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Autumn Reflections

Autumn, by definition, is the third season of the year when crops and fruits are gathered and leaves fall.

Autumn’s duration in the northern hemisphere lasts from September to November and from March to May in the southern hemisphere. Autumn may be a time of joy or excitement as we anticipate the holiday seasons and the events that will be spent with family and friends. Autumn may be a time of anxiousness or discouragement as we anticipate colder weather and fewer sunlit hours each day. Autumn may be a season of mixed emotions, as we express gratitude for all of the goodness in our lives, while simultaneously experiencing shame or regret for the things we were unable to accomplish thus far this year. One thing for certain is that autumn is a season of change. The transformations that take place in nature can mirror the internal transformations occurring within us as our seasons of life change. The physical changes of autumn create a perfect setting in which we can begin to change our thoughts and our choices about our health and our wellbeing.

Our motivation for making daily healthy choices is largely driven by our mental and emotional states.

We often become disconnected to our body’s needs, either because of stress, fear, exhaustion, misinformation, anger, regret, distractions, and/or grief. We consequently make choices that do not serve our physical, mental, or emotional health.

During autumn, we are invited to reflect on our current life circumstances and to refocus on our own health and fitness needs.

We are invited to reconnect with our bodies, minds, and hearts to determine if a change is in order in our lives. During autumn, we are invited to transform any negative beliefs about our health into positive affirmations and actions. Regardless of what we think we “should” be doing for our health, we are permitted to diffuse judgmental thoughts and tune into what our bodies are craving at this time of year or at this time of our lives. Perhaps this autumn is an energized season for you after a restful summer, and your body needs to be challenged with high intensity cardio routines or a new strength training regimen. Perhaps this autumn is a time during which your body needs a more restorative fitness routine, which may include relaxing walks outdoors or a meditation practice, due to recent stress, chaos, or grief in your daily life. When we recognize what our individual bodies need to be healthy, we can feel confident on our own fitness journey, despite what others may be doing on theirs.

Your strength is found in your ability to recognize and honor your body’s needs during changing circumstances. Each small step you take to creating a healthy lifestyle is a success.

You may change your workouts, change your food choices, or change your mindset. You may focus on yourself at a time when you feel bombarded by the needs of others. You may change and be open to change.  After all, change is a part of nature and brings new opportunities into your life. Socrates summed it up well when he said, “The secret of change is to focus your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” During autumn, we are invited to let go of old, destructive thoughts and create new, healthy beliefs and habits. NZ Manufacturing wishes you a beautiful autumn filled with successful moments, either big or small, in your fitness journey. Let us help you reach your goals during whichever season of life you are in.

 

In peace and good health,

 

Maureen Petrasko
President and CEO
NZ Manufacturing Inc.

Strength training for recovery and prevention of concussions

It is estimated that as many as 3.8 million concussions occur in the United States annually due to sports or recreational injuries. Concussions present a serious health risk to the public. Research continues to show how damage to the brain can cause long-lasting health implications if not properly addressed. Symptoms similar to Parkinson’s, along with memory and attention-deficit issues, are often seen amongst older athletes decades after their careers end. Thankfully, rules in sports are changing and the need for serious recovery measures after a concussion are becoming common knowledge.

The Best Form of Protection is Prevention

While athletic gear has come a long way within the last few decades to help reduce the risk of head trauma, there is still more that we can do to help improve the odds. One of the very best things one can do is focus on strengthening neck muscles and the trapezius muscle, which runs along the spine and back shoulder area. In fact, studies have shown that individuals with the strongest necks are the least likely to sustain a concussion in high school sports.

Target Muscles in a Variety of Planes of Motion

The neck can move in a variety of unique patterns rotationally and laterally, so it’s critical to target these muscles through multiple different angles and movement patterns. Resistance cords provide individuals with one great solution to achieve this effectively, in addition to providing a variety of other benefits such as increased flexibility, range of motion, and cell growth.

