February 22nd, 2014
Blue runs a furniture repair shop serving East Texas and the Dallas Fort Worth area. He talked about the strain his body takes when picking up, lifting and refinishing all sorts of types of antiques and furniture around the area. Since his business requires him to reach and maneuver in tight spaces, both when picking up the furniture from someone’s home as well as during the actual service he provides, he risks sore backs and other muscle strains as a “hazard” of the job.
We talked about his need for improving overall flexibility. Doing so would make him more able to lift the furniture he needed, move other furniture out of the way, and also do his job. While Zumba may not be the best for his specific situation (tough for an East Texas guy to be seen doing Zumba by his buddies!), we did talk about yoga and some form of Pilates. At the very least he is considering doing some sort of flexibility training. Hopefully his improved flexibility one day will allow him to lift the bulky (and heavy) objects easier and still perform his furniture repair and restoration service without incurring too many days where he is very sore.
February 5th, 2014
I was talking with Jim about staying in shape, but for a different purpose than most need. Some people are competitive athletes, others want to look good at the pool or beach, others want to be able to play with their kids without getting winded and others simply want to be in shape for looking good when out at night on the town.
We discussed something different. It was about being in shape to handle the rigors of living and working on ranches in the North Texas area. Jim mentioned several things which were of interest, and they don’t often come to mind for people living in the cities or suburbs. Staying in shape is a necessity when working on a ranch or farm, but some of the aspects are different than when getting in shape in the suburbs. Here are just a few:
- Eating more, but healthy, food. This is because the energy expenditure often is greater than most suburban and urban trainees
- Less focus on isolation exercise movements because you use your whole body lifting hay, moving equipment, cutting and trimming weeds, dealing with livestock and other full-body uses
- A focus on overall health is greater due to exposure to fertilizer, chemicals on crops, exposure to live animals, and much more. An emphasis on having a good local rural doctor is important, especially for those who don’t have the background of dealing with ranch and farm environments until later adulthood
- Lots of walking, including on hills and trails
- Some sprinting, and this requires flexibility
Another thing he talked about when it comes to Oklahoma and North Texas farms and ranches is conditioning your body to the weather. With the extremes in climate which North Texas ranches can experience, you have to be able to continue to operate in sub-zero weather (after wind chill), rain, sleet, snow, 100 degree-plus temperatures, high humidity and other weather-based factors such as insects and other elements found primarily in agricultural areas.
He emphasized that people need to talk with their doctors about all of these factors (changing their current nutrition & fitness regimens, dealing with animals & insects, being outdoors in harsh climate, etc.). Doing so, plus an emphasis on body weight exercises + being able to exercise carrying heavy objects (often at odd angles) will help someone begin to better prepare for life on a ranch or farm or other agricultural land in North Texas.
January 20th, 2014
I was talking with Bob the other day about his line of work. He does lots of marketing and often has to stay in his chair for hours. We were discussing things he can do to stay loose and limber during this time since he can’t necessarily break away from the work schedule to exercise. It is tough for him even to stay at the office and do some form of stretching or light yoga, let alone anything more extensive he can do at home like push-ups, calisthenics or even a Zumba-type of DVD.
We discussed various forms of stretching including the “gentleman’s stretch” which he can do in the chair. This may help him at least keep his glutes and hamstrings limber enough during the day to prevent his legs from tightening up. Since he has to spend most of the day doing various forms of online marketing, like helping general contractors in Fort Worth Texas, we also talked about nutrition to keep his energy going.
Obviously he should talk with his doctor and any licensed nutritionist about changes to diet, nutrition and supplements. Assuming that he has no major injuries or other bio-mechanic constraints to his range of motion, feel free to contribute your thoughts about what else he can do to keep his energy at high levels during the day while simultaneously preventing the typical injuries or other muscle-related problems from sitting too much.
Most of the typical thoughts and suggestions will range from:
- licensed chiropractic visits
- licensed massage therapy
- foam rollers (if he knows what he is doing)
The main question, however, is what else can he do at home (for no cost) which takes no more than 5 minutes to perform so he can get back to work right away? Any thoughts are welcome as he wants to keep his focus on work and not get too messy in case he has to see a client in a last-second meeting. Yes, this happens in his world so he has to account for it!
Thanks for your thoughts.
January 15th, 2014
I was talking over coffee with my friend Maureen the other day. She operates a business in the equestrian industry, including horse boarding in Collin County; and we were talking about fitness and how it relates to her business. One of the needed elements of a competitive horse rider, jumper, etc. is to have strength and balance in one’s legs and lower back/core region. This is because such skill can help a rider in many unique ways.
For example, if a horse makes a sudden turn that the rider isn’t expecting then having that core strength is an asset to regain control or execute any of the other safety measures taught by experienced and qualified equestrian professionals. The improved flexibility, strength and balance also can help give a rider a competitive edge in competitions and when training. It can help with increasing command plus increase the likelihood of a rider having good endurance while training for competition.
There are various ways to increase this combination of strength and balance. Some include Zumba, yoga, Pilates and other bodyweight activities which develop core strength. Obviously, if you are into equestrian-related activities talk with a veteran professional who understands the demands placed on one’s body when riding horses either for recreation or competitive purposes.
