These are some of my favorite posts to write – just some random thoughts. Hope you enjoy.
1. Get blood work done! I think people should be doing this every one to two years. You may be doing everything right when it comes to nutrition, exercise, and stress management, but if your hormones are out of whack then you will not see the results that you desire.
Abnormal results can also point to areas that you may need to improve upon. Is cortisol high? You may need to work on stress management. Are your triglycerides high? Well, you may need to decrease carbohydrate consumption. I could go on and on.
I got blood work done about a year ago and was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. This is a condition which usually results in a sluggish metabolism and lack of energy. I have been taking steps to improve this, and my energy and body composition have both improved. If you are interested, here are a couple of great resources:
Lastly, here is a good article that gives some tests you should ask your doctor for because, unfortunately, many doctors do not look at the right things: “It’s In The Blood: When It Rains It Pours”.
2. Recently, I posted a rant on Facebook. Here it is:
“Working on a blog post/rant about something that has really been getting to me lately. It mainly has to do with the topic of intermittent fasting and how a lot of people seem to be popularizing it by claiming you can eat more “junk” food. While this may be true, I rarely want to see people make these food choices. For one, I am a big proponent of supporting locally grown and whole foods. Not even necessarily because they are “healthier”, but because of what they support and signal to producers and suppliers. If you are a fitness professional please stop posting photos of huge calorie laden meals comprised of heavily processed foods. Just because you may be able to eat this way and stay lean does not mean it is okay to eat this way. What are you trying to prove? BTW, I am a fan of IF so not hating on it.”
I do not think I have ever done this, but I am so passionate about making healthy and local food more readily available.
I got some great comments on Facebook and would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.
3. NERD ALERT:
We hear all the time that we are most likely stuck in an anterior pelvic tilt (although I am seeing more and more swaybacks these days) because of sitting. Therefore, our hamstrings are long due to an anteriorly tilted pelvis. Many people believe their hamstrings are tight and feel like they need to stretch them, but this is often problematic because the muscle is already lengthened, which is why it feels tight.
Well, I got a good question the other day from a reader asking why the hamstrings are long due to sitting since the muscle is relaxed across the knee joint?
I thought I could give a brief explanation here. Basically, the hip flexors become short/stiff due to sitting. Therefore, when we stand up we are unable to extend our hips. This means our pelvis is tipped forward/flexed and the hamstrings are put on stretch. Therefore, the hamstrings are never able to reach their desired length and are stuck in a lengthened position.
It is not so much that sitting directly causes the hamstrings to lengthen because, like you said, the knee is flexed. But sitting keeps us in a flexed pelvic position and the muscles adapt to this. Therefore, when we stand we can straighten our knee, but not our hips, which means lengthened hamstrings.
I do want to point out that not everyone has this problem. Eric Cressey wrote a good article titled, “5 Reasons You Have Tight Hamstrings” which goes over this is more detail.
4. Here is a great tip I got from Bill Hartman a while back. When foam rolling, put the muscle on stretch to target superficial tissues and relax to get muscles that are deeper. He said to imagine the tissue as a rubber band. If you stretch it out then it is stiff and you cannot get to tissues underneath. However, if the rubber band/muscle is relaxed, then tissues below are easily accessible.
So, for example, if you are trying to foam roll your deep hip external rotators then do not put glute max on stretch.
5. Breathing is so important!! Do yourself a favor and learn how to breathe properly. It will make you healthier and improve your strength. Start HERE.
If you want to learn even more, I highly recommend The Anatomy of Breathing by Blandine Calais-Germain. It is a very simple book to read and has a ton of awesome information.
6. For those of you who do not know, I practice intermittent fasting. Now, before I go on, this basically means I skip breakfast. I do not stick to any strict “window” of eating time. Some days it is a 18 hour fast some days it is 14 hours. Whatever time I get hungry or it is convenient for me to eat, I eat. The big reason I do this is because it is convenient and there is some good research supporting the health benefits.
Something new I have been trying lately is adding some MCT oil or coconut oil into my coffee in the morning. MCT oil and coconut oil are unique in that they do not disrupt the fasting state. They allow you to reap the benefits of authophagy (cellular cleansing that occurs when going without food for a length of time) and do not hinder fat burning (in fact, some argue they can speed up fat burning).
MCT oil and coconut oil are excellent because they are absorbed almost immediately and give you a quick burst of energy. So if you are an IF’er or just need something quick for “breakfast” then try adding some MCT oil or coconut oil into your morning coffee.
And please do not be afraid of consuming fat. Fat is an essential macronutrient that is vital for optimal health, performance, and a rockin’ bod. I have significantly more energy and feel better when I consume a large majority of my calories from fat.
7. Here are two awesome seminars that will be held at IFAST in the coming months:
The Midwest Seminar is always excellent, and I am really excited for this year because Dan John will be presenting all day on Sunday!
The assessment course is brand new and something we at IFAST are very excited about. Bill Hartman is putting this together, and he is brilliant. If you want to learn how to give an awesome assessment then be sure to check it out.
That is it. Have a great week everyone!