Get Your Ass Into It! – Glutes Are Not Just for Sitting On

“Get your ass into it!” yells your coach as you half heartedly go through the motions of a workout or practice.  Does he really mean to use your butt muscles, or more metaphorically to put more effort into your movements?  The answer is likely a little of both, and you know that from way back when.

Let’s drill down into why “using your ass” in sports and gym exercises is critical to power, strength, and speed.  Regardless of your age and talent level, being able to successfully incorporate the glutes can transform your workouts, give you more distance off the tee, and allow you to hammer that ace first serve.  Unfortunately, most executives, professionals, and older adults use their glutes for resting their body weight on, aka, sitting a majority of the day.  Obviously sitting does nothing to make the glutes stronger.  Sitting makes your glutes lengthened and more difficult to generate power for working out and playing any sports.  Most people don’t know the potential that lies in the biggest muscle on their body.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

The main function of your glutes is to extend your hips.  The easiest way to explain it is standing up.  When you stand up from a seated position, your glutes contract along with your quadriceps, to get you off the chair.  Most people over rely on their quadriceps for these movements, which are shortened and tight due to sitting hours daily.  The quadriceps cannot generate the power and strength of the glute muscles when they are shortened, and often lead to knee-cap pain when they dominate in pushing movements. 

Training the glutes to be the prime power generator is not simply doing squats, lunges, and deadlifts till they fall off.  It starts with smaller isolated exercises like lying face down and raising your straight leg high as you can off the ground.  Another move called a bird dog helps to activate your glutes and your rear shoulder muscles.  Being able to contract your glutes for full hip extension takes the strain off your quadriceps and knees, allowing for more range of motion for any squatting movements.  This also means picking up a bag of mulch or dog food from the ground easier and putting less stress on your lower back.  Being an athlete in the game of life isn’t always about lifting weights or playing sports, it’s about doing life’s activities easier and more often.

Photo by Florian Doppler on Pexels.com

For women, they love training glutes for that curvy look.  Aesthetics are important and I’d be telling a lie saying I don’t look at a woman’s butt that’s shapely.  Ladies, you look at women’s butts too AND men’s.  Everyone knows it. From a functional standpoint, learning how to activate your glutes helps you to stand up taller, shift your weight in a golf swing for more distance, explode into an overhand smash and serve, and sprint faster in a race.  Look at a Thoroughbred’s rear legs and glutes.  That’s what powers those amazing animals to run at the speeds they do.  Once you learn to activate the glutes in a lunge, squat, and deadlift, your lifting amount increases while chance of injury decreases. 

To learn how to train your glutes as part of a total body exercise program, sign up for my executive or active aging coaching program at mattpeale.com.  I just scratched the surface in this blog on why getting your ass into it is the game changer your posture and athletic performance need.  You can take any tennis or golf lessons you want, unless you learn from me how to activate the muscles you sit on all day, you’re missing out on your potential.  Go to my site and invest a few minutes into what Competing as an Athlete in the Game of Life can do for you!

Attention Ladies Who Wear High Heels: Do Your Ankles Hurt? Let Me Tell You Why

Ladies can spend ungodly amount of money on shoes.  It blows my mind, honestly.  Heel sizes of all heights, shapes, and styles for a plethora of outfits to be worn once, multiple times, or a permanent fixture in the wardrobe rotation.  Not everyone has a separate closet dedicated to shoes, those that do are very proud of it.  Why do I choose to write a blog post on high heels?  Because the damage high heels can do for a woman’s ankles, knees, and hips can be detrimental to their fitness goals.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Elevating your foot in a high heel shortens the calf muscles and weakens the muscles of the shin (anterior tibialis).  Good posture begins where the body contacts the ground, and that’s at the feet and ankles.  Proper ankle mobility allows you to squat with more power, push off for running and cutting, and reduce potential injuries like a torn Achilles tendon and plantar fasciitis.  Often ankle joint dysfunction is seen in the position of the knees when doing any type of squat movements.  The knees turn inward putting pressure on the outer connective tissues which can lead to ACL injuries and pain in the knee cap.  Bet you didn’t know any of that!