January 14th, 2014
When most people think about exercise “conditioning” they think of aerobic exercise like running, jogging, walking, cycling, moderate spin classes, or very light calisthenics. These however, tend to be forms of more “aerobic” conditioning. If you want to participate in more traditional sports, however, you will need to develop your “anaerobic” conditioning. For example, baseball is a purely anaerobic sport which requires short bursts of speed and explosiveness (combined with sport-specific skill). Such a sport is the opposite of an aerobic activity even though a regular baseball game and a long jog both can go for over 3 hours in some instances.
Some forms of anaerobic conditioning include:
- high intensity weight training
- a sport-specific activity like baseball drills for a catcher
- running up stadium stairs, and walking back down (for safety and recovery reasons)
- plyometric activity (under the supervision of a qualified trainer who knows proper form and safety)
An interesting activity most people don’t consider in the DFW area however is boxing. Next door to the Pilates, Zumba and yoga studio in Irving, is a mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing gym. What is of interest is how the trainees focus on traditional boxing even if the goal is simply to improve anaerobic conditioning.
If you are interested here is a video showing some of the training classes and the higher-intensity activities:
Of course, with the increase in explosive high-intensity exercise there is a risk for injury. Should you get hurt then see your doctor or a qualified North Dallas chiropractor for possible injury treatment.
January 11th, 2014
One of the better ways to increase flexibility in a gentle manner is to get instructed by a certified trainer in a discipline like yoga, Pilates, or even Zumba. These forms of exercise are less likely to cause injuries versus activities with more “explosive” movements (despite flexibility enhancement) such as some of the more aggressive cross-training, Olympic style weightlifting, more “combat” forms of martial arts, boxing and other exercises which engage a full range of motion and multiple body parts working together simultaneously. The full-body exercises usually will enhance flexibility, but as people get older the risk of injuries increases especially if much of their work day is spent in a more sedentary manner.
Should you have injuries, including those resulting from previous exercise activities deemed to be more “explosive” than the “gentler” forms, then you may wish to get some healing treatments instead of using drugs such as prescription painkillers.
In addition to therapies recommended by your doctor, certain chiropractors offer new technologies designed to heal your body even if it has nothing to do with your spine or neck. For example, you may benefit from cold laser therapy if you were to see a chiropractor who determines that your injuries could be helped by the use of the technology. Other technology to help with healing could include:
- Electric Muscle Stimulation (beyond the portable device level)
- Spinal decompression therapy
- Licensed massage therapy
- Recommendations for what you can do at home or your gym such as ice therapy, saunas, etc.
- Other suggestions from a licensed doctor
January 9th, 2014
While everyone talks about health and wellness from an exercise and nutrition perspective, there are other elements to health which many people skip over. These can include:
- regular teeth cleaning
- removing pollutants from one’s home such as in the carpet, getting rid of dust, etc.
- proper handling of food to prevent illness
- mental health techniques
- removing as many harsh chemicals from being consumed
- health techniques which affect your senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch)
Regarding sight and health, I had a fun conversation with Larry who is an optometrist in the Lakewood Dallas area. We talked about health and how each professional in the medical, health and fitness areas tend to emphasize their own areas of specialty as being the manner for a client/patient/customer to achieve “health”; but it really does take a balanced approach for a person to make marked improvements in health and vibrancy. While not all people can make monstrous strides forward when attempting to improve their overall health conditions, at least taking care of the basics tends to be a sound strategy once the person consults with his/her qualified medical professionals.
For example, something as simple as getting custom eyeglass frames in Lakewood Dallas can help supplement other areas. If one were to take up something like Pilates or Zumba in the Dallas area, having better vision can help with balance issues and increase the odds of a person sticking with any sort of proper exercise routine as compared to if his/her vision were not as good. The same goes for issues with ears, especially inner ears and balance issues.
January 7th, 2014
Steve was able to bounce back from a nasty leg injury a few years back. He had surgery and had to refrain from playing his favorite sports; but he got back in shape using some advanced training techniques. He then was able to manage his company in Dallas while still being able to play volleyball, basketball, run and engage in other sports.
Of interest, he was able to use his athleticism as a part of his job such as climbing scaffolding for a 3D building projection mapping opportunity as well as using it for filming the motion capture videos for the interactive museum exhibit design process which became the running wall in Dallas. You can see video of that here.
January 5th, 2014
Angie runs a fitness studio offering Zumba, yoga and Pilates in Irving Texas. She has been a fitness competitor, figure competitor, personal trainer and fitness business owner for years; and she knows how to connect with her clients!
She is able to make everyone who trains with her to feel at ease; and one of the big elements she strives to teach is safety and good form. For example, with the increase in popularity of the cross-training disciplines she cautions her clients to be very careful especially for those over 40. The risk of injury, and with the promotion of poor form during explosive movements, is extremely high and she knows that injuries often can make her clients not want to be motivated to exercise consistently ever again. By taking a safer, gentler approach her clients seem to enjoy her passion for teaching fitness and begin to adopt it into their own lives.
Here is a short video of her with one of her clients in the Irving Texas area:
December 30th, 2013
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