Tagged: sports

Rules of the Body

Jill Miller, who is the inventor of a program called Yoga Tune Up, recently revealed on her blog about a month ago that she needs a total hip replacement.  At the age of 45.  Now, she has been absolutely instrumental in helping many, many people discover a modality that can really help irritated tissue and brought it to the main stream.  The story, however is what I want to bring your attention to today.

What was telling about her first blog post, which you can find HERE (and I’ll link to the second part HERE) is that she felt nagging pain not only for most of her life but for the past seven years.  Until recently she didn’t bother to have it looked at because she was worried about surgery for personal reasons.  That’s fine.

This is one of the most respected and knowledgeable (from an anatomy standpoint) body teachers IN THE WORLD and even she ignored her symptoms.  We all do it, from your fellow office worker to high level athletes who want to keep competing.


This is all too common with athletes.

“I’m okay, I just need to stretch.”  “I’ll start using my therapy ball.”  “I’ll take a couple of weeks off from running and everything will be fine.”  And then we go back to doing the same thing that caused the problem in the first place and are suddenly surprised when the issue comes back – and worse.

Just this week another client of mine’s husband after almost a year of pain finally decided to go to the doctor and get checked because his knee wouldn’t stop failing and buckling.  My prediction is either a torn ACL or a severely torn meniscus (or both).  The problem is that he’s been walking around on it for the better part of a year without any treatment or attention, and likely it’s gotten a lot worse.  This might mean that something that could have been helped with therapy before might need surgery now.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

Your body isn’t stupid.

Pain, collapse, restricted range is a signal that something is wrong.

The sooner you figure it out and fix it the better off long term you will be.

If you have water coming into your basement, you figure out where it is coming from and plug the leak.  You don’t sit there and wait for it to subside, clean it up and then wait for it to happen again.  Mold sets in.  The leak might get bigger.  Other things can come into play that make a simple leak a catastrophe.  Your body is no different.

When your body is subjected to stress, it responds to it.  This can result in either stronger muscles, or deterioration and loss of integrity.  A large part of my job is finding out the perfect balance between just enough and too much load, stress or torque on joints.  You need to consider your body as a whole and what loads it is being subjected to daily, weekly and annually to really figure this out.

And in case you’re wondering, sitting is a load.  Driving is a load.  Weight training is a load.  Yoga is a load.  I remember when I sat through the Yoga Tune Up course (I did not certify because I have no desire to be a yoga instructor) and a room full of body practitioners looked at me like I had two heads when I suggested that yoga poses – especially extreme ones – are still heavy forces through joints.  They are, in case you’re wondering.  Jill Miller says that herself in her articles.  Years ago I wrote a post about why a downward dog is downright dangerous for most people.  It’s HERE.


Is this good for your hip socket?

One big fundamental rule I teach my clients is that they should walk out of a workout feeling better – not worse.  This means they are far more likely to have had an appropriate level of stimulus and will have a better long-term response.  They won’t get worse, they will get better.  Isn’t that the whole idea?

The point of this is that nobody is invulnerable to the rules of the body, even people who have spent their whole life practicing something that is supposedly therapeutic.  Don’t assume that if you have a problem that things like stretching and pounding yourself with a yoga ball is the answer.  It might just make things worse over time.  Seek out someone who knows the rules of the body and can identify a proper strategy to bring your body back into balance and stop overloading tissue.

So the next time you work out, try taking a step back.  Are you pushing through pain?  Have you had a problem for a while and have been ignoring it?  Take a really close stock and tell yourself that you should probably get that taken care of before subjecting your body to even more stress.

Because nobody wants a hip replacement at the age of 45.  At least I don’t.

Feel free to message me or find me on social media if you have something you would like to identify or a question.  Injuries and providing solutions are what I deal with every day.


An Update from the Institute

Wow, it has been about six months since I’ve posted a proper article on my site.  Due to lots of personal stuff and my business exploding in May time to sit down and write has been minimal at best.  I also have some exciting side projects that I have been working on, but I wanted to touch base with my readership and let you all know what is in the works.

First of all, for those of you who haven’t experienced it yet, ISOPHIT has become an integral part of my practice.  The results have been nothing short of amazing for providing new stable joints and allowing people who have limited range of motion to strengthen muscles without having to risk any issues.  I’m still offering FREE workouts on this apparatus if you want to experience it any time, just contact me.

