Health & Wellness
Exercising Safely and Effectively
BECAUSE “JUST DOING IT” ISN’T ENOUGH
n my last column, I explained the benefits of maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. I also highlighted the wide array of resources we have here in Atlanta that can help us get moving. After all, that’s really what it takes to get started: movement. Even walking at a moderate pace for 30 minutes a day can be advantageous. The next step to consider is taking it up a notch, to begin a well-rounded fitness program that includes cardiovascular activity (i.e., walking), flexibility (i.e., stretching) and strength training (i.e., using resistance). Along with proper nutrition, these are the key components to optimum wellness, and they will also be the focus of the majority of my upcoming columns. Before getting to all of that, however, I want to emphasize the importance of two elements that are vital to any physical regimen you undertake: safety and effectiveness. Although these may sound obvious, I am often amazed at how much safety and effectiveness are lacking from many exercise routines. Walk into any health club, and faulty movement patterns, improper technique and dangerous exercises abound. Look right outside your home at people running in the streets, and you will see some folks who are hurting, more than helping, themselves. If you are going to exercise, it is important that you do it right.
There is a lot of good information out there that can help you, and it can be found in books, videos, and on the web, among other places. Bad information also exists, so it is highly recommended that you become knowledgeable enough to make the distinction or find someone else who is; this can make the difference between reaching your fitness goals and injury and pain. I often use an example of an elderly gentleman who I met at a health club a couple of years ago. When I first saw him, I noticed his posture was hunched over, with a forward
head and rounded shoulders, also known as kyphosis; he immediately hopped on a chest press machine, and the forward motion of that exercise only exacerbated his condition. Keep in mind, the chest press is an essential exercise that I use with many clients. Not every exercise is for everybody, however, and certainly not all of the time.
AmAzING DESIGN & TECHNoLoGy IN PrESTIGIoUS LoCATIoN
In addition, there is a correct way and an incorrect way to use this machine (as well as all others). Simply throwing your arms forward with your head and upper back “along for the ride” can be harmful. Getting back to this particular gentleman, he continued working out on other pieces of equipment and, as he was using the majority of them incorrectly, he probably should not have been using them at all. By the time he was ready to leave, he was more hunched over than he was when he came in, and the ramifications for that are clearly not good. Therefore, we talked, and to his credit, he was open to suggestions. By making some subtle changes to his routine in the gym with exercise and outside through activities of daily living – all of which focused on proper form, better posture and correct breathing – he made significant improvement and, over time, felt a lot better. Other situations similar to this example are not uncommon. Exercise is one of the best things you can do, but in order to reap the true rewards, it must be done safely and effectively. Editor’s note: Jeff Rosenblum, BS, is an ACE (American Council on Exercise) certified personal trainer and president of Posture Plus Fitness (postureplusfitness.com), providing in-home and on-location personal training as well as group presentations and corporate wellness programs. He is also a personal trainer at the Marcus Jewish Community Center, where he trains MJCCA Total Health members.
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C O L D W E L L B A N K E R AT L A N TA.C O M
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lI NE ST W IN G
By Jeff Rosenblum
Buckhead Office 3650 H a b e r s h a m R o a d 404.262.1234 C O L D W E L L B A N K E R AT L A N TA . C O M ©2011 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Coldwell Banker is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Owned And Operated By NRT LLC. *Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle, 2009. 3815ATL_12/10