May 2016 Newsletter
Hello., This month's newsletter is pretty exciting (in a newsletter kind of way).
First up, I want to ask (and attempt to answer) a question, why is flexibility training overlooked by fitness enthusiasts?
Secondly, I have some cool content (blogs and videos) to share with you.
And finally, I have some great news to share, so keep reading until the end.
Fitness and Flexibility
The two biggest physical issues we face as we age are:
If we take the stance that for most people, exercise is a means to improve and maintain their health and wellbeing (including looking good), then it makes absolute sense to focus on preventing or minimising the loss of these physical qualities as much as possible.
- Loss of strength and power
- Loss of mobility and flexibility
With that in mind, why is that you rarely see people in gyms, fitness groups and sports clubs (martial artists and dancers excepted) doing any dedicated and meaningful flexibility work?
I honestly think it stems from a couple of things:
When it comes to flexibility work, you don't need to turn yourself into Jean Claude van Damme (pictured below at age 28 in Bloodsport and age 53 in a Volvo commercial), but you do need enough flexibility to reach up overhead comfortably, bend down without strain and essentially move without restriction doing the things you do in your day to day life.
- Flexibility work is hard to monetise (there is no equipment to sell for example, outside of maybe a mat and a strap).
- Stretching well takes time - people have been sold on 30 minute fitness, which is great, I love short sessions, but not at the expense of what you need.
- Most people don't know how to stretch well, so they don't feel any lasting benefits from doing it and give up.
Almost everyone will agree that "prevention is better than cure", and this is especially true with flexibility training.
Like every physical quality, flexibility exists on a "use it or lose it basis", so if you live a modern life like I do (lots of sitting, very little physically taxing work outside of exercise), then it is very easy to lose.
To combat this, it is essential to work on your flexibility pro-actively.
Flexibility is regained by stretching, but it can be maintained by almost any activity that requires range of motion. So if you make an effort to squat, bend, reach and generally move more in your day to day life, then you make maintenance that much easier.
However, I'd still recommend dedicated stretching sessions to anyone who really wants to move with complete freedom and get the most out of exercise (and life!).
Latest From The Blog
I try and write a weekly blog post, but sometimes it doesn't happen, and I usually end up averaging about 3 posts per month. This month was actually a little bit slower, with only two new posts, I'll explain why below:
One post I talk about exercise programming mistakes (including lack of flexibility work). If you exercise, whether it's with a trainer or not, it's worthwhile reading: 4 Major exercise Programming Mistakes
The other takes a look at whether sitting causes low back pain.
In addition to the blog posts, I've shared some handy stretches and exercises for improved posture and mobility on my Instagram page, which you should absolutely check out and heart.
Updates From The Clinic
I specifically didn't explain to you how to stretch properly in this newsletter, because I am almost done with a flexibility guide that I will be send out as a free gift to everyone on this list.
The guide will explain:
- The rationale behind stretching
- Arguments against stretching (and why they may not matter)
- When to stretch
- How to stretch for lasting flexibility changes
I have written the content, but yet to take the photos (which are most important). Hopefully I can drag a friend or family member into the gym tomorrow to take them all and I can get it out later this week.
With that in mind, keep an eye on your inbox.
Also, the exciting news I have is in relation to a joint venture I'm undertaking with Healthy Fit gym.
Healthy Fit is starting a monthly seminar series, and first up they have a the founder of nutritious meal service Nourish talk all things nutrition.
The second presentation will be in June, by yours truly, talking about injury prevention and management in training. I'll keep you updated when more details are available, but at this stage it looks like it will be Tuesday the 21st of June. So if you'd like to pre-reserve a seat, hit reply to this email and let me know (it's free!).
Until next time, stay healthy.
PS don't forget to follow me on Facebook and Instagram for updates throughout the month - I don't share everything in this newsletter, it's already long enough :-)