Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

3 Functional Fitness Moves to Relieve Shoulder Pain

by Hilton Head Health Fitness Coach John Lippett

Work in front of a computer or laptop all day? If the answer’s yes, you can probably admit to having shoulder pain and stiffness. Even if you try to practice better posture while at your computer of laptop, you can still end up in that hunched over position. Hilton Head Health Fitness Coach John Lippett has 3 simple fitness moves to help alleviate some of that pain and stiffness.



We hope you’ve enjoyed our 3-part Functional Fitness series. We’ve covered core stabiltiy, hip mobility and shoulder stability.

If you’d like to see more functional fitness moves or have a fitness problem you’d like us to solve, share a comment or email us at





4 Functional Fitness Moves to Improve Hip Mobility

If you want to decrease tightness in your hips, improve your posture and increase range of motion; these 4 functional fitness moves to improve hip mobility from Fitness Coach David Chesworth are just what you need. Whether you’re an athlete looking to loosen up your hips or you’re seated at a desk all day long, improved hip mobility is important to your everyday functional movements.

If you have issues bending over to pick up your kids or even picking up small items that you drop, these movements will help you gain that range of movement back and help alleviate some of the hip pain you may experience while doing simple tasks.

Follow these 4 functional fitness moves to improve hip mobility:



You don’t want to miss the last part of our Functional Movement series. Next Friday, it’s all about shoulder mobility!  We’ll see you next week.



6 Functional Fitness Movements to Build Core Stability

 by Hilton Head Health Fitness Coach Chris Varano

It’s 3 weeks into the New Year and you’ve started a new fitness routine. You’ve created a consistent schedule whether you’re waking up to work out or you head to the gym at lunch or after work. This is an awesome start.

Now it’s time to incorporate functionality into your fitness. Meaning your fitness routine should include components to build your agility, strength and balance. Today, we’ll start off with 6 fuctional exercise movements that build core stability:



Stay tuned! Next Friday, our H3 Fitness Specialists will bring you functional fitness movements for hip mobility.




Couples that Sweat Together Stay Together

by Hilton Head Health Fitness Specialist Casey Walker

It’s been proven that working out with a partner increases not only your accountability but your overall weight loss. When you have someone you look forward to working out with, you’ll find yourself working out more and even challenging yourself in ways you wouldn’t have before. And for all you couples out there, couples that sweat together stay together and stay healthier!


Here’s different ways to work out more together:

1. When your playing catch with the dog. in between each throw complete as many reps of an exercise as possible (body weight exercises, i.e., jumping jacks, squats, push-ups, lunges…etc. ).

2. In the grocery store you can perform body weight exercises down the aisle (i.e. lunges, walking on toes, side shuffle, bicep curls with a heavy product) to add a simple workout to your grocery shopping.

3. Go to an outdoor park where you can use playground equipment to create your own circuit with your partner. (i.e. pull-ups, tricep dips, mountain climbers, step-ups, push-ups, etc.)

What’s your favorite workout to do with your workout partner?



Fitness Tip for the New Year

by Hilton Head Health Fitness Coach John Lippett

We’re 8 days into the New Year! How are your fitness & health goals coming along? Hopefully you are still going strong with daily or weekly workouts. If you’re having trouble here’s one of my favorite tips to help you get and stay on track; this is a tip I frequently give to Hilton Head Health guests:

Find a workout partner.



Having a workout partner is a great way to stay consistent with your workouts. Let’s face it we all have days we don’t feel like going to the gym, knowing that you have a partner to hold you accountable is a great way to get to improve your consistency.

Tell us what your fitness goal is for the New Year.



Fitness Tip for New Year’s Success

My number one tip for you this year is to immerse yourself in a community with similar goals.

new years goals, group fitness, community

I don’t care how motivated you are. I don’t care how driven you are. I don’t even care how profound your goal is. Often times these things provide you with false hope for the future. All of those qualities require a certain level of willpower.

