Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Spreading Wellness: How can strength training improve your ability to age youthfully?

Have you ever been to a gym/fitness center and observe others pumping more iron than they can handle? Meaning, poor form, or shortened range of motion? I used to work in places where I saw this on a regular basis...and as a Physical Therapist Assistant, I had a very difficult time not being able to correct people who were not my patients...which is one reason I was driven to change careers into the prevention world, and I can no longer work out at a gym. Plus, the outdoors is where I belong anyway. :) I've worked in outpatient settings, and many patients came in with overuse injuries. Many came in and shared similar stories to, "All I did was bend over to pick up the pencil that dropped on the floor." But in all reality, it was due to poor body mechanics for many years...sometimes from lifting weights, but also simply from functional lifting.

This is why I was so excited to teach a strength and conditioning class to college students. Some were newbies to lifting (awesome!, no bad habits to correct), and some had been lifting since beginning high school sports. As for me, I have pumped a lot of iron in my day...with my biggest claim to fame, being able to leg press more weight than my Dad when I was in high school. I am a strength and conditioning specialist, and I have held a USA Weightlifting Sport Performance Coach certification, which I let go when I decided not to pursue a career in college athletics. With a background in physical therapy and strength training, including olympic lifting, I was excited to have the opportunity to work with 15 or so young adults, and teach them not only lifting and performance techniques, but also "how" to transfer lifting weights into functional activities, "how" to do it properly to avoid injury, and "why" strength training is important for youthful aging! This was exciting. Now I wasn't observing poor body mechanics, and having to turn my head. Now I was able to make a positive impact in the lives of these young lifters. One of my students struggled with flexibility and core strength, and I was able to provide him some exercises to improve both before taking on heavier lifts. He came back to class the next week and shared with me that he had gone home and talked with his Dad about the exercises he was doing, and his Dad said something like, "that is the same thing my PT gave me!" Yup. His Dad had the overuse injury, and I was able to help this young adult with strengthening before the injury occurred. I smiled for three reasons. First, it made me giddy inside that I was able to help this student to age youthfully, and strength train properly to avoid an overuse injury. Secondly, I was able to help him to make the connection as to the "how" and more importantly "why" he was starting at a different point than his peers. And finally, he went home to discuss this with his Dad! That is a high honor as a teacher...and it was that conversation with his Dad that really helped him to realize the "why." It was no longer a story that I was telling about overuse injuries from poor body mechanics, it related directly to his family.

So yes, I do really enjoy wellness coaching and teaching, where I can provide an in person assessment, and program planning to the individual needs. There is no one program that will work for everyone. In my blog survey the other week, I had some great feedback. One of the comments mentioned that the reader wanted specific suggestions, and less concepts. Thank You! That is great feedback; however, it really is hard to provide specific suggestions, because everyone is very different. I morally cannot provide a canned program. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. We all are motivated differently. We all have different body types. And no one program will work for everyone. No strength tips will fit for everyone. And many times, teaching of body mechanics requires an in person discussion and practice. E3's mission/vision truly includes the passion for customized programming. Our society has made us think that there are easy fixes, and even sometimes what looks to be scientific research is generalized too much. I love writing these blogs to share individual stories, motivate, educate and inspire personal growth, but the only way that I can share specifics with you and to know what will work for you, is to do an individual assessment to see where you are at. I can only make suggestions by working together with you. If you would like personal wellness coaching, feel free to schedule your free initial consultation. These are typically 1 hour in length, and coaching visits can be at your home or at a local trail..not in a gym. The coaching visits are also approximately 1 hour in length, and there are a variety of options. Email me, Jodi, at info@e3twinports.com to schedule yours today. I look forward to meeting you in person. For more information, please visit: http://www.e3twinports.com/personal-training-fitness/

So now I ask you, how can strength training improve your ability to age youthfully?

If you have stumbled upon this blog, and would like to be added to our list, simply email info@e3twinports.com, with "Blog Sign-up" in the subject line. I'll happily add to to our growing list of over 155 people. 

E3 Twin Ports, LLC
Energy and Empowerment through Exercise
Owner, Jodi L. Tervo Roberts
Jodi L. Tervo Roberts, Owner
E3 Twin Ports, LLC
Helping people to lead healthy, happy, & meaningful lives, while promoting healthy lifestyles through outdoor recreation, fitness, yoga, individual wellness coaching, and interactive educational presentations.

Website: e3twinports.com
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