Thursday, May 31, 2012

Warm up and stretching- To pass or not to pass, that is the question

                With so many daily tasks looming over our heads, getting to the gym can be a rare treat. Once in the gym it’s very common to jump from machine to machine trying to get as much done in the quickest amount of time. Even though our brain works like a clock, our muscles don’t.  If you will, think about our muscles being similar to a rubber band. It’s stretchy but seems to always maintain the same shape.  If you play with it in your hand for a while it becomes more flexible and warm. It is able to expand around a bigger item than it would right out of the bag. However if you try to put it around a rather large item, right out of the bag, it snaps and breaks. Our muscles can act the same way if they’re not given proper care before a workout. A good warm up helps the joints around the muscles to have a better range of motion, it engages your heart gradually for use, and it help focus you for the upcoming workout. For a proper warm up, there are 2 steps, the warm up and the stretching.  The first part of the warm up includes small aerobic/cardio work that doesn’t involve strenuous activity.  Here are examples of some machines/warm ups to use to get your heart rate up
  1. 1.       Walking on a treadmill at a 2.5-3.2 level
  2. 2.       Using an elliptical at a level 1
  3. 3.       Stationary Bike at a level 1
  4. 4.       Setting your hands at waist level and tapping your knees up to your hand one at a time
After you feel slightly warmer than when you first arrived, find a place off to the side to stretch. The most common thought on stretching is the stand and hold method, known as static. This is helpful but even says that type of stretching should be saved for your cool down. Right now we want to focus on dynamic stretching, movement that helps prepare your muscles for the work they are about to perform. For example, if you’re focusing on cardio (running, biking, etc.etc) some dynamic warm ups/stretches you should perform are
  1. 1.       Forward/Backward lunges
  2. 2.       Leg lifts
  3. 3.       Walking lunges
  4. 4.       Squats
If you’re workout includes weight lifting some warm ups/stretches you want to perform are
  1. 1.       Side bends
  2. 2.       Squats
  3. 3.       Leg swings
  4. 4.       Arm swings
  5. 5.       Shoulder circles
 Your warm up routine should comprise of exercises that bring up your body temperature up as well as increase movement in the muscles you are preparing to exercise. You want to make sure you are always targeting the bigger muscles first (hamstrings, quads, biceps, deltoids, and pecs)  . As referring back to the rubber band analogy it’s easier to work with a loose rubber band that needs to be used as opposed to one that stiff and cold. The same works with your muscles. A good warm up helps prevents injury and increases flexibility for future activity and workouts.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wishing upon a star....

Wishing on a star is a lot like praying. With eyes closed you think with your heart and wish what it desires. It may not come true but somewhere, You have faith that it could possibly happen. God says you're supposed to have Faith in Him. He knows what your heart desires, he knows you more than we know ourselves. Hebrew 11:1 Says
"faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" NKJV

                       "  We live by faith, not by sight" 2 Corinthians 5:7

We are supposed to give everything to God. Our worries, our doubts, our love, and our dreams having faith He hears us and takes care of us whether it's in our path of life or not.

1 Peter says "Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares for you." 

 But I guess my question is where does Faith and personal intervention begin and end. It's been proven that prayer is a very powerful source. It's been the source of many miracles as well as many unexplained divine interventions (as Priscilla Shirer calls them). But where do we intervene?  

Hebrews 13:5 says "Never will I leave you nor forsake you." 

Yes, the Holy Spirit is with us but what if we pray, hear/feel nothing, make a decision that wasn't designed for us and leads us down another path. Yes, It has been preached that as long as we pray and love God, even if we take a different path than designed, He will follow us, be there with us the whole way. In taking matters into our own hands does that mean we lack the faith in God's timing? OR What are the consequences of just relying on Faith and never taking actions ourselves? What if we just continue to "Wish upon a star." It's hard not to plan our entire life out with the whole rat race, against yourself, others, and time. We only have one shot at this game and it helps to do things the right way the 1st time.  Do we have faith enough in ourselves to give all our worries to God? Not stressing about something, whether it big or small, is hard enough, believe me I try to on a daily basis. I'm a constant worrier. I go on a constant cycle of "well this is something that I really need to pray about, but I'm stressed about it, well I need to give it to God Well, I'm STILL worrying about it and I'm not listening for his voice..ok, quiet time" 1 Minute passes and I'm already sidetracked by something I forgot to do today or plans for tonight's dinner, THEN I feel guilty for getting sidetrack and the cycle happens all over again, I'm sure I'm not alone.

I know there needs to be a happy medium of both God's timing and our actions. It's definitely a call and response form.  Sometimes we do the calling and pray for God's response OR vice verse (in Jonah's case) God does the calling and we do the responding. I can't imagine the faith Abraham and Moses had to have had leading their people around, before technological advances, through the desert. God had only given them the first half of the clue no end, no longitude nor latitude. For it is written in Genesis 12:1

" The Lord had said to Abraham "Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father's family and go to the Land that I WILL SHOW YOU"  

No mention of a name, no state, no country. He just says, pick up your staff, leave everything you know behind, and follow me. It blows me away. How much would it bug you if, you as the driver, got in the car with someone and they were like "just drive, I'll let you know where we're going when we get there." HOW BIZARRE, that doesn't happen! LOL. It's not until Abraham travels a great distance ( I see no factual account in my bible of how far that was) that God reveals the land that He has planned for Abraham and his descendants. 

I'm honestly not looking for a specific answer, there may not be one. I'm merely casting this question out. I guess you could say thinking out loud? It just might be one of those questions that may not have a right or wrong answer. I guess as long as you and I pray and let Him know what's on our hearts, God will lend us a helping hand one way or another.