By Jeremiah Dees
Intro – Approach/Effective Practices
Learn to move well before trying to go hard, otherwise you should expect to get good at moving poorly. There are a lot of parts to this. Successful people take it one thing at a time, so that's what we're going to do.
So the annual fitness hike is right around the corner, and despite your best intentions, it seems that fitness has been sneaking away from you. Unfortunately, fitness is not free. Deep down you know that you are better than what’s taken place. It’s just been really hard keeping up lately, hasn’t it?
The good news is that it’s not difficult to turn things around. It only requires taking one or two small steps each day and you might be surprised to know that your body is begging you to cross this threshold. Successful people thrive on the continuous feed of personal growth and discovery that follows daily acts of commitment to themselves.
Ready to get started? Great!
But first, a little housekeeping:
In each of the next four issues of the Callout, I’ll provide you with a routine and a little bit of education that addresses a part of recapturing your health and developing your fitness. These are general recommended abilities that nearly everyone should develop at some point in their life. (If you have recently been injured or are under the care of a medical professional, including taking medication, then I would advise consulting with your care provider before becoming much more physically active.)
Next, let’s set a mindset for success:
Making an effort every day is much more important than getting it perfect, and when you miss a day, there is no need to feel vexed. We become what we put our energy into. From now on you have my permission to wipe the slate clean. Yesterday does not matter. Ask yourself, “What am I going to do today to get closer to my goals?”
It is easy to get distracted as there is a lot of misinformation out there surrounding health and fitness. You are an organism (not a machine) and a person (not a game show contestant). Change takes a little bit of time to feel. So stay focused on what you are doing now. Give your efforts a chance to grow. I can assure you that every effort you make triggers positive (anabolic) changes inside.
What anyone else can do shouldn’t have any relation to where you feel your performance should be. Dump the fixed mindset and embrace a growth mindset. Look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself “What am I going to do today to get closer to my goals?”
When trying new things it is important to distinguish between pain and discomfort. If you experience pain and feel that an activity is hurting you, then either alter the activity or don’t do it. Discomfort, on the other hand, should be expected. Attempting activities never done before should feel foreign for awhile, maybe even a little uncomfortable.
Learn to move well before trying to go hard or far; otherwise you should expect to get good at moving poorly. You don’t want to earn yourself the long-term consequences of having dysfunctional movement patterns (aka your physical habits).
There are a lot of components to moving well. For now we are going to address the most common insult to a human’s capacity: mobility limitation. And for that, we are going to introduce foam rolling.
Foam rolling is an effective way to start any exercise session. It takes only 5 to 10 minutes to hit all areas of the body. Your aim is to roll over each area slowly just until the muscles release. If a muscle feels very intense at one spot, then sit on it until the intensity begins to dull.
Follow this with a slow roll back and forth, repeated 6 to 12 times before moving on. Adjust your positioning to control pressure. On your tender bits, shoot for 6 to 7 on a scale of 10 discomfort without triggering guarding mechanisms. You might have to lean against a wall (rather than lay on it) to accomplish this. The following pictures demonstrate the routine.
I recommend rolling sensitive areas once in the morning and again before bed every night. You can expect noticeable improvements in mobility immediately, and every week limitations should diminish.