In at No. 10
“If you can’t do it slowly, you can’t do it quicker!”
From the moment we’re born we have to ‘earn’ stability & mobility to become biped. It takes the average human 7 years to become efficient at gait! I frequently see people trying to perform movement patterns that they don’t have either the stability or mobility (or both) to efficiently perform the movement pattern, so they (your brain) compensate by rushing the movement pattern to minimise risk exposure (your brain is trying to keep you alive!). Just like an F1 driver allow your brain/body to learn movement patterns, start slooooooooooow….& build up from there!
“Where Pain is… is NOT Where the Problem is…”
Q: which part of your watch tells you the time?” A: All of it! The notion that parts of the human body function in isolation is a total myth! Just like the Disney song “your knee bone’s connected to your thigh bone…” our body functions as one, each part of our body is connected either biomechanically, via muscles, fascia, ligaments & tendons as well as biochemically/hormonally via or endocrine system not to mention our e-motions (e = energy, motion = movement) which trumps everything else! Like so many other things in life, a segmental approach = segmental results. Be it micro or macro a whole-listic approach is the only way to create balance.
“I don’t have time to ‘exercise’”
Q: how much time each week do you spend doing things that are less important that maintaining your one & only body/mind?
Social media, gaming, hypnotised by the TV? Procrastinating about procrastinating…? The human body requires around 3 hours of movement each day to pump nutrients around your body & waste out. Exercise doesn’t have to be in a gym! Walking, cleaning your house, cycling, playing with your kids/grandkids. We spend far too long seated!
Life is Movement!
I’ll pre-apologies if I sound like Victor Meldrew for this one but there’s a clew in the tittle! (& Insanity workouts while I’m on my soap box)
About the only thing I can think of that the Plank exercise is relative to is if you were in training to stand guard outside Buckingham Palace for hours at a time! & if you do try & stand still for even a few seconds you’ll notice as you breathe you (should) move! A simple way to make Plank not as much of a Plank exercise is to move! Try decompressing/lifting each limb off the floor one at a time, if you can do that & still maintain stability then try opposite diagonal limbs (e.g left arm/right foot) by doing this you’re training spiral muscle/fascia lines – the same used in gait (walk, jog, run, push, pull twist, in fact everything! ) Now you’re not a plank :))
Lack of Movement Type Variety
We’re Soooooo habitual we don’t realise just how habitual we are…
Be it movement or anything else if life variety & variation is key to keeping our brains active & our body~mind healthy!
I’m not saying stop doing what you love to do by no means but mix things up! So many people do the same exercise routines for months & then moan they haven’t achieved their desired results! Also movement pattern exposure is THE key factor when it comes to preventing injury. Studies found that talented young footballers had much longer injury free careers when they took part in other sports/activities as opposed to doing just the one sport. The more we expose ourselves to repetitive movement patterns they great chance of creating imbalance & injury – plus the more movements patterns our brain learns the better we function – win, win!
Q: Do you only drink half of you tea/coffee or eat only half of your lunch?
Quick anatomy lesson; lumbar (lower back) range of motion = 40-60 flexion & 20-35 degrees extension. Thoracic (mid upper back) 20-45 degrees flexion & extension. Cervical (neck) 70-90 degrees flexion & extension – I haven’t even mentioned rotation! & all movement has a rotational origin!
The ‘Ab Crunch’…because you lay on the floor there is no upper back extension & only flexion (most people’s upper back are in flexion all day lent over a desk). Your lower back may get some extension when laid ‘flat’ but very little. It’s also common to see people stick their chin in the air when doing crunches – cervical extension (again sat at a desk with poor posture = lots of cervical extension & a corresponding inhibition/weakness in cervical flexors hence why so many people have to hold their head when doing crunches due to ‘neck ache’. Ab crunches aren’t necessary a ‘bad’ exercise but must be balanced with equal extension exercises that maintain optimal spinal extension & also work more than just the upper abdominals that floor ab crunches predominantly work – try ab crunches over a ball using as much range of motion you can without creating any discomfort.
