We all want to be flexible. Flexibility is beautiful. Flexibility helps with injury prevention. Flexibility improves performance. People who have flexibility are graceful, fluid, and effortless in their movements.
But what creates flexibility? How can we gain flexibility and maintain flexibility?
In this blog post I'm going to talk about the components of the successful exercise program. When I talk about successful, I'm not talking about helping you lose 15 pounds over a month or two, or helping you drop 2 dress sizes, or getting you in shape for your wedding.
Successful to me is a lot less about short term visual goals and a lot more about long term health and wellness. If you're overweight, losing 15 pounds is great, but if you don't keep the weight off for good, it had little to no real benefit to your life.
Successful exercise programs help you:
How can you make this your best year yet?
I have 10 things you can do that I believe will help you make this your best year yet.
This month I am going to highlight the Bear Crawl. The Bear Crawl is an amazing e-cise that almost everyone can do, but many people do it incorrectly.
When done correctly, the Bear Crawl has many benefits and can improve movement, posture, and performance. When done incorrectly, the Bear Crawl can reinforce bad movement patterns, poor posture, and cause pain and injury.
Nature designed a beautiful and fool-proof way for newborn infants to develop into strong and capable children and then adults. A newborn human baby goes from completely helpless to walking in the first year of life because of this beautiful process. During the first year of life, this process involves 10 sequential yet overlapping phases of physical development which I discussed here. When this process happens as nature intended it, we get healthy, strong, and happy toddlers.
There are however 10 things that can hijack your baby's physical development which can mean your baby is not as healthy, happy, or strong as they could be. When this development is hijacked, your child might be more susceptible to injury, obesity, and chronic pain throughout life.
With 206 bones, over 300 joints, and over 600 muscles, the human body is designed to move. Movement is what keeps our bones, joints, and muscles healthy. When a joint stops moving things start to break down and get weaker. Bones lose density. Muscles lose strength and size. Cartilage thins. Bad things happen.
Yes, there are times when immobilization is helpful and a good idea. If you break your arm it's a good idea to get a cast to protect your arm as it heals. If you severely sprain your ankle it can be helpful to wear an ankle brace for a week or two. But most immobilization we experience is not that type, but rather body casts that we don't even think about. Anything that limits joint movement is a body cast and will have negative effects on the body.
Here are examples of things that cast or hold the body in a certain position or limit movement:
We've all heard the saying "move it or lose it" but what do you do with that information and why is it the key to lifelong health?
Many people think move it or lose it means exercise regularly to maintain fitness. And while that is true, our health would benefit if we look at it much more closely. Our body is very specific and particular in how it responds to our environment. The human body is a stimulus response organism. That means your body responds to each and every stimulus it is exposed to. If we want to maintain our health and function, we need to move each and every part of our body through different and varied stimulus on a regular basis in order to maintain that function or not lose it.
To maintain ankle function we might want to take our ankle through the many different motions and demands it is designed to do. This could look like:
You have a newborn baby and want more than anything that he/she grows up to be a healthy and happy child and then adult. In this blog I am going to explain the important phases of gross physical development that are the essential to developing a strong and capable body. Missing or skipping these developmental stages can mean less efficient movement patterns, being more injury prone, and being more likely to develop physical pain throughout life.
To fully develop their physical strength and function needed for life, your baby should go through and master each of theses phases: wiggle & kick; superman & swimming; rock & roll; army crawl; crawling; sitting up; squatting & standing; cruising; walking; running; and jumping.
As humans, there are certain things we need for survival (food, water, shelter) and there are other things we need to thrive and be healthy. One very important thing we all need if we are to maintain good health and be happy is community.
Community is a unified group of individuals, brought together by common location, history, characteristics, circumstance, interests, or goals.
Humans are social beings and we need to feel love and connection to other human beings. A community give us support, encouragement, love, and a sense of belonging. This gives us the very important messages that:
Community is the antidote to isolation, loneliness, and low social status, all of which have been shown to lower a person's sense of well-bring, intellectual achievement, immune function, and overall health.
About Matt Whitehead
I'm an Egoscue University certified Postural Alignment Specialist (PAS) and Advanced Exercise Therapist (AET), certified personal trainer, PatchFitness performer, FiveFingers wearer, trail runner, cyclist, dad, music lover, environmentalist, hiker, and wanna-be slam dunk champion. I will be providing you with the latest posture exercises to help you live, play, and be pain free.