Mobility and Stability

mobility-and-stability

Random Fit Fact 
The largest internal organ in the human body is the liver. It is also the heaviest organ at an average of 3.5 pounds. The largest external organ, which is also the largest organ in general, is the skin.

Mobility and Stability 
Do you play sports? Sit all day? Wear heels? Flats? Shoes with high arches? Your everyday lifestyle and activities can have an effect on a joint if it needs more mobility or stability.

Every joint in the body is either for stability or mobility. Mobility is the ability to produce a desired movement, while stability is the ability to resist an undesired movement. All of your joints should be able to move through full range of motion without experiencing pain.

Mobility joints – Ankle, hip, thoracic spine, gleno-humeral (the shoulder), cervical spine

Stability joints – Foot, knee, lumbar spine, scapula, elbow

Whether it is mobility issues, stability issues, or stiffness and tightness within the joint, it is important to balance each joint and give your body what it needs. For example, if a joint is hyper-mobile then that joint will require more stability. One joint ultimately effects another and an issue with your foot or ankle can move all the way up to your neck.

If you feel pain within any joint, consulting a fitness professional can help you address the problem and fix it through corrective exercises to help get you back to proper movement patterns and a pain-free life.

 

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What’s Your Intake?

calories

Random Fit Fact 
The average person walks about 70,000 miles in their lifetime. How many steps are you taking a day?

What’s Your Intake? 
When we look at a nutritional label, it tells us what the “% Daily Value” is, but the real question is: what does that mean? Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, and they vary based on caloric needs, age, gender, race, health history, and activity level. There are four key items that we need to keep an eye on: sodium, fat, cholesterol, and sugar.

Sodium:

  • We should aim to consume less than 2,300mg of sodium per day. Individuals with sodium sensitivity, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, over the age of 50, or of African descent should consume between 1,200 – 1,500mg per day.
  • The average American diet consists of about 3,400mg of sodium per day which increases the risk of health issues.

Fats:

  • In any given meal, no more that 25% of your calories should come from fats.
  • On average, fat consumption should be between 35-70 grams of fat per day while keeping your trans and saturated fats as low as possible.
  • The average breakdown of fats for total calories consumed should be as follows:
    • Saturated Fats – 7%
    • Trans Fats – 0%
    • Polyunsaturated Fats – up to 10%
    • Monounsaturated Fats – up to 20%

Sugars:

  • For non-diabetic adults, aim for 22 – 44g of sugar per day (6 – 12 teaspoons).
  • Your sugar intake excludes the natural sugars found in fruit.
  • If you are diabetic, be sure to consult with your doctor for accurate sugar consumption values.

Cholesterol:

  • Individuals should consume less than 300mg per day.

Note: These numbers are just an average, and you should consult with your physician or nutritionist to get accurate intake levels.

Breathe!!

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Random Fit Fact:
Jump Rope!! Do you know that just 10 minutes of jumping rope burns up to 250 calories?! This is almost double the calories of jogging and is one-fifth the impact of running. Also, it will make your calves look great!

Big Breaths…101:
Don’t forget to breathe! Breathing is the most important thing we do, especially during exercise. Yet, we all tend to hold our breath when exercising becomes more difficult.

Breathing is a very important function for optimum performance. In order for your muscles to function properly, they need oxygen and blood. Forgetting to breathe properly and holding your breath prevents your muscles from having adequate amounts of oxygen. It also creates dysfunction in the kinetic chain and will weaken your muscles during exercise.

How it works
The oxygen you breathe in helps metabolize glucose to create a high energy molecule called ATP. Improper breathing during exercise will reduce the amount of ATP that is created and causes lactic acid build-up and muscle fatigue.

While working out, you should inhale through the eccentric contraction (lengthening of the muscle) and exhale through the concentric contraction (shortening of the muscle). For example, during a chest press, you should exhale when pressing the weight and inhale when lowering the weight. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

Most importantly, do not hold your breath.

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Muscle Imbalances

cucumbers

Random Fit Fact  
Cucumbers support healthy skin, assist in flushing out toxins, help to maintain a healthy complexion, and are high in vitamin B-5, which helps treat acne. They are not only low in carbs (3 grams per serving), but cucumbers have just 16 calories per cup and have no fat, cholesterol, or sodium.

