Redefining the Norm

movementMention to anyone older than you, regardless the age, about how stiff you feel and they will undoubtedly say, “Wait till you’re my age.” My father has used this adage my whole life.

It has become the norm to accept decreased mobility as we age. True, our muscles and joints lose elasticity through the years, but it seems to be happening earlier in life with each generation. Society’s increased sedentary lifestyles are mostly to blame. As we spend more time sitting we get better at sitting, which leads to being less mobile at anything else.

An average day for many Canadians looks like this: wake up, perhaps sit and eat breakfast, if breakfast is eaten at all, jump in the car to drive to work and then sit for the better part of 8-10 hours. Back into the car for the commute home, sit, eat some more. After dinner, sit, and binge on Netflix.

Our bodies and minds develop together in order to solve movement-related problems and always have. “How do I catch that antelope to eat? I run after it with a poky thing.” Our bodies are designed to move in as many patterns as possible, and to repeat them often enough that we become more efficient at those patterns.

If we don’t move in different ways, we can become stiff as we begin to lose the sliding surfaces between the layers of connective tissue. This lack of fluidity of movement can make you more likely to get injured when life decides to throw a wrench at you when you least expect it. These wrenches can take the form of sudden slips and falls, trying a new sport, or even throwing a leg over your first motorcycle as you’re realizing a life long dream to get a class 6 license.

We all should move more, and that movement needs to be of a high enough quality to keep us from wearing down. What does “high quality” movement mean? Historically, the fitness industry has been driven by people wanting to look better rather than wanting to move well. This can lead to building on top of dysfunction by pushing through poor form, choosing weights that are too heavy, or taking thousands of steps with faulty mechanics in your first half marathon at 50. The truth is that just moving the way a human should happens to create good results. Focusing on working hard to look good without also concentrating on movement quality and diversity can result in injury or a lack of desired results.

Fortunately the industry is catching up, and movement-based approaches to training are increasing. We, as coaches seek out dysfunction, work to resolve it, and then build that into better movement quality. Hopefully everyone will start to move, move better, and move more.

For some tips, check out Strongside Conditioning Gym’s YouTube channel, where they post some quick tips and techniques. Strongside Conditioning Gym is located on Front Street in New West, and you can find them on Twitter and Facebook as well. 


Body Connections, One Bone at a Time

The toe bone is connected to… well… everything.

Isn’t it funny how we always think of bones and muscles individually? Let’s take it a step further and try to make a connection for you.

Full disclosure: We work at a gym. So, we may be a little biased when it comes to opinions, but we promise we write this not as a self-serving advertisement, but rather an observation from our own point of view.

We see so many people come in for assessments and NeruoKinetic therapy sessions that always have a complaint about some part of their body. Is it migraines? Is it knee pain? Is it low back pain? And you know what we normally find? It’s so rare that the site of pain is the source of the problem.

In the current health environment, that’s what we’re all trained to believe. If you have pain at the top of your head, take a drug or do nothing. But what if your pain is caused by your shoulders? What if your neck being weak is the culprit? This is where this idea that the toe bone is connected to… well… everything comes into play. Continue reading “Body Connections, One Bone at a Time”

How To Avoid This Contagious Plague

There is a lot of focus at this time of year to dredge up all your feelings of inadequacy and failure from the prior year, with the intent (hollow as it can be) to do something constructive about it. A big one, one that generates a lot of money for the health/wellness/fitness industry,are those lines about “losing weight”, “getting fit”, “doing your first marathon”, etc. We’re peppered with highly polished marketing lines that promise you that what they are offering is the solution to your perceived problem.
Except it’s not.

A real focus of marketing in today’s world is to prey on your insecurities. Fear and ego are by far the best tools to use, if you’re playing by the rules of the marketeer. And marketing for the fitness industry really works hard to make sure that you feel like you’re failing in life by not being in their facility.

You may think that this is a stretch, but really, it’s in their best interest to use the same tactics that work for other industries like big pharma or politics. Why? Because people react to fear. It can make people fall in line quickly and give them the urgency without the forethought.

So, let’s get out of that macro and get back to you… You’ve committed to making a resolution, and you feel a little nervous, a little skeptical of your own ability and a bit excited all at the same time. Continue reading “How To Avoid This Contagious Plague”