Why you need to break up with your sofa—now
Still haven’t gotten around to breaking up with your sofa so that you can see more treadmills? What if we told you that sitting around is taking away the best years of your life? The World Health Organization says that physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk for global deaths.
Need another compelling reason to move on? Dr. Jordan Metzl, a sports physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery and author of The Exercise Cure, presented a slide during his recent 92Y talk that summarized how researchers found exercise to be just as effective as medicine in treating many life-threatening diseases.
By the way, the 92Y May Center’s Facebook page can help you with that split, and perhaps help you live longer.
Why you need to break up with your sofa—now
May Center personal trainer Jake Allyne
Did you fall off the fitness wagon yet?
If there’s any truth to the 2007 study by British psychologist Richard Wiseman, which says 88 percent of those who set New Year’s resolutions fail, there’s a chance you’ve already ditched your gym appointment for the sofa by now – and we’re only halfway through January.
So how do you become a member of the 12 percent who walks the talk?
92Y May Center personal trainer Jake Allyne says the biggest challenge is to just get through the first two weeks.
“A popular saying is, ‘the hardest part about working out is getting to the gym.’ Yet I always see the gym during the first two weeks of January packed with people who ate plenty of food over the holidays, felt guilty afterwards and then made healthy New Year’s resolutions,” Allyne says. “I think the hardest part is not falling off the wagon during the first two weeks.”
In other words: make working out a habit. Whether you need more or less time, there’s plenty of science that supports the development of good habits to make personal changes.
Allyne’s additional advice: “Getting up and moving on a daily basis helps you to live a healthy lifestyle throughout the year, which means you can eat guilt-free on almost any occasion – including the holidays.”
Okay, pick up that gym bag again!
A few of the personal trainers at the 92Y May Center for Health, Fitness & Sport appear to have a fascination with showing off their backs this summer.
First Coach Kaylin bared her shoulder blades to promote her May Center Facebook series Get Kaylin’s Back, then Jake Allyne – the Abs by Jake guy – didn’t want to feel left out so he struck a shirtless pose to support Kaylin’s series, and now trainer Julian Singer (above) gave his back to the camera.
You should know that Julian is 57 years old.
SHOULD YOU STRETCH BEFORE YOUR WORKOUT?
Do you want to maximize your workout or game performance? Try a warm-up instead of a stretch.
While many of us hold the idea of pre-workout stretching as a sacred truth, recent studies say stretching before your workout can not only inhibit your performance, but the practice may also be harmful. “Warming up does more to prepare your body for physical activity than stretching can. You want to increase your body’s’ temperature, loosen your muscles and lubricate your joints before the workout,” says Michael Hughes (pictured), a group exercise instructor at the 92Y May Center for Health, Fitness & Sport. “You don’t want to force your cold body into a deep stretch. That’s a good way to invite injury,” adds Hughes.
Rose Tirado, a personal trainer at the 92Y May Center for Health, Fitness & Sport, also endorses warming-up over pre-workout stretching. Tirado says a warm-up can be performed with cardio exercise equipment such as a treadmill or elliptical trainer. “If my clients don’t have access to aerobic equipment, I tell them to perform dynamic stretching – movements that closely resemble the main activity to be performed,” says Tirado.
What’s the one exercise you can’t live without? We tossed that question to 92Y May Center personal trainer Jake Allyne and he demonstrated a movement he calls “Hi Definition.”
Performing one Hi-Definition as shown in the chart above means you’ve completed a squat, a curl, a squat-thrust, 10 mountain climbers, a high lunge on each leg and a push-up while never allowing your two dumbbells to leave your hands. You just might have a legitimate shot at being fit for life if you did three sets of ten Hi-Defs three times a week.
Jake’s got you covered if you can’t perform Hi-Defs right away. A photo album of prerequisite exercises can be found on the May Center’s Facebook page. While you’re there, take a look at the Abs by Jake series and get some ideas for putting higher definition on your six-pack.
When 92Y May Center personal trainer Christian Hernani isn’t squatting nearly a quarter of a ton, he finds time to tell the rest of us puny beings why squats are among the best weight training exercises on the planet – even if we work with lighter payloads.
For more free tips on getting buffed by summer, visit the 92Y May Center’s Facebook page.
Power, Strength or Stamina – Which One?
For those of you who lift weights – and there are plenty of good reasons for why you should – what is your weightlifting goal? Do you want to be stronger, more powerful, or have more stamina?
92Y May Center Personal Trainer Ken Watts, pictured above, provided some definitions to help you make up your mind:
STRENGTH is the ability to produce force (e.g., lifting a heavy medicine ball)
POWER is the ability to produce force quickly (e.g., throwing a heavy medicine ball)
STAMINA is the ability to sustain the force you produced over a prolonged period of time (e.g., performing sprints while carrying a medicine ball)
Judging from the size of Ken’s arms as well as his background as a bodybuilder and fifth-degree black belt, we’ll take his word for it.
Ken also gave some great pointers a few months back on the 92Y May Center Facebook page about choosing the right medicine ball for you.
HOW TO TRAIN FOR A MARATHON RACE
This Sunday’s New York City Half Marathon will attract more than 15,000 runners and inspire hundreds, if not thousands of future runners (For your bedtime reading, here’s a dissertation on what motivates new marathon runners and why).
In case you feel motivated to run a marathon or perhaps NYC’s full marathon this fall, we have a few training tips courtesy of Jenny (“Juana”) Vazquez, a personal trainer at the 92Y May Center for Health, Fitness & Sport, who is also an accomplished marathon runner. By way of cred, Vazquez ran 2:44 in the 1998 Duluth Marathon and placed 19th for women in the NYC Marathon that same year. She currently counts endurance athletes among her list of clients.