'The Flow' Blog - Movement is your Medicine
Discussing the Myths of Health and Performance: The When, What and Why of Warming Up
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Discussing the Myths of Health and Performance: The When, What and Why of Warming Up

Column #49, 2nd August 2008

In a series of fortnightly articles we have been discussing the myths and contentious issues that exist in the health and fitness world.  This contributes to a comprehensive approach to your Health and Performance.  Thanks to those who gave some valuable input following the last column.

Off the back of the previous column dedicated to Stretching, I have been asked how stretching relates to warming up.  This is best answered in a brief discussion on warming up.  Why warm up, what should we include in our warm up, and when is the best time to do it?   To be able to build and perform an effective warm-up, each person and specific activities will have different answers to this

There is no one-size-fits-all warm up that will prepare you for your activity and prevent you from causing an injury.  This should seem obvious if we consider the purpose of the warm up.

The Purpose

Our activity may be anything from high performance competition to carrying out a training session in the gym.  If we are serious about achieving our best performances and enhancing our health and wellbeing, then everything in our program must be well designed, including the warm-up.  To perform said activity, various systems need to be able to operate at appropriate levels. These systems include the respiratory, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and neuromuscular.  We are literally aiming to get the systems ready for the demands of the competition or training session.

What does it take to be ready?

There are several key points to follow to design and perform an effective warm up:

  • Ensure a steady progression from rest to performance level.  You should be fully prepared by kick-off, but not tired out.
  • Start with a general approach to the whole body, then activity-specific.
  • Beginning with low load work reduces viscosity to mobilize the joints.  It will also get the lungs, heart and blood vessel mechanisms in gear.
  • The specific energy systems will need ramping up.
  • Muscles and the nervous system should be activated for specific demands.
  • Relevant movement patterns should develop levels of coordination and proprioception.
  • Mental demands such as concentration must be matched.
  • Consider other factors such as the weather too.
  • Stretching is not necessarily a component of the warm-up.  Active stretching has the most support and it will certainly depend on the demands of the sport of exercises and even on the individual.  The key is not to just do the same static stretches that you see everybody else do.  Chances are they won’t help your performance and may even cause an injury.

More Myths?

What topics, trends, exercises, and advice do you want some clarity on?  Please send me your questions and comments and I’ll be happy to feedback and open them out to discussion.

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What Can a CHEK Exercise Coach do for You?
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What can a CHEK Exercise Coach do for You?

Column #55, 25th October 2008

“Knowledge is not power, applied knowledge is.” Paul Chek, Holistic Health Practitioner.  Internationally-renowned clinician Paul Chek is spreading his expertise to the C.H.E.K Exercise Coaches of the world, creating knowledgeable and competent trainers.

Having studied the CHEK approach to health and fitness for a number of years, actually qualifying as an Exercise Coach earlier this year was extremely rewarding.  The CHEK Institute is dedicated to delivering high quality education programs for exercise professionals.

More and more, the desire to get in shape and to stay healthy involves enlisting the help of a personal trainer. Dozens of organizations in the fitness industry now issue certifications to personal trainers, promising competency with each one. But which credentials indicate the most applicable knowledge and skill among the group? What makes one certification better than the other? Who gets results

A recent study conducted by UCLA shows that personal trainers with bachelor’s degrees in exercise science rank among the elite, along with those certified by the American College of Sports Medicine or the National Strength and Conditioning Association. The study also indicates 13 core subjects as the most important to study, including human anatomy, biomechanics, nutrition, exercise, and weight control. To those elite trainers who have completed the C.H.E.K Certification program, this is no surprise.

“Basically, a C.H.E.K Exercise Coach is trained in the analysis of biomechanics,” Jan Carton, C.H.E.K II, told Australian-based Women’s Fitness & Sport Magazine. “Chek practitioning covers strength and conditioning from a very clinical point of view.”

At the C.H.E.K Institute, based in San Diego, CA, founder Paul Chek is setting high standards that must be met by each and every person before they can call themselves C.H.E.K Exercise Coaches. The C.H.E.K Certification program requires, among other things, that a participant hold a certification or degree in an approved field prior to entering the program. In addition, before completing the intensive four-level program, practitioners must submit a written thesis proving critical thinking and effective communication, much like the requirements for a bachelor’s or master’s degree in exercise science.

Most importantly, C.H.E.K Exercise Coach have passed rigorous written and practical exams, showing an in-depth understanding of advanced level functional anatomy and kinesiology. C.H.E.K Exercise Coaches take a holistic approach, treating the body as a whole.