When the ankle joint doesn’t work right, other areas of the body must compensate to produce normal movements.  Over time, these compensations are seen in how a person stands (static malalignments), and in their movement patterns (dynamic malalignments).  According to the NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist textbook, “Joint dysfunction is one of the most common causes of pain in an individual.  Static malalignments are frequently the result of pattern overload from either chronic sedentary positioning or repetitive stress injury. The most common example of this is seen in people with computer-based jobs.”  If you’re reading this blog, typically that means you.  Pain felt in one area of the body does not mean it originates from that spot.

As a personal trainer, I see many women perform squats with their heels elevated on a weight plate or other small platform.  Why?  Because they read somewhere in Shape Magazine, or another women’s focused source, that raising your heels can activate the glutes more.  Women love working their glutes!  The truth is elevating your heels with already tight calf muscles, reduces the amount of weight you can squat, increases potential for injury, and exasperates already tight and weak muscles from your daily routine.  Typically, you shift forward during a squat and your feet turn out, which causes pressure on the knees and hips to compensate for the lack of ankle mobility.  These issues are not mentioned in said periodicals and media sources catered to women.

To ensure the muscles around your ankles work in good order, begin a workout using a foam roller on your calf muscles.  “The myofascial roller (or other myofascial tool) should be held on the tender area for up to 60-seconds then perform 4 – 6 active movements. The intensity should be such that there is some discomfort felt, but the user should be able to relax and breathe. Lastly, total rolling duration should last for between 5 – 10 minutes, with 90-120 seconds per muscle group,” says NASM. 

After foam rolling, stretch the calf muscles lightly.  You can hold a stretch for 20 seconds.  Besides stretching the tight muscles, it is important to strengthen the weak muscles of the shin (anterior tibialis).  You can use an elastic band tied around a bench and around your toe area.  Pull your toes toward you and away from the bench to activate the anterior tibialis.  You can also do ankle flips, which is like walking in swim fins.  Walk your regular stride and point your toes up as high as you can with each step, pausing briefly to only have the heel contact the ground before completing the step.  Integrating these stretches and movements into your warm up and/or cool down routine can give you the results you’ve been missing in the gym and in any sport you play.  Don’t believe the hype of women’s fitness magazines.  They write articles to sell magazines, not necessarily to help you truly get the most out of your fitness routine.  Want more specific help?  Sign up for my coaching program at mattpeale.com. I promise you’ll be glad you did!

Why Your Hips Hurt From Sitting at Your Desk

Men and women exercise very differently even though the biology and anatomy of muscle functions are exactly the same.  Men focus on the upper body, and mostly the “show’ muscles of chest, shoulders, and biceps.  Women focus on glutes, quadriceps, triceps, and anything abdominal related.  The real story relates to the muscles often forgotten, hamstrings and hips.  For older adults, and successful executives and professionals, sitting dominates a large portion of the day.  The muscles that become weak and cause pain in other parts of the body from hours of sitting are the hamstrings and hips.

I have an amputee client who is a successful medical professional.  Her left lower leg was lost in a lawn mower accident when she was a child.  In her medical profession, she sits while assisting for surgeries the majority of her day.  Even when not in surgery, she’s sitting a lot!  As a Corrective Exercise Specialist, I can assess and work with the dysfunction in her hips and hamstrings that result from prolonged sitting and a propensity to not be as active with her prosthetic left lower leg. 

After a training session in her home, she showed me an article in the magazine Amplitude, which is dedicated to helping amputees in all aspects of life.  The article, “Which Muscles Are You Forgetting?”, discussed all the exercises I had her do in previous sessions to increase mobility and strength in her hamstrings and hips.  It was validating and refreshing to read from a corrective standpoint, the importance of hip and hamstring mobility for amputees.  Without previously researching specific movements for amputees, I used my knowledge and experience from people who sit long periods daily to correct her imbalances and dysfunction. 

Foam rolling the priformis

Mobility in the hips is key to movement in all directions.  The glutes are the largest muscle of the body and responsible for producing power when you squat, lunge, jump, swing a golf club, pick up a bag of mulch, and all other movements related to bending at the knee and lowering your hips.  Without proper mobility, your lower back and quadriceps take on the load.  Have you thrown your lower back out?  Probably because your hips lack the strength and flexibility to function properly.  If you’re an avid gym goer and do deadlifts without good hip mobility (as I see most people do), your low back is a ticking timebomb to blow out.

