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A guide to warming up and cooling down when exercising

cool downThere is no doubt that time spent on warming up and cooling down are essential parts of a workout. Doing so will improve an athlete’s level of performance and accelerate the recovery process needed before and after training, or a competition.

Research suggests that the use of dynamic stretches – slow controlled movements through full range of motion, are the most appropriate exercises for the warm up. By contrast, static stretches are more appropriate for the cool down.

Warm Up

Warm up exercises prepare the body for exercise by increasing the heart rate and blood flow to the muscles, allowing them to loosen up. Doing this gradually increases the body’s temperature and helps muscles become flexible. Any strenuous activity that begins abruptly can cause injury, which is why it is important to warm up first.

This part of your exercise session also protects major joints by increasing the supply of lubrication to the articular cartilages – the body’s shock absorbers. Continue Reading »

Five exercises to help improve your balance for icy conditions

As we all know, Wisconsin weather can be called confusing at best. Temperatures can swing from 30 degrees one day, to 70 degrees the next day. Wisconsin winters can be particularly problematic due to the snow, ice and cold that lasts from December through March. One area of concern is slipping or falling on the ice. In general, people are more careful when they can see ice in the way, but what happens when we run into black ice or ice covered with snow? Is there anything we can do to prevent these falls, or limit the severity of injury when slipping? There is! I have several exercises and tips that can keep you healthier during the Wisconsin winter ahead. Continue Reading »

Friendship, exercise and relaxation for cancer patients

PEACEAre you or someone you know currently in cancer treatment, recently finished treatment or a long-term survivor and need a place to find friendship, encouragement and help for mind, body and spirit? Mercy Medical Center’s PEACE exercise and relaxation program serves people in all stages of their journey with cancer.

Continue Reading »

Exercise during pregnancy

shutterstock_111457892Too busy to exercise during pregnancy? There is data out there suggesting that you should try to squeeze in a few workouts a week.

Some of the benefits of exercise during pregnancy for mom include:

  • Reduced weight gain
  • Improved muscle tone
  • Improved self esteem
  • Decreased incidence of varicose veins
  • Improved sleep
  • Decreased incidence of low back pain, musculoskeletal pains
  • Improved posture, body mechanics
  • Improved heart, lung function
  • A possible link is decreased need for induction, cesarian deliveries, episotomy, anesthesia
  • Prevents and provides treatment for:

Wisconsin: 15th most obese state in the country

wisc-01Wisconsin may be known as “America’s Dairyland” but these days it is also getting a reputation for being one of the most obese states in the nation, ranking 15th in the country. In Wisconsin, one in three adults are obese. Obesity is defined by having a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30.

According to a new report by Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation titled “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future, 2013”, every state in the country has an adult obesity rate above 20 percent. This is a startling increase given that in 1980 no states had an adult obesity rate above 15 percent. Continue Reading »

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