Article – Mobility: The Real Fountain of Youth
There is nothing that pulls at my heart strings more than seeing someone who has lost their ability to move well because of lifestyle choices that have now caught up with them and compromised the quality of their movement. It doesn’t matter the age. I’ve witnessed grade school and high school aged kids who moved with more dysfunction than some of my clients who are well into their 70s and beyond! The culprits are familiar. Poor posture, eating and drinking habits, lack of consistent exercise and unmanaged stress are the most common causes. Please don’t let this be you! Join me in learning first what mobility is, then why you want it, and finally, how you can get and maintain it.
So what exactly is mobility? Technically it is defined as the ability to move or be moved freely and easily. Reach up overhead with your left arm. What happened? You may have simply reached overhead without a second thought about doing so. Or, if you are like many, you ran into some kind of restriction when you raised your arm. The absence of any restriction is what we’re after. That is the essence of mobility and the key to moving well no matter our age.
Reaching overhead and experiencing limited mobility is at the least annoying and at most quite damaging. Let me explain. What happens when one of us with limited overhead reaching mobility needs to use that strategy? We compensate for our limited range by leveraging our body. We either support our less mobile arm with our other arm, thus leaving us without a backup if we lose our balance or we change our body posture to achieve a task. I have personally seen a number of people with lower back issues that are partly to blame for these postural changes.
Now what if your limit is somewhere else like your hips, knees or ankles for example? Realize the implications please! Falls are the second leading cause of accidental or unintentional injury deaths worldwide according to the World Health Organization’s website. And on the same website under risk factors you will see very clearly that poor mobility is one of them.1 Very real experiences such as falling and breaking a wrist, shoulder or hip can be minimized dramatically by ensuring the health of your joints and their mobility.
Hopefully by now I have your attention. Let’s get to the good stuff and learn what you can do to ensure your mobility remains intact as you continue to age. The first thing I’m going to suggest is to lose some weight. If you know that you’re carrying some extra pounds please do what you have to do to rid your frame, and your poor joints, of them. You may not realize this so I’ll tell you. Being only 10 pounds overweight increases the force on the knee by 30 – 60 pounds with each step! Now think about the implications of having 20, 30, 50 excess pounds on your frame. Achieve a healthy weight and your mobility will dramatically improve.
Second to maintaining a healthy body weight is consistent exercise that moves your joints through full ranges of motion. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying use it or lose it. Range of motion is commonly lost simply because we don’t use our joints the way they are designed to be moved. What starts out as some tightness or discomfort can evolve over time into significant joint limitations as bones, tendons, and fascia remodel abnormally and forever impact how much movement can even be accessed. Avoid these life-altering changes by doing exercises that train your joints in every range they are intended to move and do so consistently. If you cannot do so with land based exercise, start in a pool. A pool unweights your body, and therefore your joints, making the adventure of exploring your joint range of motion more enjoyable and thus more likely to happen.
It’s also important when we’re exercising to maintain healthy mobility to do so with good form and function. It is unfortunate how many people damage their bodies and hamper movement by doing exercises with poor technique. Remember to slow down, use weights that you can safely handle, and stick to those exercises you comprehend. Also, be okay with asking for help. If you are unsure how to do an exercise properly you are saving yourself from unnecessary pain by learning from a professional who can teach you.
Another way to ensure your mobility stays with you is through your diet. I already suggested that you lose excess weight which certainly is impacted by our food and drink choices. I also want you to be aware of your nutrition for one other key reason. Your joint health is directly affected by your diet. One of the most common reasons for someone to move less, especially with age, is pain. Topping the list of pain inducers is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and its dirty work leaves someone who has it with degradation of joint cartilage. Pain with movement is one of the most common outcomes. As someone moves less due to pain, the joints that aren’t being asked to move adapt their structures to move most efficiently how they are being asked thus severely crippling an individual’s movement quality and therefore mobility. Diets that are high in fried and processed foods, sugars and refined carbohydrates, high dairy content, alcohol and tobacco, high salt, and high levels of omega-6 fatty acids found in products such as corn oil have been demonstrated to promote inflammation. Instead seek out a diet abundant in fiber rich and primarily whole foods, added sugar held to an absolute minimum, moderate dairy in the ball park of not more than 3 servings a day, and high levels of omega-3 fatty acids found in products such as olive oil, nuts, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds.2 Most importantly educate yourself about food and its impact, good or not so good, on your joint health.
Aging is coming whether we want it to or not. It is a natural part of the life cycle and we should celebrate as being so. Let’s take charge of our health and wellbeing though. Let’s choose to remain confident in how we move by living a life that we can be proud of. We all have aspirations and my guess is that yours have nothing to do with checking off of your list all the things you can’t do because of the damage you have caused through your actions on your confidence to travel, visit family, get outside or other. Hold onto your mobility and hold onto your independence to be and do all that you aspire to be and do.
1 – “Falls.” WHO. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Oct. 2015. <http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs344/en/>.
2 – “Foods to Avoid with Arthritis.” Healthline. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2015. <http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/foods-to-avoid-with-arthritis#1>.
