Resistance Training vs. Endurance Training in People with COPD

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Chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that makes it hard to breath by obstructing airflow from the lungs. People with COPD often develop skeletal muscle dysfunction, skeletal muscle atrophy, and other chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease, and obesity largely due to extended periods of physical inactivity. When it’s hard to perform the simple act of breathing, voluntarily exerting yourself above your
resting level becomes very challenging and very unattractive

COPD-Alveoli-and-Bronchiole-1024x1024To prevent this decline in health, national guidelines recommend endurance and resistance training combat this primary and secondary effects of this disease. In 2015 Lepsen et al., reviewed a total of 8 RCTs that consisted of 328 participants. The researchers’ primary outcomes they compared were quality of life, activities of daily living, dyspnea (shortness of breath), possible harm, total mortality, walking distance, lean body mass, muscle strength, and exercise capacity.

Authors concluded that in people with COPD, resistance training appears to generate similar benefits to endurance training. Further, they suggested that in people with COPD, resistance training may be prescribed as an alternative to endurance training. However, when prescribing exercise programming for this population, fitness professionals should consider the client’s level of exercise tolerance, co-morbid conditions, orthopedic limitations, and long-term goals.


Ridge Personal Trainer Eddie Davila

Eddie Davila, MS, ACSM-RCEP, EP-C, EIM 3, CEAS

About the Author: Ed Davila is the Director of Fitness at the Ridge Athletic Clubs. He is a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist & Certified Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine. He is also a Certified Ergonomics Assessment Specialist through the Back School of Atlanta.

Article Reference: Lepsen U.W., Jørgensen K.J., Ringbaek T., Hansen H., Skrubbeltrang C., and Lange P. A systematic review of resistance training versus endurance training in COPD. J Cardio Pulm Rehab. May/June 2015; 35(3): 163-172.

Meet the Students | Team Mountain Grit

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Starting Monday, October 19th, Ridge Athletic Clubs will be hosting a new program, developed and run by three MSU students!   Here is a word from students, Samantha Fagan, Brandon Endy, and Rachel Moore, about the development and implementation of their program at Ridge Athletic Clubs!


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We are seniors at Montana State University and will be graduating this year with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science and Kinesiology. Right now we are enrolled in a class called Physical Fitness Program Design and Delivery. We have been fortunate enough for the Ridge to allow us to design and implement a class that we believe will enhance an outdoor lifestyle. This 6-week class will consist of hour long sessions on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 8:00pm-9:00pm. This class will incorporate circuit training with an active rest. We will focus on building muscular and cardiovascular endurance while supporting joint function.  Our goal is to empower people through a positive group experience. We want to enhance an active outdoor lifestyle by building a solid basis and encouraging them to stay motivated outside of the class. This fitness program is able to adapt to all fitness levels and ages (18 and older) at any point during the 6-week session. We hope to see you become a part of the Mountain Grit team!


If you are interested in participating in Mountain Grit, you may register online at Ridge-Upcoming Programs or at the Service Desk.

Fueling Your Family | How to Snack Happy

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As many of us launch into back-to-school mode, you might also find yourself launched into the daunting hunt for healthy snack ideas. As a mom of 2 with my oldest starting Kindergarten this year, I am right there with you! The first couple weeks of packing her morning and afternoon snack have left me searching for a better variety of quick, healthy, packable options my daughter will eat. My nutrition-minded mommy brain aims to pair a fruit or a vegetable with a whole grain or protein food. By doing so, the snack delivers a mix of quick energy carbohydrates, protein for blood sugar stabilization, and fiber for satiety and overall health. Here are a few ideas I’ve come up with. I hope they might help you too.

  1. Fresh vegetables + hummus (pre-packaged individual hummus packs offer added convenience)
  2. Make-your-own trail mix (whole grain cereal like cheerios or oat squares + dried fruit + popcorn + nuts if allowed). Get creative and change the ingredients from week to week.
  3. String cheese + a piece of fresh fruit, no-added sugar apple sauce cup, or fruit leather.
  4. Rice cakes (look for brown rice as the first ingredient) + handful of nuts (if allowed)
  5. Whole grain tortilla roll-up (my girls love peanut butter + dried cranberries + coconut + cinnamon inside). Again, get creative!
  6. Graham cracker sandwiches (cream cheese, + coconut + a thin apple slice between 2 cracker squares)

Article by Katie Sonnek, RD, LN
Registered Dietitian at The Ridge Athletic Club

Fitness Matters | On Pep Talks and Mantras

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“If you don’t keep moving, the miles will never come.”  I kept repeating this simple mantra sentence in my head last week during the Bozeman marathon. Both mentally and physically I fell apart during the race and wanted to stop. I was in need of some serious pep talks with myself out there on those long, hot, and quiet roads. The experience reminded me to not look humbly at the mountainous goal you have to reach, but to keep the focus on one mile at a time.

