Our bodies are amazing
They adapt to the needs of our environment. We are dynamic and always changing. Our old cells dying and the new forming every second. Because of our ever changing selves we can never be perfect. That's okay. Our imperfections are what challenge us and make us great. With the help of knowing a little fitness training, manual therapies and proper assessment, we can learn, build and improve on our body. This is important for everyone, to have the knowledge of how to live and maintain a life in their body.
Fitness training is good for us and to understand why we have to know the primary components of fitness we're trying to improve on. Cardiorespiratory capacity (lungs); muscular capacity (endurance, strength, and power); flexibility and body composition.
How are the choices of people in your life and yours being reflected in the way your body expresses motion and emotion? Our choices and environment influence and, in some cases, define us. Its health and ours become an expression in our body. How we choose to participate is our character. Unfortunately--with most goals--there are no shortcuts. The good news: whenever you decide to move your muscles--from small movements to large, you are hitting all the components of fitness simultaneously. Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, normalizing blood pressure, increasing muscle strength, strengthening your bones, increasing metabolisms, improving your mood, reducing stress levels and making yourself look good all at the same time. It really is amazing how much our health gives us. If we give our bodies a little daily attention they will give us much in return.
As independent as many of us like to seem, the truth is we all need other people. Everybody needs support from time to time. Everybody needs help, including our bodies. The natural healing process of inflammation can be manipulated in our favor using massage and other manual therapies. It can mobilize tissues to increase blood flow to the muscles that need it most, aiding in tissue repair. It can even create stability where there was once instability. Let's say, you rolled your ankle: a massage therapist can stimulate a targeted inflammatory response, encouraging the body to then lay down additional connective tissue fibers, reinforcing the damaged or torn ligament. It can 'unstick' unwanted adhesions from your bones that reduce your range of motion, thereby encouraging fluidity of joint movement. Adhesions 'stick' to healthy tissues and drag when you fire up your muscles, causing them to work harder. So, wider range of motion means wider steps, which means faster, more fluid movement, energy efficient, no pain and overall just better.
A question I could ask all of you is, what is your work out routine, and why? Do you know why you work out the muscles you do and in the way you choose to? Do you sometimes increase you weight, or change your routine in some way and random little aches and pains pop up? Do you ever brush it off as your body isn't used to it, or you're just getting old, or getting over a cold? Maybe it's actually none of those things. Maybe, you're doing something you shouldn't be doing. Maybe you're doing something incorrectly. This is why a proper assessment from a professional is key before and during fitness training.
How do we get you moving in the most pain free and efficient way possible. In order to meet your goals both you and your team of health care team need to uncover what needs more attention, what needs less, and a professional can make recommendations to you during your journey for an easier and efficient approach. This can create faster results and avoid injury by being careful not to over exert certain muscles. For example, a desk jockey might be trying to make a small positive change in their routine by taking the stairs. They have a hard time activating their glutes since the gluteus maximus has a tendency not to activate until other muscles are becoming fatigued and they need to. The gluteus maximus can be lazy that way. This will then cause the quads to take over in a compensating action, possibly pulling the pelvis forward and down. This could create low back pain, or knee pain, and how would the desk jockey know what he's doing wrong? He's trying to take the stairs to be healthy.
There is so much information out there, and we as health professionals want to help you sift through all of it to find what works for you, what doesn't, and for you to eventually know what it feels like to feel better than you ever thought you could. I used to be so afraid of the gym, and which work outs to choose from, which stretches - I was so overwhelmed. But if I've learned anything from choosing this path, it's that it's better to do something than nothing. The journey to a healthy lifestyle doesn't start the same for anyone. Try one minute of plank a day, or three minutes of jumping jacks, stomp in a rain puddle, pick literally anything. Just pick health. All that matters, is you try, in any way you can. Trust me, your body will.
Written by Miranda Horvath of Reset Wellness, Deep Tissue and Fitness Specialist, RMT.