Is strength training really THAT good for you? I walk for exercise. Isn’t that enough?

Is strength training really THAT good for you? I walk for exercise. Isn’t that enough?

In my profession, I hear of so many people who focus on walking as their primary method of exercise. Am I an advocate? Yes . . . and no. It’s a great form of exercise! If done correctly, it provides stress relief, improves bone density, burns calories, and improves cardiovascular endurance. But what about your muscles? You work your leg muscles when walking, but you NEED formal strength training in the gym!

Our lifestyle today is sedentary. We sit in a car, we sit at work, we sit at home, we SIT too much! The muscles we use to sit (lower back, neck, shoulders) get overworked and tucker out while our core, back extensors, and hip flexors get weak. We then slouch and wonder why our neck and lower back hurts. Once we get used to slouching, that muscle habit continues in everything we do—including our walking. What is the solution? Strength training! When done accurately (good form, correct exercises, and strategic program design) your body will thank you! You will burn lots of calories, your posture will progress, injuries can be minimized, stress will decrease, bone density will increase, and cardiovascular endurance will increase. In addition, self-confidence, muscular strength, balance, core strength, and power will improve.

I believe another reason why many walk as their primary source of exercise is because they don’t know where to begin with strength training. Some information says that you should do strength training for 15 min as hard as possible; some says 60 min is necessary. The unlimited supply of information on the internet via product or gym commercials leads to information overload and confusion: “Should I work my core every day? Are push-ups good for me? Maybe I should buy a BowFlex! I heard squats could be bad for my knees and back. If I do strength training, will I look like a body builder? I keep hearing about Cross Fit. Should I do that?” Strength training can be confusing. I’ve been doing this for over twenty years and I’m still figuring it out.

The encouraging component is that with the right direction, exercise can be simple and safe. There is no need to know it all. Find the right person who listens, understands your body, and is devoted to learning more. When you find that person, hire them and let them help you with your health. If you are still reading, my hope is that you would trust me with this task. Yes, you should become self-educated about fitness, but you also don’t need to know it all. Hire me and I’ll guide, support, educate, and encourage you every step of the way.

So, when you are tempted to replace your strength workout routine in exchange for walking as your primary source of exercise, DON’T! Keep them both as life habits and your body will thank you for it!

Halloween Temptation and Your Health

Halloween

It’s fall! The leaves are turning, the air is brisk, and the evenings are getting longer. This time of year is beautiful, but it also reminds us that Holidays are coming. While I love the Holidays, they do bring many temptations. Halloween brings candy temptations, Thanksgiving brings the temptation to overeat on unhealthy meal options, and Christmas brings both overeating and sweets.    Read More

Falling Forward

Falling Forward

Wow! I can’t believe Fall has arrived and my kids are heading back to school! It’s amazing how quickly the summer has flown by! We’ve had a wonderful time camping, spending time with friends, and enjoying the outdoors. However, we are all looking forward to the routine that comes with school starting. Our schedule changes dramatically this time of year and I find myself setting new goals and deciding how I will spend my time with the Holidays approaching. I also reflect on the activities of my life to decide what will remain in my schedule, what will be removed, and what will be added. Read More

Do It Anyway!

Do It Anyway

No one wants to work out all the time. “I’m too tired. I forgot my shoes. I have family coming to visit. I am too busy”. . . Is this you? Do you dread heading to the gym? Do you wonder if you are the only one who doesn’t want to be there?

Trust me. You are not alone.  Even the Olympic athlete, the fanatical cross-fitter, the marathon runner dreads training—at least some of the time.

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Summer Tips

It’s summer . . . Finally! WooHoo! Time to pack up and head to the cabin; soak up the sun at the lake; camp with the family; and take the kids to swimming lessons, ball camp, and soccer. Oh wait! It’s also time to mow the lawn; plant the garden; Read More

Take the “Do I Need a Trainer?” Quiz!

do i need a trainer

You probably ask yourself constantly, “Do I need a trainer?” Everyone is different when it comes to developing a fitness routine and some people really need one to stay motivated and accomplish their goals. However, there are some people who do not. If you want help in deciding the answer to the question for yourself, take this quiz.

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Bring on Spring!

Ahhh . . .. The birds are chirping, the grass is green, and the snow is gone! It’s now time to start exercising outdoors and maybe even participate in a few local 5Ks. You may think, Ah! I can ditch that gym membership and exercise outdoors! Well, I agree . . .  kind-of. Get outside, but don’t quit strength training. The exercises you do at a gym are important!  Read More

The “Julia” Challenge

I don’t know about you, but this time of year is hard in Minnesota. We’ve hibernated for six months and are itching to see the sunshine, bask in it, and throw our coats in the storage bin! With this comes the rolling of emotions: the “I don’t care about my food intake” mentality, and a Bah-humbug attitude. Don’t get caught up with this depressive mentality! We are Minnesotans! We are tough! The sun is rising earlier than before, and we ARE seeing glimpses of warm weather! We should work toward removing that belly bulge that’s been hiding under those sweatshirts!   Read More

Are Your Muscles Broken? Part 2

PART 2

In my last article, I shared my story about how I came across MAT (Muscle Activation Technique), a revolutionary approach to assess a client’s muscular system to determine what muscles are not working correctly and fix the problem. I have completed my course and am officially certified as an MAT lower body specialist! I am now able to help correct many of the painful issues many individuals experience: IT band syndrome, runner’s knee, repetitive ankle sprains, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, patella femoral syndrome, knee issues, hip issues, bursitis, etc. How is this possible? Let me explain:   Read More

Are Your Muscles Broken? Part 1

For years, people have been coming to me to work out because I know how to guide them through a workout that produces results without causing further injury. I know what exercises you should do and shouldn’t do if you have problems with your knee, shoulder, hip, etc. Upon watching people working out with these injuries, I see many interesting movement patterns. For example, if someone has a knee injury, they might limp; one hip might hike up higher than the other; the foot might point in; or the torso might twist incorrectly.   Read More