This is applicable to a fitness goal of any kind. Try to think of taking your fitness journey one single moment or day at a time, one squat at a time, one push-up at a time, just one more burpee, one more rep, set, etc…Each “just one more” will keep you in forward motion towards your end goals.

Along the way, it is discouraging to not see immediate results. There will be the highs and the lows, the momentum and the setbacks. However, you will get there with the right motivation in your head. Every time I stopped to walk in the race, I felt the miles slowing down even more. That was quitting to me. I had to keep moving so that those mile markers kept coming. Somewhere around mile 16, I wanted to quit and jump on a horse I ran by so it could rush me that dreamy finish line. It seemed to make way more sense than suffering the way I was. I wanted to “just get to” mile 20 because that meant I would be closer to mile 21. At that point, it would be exciting because I would only be 3 miles from mile 24 which meant only 2 more miles until the finish. Then it would all be over. This is the “just get to” breakdown I’ve used often in endurance racing, but it helps. When all you have is yourself out there to keep your head in the game, you have to break it down however you need to. A simple, motivational saying on repeat is sometimes all it takes to get out of bed in the morning to get yourself to the gym or to push yourself through another mile on the treadmill. Keep MOVING forward to see the numbers go by, even when your body and mind sometimes want to throw in the towel. One day at a time and eventually you will see results. What’s YOUR mantra to keep you going? What’s your one-liner of the hour, day, month, or the year?


 

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About the Author Jess Tuttle is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer at the Ridge Athletic Clubs.

In Fitness, One Size Does NOT Fit All

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Watching the finish of this years’ Bridger Ridge Run got me thinking about all of the different shapes and sizes of runners crossing the finish line. With a six-hour difference between the first and last finisher, it makes sense that these genetic anthropometric differences play a role in creating such a range in performance and finishing time (along with training). If we apply this same rationalization to exercise in a gym setting, it also makes sense that not everyone can do the same exercises. Some people can squat… great. Some people have restrictions with flexibility, mobility, and the like – so squats may be the worst thing for them; yet it has been all the rage for the last few years to make these black and white statements in the fitness industry that everyone must squat, deadlift, etc.

Exercise selection and prescription should be a highly personalized process, based on what the individual can do with their “shape” and “size,” rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. A good personal Trainer will be able to assess movements and modify their own arsenal of exercises to accommodate these differences.  If you‘ve been wondering why that new fad workout highlighted on a $4.00 magazine cover isn’t working, or why it is putting you in pain, consider that it might not be the right fit. Instead, get a regimen set up the right way with a personal trainer that will challenge you and your “shape” and “size” in a healthy and safe way.


 

Sean

About the Author:
Sean Beckett is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ACSM Certified HFS at the Ridge Athletic Clubs
.  To contact Sean or learn more about his background, click here

Breaking Plateaus (In your Lifting)

We’ve all been there; started off with a great new program and feeling all of these positive changes in our bodies.  Fast forward several months later.  We find ourselves stuck in the same routine in the gym no longer noticing changes.  This isn’t an inherently bad thing; it just means that we are no longer providing a sufficient stimulus to cause our body to keep adapting.  When we talk about a stimulus in exercise, there are a lot of variables that can be changed to affect it.  We can alter the intensity (the amount of work or effort required to complete and exercise), we can alter the volume (the amount of time or number of repetitions required to complete exercise), and we can also alter the load (amount of weight being moved through the exercise).  When a program is designed, all of these factors are taken into account and adjusted accordingly to where your fitness level is at that time.

This is why a program will start out by making great changes in your body and eventually taper off.  Our bodies adapt only as much as needed to perform the necessary demand (i.e. they only adapt enough to perform our set program).  This is when a change in stimulus becomes necessary, and there are many ways to accomplish this.  One thing we can do is increase the amount of weight being moved during each exercise (this falls under load).  Another change we can make is by altering the number of sets and repetitions that we do (this falls under volume).  Changing our rest period (this falls under intensity) by shortening or lengthening it can also influence the impact of the stimulus.

Let’s go over an example of a single day of exercise and how we might change it to break out of this plateau.