What Causes Muscle Imbalances? 
Muscle imbalances occur when one muscle is weak or under used, and it creates dysfunction in the kinetic chain causing the wrong parts to work harder. When you have a muscle imbalance, the prime mover (targeted muscle group) is unable to perform its proper function causing the synergist (assists the prime mover in its function) to take over and do all of the work. Kinetic chain dysfunctions can cause tearing of the muscle’s soft tissue which causes inflammation. Common mistakes that people make during exercise is repetitive movements or motions that create pattern overloads. Exercises such as running, swimming, biking, weight training, and playing sports can cause such dysfunctions. Sitting or standing all day and a lack of variety may also lead to kinetic chain dysfunctions. The exercises mentioned above are okay to do, but it is very important to exercise the muscle groups that become neglected to prevent overuse injuries. Back pain, shoulder impingement, and knee pain are all associated with these imbalances.

Below are some causes of muscle imbalances:

  • Pattern overload
  • Repetitive movement
  • Lack of core strength
  • Joint dysfunction
  • Cumulative trauma (tissue trauma)
  • Lack of neuromuscular control
  • Postural Stress (sitting/standing all day)
  • Aging
  • Training the same movement patterns

If you are experiencing any type of muscular dysfunction, be sure to start a corrective exercise program. Long term dysfunction can lead to chronic pain and discomfort.

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Organic Foods

organic

Random Fit Fact  
Did you know that the maximum amount of time a workout should take is 53 minutes?

Organic Splurges
Shopping for groceries can be stressful and expensive especially if you don’t know when to splurge on organic fruits and vegetables. We often hear about organic foods, but what does “organic” really mean?

What is organic?
In order for crops or produce to be organic, they must have been grown in safe soil that does not contain synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMOs), petroleum-based fertilizers, or sewage sludge-based fertilizers. Products that are labeled organic must meet and maintain specific requirements.

While your first instinct may be to get everything organic, it can be extremely pricey and isn’t always worth the splurge.

Below are some foods that are worth splurging on and buying organic because they have the highest amount of pesticides, hormones, and added chemicals:

  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Avocados
  • Cucumbers
  • Cabbage
  • Asparagus
  • Pineapple
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Pears
  • Grapes
  • Nectarines
  • Celery
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Peaches
  • Kale
  • Lettuce/Spinach

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Solutions Over Resolutions

2018

Happy New Year!
Take advantage of Get Fit with Bill Witte 2018 specials to make sure your new year starts off on the right foot. For a friend or family member, get 3 sessions for $220.

No more resolutions…make 2018 about solutions
Stop making resolutions and start making solutions! We make it a point to prepare for our financial futures but now is the time to prepare for our future physically. Don’t spend your retirement funds on hospital bills and medicine. Make 2018 your year to shine with a few tips:

Change the way you approach the new year…

  1. Believe in yourself and know that anything is possible.
  2. Break your old habits and change the way you think.
  3. Start by making small changes in your lifestyle.
  4. Be patient and realistic with your goals.

A few easy steps to get on the right track for 2018:

  • Eat an apple a day – A low calorie treat loaded with vitamin C, which supports a healthy immune system.
  • Get your vitamin Zzz’s – One of the simplest yet most important self-care practices is to simply get a good night’s sleep. You need to allow your body to have a regular sleep cycle so that you can rest, recover, and prevent illnesses. You’ll feel more rejuvenated when it’s time to wake up instead of wishing you could pull the covers over your head and stay in bed all day.
  • Take time to laugh – Life can be stressful at times, but laughter is a vital part of it that keeps us happy and young.
  • Take time to relax – Relaxation is very important for the body because it allows us to have a clear mind and be healthy. When it comes to de-stressing and relaxing, tense muscles take time to breath and relax so be sure to give them the attention they need.
  • Exercise regularly – Make exercise a part of your daily routine. Take walks, hire BWitte as your trainer, take dancing lessons, kick box at the gym, or run marathons – staying active can help you live longer and have a better lifestyle. In fact, just walking as little as 30 minutes a day has been shown to increase life span. Staying active also boosts endorphins, your body’s feel good hormone, leading to a better mood and positive outlook on life. Put an appointment in your daily schedule to work out and hold yourself accountable. Start with 20 minutes a day and slowly increase the time and intensity as your body adapts. Create mini goals to keep you motivated.
  • Drink more water – Water is essential for our survival, and it helps to speed up our metabolism. Proper hydration simply makes every function of the human body more efficient. Drinking water throughout the day helps rid your body of waste products and prevents dehydration. You’ll also have more energy and your skin will thank you for it! Be sure to carry a water container with you and refill it often to ensure your daily 96 ounces of water.
  • Learn to let go – Not only is this good for your mind, heart, and health, but living a life learning to forgive and let go of grudges, anger, and any kind of negativity leads to less stress and brings on more contentment and peace. It isn’t always easy, but you can do it!
  • Set realistic goals and time frames for 2018 – Make a goal and write it down in a place where you can see it daily. Be sure to make the goals measurable and increase your goals once you become more comfortable.
  • Find the right coach/trainer – The biggest key to change and staying motivated is to find the best fit for you. Figure out what it is that you’re looking for. Whether it’s group fitness, individual training, or boxing, find the right fit for you. Everyone has different motivation, needs, wants, and goals. What motivates you?chicago-personal-trainer1

