Putting It Off

We all know we need to let exercise become a habit.  Whether or not we actually do this, is often another story.  It comes down to it really being a mindset and to just doing it while we have the chance.

We all have our share of fitness setbacks. We can bounce back quicker from these setbacks by remembering our goals.  Our bodies get stressed when we don't exercise. Then we get stressed knowing we are procrastinating about exercising. It can be a vicious cycle. 

One of the things we all try to avoid is regrets.  We have to move on from our setbacks and not fall into the hole of continuous regret.  We should strive to dedicate ourselves to keep trying.  It truly is up to us whether we give up or fight through.

It is easy to just give up and quit. We have to try and think about all the hard work we have already put into it.

These are three tips to help keep to a fitness mindset.

1.  Simplify our workouts.  Keeping the workout short and sweet at times, will allow us to continue on the  road of progress.

2.  Eat a well balanced nutritious diet and get enough rest so you do not feel drained during workouts.

3.  Get a workout buddy or fitness trainer to help with accountability.

The way I choose to look at it is that every day is a new beginning. Just take a breath, start again, and stop Putting It Off!


Which is more important Flexibility or Mobility

     Flexibility and mobility have been popping up in training articles, discussions and blogs throughout the web as of recent. The popularity of Cross Fit, outdoor boot-camps, and circuit style classes has created an onslaught of research and articles featuring “The importance of movement” within your exercise program. The only error that I observe is how some interchange these two terms. They are related, but very different. Flexibility is defined as the ability to flex, extend, or circumduct a joint through its full range of motion (ROM). To put this in simpler terms, flexibility is the lengthening of tissue. Mobility is the ability to actively move a joint through its full range of motion, under control. Mobility also requires an element of strength. Internationally recognized physical therapist Gray Cook created the functional movement screen (FMS) to analyze and chart movement patterns. This 7-point screen allows you observe inefficiencies of movement, existing or future possible injuries, and asymmetries someone may have. Gray is always clear to state that “the FMS is a screen, not a test”. It’s through corrective exercise work that you can “clean up” the mobility issues. Sometimes flexibility work can improve mobility, but not always. Sometimes the problem is more muscle inhibition. Mike Boyle once stated that “exercise should look good”. “If it doesn’t look pretty, there’s probably something going on”. When addressing mobility we need to discuss the ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, neck, elbows, wrists, and fingers. The reason that I chose to write this article is that I observe many people prioritizing flexibility with passive stretching with the goal of improving mobility. It’s my opinion, that someone can have average or better than average flexibility with poor mobility.

     Mobility exercises increase the flow of synovial fluid within the bursa. This fluid “washes” and “greases” up the joint. There isn’t any blood supply to the joint and nourishment is provided solely by the synovial fluid. More importantly, all waste products are flushed out by this fluid. Salt and calcium deposits can frequently create impingements within a joint, greatly affecting range of motion, leading to faulty movement patterns and eventually injury.

     I couldn’t discuss flexibility and mobility without mentioning stability. These three work together. It’s sometimes a person’s lack of stability that will affect their mobility and/or flexibility. Boyle states that your body is like a “stack of blocks starting at the ankle and working their way up.”

·        Ankles- mobile

·        Knees- stability

·        Hips- mobile

·        Lumbar spine- stability

·        Thoracic spine- mobile

·        Cervical spine- mobile

      Here’s a common scenario. The ankle is in-mobile, and therefore creates knee pain because the knee compensates for the lack of ankle mobility. However the knee is stability joint. This forces the hip to be a stabilizer, but the hip should be mobile. This creates a change in the hips by becoming in-mobile. Next up are the glutes, which become tight and shortened. That’s how mobility can affect stability, which can affect mobility, which in return, will affect flexibility. Hopefully, I cleared things up and didn’t confuse you more!

     In closing this is what I recommend. Use dynamic flexibility coupled with bodywork (i.e. foam rolling, massage) to improve muscle length and flexibility. Mix in joint mobility exercises to engage joint range of motion and mobility. Finally, incorporate balance and stability exercises to strengthen the knee and core (lumbar spine). I know, it sounds like a lot, and it is. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. By following this process you will address flexibility, mobility, and stability. It’s my opinion that all three are important. Good luck, and see you in the gym.


Interview with Las Vegas Sports physician Dr. Michael Gunter

     I recently was able get an interview with Las Vegas family practice, sports medicine physician Dr. Michael Gunter. Dr. Gunter has been a mainstay in the Southern Nevada community for years. You may also see him ringside as a Nevada fight commission doctor for the popular UFC. I was able to ask him a few questions about the direction he thinks our society is going as far as health & wellness, his favorite type of exercise, and a few other hot topic issues. Dr. Gunter is known for not pulling punches and he didn’t let me down with this interview.

Doug: Thanks for taking the time out of your crazy schedule for an interview. As a country we have more options for a healthy lifestyle, but every day we seem to become more & more unfit as a country. With obesity being a hot issue, for both adults & children, do you see us reversing that trend in the upcoming future?

Dr. Gunter: Well, one can only hope so. Companies are incentivizing their employees to lose weight and to stay in better overall health. As you know, as we decrease body fat we reduce the risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. It’s also been proven that you lower absenteeism and you can improve performance in the work place. That being said, as parents I feel it is vital to start educating the benefits of a healthy lifestyle with physical activity to our kids. A healthy kid has a better chance of growing up to be a healthy adult.

Doug: You’ve mentioned to me that you have seen great success with hormone replacement therapy. As a physician that thinks there are many benefits with this, who do you think are good candidates for this type of medicine?

Dr. Gunter: As we all age, specifically once we get past age 35, we start a steady decline of testosterone in our bodies. What a lot of people don’t know is that men also experience a form of menopause similar to women called andropause. So with that said, men and women who experience a decrease in energy, decrease in recovery from exercise, decrease in mental clarity, insomnia, joint pain, decrease sex drive, and for men a decrease in erectile function may all be good candidates for the evaluation for hormone replacement therapy.

Doug: As a sports doctor who is exposed to all different types of athletes and training modalities, what type of exercise do you prefer?

Dr. Gunter: I think there needs to be a mix. I believe you should have a program of both cardiovascular exercise and resistance exercise. It’s been proven and documented that resistance training improves and increases the bodies resting metabolic rate for a longer period of time. However, we do need our cardiopulmonary fitness, especially for those who are endurance athletes. I think we need a compliment of exercises that includes resistance training to increase lean muscle mass, core work to reduce back injuries, and flexibility work for quality of life. I love HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts. HIIT is a great option for those people who don’t have a lot of time. These people can get a great workout within 40 minutes.

Doug: For all those busy people out there who complain that they don’t have enough time to exercise, what’s your response?

Dr. Gunter: I typically say that everyone has time. Period. We just have to make the effort. Once we figure out that our most important entity is our body, we have to take the initiative. There’s a couple ways to go at it. You can just get up and do it, or if you need more of a push you can use a personal trainer to get back in the game. Trainers are important for many reasons. They reduce the risk of injury by showing proper technique, can help you map out a program personalized for your needs and your body, and can be there to motivate when you need it. We all can get in a rut with work and family life. Before we realize it we haven’t worked out in months, maybe years, and we look in the mirror and say “who’s that person?” I give every one of my patients a physical every year, and we discuss exercise and nutrition. I provide them with recommendations. I believe fitness is a key ingredient for longevity and quality of life, and overall reduction in disease.

Doug: Thanks doc.

J & D Fitness
4180 South Fort Apache Rd,
Las Vegas, NV 89147