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Is that Injury a thing of the past?
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Is that Injury a thing of the past?

Column #59, 20th December 2008

As a Corrective Exercise Coach I am fascinated daily by human function. Each day throws up something new, a puzzle to set the mind to. Non more interesting than the effect of injury on the body.

Injury Puzzle

What kind of injuries are we talking about? Well, any. The body is amazing at responding to injury, often compensating the way we move and function. This innate quality means that we can still perform movements, get from A to B and basically get things done, whilst the injured area is able to heal. For example, when we injure a foot/knee/hip, we typically develop a 'new' way of walking, or limp. This is to take load and pressure of the painful side. This change in the movement pattern is to compensate.

This means that current and even past injuries will have a major impact on movement patterns and consequently your health and performance levels. When thinking about your approach to enhanced well-being, it is important that you consider this influential factor.

Take a few moments after reading this article to:

  • First draw a stick-man/women, which will represent you,
  • Then use a red pen to draw a circle to locate any CURRENT injuries you have.
  • Then use a black pen to draw a circle to locate any PAST injuries you’ve had.
  • It is helpful to think of the details of the injury/ache/pain/ailment such as, timescale, severity, treatment and symptoms.

Problem solving

Most of us appreciate that when we do have an injury, pain or a medical condition, we need intervention from a trained practitioner (doctor, chiropractor, physiotherapist). This will provide the most efficient steps to rehabilitation and recovery. If we neglect the issue or do what a lot of us do which is ‘just live with it’, it can lead to problems further on down the road. Even years later, when the pain has gone, incomplete functional rehabilitation will have its influence.

This longevity can be hard to grasp and not surprisingly when we consider all the bumps, scrapes, sports injuries and accidents we may have been involved in. As an example, when training a client recently we found that when they performed a standing twisting reach that they could get substantially further around in one direction than the other. Now because the body knows only ‘movement patterns’ and is an ‘integrated system’, this prompted me to ask whether they had ever had a badly sprained ankle, to which they answered yes and they had never actually properly rehabilitated it.

It turns out that they had not previously mentioned this to me as they thought it insignificant. Yet the ankle was having a considerable affect on the way her body was able to twist round and reach with her arm. This can have sizeable knock-on effects, from pain in other areas (knee, hip, lower back, neck, shoulder) and postural dysfunction to changes in movement patterns and impaired performance.

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Functional Anatomy Investigated
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Functional Anatomy Investigated

Column #37, 16th February 2008

On our way to enhancing our health and performance we want many things to happen.  Can we put together exercise programmes and approaches that, make us fitter, stronger, faster, leaner, increase our energy levels, and prevent illness and disease?  Whatever the target, an understanding of Functional Anatomy can be critical for success.

Through a deeper understanding of the integrated nature of our bodies we can achieve greater gains from training, improve technique, benefit from freedom of movement throughout the day and avoid injury.

For the next few months this column will investigate Functional Anatomy and encourage the critical thinking that will enable us to make positive decisions and actions for progress.  Here are a few topics that will be covered:

The Connective Tissue Web

When any part of the body moves, the whole body responds.  Being mindful of this should have a great influence on the way we train.  The connective tissue supports and connects various systems in our body.  Healthy connective tissue will impact on our structure, movement, organ health and cardiovascular efficiency.  It is a connective web that integrates us.

In a world of occupations and lifestyles that are shutting down our systems and ability to move freely, the connective tissue suffers, leading to aches pains, stiffness, joint problems and even deteriorated eye sight, reproductive difficulties and digestive dysfunction.

Weak Pelvis; Tight Hamstrings

From my experience when working with predominantly sedentary clients, a common symptom is tight hamstrings.  What has caused this tightness?  Typically it is the sitting position that may ‘shorten’ the muscle and the treatment is stretching, stretching and more stretching.  Yet this is rarely effective on it’s own, but why?

Inactivity will lead to a reduction in stability at the pelvis.  If something is instable, the tendency is to tighten the grip or hold.  This is exactly what happens with the muscles that stabilize the pelvis.  No amount of hamstring stretches will improve flexibility, posture or strength until stability is restored in the pelvis.

What Caused the Knee Injury?

Knee injuries are unfortunately common.  Discounting those caused by direct trauma, why is it that the injury often reoccurs and may plague us for the rest of our life?  Understandably we are often preoccupied with what’s going on at the site of pain (knee).  However, success may come from stepping back.

