Posts Tagged ‘Exercise’

Sit tall! Chest up!

March 15, 2011

In the movies, Wall Street seems so glamorous: men and women wearing power suits, walking with a purpose, heads held high on their way to big meetings, moving and shaking the financial world.  But what I witnessed yesterday as I walked down the real Wall Street stopped me in my tracks.  These people had rounded shoulders, shuffle-like walking and bad, bad posture.

Sitting for 8, 10, 15 hours a day coupled with stress from the weight of the world and little sleep for years on end can be deadly.  Many of my clients have postural deviations from years of hunching over their computers.  Let’s talk about how to fix bad posture and get the confident, proud-penguin look.

Start by stretching the chest:

  1. Find a doorway
  2. Open arms into doorway until elbows are shoulder-height
  3. Breath slowly and gently stretch (do not pulse) for 30-60 seconds

The following 3 exercises are GREAT for improving posture:

  1. Rows.  Building strength in the upper back muscles is imperative to drawing those rounded shoulders back.
  2. Reverse Flys.  Again, isolating the upper back/posterior deltoid area will open up the chest.
  3. Quad Peds.  These exercises, done on hands & knees are great for spine stabilization, opening up the lats and shoulders and engaging the erector spinae (essential for holding the body upright)

Remember anytime you train that if you train with poor posture, so shall you in life. Train with consciousness.

Cardio A.D.D.

February 26, 2011

Unless it’s raining, snowing or terrible weather, I do my cardiovascular exercise outside:  Central Park’s rolling hills are just my size.  If I’m looking for a long, flat surface, the Hudson River Park is perfect:  gorgeous views of the Statue of Liberty, the George Washington Bridge and New Jersey ‘over there’.  I even like jogging the Brooklyn Bridge, ending up on the promenade overlooking downtown Manhattan’s breathtaking skyline from Brooklyn’s point-of-view.  Stunning!!!

This week, however, the weather has been so February-like!  A terrible mix of snow, rain, wind and ugliness the size of Godzilla!  I found myself in the gym without my darling headphones (which aren’t working and I don’t have time to visit the Genius Bar).  No motivating music, no junkie-TV shows, poor me.  I’m a hamster on a wheel, a prisoner doing my time, trying to break free from the insanity of going nowhere, fast.  “Suck it up,” I say…and this is how I did it:

Skoog’s Indoor Cardio-in-Purgatory:

Warm-up stretch, 5 minutes

Run 1 mile on Treadmill
Arc Trainer (or elliptical) 15 minutes, beasting it:  (go as hard as you can for 15 minutes-stay focused)
Stepmill 15 minutes: alternate between 2 steps at a time, climb sideways and speed intervals
Stationary Bike 4 miles as fast as you can-select ‘random’ program at level 8-12
Run 1 more mile on Treadmill

Stretch 5-10 minutes

What the hock?!

February 20, 2011

Gross confession alert:  I am a spitter during outdoor exercise, especially in the pollen-filled springtime though I’m a year-round type of ejector.

While training for an upcoming half-marathon in Central Park, this morning’s 7-mile run produced more loogies than usual:  it was a bitter cold, windy, 22 degrees.  Since I’m training without headphones these days, I’ve been more aware of other runner’s habits and it turns out I’m not alone.  There were snot cannons every few yards!

Let’s ‘clear up’ this curious habit:  according to the Mayo Clinic’s website, we produce one to two quarts of saliva per day!  It seems crazy to think that since swallowing is a natural and unconscious act, we don’t even notice!  Additionally, seasonal allergies produce extra phlem, as does dehydration levels and the body’s cooling mechanisms.  Should we be getting rid of this slimy substance which is composed of protein, electrolytes and water?  Or should we ingest it?

I’ve been a disgusted victim of someone else’s snot rocket in my face:  not pleasant.  Even though it’s poor etiquette, if you must eject your boogers, look over your shoulder not once, but twice.  If it’s clear, move over to the curb and discard of the sludge in the grass or shoulder of the trail.  A little precaution will save you from embarrassment or angry confrontation.