Category Archives: Recovery

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. 

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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 Workout

By: Matt Nicholson and Megan Lambert

The holiday season is a time filled with family gatherings, Christmas tree decorating, and gift buying, and consequently it is easy to let your workout time disappear from your weekly schedule. However, just a few minutes of exercise each day can go a long way to helping you achieve your goals of getting in shape, losing a few pounds, and reducing stress. So, here are seven time management tips to help you prioritize your daily workouts as well as a simple and short workout that you can do at home or in the office.

Time management tips:

  1. Prioritize your daily activities in a to-do list.
  2. Determine your most productive hours of the day and plan to get the most done during this time, in order to free up other hours during the day.
  3. Set mini goals throughout the day to accomplish specific tasks by a certain time of day.
  4. Set an alarm to accomplish a certain task in an amount of time.
  5. Minimize distractions by silencing your cell phone when working an important task and only check your email at certain times throughout the day (for example, once an hour).
  6. Get a good night of sleep so that you are rested and recovered from previous work days and workout sessions.
  7. Prepare meals over the weekend and freeze them for the following week.

Simple 10 minute office workout:

Perform each exercise for 30 seconds and with a 10 second rest between exercises.  Complete 1- 2 rounds.

  • Squats  

    

  • Split squats

   

  • Push-ups

  • Chair dips

    

  • Planks

  • Bridges

  

  • Wall angels

    

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

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.

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.

5 Reasons to Exercise Before your Joint Replacement

By: Megan Lambert

Approximately one million hip and knee replacements are completed by surgeons every year, according to the Mayo Clinic website.

Although joint replacements are major surgeries, there are ways to prepare your body for these operations. For example, here at Indy Core Wellness & Fitness, we write specific exercise protocols to prepare clients for their replacement. These exercises are designed to improve muscle strength and stamina.

In addition to gaining strength, here are five major reasons you should exercise before going under the knife:

  1. You decrease the risk of post-surgery complications

The Wall Street Journal article entitled, “Are you Fit for Surgery?,” speaks to this idea. The thought is that when patients resolve chronic issues such as obesity, diabetes, and smoking, they are physically healthier going into surgery. So, they are less likely to have complications after the operation.

  1. You are less likely to need post-surgery inpatient rehab

A 2006 research study by Daniel Rooks of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center showed that patients who exercised six weeks prior to surgery were 73 percent less likely to need inpatient rehab after the surgery.

  1. You will save money

Less post-surgery rehab equals less money spent. Yay!

  1. You decrease your risk of post-surgery injury

After a hip or knee replacement, you will need to use more of your upper body strength to transfer yourself from one place to another. By strengthening the muscles of your upper body, you decrease the risk of falling while transporting yourself. Consequently, you also reduce the risk of injuring yourself while rehabbing from another injury.

  1. You better tolerate the surgical anesthetic

Cardiovascular training, which can include exercises such as walking, biking, rowing, using the elliptical, etc. strengthens your heart and lungs. Healthier essential organs help your body better tolerate the rigors of surgery such as the anesthetic.