Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Fit 095: Gratitude, Bad Knees, Ratios

Relieve stress with gratitude. "Bad knees?" Maybe not! Here's the solution! Protein to carb ratios revisited.

Motivation
Relieve stress with gratitude. We know that stress can have negative effects on our body. Exercise and eating right helps to reduce stress, but did you know that your brain can help too? Recognizing what you are grateful for, even if it takes only a few minutes a day, calls for your "right brain" to work and emit positive energy throughout your body! This stress reduction, decreases cortisol and thus, helps the body to get rid of fat and build muscle! Take a few minutes a day to think about what, who and things you may be thankful for. It will reduce stress and improve your brain and body!

Exercise
Do you or someone you know have "bad knees?" Maybe not!
Attention Runners: bad or achy knees are not necessarily from running or high impact cardio sessions. We've talked in previous episodes about muscle imbalance, especially the hamstrings contributing to the problem. Another thing that may running related injuries, is the hips. Of course, the following also applies to any exerciser!

Here's how hips can mess up your knees: weak hips can change your normal ankle and knee alignment, when you jog or even walk, This places unnatural stress on your tissues. Your hips have several components. In addition to the front hip flexors (psoas) , they also include the gluteus and various smaller muscle groups that support hip and knee movement and cooperation. This is why it is important to stretch and strengthen the glutes as well as the quadriceps and hip flexors. Sure we all want great looking glutes, but from a functional stand point, the glutes need to be healthy for your posture, knees and back to be injury and ache free!

Don't use age as an excuse to give up! One of my clients, an 83 year old man, recovered faster than those half his age after knee replacement surgery, thanks to an aggressive, well-rounded rehab program. Once again, proof that improvement can happen at any age!

Here's what you want to do if you think you have "bad knees" and have given up on squats or lunges:
  1. Have a Personal Trainer assess your form on these exercises. A slight angle change could make all the difference!
  2. Asses your workouts &/or have a trainer review them with you. Are your leg workouts balanced? Hamstrings worked enough and properly?
  3. Do some extra stretching for the lower back, hips and glutes
  4. Give your body time to reconfigure. It took a while for it to get one way, it'll take a while for it to improve but it can be done!
Nutrition
Check your protein to carb ratios for convenient foods. A food may seem "healthy", but have a bad ratio! This is important to those who have lots of weight to lose and those that want to drop a few pounds. Remember the goal! For those who have lots of weight to lose, the goal is the big picture, meaning lifestyle changes and new healthy habits. For those who have a few pounds (like the last 5-10 pounds) to lose, focus on a smaller picture such as the next 3-6 weeks and look closer at foods and the ratios.

FYI- iTunes has added new categories and I am now using the Workout & Fitness category.
Listen to the show for all the details:
Fit 095: Gratitude, Bad Knees, Ratios

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