Ask the Coach
I’m working hard to drop a few pounds and I seem to be seesawing up and down. I’ve become obsessed with weighing myself. How often and what’s the best time of day to weigh myself?
Weight fluctuates throughout the day, and day to day. Weighing yourself every day can have a negative impact on your weight loss goals. Most people usually weigh less in the morning. It’s best to pick one day a week, at about the same time and the same scale. Scales vary. The important thing is that the scale is going down, instead of up. The scale should be on a firm surface. Weigh with or without clothes, but be consistent. Shoe weight can vary. I recommend picking a day that you are less likely to splurge the day before. I like a morning during the week. High carbs and sodium, that come with prepared foods, can cause water weight gain, just as cutting out carbs and salt can cause water weight loss. True weight loss comes with time and consistency. Physical activity and a healthy diet are key. Remember when you eat more than you move, you gain weight; however, when you move more than you eat, you lose weight. Don’t weigh yourself more than once a week or you will drive yourself crazy. Train hard!
What do you recommend to relieve muscle tightness?
Muscle tightness can come from many sources: poor posture, bad work ergonomics, increased physical activity, an injury, muscular imbalance, scar tissue, disease and of course aging. The most common cause of tight muscles is sitting for long periods of time. To alleviate muscle tightness, try increasing or maintaining flexibility, proper body alignment, reducing stress and consistent, good quality sleep.
Investigate where the muscle tightness is located. A good masseuse, chiropractor, PT or certified personal trainer should be able to help you evaluate and come up with a plan to reduce muscle tightness. Soaking in a hot tub with essential oils and Epson salts is very therapeutic. I highly recommend taking up yoga, Tai Chi or some other stretch class. Add variety by watching DVDs, YouTube, or podcasts on increasing flexibility. Roll on a foam roller or use two tennis balls tied up in a tube sock to treat the soft tissue. Get a massage regularly, if possible. Some gym memberships come with hydromassage beds for as little as $24 a month. Massage is offered for a dollar a minute all over the metro area, tailored to the time you have. A seasoned professional bodyworker is expensive, but it is best practice, if you can afford it.
Evaluate work ergonomics or any repetitive motion associated with your daily life. Check out your mattress, pillows and mattress pad. Are you constantly looking down at your phone, keyboard height not right, elbow jacked up on the console of the car? Are you carrying your purse on one side every day or wearing your shoulders for earrings? Muscle tightness is coming from somewhere, but where?
Easing tight muscles takes more than the occasional bend and hold. It is recommended to stretch at least 10 minutes, three times a week for maintenance and much more to rehabilitate a problem area. Exercise physiologists often use techniques to relieve excessive muscle tightness, increase length and improve range of motion. Hold and relax methods work best. Look up PNF (Proprioceptive Feuromuscular facilitation) or AIS (Aaron Mattes Active Isolated Stretching). Develop a plan to treat muscle tightness, stick to it, and feel better!