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Building a Base for Athletic Success: Mobility

Next up in the Building a Base series is mobility. Mobility, like flexibility and strength, is a major part of building the elite athlete as well as developing the active child. Mobility is, to put it simply, the ability of the joints to move in a full range of motion. Some major contributors to lack of mobility in kids as well as adults is most often lack of movement. Sitting for hours on end creates lack of mobility in the hip joint. Constant forward posture leads to lack of shoulder mobility. The other cause of lack of mobility can be inflammation from injured tissue.

Why is this important to athletes? Lack of mobility leads to a lack of power development, quickness, and also increases the risk of injury. Since the joint cannot go through a full range of motion it cannot take full advantage of the stretch and contraction of muscle tissue which will limit the amount of power that can actually be created.

The next big dip in performance comes from lack of quickness or agility. Let’s use the hips for example. The hips are the most important part when it comes to most any sport. If you are not able to open up the hips when changing direction, it will take much longer to do so. An extra second to change directions can mean the difference between first and last place.

The last major problem that we see from lack of mobility is injury. The joint is meant to move a certain range, the muscles that move the limb about the joint are a reflection of that. If the mobility of the joint is decreased, not only are we putting more pressure on the surrounding muscle tissue, but we will also have to make up the movement somewhere. Let’s stay with the same example of the hips - if hip mobility is decreased, then often the small lower back muscles have to pick up the slack. These much smaller muscles are not meant to take those big loads and this will often lead to injury.

-Coach Adam

Shining the Light on Dedication

Today the spotlight shines on one of the Symmes, and this time the honor belongs to Riley. Riley has been an extremely dedicated and hard working student who always pushes himself during class and barely misses a class. Enough from me, read below to see what Riley has to say about his journey.

"Why did you choose Get Fit NH?
I joined Get Fit after a bit of peer pressure what from what seemed like the entire rest of my family who was already participating. I've never considered myself a big "working out" person even though I love to be outside and be active. I discovered that it was becoming harder for me to enjoy those activities as much as I once did, and that was enough to get me over the ledge and join.

Riley receiving his "I Survived" shirt on the right!

What changes did you notice in the first few weeks?
I didn't notice too much physically right off the bat, just that I seemed to have more energy in general during the day. Sometime during the first month I was there, I went for a small hike and noticed that instead of getting winded fairly quickly I was just able to cruise along with very little issues.

What outside of Get Fit NH has become easier since starting?
General fitness and recovery has changed drastically since starting Get Fit. I can easily go out and do an activity such as skiing 2 or 3 days in a row and feel pretty positive that I won't get too sore or be too tired to go out the next day.

What are your goals?
When I started at Get Fit one of my main goals was to get in shape for ski season, before the season actually started. I has purchased a season pass and I wanted to take full advantage of every day on the mountain-not stop every couple hours to take rest. I didn't quite get to where I wanted to be before the season, but it didn't take nearly as long as it had in the past for me to get into the shape where I could ski a full day or two start to finish.

My goal from here is to continue to build on that progress and have an even more fun season than the last...as long as we get some snow. I also just want to continue to be a little healthier than the previous month, although I am under no illusions that its now football season.

What is your favorite part of Get Fit NH?
My favorite part about Get Fit is the accessibility. It is not far from my home or work and I know exactly how long I am going to be there each day. The multiple class times make it easy to fit into the week, regardless of what else I have going on. It really gives me very few excuses to not make it to a class everyday, and I'm not sure I would have been able to consistently keep up otherwise.

Great job, Riley! Keep up the hard work!
-Coach Adam

3 Dangers of Self Pity

Did you ever have one of those days where you are wondering why the universe is against you? Your car is making a funny noise, inspection month is coming up, and oh look identity theft! Clearly your life totally sucks so what better way to treat frustration than with binge watching Netflix with a carton of Ben & Jerry’s during your training hour...

Okay, that was an excessive illustration. Obviously I was having too much fun with that, but you get my point!

Danger #1

Obsessing! You cannot change what IS! You cannot change the fact that your car broke down or you ate like garbage last week or you missed an entire week of training because of work commitments. You cannot change it, you can only learn from it!

