How to Improve Balance, Mobility, and Strength

How to Improve Balance, Mobility, and Strength

Whether walking down a crowded street, or leaping through Swan Lake, we need our wits about us. Notably, we use our whole bodies for balance, mobility, and strength, to control our movements.

It’s important to realize we hardly ever stand with two feet firmly planted. In fact, in almost every physical activity, from sports to walking, we spend more time on one leg than two.

 

4 Benefits of Single Leg Squats

  1. All things considered, any squat is effective in strengthening your entire lower body and core muscles, and increasing mobility.  
  2. Interestingly, single-leg squats have the benefit of mimicking real movements, so you train your body the way you use it.
  3. At the same time, single leg squats develop balance, coordination, and reduce knee pain. Additionally, single-leg exercises strengthen core muscles, and stabilize movement. Plus, single-leg squats challenge your proprioceptive awareness (feedback from your body).
  4. Plus, single leg squats are portable. That is, we don’t need equipment, and can do it anytime, anywhere. Consequently, I often practice while waiting in line at the grocery store.

 

Challenges of Single Leg Squats

To begin with, you may find controlling your body is difficult. In general, most of us have a difficult time with the single leg squat in the beginning. To put it another way, it’s OK to struggle.

Specifically, you may find that it’s hard to stay balanced on one leg. As examples, your ankle might wobble, your knee may rotate, and your upper body can sway.

For this reason, start practicing the single leg squat slowly. For example, start by standing on one leg briefly (maybe 10 or 15 seconds). Next, as you get stronger, increase the time you hold your position. (BilateralSquatTraining)

 

How to Perform a Single Leg Squat

  1. Start standing with your shoulders relaxed, and concentrate on good posture.
  2. Then, tuck your pelvis, and tighten your buttocks muscles.
  3. Third, raise one leg, bending at the knee with your foot pointing at the floor. 
  4. At the same time, keep your weight centered on the ball of your standing foot.
  5. Finally, bend your standing leg slowly, while contracting your thigh muscles. 

All in all, don’t worry about squatting deeply, especially at the beginning. Specifically, squat as low as you can and stay balanced on your one leg. Sooner or later, as you become stronger, increase the squat depth as well as the number of repetitions you perform.

 

How to Improve Balance, Mobility, and Strength

(A Single Leg Squat Demonstration)

 

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Personal Training/Health & Wellness Coaching

My name is Jacqueline Gikow. I am an independent, certified Personal Trainer, and National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach. Health and wellbeing aren’t about being better than someone else. Instead, they are about being better than you used to be.

For this reason, every week I publish an article about health (getting active and fit), or wellness (enriching your life).

Specifically, I create wellbeing programs that are realistic, flexible, and compatible with your lifestyle.

Contact me at Audacious-Aging.NYC® to explore ways to meet your goals for improved health and well-being.

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Get Active and Improve Your Finances

Get Active and Improve Your Finances

When we think about money, how often we get to the gym may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, think again. To begin with, you know exercise is good for you.  Surprisingly, working out regularly can have financial benefits too.

In fact, if exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs invented. For one thing, exercising regularly may save you between $500 and $2,500 a year in medical bills. (ExerciseSaveMoney)

Another key point; regular exercise is linked to higher salaries. To put it differently, consistent exercise may fatten your paycheck by 9%. (MoveEarnMore)

 

Get Active and Improve Your Finances

In effect, your health is interwoven with your financial life. All in all, while working out won’t guarantee you’ll get a raise, you will boost your bottom line through remaining productive as you get older.

In the long run, staying active is the most economical to fix what ails you. And as shown above, it’s health that’s worth paying for.

 

A Little Pep Talk

 

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Certified Personal Trainer

National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach

My name is Jacqueline Gikow. Every week I publish an article about health (getting active and fit), or wellness (enriching your life). Health and wellness aren’t about being better than someone else… Instead, they are about being better than you used to be.

Above all, I believe in your ability to challenge your current behavior. For this reason, I create health and wellbeing programs that are realistic, flexible, and compatible with your lifestyle.

