Many questions have been asked why stretching should be included in training programs.  For a long time, flexibility training has been one of the most overlooked components of physical fitness.  Many people, including some trainers, get caught up in the strength building and aerobic components of fitness, that they forget about flexibility.  The bottom line is that they’re missing out on a great many benefits; and a training program without these benefits can cause more harm than good.
Flexibility is defined as the range of motion within a joint along the various planes of motion.  Within each joint and for every activity we perform, there is an optimum Range of Motion (ROM) essential to peak performance that varies depending on the activity that’s being performed.  A number of factors can limit joint mobility, but flexibility training can minimize these factors to help balance muscle groups.
There are two basic types of flexibility: static and dynamic.  Static flexibility incorporates a sustained stretch that is held for about 20-30 seconds, and focuses on deep breathing to further increase the stretch.  Dynamic flexibility involves movement through a range of motion with an emphasis on maintaining speed and force.  Bouncing or jerky movements, also called Ballistic movements should always be avoided to prevent injury.
Both static and dynamic flexibility are important in fitness and sports performance and include a number of benefits:  Increased physical efficiency and performance, decreased risk of injury, increased blood supply and nutrients to joint structures, improved nutrient exchange, increased neuromuscular coordination, improved muscular balance and postural awareness, decreased risk of low back pain, and reduced muscular tension.
I also find that regular flexibility training can enhance enjoyment of the training session.  I often finish the training session with some static stretching which provides a nice cool down for the client.  It helps to relax both the mind and body and increases the client’s sense of well-being and personal gratification during exercise.
The benefits of flaxseed oil.
Fatty acids play an essential role in our every day lives and should be included as a part of our daily eating plan.  Don’t misunderstand; this doesn’t mean you should go order a super sized Big Mac and fries.  Certain fatty acids, namely the omega 3 fats and the omega 6 fats, promote performance, contribute to muscle increase and fat mobilization, and contribute to cell repair and maintenance.  The problem is, these fatty acids are not produced by the body, and therefore, it becomes essential that we consume them.  These essential fats can be found in fresh produce, fish, and certain animal meats.
Flaxseed oil is a source of both omega 3’s and omega 6’s and can support you in making sure you are getting your essential fats.  Having one tablespoon of flaxseed oil in the morning with your first meal is what I recommend.  Make sure the flaxseed oil you purchase is sold in a dark container that has not been exposed to the light.  It should also be refrigerated in the store you buy it from.
Fibromylagia is a mysterious condition that affects 10-15 million Americans (mostly women between the ages of 25-50).  Symptoms include chronic fatigue, no restorative sleep, headache, and muscle pain.  Although there is no concrete explanation for this condition, studies have shown that regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for FM.  People with FM have varying degrees of pain and fatigue, and what seems to be an unlimited number of symptoms.  Therefore, exercise programs are designed specifically according to the phase of FM that the client is at.
Consistency is vitally important for FM clients.  As long as consistency is maintained, FM clients will eventually be able to be treated as normal clients, with very little or no limitations.  However, if consistency is not maintained, the FM client becomes prone to continued fatigue and pain.  Motivation becomes a key factor in pushing these clients to achieve their goals of becoming pain free and having their sleep restored.  For more information on Fibromylagia , you can call the FitPro office at (773)989-7007.
Michael Elder
Certified Fitness Professional
Licensed and Certified Massage Therapist
Certified Reiki Practitioner
*Please feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone who you may think could benefit from it.  As I have said before, I believe there is strength in numbers.  Let’s all work together to achieve our goals of health and fitness!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this newsletter.  I’ll be writing all of you again next month.  Until then, have a healthy life!