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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #174 Are you unbalanced?
November 15, 2015

November 15, 2015

In this newsletter . . .

Are you unbalanced?

This isn’t a mental health question. It is a physical fitness question. And it is an important physical fitness question. Here’s why: Every balanced fitness program requires three elements. They are:

The focus or emphasis can be on any one of the three, depending on your training goals or for improvement in a particular sport. But regardless of your goals, to completely ignore any one of the three is a mistake leading to imbalance.

For our discussion here, let’s assume a regimen for general all-around fitness, rather than an exercise program for sport specific training. Look around in most gyms or health clubs and I think you’ll find most people doing resistance work along with some form of cardio. It is, on average, the flexibility movements (stretching) that get short shrift. And this is true more so with men than women. That’s my personal observation anyway after many years spent in gyms.

Also, years ago when I was a member of a running club, I noticed the same attitude with runners. They would go on long training runs but with little or no stretching afterward. They loved running but would often confess, “I hate to stretch.” Not all were that way, of course, but it was a fairly common remark.

Of course one group of exercisers, yoga adherents, don’t have the problem of stretching aversion. Stretching is their thing. For the rest of us who might need reminding, adding some flexibility training to our workouts is important. Very important. And stretching doesn’t have to be long and tedious. Some minutes of static stretching following workouts goes a long way in keeping a body supple and flexible. Yoga type poses or Qigong movements work great. However, for warm-ups moderate but dynamic movements are more appropriate than static stretching.

An important point to remember: You don’t have to be a contortionist to reap the benefits of stretching. Some people are naturally more flexible than others. The idea is to relax and lengthen after contracting muscles during workouts. Establish the habit and you’ll feel the positive effects very soon. And long term, you’ll maintain good flexibility well into your senior years.

Finally, balance often becomes a problem for seniors and falling can be a serious concern. A lifetime habit of training that includes the three key elements of fitness exercise – resistance training, cardiovascular exercise, and flexibility movements – minimizes all areas of senior decline. Stay balanced. Don’t ignore any one of the three.

* * *

For intermediate to advanced trainees: Here are two combination moves for both muscle building and flexibility . . .

For upper-body.

For lower-body.

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Newsletter Policy

The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to subscribers. The purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.

I have never been paid or received compensation of any kind to write a positive review or endorse a product. If I say that I personally use a product or service, it is because I find value in it and have paid for it with my own money.

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The newsletter and web site provide information to help users establish and maintain a fitness lifestyle. But fitness information is not the same as fitness advice, which is the application of exercise and dietary practices to an individual's specific circumstances. Therefore, always consult with your physician for assurance that fitness information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate for you.

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Logan Franklin
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter

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