I’m heading to Toronto in October to finally take the first part of the ISOPHIT certification program (I took the second part in April) and gain some more knowledge about the apparatus and how to apply it effectively.  It’s really a game changer.

The second part of the Joint Injury Management Series is almost completed!  Due to schedules I don’t know if I’ll be able to roll it out this year and may have to wait until next year to get it going, but that just means I can do it back to back with my initial course again on the knee.  This one focuses on the shoulder and will help fellow trainers and other therapists learn pathology and solutions for things like rotator cuff problems, labral tears, tennis elbow and more!

The third exciting thing is I’m finally putting together a short Ebook on total back care and recovery from back injury.  I’m excited to say that this offering will be FREE and will provide comprehensive information about your spinal health including recovery movements, strength movements and some things you can focus on to make sure back injury never comes back once it’s gone!

So essentially besides training my clients all the time I have a lot on the go.  If you have any interest in anything I’ve discussed please let me know and I’m happy to sign you up for updates and get you on my mailing list for the new Ebook and course offering.  Just click on the subscribe button at the top right!

And, as always you can follow me on Facebook and other social media outlets.

Just a quick update for today, but much, much more to come in the future from the Institute!

Overweight Teens Helped by Weights and Cardio – And Man Lands on the Moon.

A recent study in the Journal of American Medical Association Pediatrics found conclusively that for teenagers between the ages of 14-18, a combination of weight training plus cardiovascular work is the best way to “fight teen obesity”.  This is the headlines that went up all over the country and internet saying that the amazing findings of this study were that if teenagers did strength training and cardio work combined instead of just one or the other, they would lose more weight.

This is news?

I hate to say it but that was my first reaction.  However, when I took a closer look at this study I found that there were in my opinion some flaws in the methods used to determine this conclusion.

Basically this study, which you can read HERE took 304 overweight teens and put them into four groups, one of each doing only strength training OR cardio, one doing nothing, and one doing a combination.  They did this program for 22 weeks (almost six months!).  They were also given diet counselling.  At the end, the group that did the combination of both was found to have lost less body fat overall (compared to the strength training group), but their waist size decreased the most – by a whole centimeter.  That’s not even one whole pant size.

Therefore this shows that a combination of aerobic exercise and strength training is better than strength training alone or cardio alone.  Again, this isn’t news to anyone (I sincerely hope).  This has been proven time and again to be the best approach for those of you out there who are looking to drop inches and pounds.

But when we look a little closer, the criteria for what they consider “overweight” has some flaws.  They cited overweight as at or above 95th percentile of BMI or 85th if there was one or more risk factors or health condition already existing (like diabetes).  So this means that a teenager with a BMI of above 28.5 (the cutoff for 95th highest BMI percentile according to statisticians) is overweight or obese.

Do you know what that means?  An 18 year old who is 5’10” and 180 pounds qualifies for this study as an “overweight teen”.  A BMI of 24 actually falls into the 85th percentile of qualification.  So if my daughter is 5’3” and weighs 135 pounds according to this study she is overweight.  Oh, and another note – when she turns 18, even if she is the same height and weight suddenly she has dropped to the 74th percentile.  Does that make sense?

Pretty much any athletic teen is going to weigh at last that much and sometimes more.  Using BMI as a method of overweight is a highly flawed criteria in my opinion.  There’s a lot of other flaws.  They obviously weren’t all following the same diet.  Who knows how many workouts they actually completed on their own.  It didn’t indicate if any of them were athletes previously, inactive or high level performers.  It wouldn’t be much of a stretch for a 16 year old football player to be 5’8 and 160 pounds but have very low body fat and high muscle mass.

This football player is overweight according to this criteria.

This football player is overweight according to this criteria.

So this made national (actually international) news because we heard about it up here in Canada.  I guess it was a slow news cycles, what with war in the Middle East and a deadly epidemic spreading around the world.

The simple fact is that kids today don’t get enough exercise.  Currently 59% of adults in Canada are overweight or obese in Canada (as of 2012).  We can blame a lot of things here.  Increased screen time, lack of physical education and after school sports programs, deteriorating nutrition both at home and at school and simply the fact that overweight parents tend to have overweight children because kids learn many things from their parents, not the least of which is eating habits.  The medical industry unfortunately can’t or won’t help because many doctors have no clue about proper diet and exercise habits themselves.  Many doctors I have worked with or attended have been relatively clueless about these things because it really isn’t their job to know about it even though they are expected to.

