Cadre Aaron Forum & Shoot Center

“It’s my personal goal to expose 1 Million+ people to firearms safety training.” -Aaron Forum, Owner/Operator Shoot Center Back in 2017, we stopped by Fort Myers to say hi to longtime friend and cadre, Aaron, and check out the progress on building his new indoor shooting range, Shoot Center. Now, almost 2 years later we …

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Running without Gadgets: Look Mom, No Data! #tbt

Yesterday Cate mentioned that she’s been running “free” this week, meaning without gadgets. She’s just been running and getting into the moment of each run. Since I’ve been off running since the beginning of the month with that back injury (getting better!), I’ve of course started to think about how I might ease back into it when I’m ready, and gadget-free running is at the top of my list (along with very easy, very short and gentle forays outside, like way less than feels like a “workout.” So I dug into the archives for this #tbt abot running without gadgets.

Do you like to run free ever? How does it feel?

FIT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

garmin-forerunner-310xt-in-depth-review-15-thumbWe live in an era of gadgets and devices.  On cold or rainy mornings when I take the bus to campus instead of walking or riding my bike, at least 50% of the other passengers are texting or checking Facebook, listening to music, doing something with their smart phones.

My latest gadget is my Garmin Forerunner 310XT GPS watch. When I’m out running, it tells me when to walk, when to run, what my pace is, how far I’ve traveled, how much time has elapsed. If I’m wearing the heart rate monitor, it reports my heart rate too.

When I get back, it shares the information with my Garmin connect account. I can see the map of my route and it tells me the distance. It lets me compare that with my performance on previous runs.

One night I got twitchy and irritated because I made the mistake of telling…

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How to Squat with Proper Form: The Definitive Guide

How to Squat using a barbell: bend your legs until you break parallel. Then come back up. Here’s how to Squat with proper form, using a barbell: Stand with the bar on your upper-back, and your feet shoulder-width apart Squat down by pushing your knees to the side while moving hips back Break parallel by Squatting down until your hips are lower than your knees Squat back up while keeping your…

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One of the biggest astrological turning points of 2019 is happening this week

If you got a jolt of energy during last week’s particularly fertile moment for making new things happen, consider this week the sequel—on steroids. Astrologer Jennifer Racioppi explains why Mercury’s movement into Aries is one of the biggest energy shifts of the entire year. Plus: what to expect from the “pink” full moon this week. 

The upcoming watershed week brings a full moon in Libra (the second full moon in Libra in a row), Mercury finally exiting Pisces (Mercury traveled in Pisces for an extended period due to his retrograde cycle), and the sun’s entrance into fixed earth, Taurus. Yes!

In addition to all of this, too, the week begins on Monday with Venus, the planet of love and beauty (which, like Mercury, is also preparing to exit Pisces and enter into Aries on Saturday, April 20) making a harsh angle to Jupiter, known as a square.

With Venus squaring Jupiter on Monday, ask yourself this: Is your desire for growth in harmony with the values that guide your life?

Jupiter just went retrograde last week, and his apparent backward spin asks you to consider if you want that thing you are working so hard to acquire. Venus’ brush up with Jupiter underscores this even more. Add to the equation that week begins with a waxing Virgo moon (Virgo is the sign of the editor) and clearly, the cosmos are asking you to edit where you are allocating your life force energy. There’s no need to throw good money after bad. It’s okay to bow out, especially if it’s not working—even more so if you don’t want that thing you’ve been chasing. Remember “No!” is a complete sentence. If it’s not working, let it go!

Mark your calendars: April 16 is one of the biggest days of 2019

On Wednesday, we will hit a major turning point in the year. Mercury officially leaves its retrograde shadow on the April 16 (the retrograde shadow is a retrograde hangover when Mercury revisits the part of its path that he traveled while retrograde)—and then enters into Aries. This is a huge deal and will concretely arrive with a tangible impact.

Think about it this way: Mercury traveled in Pisces since February 11—that’s a long time for this fast-moving inner planet to spend in the mutable water sign of the fish. And finally, after this abnormally long time in watery Pisces, it now moves into take-charge, make-it-happen, cardinal-fire Aries.

After an abnormally long time in watery Pisces, Mercury now moves into take-charge, make-it-happen, cardinal-fire Aries.

