Respiratory Muscles Need Conditioning to Maximize Performance

On a recent run, several athletes complained of acute tightness in their chests which I speculated was partly pollen induced and an increase in humidity.

However, upon further examination, I noticed they were breathing very shallowly and part of their weakness was due to good ole laziness of the respiratory muscles.

Correct breathing techniques can help improve performance, delay the perception of fatigue and reduce recovery time … but it takes work.

Research has shown that inefficient breathing and respiratory muscle weakness can lead to a low tolerance of exercise and a misconception of fatigue.

Unfortunately, this misreading of fatigue often leads to prematurely quitting a training session or exercise set and ultimately prevents individuals from breaking plateaus and reaching their goals.

Correct breathing occurs when the volume and rate of oxygen uptake matches the muscle tension for a given activity level.

This means that as intensity or duration of activity increases,...

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Harness Power to Develop Running Efficiency

Harness training involving weighted sleds, parachutes and resisted and assisted partner sprinting is becoming increasingly prevalent in gym and outdoor training environments.

However, before it filtered across to mainstream fitness, it had its origins in sport-specific training.

Track and field has been utilizing such training methods for nearly the past 3 decades, and it has become more prevalent in elite team sports such a football, soccer and hockey.

The application of harness training really excels in the development of running speed, stride efficiency and acceleration.

Pretty much any type of resisted sprinting activity, whether it’s with a sled, a chute or partner training, works on force development, because to overcome the given resistance, you must generate more force while you’re in contact with the ground.

In addition, by slowing movement down using resistance, participants can feel the correct body position they are striving to achieve and improve their...

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Fueling on the Run, Finding Balance for Busy Lifestyles

Angie sharing delicious things & ideas in the kitchen, filming the 14 Day Fit & Fresh Challenge (a bonus in our fantastic Monthly Program!)

For those of us with busy and active lifestyles, it can be a real challenge to keep the body sufficiently fueled day after day.

Between work, working out and the rest of life, we can end up eating on the run more than we would like to. Cue food preparation.

You’ve probably heard or read that you increase your chances of eating poorly if you are caught out without food and that advance meal prepping is absolutely the answer.

For some, perhaps, but not everyone wants to spend their Sunday afternoons chopping onions, weighing out chicken and adding just enough cheese to keep the food calculator happy.

For many, especially those who have only recently embarked on a training program, food prepping can be a source of stress and even the most hardcore food preppers would be pushed to admit they will do this forever. Life eventually gets in...

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Don't Get Twisted Out of Sorts by an Ankle Sprain

Angie in the Fitness Center - helping, teaching and sharing best practices.

Ankle sprains account for approximately 40% of all athletic injuries and are the most common injury in sports.

Ankle sprains are most likely to occur during activities that involve running, jumping or quick directional changes.

The key to avoid ankle sprains and staying off the injured reserve list is exercise management to improve both muscular strength and muscle proprioception.

Most ankle sprains fall into one of two categories: acute and chronic.

Acute injuries make up roughly 85% of all ankle sprains and occur when the foot is inverted and planter-flexed. This means while your toes are pointed and the ankle rolls away from the body. This could occur to the basketball player landing off a jump with poor proprioception or to a runner cutting the tangent to make a light (who me?) with weak muscular strength in the ankle.  

The remaining 15% of sprains are commonly classified as chronic ankle...

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8 Essential Exercises for Athletes with Arthritic Knees

Jason, Angie and Heidi helping, teaching and showing you best practices in the 20 Day Core Challenge (available in our Monthly Membership program!)

Stronger muscles can relieve the load on your joints and reduce arthritis pain and inflammation...

Here's how:

Just because you have arthritis doesn't mean you have to say goodbye to exercise.

But many people with this condition aren't meeting the recommended federal guidelines of 2.5 hours of moderate movement each week — and that's a shame, because physical activity is one of the best ways to combat the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis.

"A lot of people with arthritis stop moving."

says Lee Kaplan, MD, associate professor of clinical orthopedics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida.

In fact, he emphasizes, people should be doing just the opposite — seeking exercise and actively strength-training their muscles in order to reduce the load on their joints, which in turn can cut down on...

