All posts by Mark Taylor

Stretch For Mobilty

Indycore fitness stretching

Like muscle and aerobic exercise, stretching should be a part of your fitness regime. Many people don’t consider stretching as part of their fitness regime but should. Daily stretching is essential to maintain mobility and independence. You will get the best results from stretching when muscles are warm such as after a workout or training session.

Why Stretching Is Important

Stretching helps the muscles stay flexible, strong, and healthy. We need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in our joints and range of motion is KING as we age! Without that flexibility, our muscles shorten and become tight. Then, when you call on the muscles for activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. That puts you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage. Today’s information-driven world requires many to sit at a desk for most of their workday. Desk workers will experience tightened hamstrings in the back of the thigh. Tighter, shortened psoas muscles is also a common problem with desk workers. Tight hamstrings prohibit extending the leg or straightening the knee completely. This, in turn, will inhibit activities as simple as walking. Stretching tight muscles during strenuous exercise makes them vulnerable to damage. Injured muscles might not be strong enough to support joints, and this can result in a secondary injury or chain injuries to joints. Stretching keeps muscles long, lean and flexible; physical exertion will not over-stress the muscle.

Where To Start

With a body full of muscles, the idea of daily stretching may seem overwhelming. Stretching every muscle is not necessary. These are the areas that are critical for mobility:

  • Shoulders
  • Neck
  • Lower Back
  • Hip Flexors
  • Thigh Quadriceps

You should make an effort to stretch at least three to four times per week.

The Cumulative Effect of Stretching

Stretching is not a one and done undertaking. There is no magic set of stretching movements that will give you greater flexibility. Mobility techniques are used as well.  You’ll need to make stretching a habit. You must remain committed to the process for the long-haul. Your muscles did not become tight overnight. it’s going to take more than a few sessions to return them to their flexible state. It will take weeks, possibly months, to return your muscles to a flexible state. Once you achieve flexibility you will need to stay committed to maintaining it.

Indy Core Fitness can assess your muscle strength and tailor a plan to fit your needs. If you have a chronic illness you will need to consult your doctor before starting.

Successful People Prioritize Sleep

Indy Core Fitness Sleep Quality

Successful Living

We’ve all heard it said that if you want to be successful examine the lives of others who are successful. When you study successful people patterns begin to emerge. One of the things they all have in common is they sleep well. And by now, all should know that sleep is vital to good health, longevity, and peak performance.

It’s Crazy Out There

Today’s world is a place of hustle and bustle, constant interruptions. There’s always that next thing that desperately needs completing today. Day to day living is stressful. Getting plenty of rest can help combat stress but here’s the problem: Stress can impact rest in a bad way.

What to Do?

