Following yesterday's post on the importance of taking care of your body, in order to keep active, I've asked former bodybuilder & creator of Broga - Matthew Miller - his advice on the topic. Though only a short Q&A, he offers invaluable advice on how to stay fit & the importance of yoga when caring for your body!
"Yoga can be revolutionary in not only increasing other sports performances but prolonging the lifespan of an athlete & preventing injury"
Hi Matt, thank you for chatting with me today. I know my readers are all keen to know your advice on keeping active & injury free, but first, I'd love to know how the transition from weight training to yoga came about?
Yoga was never even discussed, much less on the table as an option when I was playing Football in California. Even when I later moved into competitive bodybuilding, the emphasis was only on aesthetics & never on mobility, injury prevention or longevity. I only made the transition when I was working on a television show called Fat Fighters on Channel 4 & was asked to be the first male ambassador in Europe for Lululemon. It was only then, with the help of a private tutelage from two of the female ambassadors (& yoga superstars in their own right) that I had a lightbulb moment of what yoga could do for someone like me.
I couldn't agree more! So do you find yoga helps aid other aspects of your training? For example mixing yoga & weight training?
Yoga is an invaluable tool for not just career athletes but to any sport minded person. Most sports are rooted in becoming highly efficient with very specific movements. This is ostensibly at the expense of all the rest of the range of motion not used in the activity. And it is these imbalances that are typically the cause of pain & injury that develop. Yoga can be revolutionary in not only increasing other sports performances but prolonging the lifespan of an athlete & preventing injury.
As for those post exercise aches & pains, what would you recommend to keep active & ensure you're ready to take on your next workout?
Although I like the idea of a quick 5 minute pre or post workout stretch, it is in no way addressing muscle & joints as they need. Stretching is a dedicated activity that requires the same level of attention paid to the actual sport you do. Dancers are a fantastic example of this. A warm up will typically be an hour even before an actual practice session begins! My advice is make the effort to plan a yoga session in your week as an "active recovery" day & take that just as seriously as you do your sports activity.
That is fantastic advice - I will be sure to practice the active recovery day this week! Talking of weekly activities, what does your typical week of exercise look like for you?
My day of pro sports competitions & the physical abuse that comes with that are long over. Now my concern is maintaining a youthful mindset & body for as long as I can. To that end I practice a varied approach to my workout week. This means I want to address my muscular strength/conditioning, cardiovascular fitness & mobility every week. So I try & get in 3 resistance training sessions, one flat run, fill or spin session & one yoga session a week.
And finally, do you have any motivational words to keep us going strong?
It is never never too late to be better than you are. And it is never to late to turn back the clock on some of the physical problems we have caused ourselves!
Eat green, your cells will be nourished.
Stop smoking, your lungs will heal.
Walk or jog, your heart will strengthen.
Get into a yoga class, your body will lengthen.
Try a sport or new activity, your muscles will strengthen.
Thanks, that is some truly inspiring advice you have left us with. Very honest & very helpful. If anyone would like to know more about Matt or Broga, then check out www.millerthepillar.com- it's worth the visit! Plus Matt has a new Broga DVD out now, so go have a look - www.broga.uk.com
Thank you to Solgar for a fantastic event - themed around mobility & your body's health - and for introducing me to some inspiring people!