If you could go back, let’s say ten years, and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Go easy on yourself. There are times to push and times to just remember breathing. ((Deep breath now)) Relish in the idea of your transformation before it happens. Start eating well and the desire to workout is unstoppable. Enjoy the ride and discover the silver lining: pants fitting snug? Use that discontentment to provoke a change. -Steph Kinzer
Family life and fitness training can be both equally shared, as long as you keep them both in the proper perspective. -James Hess
Cross train!! (Even if you’re training for a specific activity, such as a marathon, it’s important to balance cardio, intervals, lifting, stability, etc) This helps prevent overtraining and plateaus with variety. -Kate Zanoni
Pick up some weights. It has made all the difference for me! The other thing might be to get active. Find something you enjoy doing and do that! Move your body. Take a chance on trying something new. You just never know what you might find that you love doing. -Dixie Garber
Do more mobility! Front squat more than back squat. If something hurts, STOP, rest to full recovery.” -Erik Walker
1. It doesn’t matter how you look when you are being active, it’s about being a healthy person inside and out not looking nice for other people 2. Be consistant especially when it’s the hardest and 3. Over indulgence is not a reward, it’s balance that leads to healthy satisfaction. -Jennifer Hess
Listen to your body. If you need to rest, IT’S OKAY!!! And that Fitness is a process and it takes time! -Amy Manzanares
There’s a lot of advice that I would give my younger, inexperienced self, if I could. Like “don’t restrict foods,” and “learn to lift weights to burn fat.” But of all the advice that I would force upon myself, it would be to take mobility as seriously as everything else I was doing to improve my health. If I had, maybe I could have avoided tearing my left shoulder and the plantar fasciitis I have in my feet. And not only that, being mobile is just as important for the muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons as eating healthy is for your body composition, your heart health, cholesterol, blood pressure, and more! Flexibility is very important and I wish I had taken more time to stretch and become a little more mobile while I was lifting all those weights.
Do you find that you feel the same way? Sometimes finding the time to stretch or even sign up for a yoga class is just a pain. Who has money for gym memberships AND extra yoga classes? How can you find the extra time to even take an additional class when you don’t even have time to stretch before and after working out?
Are you a stretch-skipper?
Everyone has a different excuse for skipping out on stretching, yoga, foam rolling, etc., before and after workouts.
I have to get back to work.
My workout ran too long.
I’ll stretch in the shower.
I’ll warm up with my first set.
I’ll cool down on the way to the car.
I’ve said all of these before, and I still hear people make these promises to me every day. Stretching always seems to take a back seat to exercise.
What’s bad about this is that if you don’t get in the habit of taking care of your joints, tendons, muscles, ligaments, etc., while you train; you will eventually hurt yourself. I did. I learned the hard way. At the least, your muscles will tighten and knot up, and at the worst, you could tear a muscle, tendon, ligament, and may even need surgery. It’s not just my goal anymore to become more mobile–it’s my goal to help teach others just how serious mobility is to overall health.
Mobility is not an option, folks. It’s a MUST. It’s part of training. It’s part of life. Balance, flexibility, and mobility are a part of a healthy, well-balanced life. Learn from those who don’t stretch and start early: this is the key to successful exercise and training for life.
And most importantly, life is better when you can move and be active without pain, right?! Wouldn’t you love to feel young again? Let’s get mobile!
To truly give the best of yourself to others requires that you are at your best, and that requires you to take care of yourself spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. Make yourself a priority. -Dane Hamada
So, How Do You Become Mobile?
The first thing you need to do is STOP SITTING.
This is hard, as I sit here and type this, because most of us sit at work. If you can get up and stretch every 15 minutes throughout the day, you’ll be ahead of the curve. Or if you can get up every 30 minutes and walk around for 5 minutes, you will be doing your body a tremendous favor. Famous mobility expert and doctor of physical therapy, Kelly Starrett, says that sitting is the smoking of our generation. I know we haven’t really said much about smoking because the obvious answer is that smoking is the number one worst thing a person can do to his or her body. Sitting, however, is racing smoking for the lead.
According to an article published by Huffington Post, a Scottish epidemiologist discovered more and more research that links sitting for uninterrupted periods of time—the kind of sitting we experience at work and while commuting—with two times greater risk of diabetes, a 90 percent greater risk of cardiovascular disease, and a 49 percent greater risk of death, among other conditions and diseases. Our jobs are literally killing us.
That is so scary.
If I inspire you to do nothing else from the post, at least let me inspire you to sit a little less and get up, move, walk around a little more. You may be surprised at how much healthier your body will be just by moving a little bit more.
The second thing you can do to become more mobile is to just stretch!
Whenever you can, stand up and stretch–just like you would when you get up in the morning. Walls and door frames are excellent for stretching and I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume you have access to plenty of these. Grab hold of a door frame and turn away from it to stretch your chest. Put your toes up on the wall, bend your knee and stretch your calves and Achilles tendons. Prop your leg up on your chair and stretch your hammies out and then place your lower leg across your desk to hit your hips.
In five minutes you can stretch your whole body in your office! And if you missed Erik’s article on how to overcome the pains of sitting, make sure you flag this so that you can come back and access it anytime right here: A Pain Free Solution for All Day Sitting.
The third thing you can do is take up yoga, or some form of daily stretching.
I don’t mean 5-days-a-week studio yoga, but learn a few poses that really help you hit the parts of your body that need a little extra stretching. I love any pose that helps with my shoulders, back, and hips. Sometimes I do these before I exercise in conjunction with a few wall stretches. And after my training, I roll out my muscles. If you have cable TV, you can probably find some yoga channels all set up and ready to teach you, or you could even buy a couple DVDs to have on hand. Your gym probably even offers yoga classes. Taking yoga even once a week will help improve your flexibility and keep your muscles and joints supple!
Recently, I’ve gotten addicted to the site romwod.com. I’ve been searching for that “perfect” yoga studio that isn’t uber expensive, where classes aren’t 90 minutes long, but will really help me reach some of my flexibility goals. This has been impossible to find and I’ve been neglecting my body because of it. But recently I signed up for romwod and now I do a 20-minute stretching routine every single day that I can do in my own home whenever I want to! In fact, a couple of us did two romwods this past Friday night at the gym.
If you’d like to try out romwod, CLICK HERE for a 14-day free trial courtesy of Strongfigure!! 🙂
#4 Roll out your muscles!
All you need is a cheap foam roller and even cheaper lacrosse balls. You can get these in any sporting goods stores or even stores such as Wal-Mart and Target. The best thing about rolling around on these tools is that you really can’t go wrong–no matter what you do. Foam rolling and lacrosse ball muscle release is like giving yourself a deep tissue massage. You can pinpoint the areas of the body that need the most work and work on loosening up the fibers in the muscles and breaking up the knots you’re holding onto.
What are your best mobility tips? What would you advise yourself if you could travel back in time? Let us know in the comments below!
Your Strong Figure Conditioning Workouts for the week:
Thanks to Rachel Voris and Sam Sutten (pictured above), for sharing and tagging us in your photos, and for all our Facebook Total Health and Fitness Makeover Insiders group members for your responses to my question! Our Strongfigure community ROCKS.
Everyone, don’t forget! If you want to try your hand at romwod, get a free 14 day trial through strongfigure!