Cutting back on caffeine and making bedtime a routine is a start, but quality sleep is also requires good daytime habits. Here’s some things highly productive people do to make sure they sleep well.
Almost all highly successful people get at least 6 hours of sleep, every night. The most successful businesspeople usually get 6–8 hours a night, averaging about 7. Elite athletes usually sleep ten or more hours, with some, like Lebron James, averaging 11–12 hours a night.
Stick to a Schedule
Aside from the amount of sleep successfully people get, they’re also notable for the regularity of their sleep schedule. The healthiest, most productive people tend to go to sleep and wake up at roughly the same time every day. Even when they travel, they make it their top priority to adjust to their new time zone within a day so that jet lag won’t keep dragging them down.
Stay Active During the Day
Richard Branson goes for a run almost every day at 6 AM. Barack Obama exercises for 45 minutes, 6 days a week. Highly productive people make sure to exercise, even when they’re busy. Hell, they exercise because they’re busy. They understand that a good exercise routine doesn’t cost you time- it actually gives you more time, by giving you more energy and a healthier brain.
Get Some Sunshine
In addition to working out, successful people also make sure to get plenty of light during the day. If they work indoors, they keep the lights bright, the windows uncovered; they make an effort to get outside when they can. They understand that bright light signals their brains to stay away and alert- while also making it easier for the brain to understand that night time is sleep time.
Both light and exercise during the day will help make it easier to sleep at night. By being more awake and active during the day- by making daytime truly feel like daytime– you heighten the contrast between day and night, reinforcing your body’s circadian rhythm.
Sleep in a Room Designed for Sleep
“Aren’t all bedrooms designed for sleep?” You ask.  Well in theory, yes. In practice?  Not so much.
A well-designed bedroom is a room without distractions. That means no TV, no computer and in my own case, no music-making instruments. There should be no light and noise disturbing you at night. And never, NEVER work in your bedroom.  Never. Highly productive people never work in their bedroom and you shouldn’t either.
Successful people never bring anything into their bedroom that causes stress. Aside from sleeping, you shouldn’t be doing very much in your bedroom. Having sex, changing clothes, maybe a little light fiction reading before bed, but that’s it. Controlling your sleep environment is one of the best things you can do to sleep better and improve your overall energy level.
Wrapping it All Up
One would conclude that the most productive people in the world are working almost every waking hour. Some of them probably come close, but all successful people understand the importance of relaxation.
Highly productive people prioritize sleep and keep it separate it from work. They never bring work into the bedroom- they’d rather work literally anywhere else, even standing at the kitchen counter.
Highly productive make sure to stop working at least a half hour before bed. They follow a set pre-bed routine designed to help them unwind so they can de-stress and get to sleep quickly. Just like sleep time, pre-bed relaxation time is held sacrosanct.

All In Favor Of Better Health Please Stand

indy core fitness sitting working risks
Work While Standing

It is now scientific fact that too much sitting is bad for your health.  Human beings are not “designed” to sit for long periods of time. Unfortunately, technology has led to a situation where people are sitting through their workday and then going home to sit some more while watching television or playing an electronic game.  Do you fit into this common profile?  If so, you have an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and decreased life-span potential.
Additionally, sitting around is hampering your ability to burn calories.  Studies have linked long periods of sitting to weight gain and obesity.
If you are an office worker and are seated most of the day then you have a problem that puts you at risk.
And there is more to this than your own health concerns.