Get a Grip!

apples

Random Fit Fact 
Did you know that apples are more proficient at waking you up in the morning than coffee? Despite the high levels of sugar, eating an apple is a much healthier alternative to drinking coffee. The sugars are also one of the main reasons why apples have similar effects to caffeine. Vitamins from apples, specifically the skin, are released slowly throughout the body, making you feel more awake. What’s your favorite kind of apple from over 1000 varieties around the world?

Get a Grip
Are you having elbow pain, wrist pain, or have a weak grip? It could be caused by not working out the muscles in your forearms. The muscles in your forearms are very important; however, they are often overlooked at the gym. It is easy to believe that the constant squeezing during chest, back, and shoulder exercises will work on your forearms too, but that is not necessarily true. Often times when we experience pain in the elbow or the wrist, it is due to tightness and overuse from isometric contractions.

Note: Every muscle has 3 functions: isometric – no movement during contraction; eccentric – lengthening phase of a movement; and concentric – shortening phase of a movement.

To help relieve some of the discomfort and pain in your wrists or elbows, you can try stretching along with doing some of the strengthening exercises below:

Farmers Walks – Grab the heaviest set of dumbbells that you can carry. Stand up tall and walk for 20-30 seconds and rest for 60 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

Seated Barbell Arm Curls – Grab a barbell and rest your arms on a flat bench with your palms facing the ceiling and with your wrists hanging off. Without lifting your arms off the bench, curl your wrists up and then relax. Do 15 reps for 3 rounds.

Standing Barbell Reverse Curls – Grab a barbell with your arms behind you. Palms should be facing behind you as well. Curl the bar up and then slowly relax. Do 15-20 reps for 3 rounds.

Wrist Roller – The wrist roller looks like a wooden or metal dowel with a rope attached to it and a weight. Holding your arms out in front of you, roll forward or backwards until the rope is completely wound up. Slowly release and repeat.

Pinch Grip – Place two hexagon dumbbells standing upright on the floor. Drop down and grab them by pinching the head of the dumbbells with each one of your fingers for 15-30 seconds for 3 rounds.

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‘Teas’ the Season

tea

Random Fit Fact
While genetics play a role in breast cancer and most other cancers, you can reduce your risk by living a healthy and active lifestyle. Be sure to eat well-balanced meals that are rich in nutrients, stay active, exercise regularly, and limit alcohol consumption. Simple changes in your daily lifestyle can make all the difference.  

‘Teas’ the Season
Winter is officially here! With cooler weather, we are always looking for ways to stay warm. Instead of drinking calorie rich hot chocolate, flavored lattes, or cappuccino, turn to a cup of tea. Tea warms the soul and has many health benefits without the extra calories.

Pure (green, black, white, and oolong) teas are derived from the Camellia Sinensis plant which contain unique antioxidants called flavonoids. The most potent flavonoid in tea is ECGC, which may help against free radicals that can contribute to cancer, heart disease, and clogged arteries.

Common Teas and Benefits:
Green Tea: Commonly made with steamed tea leaves, green teas’ antioxidants may help with certain cancers, fat burn, reduce stroke and neurological disorders along with many other things.

Black Tea: Made with fermented tea leaves, black tea has the highest caffeine content and is the base for flavored teas like chai.

White Tea: Uncured and unfermented, white tea has the strongest anti-cancer properties compared to more processed teas.