It’s hard to believe it’s been 5 years since we moved to our new location and 15 years serving Tucson! We would love to see you and share memories. Any Desert Dawgs Bootcampers out there? Who trained at the original location?
Enjoy some good food and drinks as we celebrate this achievement.
November 7th Time 4-6pm at BodyBasics
Client Spotlight – Rick Weiss
Time flies when you’re having fun and if you’ve ever trained alongside our client spotlight for this month, you know how fast time flies. Rick Weiss started bringing his wonderfully charismatic self to BodyBasics for regular workouts nearly 10 years ago to the day after being strongly encouraged to do so by friend and fellow BodyBasics’ client, Marge Furash. He was no stranger to exercise with quite a history of playing various sports as well as jogging but a string of muscle injuries told him it was time to work out in a more controlled environment.
When Rick started his training at BodyBasics his goals were to stay fit and limber in order to continue his very active lifestyle. He came in with several body annoyances such as a tight left hip, a sore back, and less than perfect posture. All stemmed largely from his occupation of being a very specialized dentist. Long bouts of intent focus while working on delicate procedures left him with muscular restrictions and imbalances. Very quickly Rick realized improvements in his body as he trained it with the same precision he provided with his patient’s care.
Under the tutelage of the trainers at BodyBasics Rick continues to remain strong, flexible, and well balanced. He no longer deals with the tight left hip, sore back and postural restrictions he once had. Instead, he’s replaced them with an incredibly capable body that he has learned over the years to truly take care of. Rick is also nearly 20 pounds lighter than he was 10 years ago. His current goals are to maintain his cardiovascular performance, improve both strength and flexibility in order to keep injuries at bay, and to remain vigilant to his focus on healthy eating.
In his words: “I was sure that this was the place and have been here nearly 10 years. There was no comparison for me between BodyBasics and other larger gyms. Their approach is to customize the client’s workout depending upon their strengths and limitations which is very different than the “cookie cutter” approach where the client needs to conform to a standard workout. I look forward to my workouts at BodyBasics rather than looking for excuses not to go.”
Welcome New and Returning Clients
The greatest compliment we can receive is a referral from one of our clients or allied health network!
Brenda Ayon welcome back
Shout outs are about us voicing victories we witness you all having at BodyBasics. What you don’t know is that we start every Wednesday staff meeting with our shout outs. After doing this for quite some time and realizing how many incredible experiences are being shared, We thought it would be excellent to position a place within our newsletter to share also with all of you. We’ll keep it to our top 5 each month.
Roberta Koenig – for upping the intensity of her workouts and challenging herself to improve her plank time by 3 fold in one session
Paul Simon – for accomplishing his first big goal in his health, and currently creating his next path of maintaining and keeping control of his health
Carol Murphy – for heeding her trainer’s voice in her head telling her, “you’ve got this!” at Home Depot where she loaded her cart with potting soil herself instead of asking for help
Deede Cumberland – for biking twice as far as she has in months and despite tired muscles still completing her session the next day
Sandra Spangler – for being able to include the fun activities from the gym into her visit with her grand kids
Great job! We collected 75 pairs of shoes!
The ICS Gifts of Love program is a way to match families in need with donors and groups (faith communities, schools, businesses, civic organizations) who are willing to help meet seasonal needs.
This will be BodyBasics 5th year participating in this wonderful program. We will be collecting items after Thanksgiving thru December 12th. For more information on ICS and the Gift of Love program, click here.
Recipe – Healthy Holiday Tips
It’s November and that means the holidays are starting and so is all the rushing from here to there. It’s also a time we tend to make poor eating decisions for various reasons. Here are some tips to help you stay healthy over the next couple months and a yummy substitute for green bean casserole!
- Be realistic ~ don’t try to lose weight during the holidays, instead try to maintain current weight.
- Schedule time for exercise ~ this will help relieve stress and increase energy.
- Don’t skip meals ~ before leaving for a party have a small healthy snack to help curb your appetite, you will be less likely to over-indulge.
- Survey the party buffet before loading your plate. Balance your favorite foods with fresh fruits and veggies.
- Eat until satisfied. Slow down, sit down, socialize and enjoy your food.
- Be careful with beverages. Alcohol can lessen inhibitions and induce over-eating.
- If you do over-eat at one meal go lighter on the next one.
- Take the focus off food. Enjoy activities that are active and creative. Go for a walk to see decorated houses or plan a non-edible project like decorating wreaths.
- Substitute one fatty recipe with a low fat healthier option like this one with fresh green beans instead of green bean casserole.
1 lb. Trimmed Green Beans
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sliced and toasted almonds
3 Tablespoons chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1 Tablespoon grated lemon rind
1/8 teaspoon salt
Cook green beans in boiling water in a large saucepan 3 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain well. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add green beans, almonds, olives, lemon rind, and salt. Cook bean mixture 2 minutes, tossing well.
Video – Feel Good Hip Stretch
Chris, Kris, Amber, Maureen, Mike, Myrya, Mary, Ric