As I’m sure you already know, willpower dies fast.

Think about those New Year’s resolutions you have had in the past. How successful were you? If your answer is “very successful”, then congratulations, keep up what you’re doing because it’s working. For the vast majority of us, however, the answer is probably that you didn’t last more than two weeks.

If you’ve been battling behavioral change for what feels like a lifetime, willpower simply isn’t enough. If you’re serious about your goals, a change of environment is what you need. What better environment to be in than with people on a similar journey as you? Below are a few examples of communities you could join:

  • Group fitness classes
  • Small group personal training
  • Crossfit or crossfit-like gyms
  • Running groups
  • Biking groups
  • Swimming groups

Have a Healthy & Happy 2016!



Active Tips for Everyday

Hilton Head Health Fitness Interns Aaron Wood, Kristen Clark, Kelsey Camien

In order to start a healthier lifestyle, you don’t have to go from one extreme to another to create change. For example, going from no exercise at all to 2 hours of exercise everyday and expect that to habit to stick. Smaller progress can lead to long lasting, healthy change. By making healthy adjustments here and there, you can be more active and create a daily routine that’s easy to follow.


Don’t be an Office Potato

Healthy Exercise Snacks

  • Try calf raises while standing in line or doing dishes.
  • Perform some squats while you brush your teeth.

Extra Steps that Count

  • Take the stairs instead of using the elevator.
  • Park further away from the doors while grocery shopping, at your workplace or any parking lot for that matter.

Daily To-do’s

  • Add light cleaing as an every day activity to move more. Not to mention, keep your stress levels down due to your less cluttered home.
  • Turn healthy eating into a daily ritual by cooking at home and meal planning.




3 Biggest Weight Lifting Fears for Women

by Kristen Clark, Hilton Head Health Fitness Intern

There are plenty of rumors roaming around about why girls shouldn’t lift; today, we’re setting the top 3 rumors straight! If you’ve ever been scared to lift, Hilton Head Health is here to let you know there’s no reason to be. Weight lifting is a great way to burn calories and reach your weight loss and wellness goals.


I’m going to “bulk-up”.

  • Many women have a fear in their mind that lifting weights will instantly turn them into a body builder or “The Hulk” to be more precise. The truth is that women don’t have the same amount of muscle growth hormones as males, so we physiologically can’t get the same muscle increases as men.

Lifting weights won’t help with weight loss.

  • Lifting weights in a circuit style will give you the most bang for your buck when it comes to calorie burn. You will increase your heart rate as you would with cardio, but you’re also building muscle mass. Even at rest, muscle can burn up to 3x more calories than fat. So the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.

It’s intimidating.

Don’t be intimidated by the boys in the gym!

  • A great way to get comfortable with a weight lifting routine is to schedule a session with a personal trainer or attend a group fitness class such as Body Pump. Look for keywords in class titles such as body sculpt or total body tone.

It’s time to start pumping some iron! Log your strength training sessions so you can keep up with your progress. And remember to lift safely.



Improve Your Breathing and Your Fitness Level

by Aaron Wood, Hilton Head Health Fitness Intern

Breathing is a vital part of life as everyone knows but when it comes to our health we forget how important it truly is.  We get so focused on completing a movement or exercise that we forget about breathing deeply or at all in some cases.  Breathing plays an important role in not only performance but safety, as well.  Three areas of focus where breathing is vital to completing the activity efficiently and safely are stretching for flexibility, strength training and cardiovascular training.