What does this mean exactly? Mercury rules our communication, and Aries is the sign of action. With the sun currently in the sign of movement for just a few days longer, Mercury starts to catch back up with the sun and brings with it a heavy dose of inspiration, and urgency to GO! (Like, now.) Mercury stays in Aries until May 6, and at this time we can get a lot done. Now’s the time to take action, especially when it comes to what you learned in March when Mercury traveled retrograde. (It’s been so slow, and deeply emotional, and now the focus shifts into the opportunity to take initiative on all that you learned.)

Good Friday’s “pink” moon (which won’t actually be pink)

On Friday we have the second full moon in Libra—the first one happened last month on March 20—and it’s rare to have back-to-back full moons in the same sign. This 29-degree pink moon (as April’s full moon is known, in reference to a type of pink wildflower that blooms this time of year—not any rosy lunar hue) is happening at 7:12 a.m. on Friday, two days before Easter Sunday. (Easter always occurs on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the equinox—and Passover always begins on the night of that same full moon.) While these religious holidays happen in sync with full moons, this year they align precisely with the same full moon on Easter weekend.

Like Passover, which celebrates liberation from freedom, and Easter, which commemorates rebirth, tap into the power of this full moon to rise in your own life. From an astrological perspective, this full moon happening in the sign of the scales conjoins Uranus while squaring Pluto, indicating that it’s asking you to get crystal clear about what’s disrupting your homeostasis so you can let it go. How apropos for these holidays that celebrate eternal luminosity!

From an astrological perspective, this full moon is asking you to get crystal clear about what’s disrupting your homeostasis so you can let it go.

Remember, the week begins with a waxing moon in Virgo and Venus squaring retrograde Jupiter, and with the full moon wrapping up the work week, after Mercury finally leaves Pisces, now’s the time to surrender. What’s no longer serving you? What becomes possible if give up the fight? This can be a limiting mindset or workaholism, and perpetually chasing that thing that you don’t need or want!

Come Saturday, the sun enters into Taurus, while Venus moves into Aries, heralding another massive cosmic switch-up. The sun in Taurus asks you to nourish and nurture yourself in a way that feels exceptionally good to you. Venus rules Taurus, and with Venus now in Aries, she’s instigating you to take charge of your life. What do you have to lose?

Jennifer Racioppi is the creator of Lunar Logic—a philosophy that integrates the deep wisdom of both science and spirituality, and blends her expertise in astrology, positive psychology, and women’s health—to coach high-achieving female entrepreneurs to reach their next level of success. 

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Why Is Mobility So Important?

Listen, I love a good workout as much as the next person. Getting my butt kicked and living off the feel-good high that comes from challenging myself and using my body to perform at its best is something I hope everyone can enjoy. But with this pleasure comes responsibility. To be able to crush my workouts day in and day out requires an equal amount of dedication to recovery. This includes fueling my body with proper nutrients from whole foods to help it build lean muscles and burn off unnecessary fat and working on both my flexibility and mobility so that my body doesn’t get injured from either working out or doing regular chore work.
You see, without proper mobility, I wouldn’t be able to recover and move like an athlete- no less a regular person! Flexibility, though just as important, refers to our muscles (soft tissues) being able to stretch. Mobility, on the other hand, is all about moving with a full range of motion. [1] (I cover this in more detail here.) And it’s important for a number of reasons- reasons so important that I wanted to cover them in today’s post. Read on to find out the importance of mobility! At the end, I’ll link to several of my favorite mobility drills that you can follow along (with me) at the ZGYM!

It Keeps You Ageless

Look no further than seniors and you’ll see what I’m talking about when it comes to maintaining one’s mobility. Ever had a relative throw out their back just by bending over to pick something up from the ground? Or have you yourself ever “twisted” or “moved” in the wrong way that you suddenly sprained an ankle or joint? That’s why mobility is so important! The more diverse ways you can move, the more efficient your body becomes at performing everything from simple tasks like cleaning up the house to more complex activities like hiking on uneven terrain. With mobility comes freedom in the long run. Unless we become bionic superhumans in the near future, we’re going to have to cope with the fact that our body does deteriorate ever so slowly the older we become. Thankfully, we can lessen the degree and, in some cases, slow down, the rate at which this happens by investing in our (aging) future with habits like mobility training. Wouldn’t you rather age with little to no complaints? Or how about this- wouldn’t you like to live independently without someone holding your hand or do things for you? Mobility offers freedom as you age, so don’t assume that it’s only for the young! If anything, it could be a drop from the Fountain of Youth! [2]

