The right fitness mix? Shake it up!

Ever wonder why your gym routine just isn't cutting it? If so, you're not alone. Many women hit the gym on a regular basis, but fail to see consistent results after a certain period of time. So, why does this happen?

The simple answer is repetition; too much repetition to be exact. The human body is masterful in adapting to change. So much so, that often after 4-6 weeks (sometimes sooner for fitter individuals) the body no longer responds to the stress placed on it.

In order to avoid fitness plateaus, you need to mix things up on a regular basis. Some argue that women need more cardio, while others insist they need more strength training. I argue that it depends on the individual. No one program fits all.

While a combination of both are beneficial, an often overlooked component may be the mode (or type) of exercise. Simply put, women need to integrate variety and break free from routine if they hope to achieve success in terms of weight loss and revving up metabolism. The body does not recognize whether you are using weights, bands, balls or body weight. It merely knows if it is easy or hard.

The other major reason to change things up often is winning the battle against mental boredom. Many exercise programs are halted by boredom. If you are a creature of habit (most of us are) and seek better fitness results, you may want to look at starting something new. Seek out something fun and challenging.

In my Adventure Boot Camp program, I design a different workout for all 20 sessions during each camp. This prevents boredom and doesn't allow the brain and body to accommodate to the routine. It also adds an element of excitement when you are left wondering what the next workout session holds. For variety, you may also consider augmenting what you do with something new, like:

Pilates Kettlebell training Yoga Swimming Dance classes
In the end, seek a trainer or routine that offers consistent variety and avoids too much repetition. Consistent repetition cripples results and enthusiasm, while consistent variety stimulates positive change and continually moves you forward.

Preventing ACL injuries in young athletes

Now that spring has arrived, club soccer, lacrosse and AAU basketball are getting into full swing. Cutting sports like these pose a higher risk for ACL injuries. In female athletes, the risk may three to eight times higher than in their male counterparts.

Injuries like these are at an epidemic proportion. Consider that more than 20,000 high school female athletes suffer a serious sports-related knee injury each year in the United States.

Long considered a contact-based injury in which colliding athletes undergo a knee trauma due to the impact, recent research has shown that has many as 70 percent of ACL injuries are actually non-contact related. This means the vast majority of ACL injuries in young athletes are due to strength deficiencies or improper jumping and landing mechanics.

Well-designed strength and conditioning programs have shown to be the number one preventative agent in reducing the incidents of ACL injuries in young athletes. Programs should include a baseline assessment and include the following:

Proper dynamic mobility and warm-up exercises Essential strength exercises Balance training Plyometrics (jump training) with emphasis on jump landing technique Agility drills
Age-appropriate training may begin as early as age 10 in many cases. If your child participates in a cutting or court-based sport, he or she should be including some of these techniques into the year-round conditioning plan.

If you desire more information on ACL injury prevention, you can attend a free seminar on May 3 at 6 p.m. at the Embassy Suites in Dublin. I will be presenting on injury risk factors and proper training techniques to reduce the likelihood of such injuries. Simply call (614) 761-9242 to RSVP. Space is limited.