First Move Well, then Move More!
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I believe the title of this blog is what's known as 'click bait' - the promise of something so far-fetched that you can't help but click to read it even though you know deep, deep down inside that what's being promised is absolute twaddle.
I used to get asked A LOT, "... but can't you just give me some exercises to do for [insert painful/wonky body part]?" The answer is always, always, a big fat no, but over the years I have had to learn to soften my approach somewhat simply because that kind of 'I-want-it-all-right-now' approach is what we are spoon-fed by the media. Headlines such as "Lose 23 stone in two days", "Get killer abs and tight buns in the next hour", you know the ones, they're out there, usually trying to sell you something, but they condition us into believing that there is a quick fix for everything.
I am like the anti-Fairy-Godmother here to tell you that the quick fix is never a fix and quite often it does more harm than good. Consider the yo-yo...
**Warning – this blog post is a rant – therefore it contains a lot of Yorkshire and a lot of cursing***
This catalogue contains just about every conceivable piece of plastic crap to help you “outsource the work of your body (read movement)*”. Instead of stating “The Perfect Solution for Every Task in the Home!”, it should perhaps read, “Designed to ensure the gradual decline and eventual immobilisation of your entire body – no movement required, GUARANTEED”.
That’s not to say that for some this equipment might be a necessity. Fine. BUT for those with average mobility and strength this kind of “…making life easier” bandwagon we all insist on riding leads to even less daily movement.
Automatic can openers – why? Because you’ve not used your pandies for owt in a very long time and your grip strength has deteriorated.
We think it’s easy, if we ever give it any thought at all because for most of us, walking is just something that happens when we want to get from A to B. But walking has all sorts of wonderful effects on the body, not least of which for those of us with issues in this area, walking tones the pelvic floor. It can also protect your joints, improve breast health and circulation of the blood and lymph, increase breathing capacity AND develop even muscle tone INCLUDING the pelvic floor.
The way you walk, much like any other movement pattern develops over time from the very first time you stand on your own two feet to right this moment. IF you had never worn shoes, hadn’t gone to school and been forced to sit in a chair and not move for several hours, then gone to university or got a desk job or a repetitive manual job or whatever it is you’ve been doing, had there been hills and different surfaces under foot instead of just flat concrete (the list goes...
The video above was recorded on Day 4 of the Himalayas 100 Mile Stage Race back in 2012. I have never before shown the footage to anyone in all this time mainly because completing that race was a very very personal challenge... read on for how it all came about.
If you've been followed my blogs you'll know that back in 2008 I got butt cancer. Not read that one yet? You can do so here (and there's a picture of my naked bottom if you want an incentive to head there now). It resulted in a lot of weakness, altered gait and various other problems. At the time I was in Australia studying to become a Sports coach, Personal Trainer and Pilates teacher and for around three months I could hardly move at all due to the surgeries to extract the lump from my bottom.
Jump to 2010 and my arrival back in the UK. I'd been bitten by the running bug but I was really, really struggling. Collapsed arches in my feet, constant shin splints,...
This blog post was taken from the notes I wrote for the "Explore Your Pelvic Floor" workshop I ran online on 13 May 2020. The focus was on reconnecting with the pelvic floor muscles and working out whether there was too much tension, not enough or whether we were 'just right'.
Typically with pelvic floor muscles, we think that if as you get older (particularly if you’re female) that your muscles get loose and weak, which can often be the case, however it is also possible for the muscles of the pelvic floor to be too tight... unfortunately, despite what modern fitness culture would have us believe about tight/taut/bulky muscle, a 'tight' muscle is also weak!
Healthy, strong muscles are muscles that can contract short, but that can also relax and stretch long when necessary. Essentially, there's an optimal range of movement or length to a muscle which allows it to express its fullest range of motion, neither too short or too long, but 'just...
Very nearly twelve years ago I was lucky enough not to get breast cancer… I got right butt cheek cancer instead! In precisely one month from today I will have survived 12 years - and the doc said that if I managed that then I would likely die of something else instead of the butt cheek cancer... big celebrations coming up in June!
Brief history... February 2008, met fella, moved to Brisbane. Two weeks later started year-long Diploma in Fitness course. May 2008 friend from course and I go to Sushi bar and I bend over to get my purse out of my bag. Friend says something along the lines of, “My, what a big arse cheek you have.” Now, when someone who doesn’t know you that well spots the enormous lump poking out the back of your leggings then it’s about time you did something about it (see image above - yes, that is my butt and my lump, "Percy").
Doc: “It’s probably nothing, but I wouldn’t leave it and if you...
If you would like to watch the video of the workshops I did in May 2020 on how your feet affect your pelvic floor click here and sign up to my newsletter and you'll get instant access.
My own pelvic floor story is a bit long to delve into right here, it stems from having cancer in my right butt cheek and having some incontinence post-surgery which the docs couldn’t help with. It set me off on a journey towards understanding how movement, lifestyle habits and your postural alignment can impact how your pelvic floor functions (or doesn’t) and what to do about it. I’m not going to tell you that all pelvic issues can be resolved by changing your movement habits, sometimes it goes beyond that and surgery or some other intervention is needed, but usually there is a lot that can be done before you get to that point to the extent where you might not need surgery at all.
When I coach people around diastasis recti, prolapse and incontinence, I...
Jo came to me after being diagnosed with a grade 1 anterior (front) wall prolapse of her vagina and stress urinary incontinence.
As she told her story she became visibly upset and said, “I must have a really weak pelvic floor for it to prolapse.” She went on to say “Everything I read online says that I must stop exercising to prevent it getting worse. I really don’t want to do that.” And the one that made my heard break for her, “I’m scared to work out, I'm scared to lift anything, work is getting more difficult and I feel like I’m going to undo all the hard work I’ve put in.”
Jo is 47 and has two children, the birth of her second one causing some tearing during delivery. Six years ago she started to find she had some more time of herself and discovered high intensity interval training and started working out with a trainer. A few months ago she began training for her first Tough Mudder...
Yes, over 40 means getting on a bit at least as far as your girlie bits are concerned. Unfortunately the older we get the more likely we are to experience urinary incontinence. As an added bonus, we are also more likely to experience additional or even new urinary incontinence symptoms once we get to menopause - yay!
Why, I hear you cry, why?
The reasons are many and varied, but the upshot is that as we get on a bit, so do our tissues (muscles, tendons, connective tissue etc), they get weaker, they get a bit stressed and less resilient - ooh, just like our brains then :)
Here's a little statistic - after age 60 30-55% of women will experience urinary incontinence! That's A LOT! BUT it's still NOT NORMAL and there is hope.
Okay, so after you've popped out a small person or two you're most likely to experience stress urinary incontinence - wetting yourself when you sneeze, cough or jump up and down a lot. As we get older the changes in our hormonal state...
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