5 Must Do Hip Exercises That Ease Pain and Prevent Injury

Breaking out of  a Routine

Often, I talk with my clients about how breaking out of a regular daily routine can help someone realize how out of shape they are.  For example, taking a ski day after months of working non-stop without much exercise, or taking up tennis after a 5 year lapse.
This weeks tips are exercises you can do so that when you do finally break out of your normal work- life routine, you can be ready to ski the slopes with abandon, tee off on your golf game, run sprints around your friends, or serve with reckless abandon to your opponent on the other side of the tennis court!

It’s all about being flexible and strong in all the muscle groups of our bodies. Today we focus on the hips.

Why Hip Stretches are So Important

The hip is the largest joint in the human body. It supports most of the body’s weight and is key to maintaining balance. Because the hip joint and hip region are so crucial to movement, arthritis and bursitis in the area can be especially painful.

Chronic hip pain is more prevalent as the body ages, but there are various exercises and lifestyle changes you can introduce to treat  painful  and or weak hips.  Follow these steps to help prevent and reduce hip pain and importantly to keep you limber and strong for those times you want to cycle out of the box and play hard.

 Hip Flexor Stretch:

Get into proposal position with your right knee on the floor and the left leg bent at a 90-degree angle with your hands on your hips. Place a firm cushion—such as a Bosu ball,  that’s found at most gyms, or a stack of towels—underneath the right knee. Engage your abdominal and butt muscles and tuck your pelvis slightly and press forward through your hips. “You’ll immediately feel a stretch in the front of your right hip. Gently glide forward and back 5 times, alternating deepening and easing off the stretch. Do 5 reps. Switch legs and repeat.

 Hip Flexor Stretch:

Remain in the same proposal position with your right knee on the floor, your left leg bent at a 90-degree angle and your pelvis pressed forward to stretch the front of the hip. Reach your right arm up to ceiling. Bend your spine slightly to the left. Straighten to return to center. Do 5 reps. Then switch legs and arms.

Hip Flexor Stretch:

Go back to proposal position with your right knee on the floor and your left leg bent at a 90-degree angle with your hands at your hips. Draw a circle with your hips, counterclockwise 5 times and then clockwise 5 times.

Glute Bridge

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your feet close to your butt. Engage your abs, which will flatten your low back to the floor and tilt your pelvis slightly. Pressing your heels into the floor, lift your butt, followed by your lower back and then your mid-back up as if you were peeling them off the floor. Lift until your thighs are parallel with the floor, keeping your shoulders, hips and knees in line. Keep your abs engaged throughout the lift. Slowly lower back down the floor in reverse order (your mid-back, then lower back and finally, your rear). Do 10 reps.

Pigeon Pose

Go into a downward dog pose. Extend your right leg high in the air behind you, and then bring your right knee forward to rest near the right edge of your yoga mat. Take your left leg straight back behind you and level your hips. Hold for 15 breaths.

Next Week check your inboxes on Wednesday. Don’t forget the Lose Your Waist Wednesday edition is jam packed with ways to help you reduce that dreaded middle.

Congratulations to January’s 30 Days to Lean Members.
24 members lost 224 pounds. Best part: healthy, happy, and on their way to continuing to do what they want to do for a long- long time!

Congratulations to both Ph I and PH II 30 Days to Lean Members who are continuing to lose lots of weight! Details at  the beginning of next month, so stay tuned these members are getting healthier and leaner by the day! You can too!rckuhns

Next Lean: March 7th.

All My Best,

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Did you work hard yesterday? Did you play hard? At the end of the day did you have a sense of accomplishment? And when you finally crawled into bed did you sleep through the night and wake refreshed and ready to go? If you did, you are fortunate because you have mastered sleeping well.

Exerting the right amount of physical energy, mental stimulation, and play, to gain a feeling of accomplishment is often the secret to a healthy night’s sleep. Unfortunately, if you are not sleeping well, simply being aware of this fact will not result in a good night’s sleep. It will take practice at becoming more physical, more mental, and more attuned to a sense of daily accomplishments.