Original Program
Exercise Sets X Reps Weight (lbs) Rest Period in Between Sets
Flat Bench 3×10 135 1 min
Incline DB Press 3×10 55’s 1 min
Pec Fly 3×10 125 1 min
Tricep Extension with Rope 3×10 35 1 min
Dips 3×10 Body weight 1 min
New Program
Exercise Sets X Reps Weight (lbs) Rest Period in Between Sets
Flat Bench 3×15 115 20-30 seconds
Incline DB Press 3×15 40’s 20-30 seconds
Pec Fly 3×18 105 20-30 seconds
Tricep Extension with Rope 3×18 25 20-30 seconds
Dips 3×12 Body Weight 20-30 seconds

With the changes addressed above, we lightened the weight (load) on the exercises, increased the reps (volume), and shortened the rest period (intensity).  The new program has moved away from a strength/body building hybrid into a more endurance based workout.  We have successfully altered the stimulus and will now allow an opportunity for our body to change.

When looking at this sample program, remember that changing to a more muscular endurance style of lifting may not be applicable for you.  The take home from all of this is that it is very easy to break out of a plateau, but it must be done safely.  Enjoy breaking out of that plateau, and always consult a fitness professional to make sure you are doing so in a safe and effective manner.


20150402_jay_0014About the Author Jay Corti is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer at the Ridge Athletic Clubs.

Causes Of & Exercises for Low Back Pain

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Low back pain and instability wreak havoc among active and inactive people alike, and while there are varying intensities and causes, the discomfort can be debilitating. There is no single factor that links every low back problem to one another but there are a few common themes between them. One of the major contributing factors to low back pain is the muscular system, specifically the musculature surrounding the upper legs, hips, spine, and abdominal regions. Muscle weakness and/or tightness in these regions combined together can place a great deal of stress on the vertebrae of the lumbar (lower) spine, which in turn causes pain. Without personal alignment and muscle testing it is impossible to prescribe a single set of exercises and stretches to solve everyone’s lower back pain. However, there are a few things that everyone should do to rehabilitate and prevent further back pain.

Isometric holds are a great way to train the muscles that surround the lower back and abdominal region. Planks and superman’s are good examples of these exercises. To execute a plank, hold your body in a straight line while propped on your forearms and toes. If this proves too difficult, use your knees instead. People often experience low back pain while doing this exercise because their backs are arched backwards. To fix this, raise the butt up slightly in the air. The superman is a similar exercise but safely works the lower back muscles instead of the abdominal muscles. Simply lay on your stomach with your arms outstretched overhead and your legs straight. Simultaneously lift your legs and arms off the ground and hold them about six inches off the ground.

These two exercises are a great place to start when recovering from a back injury or if you are looking to prevent one. Either way, start small and slow and as always ask a trainer if you are interested in learning more.

The Bare Facts about Barre

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The first barre class opened up in London in the 1950’s & now we have our every own Total Barre class at the Ridge.  If you’ve never taken our barre class before, here are a few things you should know.

#1 – When it comes to Total Barre, think quality or quantity. Barre is not about how many reps you can do in a barre1minute or how much weight you can lift. The focus of Total Barre is on precision & proper form. You’ll be doing smaller, slower movements, but you’ll definitely feel it!

#2 – Total barre is ballet-inspired, not ballet. Dance experience isn’t needed to take Total Barre. Heck, you don’t even have to be familiar with the ballet barre to get a great workout. All of the moves performed are explained by the instructor and they are happy to assist if you have any questions.

#3 – You’re going to shake & feel the burn if you are doing it right. When you are barre quote 1doing the moves, you probably won’t feel super graceful & it’s not going to feel simple, even if you are in good cardiovascular shape. When you come to Total Barre, focus on yourself & try to not look around.

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#4 – Dress the part. Grippy toe socks, like the ones that we sell at the front desk,

will keep you from slipping when you’re on the barre. Also, don’t wear short shorts. There are a lot of inversions and open-leg poses, so capris or full leggings are a better choice.

