Monday, January 16, 2012

The beauty of fitness

When it comes to fitness and wellness, there's no better place than the great outdoors.  Or so says Jeff Archibald of  A Los Angeles based trainer, his passion for fitness and wellness ranges from bike tours, hiking events, skiing groups, and all things body.  We spent a few minutes to ask Jeff what his top tiips for 2012 were for fitness and wellness and here's what he had to say:

1. Carbohydrates are not the enemy, inactivity is. 
In regards to diet... the biggest exercise mistake I see all the time is carbohydrate restriction as it concerns exercise or any calorie burning activity.  Inactive people will go from one extreme to another with carb intake and food in general: From not exercising and eating too much food (typically combined with excessive drinking), to exercising a lot while starting the super low carbohydrate diet fad.  The body is not a car; it will not use stored fat the way a car uses stored gasoline.  QUALITY carbohydrates, much like oxygen, need to be in ready supply before, during and after hard exercise.  Always eat carbohydrates an hour before exercising.  If an easy workout then there is no need to eat again right away.  See the Harvard Nutrition website for accurate, non-profit information.
2.  _______ is the best exercise!  It is all I need (hint.... this is not true).
You can fill in this blank with yoga, Pilates, weight training, climbing, cycling, hiking, sprinting, etc.  There is not one complete form of exercise.  Like a balanced diet, you need to have staples like resistance training (weights not necessary but a great idea) combined with active range of motion, speed, agility and endurance training.  But, not all at the same time.  All professional athletes utilize periodization training.  This means they will sacrifice one aspect of training for a short term in order to gain another.  Everyone should have an aspect of this in his or her own year round training approach.
3.  Treadmills are very BAD for you.  Get outside; or, use a stationary bike and/or stair stepper.
Sorry to be the Grinch of fitness but if you are running on a treadmill you are not running.  The action of a treadmill is basically a conveyor belt that 'pushes' your feet backwards forcing you to contract the dreaded hip flexors in order to 'shuffle' your feet forward as not to be thrown from the machine.  If you really want to be healthy... get outside, get outside, get outside.  If you can't, then the best indoor cardio is a stair stepper combined with a stationary bike.
A further explanation:  A treadmill turns off the extension contractions of the gluteal muscle and deactivates the eccentric contraction of the hamstring in reverse biomechanical innervation pattern (think bad ergonomics).  Hyperactivating the hip flexors (the psoas and the rectus femoris) and not the hip extensors (butt and hamstrings), will eventually destabilize the balance of the lumbar-sacral discs which leads to chronic lower back pain and potential serious injury. 

Join Jeff Archibald on one of his many fun and exciting walking, biking or hiking tours and get a bit of the great outdoors while taking care of your body.   Thanks Jeff.  We appreciate these exciting tips for a healthy 2012.  

You can email jeff at: or visit for more information. We vote YES for Jeff Jeff Jeff.  

Jeff Archibald
310 890 6783

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