At Functional Health and Performance we take an integrated view of human function and this is perfectly illustrated when looking at the knee.  As human movement is far from isolated, to find the answers for the knee we need to look at the function of the hip and ankle at least.  It could be a weakness, tightness or idiosyncrasy here that leads to problems for the knee:  Poor alignment, asymmetry, load and force......

Investigating Functional Anatomy will hopefully provide a greater appreciation of how the body is linked and what needs to be considered when establishing your approach to increased well-being.

 
Functional Anatomy Investigated: The Connective Tissue Web
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Functional Anatomy Investigated:  Breathing - The Connective Tissue Web

Column #38, 1st March 2008

The body’s Connective Tissue includes the tendons, ligaments, periosteum and all fascia that supports and connects the various structures and systems in our bodies. Through a deeper understanding of the integrated nature of our bodies we can achieve greater gains from training, improve technique, benefit from freedom of movement throughout the day and avoid injury.

The Connective Tissue

When any part of the body moves, the whole body responds.  Being mindful of this should have a great influence on the way we train.  Healthy connective tissue will impact on our structure, movement, organ health and cardiovascular efficiency.  It is a connective web that integrates us.  Think of it as a sling that holds everything together and in place.

A Stiff and Knotted Web

It matters a great deal if your connective tissue is not in good condition.  In a world of occupations and lifestyles that are shutting down our systems and ability to move freely, the connective tissue suffers, leading to aches pains, stiffness, joint problems and even deteriorated eye sight, reproductive difficulties and digestive dysfunction.

An integrated view of the body enables us to appreciate these varied influences.  The link between your muscular and skeletal system and your digestion may not be immediately obvious.  However, our intestines and other organs have an ideal space and environment in which they desire to work.  When structure changes due to muscle imbalance and tightness, this inevitably leads to a compression of the visceral organs and a disruption of function.  Applying this may provide relief from problematic digestive disorders.

Free Movement > Free from Pain.

So, it is hopefully clear that we gain a lot from viewing the body as a whole, but how do we apply this?  Here are a few approaches you can use to maintain a healthy connective web and enjoy freedom of movement, increased performance gains, reduced aches and pains and increase vitality:

  • Keep the connective tissue warm.  Hours of sitting still will encourage it to tighten up and become rigid.  If you have a sedentary job then ensure that you make a point of exercising lightly/moving every half an hour or so to prevent this.
  • In conjunction with lifestyle and exercise habits consider how integrated and functional your training is.  What is it that you need to improve and does your training encourage quality movement patterns?
  • Bodyworkers are practitioners who are trained to recognise the connective web and are skilled in releasing problem areas, allowing greater performance in factors such as movement, strength, power and coordination.
  • Without sufficient quality recovery, the body will inevitably breakdown, causing problems such as injuries and reduced health and performance.
 
Functional Anatomy Investigated: Improved Movement
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Functional Anatomy Investigated:  Improved Movement

Column #39, 15th March 2008

Defining movement is different for everyone.  However, when it comes to working with your body’s potential to produce quality movement there are some universal requirements.  Today we will look at various approaches to fulfilling your potential and developing the ability to avoid those aches and pains that come with poor and restricted movement.

Why Movement?

We are integrated organisms.  This means all of our systems are connected and likewise our musculo-skeletal system from head-to-foot is linked.  Moving one muscle will influence another.  When this structure is balanced, then and only then, do we have true free movement.

Free movement is relative from person to person but it enables us to perform the tasks that we want to as efficiently as possible.  Something that is easily taken for granted, but typically include:

  • Walking – our most functional exercise.
  • Reversing a car.
  • Exercising.
  • Physical activity with the children and grandchildren – and keeping up.
  • DIY and Gardening.
  • High performance sports.

Reasons for Diminished Movement

Joints that ache and movements that are restricted cause pain and slow us down; a negative impact on all of the above.  Reasons for varied movement abilities are many, from physical/medical conditions to lifestyle habits.  The following focuses on a holistic approach to creating quality, pain free movement so that you can perform all the activities you enjoy doing.

Exercise Approach to Improved Movement

Exercise and training programmes should be considered carefully.  Focus should be on your individual requirements and endeavour to correct imbalance, enhance structure, encourage integrated movement, be functional in nature and consider the health of your connective tissue.

