FITNESS FOR HEALTH
health for your
Athletes’ Performance training centers have to
learn how to activate their “glutes.” These athletes
previously have never taken full advantage of
these tremendously powerful muscles that are
built to go, not just for show.
That’s because most of us spend our days
sitting on our glutes, which causes the muscles
opposite them—the hip flexors—to become short
and stiff, which prevents the glutes from firing.
Show me someone with tight hip flexors and
I’ll show you someone with a flat butt who has—
or soon will have—back problems. Talk about adding insult to injury, or vice versa in this case.
Unless you reactivate your glutes, no buns-of-steel workout is going to make a difference. So
take a moment right now and squeeze your left
butt cheek, then your right.
Congratulations. You now know how to activate your glutes. You’ll want to do this throughout
your workouts, but also in routine daily activities
such as walking, working and climbing stairs.
There’s nothing more powerful and attractive
than a properly working set of gluteus maximus
muscles. Who knew, right? Whenever you stare
at someone’s rear end, you’re really appreciating
that person’s ability to develop the glutes through
years of properly executed movement patterns.
If you can learn to properly move through the
hips and activate and fire your glutes constantly,
you’ll be well on your way to moving properly,
giving your body stability, mobility and a shot at a
long-term, pain-free existence. C
By Mark Verstegen
I SPEND A LOT of time in airports,
and 90 percent of the people I
see hustling to and from flights
have dysfunctional movement
patterns. Their bodies no longer
are moving as nature intended.
This is partially a result of
inactivity, but it’s also a reflection of our technol-ogy-based culture. We spend our days hunched
over a computer, sitting behind a steering wheel,
crammed into an increasingly smaller airplane seat.
SCO TT WACH TER
As a result, most people have lost the ability
to use their core—the combination of shoulders,
torso and hips—to move in an efficient, powerful
manner. Few manage to use their gluteus maxi-
mus muscles (rear ends) as nature intended, to
propel their hips forward.
Even most elite athletes who arrive at our
Costco member Mark Verstegen is founder of the
Athletes’ Performance training centers and author
of the Core Performance fitness book series (www.
Clean Air Month
THE AMERICAN LUNG
Association (ALA) reports that
nearly 400,000 Americans die
each year from lung disease, a
number that continues to rise.
Lung disease is any disorder where lung function is
impaired. Lung diseases can be
caused by exposure to smoking,
secondhand smoke, air pollution, occupational hazards, carcinogens that trigger tumor
growth, infectious agents and
overreactive immune defenses.
There are many types of lung
Obstructive lung diseases, such as asthma, chronic
bronchitis and emphysema
asbestosis, which are among
the occupational diseases
caused by exposure to hazardous substances
Infectious illnesses, such
as pneumonia, influenza and
pulmonary edema, pulmonary
embolism and pulmonary
Pulmonary fibrosis and
sarcoidosis, diseases character-
ized by stiffening and scarring
of the lungs
What can you personally
do about lung disease? The ALA
has these suggestions: Quit
smoking if you haven’t already,
and encourage others to do the
same. Then start fighting air pol-
lution—another leading cause of
lung disease—so the elderly and
those suffering from asthma and
chronic lung diseases can
THE NEXT TIME you’re
tempted to stifle a yawn, don’t.
According to Costco member
Patt Lind-Kyle, author of Heal
Your Mind, Rewire Your Brain
(Energy Psychology Press,
2009), yawning isn’t rude. It’s
actually one of your body’s
coolest tricks—and brings with
it a host of benefits for your
body, mind and even your
“The truth is, yawning has
earned a bad rap,” observes
With a yawn, what you’re
doing, says Lind-Kyle, is stim-
ulating a neural area of the
brain that plays a major role
in being more conscious and
self-reflective, and that also aids
in relaxation, alertness and
maintaining a good memory.
Other yawn facts:
Yawning helps the brain
maintain balance. Research
has found that yawning helps
cool down an overactive brain
as it attempts to regulate its
temperature and metabolism.
Yawning can lift your
mood. When you yawn, your
dopamine levels rise. This
activates oxytocin, or pleasure
chemicals. The more these
chemicals are activated, the
more frequently you yawn.
Yawning is also contagious,
because it triggers the mirror
neurons that literally prompt
you to reflect another person’s
behavior or emotional state.
Yawning helps you
“reset” yourself. When you
yawn, you help regulate your
body’s circadian rhythms,
or the roughly 24-hour cycle
of human behavior and bio-
“When you’re traveling
by plane and changing time
zones, remember to yawn to
help reset your circadian
rhythms,” says Lind-Kyle.
“Yawning will help to reduce
the effects of jet lag.” C