Get moving at the office

This article was written in collaboration with TOVI expert, Dr. Tara Coletta. Learn more about Dr. Coletta here.


Spending long periods of time at your desk is hard on your body and your mind.  Sitting is tough on your lower back and hips, and keeping your brain focused and alert takes a lot of energy (especially if you’re stressed). As a result, it is very important to give yourself breaks throughout the work day.  Moving around, even little amounts at a time, helps your blood get flowing, re-energizes you, and gives you a natural ‘pick-me-up’.

Despite all the benefits, it can be hard to make movement a part of your workday, especially when you work in an open office or a high-intensity environment.  Disappearing for an hour during the day to grab a workout isn’t in the cards for everyone, but there are easy ways to work movement into your busy workday.

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Getting started with exercise

This article was written in collaboration with TOVI expert, Dr. Tara Coletta. Learn more about Dr. Coletta here.


We all know exercise is good for us. It can help with weight loss, lowering blood pressure, managing blood glucose, stress management, and sleep quality (to name just a few benefits!).  Certain types of exercise can even prevent osteoporosis and other joint and muscle issues.

Understanding the benefits of exercise, however, doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to get moving. Exercise is highly personal, and it can be extremely intimidating to put yourself out there and start getting fit. It’s even harder if you’re surrounded by other people that don’t exercise either.

Luckily, we’ve put together a few straightforward tips and tricks to help you get going.

 

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Fuel for The Active Body

Firstly, to get the most of this blog you need to be sure you understand the basics of nutrition.  I encourage you to re-visit my previous blogs on basics of nutrition, sugar, and fats and the Q&A on high protein diets.  For the most part, the same basic nutrition principles apply to those who do high levels of activity and athletes. Eat a varied diet of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein.  If you do this, you should meet the daily recommendations for all your macro and micronutrients.

In this blog, I will run through some of the principles of exercise metabolism and how this impacts nutritional needs.  I want you to better understand what is fuelling your body during exercise (mainly carbs!).  I will then go through how you can assess your own nutritional needs based on your activity.

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Your Weekend Workout Survival Guide

Each weekend people worldwide swim, ride and run their way to higher levels of cardiovascular fitness. On the surface, this many being active seems like a great thing.

The long and short of it is that swimming, riding and running (not too mention sitting all week) only take place in one direction (or plane of motion) which opens you up to the potential to experience a whole host of repetitive stress issues. If you’ve got muscle imbalances that have lead to postural distortions this can easily become a matter of WHEN, not if, you get injured.

If you experience joint pain swimming (usually shoulders and low back), riding (typically knees and low back) or running (neck, hips, low back, knees, ankles) the best solution is the simplest one: STOP. DOING. WHAT. HURTS.

I interviewed Spine Biomechanics guru Stuart McGill a few years back, and he told me if “it hurts to hit your thumb with a hammer, put the hammer away, don’t use a bigger one.” However, for whatever reason, this has yet to be fully embraced in the endurance sports community. In my experience, swimming, running and riding more when something hurts rarely alleviates the pain (and very often makes it worse).

You WILL NOT lose fitness if you rest your body allowing it to heal. In fact you may just start to gain more if you give your body the chance to recover.

The take away? If it hurts, find out why, make the appropriate movement adjustments then strength train the right way prevent it from happening again.

There are ways to combat all of this in the gym. After a long weekend of uniplanar repetitive stress activity, you might just have a fighting chance of surviving with the right approach.

Moving in one direction for hours at a time (especially after sitting for seemingly days on end all week long) requires the right strategy to reset that. The good news that basics work best and can be tolerated by most people.

The key is moving the way our bodies are designed to: in a 3D environment in multiple planes of motion as we provide our base of support to move from. A few examples include pushing and pulling in a standing split stance, lunging in multiple directions, hinging, single leg squats and rotating.


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