If you work an office job all day, your muscles may not be getting used much due to a sedentary lifestyle. Many people who work at a desk for 8 hours or more per day may experience increased weight, poor posture and stiff, painful joints. Stretching is a vital part of keeping the body strong and flexible to avoid injury and stiffness.
Why Is Stretching Important?
You may not think of stretching as exercise, but it is just as important to the body. It increases flexibility and sends oxygen to the brain the same way as other forms of exercise. It warms the body up for activities by sending blood and nutrients to the muscles, reducing the possibility of accidents or injury from muscle strain. It also helps the joints achieve the full range of motion preventing stiffness and promoting a stronger base of support.
The good news is that you can regain flexibility and keep your muscles and joints healthy by incorporating regular exercise and stretching into your daily routine even if you sit all day.
Here are a list of stretches you can do at your desk to maintain flexibility.
2x2x2: Sitting in your chair, stretch both arms up toward the ceiling. Place one hand on your desk and grab the back of the chair with the other hand towards the bottom of the chair and twist in the opposite direction. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Release and reach for the ceiling again. Then repeat the stretch on the other side. Hold for another 10 seconds and release.
Shoulder Spin: Place your left hand behind your back, palm facing out. With your right hand, reach up and down over the shoulder blades and try to touch the fingers on your left hand. If you are able to touch, hold it for 10 seconds. If not, just get as close as you can because it will improve with practice. Repeat on each side.
Seated Leg Lifts: Push your chair back and raise and lower your left leg 15 times. Be sure to get a full extension on each lift. Repeat with the right leg. Raise and lower slowly – don’t bounce.
The Magic Carpet Ride: Sit cross-legged in your chair and raise yourself up on your arms, tighten your stomach muscles and hold this position for 10 to 20 seconds if possible. Repeat 5 times. Be sure to rest for 30 seconds in between raises.
If you would like more information on keeping muscles and joints flexible and how to avoid injury, contact Ralph Roberts in Amarillo. As a personal trainer, Ralph can walk you through stretches and exercises that will protect your muscles, tendons and joints.
There's no question how frustrating it can be when you're putting the time and effort in at the gym but not getting the weight-loss results you desire.
In most cases, the solution is in your diet. With a few tweaks to your nutrition game, you should start to see the kind of results you've been hoping for. Here are some ideas for altering your diet to get you over that weight-loss plateau.
Loading your plate with high-fiber foods helps to prevent surges in blood glucose because it slows down the absorption of sugar. And excess glucose is stored in the liver and stomach as fat. They also contain bulk and help keep you fuller for longer.
Moreover, foods high in fiber are crammed with nutrients, often lower in calories and higher in volume.
*High-Fiber Foods: Apples, raspberries, pears, beans, blackberries, lentils, split peas, artichokes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and whole grains.
Drink More Water
It's hard to go wrong with water. It helps fill you up, keeps you properly hydrated (when consumed in proper amounts) and a whole lot of other good things. Experts suggest drinking up to half of your body weight in fluid ounces, plus an additional 30 ounces for every hour you exercise. And if you find the taste of regular water boring, liven it up by adding lemon and watermelon slices or herbs that will entice you to drink more.
Proper Use Of Protein
To maximize your body's utilization of amino acids, spread your protein intake out throughout the day. This ensures your body is maxing out its use of amino acids, which has been shown to help shed body fat.
*Protein-Rich Foods: Cottage cheese, hard-boiled eggs, Greek yogurt, tuna and chicken salad.
Eat Whole Foods
Pre-packaged foods are convenient – and may even meet your calorie goals – but they're often highly processed. By eliminating foods you eat because they're convenient (like chips and granola bars), you can also eliminate boredom and stress eating.
You might be surprised by how often you indulge in things filled with empty calories. Keep track of those late-night cocktails and desserts, chocolates and doughnuts at the office, and specialty coffee drinks that can derail weight management.
Adjust Your Goals
It's important to continually evaluate your nutrition goals as you lose weight. Now that you're carrying less weight around, there's less body to feed. Adjust how many calories you are eating to fit with your current weight.
Following tips like these can propel you past a plateau. If you’ve implemented these changes and still aren’t seeing results, personal trainer Ralph Roberts in Amarillo can give you advice on weight loss and training to help you get to your goals.
It may sometimes seem that it’s much more difficult, or even extremely intimidating, to get back into a workout routine after you’ve taken a bit of time off due to illness, injury, vacation, or even a very busy schedule. It’s also extremely easy to lose your motivation and drive, and forget how to dive back into an exercise regimen. Whatever reason you may have for being in a slump, you can bounce back into your workout mode with a few easy steps.
Instead of starting your old routine over again, and getting bored with it, try something new. Find a routine that works for you and makes you happy. Routines you dread will be easier to give up and harder to sustain. If working out with a friend or taking classes excites you, try to do that instead of working alone to reach your goal.
It is extremely important that you don’t try to rush back into a strenuous exercise regimen right away. If you choose to get back into the same routine you’ve tried before, try to slightly modify it. You can then slowly build back up into your old routine, whether you start with a walk to get to a run or lift less weights to add more over time. Make sure to warm up, cool down and stretch during the process to avoid injury.
Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
Don’t punish yourself or set high expectations that you might not be able to reach, because it will only be detrimental to you. Let go of your feelings of guilt, and replace them with the excitement of starting over again. This will provide encouragement, as well as help you reach your goals faster.
