Flexibility Assessment

I know that one of my HUGE issues is flexibility, I don’t think I’ve ever really been “flexible”, and until I got educated about physical fitness, didn’t really put much thought into it.

Until I started hurting…

I’m sure that I’m like many of you, I would commonly hear “stretch before you ___” or “make sure you stretch after you ___”,  but for the most part, I would pass because I’m trying to get on with my day.

I WAS SO WRONG!

First: Stiff & Short Muscles and Joints with Restricted Movement DON’T WORK WELL

Tight muscles can cause pain and imbalances in the body. When a muscle isn’t working properly, another muscle make take over it’s function. Chicken or Egg: the muscle in pain may not be the origin of the problem.

Tight muscles can restrict movement, which increase your risk of injury or impact your ability to do daily activities. Problems with shoulder flexibility? How does it feel to reach for items on a high shelf? I can tell that my left ankle issues impacted my ability to step certain ways when I was on my South Dakota hike, stressing my left knee and hip more because they needed to pick up the slack.

Tight muscles can restrict blood flow. Proper blood flow is important for recovery after activity. Or maybe a hint to the answer of: It’s Thursday, why am I still so sore from Mondays workout?

Second: Flexibility Naturally Decreases with Age

Certain parts of my body feel 20 years older than others…I guess it’s celebrating birthdays without me and this is the hangover? Not Fair!

Third: Flexibility does not always equal Stretching

I will do more detailed posts on specific Stretching, Flexibility and Mobility activities, but here are a couple of Flexibility Assessments that I did recently:

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Saturday Walk

A good morning that turned out warm & humid, but still a great walk!

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A few people have expressed interest in joining me on the North Branch Trail walks, so here goes:

You are invited to join me on Saturday, August 19th

We will meet at LaBagh Woods in the parking lot off of N Cicero Ave.

Walk will leave at 10:00 am on Saturday and go South to the Irene C Hernandez Family Picnic Area to pick up the first of the Postcards, then return to LaBagh Woods to pick up the second Postcard. Anyone interested in walking longer can then join me in continuing north for 30-45 minutes or so.

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Please look for the red Mini Cooper in the parking lot.

If you have not had a Nordic Walking session from me, or you need a refresher, please let me know and we can meet at 9:30 to get you up to speed.

Please remember water and appropriate clothing. In case of rain the walk will be rescheduled.

 

Postcards from the Park

In case you haven’t been following the Forest Preserves of Cook County have an event: Postcards from the North Branch Trail

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I’ll be hitting the trail this morning with a friend and a shelter dog from Evanston Animal Shelter (where we volunteer) to get a few miles in.

Edited to add: Smokey!

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Smokey is currently available for adoption from Evanston Animal Shelter

I plan on doing the full 22 miles of the trail from Foster Avenue up to the Chicago Botanic Gardens in the next two months, walking in segments starting from the south end and stopping at each of the 6 postcard stations for photos.

I’m looking for others to join me in my walks. Please message me or comment below if you would like to join me.

For more information on the FPDCC Event: Click Here

 

Studying for my Test

Anyone else ever taken a Fitness Test?

Also commonly known as a Physical Assessment, physical fitness tests can provide information on a range of things, such your strength, flexibility, or endurance.

You may remember testing in school for the President’s Physical Fitness Test, but there are so many more tests for adults that can look at specific areas of ability instead of general physical fitness.

 

 

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Finding my Limits

One of the best things to come out of my hike in South Dakota is a real test of my hiking training program.

Unfortunately the Chicago area is very limited for hills, and stair training can only do so much – so now I’m adding additional exercises to improve my functional strength, stability and mobility in three areas of limitations:

Ankles, Hips and Wrists!

Ankle and Hip limitations are almost self-explanatory – just look at this terrain:

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Lions and Tigers and Stairs, oh my!

I’m using Stairs to train for hiking because of the severe lack of hills where I live, that and the loathing I have for stair machines…

My intent is to work my way up to 1,000 feet in elevation change over the 10 weeks of the program, all in a single session…

This means roughly 100 floors climbed for 1,000 feet in elevation change.

This is a small portion of my workout program for strength, endurance & flexibility- all with the goal of increasing my running speed & hiking endurance.

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These workouts will include a variety of movements, check out the video to see me in action!

Why am I using different methods for stair climbing, wouldn’t you like to know?

Comment to find out!