  • Studies in call-centers have found that those who handle calls while standing close twice as many sales as those who are seated most of the day.
  • This has not gone unnoticed in the world of business and now many companies are outfitting their work areas with desks that can be quickly raised for standing work or dropped for seated work.
What the heck is a standing desk?
  • A standing desk, sometimes referred to as stand-up desk, allows you to stand up comfortably while working
  • Modern versions of the standing desk, sometimes referred to as height-adjustable desks, are adjustable to that the height can be quickly changed so that you can alternate between standing and sitting.
  • As noted earlier, businesses have taken notice that the height-adjustable desks have both health benefits and productivity benefits.
Standing Lowers Your Risk of Weight Gain and Obesity
  • Weight gain is caused by consuming more calories than you can burn. Conversely, weight loss occurs when you take in fewer calories than you are burning.
  • Standing for half of your workday has been shown to burn an additional 170 calories per workday.  That can add up to about 1,000 additional calories burned per week.
Using a Standing Desk Can Lower Blood Sugar Levels
  • The more your blood sugar levels increase after meals, the worse it is for your health and this is especially true for those with type 2 diabetes.
  • A recent study of 10 office workers showed that standing for 180 minutes after lunch reduced the blood sugar spike by 43%.
  • Another study showed that alternating between standing and sitting every 30 minutes throughout the workday reduced blood sugar spikes by an average of 11%.
  • The harmful effects of sitting after meals may explain why excessive sitting is linked to a 112% greater risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • These studies show that using a standing desk at work can lower blood sugar levels, especially after lunch.
Standing Reduces Your Risk of Developing Heart Disease
  • The idea that standing is better for heart health was first proposed way back in 1953.
  • A study found that bus conductors who stood all day had half the risk of heart disease-related deaths as the seated bus driver.
  • Today science has a better understanding of the adverse effects of prolonged sitting.  Studies suggest that standing on the job when compared to prolonged sitting may decrease the risk of heart disease by up to 147%.
  • How harmful is sitting all day?  Even an hour of intense exercise may not make of for the negative effects of a day spent seated at a desk.
  • There should be no doubt in your mind that spending more time on your feet is beneficial for heart health.
Does Your Back Hurt?  Try Standing
  • Back pain is the most common complaints of office workers who sit all day.Several studies were completed on employees who suffered long-term back pain.
  • 32% of the participants reported improvement in lower back pain after several weeks of using a standing desk.
  • A CDC study found that use of a sit-stand desk reduced upper back and neck pain by 54% after just 4 weeks.
    Removal of the sit-stand desks reversed some of those improvements within a 2-week period.
Feeling Moody and Fatigued?
  • Standing desks appear to have a positive influence on overall well-being.
  • In one 7-week study, participants used standing desks and reported less stress and more energy throughout the workday.
    Upon returning to their old desks, all of the gains were erased.
  • These findings align with broader research on sitting and mental health linking sedentary time with an increased risk of both depression and anxiety.
Productivity Benefits
  • A common concern about standing desks is that they hinder daily tasks, such as typing.
  • While standing each afternoon may take some getting used to, standing desks appear to have no significant impact on typical work tasks.
  • In a study of 60 young office employees, using a standing desk for 4 hours each day had no impact on characters typed per minute or typing errors.
  • Considering that standing improves mood and energy as well, using a standing desk is more likely to boost productivity rather than hinder it.
Standing Up For Longer Life
  • Studies have linked increased sitting time and early death.
  • Again, there is a strong association that prolonged sitting increases your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.  This two conditions can appreciably reduce longevity.
  • In fact, a review of 18 studies found those who sit the most are at a 49% greater risk of dying early than those who sit the least.
  • Another study suggested that reducing sitting time to 3 hours per day can raise the average American’s life expectancy by 2 years.
  • Avoiding the problems that can arise from prolonged sitting may help lengthen our lifespan.
It’s Time to Take a Stand

This is why sitting less and standing more is such an important lifestyle change.
Most office supply companies who sell office furniture will have sit-stand desks.
If you decide to switch to a sit-stand desk you should start out splitting your time 50-50 between standing and sitting.

Foam Rolling Is Essential

indy core fitness foam rolling for runners

Did you know that poor blood flow and knots in your muscles will keep you from burning calories and losing weight? Foam rolling needs to become part of your workout to help keep your fat burners working at 100 percent.

Foam rolling is an excellent technique to recover after strenuous activity. Athletes can use this technique the same day or the day after a hard workout.

Myofascial Release applies pressure to parts of the body in order to release tension. During your workout scar tissue can form in the muscle creating little knots. In addition to “removing” those little knots, this recovery technique can lead to greater joint mobility and range of motion.

Foam rolling will improved blood circulation in the muscle. The muscle will repair faster due because the problem areas are getting more nutrients with increased blood-flow. Foam rolling is also great for stretching your muscles because it helps to relieve the tightness and knots that come with regular high-intensity workouts.

In the video below, Megan demonstrates two techniques to release this tension and remove the knots in your legs. Both of these recovery techniques are great for runners or those who have done a lot of running for their cardio exercise regime.

  • Calf Foam Roll: Start at your achilles tendon and work your way up to the back of your knee. As you roll note any sensitive points and apply the rolling motion back and forth and side to side. Work each area for about two minutes. Repeat the process for the other leg.
  • Thigh Foam Roll: This technique focuses on the side of your thigh. Start at the fibular head and roll to the top of the thigh. Again, you want to pay attention to those areas where there is sensitivity and tension. Roll for two minutes on each side.

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