Working from home over the past few months and sheltering in place exacerbated this already dangerous problem.  Older adults begin to weaken naturally, and hips become brittle from lack of use.  Balance issues are huge for older adults and anyone who sits for hours daily, which often stems also from weakness in the hips.  Pain can be felt in the knees and low back, even though it originates from weakness in the glutes, hamstrings, and hip rotational muscles.  One fall leads to another, and I see it in people starting in their early 40’s.

Bird dog

“Weak glutes can contribute to many issues such as tight hips and lower-back pain.  When we sit for long periods of time or hold poor posture, these muscles disengage,” says article writer John Pope CS, CSCS, MPO, in Amplitude.  Additionally, you can’t stand up straight and fully extend your hips because they are to tight.  Have you seen older adults shifted over and lose height?  This is a prime reason why, and it started decades ago in their 30s and 40s. 

Sitting lengthens the hamstrings and glutes, tightens the quadriceps, and hinders external rotation of the hips.  Focus on strengthening the hams and glutes while stretching the quadriceps.  Most people stand up after long periods of sitting and stretch the hamstrings, further pulling themselves out of position.  For more specific help, find a Corrective Exercise Specialist like me.  We can work with you to stretch and strengthen the proper muscles for improved movement quality in all your activities.  My website, mattpeale.com, has great info on the programs I offer for older adults, and executives and professionals.  You only have one body, and investing in it gives you the highest ROI for everything you want to do in life.

Social Distancing Can Be a Risk Factor All Its Own

Adult screen time is a term most adults don’t acknowledge as a problem. Ask a parent about their child’s screen time and frustration begins immediately! Has adult screen time during work from home and shelter in place negatively affected the physical and mental health of American adults?

Humans, as part of the mammal species, are social animals. Mammals live in families, packs, and herds, which make up a community support system. Any four-legged mammal taken away from its family, pack, or herd, doesn’t live very long. “… social species struggle when forced to live in isolation.”, says a study in Science Daily. As humans were forced to isolate themselves and use screen time more than ever, loneliness and physical health problems reared their ugly heads.

Brain scan of depression vs normal

Working from home was the dream for everyone! Wake up when you want. Wear your pajamas all day, maybe not even shower? Play with the kids at any time because the boss or your direct reports aren’t around. Have a lunch cocktail or two and start happy hour at 3:30. For the first week or two the vacation mentality was on, then reality set in and the same fun opportunities became fatigued and depressing. The same study from Science Daily says, “Loneliness directly impairs the immune system, making us less resistant to diseases and infections.”

Forward Head Position

From a postural standpoint, more adult screen time pulls your neck and head into a forward position. “Text Neck” is the term given to this dysfunction of the neck muscles and resulting muscle imbalances that cause headaches and disc compression. As an NASM certified Corrective Exercise Specialist, I’m trained to assess and provide an exercise type prescription helping people overcome these types of imbalances. A forward head position from looking down at a screen also contributes to rounded shoulders and a hunched over appearance. You know exactly what I’m talking about because you see it in the mirror every morning.

Gaining weight is a simple math problem, more calories in and less used equals a surplus of stored energy called fat. People don’t like to see themselves when they’re overweight. They have low confidence and self-esteem which can snowball into depression. Being overweight also wreaks havoc on knee, hip, and ankle joints to support the extra mass. More postural problems result for the low back to stay mobile for normal movements. Sheltering in place provides the perfect lab environment for math complete its natural equation and add 10 pounds or more over three months.

Excessive adult screen time while working from home and sheltering in place is becoming its own pandemic. Zoom call after Zoom call with additional emails and presentations to make are now the new normal for executives and professionals. Netflix, Facebook, and Amazon Prime dominate the days for the over 65 population who aren’t working as much or are retired. Age accelerates the problems mentioned already, now cognitive decline is a serious concern added to the physical atrophy happening.