Maybe this will hit home with what I am trying to get across- you cannot change the fact that your doctor diagnosed you with diabetes or put you on medication for high blood pressure or anxiety. You cannot change that, but you can sure as heck learn from it and DO SOMETHING about it! If you don’t like the outcome then it is time to make a change.

Danger #2

Keep doing the same thing that left you with a negative outcome. Do what you always did, get what you always got! That is what my favorite coach, Martin Rooney, says! You know the definition of insanity, right? If not, look it up. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know I used some examples that can be genetic. Maybe the outcome will not be totally reversed, but it can most definitely be improved! Nutrition and training control a lot more than looking good naked (no offense!).

Danger #3

Throwing in the towel. So you got some bad news? You are mad because you have been doing EXACTLY what you should have been doing, right? Training, eating supportively, taking your vitamins, sleeping well, etc and BOOM pre diabetic! Well, a lot of good this has been doing you, right? What the heck! Might as well go on a sugar bender since all the veggies are trying to kill me!

Slow your roll! You have a team of coaches ready to talk you down and get you on the right path. You are not in this alone. Bad news totally stinks, but you can’t leave yourself in a puddle of sorrow. You can’t change the cards that have been handed to you right away. It takes time and it takes consistency and commitment.

If you don’t like where your health is headed, then do something about it! We are here to help you get to training, train smart, train hard, be consistent, eat well, sleep well, get educated and get results! Everyone needs a coach and don’t ever forget that!

-Coach Meagan

This Spotlight Holds a Bonus for You

I’ve been waiting to do this spotlight for months. The mix of two moms, who run and own their own businesses, it can get tricky. Amy and I have that in common. I am fortunate to have Amy in my life. She provides a calming presence for me at Get Fit NH but also with her love for helping the human body work as it should. Amy owns Chichester Massage. I was able to turn to Amy for help many times but the most significant was when my daughter had Lyme. A 10 year old should not ache from head to toe. Amy was able to help Karalynn when she (and I) needed it most.

Amy tells her own story here. Two sides of the same coin. She tells how Get Fit NH helped her when she needed it most.

"I started training at Get Fit NH after meeting Dean and Nancy in a business referral group that I had joined to promote my business Chichester Massage. As a massage therapist, their integral training program made sense to me combining cardio, core, strength/resistance exercises to maximize the potential of your muscles. The best way to refer someone to a business is to try it yourself so I decided to give it a go. I did not struggle with maintaining my weight but I became winded very easily and felt pretty weak so my goals were to improve in those areas. I remember being very sore in the beginning but also excited as I noticed my energy increase, endurance and strength develop so everyday activities were easier.

At age 38 I felt like I was in the best shape of my life thanks to Get Fit NH and then I became pregnant. I was worried that I would lose all I had gained but I soon realized it was the best thing to set myself up for success. Despite my age my doctor didn’t consider me “high risk” because of the shape I was in and the training actually prepared my body and the baby for the birth process. I trained until the day before I had my daughter, with modifications of course, but I believe that had a huge impact on the ease of my pregnancy and getting back in shape post baby.

These days I struggle with balancing the responsibilities of being a mom, wife and business owner but my main goal is keeping up with my 5 year old (who is starting kindergarten, yikes!) and being a good role model for her with healthy eating and exercise. Since there never seems to be enough time in the day I have found meal planning to be essential these days. Nancy’s crockpot workshop and all the sharing of recipes for meals, smoothies etc have been invaluable and have taken me out of my comfort zone to try new foods. I love the support and encouragement from Nancy and the 9am ladies. Even when training is challenging there is lots of laughter. Get Fit NH has been a wonderful asset to me both personally and professionally. I have been a massage therapist for 20 years and keeping my body strong and healthy has contributed to the longevity of my career.

As a massage therapist I would like to share some of the ways massage therapy can benefit you especially when you are exercising regularly.

1. It enhances your post-workout recovery
You spend your time tightening and toning your muscles as part of your workout but muscles need to recover and be lengthened out again to restore flexibility and perform at their best. A therapeutic massage helps loosen up your muscles allowing you to recover from the impact better and faster than you normally would.

2. It soothes the pain of sore muscles
Your muscles can really ache after an intense workout but massaging and stretching them can help work out the knots, flush out the toxins that contribute to the "ouch" factor and get the blood flowing again so they don't hurt so much.

