No More Excuses

If you think you’re too busy to exercise, try this experiment: For one day, schedule a time to work out, and then stick to it—even if you can exercise for only 10 minutes. At the end of the day, ask yourself if you were any less productive than usual. The answer will probably be no—and your favorite excuse will be gone.

Sit to Save Your Back

These typically are the weakest muscles due to the fact that we sit at a computer for most of our day.  Be conscious of your body alignment.  Sit up straight, both feet on the floor and your knees should be at a 90 degree angle.  Engage your core muscles, pull your scapula (shoulder blades) together and keep your shoulders out of your ears.  It may feel awkward at first but over time you will notice a difference.  You don’t want to end up with a humped back so be conscious of it now.  In conjunction with poster, work out your back and stretch your chest.  This will improve your posture drastically.

Your Abs Are a Muscle Too

Some people think its ok to train their abs every day but in reality, they are a muscle group just like your biceps and triceps.  These muscles should be worked out a maximum of 3 times per week giving them a day or two of rest in between each workout.  They fatigue the same as your other muscles groups so give them a rest.

Keep Muscles Limber

Stretching is one of the most important parts of daily living.  Each stretch should be held between 30-60 seconds and the best part about it is that you can do this all at your desk.  Sit at the edge of your chair, extend one leg and lean forward.  You are now performing a hamstring stretch.  Take that same leg and rest the foot on the opposite knee.  You are now stretching your hip muscles.  Feels good right?  Perform these 2-3 times a day to maintain your range of motion and relieve joint stiffness.

Louder is Not Better

When working with machines or free weights the lighter you can be with them the better.  Making the weights crash on top of the weight stack isn’t safe for your joints.  When you come crashing down you have now lost all control of the exercise.  Your down phase/in phase is just as important as your up/out phase.  Each rep is important so make sure you lower/come in with as much control as you did to lift/push the weight.  Your body will thank you in 20 years for taking such good care of it.

Ditch the Weight Belt

Don’t train with a weight belt. Over time, regular training in a weight belt actually weakens your abdominal and lower-back muscles. Wear it only when attempting maximal/Olympic lifts in such exercises as squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses.

Treadmill Incline Matters

When you run outside, even if there doesn’t look to be a grade there is still resistance from the ground.  For those that train on a treadmill you can notice the difference from a belt moving under you vs. a stationary road.  It’s more challenging outdoors.  A way to simulate this terrain is to increase the incline to 1.  Running at 0 incline simulates running downhill and can promote the onset of shin splints.  Next time you go for a run keep in mind your minimum incline.

Replace Your Shoes (Not Your Knees)

To avoid injuries, write an “expiration date” on your shoes as soon as you buy them. Shoes last about 500 miles, so simply divide 500 by your average weekly mileage to determine how many weeks your shoes are likely to last.