Exercise & Fitness

High Impact Chronic Pain

High Impact Chronic Pain

High impact is not necessarily bad. Lots of everyday activities are high impact. Running is a high-impact activity because both feet are off the ground with every stride. Walking is a low-impact activity because one foot is always on the ground. Any type of jumping is high impact, involving a high amount of stress on the connective tissues and joints of your legs and lower back. The problem is that as you age, you become less able to absorb these high-impact forces. Remember when you were a kid, and you could run and fall, and think nothing of it. There…
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Shin Splints

Shin Splints

Shin splints strike terror into the hearts of everybody engaged in regular high-impact endurance activities. Runners, walkers, devotees of high-impact aerobics, squash players, volleyballers, basketballers, gymnasts, and many others all have participants who push themselves beyond the ability of their body to absorb the constant impacts, recover, and repair itself. This can lead to shin splints. Tenosynovitis Any repetitive movement taken to an extreme will cause a chronic injury. Undertaking repetitive exercise without having your body adapted to take the strains involved will cause pain and injury, just as repetitive keyboarding will cause arm and neck pain. And yes, you…
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The Spine

The Spine

Exercise cannot take place without muscle contraction. The muscles of the body are suspended on a framework that ultimately leads back to the spinal column, known as the pillar of support for the movement. Although the spinal column and its vertebrae form one supportive structure, individual parts can be hurt or damaged through incorrect movements associated with some exercises. This is less likely to happen if you are well-informed about the anatomy of the spine and you apply this knowledge when exercising. Spinal anatomy The spinal column has four regions: Cervical: the neck region, which supports the head. Thoracic: the…
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Quick and Easy Stretches to Warm Up

Quick and Easy Stretches to Warm Up

Power stretching is used when you want to develop quick reflexive responses. The concept behind power stretching is simple - a stretched muscle will respond by activating its muscle fibers to contract. This stretch reflex protects a muscle from being damaged and acts as an automatic mechanism for maintaining posture by responding to the slight swaying of the body. The nerves that serve the stretch reflex do not need to use the upper part of your brain to work - they use the lower part of the Central Nervous System located in the lumbar (lower back) area of your spine.…
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Complex Hardware of The Ankle

Complex Hardware of The Ankle

In order to walk, not only must our feet have the right hardware in the form of muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, nerves, and energy supply cushioned by fat and wrapped in the tough outer covering of skin, but the brain has to have the exact software in the form of movement patterns for normal walking permanently implanted in neural network patterns. And all the time the brain is also using sense organs such as the eyes to observe the outer terrain, then processing the information, comparing it with its current movement software program, and predicting the necessary adjustments to take…
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Ankle Bones, Ligaments and Tendons

Ankle Bones, Ligaments and Tendons

The ankle is the springboard for human movement. Ever since the day long ago when hominids first made the leap from the trees and stood upright on the plains to get a better view of their surroundings, we have relied on the foot and the ankle to apply force to the ground to propel us into movement. Take off your shoes and socks and have a look at your ankle and foot. Put a mirror on the floor if you want to see more of the bottom of your foot. The ankle has evolved into a complex joint with two…
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How to Relax Muscles

How to Relax Muscles

How come you don't fall over when you close your eyes, put your hands over your ears, hold your breath, and stay still? You stay standing even though you've shut off your major senses. Try it and see! The question that I'm sure is running through your mind is "How did I manage to maintain my balance?" The answer is as easy as the problem - you have another major sense. You may not even be aware of this sense of proprioception, which translates as your sense of belonging. Proprioception Proprioception works through specialized nerves in every muscle, tendon, and…
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Strengthen Upper Body with Free Weights

Strengthen Upper Body with Free Weights

The bench press on a pin-loaded or hydraulic machine is a good exercise for the pectoral muscles. It is suitable for a wide range of people - people inexperienced in resistance training, people working by themselves, people doing circuits, those recovering from injuries, or people in a hurry to get through a workout. Machines are inherently safe, as long as the user is trained and follows basic safety principles. Most bench press machines have some way of varying the resistance you push against as you perform the exercise. Some have a long lever, some have a curved cam and some…
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Muscle Hypertrophy

Muscle Hypertrophy

It is generally true that bigger muscles are stronger muscles. On the other hand it is possible that someone with smaller muscles may be stronger than a more muscular counterpart. Similarly, you can get stronger by developing bigger muscles but you can also get stronger with no increase in muscle size at all. How can this be? These questions have been researched extensively for many decades, but it is only recently that the reasons have been forthcoming. We have always known that as we get stronger our muscles get bigger. This is referred to as muscle hypertrophy. Muscle hypertrophy has…
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Exercises for The Vertebrae

Exercises for The Vertebrae

Exercises of the vertebral column have two functions: to maintain or increase flexibility; and to maintain or increase the strength of surrounding muscles. Flexibility is effectively and safely achieved through prolonged relaxed stretching. Strengthening of vertebral muscles, in particular the abdominals, gives greater control over the spine during other activities, Appropriate strengthening exercises should be incorporated into every exercise program to safeguard against back injury. To ensure that an exercise is safe and effective, the following questions should be asked: what is the purpose of this exercise? Am I achieving this purpose? Could this exercise be improved? Does it unnecessarily…
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Cross-Training Plan for Fitness to Enjoy Life

Cross-Training Plan for Fitness to Enjoy Life

Cross-training is about increasing performance without increasing the chances of injury. It's an exercise for real life, where you need your body to undertake different types of everyday activities requiring strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, coordination, power, skill, and confidence. It is not just training for sports such as triathlons. You're cross-training any time you combine different forms of exercise to improve fitness or performance. The right mix You can't just bung a whole range of exercise programs together and expect to get fitter in all of them all the time. You have to develop a plan. For example, aerobic exercise…
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Metabolic Rates

Metabolic Rates

Once the fuels are in your body, you have to reprocess them in order to utilize them to provide the energy and building blocks for daily survival and movement. The energy cost of all of these physical and chemical changes in your body is called your metabolic rate. Metabolic rate is usually measured in energy units, calories, or kilojoules, which are the same units used to measure the amount of potential energy in the food you eat. Basal Metabolic Rate The basal metabolic rate represents the energy cost of body maintenance. If you lazed around in bed all day you…
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