As I and my colleagues go down the path of Functional Movement Training, the feedback from our clients is basically the same across populations and abilities. “I never thought I would be able to play tennis again”, “I can’t remember the last time my shoulder bothered me”, or “I’ve never felt better”, and many like this. I had a client that gave me some different feedback last week though. Although it wasn’t negative, it was a result of the newer type of training we have been doing for the past couple of years. She said that she doesn’t have the arm strength that she “used to”, and attributed it to the fact that we were not lifting in way that overloaded the muscles in her arms. My first question was what her reference for that observation was. She said she felt she could no longer move heavy objects around her home, to which I responded that maybe the shift to functional training just made her more aware of injury prevention. I did have to remind her that we quit lifting heavy when she started experiencing some impingement syndrome in her shoulder, which she had of course forgotten.

One of the things we focus on in functional movement training and corrective exercise is to be able to perform the activities of daily living in ones’ life efficiently and without risk of injury by striving to maintain functional capacity. By the way, it seems that every week that we read an article that suggests sitting, due to all the technology in our lives, and a sedentary lifestyle presents risk for injury by creating muscle imbalances in the body. This challenge is a call to action to practice mobility, stability, flexibility, agility and balance on a daily basis. That can be as easy as walking, or more involved by working with a Fitness Professional that specializes in functional movement. It is no longer as easy as just going to the gym as people are getting injured there by doing the wrong types of movements for them. Incidentally,  6 to 15% of  athletes experience low- back pain each year, with low-back pain being one of the major forms of musculoskeletal degeneration seen in the adult population. This, and other injuries are increasing the call for competent fitness professionals to guide people to health.

Call the Functional Movement Experts today at Better Bodies Tucson 520-318-3488 to see how improving your functional capacity can positively affect your life.

Every day, people make a decision to get into better shape. The motivations vary from doctors’ recommendations to resolutions to friend envy. Yet every day, many of these people abandon their fitness goals because not knowing where to start created even more challenges than were present when they started their journey. Injury, fatigue and a program without progress quickly can dash someones’ motivation to make changes in their life. Every new client I see, regardless of age or exercise history, is faced with the same dilemma. There is an inundation of information on the internet, YouTube, Pinterest channels, magazines and books etc. on exercise that tells people that ” this is what you need” to get into shape.

As I have stated before, the goal to getting in shape is to BE healthy, and the first thing to determine is to find out what kind of health you currently have. While that sounds perfectly logical, the reality is many people do not know what this means. Getting a physical and a medical clearance could be the right course for some, or perhaps a consultation with a nutrition specialist is the right start for others. While making the decision to get healthier is admirable, and making behavioral changes to that end necessary, engaging professionals is probably the single most important thing you can do to ensure long term results. Permanent change should be one of the goals for competent health and fitness professionals, as well as one of the primary motivations for change.

I shared a post on our facebook page (www.facebook.com/betterbodiesoncampbell) this week about a contestant on The Biggest Loser. This person says it was the most humiliating and degrading experiences of her life. While it may be hard for some to understand why someone would subject themselves to this type of commercial sensationalism, it is not difficult to empathize with her sense of desperation. Even though the claim is to have professionals surround the contestants, there obviously is a big lack of empathy and respect for another human being who is struggling.

I cannot emphasize enough the need for a competent, caring fitness professional as part of your team to help you navigate the road to health. The Trainers at Better Bodies Tucson have worked with hundreds of Tucsonans to become healthy in an achievable and respectable way. Call us at 520-318-3488 to get started.

All human movement is a behavior, which is controlled by the central nervous system through responses to internal and external stimuli. Internal stimuli can be things such as wearing high heels or flip-flops, carrying a heavy purse or backpack on one shoulder or anything that positions the body. External stimuli are things found in our environment that we are moving in, like a broken or steep sidewalk and rain or snow. A component of movement behavior is motor control, which looks at posture and movements with the structures and mechanisms used by the central nervous system to assimilate and integrate sensory information with previous experiences. I want to focus on the last part of the explanation, which means that just like we learn fire is hot is by getting burned, we learn movement through practice. Why this is important is because as we become efficient at moving in childhood, we quit “studying” and practicing. Actually, we start doing a lot of sitting in school, and unless we go into sports, we stop moving through play.

Our days are filled with activities that don’t stimulate the human movement system, which results in everything from lifestyle diseases like diabetes, to poor movement quality. I believe one of the keys to reigning healthcare costs is simply moving more, and a lot of experts  are recommending this very thing. This brings up the importance of exercise, and its effect on the human movement system. The old mentality of exercise was lifting weights that focus on single joint movement and overloading the muscle to make it bigger. What exercise science is saying today is to incorporate movements that challenge our bodies to efficiently react to our environment, and more importantly as we age, countering the effects of gravity and ground reaction forces. Good movement quality needs to be practiced daily, in and out of the gym. A good exercise program  takes into consideration mobility, stability, flexibility, balance, agility and strength. Walking, hiking, running, and biking should be done 5-7 times per week for 30 minutes. Cardio machines are good for getting the heart rate up but they don’t challenge our movement system the same way as performing these activities outdoors.

We specialize in working with making the human movement system work as well as possible for our clients. Call us at 520-818-8096 to see how working with a movement coach can benefit your life.