Want to start? Contact me, through Audacious-Aging.NYC®, to learn more, or work with me.

Get informed of my blog posts and important activities 

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A Simple Way to Help You Live Longer

A Simple Way to Help You Live Longer

It’s really this simple: Research shows that people with a positive outlook on life live significantly longer. To begin with, a positive life view enhances the belief in our abilities, decreases perceived stress, and fosters healthful behaviors. Further, positive emotions broaden our sense of possibilities. On the other hand, negative emotions do the opposite. (SurvivalAdvantage)

A key point, when facing a health crisis, actively cultivating positive emotions is indisputably linked to health benefits. As examples, the outcomes include lower blood pressure, less heart disease, and better weight control.

 

What Will Help

All things considered, you probably know what makes you feel good. Maybe it’s playing the guitar. Maybe it’s baking an apple pie, or ballroom dancing.

In fact, researchers noticed that happy people tend to cultivate new skills, which lead to feeling successful. Significantly, this results in more happiness, and the process repeats itself.

 

2 Activities to Increase Positive Thinking

Writing. First, write about a positive experience you had. Additionally, spend 20 minutes writing about this experience. Finally, repeat this writing activity for three consecutive days, Surprisingly, this research project resulted in amazing results after three months. In short, writing about positive experiences lead to better moods, fewer visits to the health center, and less illness. (HealthBenefitsWriting) 

Playing. In the same fashion, schedule time to play into your life. It’s important to realize that time Is not fixed. As a matter of fact, what I know is that there’s always time to do the stuff we think is important.

 

Where to Go from Here

It’s important to realize that positive thinking isn’t only a fluffy, feel-good expression. In fact, moments of happiness are critical for your healthy mind and body. In other words, adding positive emotions into your life — whether through writing or playing catch, can shape your future.

 

An Easy Tip to Increase Positivity

 

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Health & Wellness Coach/Personal Trainer

My name is Jacqueline Gikow. Every week I publish an article about health (getting active and fit), or wellness (enriching your life).

As a certified health and wellness coach, I believe in your ability to challenge your current behavior. In fact, I am focused on supporting your strengths and goals to live your best life.

Want to start? Contact me, through Audacious-Aging.NYC®, to learn more, or work with me.

 

Get informed of my blog posts and important activities 

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How to Like Being Active, Have Fun, and Get Healthy

How to Like Being Active, Have Fun, and Get Healthy

Here is sad news: Statistics show that 80% of American adults don’t meet national physical activity recommendations for aerobic and muscle strengthening. Additionally, around 45% of us don’t move around enough to get any health benefits from our activities. (PhysicalInactiviy)

 

Why We Don’t Move Enough

In the first place, we know there are a lot of good reasons to exercise. To enumerate, they include improving our energy, health mood, and, sleep. Not to mention reducing anxiety, depression, and stress. 

However, we may have a limited idea of what physical activity and moving are. As an illustration, we don’t want force ourselves to do monotonous activities we hate. Another key point, we may be told exercise will fix something wrong us. Correspondingly, we might think it means spending hours in a gym. In fact, the whole idea of moving more fills us with dread.  

Significantly, linking fear and loathing with activity isn’t particularly motivating.

At the same time, we believe it takes too long to see any results. All in all, when we hate our workout, willpower won’t keep us going long-term. Ultimately, improving our health isn’t motivation enough to make us get up and go (anywhere).

 

How to Like Being Active, Have Fun, and Get Healthy

Surprisingly, exercise is a teeny tiny part of moving, but hardly anyone thinks about it this way. To put it another way, exercise is a narrow view of human movement. To emphasize, there are alternatives to traditional exercise to boost your physical activity. After all, physical activity is anything we do that involves moving our bodies.

To begin with, we want to start with an activity we like to do. As an example, you can reach a mile by different methods: biking, running, skipping, swimming, walking, or a combination of those activities. Therefore, choose the activity that will make you the happiest as you do it, and when you’re finished.