Two simple pieces of equipment from NZ Manufacturing can help with both prevention and recovery from concussions:

The HEADSET KIT M357-MEDICORDZ® gives individuals the ability to target neck muscles to increase strength and mobility through forward and lateral flexion, extension and rotation neck exercises; while, the HEAD STRAP KIT M351KT-MEDICORDZ® stretches both the upper back and neck muscles.

Recover Optimally

After taking the necessary time to rest initially after a concussion, strength training and rehabbing the muscles surrounding and supporting the head is essential to proper recovery. Research has shown that athletes who have had one concussion are 4 to 6 times more likely to sustain a second. With careful guidance from sports medicine doctors or physical therapists, the use of resistance cords can help increase blood flow to recovering areas to support a strong, healthy comeback from a concussion and reduce the likelihood of a second occurrence

NZ Manufacturing, which has been in business for over 30 years, creates some of the highest quality resistance exercise tools used by professional sports teams, hospitals, and national organizations to help individuals stay healthy and recover more optimally. We are more than happy to answer any questions you might have or provide you with any additional information you may need. Reach us by phone at 1-800-886-6621 or fill out our online contact form today!

The Benefits of Resistance Cords for Elder Care

As the human body ages, your ability to gain strength and recover quickly becomes increasingly difficult. At the same time, your strength and ability to recover becomes even more essential to living a healthy, independent lifestyle in the later decades of your life.

The body’s strength begins to decline around the age of 40, and by age 70, muscular strength can decline by an average of 30% according to research. Sarcopenia, or the reduction in muscular strength as we age, can be greatly reduced, if not fended off, through a smart exercise regime.

Resistance cords offer one great solution for combating this issue – in addition to numerous other obstacles the human body faces as it ages. Physical therapists commonly introduce resistance cords into their training regimens when working with seniors for a number of reasons.

Benefits of Resistance Cords for the Elderly

  1. Providing a comprehensive, full-body workout to target almost all your body’s major muscle groups
  2. Boosting stamina
  3. Increasing flexibility
  4. Enhancing your range of motion
  5. Improving strength
  6. Increasing bone density and reducing the risk of osteoporosis
  7. Increasing cellular growth and proliferation
  8. Bettering brain health, which can help avoid age-related dementia
  9. Improving balance
  10. Bettering body composition and muscle mass
  11. Bettering biomarkers such as blood lipids, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels
  12. Easing the symptoms of arthritis pain
  13. Improving cognitive performance
  14. Improving connective tissues in joints
  15. Enhancing coordination and agility
  16. Helping mitigate back pain

Resistance Cords Beneficial For All Age Groups

Whether you are just looking to grow your strength or rehab an injury, resistance cords are a smart solution for gyms, physical therapists, aquatic centers, chiropractors, and sports medicine doctors to offer to their clients. They don’t place too much pressure on the body’s joints and allow someone to achieve a full body workout across various levels of ability. Resistance cords are customizable to one’s strength needs and can offer increasing levels of intensity as one continues to improve and grow stronger. They allow elderly individuals to target multiple angles and train in the very same range of motion essential to moving about in their everyday lives.

NZ Manufacturing, which has been in business since 1985, offers a wide array of resistance cords suitable to the needs of seniors. Some of our best products such as the Turfcordz® with Handles and Safety Cord and the Pool Aqua Band S300-Strechcordz® may be a great way to start if you haven’t tried resistance cords yet.

If you are interested in learning anything more about the resistance cord products NZ Manufacturing offers, you can reach out to us via phone at 1-800-886-6621 or fill out our online contact form today. We’ve been helping athletes, trainers, physical therapists and individuals of all ages use resistance cords to boost their agility and bounce back more quickly from injuries.

Overspeed Training using the Safety Cord Speed Belt and the Super Bungie Kit

At NZ Manufacturing, we’re constantly looking for new and innovative ways to use our resistance cord product line in various athletic and rehabilitation areas.

Recently we’ve heard from some of our customers about how they’re using our TurfCordz® Safety Cord Speed Belt and Super Bungie kit with overspeed training. In this blog, we’ll introduce you to the concept of overspeed training itself and show you how our NZ Manufacturing products are beneficial to these types of exercises.

What is Overspeed Training?

