YOUR “HEART” NEEDS EXERCISE

Fri 2/13/15
February is more than just waiting on Valentine’s Day to get here…indulging in chocolates, roses and romantic dinners.
February is “heart awareness” month! Since so many of us just started an exercise program in January…right? Let’s take a look at how moderate exercise benefits the heart.
Cardiovascular exercise involves the use of large muscles in a repetitive fashion, activating muscle fibers programmed for endurance and utilizing a heart rate range anywhere from 40 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. Think: running, jogging, swimming, biking, or spinning.
Cardio training teaches the heart (over time) to handle larger volumes of blood and push more blood out thru the body with fewer beats of the heart.
This is how you develop a lower resting heart rate…this equates to less work on our heart which is our most valuable muscle.
Strength training is also important for a healthy heart. As the muscles contract—say the arm muscles during a bicep curl—they press and close the blood vessels that flow through them. This leads to increased blood pressure in the rest of the body and the heart has to fight against a stronger force to push blood out.

The heart adapts to this by increasing the thickness of the left ventricle wall. This thickness derived from chronic weight training is healthy, whereas the thickness from chronic high blood pressure is not.
What’s the difference? The healthy heart only has to work under pressure for two to three hours of strength training per week, whereas the heart with high blood pressure has to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The second heart may exhaust, whereas the healthy heart becomes stronger with a lower resting heart rate.

No matter what changes in the world around us…the fact that all of us need to exercise for our health never changes. The sooner you start the better. If you have never really had an exercise routine…it’s not to late.
Get outside and walk, play tennis or golf, hire a trainer, take yoga, learn Foundation Training, ride a bike take a hike….whatever!

LEARN TO USE THE FOAM ROLLER

Mon. 2/2/15
January is in the books…that was fast!
Let’s talk a little foam rolling. Last week I showed you some self myofascial techniques to implement into your fitness routine. Today, I will spend a little more time on this because it is important.
The soreness in your body is there for a reason. You can have soreness from overuse, performing a new activity, muscles weakness, misalignment in the body, even from sitting to much.
I use the foam roller or tennis ball most everyday. It helps to get the tension out of a particular area so that I can move better. I know my body pretty well…this is key! I understand how my body feels, how it is moving and what it needs to feel better. If people were more aware of their body and how it was moving on a daily basis….they would be feeling so much better.

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The picture above is a foam roller and some of the benefits from rolling on a regular basis. You can get one of these at a sports store Target or Walmart.
There are also a variety of foam rollers. I suggest start with this type of roller before purchasing the type with grooves and knobs on them.