I know, I know… Apps are the next “It” thing if you are in business. But I am proposing that you NOT carry your cell phone everywhere you go. And hey, especially when you are exercising. Because, if anything, exercise is your hour to yourself everyday. And it should be peaceful and quiet and you shouldn’t have emails buzzing and text messages being sent and you shouldn’t be looking at yet another florescent screen just to follow an exercise routine. No, I’m thinking all you need is your eyes, your ears, your heart, your arms and legs to carry out the most physical part of your day. Forget technology, get in touch with something even more intelligent and complex–your body.
So I’m developing a CoreFit Deck that you can take with you. Get the first of these workouts here and print out so you can just grab them and go to the gym. In fact, why not just take a few in your gym back so all you have to do is follow the pictures and do the routine. Simple. And it won’t even show up on your data usage.
You probably already know that a strong core is key to riding better. And with the weather warming up, this is the best time to prep for your long rides. You may be surprised, but there’s more to your core than just abs and doing crunches won’t do the trick. Too many cyclists forget muscles that riding neglects–glutes, back, hips and obliques.
Sometimes getting healthy means making a major time investment at the gym or eating really healthy for a month straight. But sometimes you can make bigger broader strides by making small changes. I call this MicroWork. Check out my own personal set of MicroWork; 18 little opportunities a day to make a change.
Studies have shown changing small habits can help you achieve your goals faster. You should have a long term goal and small short term goals, with sets of habits you can change and check off. These ground rules have a lasting impact on your overall success in any future goals too.
|When||The Change||The Benefit|
|When you get out of bed||Stand up and stretch your hamstrings for 30 sec||27% increase in flexibility in 6 weeks|
|Before you brush your teeth||Take a baby aspirin||20% reduced risk of breast cancer in women who take one a day|
|At breakfast||Take a daily vitamin||19% reduced risk of getting sick. When you take daily vitamins, you support your immune system|
|At the office||Walk to talk to your co-workers, instead of emailing||More than 1lb of weight lost per year by taking an extra 4-5k steps per day|
|With every meal||Drink ice water||1lb lost every 8 weeks
Start thinking about Bone Mineral Density. It’s an important factor in injury prevention, now and in your future health–and it’s cumulative. That means if you’re an athlete and aren’t getting the proper nutrition, rest and relaxation your body needs now, you’re setting your body up for failure later.
Bone Mineral Density is a cumulative history of energy availability, hormonal fluctuations, genetics, good nutrition, behaviors and environmental factors. As you get older, bone mineral density falls as our muscular infrastructure changes. When you do damage to your body, by starving/binging yourself, exercising too hard, not getting enough sleep and allowing stress to become a regular component in your life, you seriously alter your future body.
Sleep is an essential functional part of being and staying healthy. For athletes, it is a strong factor in performance. Most of the repair and strengthening in your body occurs during stage 4 of the sleep cycle–your deepest sleep. But if you don’t go through all the cycles appropriately, you won’t get to the 4th stage, inhibiting many vital functions needed to repair, restore and strengthen your body.
Stage 1: In the first stage, your muscles relax as you fall asleep.
Stage 2: Five to ten minutes after falling asleep, you enter a deeper slumber and your brain starts to produce chemicals that release hormones.
Stage 3 & 4: These are the deepest and most reparative stages. The body releases growth hormone, which helps repair bone and muscle.
REM Stage: The 5th stage of sleep is vital for pain tolerance and motor skills. It strengthens cognitive and nervous system function.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, 75% of Americans have problems sleeping and are not getting the recommended 7-9 hours per night our bodies need to recuperate from the daily grind.
Here’s how sleep affects our system:
Digestion and Weight Regulation
“As for a hangover cure, an IV bag of D5 and water—what they give you at the hospital for dehydration—is a bag of dextrose 5% (sugar) and water. That’s like me handing you 4 vitamin waters and charging you $100. ”
Revive bills itself as a luxury hangover “cure” clinic, where one can lay down, put on headphones and get an intravenous solution of “whichever medications, vitamin additives, antioxidants, or additional fluids the physician deems appropriate for your unique condition and symptoms.” I called to find out just what they put into these packs that make it the $99 price tag worth our while, but have not been answered as of press time.
What can we be sure of when it comes to intravenous solutions? Though this “clinic” is presumably “run” by registered nurses and overseen by a licensed physician, typically this means the person administering the IV is not a registered nurse or physician. And, as for a hangover cure, an IV bag of D5 and water—what they give you at the hospital for dehydration–is a bag of dextrose 5% (sugar) and water.
That’s like me handing you 4 vitamin waters and charging you $100. My advice would be to save your money, get some vitamin water and make sure you sleep enough that your body can recuperate.
Could the future of athletic sports performance be judged by Oxytocin production? Imagine NFL drafts based around hormone production and neuropeptide activity in the brain.
We felt it yesterday afternoon. That urge to high five the guy sitting next to you as the Bears defeated the Vikings. That chemical reaction in our brain–that Oxytocin surge–is responsible for feeling the bond between teammates, players and even fans. Now imagine a draft pick based on Oxytocin production–a team with higher production levels is going to be a better performing team…?
Oxytocin is a unique chemical produced by our pituitary and released in our brain. It evokes feelings of contentment, reductions in anxiety, and feelings of calmness and security around the mate. Many studies have already shown a correlation of oxytocin with human bonding, increases in trust, and decreases in fear. It is no wonder that more and more health professionals have begun to acknowledge the correlation between Oxytocin production and performance in athletes.