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4 Dynamic Stretches Offer First Aid for Morning Pain and Stiffness

By Dr. Tom Kleeman, an orthopedic surgeon and creator of MDFitness: The Doctors Workout, a 3-DVD workout available at TheDoctorsWorkout.com.

Your alarm goes off. You pry your eyes open, swing your legs over the side of the bed, and take those first morning steps. That’s when the real alarms go off. Your back and joints cry out in anguish. For a moment you are frozen like the rusty Tin Man wondering how to lubricate all of those joints. You remember reading somewhere that it was important to stretch in the morning, but what does that mean exactly?

For years static stretching has been the mainstay of the early morning routine. As it turns out, research doesn’t support a benefit from static stretching. Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, has been shown to have many benefits including warming up your muscles, increasing blood flow, and jump-starting your metabolism. The idea is to obtain the most benefit in the least time using compound exercises that work multiple joints or muscle groups at the same time. Check out these four dynamic stretches and see for yourself. It’s like having a can of lubricating oil at your bedside.

High March with Arm Swings

high knee mdfitness
This is a great beginning move. It’s easy on your joints while warming up both the upper and lower body. Start by marching in place bringing your knees up higher as your hips warm up. At the same time, stretch your arms out to the side and bring them forward wrapping them around your chest then back out in the tempo of the march. Keep going for about 30 seconds. This exercise gets your hips, shoulders, and chest warmed up and limber.
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Muscular Legs Make Jeans Impossible? Barbell Apparel is Here to Solve Your Denim Dilemma

You’ve lifted, squatted, stretched, and sweat your way to a fitter life and smaller waistline. However, you’ve also built up muscle in your thighs, calves, and butt, which can make slipping into your favorite pair (or any pair) of jeans a bigger challenge than you may expect.

Famous athletes have complained about the lack of jeans options that fit their athletic frames, and they’re certainly not the only ones with that problem. Anyone who has muscular legs probably knows the struggle of finding pants to fit both your legs and waist.

That’s where Barbell Apparel comes in. They are a new company designing jeans with athletic figures specifically in mind.


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Get Fit Today for a Healthier Future

We often stress the importance of an active and healthy lifestyle for your current well-being, but two new studies show that being fit can have a serious impact on your health for decades. If you’re active now, you’re protecting yourself from muscle weakness later in life. And if you were a member a sports team in high school, researchers say you’ve likely prevented frequent doctor’s visits as you’ve gotten older.

 

active senior

Researchers from Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology teamed up to study the health of World War II veterans who were healthy as young men. The researchers were surprised to find that those who played a high school sport reported visiting the doctor for health concerns fewer times a year.


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Setting Realistic Expectations for Gaining Muscle in the Gym

Building up muscle on your body takes a lot of hard work and dedication and most men who join a gym do not realize exactly what this hard work should be. If you have never worked out on a regular basis and decide to join a gym in order to gain more muscle, it should be expected that you know what you are in for.

weight lift

If you are young and trying to gain muscle for the first time then you will have the advantage of the rather unpredictable growth spurts that younger men or women seem to show when training with weights. However, if you are an adult and doing this for the first time, you need to know that you will be extremely fortunate if you gain 10 pounds of muscle a year.

If all the odds are stacked in your favor and you are born with good genes that gave you a mesomorphic body type, which puts on muscle quickly, then you need to know that the chances of putting on a lot of muscle in your first year of training with weights is very good.
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3 Tips for a Sharper Mind and Sculpted Body

Michael Gonzalez-Wallace is the author of Super Body, Super Brain. You can read more from him at www.superbodysuperbrain.com or pick up his book Super Body, Super Brain.

Use it or lose it.

If we don’t use our muscles, they will wither in atrophy and if we don’t use our brain, our brain will shrink. If the brain is not used, different brain areas will slow down leading to a faster decline in cognitive abilities such as multitasking, learning, memory or movement. A study from Harvard University concluded that lack of brain activity between different areas of the brain means faster aging.

However, what if I told you that is possible to be faster mentally or in better physical shape now than you were 5 or 10 years ago? For the last 10 years, we have being seeing a brilliant phenomena called brain plasticity. Brain plasticity is the brain’s capacity to rewire or regenerate itself, and the key is stimulation. Anytime you stimulate the brain, you are strengthening existing connections and creating new powerful networks. In other words, you are strengthening your brain like a muscle.

According to Dr John Ratey Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard University, exercise is the ultimate way to improve brain plasticity. Nice! But plasticity doesn’t only affect our brains- but affects our muscles as well. Muscle fiber plasticity refers to the capacity of our muscles to change shape, form and structure and there is no age limit, you just need to be consistent with a resistance training program.


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