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Advice From The Experts At Fenton Fitness

Tara Parker-Pope wrote a great article in the October 17, 2016 edition of The New York Times entitled “The 8 Health Habits Experts Say You Need in Your 20s.”  While I agree with some of these recommendations, we at Fenton Fitness and Fenton Physical Therapy have some suggestions of our own.

#10–Establish A Veggie And Protein Habit

One of the biggest deficits I see in many food logs is the lack of protein consumed.  We have been conditioned to snack on high carb/highly processed food, so eating more protein can be a difficult shift.  When I do see protein, it’s in the higher fat varieties of sausage, bacon, burgers, etc.  It would benefit younger individuals to start adding healthy doses of protein to their diets as soon as they are responsible for their own food preparation.  Shoot to have some form of lean protein as the base of your meal along with a couple of servings of vegetables. Once you have that base (taking up ½ to ⅔ of your plate), then you can add in whole grains, starchy carbs, fruits, dairy, healthy fats, etc.  Protein increases your metabolic rate more than any other nutrient, aids in recovery, helps build and maintain muscle mass, and much more.  We recommend 25-35% of total calories to come from protein, or 0.8-1gram/pound of body weight.  Most individuals should shoot for 4-8 servings of vegetables per day as well.

-Jeff Tirrell, CSCS, Pn1

To read the article, click on the link below:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/10/16/well/live/health-tips-for-your-20s.html?_r=0

 

 

Advice From The Experts At Fenton Fitness

Tara Parker-Pope wrote a great article in the October 17, 2016 edition of The New York Times entitled “The 8 Health Habits Experts Say You Need in Your 20s.”  While I agree with some of these recommendations, we at Fenton Fitness and Fenton Physical Therapy have some suggestions of our own.

#9–Build Muscle

Much like strength, muscle mass is often not prioritized until it is largely too late.  Though you can still build muscle at an older age, it is much more difficult.  Muscle mass is highly correlated with strength which is correlated with power.  All of these tend to decline substantially at around age 30.  If you take advantage of your hormonal environment and your recovery abilities in your 20’s, you can stockpile a good amount of muscle for the rest of your life so that you can keep doing everything you want as you age.  More muscle also means a better and healthier metabolism which means less accumulation of unwanted body fat and overall better health. The best way to build muscle mass is through resistance training with gradual increases to volume (weight x reps x sets) over time along with a moderate to high protein intake.

-Jeff Tirrell, CSCS, Pn1

To read the article, click on the link below:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/10/16/well/live/health-tips-for-your-20s.html?_r=0

 

 

Advice From The Experts At Fenton Fitness

Tara Parker-Pope wrote a great article in the October 17, 2016 edition of The New York Times entitled “The 8 Health Habits Experts Say You Need in Your 20s.”  While I agree with some of these recommendations, we at Fenton Fitness and Fenton Physical Therapy have some suggestions of our own.

#8—Eliminate Liquid Calories

One of the easiest ways to improve nutrition is to eliminate liquid calories from the diet.  Liquid calories for young people can come in many forms including coffee drinks, alcohol, pop, smoothies, juice, energy drinks, etc.  Most of these items offer very little nutritional benefit, are highly correlated with increased body fat, and don’t cause the same amount of satiety (feeling of fullness) of their calorie matched food equivalents.  Over the last decade working with individuals on their nutrition, I have seen magical transformations simply by eliminating calories you can drink.  Rather than wait for the body fat to pile on and your insulin sensitivity to be shot, avoid this pitfall early in life.  Opt instead for more water, plain tea, or diet soda if you can’t resist something sweet and fizzy.

-Jeff Tirrell, CSCS, Pn1

To read the article, click on the link below:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/10/16/well/live/health-tips-for-your-20s.html?_r=0

 

 

Advice From The Experts At Fenton Fitness

Tara Parker-Pope wrote a great article in the October 17, 2016 edition of The New York Times entitled “The 8 Health Habits Experts Say You Need in Your 20s.”  While I agree with some of these recommendations, we at Fenton Fitness and Fenton Physical Therapy have some suggestions of our own.