“Weights Make You Bulky”
“I don’t lift weights because I don’t want big muscles”
My No4 & No3 are highly connected! Some people believe that lifting weights (especially women) will make them grow large muscles. There are a number of factors in the above statement…in the case of women it’s highly unlikely due to testosterone levels – hence why it’s easier for men to gain muscle mass than most women. Another big factor is repetitions & weight. As a general rule of thumb to gain muscle mass you require high weight (+75% 1 REP max) & relatively low repetitions (<10) + high SETS (>5+). Maintaining muscle mass (No3 connection below) is essential (especially as we age) to maintain optimal joint alignment & prevent premature joint degeneration & optimal gross movement/locomotion.
“Cardio to Lose Weight”
Being a keen cyclist for many years (a cardio exercise) I love getting out on my bike so I’m certainly not anti ‘cardio’. But there’s a B.U.T! (B=belies U=underlying T= truth). Sure there is truth is cardio exercise assists in weight loss & has many beneficial factors B.U.T…due to metabolic adaptation the more we do the more we have to do, to gain the same weight loss results – due to further metabolic changes. Also you’ll notice many professional athletes that run, cycle – cardio exercises – have very low muscle mass re-read No4 above. This is part due to our body breaking down muscle mass to metabolise as energy when glycogen runs low & repeated exposure to ‘cardio exercise’. Similar to No6 also, mix things up! Vary intensity, distance, tempo, speed, recovery times etc…rather than doing the same over & over & you’ll get so much more out of it!
Fitness = Health NOT!
Health & fitness are NOT synonymous!
Health = the ability to return to & maintain homeostasis
Fitness = the ability to perform a given movement pattern with relative form for time &/or distance.
It’s possible to be unfit & healthy & fit & unhealthy. There’s has been many professional athletes suddenly die of heart failure or of one of many common diseases due to their body’s over exposure to physiological stress/inability to return to homeostasis – “what about DNA” you may say? There is numerous experts in DNA that are now saying our DNA is highly influenced by our external & internal environment, so while DNA can be a factor we are far less determined by our DNA than previously believed by scientists. Another thing to consider is how much someone weighs or not! Is a poor indicator of health!
Where do I start…?
There is SO much misleading information regarding diet! The most common paradigm is based on if you restrict calorie intake then you lose weight. Well as I mentioned in my No. 2 above weight doesn’t equal health!
We have been programmed to believe that if we weigh a certain weight then all’s fine regards our health right? Wrong!
Calorie restriction is metabolically similar to fasting or ‘controlled’ starvation – both of which place huge stress on our body. Sure you may weigh less B.U.T with damage to your metabolism – which controls thyroid function, liver function, kidney function, heart function to name but a few connected internal organs that only function in an optimal way when they is good metabolism.
When you study endocrinology & nutrition you see there are some truths in information put out about diet but they have been manipulated & taken quite literally out of balance to ‘sell’ an diet ideology – often that promotes sales of connected ‘diet’ goods.
Not just diet but all of life is about balance. Too much of the best food can cause problems just like too much of the worst food…it all comes back to balance – sure some food types are worse than other my point is balance.
What we eat & when we eat is big factor in regulating our metabolism & plays a huge role in our ability to maintain homeostasis.
Just like the classic Morecambe & Wise piano scene “all the rights notes, just not in the right order” the ratio & types of foods & when we eat them all contribute to whether or not we can turn that food (metabolise it) into energy – this is one reason why many people have cold hands & feet or feel sleepy after eating – an inability to create energy from the food types/ratios consumed = low thyriod function = lethargy = suppressed immune function = high BP = food cravings = disrupted sleep/wake cycles = imbalanced hormonal cycles…the list is long! All of which create dependency.
You are in control & responsible for YOU. You are unique! You are Amazing! You are worth caring about.