Lifestyle Approach to Improved Movement

A typical day that consists of low activity levels and limited movement will contribute to stagnation of the body.  All systems from nervous to digestive will suffer.  The connective tissue, which acts like a web to support and connect your muscular and skeletal systems for movement, will become rigid, knotted and tight.  Increasing your general activity levels throughout the day will help maintain fluidity and balance.  In contrast, quality recovery is essential for those who have hectic and physically demanding days.

Therapeutic Approach to Improved Movement

There are certain therapies that will contribute to enhanced movement and therefore greater health and performance levels include.  I suggest you further investigate ‘bodyworkers’ and ‘myofascial release techniques’.

Nutritional Approach to Improved Movement.

Nutritional science highlights many applications for specific conditions such as rheumatism, arthritis and osteoporosis, not to mention advances in nutrition for our optimal health and vitality.  Key points to consider are that some foods cause inflammation (refined carbohydrates) in the body and some reduce inflammation (fish oils).  Other foods such as processed and treated foods will provide an ideal environment for infection, causing dysfunction in your integrated system.  Whilst fresh, organic foods will provide your vitamins and minerals and enzymes for a healthy body and immune system.

 
Functional Anatomy Investigated: What Causes Knee Pain?
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Functional Anatomy Investigated:  What Causes Knee Pain?

Column #40, 29th March 2008

Unfortunately knee pain is a common problem.  It can easily hamper your enjoyment of life, from causing discomfort at work to preventing us play a favourite sport.  If you desire to avoid and reduce such problems then today’s article will hopefully be of some interest.

Integration.  The thigh bone’s connected to the……………

Understandably we are often preoccupied with what’s happening at the site of pain (knee).  However, success may come from stepping back.  At Functional Health and Performance we take an integrated view of human function and this is perfectly illustrated at the knee.  To find the answers for the knee we must look at the function of the hip and ankle at least.  It could be a weakness, tightness or idiosyncrasy here that leads to problems for the knee.

What Influences the Knee?

The knee is situated between the hip and the ankle.  Not a revolutionary statement I know, but it can mean it is stuck between a rock and a hard place .  An appreciation of our structure and the way in which we produce movement will enable us to prevent and rehabilitate conditions like knee pain. Discounting problems caused by direct trauma, what is causing the knee pain and why is it that the injury often reoccurs?  Lets look at two scenarios:

Scenario 1; Ankle Restriction

For example, this may be caused by an old injury that has reduced the range of movement of one ankle.  As we walk, run or jump there are forces acting downwards on the knee from the load of the body and there are forces acting upwards from the ground.  The affected side is most likely less able to deal efficiently with these forces and the knee will take a disproportionate and brunt of the load.  In essence the knee is working too hard, the joint may suffer damage and the muscles and connective tissue are pulled out of line and are at risk from injury too.

Scenario 2; Hip Instability

As shown above asymmetry (one side different to the other) can cause problems for the knee.  Here’s another example at the hip.  The hip joint and pelvis can become weak and unstable from inactivity or poor training methods.  This can lead to poor postural alignment and significantly it cannot deal with the forces placed on it.  A weak pelvis, which is unable to provide a stable power base, will ask the knee to do some extra work to help it out.  Again, over time, this may cause problems.

Exercise Application

If you are suffering from knee or any other joint pain the best course of action is to see a sof tissue therapist.  Together with an exercise specialist you should look to produce and embark on a rehabilitation programme that will take into account your specific functional needs.  Seek out the best advice that will identify the real cause and deliver a corrective approach to your return to enhanced health and performance.

 
Functional Anatomy Investigated: Tight Hamstrings, Unstable Pelvis?
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Functional Anatomy Investigated:  Tight Hamstrings, Unstable Pelvis?

Column #41, 12th April 2008

Tight hamstrings seem to be a common symptom and complaint.  We feel stiff and restricted in our movement and when performing sports it can easily lead to injury.  Whether sedentary or extremely active we need to know what causes the problem and how to fix it.  Only then can we stay pain free, be free in movement and excel in our sports.

Tight Hamstrings; a Common Complaint

It speaks volumes of our daily activities, occupations and practices that having aches, pains and restrictions around the hip joints has become commonplace and generally accepted as one of those things that happens and we just put up with it.  At ‘Functional Health and Performance' we are looking to achieve our optimal functional performance, avoiding such problems as tight hamstrings and the issues this causes.

Why so Tight?

