In the fitness world today, there’s a major disconnect happening. We see activity as a mental game – mind over matter. People claim a run is 90% intention and 10% action. Our minds may be ready to run a half marathon but that doesn’t mean our bodies are. Even if we can do it, it doesn’t mean we should.
“The body is so intelligent that it creates a way to keep running even when it’s not beneficial,” says Shawn Monahan, Physiofitness Assistant Clinical Director and physical therapist. “It compensates to keep going. You lose quality to get quantity.”
That loss of quality leads to injuries. Our bodies need time to ramp up to what our minds want us to do.
We’re all familiar with the word ‘prerequisite’ but usually just in the context of academics (you know…taking algebra before calculus). However, prerequisites are also extremely crucial in the realm of rehabilitation, fitness and exercise.
Think about any group fitness class, be it boot camp or yoga. All the movements you performed during that 60-minute sweat: squat, push, pull, twist, bend, jump, repeat (over and over again). For every single movement, prerequisite (required) joint ranges of motion exist. It’s your body’s competency. What happens when you take calculus without first mastering algebra? You fail. What happens when you perform movements (squatting, jumping) if you’re missing the necessary prerequisite ranges of motion in your joints? INJURY.
Injury is almost always the result of the body being subjected to repeated movements that it is not yet capable of performing. Let’s take the squat for an example. The ankle joints need to bend a certain amount in order for an individual to successfully squat. If the ankle joints do not bend enough, the brain figures out a way to still achieve the movement, but does so at the expense of putting excessive stress on other tissues in the body. A compensation occurs and after several repetitions performed over several classes, the result is inevitably injury.
When you go to your doctor, you always get your temperature and blood pressure checked. These are screenings whether you are symptomatic or not. We need the same for our body. “Movement should be screened,” Shawn says. “Once imbalances are noted, they can be fixed with corrective exercises.”
“People often don’t access physical therapy early enough,” Shawn says. “Instead of coming proactively, people come reactively usually because of pain from an injury. “
So start the spring out right. Come into Physiofitness and have the team evaluate your movement to see if you have the required joint ranges of motion. We can create a plan to ramp up your body to what your mind is intending. That’s a mind-body balance that promises a great summer – to be fit, healthy and injury free.