March 2015
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Health Tip

Lift to 10


"Before you load up the barbell, learn the right form using light-or even no-weight. When your muscles are just about exhausted at 10 reps, that's a good starting weight to use."





Hello and welcome to our March newsletter!


Spring is right around the corner and we'll soon be spending more time outdoors. Take a look at this month's newsletter for good stretches for runners and tips to avoid spring cleaning injury.


Read along for some tips on staying fit and healthy.




10 Injury Prevention Tips for Spring Cleaning

By Lynda Shrager


After the cold start of March, many of us are yearning for warm sunny weather so we can resume our outside activities that have been on hold since last year.


This is also the time of year when our activities might mean more injuries as we emerge from our winter hibernation and jump into spring cleaning projects.  If not for that wonderful warm sunlight streaming into our homes, we would never see the enormous collection of dust bunnies that have been eluding us all winter.


Whether you are planning on cleaning up all of those branches laying on the lawn, getting your flower beds into shape in preparation for planting or going through the house with a dust mop or vacuum, its best to slowly work up to full throttle by setting small goals. 

Try these safety techniques to prevent spring cleaning injuries:


1. Remember to take frequent breaks and stay hydrated as you complete your cleaning project.


2. Get help for moving heavy furniture.


3. Clean the floor with a mop rather than on your hands and knees. Push the mop forward and back to clean small areas at a time, rather than leaning too far forward.


6 Stretches Every Runner Should Do

By Jen Mueller

Stretching  is an important component of any fitness routine. Although it can be tempting to finish a run and skip the stretches, you know better.  Stretching has many benefits , including increased  range of motion  and  improved  muscular coordination. Research shows that flexible muscles also recover more quickly because they are more receptive to  glycogen replacement , which will fuel your next run. Ever better: Your flexibility routine doesn't have to take a lot of time. Just five or 10 minutes is all you need at the end of your workout.

While any  full-body stretching routine  will do, there are some specific stretches that can help  improve  your running performance and 
 the aches and pains runners commonly experience.

Because running, while good for you in many ways, does put stress on your body-especially the lower limbs and joints-the following stretches target the muscles runners use most. Follow the short routine below if time is lacking, or ideally, add these running-specific stretches to your current flexibility training program, which should also include some general  upper body and core stretches , too.

General Stretching Guidelines for Runners

The most important thing to remember is to only stretch warm muscles. SparkPeople's fitness experts recommend  stretching after you workout ; this is when your muscles are warmest and your joints are lubricated, and therefore primed to stretch. 

While it's OK to stretch after your warm-up (but before your run), doing so might actually interrupt or negate the warm-up process, which is more likely to result in injury or problems. Unless specified, breathe deeply and hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds. Then repeat on opposite side (if applicable). Perform each stretch once or twice, stretching only to the edge of discomfort-between a 5 and 7 on a scale of 1-10.

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