What if I told you that the foundation to being fit and strong was so easy a baby could do it? It would be hard to believe, but it's true. And babies everywhere are doing it!
Since we do not have to teach babies how to move - lift their head, rollover, or crawl - we typically don’t think about all that goes into their development.
If we look closely, however, there is much that we can learn from the amazing process these little ones go through as they develop their ability to move.
Research has found that the way a baby moves is the most efficient way to move. When we deviate from this type of movement we will not function at our best.
Functional Progression exercises are modeled after babies and how they move, organize movement patterns, and learn to stabilize. They allow us to reestablish movement patterns so that they become natural again.
Where to Begin - Diaphragmatic Breathing
Breathing properly is a foundational piece of movement. Unfortunately most adults do not breathe in a natural way. In fact, a pilot study of 96 people in 2003 that assessed breathing mechanics found that only 25% of people breathe properly.
Using the wrong muscles to breathe can lead to a host of problems such as recurrent chronic fatigue, anxiety, panic attacks, as well as many musculoskeletal symptoms.
If you are trying to make changes in the way that you breathe, it will take some time. But you can make real changes if you try to focus on your breathing technique at least once an hour. This video will show you what you should be doing to breathe properly.
Remember, this is the foundation for all the other functional movement exercises, so don’t skip this important step.
The Dead Bug
While you are learning to breathe properly again, you can also begin to engage your core in a specialized way.
Take a moment to think about a baby laying on it’s back. Where are his legs? Where are her hands? They are in the air moving about.
This next functional movement exercise, called the “dead bug,” mimics that type of movement.
I am passionate about leading you to greater health! If you are interested in learning more about Functional Progression or would like to work with me to learn these movements give us a call 630-448-0255.
Are you gardening this year? Do you love seeing your plants grow healthy and strong? If you are a gardener, you know there are certain things plants need to thrive. Some of the first steps are weeding, seeding, and feeding.
It is necessary to get the undesirable plants out of the way by weeding so that the seeds you want to grow don’t get choked out. Then the desirable seed can be planted. Once planted, these desirable plants need to be fed so they can grow.
The principles of gardening can actually apply to the complex habitat within our gut. To have good gut health, we must get the weeds (bad bacteria) in check. To do this we need the good seeds (healthy bacteria) to take root. And finally, we need to feed this good bacteria (prebiotics).
Let’s look at how we can use these principles to cultivate a healthy gut, and learn why it is so important for our overall health.
Why Gut Health Matters
Have you ever considered how your gut health impacts your overall health? Well, since seventy percent of your immune system resides in the gut, it is imperative that it is healthy. There is also a strong connection between our gut and our skin, our gut and our brain, and our gut and our hormones.
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One of the ways we can protect the earth is by reducing our use of plastic. Much of the plastic we use is discarded ending up in landfills, but a lot of the plastic ends up polluting our oceans as well.
In addition to the impact on the earth, it is important to realize the impact plastics have on our bodies. Once we realize the effects, we can make better choices surrounding our use of plastic. When it comes to this, small changes can have a big impact on our health!
How Plastic Harms Our Health
Bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates, are two man-made chemicals often found in plastic. These chemicals are considered to be endocrine disruptors. This means they can affect hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone. These chemicals are thought to be linked to chronic health conditions like heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
BPA and phthalates can leach into our foods when we store them in plastic containers. This is especially a concern when heating foods in plastic containers and when storing acidic foods. We are also exposed to these chemicals when we drink from most plastic water bottles.
The Risk for Women with PCOS
While these chemicals are not good for anyone, it is especially important for women with PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) to avoid these chemicals when at all possible!
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Have you ever noticed that people tend to get more aches and pains the older they get? You may think this is just a normal part of getting older, but what if there were some simple exercises that would help keep you feeling young a lot longer? Would you be interested?
Research has found that the way babies move is the most efficient way to move! When you deviate from this type of movement you will not function at your best, but it is possible to develop effective moving patterns once again.
Functional Movement exercises are based on the way babies develop - taking special attention to how they move, organize movement patterns, and learn stabilization. These exercises allow you to reestablish these movement patterns so that they become natural again.
The foundation for all these exercises is breathing properly. Let’s look at getting you back to breathing in the most effective way so that you function at your best!
Did you know that breathing properly is crucial to ideal health? But improper breathing is actually more common than correct breathing in adults.
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There’s no doubt about it, we live in a stressful world! The busyness of life, work, and kids can be overwhelming enough - but now we have the added stress of living through a pandemic.
While our bodies have mechanisms in place to deal with short term stress, we are not meant to be in a constant state of stress. Chronic stress is very hard on the body and can wreak havoc on organ systems such as our adrenals, thyroid, digestive system and beyond.
Let’s take a look at why certain things are so stressful, what we can do to change some of these stressors, and how to offset the stress from things that we can’t change.
It’s Not All Bad
According to Chris Kresser, stress is “an inevitable part of life, and it isn’t even all bad. (However) when the total amount of stress you are experiencing at a given time exceeds your ability to cope with it, that’s when stress wreaks havoc on your health.”
It’s important that we learn to handle stress effectively because, as Kresser explains, “if you’re not doing some form of stress management, you will sabotage all of your
best efforts with diet, exercise, and supplements. (Handling stress) is just that essential.”
So how do we do that? There are many techniques, but first it’s helpful to understand why some experiences are so stressful.
Many researchers use 4 key factors to determine how we perceive stress. You can use the analogy NUTS to think about this.
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Are you constantly running between work, family, and other responsibilities?
If you are like most people, life can feel pretty overwhelming at times. It hardly seems like there are enough hours in the day to get everything done let alone get a good night’s sleep. But sleep is one of the most fundamental functions we do each day.
Without good sleep you will not only feel terrible, but you will actually begin to damage your body. Your health will be affected in subtle and not so subtle ways.
Let’s explore why sleep is so important and what you can do to get a better nights rest.
Why Is Sleep So Important?
Sleep is essential for basic repair of the body's systems! Each night as we rest, the body is busy repairing tissue and muscles. Rebuilding also includes necessary repairs to the neurological, endocrine, musculature, digestive, and immune systems.
While you are asleep, your body produces melatonin, one of the main hormones that controls your circadian rhythms. Melatonin is known to increase your immune system function which which is crucial to your overall health.
Without adequate sleep, our bodies will not repair properly and our hormones will get out of balance.
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
Most adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep each night depending on their circumstances and genetics. But almost a third of adults get less than 6 hours of sleep per night!
Sleeping for less than 6 hours a day is associated with chronic inflammation, obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, heart disease, hypertension, as well as psychiatric disorders like depression & anxiety.
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