3. It makes your muscles work better
Regular exercise not only puts a strain on your muscles, ligaments and tendons, but also connective fibers under the skin known as your fascia - which help the muscles work smoothly and efficiently when they're in good shape. The fascia can get really gunked up with repeated exercise and that makes it harder for muscles to slide past each other easily. Massage helps by loosening up those fibers and releasing restrictions so the muscles are doing what they're supposed to with much less effort.

4. It helps you feel better, mentally
You have been working hard and a massage is a healthy way to reward yourself. Not only does it feel good but studies show massage lowers blood pressure, heart rate and cortisol levels proving it to be an excellent stress reliever.

Fitness is all about meeting new challenges as you work to improve your physical and mental well-being. As part of a balanced program massage can help you get to where you want to be."

Don’t forget as a member of Get Fit NH you receive 10% off at Chichester Massage!

It might not be recovery week but don’t wait to take advantage of what massage can do for you.

Thank you Amy for all you continue to do,
Coach Nancy

Building a Base for Athletic Success: Flexibility

The first of the three parts of the base to athletic success is flexibility. It has become a little bit of a joke in Athlete Academy because literally every male participant I have had join the program has tight hamstrings. The hips, in general, are tight. This makes sense for a number of reasons - during this age is when growth spurts begin to happen, which will make flexibility more challenging. The other reason is that kids sit in school all day and are not getting out and playing as much anymore. This plays a vital role in athletics for a few different reasons, but the two I am going to focus on are explosiveness and injury prevention.

In terms of explosive ability, it can be thought of as the properties of a rubber band - the more a rubber band can stretch the faster it snaps back. The same is true of muscle. Explosive movements in sports are essentially a series of loading (stretching the rubber band) and exploding (the recoil of the rubber band after being stretched). The more you are able to load, the more force you can create when you recoil. There is more to it but that is the best place to start.

The second major role is injury prevention. Let’s take the same example from above, the rubber band - what happens when you stretch a rubber band beyond how far its supposed to stretch? It breaks! Just like a rubber band, muscle has a certain amount of stretch before it’s just to much and injury occurs. This is why it is important to stay flexible. The more flexible you are, the greater distance you can stretch before causing injury.

The moral of the story is stay flexible, or get flexible, and it will greatly improve your performance. Stay tuned for my next post in the Building a Base series talking about mobility!

-Coach Adam

4 Tips to Avoid Caving into Cravings at the Grocery Store

Out of sight out of mind, right? But now you are strolling through the grocery store and there is temptation EVERYWHERE! Here are 4 helpful tips to keep you from caving to the craving!

#1. After you create your meal plan, make your grocery list. Not just any grocery list - write it out in order of your grocery store. That way you don’t have to go back for anything and you don’t get off your path.

#2. Have a time crunch (or if you’re me, shop with a toddler because that is always scary!). If you are in a time crunch, then you don’t have time to browse and reason with yourself about food NOT on the list! You have time to get in and get out.

#3. Do your best to shop the perimeter of the store. Avoid aisles as you are able so that temptation does not slap you in the face!

#4. Tell your coach you are headed to store and send a picture of the conveyer belt or receipt with total list compliance!

How many grocery store pictures can I get this weekend??

-Coach Meagan

Shhh, This is a Secret Spotlight!

I am shining the spotlight on my mom this month (shhhh, she doesn’t know about it). I will admit that this is not an easy spotlight for me to write. Other than the typical joking and getting frustrated from time to time, I play a lot close to the vest. That tends to make it difficult to write things like this when you aren’t used to saying a lot of super sentimental things. However, I felt I really needed to write this at this time.

The first thing I want to say is just how extremely proud I am of my mom (for anyone who doesn’t know, its Denise at 6:45, but again shhh!). She may not say it to other coaches, but I know that we differ greatly in our feelings about exercise. I have always loved it and ended up making a career out of it, or at least am on my way to doing so. But she has not always been so fond of exercise. She originally started Get Fit NH as a way to build up strength and lose weight to be able to handle going to the Grand Canyon. Since starting though, she has accomplished a ton - in the weight she has lost, her attitude towards eating better and exercising more, and just overall doing things I know are outside of her comfort zone.