  • Our occupation may demand a lot of time in a certain position like sitting or performing repetitive movements, causing a habitual shortening of the muscles as they get used to being in that position.
  • Weakness can occur when the muscles are not being used efficiently.  Again this could be due to our job, or we may have low/sedentary activity and exercise levels for some any number of reasons.
  • Poor training practices may even be a causative factor.  It is important that if you are active that you follow good practice and warm up/down correctly and that your training is balanced and with functional goals in mind.

Treat the Cause, not the Symptom

If any of the above three points are evident then what do we do to fix the problem?  It may not be enough just to stretch out the tight muscles.  For example if weakness has caused the tightness, then we need to strengthen……and by the way, static stretching turns muscles off.

Lets put it in context:  A weak pelvis and related musculature will need to be stabilised by something, hence the hamstrings will typically grab tight hold and not let go until the relevant muscles have been strengthened.  A short term protective mechanism, that really is trying to help us out.

If we are inactive then the muscles will gradually lose the ability to operate in their full range of movement.  They will have forgotten how.  Then, when our movement does require such flexibility, we cannot go through the full range.  They won’t let us due to a Protective Mechanism.  The muscle has lost its ability or ‘confidence’ to go through the range by fear of injury.  Fixing this problem comes in the form of improving movement and for quicker, more impressive results, using mobilising and strengthening techniques such as myofascial release and instant muscle strengthening.  In essence we are giving the muscles the confidence to provide strength through a full range of movement.

It maybe something so simple that alleviates aches, pains, prevents injuries and enhances an athletic performance.  So consider the cause of the tightness in your hamstrings, or any other muscle for that matter.

 
Functional Anatomy Investigated: Breathing - There's more to it than Inhale, Exhale
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Functional Anatomy Investigated:  Breathing - There's more to it than Inhale, Exhale

Column #42, 26th April 2008

Yes, we take breathing seriously.  It’s importance in inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide is greatly appreciated.  Yet, taking a deeper look at the anatomy and the action of breathing will highlight its astonishingly positive influence on health and performance.

What can Disrupt our Breathing Pattern?

Our breathing is regulated by automatic mechanisms and can become more conscious during forced inspiration and expiration.  The point is that there are many factors that can affect the efficiency of our breathing, whether we are thinking about it or not and lets face it, most the time we are not.  Your brain and survival mechanisms ranks its importance highly but there are various disruptive factors:

  • Stress, worry and various pressures can occupy our thoughts and processes, which in turn upsets the regulation of quality breathing patterns.  Try this:  Sit and relax your mind and body.  Be aware of your breathing with a relaxed and loose body.  Now hold your head stiff (as if concentrating hard, or with something on your mind).  Note how restricted (shallow and laboured) your breathing becomes.
  • Nutrition and allergies may also have a profound affect.
  • Postural affects, whether due to a seated position or an occupation repetitive movement, can cause over and under use of the muscles that have a role in respiratory action.
  • Exercise/training practice.  When carrying out a training programme breathing should be considered and regulated during exercises and a well designed programme should produce a balanced structure to enable efficient breathing.

More than one Reason to Breathe

Focusing on developing a quality breathing mechanism can enhance your health and performance levels in many ways.  Lets look at some less obvious but interesting ways.

The body is not a random assortment of systems that act independently of each other and just happen to be in the same place and time.  Evolution has developed integration where there is interaction and synergy between all systems involved.  Hence, the physical action of breathing actually has a positive affect on other processes such as digestion, cognitive function, joint health and strength production.

The diaphragm is also a stabilising muscle.  This means that breathing helps maintain strength and stability for the spine and torso during movement.  Regulated breathing maintains the environment in which our brain and body operate.  For example, an acidic environment will influence many process from mental clarity and emotional stability to movement production.  Finally, the rhythmical movement of breathing aids digestion, circulation, organ health and spinal hydration.

Try this test:  Stand tall with good posture and take a deep breath in, filling your lungs to the bottom with your diaphragm, then right up to the top corners to your collar bone.  This may feel a little awkward, especially round the neck/chest, which could be due to certain muscles not being used to the movement/position.

There is a lot more to breathing than you may think, so go investigate it further to make sure you’re getting all the benefits.

 
Functional Anatomy Investigated: Many Reasons to Squat
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Functional Anatomy Investigated: Many Reasons to Squat

Column #43, 10th May 2008

‘The Squat, I love it’.  Not the usual response to asking someone what their favourite exercise is.  Look around your gym.  Why is it that many exercise programs do not include full squatting?  Is it because it doesn’t seem relevant to our health and performance, or that it is too difficult, or even because it is thought to cause injury?