Most athletes and trainers agree that there are two primary ways to reach your optimal skill level. Those are either competing with other athletes of equal or superior skill, or for coaches and trainers to create an environment where even in the absence of competition, performance gains can be achieved.

When it comes to any type of training, the following skills are most important: agility, speed, strength, endurance and flexibility. Of these five qualities, speed and agility are likely the most important. Historically trainers have attempted to match the intensity of game level competition, which can be difficult and not always effective.

Enter overspeed training.

Overspeed training involves moving the body at speeds that are higher than those that would occur in the competitive environment.

Resistance Cords and Overspeed Training

Resistance cords are commonly used in overspeed training because the resistance cords are able to:

  • Comfortably stretch to double their length
  • Our Safety Cord Speed Belt allows trainers the ability to perform agility drills with athletes
  • The elasticity of the resistance cords as well as the different resistance levels allows athletes to gradually increase their overspeed effort

Athletes are seeing significant speed increases by using resistance cords and bungies, but this is not the only improvement. In addition to the improvement of speed, resistance cords coupled with overspeed training allows for athletes to be trained to make quicker changes of direction. This type of training is incredibly beneficial for ball game sports where change of direction and agility is extremely important.

With overspeed training and resistance cords, athletes can expect to improve their ability to change directions at the highest possible speed in the shortest amount of time. This type of training is what separates good athletes from great athletes.

NZ Manufacturing Offers a Wide Array of Products Used for Overspeed Training

Improving agility through overspeed training is one of the best ways to bridge the gaps between all aspects of conditioning including strength, speed, endurance and flexibility. With proper training, someone who may not be the strongest or fastest athlete on the field can compete with those who may have been more gifted in terms of their natural abilities. As is the case with most things in life, those who are willing to put in the hard work often see greater dividends than those who may have more natural abilities but refuse to devote the necessary time to truly taking their skill level up a notch

If you’re interested in learning more about the resistance cord products offered by NZ Manufacturing that can assist with overspeed training, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today by phone at 800-886-6621 or through our online contact form.

Yoga: Check It Out

“Breathe In through your nose, and out through your mouth.” Check. “Focus on your breathing, in through your nose, out through your mouth.” Check. Check….

I am a very task oriented person. I enjoy making to-do lists and planning out each productive element of my day. I enjoy writing everything down into categories and ranking the most important tasks. Heck, I even enjoy picking out which colored pen to use to write my lists. The biggest enjoyment though comes from crossing things off a to-do list item by item, taking satisfaction over the small victory of crossing something off the list entirely. Seeing the pen press ink to paper, creating a nice straight line cross through a task that before was incomplete. Ahhhhh…. Some people might call this obsessive. Or, maybe I’m just being downright weird. And yet others might still call this by another name: Type A. Whatever you call it – that is me….

There are many quizzes online and magazines promoting the latest fads and workout trends. Many of these resources claim certain types of workouts are best for different personality types. As a true type A, I have read and reviewed many of these resources. As you might expect, yoga, which is a slower, more patient and introspective form of exercise, was not high on any of my quiz results. However, I decided to try it on a whim. Spoiler alert: it was a great idea.

Yoga, while originating thousands of years ago, has recently become a hot trend.  At first, I was skeptical to jump on the yoga bandwagon, but after a few months of practice, I would recommend it to anyone. Yoga is a fantastic restorative, low impact practice that can be suitable for all skill levels. Not only does yoga provide the opportunity for physical exercise, it also provides a connection to a more mindful and emotional fitness experience. While I am far from being a yogi expert, I think there is great value in the practice as it creates a greater sense of self love and maybe even a little muscle too.

Whether you are a first timer, or avid yogi, I invite you to roll out a mat and give it a try.

Take a leap, and focus on your breathing. Don’t worry about anything else; NZ Manufacturing has you covered! To stretch out your practice, check out the StrechCordz® Stretch and Mobility Strap

Or, bump up that Warrior Two with a little resistance using StrechCordz® Modular Kit

Switch it up, get creative. Regardless if you’re Type A or Type B, young or old, check it out, and check it off YOUR list.

Namaste.

Ness