Staying Fresh While Getting Fit
There is a lot that comes to getting, and staying, fit. Not only do you have to make sure you are fueling your body with the proper nutrients that it needs, but you also have to have the will power to make working out a habit. Making it a habit is a little harder, especially when you are still sore from your last work out session. Here are FOUR tools to help you recover faster and make you less prone to injury.
TurmericCombating inflammation is important when it comes to keeping yourself fit and in shape. It makes it harder if our bodies are still sore from the workout the day before. Its fairly well known that turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties similar to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Turmeric not only combats inflammation by inhibiting the COX2 (cyclooxegenase) enzyme, that NSAIDs thing mentioned earlier, but it also has antioxidant properties that in turn also reduce inflammation. There are also multiple studies that show that turmeric is effective in offsetting damage to muscles induced by exercise.
Hydration"A decrease in body water from normal levels (often referred to as dehydration or hypohydration) provokes changes in cardiovascular, thermoregulatory, metabolic, and central nervous function that become increasingly greater as dehydration worsens"-B. Murray "Hydration and Physical Performance" Keeping the body hydrated should be at the top of everyone's list when it comes to healthy habits, but especially if you are fairly physically active. Not only can being 1-3% dehydrated lead to a 5-10% decrease in VO2max, the bodies capacity to be able to use oxygen, but being 5% dehydrated can lead to a 30% reduction in the bodies capacity to do work. So being hydrated will allow you to stay in the gym longer and get more out of your workout. I personally drink water first thing when I wake up and will drink until my urine is clear. Sports science is pretty tuned in when it comes to hydration and its recommended that 2 h before exercise athletes drinking approximately 5-10 mL/kg body weight of water. It is also a great way to aid your body in flushing out the free radicals generated from exercise.
MSMAs mentioned earlier getting inflammation lowered is a key to muscle recovery. One of the ways the body naturally fights inflammation and oxidative damage is with the antioxidants that it produces itself. The two main antioxidants are called super-oxide disputes (SOD) and glutathione. This is where Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) comes in. With SOD and glutathione both being sulfur based and MSM being a great source of bioavalible sulfur it makes since that consuming MSM increases the levels of these two antioxidants. When you look at the fact that glutathione is decreased by as much as 40% in muscle tissue after only 10 minutes of aerobic activity. There was even a decrease in the amount of damage produced during exercise in one study of participants who were on MSM for a 10 day period. So not only does MSM aid in recovery it even lessens the amount of damage actually done initially.
StretchingBeing stiff can inhibit ones ability to get a good workout in. For this reason the American College of Sports Medicine recommends stretching as part of a "warm up", but what kind of stretching? Now you may be asking yourself "there is more than one kind of stretching?" First off lets differentiate the different types. Generally stretching is separated into three categories. These include static, dynamic, and pre-contraction stretching. Pre-contraction stretching usually requires aid, either from another individual or some kind of equipment like a band. For this reason we will be focusing on static and dynamic stretching. Contracting the muscle before the stretch force is applied is what makes a stretch a pre-contraction stretch in case you where wondering.
Static StretchingWhen one holds a stretch, usually for at least 15 seconds, the stretch is considered static. You bend down to touch your toes and hold that position, that is an example of a static stretch. While static stretches are extremely beneficial in improving range of motion (ROM), doing static stretches before physical activity can actually decrease muscle strength and diminish performance. Now this isn't to say that static stretching has no place in our routine. If you do this form of stretching after a workout not only do you get the benefits of increased ROM, but it also aids in muscle repair. It does this by allowing muscle and collagen fibers to align while healing. So static stretches should be saved as a "cool down" after exercise and not used as a "warm up" before.
Dynamic StretchingOn the other hand we have dynamic stretches which involve motion and no holds. In the static stretch example we used a toe touch. If instead of holding the toe touch position if you where to immediately bounce back up to your starting position then that would turn it into a dynamic stretch. The idea is to get your muscles warmed up and move the joint through its full ROM.When doing dynamic stretches you should try to mimic the types of motions that will be involved in the physical activity. This is the type of stretching that should be used during your "warm up" before physical activity. mTurmeric and our mRestore. MSM is the only ingredient in our mRestore and I'm pretty sure its the cleanest source out there. For our mTurmeric we use a CO2 extraction to make the compounds bioavailible throw that in some medical grade alcohol as a carrier. Then we stabilize it with a little vegetable glycerin and sweeten it with honey. In allergy blog I mentioned adding salt into my water to aid in hydration. We also have the best source of salt that I know (Icelandic). If you would like to use any of these tools you can visit our online store, or now that you are fit you can run down to our award winning wellness center.