What about isolation and screen time for your children or grandchildren? A similar story results for them. Study coauthor Valerie Hruska from the University of Guelph writes, “Previous research has shown that high screen use is linked to health issues in children, including lower activity levels, obesity and even language delays in younger children because they engage in less back-and-forth conversation.” Can children take on the same postural issues as adults? Yes, absolutely. Look at the slouching junior high and high school student, forward head and rounded shoulders from staring down at their device hours upon hours daily. While teens are a different beast than adults, they are the same mammal.  

Working from home isn’t all it originally thought it would be. The mental and physical health effects are months and years away from being finished. Whatever your views on social distancing, science shows it is not a healthy mid and long term option for humans mentally and physically:

  • “social isolation is a significant predictor of the risk of death;
  • insufficient social stimulation affects reasoning and memory performances, hormone homeostasis, brain grey/white-matter, connectivity and function, as well as resilience to physical and mental disease” – The Neurobiology of Social Distance

Get out and meet people again. The economy is reopening, use your judgement on the extent of social interactions. Life is more fun with friends and your loved ones. If you need help with your postural sins and joint pains, go to my website and get a free report, “3 Tips to Reducing Back Pain Your Doctor Doesn’t Know.” My coaching programs could be the answer your looking for to fix adult screen time pain. We all need each other face-to-face, make it happen!

1 – Causes of diabetes — AllAbout dot CF

Particular aspects that add to the advancement of diabetes are Genetics That diabetes can be acquired has actually been understood for centuries. Statistic indicates that those with a family history of the illness have a greater danger of establishing diabetes than those without such a background. One reason why diabetes, particularly type-2 diabetes runs in…

1 – Causes of diabetes — AllAbout dot CF

3 Upper Body Stretches to Loosen Up the Working From Home Executive

Working at home during the Coronavirus pandemic has executives and professionals all tensed up and feeling tight.  Not that it’s out of the norm to feel that way mentally, I’m speaking physically in regard to muscles from sitting and typing on your computer.  A whole host of movement dysfunctions result from hours of daily sitting that most people believe are their new normal.  This blog will help you with three specific upper body stretches to mitigate pain and discomfort in your upper body from working extended hours on your computer.

  • Stretch Your Biceps

“Stretch my biceps?” you ask.  Yes, your biceps!  Sitting with your arms bent at 90 degrees or more puts your biceps in a flexed position.  You don’t have to be in the gym pumping out barbell curls to have your biceps experience tightness.  The bicep muscles contract and bring your hand towards your shoulder, not much else purpose for them.  What is important are all the reasons why you bend your arm at the elbow to bring objects and your hand closer to you shoulder, face, and head (bringing food to your mouth is a vital function).  Being in a constant state of flex makes your biceps tight and over time, you can’t extend your arms fully without pain in your shoulder and elbow.  Stretching your biceps like the picture allows the proper length-tension relationship to return to your arms.  Pain in your elbow and shoulders, along with proper function, can extend your work life.

  • Stretch Your Pectorals (Chest)

Sitting with your hands on the keyboard, as I’m doing now, brings your arms together and contracting your pectoral muscles, also over stretching muscles in your upper back.  Over time, this position rounds your shoulders, makes you appear shorter, tightens your chest muscles, and reduces mobility of your shoulders and back.  If you workout, your bench press is impacted negatively from a reduced range of motion.  You literally become closed off and look unhappy even though you’re an upbeat person.  A simple stretch like the image below, is done with your arms in an L shape at 90 degrees leaning into a door frame.  It’s important to also stand up tall while leaning into the stretch for maximum effectiveness.  You will feel more open and give the appearance of more confidence with your shoulders back and head up!

  • Stretch Your Trapezius Muscles

Ever shrug your shoulders?  Of course you have, many times a day.  When you do so, your trapezius muscles pull up your shoulders to your ears.  With your arms elevated on your keyboard, your trapezius muscles are engaged to help keep them in this position.  Long hours of typing letters, presentations, and emails keep your trapezius muscles engaged.  Similar to your pecs, tight traps can give you the appearance of being shorter and hunched over.  Tight and consistently elevated traps pull your head forward extending your cervical vertebrae to potentially cause disc herniation.  Tension headaches also occur as a result of tightness in the traps and cervical spine area.  How can you stretch them out, place your body like the picture below.  Be sure to pull lightly on your neck to avoid injury.  Keep your back straight and upright pulling your keeping your head neutral with the ear lined up with the shoulder.  Do not pull your head forward or back, just directly to the opposite side of your extended arm.

