Fall Prevention Tips: Why You Need to Practice Falling

 

“Until you actually learn to fall, your nervous system will never truly know that it is actually safe to fall.” -Dr. Shante Cofield

I spend the majority of my time discussing concerns about falls with my clients, so it’s on my mind often. As a physical therapist specializing in empowering adults throughout the aging process, both the future and current risk of falls are the number one concern each of my clients express. And to guide them through this process, I have to help them analyze both the physical and psychological risk factors. Because they both play a major role.

Another one of my roles is to help all adults adopt forms of physical activity and exercise they enjoy. We’ve all heard the health benefits of physical activity, which are created by exposing ourselves to controlled stress. And this defines the actual purpose of exercise, or putting yourself in any uncomfortable situationTo allow your body to adapt by exposing yourself to...

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For Healthy Aging, You Have to Embrace Discomfort

“He or she who has the greatest capacity for discomfort rises the fastest.” -Brene Brown

I’m currently about 6 months pregnant, which is the phase of pregnancy where almost every movement starts to become uncomfortable and more challenging by the day. There are moments where it’s tempting to allow myself to seek comfort where I can. But I know making the choice to continue to move even when it isn’t an easy choice will lead to a more comfortable final few months of pregnancy and recovery post-partum.

So what does this look like?

Choosing to sit on the floor instead of curling up on the couch. Squatting to pick something up instead of bending over. Walking and taking the stairs as much as possible. Instead of looking at my ever-changing body as an inconvenience, I can see it as an opportunity for strengthening and being creative in adapting my movement.

While it sounds silly to make these small choices, they make a huge difference over time. And...

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Focus on Gratitude for Healthy Aging

A few weeks ago, I was talking to a friend who admitted he felt that everything had gone wrong for him his whole life. Granted, he was having a difficult week and it was overshadowing everything in his life. It was all doom and gloom, and as I was listening I realized he wasn’t looking at his life through the right lens.

When I asked him to list at least one thing that had gone well for him, he was at a loss. He said there wasn’t anything he could think of. So I pointed out that he was happily married, with two healthy young children, and had recently moved into a new home his family loved. He sat there quietly for a moment and I saw his demeanor change instantly. The reality set in that he would never be happy with anything he accomplished in his life if he hadn’t been able to acknowledge the things he was grateful for first.

It’s likely you’ve already heard about the benefits of a gratitude practice. Research has found that people with a regular...

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The Answer to Healthy Aging is to Focus on Less

The other day I was browsing through the comments in a Facebook group of women over the age of 50 discussing fitness. One caught my eye, and it’s not because it was the first time I had read the sentiment being expressed.

It was a woman frustrated with the amount of conflicting information coming at her from the diet and fitness industry. She couldn't decide where to start. Keto or intermittent fasting? Should I buy books on these approaches? What are macros? What fitness program should I follow? CrossFit or Orange Theory?

The underlying issue was too much information to make a decision. The overwhelm in her plea was clear. And within the comment, she also mentioned feeling the need to purchase a bunch of equipment and supplements before she could even get started.

And therein lies the problem. Our lack of health isn't due to a lack of information. Instead, information overwhelm leads us down a path of not taking action. And that is the most dangerous path of all. 

The...

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3 Mindsets Preventing You From Improving Your Balance (And What to Do About It)

 

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Does your balance seem to keep getting worse no matter what you do? Never feel like you’re making meaningful progress?

If so, you aren’t alone. The inability to both set realistic health goals, especially for balance issues, and reach them is one of the most common concerns I hear from my clients at their first therapy visit. And as I get to know them, it’s clear why this is a recurring theme in their lives.

Many of us develop the bad habit of holding on to self-limiting beliefs, as Gay Hendricks does an excellent job of highlighting in The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level. These subconscious mindsets have the potential to limit all areas of our lives and are even more dangerous when we don’t realize we are holding onto them. And you may not realize how often...

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2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Movement-Lovers and Lifelong-Learners

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

That time of the year is upon us again and it's time to start talking about the holidays! I have two confessions to make: I love to move and am also addicted to learning new things. So I thought it would be helpful to put together this holiday gift guide for those of you looking to make movement and learning a part of your gift-giving this year (or if you’re just looking for something to enhance your own health in the new year)! And just a note, I would never recommend something I haven't used and loved myself. All of these items are found in both my home and movement studio. 

Books

Erwan Le Corre The Practice of Natural Movement: Reclaim Power, Health, and Freedom 
The creator of MovNat, Erwan Le Corre, published a beautiful book on natural movement this year. There’s plenty of reasons this book is at...

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3 Simple Floor Mobility Drills

 

Wanting to gain some strength while improving your floor mobility? Try out these 3 simple but powerful floor mobility drills. A few things to keep in mind as you try these:

 You’ll get more out of them if you move as slow as you possibly can. I mean painfully slow.

 If you only get part of the way through the motion and find yourself plopping back on the floor, grab a few bolsters like a cushion to raise the level of the surface you're sitting on. Bolstering means meeting your body where it’s currently at and allowing you to work within your given range.

 This is an example of taking a bigger movement like floor transfers and breaking that movement down into smaller pieces to improve your technique and expand your options. You can do this with any skill, it’s super fun!

 

Looking for more on progressing your floor transfers and floor mobility? Check out the Mindful Movement Collective!

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5 Simple Steps to Prevent or Reverse Incontinence

 Incontinence. Even reading that word made you want to turn away. It’s an initial warning sign that the strength of your pelvic floor is compromised in some way and no longer has the strength to hold the contents of the pelvis. The initial symptoms are leaking urine and can progress to the point of pelvic organ prolapse.

Pelvic health is the conversation no one wants to have, so, unfortunately, incontinence has become all too common. And millions of people are suffering in silence. And with the number of incontinence products and adult diapers popping up in stores, we’ve normalized the issue. But being incontinent at any phase in your life is anything but normal. And people feel hopeless for a solution.

Incontinence is NOT NORMAL

There are several different types of incontinence. I won’t get into the technical definitions here but will describe how you know if you’re experiencing incontinence. If you find yourself leaking every time you...

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3 Tips to Live a Healthier Lifestyle

“How do I live a healthier lifestyle?” is one of the most common questions I’m asked as a physical therapist and movement coach. There is an infinite number of technical tips and interventions I can educate my clients on, but the reality is none of them matter until we first address our the most basic levels of our health and beliefs surrounding our health first.

In my years of practice, I’ve noted common patterns of thoughts and habits among individuals who lead overall healthy lifestyles and consistently meet their health goals. And on the other hand, sets of habits among those who continue to fall short of living the life they dream of living.

There are several layers to living a healthy lifestyle, and it doesn’t help to focus on the more advanced layers until you have a solid base in place. Like any other skill in life, we need to master the basics before moving on to more advanced techniques. The base of healthy life choices addresses the...

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The Health Implications of Kyphosis

 

Kyphosis is an excessive forward curvature of the upper spine, and in today's video, we discuss the health implications of developing kyphosis. 

Kyphosis is most often thought of as an aesthetic issue, but it goes far beyond appearance. Kyphosis impacts how your ribcage and the vital organs it holds functions. It can also limit the function the muscles and joints surrounding the ribcage. It can also impact the bone density of the vertebrae. 

Kyphosis is caused by a combination of forces throughout the upper back. Muscle imbalances that pull the spine in this position are created by our movement habits, including excessive time spent sitting in front of computers and on cell phones. 

The great news is that this problem is reversible and preventable! For more on kyphosis and corrective exercises used to reverse it, check out the full-length kyphosis class in our Mindful Movement Collective

 

Want to learn more about mindful movement? Sign up for our...

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