape should stay the same and not turn into what looks like a 'C' shape.  A must tip to practice when exercising is to make sure that your lower back is never rounded. Always keep an arch so that you will avoid stressing any of the discs in your spine, ensuring that your spine will function properly and allow you to ideally not have any lower-back pain.  Proper exercise form is an important as any element in exercising.

Why Do We Need to Exercise? Benefits to exercise ...

Joseph Coupal - Monday, January 04, 2010

Exercise Benefits - Physical activity is necessary for good overall health ... and most people do not get anywhere enough in their everyday lives. Besides helping with weight control, exercise strengthens your heart, improves circulation, helps prevent many illnesses, and makes it easier to do and even enjoy everyday activities. If you are fortunate enough to be very active in your job, hobbies, and/or home related chores (yard work), and walk or bike often instead of always riding in a car, you may not have to do formal exercise to maintain health. However, the truth is most people are not that active.  Exercise programs help stay fit mentally and physically, but most importantly allow you to enjoy life.


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