I've been pretty quiet lately. Life sometimes gets in the way of blogging, but I'm here now and I'd like to address boxes.
We all have our boxes. Your box may be a routine, a place you workout, or an Amazon smile box ;-)
My boxes are all of the above and I try to escape them regularly.
Let's address movement boxes. We box ourselves in movement-wise in different ways. One is the way in which we move. Maybe you love yoga. I do! Maybe you do yoga all the time. Fine. If you are doing yoga and not doing other types of movements you have a yoga box. The same with weights, pilates, running, and even corrective exercise. There are a billion ways in which you could move your body and they are all good. But you need to use all the billion types of movements to be healthy.
If you are a parent or have children in you life you may have noticed that many kids are getting sports related injuries. This is a rather new phenomena. Back in my day (yes, I know I sound like grandpa when I say that) kids played different sports throughout the year. Most kids didn't focus on one sport until high school, but even then they participated in other sports as well. This introduced them to varied ways of moving their bodies. The injuries kids are getting now are from focusing on one sport, such as swimming, year round. My son did that for a while and ended up with a rotator cuff injury.
I have seen the effects of ballet, soccer, swimming, yoga, pilates, baseball/softball, football, and some more I can't think of right now, but you get the idea. Nothing is inherently wrong with any of these forms of movement, but any time you are moving repetitively you are putting yourself at risk. Squats are a great movement. 1000 squats a day, not so much.
More does not = better! So mix it up! That is why at the SOAR studio I teach corrective movement on Saturday mornings one month and Mary Elizabeth teaches yoga the next month. You can come to class every Saturday morning at 9:30am and know you are in good hands and will get a good movement variety to start your weekend! (This is only if you have signed up as space is limited)
To expand on this I am planning on offering more classes with varied intentions. Yes, corrective movement will be involved, but so will pilates, resistances training, and maybe even some bellydancing! Sound good? No ruts allowed.
Now, onto the second box: environment. Are you always moving in the same environment? Let me use an analogy that I am borrowing from Katy Bowman. Have you every been to Sea World and seen the Orca show (btw, I'm so happy they are abandoning their breeding program!!)? You may have noticed the Orca's fin on their back is bent over. If you've seen a nature documentary you will see that is not normal in the wild. The cause is the whale's environment. In the tank they swim one direction and only as deeply as the tank allows. In the wild they are swimming all around, over vast distances, and at different depths, some very much deeper than any tank could possibly allow. This allows for the varied forces the whale needs to keep his or her fin erect. The lack of forces in the tank probably cause all sorts of other problems less visible, but I'm not a marine biologist though I really wanted to be one when I was a kid.
So, if you had a fin would it be bent over? Are you getting the forces you need to be erect and healthy? Mine would probably be bent because I tend to workout at home and walk my neighborhood. I do work on it though. I recently did some movement in my back yard with my dog.
Eventhough I was on a mat the grass below made the moves far different than they feel in the house on hardwood floor.
Recently I had the opportunity to do a session with a client out by her pool. The weather was beautiful and the view behind her house it relaxing, natural, and gorgeous. She was a a very slight incline outside which noticeably changed her movement patterns and the difficulty of her movements. We even saw an eastern bluebird while there and she gave me a fresh strawberry from her garden. Have I mentioned how much I love my clients?
Another recent challenge was getting across a pipe in Oakland Lake Park rather than using the bridge. This is how my youngest did it:
He is using all sorts of muscles he wouldn't be using had he simply walked across a bridge, and he did it safely.
When it isn't raining all day I like to take my boys hiking somewhere at least once a week.
I recently looked up places to hike in Fort Worth and most of the places that came up with had sidewalks. That is NOT hiking, people.You are still walking on a fabricated surface designed to have no variation except possible inclines and declines. I'm wanting real hiking on actual EARTH. I want to have to step over things like big rocks. I want my feet to use all of the tiny bones and muscles to change shape over the uneven ground through my most minimal shoe or even barefoot. This is what the feet were meant to do! Give your feet the joy of this experience. Okay, it may not be joyful the first time you try it if you're used to flat surfaces and cushy shoes so be careful and transition slowly. I can help you with that. If you have neuropathy we need to talk before you even think about it.
Here are a few great places to move outside in a natural environment:
Above is my eldest instructing the youngest how to get across the rocks safely at Samson Park with dad looking on.
Below we cooled our feet in the water at River Legacy park in the middle of a 6 mile hike.
At River Legacy you have the option of paved and unpaved trails.
Then there is also Tandy Hills park in East Fort Worth. Lots of marked unpaved trails and wildlife, like this hawk:
As I mentioned I will be adding varied classes at SOAR to help you get your fin up, but how about a class outside before the summer heat sets in? Yes? No? Maybe?
Here are some options for upcoming classes and I'd love your input! This is your chance to design your own class! Let me know what you'd have out of these options or feel free to send me your ideas. Vote by clicking here, or on the "Choose Your Own Adventure Poll" tab at the top of the page.
- 6 week intro to Pilates on the mat
- Bodyweight resistance
- Pelvic-floor friendly abs
- Surprise! class which would be ongoing and you'd never know what you were going to get, but it would be tailored to the participants
- What about some outdoor classes involving any of the above?
- How about group hikes around the DFW area with some warm- up before and stretching after?
- What days and times work for you?
Choose your own adventure!
See you soon!