The results are in the implementation, and we all know this to be true. But the problem arises when we think the solution is too simple. When the solution seems too simple we may not feel the need to practice the solution. Of course this thinking is deleterious to accomplishing what is often at the heart of why we may not be sleeping well.

It should be said that lifestyle changes are difficult to implement. And we need to be told they are difficult to implement because too often we are told lifestyle changes are easy. Look at all the weight loss plans in advertisements that claim dieting to be an easy lifestyle adjustment!

Lifestyle changes are not easy, but the good news is we can practice lifestyle change just as we practice skills in other areas of our lives. Are you up for a challenge? Are you willing to select one needed lifestyle change to practice this week? There’s no hurry, but you can get started.

Can practicing a beneficial lifestyle change to increase the quality of our sleep be as worthy as practicing our golf swing or our tennis stroke? I assure you that it is. Practicing new lifestyle habits will help you to not only sleep better, but will help you create a more vital vigorous lifestyle?

Our Wealth is in Our Health
Kim Miller

Smartly Use the Power of The Mind For Aging Well

In his book, The Brain that Changes Itself, Norman Doidge, M.D. writes, “competitive plasticity explains why our bad habits are so difficult to break or “unlearn.” Most of us think of the brain as a container and learning as putting something in it. When we try to break a bad habit, we think the solution is to put something new into the container. But when we learn a bad habit, it takes over a brain map, and each time we repeat it, it claims more control of that map and prevents the use of that space for “good habits.” That is why “unlearning” is often harder than learning, and why early childhood education is so important-it’s best to get it right early, before the “bad habit” gets a competitive advantage.”

Not Surprisingly We Are Conditioned to Fail

Often we are conditioned by advertisers to believe feeling better, looking better, and achieving a vital vigorous lifestyle are easily achieved tasks. Unfortunately, this type of thinking leads many people astray and more apt to act quickly,rashly, and consequently with a high failure rate when looking to overcome various adverse health habits that have been learned over a lifetime.

Slow, Progressive, Consistent Behavior Achieves Results For a Lifetime

The reason many people eventually fail in their weight loss and other health goals is they have not achieved a healthy, slow, patient, and consistent behavior change process that allows the brain to adjust to it’s new neural pathway patterns and brain map. Mr. Doidge proposes we must make space for our new habits, but not only must we make space for these habits, we must emphasize the manner in which we do so. Care and consideration for how we implement changing our “bad” health habits is paramount to making lasting lifestyle changes, and fortunately many of today’s savvy consumers are not buying into self denial, superhuman willpower, and hard to sustain dietary and exercise routines. These smart consumers are leaving many of these “dark age dieting techniques” to their unaware counterparts.

Think about this analogy the next time considering losing weight or making behavior lifestyle changes: An amateur or professional golfer and tennis player learns not in one day, but over a lifetime of practice, can you consider that the future of our wellness is no different. We learn and unlearn best like the golfer and tennis player who practices and “unpractices” his skills for a lifetime.

Health and Wellness is About Letting Go

I read an article the other day by an author who intrigued me with a statement that seemed at first to be contradictory. He said that in order for big changes to occur, we basically have to say, ” I give up.” The article was a little more philosophical than I like, but the idea of giving up or giving in to change is something I can relate to in my field of health and wellness.

Before it appears that I am encouraging mediocrity in the area of our health, I should tell you that it is quite the opposite. If we want to make lasting improvements in our health and fitness goals than we need to consider there is much to be gained in starting off with a clean psychological palate. Can we forget about our past victories and triumphs and instead focus on where we are at this given time? Can we focus on what our healthy minds and bodies can achieve regardless of what we have done or did not do in the past? And most importantly in my mind, can we imagine how we will feel as we go about our daily lives improving and progressing in the area of our health? No doubt there will be challenges along the way but the good news is that people are resilient. Our muscles can grow at any age. Our bones can grow at any age. Our cardiovascular output can increase at any age. Our flexibility can increase at any age. And perhaps most importantly, our minds can grow and change at any age.

