Fitness Through the Holidays!


Happy Holidays from Crossfit Purgatory!

 

Here we are, mid-December, and life is busy! This is the time of year when most people’s healthy habits get derailed, and before you know it, we are feeling left with less energy. Here are five ways you can add fitness to your day, even during the busy holiday season:

 

1.  Increase Physical “Work”

Technology has caused a major shift in the way humans live, and physical activity has become an optional daily occurrence. However, with a creative mindset we can still take advantage of many events in our days with good old fashioned labor. Try some of these challenges to increase your work capacity throughout the day:

  • At the grocery store steer clear of the shopping cart.  Try to only use a basket (or two) to carry your food. As you navigate the aisles you’ll be improving your grip and building core strength with a bonus deadlift thrown in any time you set your basket down. By choosing to carry the items you will also develop awareness around what you’re purchasing. The bottom line, you get more fit and only the essentials make it home. Your inner hunter-gatherer will be proud!
  • Park far away in the parking lot. It’s just as fast as driving up and down the lanes to get as close as possible.
  • Take the stairs. Every step counts and if you’re really motivated try throwing in some lunges!
  • Leave the car in the garage. Take a new approach to your daily travel and try to walk or bike to work.

 

2. Stretch It Out (Every Chance You Get)

A terrific habit to build is to practice full range of motion and proper biomechanics in the daily activities you already do. How many times a day do you catch yourself hunched over, chin to chest with your neck craning to look into a screen. Ouch! Focus on good posture with shoulders back and eyes gazing straight ahead. See how it affects your mood, confidence and energy levels!

  • While grabbing items off of a bottom shelf or cabinet, hold the bottom position of a squat and drive your knees out to the sides. Spending 10 minutes a day in the bottom of a squat can be life changing for your spine, hips, and knees!
  • If you’re talking on the phone or typing at your computer incorporate ankle rolls at the same time. Rotate your foot at the ankle as if you were at the beach writing your name in the sand with your toes. Make sure to practice each letter of the alphabet.
  • Driving to and from work? This is a great time to work on externally rotating your shoulders while sitting up tall with a proud chest.

 

3.  Equalize The Sedentary Activities

Take advantage of time that doesn’t require movement to work postural muscles or build in fitness breaks. Alternating work and rest periods will increase metabolism and improve circulation. This can even be a great opportunity to develop your strength. By practicing strength daily you can make remarkable improvements in a short amount of time. Strength is a skill and the majority of initial gains in strength are due to neuromuscular adaptations to training.

  • For office work or writing try a standing desk or treadmill desk.
  • If you’re at home watching television try to practice push-ups, squats, or core exercises  during the commercial breaks. One popular method technique is called “grease the groove. The premise is simple, pick a movement you want to improve at and perform a set of the exercise with half of your maximal reps (eg. if your max number of pullups is 10, you will want to perform sets of 5). Rest at least 15 minutes between sets. Repeat as often as possible throughout your day.

 

4. Get Outside Every Day

Getting outdoors is the perfect chance to reset and reconnect with your body, and there’s no better place than Tucson to take advantage of the beautiful December weather! Whether it’s a park you swing by on the way home from your work or stepping out on the back porch with your morning coffee making time for the outdoors is an essential. Moving outside requires us to apply our bodies to move in new and challenging ways. Some recommendations:

  • Climb a tree, seriously when was the last time you did? Go now, you can thank me later…
  • Walk or run barefoot. Connecting your feet with the dirt, grass, or sand feels great, allows full range of motion, and strengthens the feet.
  • Find a rock, log, or another odd object to be your new “pet rock”. Take your new found pet on a walk and enjoy this new test of fitness.

 

5. Find A Community

One of the best ways to add fitness to your day is to surround yourself with people who care about their health. Positive social support has been proven to improve adherence to exercise and dietary habits. If you feel like you need help in achieving your health and fitness goals maybe joining a tribe of people on the same journey is the best way to add fitness to your day!

 

Need more action in your life? Schedule your Free 1 Hour Intro with Crossfit Purgatory here

Strength Training for Injury Prevention


“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” -Benjamin Franklin

 

Life is unpredictable and sometimes in our sports, exercise, and daily life we come out of these unpredictable situations a little bit worse for the wear…

Some folks try to prevent these situations from happening through avoidance, but if you want to have a high quality of life I highly recommend you adopt a strength training program as your physical insurance policy. This is certainly a much more proactive approach to mitigating physical injury than hoping for the best.

 

“If you train hard, you’ll not only be hard, you’ll be hard to beat.” -Herschel Walker

Or if you are an athlete like Robert Griffin III, you may want to consider the risk factors of your sport. Robert, aka RG3, came into the NFL and was an instant phenom and fan favorite for his dazzling display of athleticism that was uncommon in quarterbacks. His jukes, spins, and leaps were no match for the demands professional football places on an athlete and RG3 has spent most of what was once a promising career watching from the sideline, injured.

You see, despite his athleticism, RG3 has not trained in a way that reinforced a fundamental movement pattern. As we look at the series of pictures highlighting the windup before an explosive jump we see a valgus knee fault, where his knees cave in, creating a very compromised position for the joints of his lower extremities. Even though not all injuries are preventable, by focusing more on proper technique and exercises that stabilized the knee joint rather than increasing strength and speed RG3 may have avoided some major injuries in his career.

 

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” -Beverly Sills

So what should a workout look like?
Exercise should replicate natural human movement patterns. The ones we encounter on a day to day basis. Squat, lunge, hinge, push, pull, rotate and walk. Most exercises fall into at least one and sometimes several of these movement patterns. By addressing all of them in our training we not only improve our functional strength but also prepare our bodies for anything life could throw at them.

In one study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine there was an 88% overall reduction in ACL injury rate in an intervention group of soccer players who participated in an injury prevention program. The right knowledge and a little consistency can go a long way when it comes down to keeping your body healthy.

Is your current training program addressing mobility, recovery, full range of motion, and then total body strength?

If you have suffered from injuries in the past or have concerns with your mobility it is important to address those with your trainer or coach. They will be able to help you by assessing the area of concern and designing a program to help you improve function with goals and checkpoints along the way. It is not always fun, easy, or sexy to do but giving attention to our problem areas will be easier to do the sooner you start.

 

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”’ -Muhammad Ali

Don’t be the dad who throws out his back building sand castles at the beach. Talk to one of our coaches and we’ll help you tackle your challenge areas today!