Schedule Your Free Consultation, Now

All posts in “exercise”

Staying Motivated!

Staying Motivated!

Author: Achieve Wellness Staff

Do you have a desire to lose weight? Improve your figure? Keep heart disease, cancer or diabetes at bay? Lower your blood pressure or cholesterol? Protect your bones? Or are you just trying to live to a healthy old age?

This might sound like an uninspired script for an infomercial, but of course you know these are all reasons people turn to exercise. And while these are all great reasons to exercise, recent research has shown that if you’re looking for the best motivation for exercising, it’s none of the above!

It turns out your biggest motivator is: exercise makes you feel great! Yep, it’s as simple as that: you should exercise because it feels good—now. The health benefits that you will eventually reap on top of that are just the icing on the cake.

A recent study at the University of Wales found that while many people begin to exercise as way to lose weight and improve their appearance, these motivations did not keep them exercising in the long term. For that reason, the suggestion is that experts take a different approach when talking to the public about exercise. “The well-being and enjoyment benefits of exercise should be emphasized,” the researchers concluded.

Dr. Michelle Segar, a research investigator at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan, recommends that we need to change the way exercise is marketed. “Physical activity is an elixir of life, but we’re not teaching people that. We’re telling them it’s a pill to take or a punishment for bad numbers on the scale. Sustaining physical activity is a motivational and emotional issue, not a medical one.”

If you’re already an “exerciser”, you know this too well. If you’re not already an “exerciser”, maybe the simple promise of feeling great—immediately—is enough to get you started—immediately!

Share This:

Improving Your Fitness Age

Improving Your Fitness Age

Author: Achieve Wellness Staff

Exercise makes you feel younger. Okay, okay, all you “exercisers” out there know that this isn’t really a news flash. But recent studies have shown it’s actually true.

“Fitness age” is an idea that was developed by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in its studies of thousands of Norwegians of all ages. Generally speaking, the concept of “fitness age” is that people with above-average cardiovascular fitness generally have longer life spans than people with lower aerobic fitness, and vice-versa.

The Norwegian research was the basis for the development of fitness calculators, which are easy to use and readily available online at no cost.

This year the idea of fitness calculation was put to the test on a special population of older adults: 4,200 participants at the Senior Olympic Games. Dr. Pamela Peeke an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland and Ulrik Wisloff, the scientist who led the development of the fitness age calculator, got together to study the fitness age of the Senior Olympians.

The results were impressive. “While the athletes’ average chronological age was 68, their average fitness age was 43.” Yes, you read that right: the average Senior Olympian’s fitness age was 25 years younger than his/her chronological age!

The substantial difference in the chronological age vs. the fitness age of the Senior Olympic study should serve as inspiration for all as to the substantial benefits of fitness at any age!

Share This:

Relative Flexibility & Muscle Balance

Relative Flexibility & Muscle Balance

Author: Phil Gawlak, NASM-CPT, CES, GFS, FNS


Relative flexibility is the result of muscular imbalances; without exception, for every muscular contraction there is a muscular relaxation or extension. When one of the pair of muscles is stronger, shorter, weaker or longer than its counter muscle you get muscular imbalances.

There are proven methods for creating balance within the body’s muscular system, the first step is to be evaluated by a fitness professional who is skilled in recognizing motion and posture distortions, these distortions are muscular imbalances that need to be corrected. With the knowledge of what distortions you have, you now can begin targeting specific muscles with the appropriate myo-fascial release techniques (foam rolling), stretching and strengthening exercises. The process of eliminating muscle imbalances takes time, with patience and consistency the muscles return to a normal state allowing for proper range of motion. There are many activities that actually promote healthy muscle balance within the body; Tai Chi and Yoga are prime examples.

Muscle balance is defined as the “relationship between both the strength and the length of muscles and groups of muscles as they cross over joints”. This definition leads us to the conclusion that it is possible for muscles to have any or a combination of the following:

*Increased tightness leading to a reduction in joint motion and stiffness
*Decreased tightness leading to a increase in joint motion and instability
*Increased muscle strength leading to internal joint position issues
*Decreased muscle strength leading to poor joint control.

Muscle imbalances are also seen between the larger outer muscles that control major movement of a joint and the smaller internal muscles that are more responsible for deep stability and control. Joints in the body have a complex inter-relationship between these internal and external muscles that can lead to problems if these relationships become unbalanced.

It is vital that all health enthusiasts appreciate that fitness is not all about training the larger muscles and having a great set of “pecs and delts” – as effective training is about balancing your body with a variety of exercises and movements that focus equal attention to the smaller muscles tasked with maintaining stable joint posture as is placed on the larger and more obvious muscle groups.

Remember – if you are at all concerned about muscle imbalance issues see your Physiotherapist or Corrective Exercise Specialist BEFORE symptoms of pain and injury appear.

Share This: