Category Archives: Flexibility

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.

To learn more give us a call at 317-973-1677 or email us at kim@indycorefitness.net.  We are open from 5:00am to 8:00pm.

Why You Should Get a Massage

By:  Matt Nicholson              April 14, 2017

Massage therapy is both physiologically and psychologically potent and as a natural method for healing. “How well you respond to an injury has everything to do with how tense you’ve been for the last ten years”.  Massage therapy manipulates and stimulates all of your skin, muscles, nerves, connective tissues, and joints.  Muscles are mostly water which means stiff and sore muscles are sick muscles.  Massage therapy can break the myofascial pain syndrome including waste products of metabolism and it also serves as a form of passive exercise, increasing circulation, waking up the enormous complex tissues of your skin and muscles by stirring the forces that keep them fit and vital.  We are tactile beings; the human body needs tactile stimulation which is often deprived. 

Continue reading Why You Should Get a Massage

FIT in Your Recovery

By: Megan Lambert

Previous posts have addressed topics such as foam rolling, voodoo flossing, stretching and flexibility, as well as active recovery techniques. Adding on to this theme, in the third part of the FIT series, we will discuss how to practically apply recovery techniques in your busy schedule.

5 simple ways to incorporate recovery techniques in your daily life:

  1. Take a break every 1-2 hours.

If your job includes sitting in an office chair or staring at a computer screen for eight hours a day, then this tip is especially applicable for you. Every few hours, make a conscious effort to stand up, walk around the room, do a few stretches. Give yourself a short break. Not only will your muscles thank you, but you may even return to your task more alert and focused.

  1. Carry a lacrosse ball in your purse or briefcase.

When you have a random five minutes at the doctor’s office or are waiting in the school carpool line to pick up your daughter, you could spend those five minutes scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Or, you could use a lacrosse ball to target sore muscles from your workout the day before!

  1. Carry a gallon jug of water with you.

Are you drinking enough water every day? One way to hydrate is to keep a gallon of water in your car. That way, when your water bottle is empty and you are out of the house, all you need to do is fill it up again and keep drinking.

  1. Foam roll or stretch while watching TV.

It is easy to get sucked into mindlessly watching television to unwind at the end of the day. And it is a good thing to unwind! But, what if you devote 20 minutes of the hour in a half you spend on the couch working on your flexibility and mobility? That 20 minutes will go a long way toward reaching your goals.

  1. Start your morning with a mobility exercise.

Before brushing your teeth, eating your breakfast, or taking a shower, begin your day by performing one movement that will benefit your body and help your mobility. Some examples include rolling the bottom of your feet on a lacrosse ball, performing 10 slow squats, and doing a hip stretch. This way, you set a precedent at the beginning of the day that you are going to resist the urge to ignore your sore muscles and help your body recover.

FIT in Your Warm-up

By: Megan Lambert

This is the second article in our three-part “FIT” series, which discusses practical ways to implement an exercise routine, a dynamic warm-up, and a workout recovery into your daily life. Specifically, this article discusses what to do before your starting your workout. We already covered how important it is to carve out time in your daily schedule to exercise, but did you know that it is equally if not more important to prepare your body for exercise?

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of warming up your muscles before activity as well as give you 10 simple movements that you can include in your routine.

Visit our website (www.indycorefitness.net) or contact us at (317)430-0063 to inquire about our personalized training programs and how we can help you reach your fitness goals!

Benefits of a warm-up:

Injury prevention

Just like a NASCAR driver wouldn’t begin a race without first warming up the car’s engine, so you should increase the temperature of your “vehicle” (your body’s musculature system) before beginning your “race” (your daily workout). By performing various dynamic stretches and movement patterns, you prepare your body for more rigorous movement. For example, performing body weight squats or sumo squats prepares your body a set of barbell back squats.

Improved mobility

The exercises found in a dynamic warm-up are based upon movement patterns such as squatting, jumping, rotating, etc. These are movements that citizens in our modern society struggle to complete on a daily basis. Dr. Kelly Starrett illustrates this point well in his book, “Deskbound.” Because of our modern society, many people sit at work all day, sit in the car, sit when they eat, sit when they watch TV…you get the idea. Because of lengthy amounts of sitting, basic movement patterns are inhibited. Therefore, a good dynamic warm-up will help counteract the biomechanical deficiencies that prolonged sitting can have on your body.

Decrease stress on heart

According to an article from the American Heart Association, “by slowly raising your heart rate, the warm-up also helps minimize stress on your heart.” Meaning, performing steady state cardiovascular exercise, such as using an elliptical or riding a stationary bike, can increase your heart rate gradually rather than suddenly or all at once. Various exercises such as jumping jacks, jump rope, and skips can also accomplish this goal.

Sample warm-up:

Jumping jacks

Standing hip circles

Arm circles

Inchworm

Carioca

Body weight squats

Jump rope

Open book stretch

Walking straight-leg march

High knees

8 Exercises to Add to Your Warm-up

By: Megan Lambert

Before the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians began Game 7 of the World Series last night, each team warmed-up on the baseball diamond, throwing, catching, jogging, stretching, etc.

Just like an MLB player, athletes and weekend gym warriors need to warm-up their muscles before lifting weights, running, or doing cardiovascular exercise. Consequently, check out the following eight movements designed to prepare the ankles, hips, shoulders, and thoracic spine for exercise.

  1. Standing hip circles

For this movement, stand on one foot and bring the other leg up to a 90 degree angle. Take your knee up, out to the side, and back behind your center of mass to make a complete circle. Make 6-10 circles forward and then reverse the motion to make 6-10 backwards circles with the same leg. Repeat with the opposite leg.

  1. Sumo squats

Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, with your toes facing forward. Bend down to touch your toes and then drop your hips as low as you can, keeping your knees pushed out and your chest up. Then, raise your arms above your head and push through your heels to return to a standing position. Repeat for 6-10 reps.

  1. Monster walks

Place a small resistance band two inches above your knee. To begin, stand with your feet shoulder width apart in a ¼ squat position. From here, push off of your left foot while maintaining your squatting position. Then, bring your right foot back underneath your center of mass to return to your original position. Repeat these movements over a 10-15 meter area, and then repeat in the opposition direction.

  1. Band pull-aparts

Hold a resistance band straight out in front of you, with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width. For this exercise, your goal is to try to pull your hands as far apart from each other as you can. This is be accomplished by pinching your shoulder blades together. Repeat for 10 reps.

  1. Open book stretch

Lie on your side with your knees bent to 90 degrees. From this starting position, place your arms out to the side. Keeping your legs on the ground, move your top arm across your body to the ground on the other side of your body. The goal is to open up your chest and to increase mobility in your thoracic spine. Repeat for 6-10 reps each side.

  1. Scorpions

For this movement, lie on your stomach with your arms straight out from your sides. Bend one knee to 90 degrees and lift your hip off the ground by squeezing your glutes and driving your heel in the air. From there, reach your heel across your body toward your opposite hand. You should feel a stretch through your abdomen and hip flexor, as well as in your mid-back.

  1. Walking straight leg deadlifts

To begin, stand on one foot. Reach one foot straight behind the body while keeping your torso in a straight line. It is important to keep your core engaged during this movement so that your spine stays in a neutral position, meaning it doesn’t flex or extend. Another tip for the extended leg is to lead with your hamstrings. This places the tension in your leg, not in your lower back.

  1. Inchworm

Stand with your feet together. Keeping your legs straight, reach down toward your toes. Once in this position, walk your hands out in front of you until you are in a push-up position. From here, walk your feet back up to your hands. Repeat this process for at 15-20 yards.