I was listening to a podcast the other day related to business and there was one statement on the dangers of adopting a victim mentality that stuck with me.
“If you have a victim mentality, you’ll only get victim results”. -Mignon Francois
This can be applied to any area of our life, including health. And we are all guilty of adopting a victim mentality at one point or another. One of the most common pitfalls I see others making when it comes to health is holding onto this mentality with a death grip.
The reality is you’ll get out of your health what you’re willing to put in. And investing in yourself means admitting that you have control over your circumstances. This starts with shedding victimhood.
You would never expect your retirement account to grow if you aren’t making incremental investments over time. If you feel like a victim of the system you probably wouldn’t start investing in the first place. And you can’t expect your...
“He or she who has the greatest capacity for discomfort rises the fastest.” -Brene Brown
I’m currently about 6 months pregnant, which is the phase of pregnancy where almost every movement starts to become uncomfortable and more challenging by the day. There are moments where it’s tempting to allow myself to seek comfort where I can. But I know making the choice to continue to move even when it isn’t an easy choice will lead to a more comfortable final few months of pregnancy and recovery post-partum.
So what does this look like?
Choosing to sit on the floor instead of curling up on the couch. Squatting to pick something up instead of bending over. Walking and taking the stairs as much as possible. Instead of looking at my ever-changing body as an inconvenience, I can see it as an opportunity for strengthening and being creative in adapting my movement.
While it sounds silly to make these small choices, they make a huge difference over time. And...
The other day I was browsing through the comments in a Facebook group of women over the age of 50 discussing fitness. One caught my eye, and it’s not because it was the first time I had read the sentiment being expressed.
It was a woman frustrated with the amount of conflicting information coming at her from the diet and fitness industry. She couldn't decide where to start. Keto or intermittent fasting? Should I buy books on these approaches? What are macros? What fitness program should I follow? CrossFit or Orange Theory?
The underlying issue was too much information to make a decision. The overwhelm in her plea was clear. And within the comment, she also mentioned feeling the need to purchase a bunch of equipment and supplements before she could even get started.
And therein lies the problem. Our lack of health isn't due to a lack of information. Instead, information overwhelm leads us down a path of not taking action. And that is the most dangerous path of all.
Working on your balance doesn’t need to involve any fancy equipment and can be as simple as putting a 2x4 on a stack of books or yoga blocks to create a simple beam! Or if you aren’t so confident with your balance, try the 2x4 on the floor by itself first. Then give these 3 moves a try:
Pelvic listing on the beam is a great way to work on single leg standing and get your lateral hip muscles doing their job again. Stand on he beam on one foot and focus on pulling your hip inward to keep it stacked above your ankle.
Heel-to-toe standing and walking on the beam. If you have to move quickly along the beam it’s an indicator you don’t have good balance control. The slower you move here the better.
And the trickiest one for me: walking sideways along the beam. Try it both directions!
Some tips to get more out of your balance work:
Try this in front of a mirror for feedback and motor learning. This helps integrate your brain and your body.
Try your balance...
Incontinence. Even reading that word made you want to turn away. It’s an initial warning sign that the strength of your pelvic floor is compromised in some way and no longer has the strength to hold the contents of the pelvis. The initial symptoms are leaking urine and can progress to the point of pelvic organ prolapse.
Pelvic health is the conversation no one wants to have, so, unfortunately, incontinence has become all too common. And millions of people are suffering in silence. And with the number of incontinence products and adult diapers popping up in stores, we’ve normalized the issue. But being incontinent at any phase in your life is anything but normal. And people feel hopeless for a solution.
There are several different types of incontinence. I won’t get into the technical definitions here but will describe how you know if you’re experiencing incontinence. If you find yourself leaking every time you...
“How do I live a healthier lifestyle?” is one of the most common questions I’m asked as a physical therapist and movement coach. There is an infinite number of technical tips and interventions I can educate my clients on, but the reality is none of them matter until we first address our the most basic levels of our health and beliefs surrounding our health first.
In my years of practice, I’ve noted common patterns of thoughts and habits among individuals who lead overall healthy lifestyles and consistently meet their health goals. And on the other hand, sets of habits among those who continue to fall short of living the life they dream of living.
There are several layers to living a healthy lifestyle, and it doesn’t help to focus on the more advanced layers until you have a solid base in place. Like any other skill in life, we need to master the basics before moving on to more advanced techniques. The base of healthy life choices addresses the...
Kyphosis is an excessive forward curvature of the upper spine, and in today's video, we discuss the health implications of developing kyphosis.
Kyphosis is most often thought of as an aesthetic issue, but it goes far beyond appearance. Kyphosis impacts how your ribcage and the vital organs it holds function. It can also limit the functionality of the muscles and joints surrounding the ribcage. It can also impact the bone density of the vertebrae.
Kyphosis is caused by a combination of forces throughout the upper back. Muscle imbalances that pull the spine in this position are created by our movement habits, including excessive time spent sitting in front of computers and on cell phones.
The great news is that this problem is reversible and preventable!
More than two-thirds of pregnant women report low back pain and up to one-fifth report pelvic pain during pregnancy. Reports of pain tend to increase later in pregnancy and interfere with daily activities, sleep, and work. About 20% of women who experience low back or pelvic pain during pregnancy report persistent pain for up to 3 years following pregnancy.
Chronic pain is complicated and much research in recent years has revolved around the term “pain catastrophizing”. Catastrophizing is a process of becoming fixated on pain, magnifying the effects of it, feeling helpless, and expecting negative outcomes associated with pain.
Research shows that those who catastrophize are more likely to develop persistent chronic pain and disability. Women who demonstrated pain catastrophizing during their pregnancy were found to be less likely to have been active throughout their pregnancy and more likely to develop persistent pain after.
The recommendation of daily physical activity...
“Becoming an Old Person in Training makes it easier to think critically about what age means in this society and the forces at work behind depictions of older people as useless and pathetic.” -Ashton Applewhite
When most people talk about aging, they portray this picture of decline. Hold onto this misguided belief the best years are behind them. Sadly the anti-aging message is pervasive in our society. And the increasing rates of social isolation among older adults speaks volumes about our views on aging.
But what if instead, we looked at aging as a time of growth? How drastically does that change this image?
There isn’t something specific about aging that causes a state of decline. Your beliefs are what cause change with age. Nothing more. By telling ourselves we've gotten "too old to..." we initiate the process of decline. If we'd just admit that yes, we are in fact getting older, embrace this fact, and view aging as an opportunity for further growth we’d...
Most of us are familiar with the picture of sedentary living, but did you know it’s also possible to be actively sedentary? Actively sedentary is a new category of people who exercise for about an hour per day but are sedentary for the other 23 hours.
Mind-blowing, right? This means that someone who is meeting or even exceeding the American Heart Association’s physical activity guidelines for adults can still be sedentary.
Avoid becoming actively sedentary by adopting a movement-based lifestyle, in which movement is an integral part of your day to day activities. Small actions matter. Sit on the floor instead of the couch. Walk short intervals throughout your day, about 3–5 miles in total. Take your shoes off and let your feet experience some texture. Just keep yourself moving. The less your body stays in one position for a prolonged amount of time the better. Living this way is simple and requires no equipment, so there is no...