Not surprisingly, research shows the key to sticking with a physical activity is that we enjoy it. In general, when we finish doing something we enjoy, we feel successful. As a matter of fact, success is a confidence builder. Ultimately, when we are confident, believe we will accomplish our goal. (EnjoyPhysicalActivity)

 

Variety is the Spice of Life

It’s important to realize we have a lot of choices in how to begin and benefit from moving (not-exercise). To put it another way, moving is a moveable feast.

Watch my video of clients and friends, as they demonstrate different physical activities — from the familiar to unusual, to inspire you in thinking about activity and moving about.

As a challenge, what other intriguing movements can you think to do? If you’re so inclined, take a short (5 or 6 seconds) video of you executing an activity and email it to me. When I get 10, I’ll post them in an upcoming blog post.

 

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Personal Training/Health & Wellness Coaching

My name is Jacqueline Gikow, I’ve worked as a personal trainer and health & wellness coach — for a while now. As a result, I support folks who may not like working out, find a way to move from reluctant to eager exercisers. At the same time, I coach by encouraging you to explore possibilities for change rather than dwell on reasons you can’t or haven’t. In short, I can offer options on how to make your goals a reality.

Contact me at Audacious-Aging.NYC® to explore ways to meet your goals for improved health and well-being.

Get informed of my blog posts and important activities 

(I promise not to overwhelm you with emails)

Your Easy Start With Foam Rolling

Your Easy Start With Foam Rolling

Self-myofascial release (SMR, also called foam rolling) is a fancy term for self-massage.  “Fascia” is connective tissue that stabilizes your muscles. By massaging it, you increase your muscles’ range of motion, boost blood circulation, break down tightness or knots in your muscles and bolster muscle tissue integrity. (FoamRollingEffect)

 

Trigger Points vs Tight Muscles

Briefly speaking, a trigger point is pain that radiates beyond the muscle when you apply pressure to it.

In contrast, the pain you get while stretching is uncomfortable, but not unbearable.

In both cases, when you are done, the discomfort is lessened.

 

Why Am I Doing Something That Hurts? 

When you only stretch, you don’t always release muscle tightness. As an illustration, imagine a bungee cord with a knot tied into it. Significanly, when you stretch the unknotted portion, it lengthens, but the knot doesn’t disappear. In fact, you still have to untie the knot.

In contrast, foam rolling breaks the muscle knot down, so normal blood flow returns. 

To put it another way, foam rolling — combined with old-school static stretching, increases the range of motion in your hip. As a result, your flexibility increases.

 

2 Times to Foam Roll

  1. To begin with, foam roll before a workout to knock out stress hormone levels (cortisol). In essence, foam rolling improves circulation and pain tolerance.
  2. Later, foam roll after a workout rolling to speed up the start of soreness from the exertion.

 

3 Steps to Foam Rolling

In actuality, the term “foam rolling” is misleading. Generally speaking, what you are doing is a series of pauses to let each trigger point relax into the roller.

  1. First, apply moderate pressure to a specific muscle or muscle group using the roller and your bodyweight.
  2. Then, roll slowly along the area; no more than one inch at a time.
  3. Specifically, when you find an area that is tight or painful, pause and hold on that area for 30-60 seconds.

As a result, the muscle releases, and the discomfort or pain will lessen. (HowFoamRoll)

In the final analysis, the goal is to restore your muscles. To put it another way, foam rolling is not a pain tolerance test. In fact, rolling at 50%, 70%, and 90% of your pain threshold shows similar results. (Results)

 

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In-Home Personal Training in Manhattan

My name is Jacqueline Gikow. I am a certified instructor in foam rolling techniques. Health and wellness aren’t about being better than someone else… Instead, they are about being better than you used to be. Consequently, every week I publish an article about health (getting active and fit), or wellness (enriching your life).

Contact me at Audacious-Aging.NYC® to explore ways to meet your goals for improved health and well-being.

Get informed of my blog posts and important activities 

(I promise not to overwhelm you with emails)

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