There I stood at the door step of Windsor Elementary School in Canton, Ma. ready to “exercise’ my right to vote.  The poll workers sat in their chairs at the registration desk looking at me as if there was no way in heck they were going to let me in unless I was registered in that town.  They were a tough group, they had white hair, glasses, five foot tall frames and a willingness to battle to the end to find out if any one who was brave enough to set foot in that door was registered to vote in Canton, Ma.  After a fifteen minute struggle which included jedi mind tricks, psychological warfare and face guarding they let me through so I could “exercise” my right.  Go Massachusetts, the greatest state in this country!

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Here is a testimonial from a client I just started working with in August of this year.  He is very inflexible and has limited range of motion on his right side stemming from low back and hip trauma suffered years prior and complicated from his postural positioning performing his profession everyday.  Playing a violin.   Matt is a world renowned violin player and professor at the Berklee School of Music here in Boston.  He has been playing the violin ever since he was sitting upright.  That’s a long time. The key to this client’s success is being patient and progressing very slowly.  A bulk of the time spent with Matt is flexibility and core activation. 

One thing we do not realize until it’s too late is the imbalances and postural issues that can arise from constant movement or constant positioning due to employment, sports or recreational habits.  Sitting in a chair holding a violin to your chin for hours a day year after year can have a very negative effect on one’s neck, back and overall posture.  Here is what Matt has to say after six sessions of exercising with GS-Fitness.

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Ann stretches Donovan's glutes

Well I certainly am surprised to see that the Cardinals lost the super bowl. Thats right I am surprised. Ever since last year when I heard that Ann and Chris Fredericks were working with the team at their Stretch to Win facility in Arizona; I had a hunch they would be in the super bowl this year. That isnt true at all actually. The Arizona Cardinals were probably either the last or the second to last team I would’ve expected to see in the super bowl this year. But buy did they ever bring their A game. My hats off to their efforts and I only wish they had 2 minutes more of that effort in them to hold on for the win. Because let’s face it; noone outside of Pennsylvania wanted to see the Steelers win. 

What I really like to see in the video news clip is that it shows how far fitness and wellness have come.  It isn’t just about making sure you are sore or tired after a workout.  These guys on the Cardinals and in the NFL are huge yet very athletic.  The importance of flexibility, nutrition and stress relief (acupuncture, massage) is extremely important when competing at the level that they are competing at.  Did you ever think you were hear about a professional football getting an acupuncture treatment?  Probably not.  You know what? What these guys are doing  is just as important for the average weekend warrior or stay at home mom looking to obtain a modest fitness level.  Fitness, or I should say wellness is a holistic approach today more so than it has ever been.  Take a look at the news clip from Arizona and check back for more information on how stress can interfere with your goal of building a better body / life for your self.

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You gotta love the fact that movies like Rocky 1-5, War Games, Road House, Good Will Hunting will almost always be on when you go to sit on the couch after a good workout or on recovery day.  Which brings me to today’s topic.  Recovery days.  I am becoming a bigger promoter of recovery exercise as I get older (rats).  I miss the days of being able to bounce out of bed the day after a hard workout and perform some other form of exercise without hesitation.  Nowadays it isn’t as easy.  I have found that an easy 15 – 20 minutes of aerobic conditioning can make a world of difference.  Not just the day after my workout, but the next day’s hard workout is much more productive.  Aerobic conditioning has it’s place for sure.  Some trainers are hell bent on saying it doesn’t.  But muscles will heal quicker and be more limber with increased blood flow and decreased lactic acid build up through light aerobic conditioning.  Muscles get sore after exercise because they have been pushed to the point where they can’t contract without lactic acid build up.  Depending on what kind of shape you are in dictates when the lactic acid builds enough to interfere with contraction.      Combine light aerobics with 3-5 minutes of dynamic stretching or even foam rolling and you will dying to get back into the gym at the weights again.  Dynamic stretching alone is great.  Foam rolling alone is great.  But you won’t get nearly as much bloodflow as you will with 15 minutes of walking, cycling or stair stepping.   So after your recovery workout pull up a couch, flip on the BRAVO channel and enjoy a classic movie.   Below is a good recovery day workout schedule.

Foam roll 5 minutes

Dynamic stretch 5 minutes

Exercise bike  15 minutes

Passive stretch 5 minutes


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