Integrate these stretches a few times a day during your working hours.  Stretching these muscles makes a world of difference in how you feel and look.  During these unprecedented times of longer hours working from home, you need the stress relief!

Consumer Shift in the Fitness Industry as Gyms Reopen

Gyms, health clubs, and fitness facilities were among the first businesses, along with bars and restaurants, to be closed in March for the Coronavirus pandemic.  As a personal trainer working in gyms and health clubs since 2008, my world flipped upside down literally overnight.

Over the past few months, home gym equipment has leaped off the shelves of big box stores and backordered for months from online retailers.  Amazon delayed any shipping of fitness equipment until mid-May and into June.  Companies like Peloton are now having record breaking sales with people forced into purchasing higher priced items from continued gym closures and reduced capacity once reopening begins.

at home senior exercise

National and local gyms, and personal trainers of all types have taken to offering free or reduced-price classes to keep members and clients plugged in.  The health club I work at in the New Orleans area also took and is still taking part to an extent, with this model.  With a set of light to medium dumbbells, gym goers can do body pump, Zumba, yoga, cardio kickboxing, etc., from the comfort of their living room any time of day.

#Reopening.  Along with other businesses, gyms are now faced with decisions on how to reopen “safely” at 25-30% capacity in most states.  Some states as of this blog are already up to 50%.  Social distancing and sanitation/hand cleaning requirements also add into the mix for attracting members to come back.  To be honest, most of the sanitation issues have been rules posted in gyms for decades.  Members did not follow these rules and yet somehow aside from an occasional cold or flu, everyone miraculously survived over the decades.

While you may think people are lining up to pack the gym at its reduced capacity on day one, you are sadly mistaken.  Fear still dominates members’ minds even though guidelines are in place.  Realistically, it’s not possible for some of the guidelines to be implemented.  What do members do with all the home gym equipment and accessories they invested in?  Using their membership is great, yet a new routine has taken hold over the past 60 days and now is entrenching into a habit.  Free online classes are still available.  Older members are remaining at home.  Childcare is still closed for a little while longer.  Food services and gatherings for coffee or lunch are still off limits.  Personal trainers also remain furloughed in some health clubs or are making more money traveling to clients’ homes.

Fit and healthy people have stronger immune systems, regardless of age, and are more resilient to bounce back from illness.  Unfortunately, this was and is overlooked by public health, and an industry that literally can save lives, is currently in the doghouse as a den of Covid filth.  Many larger health clubs will feel the economic sting more than smaller ones.  Large health clubs have higher overhead, higher dues, and require more employees to operate.  Small gyms like an Anytime Fitness, typically have minimal to no staff, and at primetime, are still way under the fire marshal 25-30% capacity.  Could the fitness industry see a shift away from high-end, large footprint health club back to smaller boutique or franchised business plans?

A small footprint doesn’t require childcare, group classes, paid training staff, and food services.  Membership costs are low and 24/7 access from a network of locations may make these now more attractive than ever for investors, and members seeking to reduce personal expenses.  A market will always exist for higher incomes wanting perks and the latest in gadgets, classes, and equipment.  What happens to the remaining 80% of potential gym goers who are evaluating their options?  Time will tell the changes in consumer confidence and tastes for what they desire.  The gym landscape has shifted indeed.

