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Showing posts from March, 2009

When to Stretch and Why

Sara Fleming, BA, MS, ISSA CFT

Stretching is generally viewed as beneficial. However, the type and timing of the stretch can have a positive or negative effect on the person doing the stretching depending on their activity. Dynamic stretching before a work out helps muscles warm up and increases their range of motion and elasticity prior to exercise. Static and/or proprio-neuromuscular-facilitation (PNF) stretching after an exercise and/or during the cool-down phase of a work-out can help restore a muscle’s range of motion after repeated contractions, correct a range of motion for correct form during a lift, and may help reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

It has been hypothesized that static stretching immediately prior to athletic competitions requiring power and force may actually diminish performance. (Shrier, 2004) In addition, Shrier hypothesizes that static stretching can cause an anesthetic (pain reducing) effect on injured muscles, increasing the performance …

Performance Nutrition

Performance Nutrition
Sara Fleming, B.A., M.S., ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
*Sara is not a licensed or registered dietician

Most of us are exercising for one of two reasons: To get bigger, or to get smaller. Some of us are exercising for both of those reasons, ie increasing our lean body mass while getting rid of the flab. This task can seem quite daunting, but the truth is, changing our body composition takes place mostly in the kitchen and not in the gym. If we overfuel our bodies with too much, poor quality, and/or the wrong kinds of nutrients, we will not be able to reduce our bodyfat stores. Likewise, if we under fuel our bodies with inadequate micro and macro nutrients such as protein, vitamins, and minerals, we risk overtraining* and fail to reach our fitness goals no matter how long and how hard we may work. For that reason, nutrition is every bit as important to your fitness regimen as your exercise prescription. Seeing a registered dietician for a personalized nutr…