#5 – Total Barre is great cross-training. If you go to the gym on your own, you’re probably doing the things that you are comfortable with. Total Barre focuses on the areas that you’re probably not working & that will make you stronger & less prone to injuries.barre quote 2

We offer Total Barre several times throughout the week. Take a look at our schedule & sign up today! Phone: (406) 586-1737

Fitness Matters – Use Summer to Kickstart Healthy Habits

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Nice weather is finally upon us as summer rolls in. The days are getting longer and we are starting to have more free time than other seasons in Montana allow. We can use these long days and great weather to add some healthy changes to our lifestyle. Farmers markets are in full swing with a wide variety of produce. These can be a great family outing to buy produce as well as a good way to try new vegetables you may not have had before. A great summer challenge is to try one new fruit or vegetable per week, allowing yourself to experience new food and find some stuff you love. The longer days also mean more time for outdoor activities at night. This is another great way to get together with friends and family while enjoying exercise. Incorporate a walk at night with family and friends in one of our many parks. You can also get out and go for a bike ride at night and explore parts of town you haven’t been to in awhile. Even lawn games such as horse shoes, cornhole, and bocce ball are a great way to be outside and stay moving while having fun. By incorporating these activities into your day, you can build some great new habits that will allow you to transition back into the gym when the less friendly months come back to Montana.


 

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About the Author Jay Corti is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer at the Ridge Athletic Clubs.

Summer Exercise Pointers

Exercising in beautiful sunny weather can be one of the most enjoyable experiences of the summer. However, with the increased temperatures come inherent dangers and the potential for varying heat injuries. That said, there are some very important things you need to remember while you exercise this summer.

The first and largest consideration of summer exercise is dehydration. Exercising in hot environments robs your body of fluids vital to its function. This happens due to increased levels of perspiration and its evaporation from the skin. The harder you exercise and the hotter it is, the more water your body loses. At the same time, exposing youstay hydratedr body to the sun too much can dehydrate you even further. Dehydration can be a very serious event and should be treated immediately. Some signs that you are dehydrated include: increased thirst, weakness, dizziness, and sluggishness. The fix for this is simple, rest in the shade and sip water. Over time your body will absorb the necessary amount of fluids it needs to return to its normal level. Eating a small snack or granola bar can also aid the recovery process. Another overlooked aspect of exercising during the summer is the time of day in which you exercise. The sun is the warmest between 11:00am and 3:00pm. During this time the risk of dehydration and heat injury are significantly increased. When you can, avoid exercising during this time. However, if you absolutely cannot avoid it make sure you drink plenty of water and take periodic breaks to allow your body to recover.

There are many different types of heat injury ranging from simple dehydration to heat stroke. The effects of each very with the most severe outcome leading to serious brain trauma or death. Heat injuries should not be risked. However, aside from all of this, get out and have fun this summer. Enjoy an evening run or a hike to a mountain lake. Just remember to bring some sunscreen and always drink plenty of fluids.

Logan Gregg, CPT


About the Alogang-largeuthor
Logan Gregg has a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology and is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer at the Ridge Athletic Clubs.

Maintaining Your Fitness this Summer

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As summer continues to settle into Bozeman the urge to enjoy the nice weather will increase. This will inevitably take away some of the time you spend in the gym going about your workout routine. Some may think this is a bad thing but it can be quite the opposite if you are intentional about it. The outdoors provide one of the best training grounds in the world. The best part about it is that you get to enjoy the sun, mountains, and rolling fields while you’re outside. The possibilities for exercise are endless and many outdoor activities such as hiking and rock climbing provide workouts in themselves. Just like workout in the gym, you should start out slow. Do not try and go for a 20 mile hike your first time out. Scale it back and start small. Hike the “M”, Drinking Horse, or another short hike to ease your body into it. After finding your ability level, then attempt some longer adventures. Even though the outdoors are a great place to exercise, it is still important to come to the gym and exercise in ways that the outdoors cannot provide. Lift some weights, get involved in a class, and on those rainy days do some cardio. However you decide to spend your exercising hours this summer enjoy the beautiful weather and the outdoors. Before long it will be cold again and you will be wishing that you had.

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About the Author
Logan Gregg has a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology and is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer at the Ridge Athletic Clubs.

When is the Right Time to See a Fitness Professional?

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fitness_matters_april_blog Trying to figure out when to see a Fitness Professional can be a difficult decision to make, but the bottom line is, most people can benefit from a session with a personal trainer. If you are thinking about starting a new physical activity program, there are several things to think about. First off, figure out what your end goals are with this new fitness regimen. Typically people will pick out a target weight they want to achieve (i.e. either lose weight or put on muscle mass); or they have a fitness goal they want to reach (i.e. run a marathon or go on a day hike without getting fatigued). Secondly, you should figure out a realistic estimate on the amount of time you can put into a new program. Think about how many days a week will you work out and how long each day will you work out. After you have answers to these questions, a Fitness Professional can design an exercise program that will help you achieve your goals. If you need help with starting an exercise program or have questions, please contact one of our Fitness Professionals for more information.