Video Conference Calls Can Be Hazardous to Your Cervical Spine During Stay at Home

Work from home video conferencing is hotter and trendier than ever.  Staying safe is the mantra for reducing human contact and spreading COVID-19.  Many workers are able to continue in their jobs and companies have found ways to allow them to remain connected.  Even socially, people are having virtual happy hours and seeing old friends through the use of Zoom, Go To Meeting, and other video conference sites.  What is going largely unnoticed, are the significant tolls more screen time is playing on the physical dysfunction of our society.

tmjstc david website v1

Text Neck is a new term that describes how basically all humans are looking down to view their phones constantly.  It’s coupled with now leaning forward even more into laptop and tablet screens on multiple video conference calls daily.  This “new normal” posture wreaks havoc on the spinal discs in your cervical vertebrae.  The natural effects of aging are accelerated in middle age and younger adults, making them appear shorter and causing Degenerative Disc Disease, commonly called a herniated or bulging disc.  Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) can lead to excessive compression forces placed on the facet joints, which can cause pain and predispose to arthritic degeneration (Kumaresan, Yoganandan, Pintar, Maiman, & Goel, 2001).  You may not even realize the damage you’re doing because there are no nerve endings in the disc itself.  Up to 35% of individuals between 40 and 64 years of age may have a cervical disc herniation without symptoms (Antoni & Croft, 2006).

At what point do you take notice of your lack of mobility and reduction in quality of life?  Likely you haven’t noticed because you’re staring down at your phone.  The consequences are felt when you perform motions like turning your head to back your car up.  Not all cars have backup cameras, and now you’re compromising the safety of everyone in your car and oncoming cars.  You probably haven’t thought about that lately, it just hurts to turn your head more for some reason.

More seat and device time also lead to increased risk of COVID-19 death factors such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  While working from home may be great on the outside appearance, unless you regulate screen time even more, you are at risk of physically debilitating issues.  Being home also ties you longer to the screen because “working hours” don’t exist to the extent as before.  24/7 connection to email and other technology makes you accessible 24/7.  In going to work, there is a start and finish typically five days a week, this is no longer the case.

The need for self-preservation regarding spinal and joint dysfunction is now paramount.  Using specialized techniques for stretching and strengthening muscles to prevent soft tissue injuries in this COVID-19 world are now vital.  I offer a program to assist executives and professionals overcome these trying times with their joint mobility.  You can find specific information on my site.  You can also email me at athelteinthegameoflife@gmail.com for questions about the highly specialized program I offer.

Get control of your daily screen time tasks before they reduce you to constant pain and arthritis!

Tips to Avoid Boredom Eating & Weight Gain During COVID Shutdown

It’s 8:00PM on a weeknight, usually I’m cleaning up dinner after getting home from working my last client at 7:00PM.  That was before the mass shutdown, now at 8:00PM dinner was done two hours ago and I’m hunting around for a snack or fighting off the urge to have a beer.  Does this sound familiar?

It takes just over 60 days to cement in a new habit, good or bad.  The shutdown is quickly reaching that magical number.  Are you like me and sifting through the pantry and fridge at odd times during this zombie apocalypse?  The answer is probably yes, you are.  And how do you stop yourself?

Being a personal trainer also means being a billboard for healthy, active lifestyle.  Some people think personal trainers aren’t human and can say no to sweets, salty treats, or booze without a problem.  We don’t workout much and just appear looking like Greek gods.  Sadly, we are human also and experience the same emotions and require the same amount of hard work to reach and maintain our fitness levels.  Struggling through these odd couple months to not become a drunken sloth is difficult.  I like having cocktails much as the next guy and sneaking in chips or other unhealthy foods.  The accountability isn’t there with seeing clients regularly and keeping a set schedule.  Plus, physical activity levels are not where they used to be.  All of these ingredients can make a fit person fluffy!

How do we fight the fluffy?  The origins begin the same way they did before the shutdown, at the grocery store.  What you buy you eat, simple enough.  The problem is a mindset of using this time like it’s a weeklong vacation.  Sure, you buy more sweets and unhealthy snacks because it’s only a week and you want to enjoy life without the regular hassles.  Unfortunately, this vacation is dragging into months and your shopping habits are still in vacation mode.  IF you purchase regular items on a regular schedule, there aren’t poor choices to make when you rummage around. Processed-foods

Weight gain and weight loss are still math equations, yes math is hard.  To do the math on proteins, carbs, and fats, click my website for more info.  You can eat to much of healthy foods because they have calories, just more nutrient dense than a bag of chips and cookies.  Sometimes when we’re hungry, it really is dehydration and we need a few glasses of water.  Drinking a few glasses of water gives you a fuller feeling without the calories.  Try that strategy when you’re bored and looking for snacks.  Buy some flavored mineral water to give you a different taste and carbonation like a soda.  These also have zero or little calories and do the job well, I know from experience!