For me personally, “giving up” has been a useful tool for me as my health, wellness, and sporting goals have changed substantially throughout the years. What hasn’t changed is the feeling that I get from the way I live my life on a daily basis. Although I may not be able to run a 5:30 mile today, I still derive the same feeling that I did when I was a kid even though running is not my main outlet today.

My question to you today is, “can you surrender your past victories and or past shortcomings and work diligently daily towards retaining the feeling of being an easy going healthy kid again?

Why we Fail at Changing Lifestyle Habits

“Most people would agree that our body would rebel if we asked it to go from an eight-minute mile run one day to a six-minute mile run the next. Yet in our fervor to diet down to the perfect weight, we ask our brains to do the same by drastically changing our lifestyle habits in one day. Consider that our brains, like our body, will break down under similar demands.” Kim Miller

I only ask that you think about this. It takes more than willpower to change our habits. It takes thoughtful consideration for who we are, patience, and strategic planning for us to make lasting lifestyle changes. Consideration for small incremental lifestyle changes is an absolute must for long lasting behavior changes. Let the old way of dieting be out and the smart way to a healthier life be in! You can do it. There’s no hurry.

Living Disease Free, Happily, and Productively

There are three primary reasons why we may not have a vision for living happily, productively, and relatively disease free into old age:

1. We believe that healthy lifestyles and specific lifestyle habits are too difficult to change so we abandon the idea of living well into our 90’s and 100’s

2. We are unsure if it is too late to make lifestyle changes due to age and health circumstances.

3. We are unsure whether the payoff of healthy living will increase our life’s quality and longevity to the degree that we would like.

These are legitimate concerns. Let’s look at the first point today: lifestyle habits are too difficult to change. The following are a few questions that you may ask yourself when addressing this point:

1. How long will it take to make a specific lifestyle change? A Specific lifestyle example may be consuming 1800 calories daily compared to 2500 calories daily.

2. How long must I implement this specific lifestyle habit? Should it be a lifelong habit or can I sustain it for only a short duration? There are many instances when short duration lifestyle changes are perfectly appropriate.

3. What can I reasonably expect in terms of life quality and lifespan when I implement this change?

4. How much of my life am I “giving up” to implement this health change?

5. Is there a systematic approach that may help me obtain this lifestyle change that is not drastic as in many fad diets?

6. Will I adjust to the lifestyle change or will I feel deprived continually?

7. How will I feel about myself after making this lifestyle change?

This last point is something for us ponder. There is no guarantee that certain lifestyle changes will increase our lifespan, but most experts agree that we can tip the scale in our favor to a higher quality of life and perhaps an extended lifespan by avoiding habits we know are counterproductive. Such habits may include but are not limited to: smoking, lack of physical exertion, lack of sleep, stressful life patterns, lack of meaningful friendships, eating and drinking in excess, emphasis on eating saturated fats and simple carbohydrates, and lack of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits in the daily diet.

We are rarely told that lifestyle habits are difficult to change. Lifestyle changes take great effort. We must keep in mind our methods of change however. Changing our lifestyle in such a way that is systematic, thoughtful, and intelligent, can bring about changes that become not only a part of us, but a way of life for us – a way of life for us that seems not only easy and healthy, but more vital and vigorous well into our later years.

For those of you that are not familiar with the coaching method in lifestyle management and have health related lifestyle issues such as overweight, high blood pressure, high blood sugar or diabetes, that you need to manage, call me at 904 501 6002. It is not necessary to belong to a gym or travel for consultation. Most coaching sessions are 30 minutes in length and address weight and health questions through ongoing dialogue. I have a wide range of various programs starting at $140.00 monthly. It would be my pleasure to help you!

Feeling good, looking good, and performing great at any age. It’s what we are about! You have what it takes! It’s my job to find it!

Our Wealth is in Our Health
Kim Miller