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About the Author Jay Corti is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer at the Ridge Athletic Clubs.

Plyometric Training and Fitness

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Plyometric training is typically used when working with athletes to improve speed, power, and strength. Further, it’s possible that plyometric training can lead to beneficial changes in cardiorespiratory fitness. However, when compared to athletes, less is known about the effects of plyometrics training in a recreationally active adult population. To evaluate this, researchers from the Department of Health and Human Performance at Montana State University and the Department of Fitness at our very own Ridge Athletic Clubs, collaborated in this pilot study. The purpose of the study was to evaluate whether resistance and plyometric training combined was more effective than resistance training alone at improving strength, power, and predicted cardiorespiratory fitness in recreationally active adults. Eleven active adults (two males and nine females) participated in the study. Subjects were randomly assigned to a treatment or control group. The treatment group completed 6 weeks of plyometric and resistance training whereas the control group completed 6 weeks of resistance training only. Each of the participants performed pre- and post-assessments for vertical jump, countermovement jump, multiple 5-bound, five-repetition maximum leg press, body fat, treadmill time to exhaustion, and predicted VO2MAX. Body fat was measured using underwater weighing (Hydrodensitometry) at the MSU Human Performance/Movement Science Lab. All other tests and protocols were performed at the Ridge Athletic Clubs.
There were no significant changes for vertical jump, countermovement jump, multiple 5-bound, or body fat. Five-repetition maximum leg press significantly improved in both groups. However, time to exhaustion and PVO2mx significantly increases from pre to post in the plyometric group only. Authors concluded that although both groups showed significant improvements in leg strength, the addition of plyometric training resulted in improvements in TTE and PVO2MAX. This suggests plyometric training may helpful at improving cardiorespiratory fitness. Thus, for recreationally active adults looking to improve functional capacity, plyometric training may be a useful type of exercise to incorporate into your program.
If you have questions about this type of training, please speak with one of our Fitness Professionals. Our Fitness staff can help evaluate if this type of training is appropriate for you and help ensure you have a safe and effective exercise training program.


Ridge Personal Trainer Eddie DavilaAbout the Author: Ed Davila is the Director of Fitness at the Ridge Athletic Clubs. He is a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist & Certified Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine. He is also a Certified Ergonomics Assessment Specialist through the Back School of Atlanta.

Clayton (the primary investigator on this project) is currently a second year graduate student in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition at MSU and current intern at the Ridge Athletic Clubs. Clayton earned a Best Master’s Research Award for this study at the 2015 American College of Sports Medicine Northwest Annual Conference. This study was published in the International Journal of Exercise Science.

Reference:
Kirven, C; Davila, E; Edwards, K; Filipowicz, A; Legidakes, L; Nordman, D; Perreault, J; Robinson, W; Tarantino, M; Turnbaugh, B; Vap, C; and Heil, D P. (2015) “INFLUENCE OF PLYOMETRIC AND RESISTANCE TRAINING ON STRENGTH, POWER, AND PREDICTED CARDIORESPIRATORY FITNESS IN ACTIVE ADULTS,” International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 8: Iss. 3, Article 75.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol8/iss3/75

Working Out with Specificity in Relation to Upper Cross Syndrome

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With functional movements creating a buzz in the fitness community, many people are adapting their workouts to incorporate 5 key lifts.  Bench press, Squat, Cleans, Overhead Press, and Deadlifts can make an excellent foundation for many individuals who don’t have a specific goal in mind.  Think about what your job requires you to do or what you do in everyday life that requires power (work/time).  These activities may range from grabbing your groceries out of your cart to hanging drywall all day.  Regardless of what activity you perform, it all requires power to execute.  This is where specificity comes into play. If your job requires you to stock shelves for long periods, adding in some more core strengthening exercises as well as shoulder strengthen specific exercise would be a very good idea.  If your job has you at a desk for most of the day, core strengthening plays a very important role in maintaining good posture and keep your lower back from hurting.  Take a moment to think about your current activity requirements for life, and add in these exercises that will help improve the day to day!

Here is a sample workout that includes some specificity tailored to someone who sits behind a desk primarily.  Often we see an issue arise known as Upper Cross Syndrome.  This involves having a tight chest and tight upper traps in combination with weak rhomboids, lower traps, and weak cervical flexors.  Making sure to do an all inclusive back workout is critical to eliminate this problem.