The best strategy for later at night snacking is going to bed.  Gastric emptying is a fact and happens 3-4 hours after a meal.  If it’s 10:00PM and you ate dinner at 6:30PM, getting hungry again is natural.  Likely you don’t have any specific reason to be awake longer and are watching shows that will be around for decades to come or reading a book that will be on your nightstand in the morning.  Save yourself the hassle and boredom, turn off the lights and go to sleep! Wake up tomorrow hungry and eat breakfast.  Eat a bigger breakfast if you like because you have all day to use those calories.  Taper off the portion sizes as the day goes on.

The last strategy is forgiveness.  When you have a bad eating day, no problem.  It’s just ONE day not a lifetime!  Make sure one day doesn’t lead into multiple days, that’s where you get in trouble.  Forgive yourself for one day and make tomorrow normal, not excessive in making up for past sins.  The body evens out, I promise.  It’s easy to let our minds run away with crazy thoughts.  Reign it in and dedicate to change tomorrow, then repeat the process.  20 pounds isn’t gained or lost in a day!

“New Normal” at Gyms? Nope, Impossible! Old Works Just Fine, Time to Reopen

“New normal,” a phrase the media throws around to cause shock n’ awe with the public.  Does this phrase truly mean anything long lasting for gyms and health clubs?  The answer is no.

A gym is full of equipment spaced apart just enough to maximize total number of machines, dumbbell racks, benches, etc.  People need people close by to spot them for safety.  These attributes are diametrically opposite of “social distancing”.  While phase 1 (whatever that means) says people have to stay six feet or more apart and only a limited number of members inside, let’s not get into wearing masks while working out, everyone knows that is not possible.  Phase 2 (whatever that means) allows for more people inside and some other freedoms to socially interact.  How many phases are there?  Who knows?

The reality is gyms and health clubs are social places.  Close contact and body contact are standard modes of operations for members.  Germs are everywhere due to constant touching of equipment, sweat, and temperature of the room.  Cleaning everything by employees after each use is impossible and impractical.  Self-policing by members to wipe down equipment is and has been on every gym’s rules since the dawn of time.  How many people follow this rule?  Not many.  Sure, they will in the beginning, then taper off and back to the “old normal”.  What is truly amazing is how many people are not sick with colds, flus, and viruses on a regular basis from all the shared touching.  It’s called herd immunity and has worked for decades.  Hmmmm, maybe there’s a lesson to learn there, but politicians, media, and “Karens” don’t want to admit this.

When gyms open their doors, social distancing rules will go out the window within a couple weeks if not days.  Charging members full amounts while limiting their access is a recipe for disaster.  Oh yeah, and don’t forget the number of employees needed to run a facility.  You have to add those body counts into the total number allowed on premise.  And one more factor, childcare.  The small humans don’t take up a lot of space, but they do count towards total bodies in an area.  In America, restrictions on our freedoms do not bode well.  Restricting usage for a paying membership population also doesn’t bode well.

On a side note, one of the preventative measures for contracting COVID-19 needs to be gym use and nutrition counseling!  It’s the elephant in the room the media isn’t addressing, go figure.  Obesity + Coronavirus = DEATH.

What is the “new normal” for gym operations?  There is none.  Gyms will be packed shoulder-to-shoulder the first opportunity to be opened.  A stampede and mutiny will happen by all the full paying members who are denied access.  Time to move forward and allow the healthy population to stay healthy.  The immune system of a gym goer is stronger than the average person and needs to be on the forefront of everything health related.  We get sick less and for less duration because of our health condition.  To truly make a difference and get the economy going, the new normal is the old normal for gyms and health clubs.  Reopen them at full strength and include government encouragement to join one.  It is a fact among humans and all animal populations, the strong do survive and create a stronger next generation.  The CDC can’t deny and change what millions of years of earth history has shown and continues to show.

New, welcome back old.  More things change, the more they stay the same.