Whatever the reason, today we investigate the ‘squat’ and introduce a range of important reasons to consider adding it to your training program.

Functional Movement

The squat is a human movement pattern.  During sports and everyday activities we perform many variations of this movement.  Consider lifting, standing up, building, reaching and jumping at different loads and speeds.

So, why do we train?  As well as for enjoyment, a principle of training is to stimulate an improvement of a specific goal, be it strength, speed, coordination or other.  Therefore if we perform the squat during athletic and everyday activities, then maybe we should condition ourselves to be able to perform it correctly and efficiently.

We could Squat Before we could Walk

Even if you cannot do so now, the chances are that during your early developmental years you were able to squat comfortably.  When an infant is crawling and getting up from all fours and hanging onto a curtain or somebody’s leg, the aim is to be standing up to see what’s going on up there.  From this new vantage-point of free standing and eventually putting one foot in front of the other to get somewhere even more interesting is the next goal.  During these new challenges and trial and error you will experience imbalance and yes you guessed it a set or two of squats.  Being a determined soul, every time you dropped down to the floor, you stood back up.  You were squatting before you could walk!

If we have lost this ability it is more than likely because we have trained it out of ourselves.  Easily done, but with some exercise specialist advice, its easily implemented as part of your training.

Pre-habilitation

If your social, recreational and occupational lives are quite sedentary and you don’t perform these movements, you may be wondering why you need to get better at them.  Its what we were designed to do. To avoid injury it is important that our lives include the many movement patterns that our body was designed to perform.

Evolution of the Squat and Digestion

Keeping on the theme of our anatomical development as humans, it is interesting to consider the relationship between the shape of the digestive system and our movement patterns.  There are sections of the digestive tract where our food is required to go upwards against gravity. This initially appears to be unnecessarily hard work.  However, the digestive system evolved with our musculoskeletal system to provide movement that would facilitate healthy digestion.

So get some more advice, investigate it further and go squat for healthy knees, backs and bowels, improved performance and especially to keep up with the kids.

 
Functional Anatomy Investigated: Health and Fitness by Functional Design
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Functional Anatomy Investigated: Health and Fitness by Functional Design

Column #44, 24th May 2008

Many of us are in pursuit of enhancing our health and performance levels.  The toughest challenge is deciding what is going to be the best approach to take.  There are many options, but which one will be the one that really works?  Which approach will finally fix that painful joint, digestive complaint or improve your fitness and sport performance?  During the last five years of working with clients presenting with varied requirements, this has been a common question and challenge.

Function: Design and Desire

When it comes to exercise, health and fitness, ‘function’ has various definitions.  Let’s keep it simple.  Function can be thought of as something that you were designed to do, i.e. what should the body be able to do to stay healthy?  Yet we should also consider what function we actually desire.  If we have a desk-job, we should base elements of our training on this.  If we play a sport, the training program should be specific to those demands.  When we have young children and spend a lot of time bending and picking them from the floor, we must address this to ensure we have the ability to do this without problems.

The questions we face:  How has the human body evolved to function?  What tasks must it carry out for surviving and living?  What were we designed to do?  If we know the answers we can think about the best ways to enhance our abilities to perform such demands.  The following is a basic outline of demands the human body is designed to face day-to-day, week-to-week, and year-to-year:

  1. Fight or Flight, survival in the form of hunting, defense and avoiding harm.
  2. Eating is an activity that we should all attribute time and enjoyment to.
  3. Building and constructing, for shelter, recreation and engineering.
  4. Traveling, getting from A to B is important for survival to exist in suitable environments and collecting resources for building and eating.
  5. Communication, including interaction with others and recreational activities.
  6. Desired activities that makes you, you.  The specific movements and activities that you engage in out of necessity and choice.
  7. Sports and Games - for fun and competition
  8. Rest and Relaxation, required daily in order to enable successful performance of all the above factors and hence key for survival.

Putting it All Together

So what do we make of this?  Whilst society has changed to some degree, there are many commonalities in the above 8 points.  For example, whilst we may not all need to construct our shelter manually anymore, we still need some stimulus to use our bodies in similar ways to develop our movement, strength, endurance and overall health.  Relate the points to yourself.  These are the demands your body is designed to face and is expecting.

So keep it simple, it will be specific to you, consider what you need to have a fulfilling life and address these elements in your training for health and performance.

 

 
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