Start with a lat pull down of 3 sets at 12 reps.  (Written in shorthand as 3×12)

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Then move to seated low rows at 3×12.  Make sure to activate your entire trap by squeezing your shoulders together at the bottom of the exercise.

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Bent over rows with a barbell are another great way to target your traps and rhomboids at 3×12

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To finish out your back workout move to back extension at 3×12

back extension 1 back extension 2

Then add in some core (making sure to maintain proper posture through entire exercise),

Prone Superman Holds 3×10

Prone Superman Holds 1 Prone Superman Holds 2

Pelvic  Bridge 3×10

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Clam Shells (feel free to use a band to add resistance when ready) 3×10

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By adding in these exercises to your workouts, you will strengthen your core and be on your way to better fitness.  If you are unsure what exercises can help benefit you specifically, or would like a demonstration of these exercises, your fitness professionals are here to help.

Jay Corti, ACSM-CPT


20150402_jay_0014About the Author:

Certifications and Education

ACSM Certified Personal Trainer

NREMT Emergency Medical Technician/ Healthcare Provider CPR certified

USSA Mogul Skiing Level 1 certification

Working on Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science with Coaching Minor

Adolescents and Activity

Ridge atheltic CLubs Adolescents and Activity

In today’s electronic filled world it’s difficult to get most kids away from the television, computer, video games, and cell phones. Yet, it is vitally important for youths to get enough physical activity each day. For some parents this seems like a daunting task and it can be, but the rewards are great. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that adolescents get at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity every day and this should include aerobic, muscle, and bone strengthening activities. Walking at 3 to 4.5 mph on a level surface is the standard for moderate activity. Now, most of us are saying “Great, I know the amount but what activities should they be doing, and how do I get them involved?” These are great questions and are very common among most parents, and this should help you answer both.

First, however, lets discuss the benefits and reason the CDC recommends 60 minutes a day. There are numerous benefits from regular physical activity and exercise such as longevity, health and wellness to strength and performance gains. Physical activity can help control weight, build and maintain strong bones and muscles & improve and maintain cardiovascular health. For example, regular physical activity has been shown to be of benefit in helping prevent high blood pressure. By engaging children and teens in activities early in life it will help shape their attitude and behavior towards exercise as well as establish good habits for their lives.

How do you get your child or teen active? This can be tough, but like most things one of the best ways to do this is to be active yourself. Setting a positive example and leading a healthy active lifestyle is one of the biggest and easiest ways to encourage your children to do the same! This not only benefits you but also increases the ways you can share experiences and bond as a family. Next is to establish a daily routine of activity; These can be as simple as taking a walk together, playing active games together, going for bike rides or taking a hike as a family. Taking children and teens to places where they can be active is another great way to stimulate them. Community parks or playgrounds are fun and enjoyable places to go as well as baseball fields and basketball courts. Support your child in their active interests such as sports and encourage them to try new sports and activities. Often times, these can be grouped together. Let me share a short story with you.

At age 10, a young boy and his grandmother started going for walks together, a mile or 2 every night. They continued walking together – or sometimes he would ride his bike – for the next 3 years. They would sometimes walk to parks and playgrounds where he would run around and play on the equipment for bit before they returned home. Other times they would just walk. They experienced both the physical and health benefits from these walks but they also enjoyed the family time and the bonding. To this day those walks are some of the fondest memories they share with each other. The point of this story is that being active together as a family will not only improve your quality of life from a health and wellness perspective but will can also bring you closer together as a family.

So what are some ways to get your children active that are fun and exciting? How about shooting hoops or playing basketball. This is a great way to get your kids active along with improving motor skills, building bone and muscle, and let’s face it, its fun! Soccer is another great sport that can be played together. It can be as basic as kicking the ball while moving around a field back and forth and it is great for coordination or it can be made into a full game. This can be a great aerobic and bone building activity. Often times Frisbee has been left off of lists but it is an excellent way to get outside and be active. A personal favorite is Ultimate Frisbee where there are no steps after the catch and it takes a minimum of 5 passes before you score. The weather, however, is not always so cooperative to allow for only outdoor activities and as such. Indoor swimming can be a wonderful family activity. It can be a full body workout to building muscle strength as well as aerobic endurance. Lastly games are a great way to get kids interested in activities and setting up an indoor relay or obstacle course can be fun for everyone.

Getting your children to be active is important to a healthy lifestyle. If given the chance do activities as a family, they are much more fun and rewarding. Finally, 60 minutes a day of moderate activity is only the minimum guideline according to the CDC but you can always aim for more.

Andrew Peck, CPT

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