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Running Strategies for Success

"A great afternoon run in Lakes Park, Fort Myers, Florida..."

Fabulous temperatures, coupled with New Year’s Resolutions, inspire many an athlete to take their running to task and try a 5K, a new distance or set a new personal record.

Whatever your goal, heed a few top tips and running strategies to ensure your running success:

  1. Start with a dynamic warm-up and save the stretches for the end. Runners often experience tightness in certain muscles like the gluteus maximus that can lead to inefficient movement patterns and decreased performance. Begin all runs with a dynamic warm up simulating the movements/range of motion your muscles will go through during your run. Not only will this promote flexibility but also it will help reduce the risk of injury. Save the deep static stretches until after your run when your muscles are most pliable and always hold stretches for at least 30 seconds.
  2. Maintain good cadence. Running with shorter, quicker strides will mean that your body...
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Help Kids Develop Fundamentals to Boost Confidence and Enjoyment in Sport

"It's a beach play day for Charly and his girls..."

Kids who play do better period.

They experience greater health benefits, do better socially, have higher grade point averages, higher graduation rates and more college acceptances.

Children’s participation in sports is so important that schools, municipalities and government agencies have devoted entire campaigns to its promotion. But where does it start?

Children do not automatically become proficient at sports.

Some will be naturally more adept than others, but they all need to be taught fundamental motor skills and given the opportunity to progress through appropriate development stages to be successful.

Motor skills are voluntary, learned movements made by the human body to achieve a task, such as a child twisting their body and moving their arm to throw a ball. By mastering fundamental motor skills such as a basic sprint, vertical jump, side step or leap, children will have the basic skills needed to participate in...

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Bust a Bad Mood with a Positive Attitude, Belief & Exercise

Sports psychology and the mind-body connection get a lot of lip but how often do you practice what is preached?

Tug McGraw once said, “You gotta believe!” and we do. We must believe in our talents and ourselves if we want to accomplish any of our dreams, not just in sports but in life as well. We must believe we can push the extra mile, run the extra set and trust both our bodies and minds to carry us through to the next level.

This belief is not just a physical manifesto, it’s a state of mind and we need to be of sound conviction to make it happen. We must recognize and apply the importance of our minds and our moods and how our moods affect our performances.

So, what happens when your day goes awry, something annoying or frustrating happens and as a result you spend the rest of the day in a foul mood?

You start binge eating, skip your workout and instead of going to Yoga you head to happy hour for a few too many, not the healthiest of choices. There are several...

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Travel Plans Should ALWAYS Include Exercise

We are creatures of habit.

We rely on our daily routines to get us to and from our exercise programs/regimes on a consistent basis.

Anything that disrupts that routine, such as travel, can through that lifestyle into a tailspin.

However, with thought, planning and research you can keep right on track with your fitness goals. Going out of town doesn't have to mean getting out of shape.

Gone are the days when hotels fitness centers needed a little fitness finesse themselves. Nowadays, hotels need to stay competitive with one another, which in turn has led to big health pay-offs for the consumer. There is a fantastic book available in book stores or on line called “The Athletic-Minded Traveler”. It lists and ranks hotels all over the country based on their fitness facilities and/or nearby recreation/workout facilities. In fact, many hotels now offer mini-health clubs that can rival an actual gym in terms of both equipment and service. Additionally, many hotels have personal...

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Healthy Eating, Raw Diets, Weight Loss and Performance

We are aware, now more than ever, of how the food we eat plays a significant role in our health, performance, mood and body composition. Many are less conscious, though, of how our behaviors and attitudes around food also impact these outcomes.

Through print, radio and social media, we are continually bombarded with information on how we should and shouldn’t eat, so it’s not surprising that many of us are confused, stressed and anxious about food.

So, what is a ‘healthy’ diet then?

A healthy diet is one in which you are intuitive to your hunger and fullness cues.

You can recognize when you are getting hungry and you feel free to eat. No food rules dictate when you should or should not eat, you listen to your body. A healthy diet means your eating behaviors are flexible. You can travel, try new foods and cuisines and eat out with friends and family. Your diet or food rules do not dictate your social life. A healthy diet provides your body with all its...

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