the Pencil Pushup

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What is Z-Health?

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The big question that I and just about every other Z-Health practitioner must answer is “What is Z-Health?”  It takes more than one or two sentences to explain this system that I’m involved with.  Key points that I mention in my explanation are:

  1. Z-Health is a performance system designed to take someone from an injured, painful, or inhibited state to the highest level of performance he or she wants to achieve.
  2. The nervous system is in charge.  Neither the muscles nor the bones nor the joints make decisions.  The nervous system decides whether or not you’re in pain.  The nervous system decides whether or not your muscles are tight.  Your nervous system dictates how fast, strong or agile you are.
  3. The aim of Z-Health is better movement.  Period.  If you want to lose weight, you need to move better so you can exercise vigorously.  Chronic pain is often a result of poor movement patterns.  The solution?  Move better.  If you’re an athlete and you want to perform better–then you need to move better.

Threat neuromatrix

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But hold on.  How can something we eat contribute to something like Achilles tendon pain or plantar fasciitis? Well, pain does not always equal an injury.  It is an action signal though, to change something. Sure, if you sprain your ankle or receive a cut or puncture wound, then the pain is fairly indicative of the injury. The pain may cause you to hobble to help preserve the damaged ankle or to treat the wound you’ve received.

In the case of chronic pain however, the root of the problem is rarely the site of the pain. Pain in a particular region may be there for any number of widely varied reasons. Pain may be present as part of a movement problem, lack of sleep, job stress, or even poor eating habits–or often a combination of these types of stress. I’ll elaborate more in a moment.

Feeling pain is also a skill. It’s like learning to taste wine, hear and play music, or acquiring the visual senses of an artist. Our brain and nervous system become efficient and skilled at doing something if we do it enough.  The longer we feel pain in an area, the better we get at feeling pain there. So going forward, if the nervous system needs to get your attention, it will choose to create pain along a smooth, well-known, efficient pathway.

We often feel pain as part of something called the threat neuromatrix. Vital to this concept is understanding any type of perceived threat may generate pain. The brain can produce a pain signal in response to any stimulus or event that threatens our survival. Whether that event is emotional, physical, or even spiritual, if our brain perceives a threat to our survival there is a possibility that we will experience pain or a noxious event of some kind. How does this relate to gluten?

60% Off Dues at the Cherry Creek Athletic Club

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The Cherry Creek Athletic Club (where I work) in Denver is offering big savings to members.  If you’re a Cherry Creek Athletic Club member you can save up to 60% off your dues if you refer a new member by the end of May.  Contact the membership office at 303.339.5467.  Or contact Jennifer Kueber at jkueber@cherrcreekclub.com.

I love working there.  It’s a first-class facility with all sorts of nice amenities.  Bring your friends.  Come check us out!

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Zone-based training is a key component for competitive cyclists looking to perform better.  Determining the proper zones typically requires lab tests such as lactate threshold testing.  A graduate student at the University of New Hampshire has developed an inexpensive way of determining

“Power is a very unbiased way of measuring your exercise ability, compared to speed, heart rate, or perceived exertion,”