Category Archives: Injury prevention

Sitting Is A Pain…

indy core wellness and fitness stand-up for fitness

Have you ever heard the saying, “Sitting is the new smoking?”

Mayo Clinic specialist Dr. James Levine coined this phrase to illustrate how prolonged sitting is harmful.

One of the downsides to our information-driven world is that so many careers involve long periods of sitting. So many activities – driving, traveling, socializing, studying and working all involve sitting. How did we end up here? Is there some way to mitigate the harmful effects that come with sitting on our backsides for prolonged periods each day

The adverse effects of prolonged sitting have come to the attention of many employers.  So much so that many office furniture manufacturers now produce desks that can be easily lowered or raised throughout the workday.  Even if you do not have access to a sitting/standing desk, many cubicles have two work surfaces, it is quite simple to raise one surface for standing while keeping the other for sitting and then switch positions throughout the day.

Dr. Kelly Starrett is a successful physical therapist, owner of San Francisco Cross Fit, and founder of the Mobility Project. Dr. Starrett has made it his mission to give people a solution to this problem.

Check out the video below to learn about the standing desk. Switching to a standing desk can help you become more productive and successful.

Core Prescriptions

indy core fitness stretch
The holidays have come and gone and it’s time to get back to looking after myself. I began working with IndyCore Fitness to do some core strengthening. As I mentioned in the first blog of this series, I have been suffering terrible pain in the sacral area of my back and chronic neuropathy in my legs and feet for the past 10 years. I believe this pain can be reduced or possibly eliminated using IndyCore’s approach to core strengthening. Between work, social functions, and snacking on holiday treats I managed to get in another session with IndyCore owner Kim Rockey. Continue reading Core Prescriptions

Becoming “Road-Worthy” With IndyCore Wellness And Fitness

Indy Core Fitness Back In Shape

I recently began working with IndyCore Fitness to do some core strengthening. I’m getting old. I’ve been on this rock for 63 years. Up until age 50, I was very fit. Fit enough to run a marathon. Today I would struggle to run around the block. I suffer from chronic sciatica and back pain in the sacral area.

I completed one “starter” session with Kim Rockey and felt some immediate relief.  I decided to undergo a six-week regime to see whether core training can make a difference. Because of those immediate results, I am optimistic. I am optimistic despite having spent thousands of dollars on chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy, and cortisone shots.  I had also tried a painful procedure that involved burning nerves in the sacral area with a laser. I conclude the Dr was a quack.  I had resigned myself to accepting a life of chronic pain.  I must say that I found a small bit of relief in letting go of the anxiety and simply accepting my situation.  I have since discovered life need not be painful, that there are answers.

Over the next six weeks I will be blogging about the work I am doing with IndyCore Fitness.  I will write about the exercises and the results in diminishing the pain I have been living with for over ten years.

As with any serious fitness programs, there are things that must first be addressed. IndyCore asked me to complete a health survey.  The survey included questions about my recent health, family histories, and medications I am taking. Under certain circumstances, IndyCore will ask that you see your physician before training with them.

Once the paperwork was completed Kim explained some of the problems that can develop as a result of working in a seated position for many years.  I was a software engineer for 30 years so I have likely developed many problems. I can distill this down to a simple truth: Deskwork results in our hips shifting into a forward position because of our routine posture. Compounding this problem for me is scar tissue that remains from all that running I used to do. Kim had me lie on my back with a softball placed under the area that was causing pain and roll gently side-to-side. I was amazed at the relief I felt after just a few minutes!

Over the next six weeks, I am writing about the specific exercises Kim teaches me for core strengthening.  I will also give an honest assessment of the degree of pain I experience as conditioning progresses. I am looking forward to sharing my progress with you!

Mark

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.

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

H2O Analysis: the ins and outs of water consumption

By: Matt Nicholson & Megan Lambert

glass-of-water

Water makes up 45-70% of your body weight, according to Joan’s Salge Blake’s book, “Nutrition and You,” (2nd ed.).

Everyone talks about the importance of hydration, but how do you know if you should be consuming more?

Chris Kresser, a renowned natural health and nutrition professional says in his article entitled, “Hydration 101: How Much Water Do You Really Need,”

“There is no universal requirement for water intake, and your needs will vary widely based on age, gender, body size, health status, and physical activity levels.”

If the requirements vary, then what are his recommendations? He suggests utilizing your body’s thirst mechanism as an indicator for the amount of water to drink, instead of a specific amount.

In addition to the thirst mechanism, it is a good idea to monitor the amount of fluid you drink after exercise. One guideline according to Blake, is to replace each pound (lb) of weight lost during a workout with one pint (0.5L) of water.

Additionally, our Indy Core coaches recommend that you drink 8-10 ounces of water 20-30 minutes prior to an athletic practice, competition, or workout session.

What does drinking enough water do for your body?

  1. Increases energy levels
  2. Reduces fatigue
  3. Improves memory
  4. Enhances cognitive function
  5. Promotes quicker post-exercise recovery
  6. Improves joint lubrication
  7. Supports your body’s immune system
  8. Prevents overeating
  9. Promotes satiety
  10. Improves blood flow

Active Recovery – is it really necessary?

By: Megan Lambert

What do you do on your days off from the gym?

Do you lie on the couch and watch TV all afternoon? Or, do you go to the track and do a sprint workout, thinking, ‘this is recovery because I’m not lifting weights.’ Many people find themselves on either side this spectrum, but in reality, there is a third recovery option that is much more beneficial. To illustrate this point, read the following excerpt from chapter 11 (page 147) of Mark Verstegen’s book, “Core Performance.”

Most fitness programs take an all-or-nothing approach. When you’re training, you train very hard. And when you aren’t training, you do nothing. No matter the circumstances, you do it all or you do nothing.

The problem with that formula is that it fails to facilitate one of the most important aspects of training: the repair of muscles and cells. If you’re sore from a workout, for example, you have two bad choices: Go out and give yourself an equally brutal workout, or do nothing.

In truth, you need to combine quality work with quality rest to get the results you want.

…But regeneration is also a lifestyle philosophy, a recognition that you need to plan ways to recover – mentally and physically – in all areas of your life. You experience the benefit of work on the days you rest.

There is a big difference between rest – doing nothing at all – and “active rest.” In the latter, you take a break from serious training but still do things that benefit your body, such as playing golf, tennis, or basketball. Wednesdays and Saturdays are lighter days of the Core Workout, so you might use those days, and/or Sundays, to play your favorite sport. You’re not training per se, but you’re still getting the benefit of physical activity. Not only that, you’re having fun.

We call it active recovery, because you’re making a modest effort. There’s also passive recovery, which includes getting a massage and sitting in a hot tub or a cold plunge. Both elements of recovery are not only important but also necessary. And not only necessary, but equally important as working out. If you don’t give your body time to recover, it’s never going to improve.

In addition to playing sports, other active recovery options include yoga, Pilates, and low-impact dynamic exercise. To learn how to implement quality rest-day workouts into your exercise protocol, come visit us at Indy Core Fitness & Wellness. We would love to create a personalized program specific to you and your goals. Please visit our website (www.indycorefitness.net) or give us a call (317-430-0063) today.