Your Physical Performance Improves

Speaking of diversity, the more ways that you can move around without strain, the better you can perform in physical activities such as sports, hiking, or workouts. You never want to be limited with your movements since, aside from increasing your risk injury, you’ll also miss out on using all of your physical potential. And if you’d want to advance to more difficult or complex things like dancing yoga, you’re definitely going to need to uphold your mobility! Going back to injury prevention, mobility also helps to prevent future injuries from the activities that you love! So, if you’re a die-hard weight lifter or HIIT junkie, then it’s extremely important that you have a full range of motion least you force your way into an exercise that’s otherwise limited by your lack of mobility. You’ll only hurt yourself in the end, and no one likes getting injured. But what people do like is better performance. Essentially, through mobility training, you’re enhancing your nervous system by fostering a better mind-to-muscle connection. This is quite important because with it you’re more capable of exerting greater strength, power, and speed, thus improving your physical performance. (Think of it as advancing your exercise capacity.) [3] [4]

Recovery Improves

Rather than staying sedentary after a workout, it helps to switch into recovery mode. Yes, a cool down is just as important (read why here), but afterward, it’s good to practice some mobility drills to keep your body in tip-top shape and to improve the recovery process. Mobility training is a form of active recovery that helps you to tune into your body and incorporate quality movement. You have the opportunity to slow down, work on technique, and make subtle adjustments or improvements to your physical skills. So, take advantage of this time to assess your body for any muscle weaknesses and imbalances; treat it like a sort of “checking in” to see where you’re at and what needs to be improved. (Which again helps to improve your physical performance, whether it’s sports, daily chore work, recreational activities, or working out.) Mobility also allows you to resolve any minor pains or soreness that, in the long run, could lead to potential injuries. Prevention is key, after all! [5]

Good for the Joints

If only our joints could speak, then we’d know that a triple-threat of diet, exercise, and proper recovery helps to keep them in great shape. Mobility training itself helps to protect the joint from future injury as well as the wear-and-tear of overuse that comes from exercise. Rather than deteriorating over time, we can support them through healthy, full ranges of movement. Simple stretching isn’t going to cut it. In fact, according to research that was published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, static stretching in which you simply hold a stretch was shown to perform less optimally in comparison to mobility and active stretching. Mobility training, and exercise in general encourages the movement of synovial fluid, which helps to hydrate or cushion the joints, along with blood flow, helping to deliver important nutrients and oxygen to them. And movement itself relieves much of the pain and stiffness that comes from conditions like osteoarthritis. And the less movement we incorporate on a day to day basis the sooner our joints start to deteriorate. So, let’s keep it simple: Good, quality movement means happy joints! [6] [7]

Start Today

Are you ready to start incorporating mobility training into your routine, but don’t know where to start? Then I have a few recommendations. First, check out my Mob Therapy Checklist and Basic Tools for a primer on mobility training. I’ll be covering more about the factors behind a lack of mobility and the tools that I recommend for training. After that, you can start doing my Mob Therapy series, which covers a specific area in each session. For more diversity, there’s my Mobility Drills series, which works your entire body.
By now I hope you understand the importance of mobility training, and why every lifestyle would benefit from it. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Sources:

[1] https://health.usnews.com/health-news/diet-fitness/fitness/articles/2018-05-29/heres-the-difference-between-flexibility-and-mobility-and-why-it-matters
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3464831/
[3] https://whitepineathletics.com/blog-1/2017/3/25/why-athletes-need-mobility-training
[4] https://www.johnsonfitness.com/blog/flexibility-and-mobility/
[5] https://www.exploreyourfitness.com/blog/mobilityrecovery/
[6] http://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2008&issue=07000&article=00035&type=abstract
[7] https://1md.org/article/joint-health-101-1md

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How to Deadlift with Proper Form: The Definitive Guide

Deadlifts: pull the weight from the floor to your thighs with a neutral back. Here’s how to Deadlift with proper form: Stand with your mid-foot under the barbell Bend over and grab the bar with a shoulder-width grip Bend your knees until your shins touch the bar Lift your chest up and straighten your lower back Take a big breath, hold it, and stand up with the weight Hold the weight for a…

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