#7—Go Easy On Caffeine And Sleep More.

Caffeine is one of the most widely used drugs in the United States.  We consume it in coffee, tea, pop, energy drinks, and sometimes even in pill form.  We often consume caffeine to help us feel more awake and alert or to elevate our performance.  Often times, this is done in an effort to undo the lethargic effects of inadequate sleep.  Unfortunately, many people are sensitive to caffeine.  These individuals can experience increased heart rate and/or blood pressure which puts extra strain on the cardiovascular system.  All the caffeine in the world will not make up for the poor hormonal profile which results from low levels of sleep and eventually leads to decreased muscle mass and increased fat mass.  In addition, the stimulating effects of caffeine wear off over time and your body requires more and more to create the same effect.  It is far better in your 20’s to establish a sleep and waking routine that allows you to consistently get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.  The well-formed habit will then be easier to maintain as you age and adopt a more complicated schedule with work, kids, a spouse, etc.

-Jeff Tirrell, CSCS, Pn1

To read the article, click on the link below:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/10/16/well/live/health-tips-for-your-20s.html?_r=0

 

 

Fitness training for those of us past 40 years of age is more complicated.  Physical performance and recovery capacity are dramatically different.  If you need proof, look for the forty year olds in the NBA or NFL.  The good news is that with proper planning, consistent performance, and the wisdom that comes with age, we can stay fit and active for a lifetime.  I have compiled a collection of tips for the forty plus fitness client. 

Sleep More, Eat Less

sleepSleep is essential for all people.  Reductions in sleep lead to impairment of both mental and physical performance.  Epidemiological studies show a strong correlation between reduced sleep and being obese or overweight.  There are many factors in today’s society that may contribute to lower sleep amounts including caffeine consumption, smoking, exposure to electronic media in the evening, exposure to bright lights in the evening, sleep timing, jet lag, and shift work to name a few.  Current recommendations for adults are to sleep 7-9 hours/night.  Often times, individuals will do all of the right things in the gym and with their nutrition, but fall short of the results they could achieve because of inadequate sleep.

A recent study from the research journal Obesity shed some interesting light on the sleep/obesity correlation.  In this study, one group of subjects slept for 8.5 hours per night (normal sleep) while another group slept only 4.5 hours (reduced sleep).  This was carried out for 4 consecutive nights.  The findings demonstrated that the reduced sleep group had an elevation of the hunger hormone Ghrelin for a full 24 hours which led to an increased energy intake of 340 calories/day.  This increase in calories was almost entirely from sugary carbohydrates.  In the long term, this would place the reduced sleep group at much greater risk for diabetes and other metabolic dysfunction.  If this over consumption continued over the course of a year, a 5lb weight gain could be expected.

As a father of 4 young kids, I can appreciate that optimal sleep is not always realistic.  Here are a few things that may help to improve sleep quality if you are falling short on hours:
1.    Avoid exposure to electronics (tablet, phone, TV, computer, etc) within 2 hours of bed.
2.    Avoid bright lights at night.  Dim lights in your home when it is dark outside.
3.    Try to go to bed and wake up the same time each day.
4.    Avoid caffeine consumption within 6 hours of bed.
5.    If you suffer from acid reflux, avoid eating within 2 hours of bed.
6.    Use a white noise machine.
7.    Make your room as dark as possible at night.

Jeff Tirrell, B.S., CSCS, Pn1

Fitness training for those of us past 40 years of age is more complicated.  Physical performance and recovery capacity is dramatically different.  If you need proof, look around for the forty year olds in the NBA or NFL.  The good news is that with proper planning, consistent performance, and the wisdom that comes with age, we can stay fit and active for a lifetime.  I have compiled a collection of tips for the forty plus fitness client.  