When it comes to getting back on track to push towards your goals, know that your mindset is everything. In order to have a successful workout routine, you need to change the way of thinking that you may have had in the past. If you struggle with finding the motivation and encouragement to get back up and moving, then you need to treat exercise as part of your daily routine and force it to become a habit. Don’t look for excuses, just start your routine. Once you start, your endorphins will begin pumping, and your time working out will fly by.
If you need a little more help getting back into your workout routine, it may be time to look into hiring a personal trainer or having a custom exercise program developed just for you to use at home or at the gym. Personal trainer Ralph Roberts can provide just the help you need.
While it can be easy to skip a workout – and start a negative trend – it's still important to give ourselves some slack. Rest days are an important part of a workout regimen, producing positive results that rejuvenate your body and help keep you inspired to continue working out.
It's also important to remember that rest days are a scheduled part of most professional training plans. You have a greater risk of injury if you don't rest, as working out places greater strain on muscles, tendons and joints, and those tight muscles and shin splints can turn into more serious injuries.
Moreover, there are certain times when it's best to take a rest day.
1. You're Sick
Resting when you're sick may seem obvious, but it doesn't necessarily mean you need to take a day off when you have the sniffles or a minor cold. But taking time off when you have chest congestion, a fever, or an upset stomach is recommended.
2. Extreme Fatigue
This can come in many forms – chronically not getting enough sleep, long hours at the office, jet lag, etc. Exercise can actually help boost your energy after a night or two of poor sleep, but when you're exhausted after sleep deprivation, it's time to take a break.
3. You're Injured
Putting more strain on an injury by continuing to work out can set you back longer. Allowing yourself time to recuperate will enable you to get back to the gym in a much shorter time frame. Plus, you may be able to perform certain other exercises during this time that don't put strain on your injury.
4. You've Had Surgery
Giving yourself a rest after having surgery is essential, because your body is already working hard on recovering and feeling better. Listen to your doctor. He'll know when you can resume exercise.
5. You've Had A Baby
Doctors generally recommend you wait six weeks after giving birth before you resume your workouts, and even longer if you've had a C-section.
6. You're Too Busy
Let's face it, sometimes life is just too hectic. You've worked all day, hauled your kids around, had a dentist appointment, and made dinner. Don't add additional stress by forcing yourself to work out. But it's important to have a plan in which you can fit some exercise into your busy schedule. Always keep in mind the benefits exercise offers.
If you'd like to learn more about working out and fitting exercise into your schedule, talk with personal trainer Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club of Amarillo.
There's no doubt you had an intense workout if you're sweaty and exhausted afterwards. However, you shouldn't feel bad after a workout. Here are a few things to remember when you're recovering from a workout and some advice to make post-workout a little more tolerable.
To learn more about how to workout properly, how to recover and how to plan the perfect workout, catch up with Ralph Roberts. Ralph is a personal trainer in Amarillo at the Downtown Athletic Club that can help you customize the best workout for you in order to maximize results.
Some people call it "feeling the burn," but others say "ouch." Post-workout muscle soreness can mean a couple of different things. It can be a good sign of a successful workout, or it can mean you may have injured yourself inadvertently. Here's how to distinguish a good "ouch" from a bad "ouch" and how to treat sore muscles after a trip to the gym.
When you experience good muscle soreness, there is a reason behind it. When you exercise, you create minor trauma in your muscles, and as the muscle rebuilds, it comes back stronger than ever. This is what helps tone and build up your muscles. It's also normal for you to feel very sore after you haven't exercised for a long time, or you've worked muscles you haven't worked in a few days. You may feel an ache all over, or in a specific area you've worked, such as your arms and legs. As long as the soreness is equally distributed over that area, this is a normal sign of working out and shouldn't be a concern.
Sometimes, a sore muscle may be an indicator that you’ve damaged a muscle. A good indicator of this is that one particular area hurts. For instance, if you worked out both legs equally, but only one hurts, you probably injured a muscle. Also, if you are so sore that it impedes your day or makes you want to skip working out, you could have a muscle injury. A healthy soreness should only last up to 48 hours and you should still be able to work out around it.
Sore Muscle Treatment
To treat sore muscles after a workout, take some acetaminophen to combat inflammation. Use a foam roller to massage the tender area and relax the muscles. You can also apply an ice pack to the injured or sore muscle area to reduce swelling and pain. To avoid sore muscles in the future, get on a regular regimen of fish oil supplements. This helps boost your circulation and also reduces pain and inflammation.
When you exercise, stay hydrated and make sure to stretch before and after your workout. Make sure to go into your workout slowly to ensure your body is ready to move. Going into a workout cold can increase the chance of muscle injury.
Looking for an exercise partner and coach that will keep you motivated and excited about working out? Talk to Ralph Roberts, a professional personal trainer. He can custom design the perfect exercise plan that's right for you and get you moving.
Ralph Roberts Personal Training and the Downtown Athletic Club are looking for a student intern for the fall semester. For at least eight hours a week, the intern will assist the Downtown Athletic Club’s Personal Training Director, Ralph Roberts. This internship is for college credit; compensation to be determined. This internship offers qualified candidate(s) the opportunity to develop strong leadership skills and gain invaluable experience working at a premier health club. They will also learn essential marketing and branding strategies that are crucial to succeeding in the health and fitness industry.
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About Ralph Roberts Personal Training:
Ralph Roberts is a nationally certified fitness trainer, a member of Todd Durkin’s Mastermind Institute program and the Personal Training Director at the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo, Texas. He is a former professional baseball player and decorated college athlete. In addition to managing more than 10 certified personal trainers, Ralph offers individual and group personal training for adults and children.
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