The fact that I see how much she has accomplished is the other reason that I needed to write this, because I know on some level she doesn’t give herself the props she deserves for doing it. I make the joke a lot to Coach Meagan about this when I say “can you tell we are related?”. I too have trouble seeing progress in my own life. Its one of those weird paradoxes where I can see it in others but never in myself. I know that she is the same way, not willing to give herself the credit for what she has accomplished. I know its out of being humble and not realizing how far she has come. I know I don’t see something in myself until someone else tells me they noticed a change, that’s the only way I really realize it.

So I just want to say again how proud I am of my mom and all she has accomplished here. I'm proud that she took the step in the first place to join. Also a thank you to the great class at 6:45 where everyone always treats her so well, and the coaches that also do and continue to tell both of us, no matter how stubborn we are, that we have accomplished a lot.

-Coach Adam

Building a Base for Athletic Success

Have you wondered what exactly the philosophy is that builds what we do at Athlete Academy?

If you have, then wonder no longer! The purpose of our Athlete Academy program is to build a base for continued athletic success. That base is made up primarily of 3 things, much like with our adult programs. Those three are:

  1. Flexibility
  2. Mobility
  3. Strength

These three physical traits must be present in the athlete for several reasons. If these three things are not present, then we cannot build the attributes that we most often associate with sports performance. Things like power, speed, agility, and quickness. All of these have to have a solid base of the 3 traits mentioned above in order to really be developed. The biggest risk of building things like power, speed, agility, and quickness before the other three is that often the risk of injury goes up substantially. Over the next few weeks, I will break down exactly how each one of these fits into the overall athletic puzzle. Stay tuned!

-Coach Adam

If 10,000 Hours Creates Greatness, Can 20,000 Hours Derail It?

What if I told you that there can be too much of a good thing, even in youth athletics?

What if I told you that doing too much can be just as harmful as doing too little?

Find out how to apply these principles correctly and not overwork, overtax, and burn out your youth athlete before they even have a chance to reach their goals.

Location: Get Fit NH Concord, 287 S. Main St, Concord, NH 03301
Date: Wednesday, September 20th
Time: Training session 6-7:15PM, Parent Education Seminar 7:30-8:30PM

For any questions please contact Coach Adam either by email at adam@getfitnh.com or by phone at 603-340-7281.

-Coach Adam

Name This Person Shining in the Spotlight

Hidden in every training time is a Get Fit NH peep that has a special way with words. I’ve chosen to hide this person’s identity because my goal is to have you be inspired by what they say, not necessarily by the person (although they are pretty awesome too!).

What does "balance" mean to you in training and in nutrition?

I think balance is a mix of adherence and flexibility. When I think about the times when I've been most success in meeting my goals, I strictly adhere to my habits (of all sorts), but also use a range of good options so that I can react to whatever life throws my way. An unexpected late afternoon meeting with a student? No problem. My husband who has an extra-busy day at work? No problem. I can go to the 6pm vs. the 4pm training at Get Fit NH. Whatever meal I've planned suddenly sounds completely yucky? No worries, I know that I have a plan B, and can move on to something that sounds better--but still works nutritionally--for dinner than night.

The trick for me is not embracing the flexibility part too much! If I stay totally focused and don’t allow any flexibility I tend to fall and fall hard. Staying flexible within a positive range of choices is key.

I tend to fall down a slippery slope when I've leaned too far off to one side...so I stay ‘more or less’ on a middle-ground as much as possible.

Tell us ONE small way in which you will try to achieve "balance" in your life, today.

Well, today is a good example of working to achieve balance in my life today (with the help of flexible training). I was supposed to train yesterday, but as I looked at my week I realized that it wasn't going to work. Instead of not getting a second gym time in, and becoming "unbalanced", I found a way to train today (thank you!). Even though it's not an ideal situation, it is going to work.

Balance today = morning training, parenting throughout the day, finishing up my work for the week when the kids are in bed.

Balance today = not necessarily getting to do the things I need to do when I'd prefer to do them, but doing them anyway.

Adherence with flexibility creates balance.

This anonymous Get Fit NH-goer could be the person who trains right next to you. They might be able to help you on the gym floor with encouragement but they might be able to give you a little piece of encouragement to take with you as you go. You won’t know until you ask. Find out more about who trains next to you each day. Find out what they do to help them Make It Happen.

Don’t forget the take home truth: adherence with flexibility creates balance.

Keep making it happen,
Coach Nancy

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