Process Habits

set_goalsFitness is a motivational mind game.  Setting goals provides the ongoing positive reinforcement necessary to maintain the fitness habit.  Most fitness clients set outcome goals—they want to lose twenty pounds, become proficient in pull ups, or run a 5 kilometer race in record time.  Outcome goals revolve around training activities.   I try to steer clients toward process goals—eat more protein, sleep better, daily mobility sessions, etc…  Process goals are the building blocks of fitness success and focus on your life outside of the gym.  Setting and achieving process goals creates the environment for nearly everyone’s outcome goals.  Stronger, leaner, pain-free, and faster will all follow when you have process habits working in your favor.

Every expert on habit development recommends a paper and pen.  Writing it down is part of the commitment to fitness.  Record process habits in an exercise log book or a nutrition diary.  Process goals that have worked well for fitness clients are listed below:
-Perform a daily five minute foam roll/mobility session for the next forty days.
-Weigh every serving of food you consume for the next two weeks.
-Take a thirty minute walk for forty consecutive days.
-Get an extra hour of sleep every night for the next two months.
-Drop all sweetened drinks (soda, sports drinks) for three months.
-Learn how to prepare a new healthy meal every week for six months.
Older, deconditioned, and metabolically challenged fitness clients will develop the fitness habit more readily with a dedication to process goals.  Build on the habits created by achieving ever more challenging process goals and you will reach all of your outcome goals.

-Michael S. O’Hara, P.T., OCS, CSCS

WORKOUTFitness training for those of us past 40 years of age is more complicated. Physical performance and recovery capacity are dramatically different. If you need proof, look for the forty year olds in the NBA or NFL. The good news is that with proper planning, consistent performance, and the wisdom that comes with age, we can stay fit and active for a lifetime. I have compiled a collection of tips for the forty plus fitness client.

Punch the Clock
I am a big fan of what strength coach Dan John calls “punch the clock workouts.” Go to the gym with a plan and complete a quality training session that leaves you feeling good and not gassed. Eat well, sleep soundly, and repeat.

Keep it simple and well within your capacity to recover.
High intensity training routines are currently all the rage. The Tap Out, Insanity, Ripped in 30, P90x home fitness videos all operate at fairly high levels of exertion. It is difficult for anyone of average capacities to sustain that level of training on a consistent basis.

Competitive exercise protocols that involve performing “as many reps as possible” in a defined period of time are omnipresent on the internet. Competition creates a training environment that impedes good judgment. “Men will die for points” is a common quote that I hear in certain training circles.
As a physical therapist who treats exercise related injuries, I can state that pushing the exercise envelope and forty years plus is a dangerous combination. You may have another injury in you, but you may no longer have the capacity to fully recover from that injury.

In the long run, the guy or gal with the fewest “dings and dents” is the one who is able to remain in the fitness race. I like the idea of “user friendly” fitness activities. Training does not have to be complicated or overly intense. Get better at moving a weight or your body through three sets of eight, four sets of six, or two sets of twelve. Perform five or six exercises with your chosen set/repetition range. Take a long walk every day of the week. Consistency is King– eat, sleep, rest, and then repeat.

-Michael S. O’Hara, P.T., OCS, CSCS

Fitness training for those of us past 40 years of age is more complicated. Physical performance and recovery capacity are dramatically different. If you need proof, look for the forty year olds in the NBA or NFL. The good news is that with proper planning, consistent performance, and the wisdom that comes with age, we can stay fit and active for a lifetime. I have compiled a collection of tips for the forty plus fitness client.

