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Don’t Look Back

If You’re Not Improving, You’re Going Backwards.

If you’re like me you want to be as efficient as possible with your time so you can spend it doing the things you enjoy. But with our busy schedules it’s hard to fit everything in, including our own fitness. That’s why I recommend people do training or sports they enjoy most. There’s no need to make the habit any more difficult for yourself.

You may find that after a period of time in your chosen activity you want to become better and improve. This is no surprise because we tend to compare ourselves to others. Plus, we’re goal striving creatures.

Issues can arise with this however. Take for example, you love running and you want to become better. Improving beyond the point of being proficient really requires more time investment. Simply, to become better at it, you need to run further.

The same occurs for many sports. Time is one of the best ways to improve. If you genuinely value your time there is a better way and it involves weight training.

I believe weight training is the best way to improve at many sports and activities and to improve your general well being.

Beyond all the advice that is given on the internet and media about ways to get lean or improve muscle mass, the simple fact of the matter is: the best way to get better is to get stronger.

The term we use is progressive overload which is just the name given to increasing the load you lift for a given exercise over a period of time such as weeks, months and years.

One of the great things about this very simple concept is that it is the most time efficient way to improve. In a gym or training facility you can easily and quickly increase the load without the need to invest any extra time into your training. An hour spent training in the gym today can be the same as an hour training in the gym in 6 months but you would have improved because of progressive overload.

What people often don’t understand is that getting stronger helps improve so many other activities and sports where strength doesn’t appear to be a key ingredient to success.

Will getting stronger help you run further or faster? Your muscles were used to the load they had to carry – your own bodyweight – but getting stronger means that bodyweight now seems light in comparison.

Getting stronger means your muscles won’t fatigue as quick. Getting stronger means you can carry a heavier weight. Getting stronger means you have improved. All with the very time efficient act of adding just a little more weight than you did the week or month before.

I respect all types of training and activities, but just remember that the best way to improve your fitness is also the simplest way. It also saves you time. Time you could spend doing the things you love with the people you love for the rest of your strong and healthy life.

Now that sounds like a type of training I could get used to.

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Marco is the Coach and Owner of PEAK Strength & Nutrition. His aim is to help those in the Corporate Workforce optimise their health, work efficiency and mindset so that they can achieve their full potential.


Fascia and the pelvic floor

What women should know about Fascia
(and its role in healing and building strength)

All humans have fascia. It’s the soft tissue made up of collagen, elastin and bound water that exists from head to toe without interruption, surrounding and connecting every muscle and organ of the body. Think of this tissue as an organ or movement that has 3 major roles: elasticity (jumping), protection and storing stress (both emotional and physical).

Both men and women can benefit from releasing tension in this tissue – it’s why we stretch. (But that’s a conversation for another time).

There are 3 important areas of the body – lumbar spine, achilles heel and pelvic floor – where fascia exists in multiple layers to form a trampoline like structure. For women in particular, the pelvic floor is one of the most under-utilised and misunderstood areas of the female body (which is ironic since it is women who have to STRETCH that tissue to allow for childbirth).

This lack of knowledge is no fault of our own. There is, unfortunately, very little in the way of pelvic floor explanation and demonstration in the hospital system or in the fitness industry, unless you source out a qualified Pilates instructor.

Having become increasingly aware of the importance of fascial tissue in the pelvic floor, I have committed more time to learning about it, and explaining to my clients what it does, and how they can find it on their own.

As you may be aware, part of the abdominal wall is attached to the pelvic floor. Your pelvic floor is responsible for stabilising parts of the pelvis, controlling urinary function, sexual satisfaction and, of course, core strength.

However, most exercises prescribed for building core strength focus mainly on the “abs”, with little or no attention to pelvic floor. Over time, this neglect can become disastrous – it’s like building the framework for a house without laying the concrete slab first. Symptoms such as bladder control, restricted breathing and a lower back pain can be signs of a weak pelvic floor.

The dense formation of fascia means we need to train it differently to how we train muscles. Fascial Stretch Therapy® is a new therapy that focusses on fascia, but is also mindful of how connected the body is. Thus, it not only treats the source of pain, but the underlying cause as well.

In a nutshell, FST® is assisted stretching by a therapist on a massage table which allows you to relax and reach positions that would be near impossible if attempted on your own. As a result, you leave feeling relaxed and more flexible, and will have a significant reduction in pain. This relatively pain-free experience is suitable for people of almost any age, and benefits anyone experiencing short or long-term pain who is ready to try a new approach to healing.

Jesse is owner and operator of Stretch360 and is one of only two advanced Fascial Stretch Specialists in Australia. She can assess whether you need stretching, stabilising or increased space in the joints.


The Power of Posture

A more confident, stronger you!

Imagine someone walking into a room. They are standing tall with their shoulders back and their head held up. What is your impression of that person’s mental state? Do they look happy and confident? Now imagine the next person walks into the room. They are shuffling along with rounded shoulders while looking at the ground. What might be your impression about them? Would you think they appear to be lacking self-confidence or portraying a sense of sadness?

Research shows our body language tells the story. Over the past 15 years more research has been undertaken to fully understand the link between posture and an individual’s mental state. A 2004 study by Mark Coulson determined there is an almost universal recognition of the “sadness posture” where an individual’s head is bent forward and their shoulders are round. It was also found “happiness” and “surprise” were also instantly recognisable. The study pointed to “stooped posture” being a feature of the diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder in many psychological classification systems.

A 2015 study concluded “upright posture” in the face of stress can maintain self-esteem, reduce negative mood and increase positive mood compared to the “slumped posture”. A finding further expanded upon this in a 2017 study by Wilks et al. It found that adopting an “upright posture” may increase positive affect, reduce fatigue, and decrease self-focus in people with mild to moderate depression.

Poor posture has also been associated with a number of other physical and emotional phenomena including:

  • Increased risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease
  • Decreased certainty in decision making
  • Decreased pulmonary capacity
  • Increased incidence of mechanical body pain
  • Increased use of medication in the elderly
  • Increased risk of falls in the elderly

So let’s start getting our posture more upright and start portraying a more confident, stronger you. To learn more about how the Total Balance Chiropractic team can help you improve your posture give us a call on 02 4969 2886 today.
‘Change your posture, change your life!’