Massage & Bodywork

January/February 2011

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Nutrition Fuels Fitness Perhaps the easiest way to view nutrition is as a third component to fitness (which includes resistance training and cardiovascular work). Extra weight and body fat can serve as a block to your new exercise routine, so eat smart and monitor your caloric intake while working out, says Christine Palumbo, a registered dietician and nutritionist in Naperville, Illinois. "It's hard to build strength and muscle on a poor diet and not get enough football players isn't as taxing on me. I'm considering going to the next level and trying free weights soon." protein," she says. "Solid, executed strength training and a poor diet are not a good combination. Less body fat around lean muscle in important areas like the shoulders and back is a good thing." Foods high in calcium and vitamin D, like skim milk, fish, and other dairy products like yogurt, help create stability in your bones that will be strengthened by lifting weights. Foods such as nuts, whole grains, and fibrous cereals will help you feel full between workouts without adding too many fatty calories. For example, almonds, says Chicago nutritionist Lynn Danford, are a good power food and a great source of vitamin E and monounsaturated fat. She also says grapes, berries, peppers, and sweet potatoes are loaded with fiber and vitamins A and C and can provide workout energy, as well as proper nutrition. Lean, red meat and poultry will help build lean muscle that needs a sufficient amount of protein to grow. Palumbo, who's also on the board of directors for the American Dietetic Association and a professor at Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois, says many bodyworkers beginning a workout program fall short of getting enough protein when trying to gain or maintain strength in their upper bodies. "You have to have a good balance of carbohydrates and proteins," she says. Kruse says that calisthenics are simple ways to build body strength without lifting weights. "Push-ups work your back, shoulders, and arms. Sit-ups help your core muscles, which help your back. A strong core should be the staple of any exercise routine. The main concept of pushing against your body weight and pressure has been around forever." Kruse likes using blast straps, as they can be looped around any heavy stationary object indoors, or an outdoor jungle gym. (Blast straps are like bands except there are no handles, making controlling them more challenging.) "Rows, pull-ups, upright rows, and the four shoulder exercises [front, middle, and rear deltoid raises, along with shoulder presses] can be executed with the blast straps," Kruse says. Heidi Bonn has been a competitive runner and massage therapist living in Madison, Wisconsin, for more than 20 years; she has been a yoga instructor for 10. She says she suffered from rheumatoid arthritis in her shoulders as a result of working on many University of Wisconsin athletes over the years. She says one of the trainers at the school provided her with an exercise routine that consisted of using bands and bottles of milk. "The handles on the milk bottles made it easy to do shoulder exercises," she says. "And I used the bands to make my back stronger by doing a lot of repetitions. The arthritis is less painful than it was years ago and working on some of those 300-pound CAREER LONGEVITY Lenihan says her change in exercise routines has made a difference. She can see definition in her shoulders now, her posture is better, and, more importantly, she has the strength and endurance to do her job more effectively. "I've included some arm exercises and have gotten pretty good doing push-ups," she says. "And it all came without lifting any weights." Lenihan recommends hiring a trainer with a wide array of expertise outside of the gym. She, like other bodyworkers who travel or are on a tight schedule, doesn't have the time to ferret out a gym. She added that there are so many 5-pound things around the house that can be substituted for weights, and bars in closets make for great pull-up and chin-up bars. "Nothing builds a stronger back than pull-ups and chin- ups," she says. "Just make sure the bar is heavy enough to hold your weight so that you don't fall." Fitness and exercise specialists agree that bodyworkers should be aware of their posture at all times and wear supportive shoes and other back-stabilizing items if they are experiencing back pain. The rounding of the shoulders and poor alignment of the back have cut short the career of many of those making a career of helping others. trainer, personal chef, and writer for several daily newspapers, including the Indianapolis Star, Kansas City Star, and Chicago Tribune. Contact him at Kevin Harmon has worked as a personal earn CE hours at your convenience: abmp's online education center, 57

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