Improper breathing can leave an individual tight and significantly less mobile.  People commonly think when they are stretching that the object is to just pull the muscle as far as possible even if they can’t breathe deeply or really breathe at all in that stretch.  This isn’t functional for us to do.  What I mean by that is when you have reached the point where you can’t breathe or your breathing is very shallow and stressed, breathing is no longer functional due to the fact you can’t maintain that position without the likelihood of passing out.

stretching, breathing

What you want to do is stretch the muscle to slight discomfort in a position where you can breathe, and breathe deeply while you hold the position.  After spending some time in the position, you will breathe in deeply and on the exhale work a little deeper into the stretch only going so far as that you can maintain that deep breath.  You can also just practice breathing deeply to improve flexibility.  Try alligator breathing, where you lay flat on your stomach with your head resting on hands and breathing deeply trying to raise the lower back with each breath.  Or literally just taking out the time to just sit upright in good posture and practice breathing deeply.

Strength Training

Along with proper form, breathing during strength training can be one of the most important aspects to make sure you are doing it efficiently and safely.  When performing a movement, especially one loaded with weight, breathing plays a big role in providing oxygen to the muscle(s) to help perform the task.   The goal is to breathe in on the eccentric (stretching, or easiest part) of the exercise while breathing out on the concentric (flexing, or hardest part) of the exercise. This breathing sequence rushes oxygen to the muscles during the loading of the weight which is when the muscle is being stretched and then the muscle uses that oxygen (along with other properties) to perform the flexion of the muscle. Though, what typically ends up happening is people hold their breathe through the movement making it harder on their muscles to perform the task at hand while also putting themselves in danger of passing out.

Also, holding your breathe through the exercise can result in complications such as high blood pressure.  If you already suffer from high blood pressure, raising it unsafely during exercise can be dangerous and lead to serious injury or other health issues.  The way in which you breathe can also help with the efficiency of performing the task.   And breathing properly promotes good form; breathing deeply during a task usually forces you to correct your posture in order to do so.

breathing, strength training

Cardiovascular Training

Obviously, breathing plays a big role in cardiovascular training.  Most of the time, we make sure to breath but we don’t breathe in an efficient way.  Usually when we do cardio, whether it is going for a run, swimming or whatever the case may be, as the activity goes on we start to breath more rapidly and more shallow (versus how we would like, which is deeply).  This makes us less efficient in our activity; ultimately, the activity ends early as we feel more exerted much quicker because we are using more energy to breathe at that rapid pace instead of using that energy to help the muscles perform the activity.

To get better at breathing when it comes to cardio it is important to remember pace.  We pace ourselves in speed all the time while usually neglecting how we breathe in that pace.  That breathing pace should be just as important to us as the pace in which we run, as far as speed.  Breathing steadily along with breathing deeply will help much like in strength training.  As your muscles are performing the task at hand they need oxygen, better breathing helps your muscles complete the activity easier than if they have to do so with little oxygen circulating through the body.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion breathing is of vital importance to performance in exercise or flexibility.  It also plays a vital role in safety.  So next time you stretch, strength train, or take part in cardio training remember to breathe, and not only breathe but breathe deeply and efficiently.  Doing so can be the difference between being unable to improve your mobility, strength, or cardiovascular endurance and reaching those goals that have been eluding you.



Tips for Running in Cooler Weather

by Fitness Coach Chris Varano

running, fall fitness

Now that the heat of summer is almost over, getting back outside and doing some longer runs will be much more enjoyable.  Even with the cooler weather, there are still important training tips to follow:

  1. Even though the days are not as hot, staying hydrated is key.  You may not feel as thirsty but remembering to drink every couple of miles or planning your runs around drinking fountains is a good plan of action.
  2. Dressing appropriately for the longer run can be a challenge too.  You might feel a bit chilly when you first head out the door but be careful to not overdress.  You should wear clothing that you will be comfortable in for the end of your run, not the beginning.  Wearing light, removable layers will enable you to dress down as your body warms up.
  3. The shorter days can mean you might be running in the dark of early morning or twilight.  Making sure you’re visible to traffic and other people are important.  Wear reflective clothing, use glow sticks or carry a flashlight with you.

Running in cooler weather is always more fun and can enable you to increase your miles, build endurance and stamina following these great tips will keep you on the right track.



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