Stretching: Good or Bad?

A few weeks ago, whilst lunching with Sensei Hutch, he mentioned reading an article on stretching being worthless--or worse--which contradicted all he'd believed about stretching for so many years. This article surprised me since I'd seen lots of pro-stretching articles over the past year or so. Plus the rise of dedicated stretching centers where you can go to be stretched by a "licensed coach." Some other practices, such as massage therapists, have also jumped on the stretching bandwagon.

Recently I read another pro-stretching article and thought: why all the confusion? So let's take a look...

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Home Equipment – 1: Mats

Well here we go! The first in a seemingly limitless series of posts on fitness equipment you can use at home. I'll be starting a page that will have links to all the posts in the list as it grows but for now it's just this one.

Each of these posts will include one or more images with arrows pointing to the equipment's location in my home gym. Unless it's equipment I don't actually have, of course.

The most basic piece of fitness equipment you can use at home is a mat. You don't really need any mats. But they sure come in handy.

The most common is the ubiquitous "yoga mat" which can be seen traveling around town in stylish bags. This is a thin, easily rolled mat that can be used for things like yoga (duh), Pilates, and any floor exercise that can be made a bit more comfortable with some padding. But it's not just comfort: the mat can also protect the floor from sweat. Mats are much easier to clean than carpet, for example.

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Exercise at Home

Home fitness isn't new. Although gyms (or something like them) have been around more than 3000 years, they've never been accessible (or desirable) to everyone.

Fancy pants home gym

In the modern media age, Jack LaLanne was bringing fitness into the home via television starting in the 1950s. More recently, endless infomercials have touted exercise programs on DVDs and "fitness" equipment (almost all of it a rip-off, but that's another post) for home use.

Home fitness, no equipment

There are plenty of advantages to exercising at home. Here are some of them.

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Doorway Pullups

This one isn't part of my home setup but was a 2019 Christmas gift for use where I stay on the west coast. The basic design has been around a long time and is a clever use of physics to distribute the weight into the horizontal bar putting much less stress on the door frame.

There are many uses for a pullup bar that will be covered in another post. One example is...pullups!

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Nutrition Advice: Exercise

Weighted vest push-up

An interesting article from the "Food, We Need To Talk" podcast.

The podcast's co-host asked every eating expert she interviewed the same question: "If you could tell people to change only one thing that would have the biggest impact on their health for the rest of their lives, what would it be?"

The answer: exercise. Remember, these are food experts. And it wasn't just a few of them saying this, it was all of them. And several of them specifically recommended strength exercise (also known as "resistance training").

It's worth reading. One quibble I have is the emphasis on calories and fat loss. As readers of this blog know, I'm much more interested in what exercise can help us do -- now and as we age -- than how it affects our weight. Improved body composition is a happy (and not at all surprising) side effect. (There are many others.)

Give the article a read and get moving!

Be seeing you.


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