Recover Bettersleep
Many older fitness clients are able to train at intensity levels that are equal to their younger counterparts. What they are unable to do is fully recover between bouts of training. Insufficient recovery makes progress toward higher levels of fitness nearly impossible and creates an environment that invites injury. Activities that promote recovery between training sessions have great value for older training clients.
Quality sleep is essential for recovery. Unfortunately, many age-related changes can interfere with sleep. Menopause for women, prostate issues for men, arthritic joints, and acid reflux are just of few of the more common problems. If you have problems getting seven to eight hours of quality sleep, talk to your doctor about possible medical assistance to improve your sleep. Invest in better pillows and a quality mattress. If your schedule permits, take a nap during the day to boost your total sleep time.
Active Recovery is the term used by strength coaches and trainers for short and easy exercise sessions that speed up recovery. On your days out of the gym, take ten to fifteen minutes and work on these areas:

Resolve movement pattern restrictions
Develop a more efficient and pain-free squat, lunge, hip hinge, or toe touch pattern and it will reduce tissue overload during training sessions.

Eliminate postural flaws
Occupational responsibilities and daily activities place us in the positions that feed into poor postural habits. Nothing stalls progress more than posture restrictions. These deficits will only resolve with daily training.

Soft tissue work
Soft tissue work with a foam roller, massage stick, or any of the other myofacial tools can work wonders. Find a physical therapist or trainer who can teach you how to use these tools to assist in recovery.
Have a recovery day. Many older fitness clients are unaware of how much they are taxing their bodies until they end up with an overuse pain problem. If you are going to perform high level fitness activities such as distance running, resistance training, or an hour of yoga, you are going to need some days in between that involve solid sleep, minimal activity, and maybe an easy walk.

-Michael S. O’Hara, P.T., OCS, CSCS

PDFIn this month’s issue, Mike O’Hara discusses hypermobile joints and exercise, 4 steps to fitness success are given, and information on how to stop back pain from disturbing sleep is presented.  Check out page three for a description of the latest class offered at Fenton Fitness– Suspension Shred.

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Sleep hygiene consists of the habits you put in place to optimize sleep. The National Sleep Foundation has a list of beneficial habits at sleep.org. Take five minutes to look through their suggestions* and then I have some exercise related information.

Exercise has been proven to be the best method of improving the quality and quantity of sleep. Unlike sleep medications, the side effects of exercise are all positive: no daytime drowsiness, dizziness, crazy dreams, or increased appetite. Just better blood pressure, improved insulin sensitivity, more energy, and if you modify your diet, less body fat.

The exercise participants in sleep research studies improve their total nightly sleep times by 1 ½ hours. If you habitually exercise, you can expect to spend a greater Sleep_Foundationpercentage of your sleep in the more restorative, slow-wave stage of snoozing. Do not, however, expect exercise to instantly improve your sleep. It will take fourteen to sixteen weeks of consistent training before most people will notice an improvement in their sleep.

Several studies have found that exercise activities that produce an increase in body temperature have a more significant impact on sleep quality. Researchers theorize it has something to do with endorphin production, but no one is certain.

Refrain from exercise right before bedtime. Schedule your exercise sessions during the day (at least two hours before bedtime). Studies have used different exercise session durations, so it is difficult to know for sure how long you need to exercise to improve sleep. Good results are produced with a minimum of thirty minutes performed every day.

Sleep is the biological mechanism that makes you fitter, but too much exercise can impact your ability to doze. Just a few bad nights can blunt recovery and slow progress. One of the first signs of doing too much exercise is sleep disruption. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday metabolic conditioning, Tuesday and Thursday Olympic lifts, Saturday a 5 K run. Repeat that program for three or four weeks and you may find that sleep quality begins to suffer.

Try a pre-bedtime myofascial roller session. I have no large double blind study to back this up, but several of my physical therapy colleagues and I swear by this trick. We are all 55 years plus, so it may only work in the post-fifty population. The myo-neural relaxation produced by five minutes spent on the roll helps an older body fall readily into dreamland.

*To read Sleep Hygiene from the National Sleep Foundation, click on the link below:

https://sleep.org/articles/sleep-hygiene/

-Michael O’Hara, P.T., OCS, CSCS

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