Herbal Tea: Made from herbs, fruits, seeds, or roots, herbal teas have a lower concentration of antioxidants due to the variety of plants used to make it.
Common herbal teas: Ginger, Ginseng, Hibiscus, Mint, Chamomile, Echinacea, and Jasmine

Teas come in a variety of flavors, so you’ll certainly find one that suits your taste buds!

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Preventing Winter Falls

winter-falls

Random Fit Fact: Get an extra burst of nutrients and energy by adding fruits and vegetables earlier on in the day. One easy way to do this is by making a breakfast smoothie. Give the following recipe a try: mix 1 cup of spinach, a palm size each of cucumber, pineapple, banana, chia seeds, protein powder, and a handful of berries in a blender and enjoy!

Prevent Winter Falls: Winter is in full effect which means snowstorms, freezing rain, and ice on sidewalks, stairs, and driveways. Winter weather conditions increase the risk of slipping and falling which can lead to injuries such as fractures, muscle tears, strains, and/or sprains. Knowing how to walk safely in these conditions can help prevent falls and therefore injuries; consider wearing good snow boots or even golf shoes with spikes as a way to gain better traction in such conditions.

Follow the four guidelines below to help prevent potential injuries:

Improve Balance
Improving balance will decrease the risk of falling in slippery conditions. It is beneficial to have a strong core and strong stabilizing muscles for balance.

You can work on your balance at the gym with a few simple exercises:

  • Any one-legged exercise
  • Using the bosu ball or balance board
  • Lateral jumps (stay on 1 leg)
  • Strengthening adductors/abductors, LPHC (lumbo pelvic hip complex)
  • Planks
  • Torso rotation
  • One-legged plyometrics

Do the “Shuffle”
If there’s no other choice than to walk on ice or snow, shuffle your feet rather than taking full strides. That means you should take baby steps by moving your feet apart just a little bit at a time for a few inches and be sure to slightly bend your knees as you walk. Following this practice will help provide more stability and balance.

Go Sideways on Inclines
When required to walk on an incline or decline that is covered in snow or ice, it is best to walk sideways. This provides more stability than walking forward. In order to walk sideways, turn to the side (not facing the incline or decline), take a step with the foot that is leading (closest to the top or bottom of the hill), and bring the other foot (the foot farthest from the top or the bottom of the hill) along as well. Be sure to keep your feet parallel and not cross them, as crossing your feet makes you unstable and more likely to fall.

Focus, Focus, Focus

  • Be aware of your surroundings and watch out for black “invisible” ice.
  • Exercise caution when exiting cars as you are not able to see what you are about to step on.
  • Keep your head up! We have a tendency to lower our heads when there are poor weather conditions and this promotes bad posture and throws off our equilibrium, which puts us at risk to fall.

Vacation Derailing Your Workout?

vacation-final

Random Fit Fact for the Week:  One teaspoon of cinnamon daily can lower blood sugar levels, possibly helping to prevent or control diabetes. It tastes great in coffee, tea, oatmeal, or sprinkled on a sweet potato…give it a try!

Vacation Derailing Your Workout?

Vacations are good any time of the year and are strongly encouraged to reset and decompress, but that doesn’t mean that your workouts have to suffer while you’re away. The key is not to stress about your workouts or feel like you can’t enjoy yourself on vacation. You can enjoy your vacation without derailing your workout & nutrition with a few simple tricks:

  • Be sure to pack some snacks such as granola bars, trail mix, mixed nuts, dried fruit, etc. that you can grab & eat when you are at the airport or exploring the city.
  • Pack your gym shoes – when you arrive, ask your hotel concierge to direct you to a nearby walking path or park. Not only will you get a good workout in, but you’ll get to enjoy the outdoors and explore local attractions.
  • Incorporate exercise into sightseeing. Look for tours that incorporate walking, kayaking, biking, climbing, etc.
  • Find restaurants that serve locally grown specialty dishes. Make wise choices no matter where you eat and avoid really sugary drinks.
  • If you have 25-30 minutes before or after breakfast, go outside and do a quick body weight circuit – 3 sets of each exercise, 15-20 reps.
    • Burpee
    • Oblique Burpee
    • Jump Squat
    • Forward/Rear Lunges (one leg at a time)
    • Jump Lunges with Torso Twist
    • Push-up
    • Diamond Push-up
    • Plank
    • Jack Knife Sit-up
    • Jump Rope (you could pack one!)
    • Side Plank

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