However, if you do have a young teenager or someone younger at home then the good news is you can keep their weight down.  Guess what’s a great way to get both cardio and resistance exercise without a gym?


Whether your kid is an individual sport kid (like I was – I ran track, did cross country skiing and played all racquet sports) or a team sport kid (like my sister who played basketball and hockey) there are a couple of dozen options available for each type.  And even if the cost is prohibitive to a budget for things like hockey, there are tons of community resources available in any city for parents who want affordable exercise for their kids.  Even something like martial arts isn’t ridiculously expensive, teaches really great fundamentals of coordination, discipline and uses lots of strength at the same time.  Finding time as a busy parent can be hard, but what’s the priority – a healthy, happy kid or a promotion at work?

The sad thing is that I have trained kids as young as 8 and 10, and they could barely balance enough to walk slowly on a treadmill.  Kids just simply don’t learn these things when they are developing any more.  I could go on a rant about parenting and education these days but I’ll save that for another time.

So if you have a teen that is struggling with weight, maybe a good option is to get them to put down the Ipad, register them for a few sports or activities to see what they enjoy doing and get them being active and moving around more.  Long term they will be much better off for so many reasons.  Maybe even do it with them if you need help as well.  Things like martial arts or even group exercise are easy to do with your teenager.  Take your kid for a run or a bike ride on the weekends instead of staying inside.  Take the whole family out for a long hike without any technology.

Like I said at the beginning, it isn’t news that kids need more exercise, or that a combination of things is likely to help them lose that extra centimeter.  But it starts with actually getting them involved with exercise.

Feel free to comment, subscribe and share this post.

Join My 30 Day Challenge!

After reading about the latest company promoting a 24 day challenge that guarantees amazing results and can totally change your life, I realized that I have been really missing the boat.  Obviously if you can create a program that causes people to feel better, lose weight and inches quickly and also make money at the same time it’s going to be a huge success.  Therefore I decided to put together my own 30 Day challenge to provide people with an amazing new revolutionary way to do all of these things.  I don’t know if I should just release this to the general public, but since I am typically a generous soul I decided to share my amazing new secrets with the public and give them the help that they need in order to be fitter, healthier and happier.  Are you ready for this?  It only takes 30 days and you will be a totally new person!

Okay, Step One:

Go into your cupboards and fridge and throw out everything that is packaged, didn’t at one point have eyes or wasn’t grown or made from something from the ground.  You may find that your cupboards and fridge have suddenly gotten really empty.  This is a tough challenge, but you don’t have to spend two hundred dollars a month or sign up for auto ship – just throw it out once, which is basically the same thing.  So that leads us to Step Two:

Go to the grocery store.  See those different coloured things called vegetables to your right as you walk in?  Buy lots of them.  So many that you can’t even see the bottom of your cart.  And lots of different colours too.  Then go to the butcher section and buy a bunch of that stuff too.  Watch the butcher actually cut it up in front of you.  Buy some white stuff, some pink stuff and some more white stuff.  If it had a beak or gills at one point it’s a bonus.  Then, go to the checkout aisle without going anywhere else.  Can you do it?  Can you make your cart turn left before the cookie aisle?  I know it’s tough, but you wouldn’t have signed up unless you were totally committed and amazing, right?

Oh, and you have to do this more than once a week.  So if you don’t have time then watch less TV or don’t post on Instagram for an hour and go back to the grocery store.  You might actually have to go twice or three times in a single week.  That’s why I said this was a challenge.

Step Three:  Cook stuff.  Don’t cook it in a microwave; don’t pull it out of a box and plastic wrap.  Put it in an oven.  Or slow cooker.  Or barbeque.  Or steamer.  Leave it there for a bit of time.  Or don’t cook it and eat it raw (not the butcher stuff though).  Oh, you don’t have to do this every day  – if you are smart about it and cook three days’ worth at once.  I promise it won’t kill you.  Put it in that cold thing in the kitchen that is designed to store things and keep them fresh.

Step Four:  Eat the food.  Eat a bit of animal stuff and a lot of vegetable stuff.  For every meal, even breakfast.  I know – your body might explode if you don’t have cereal or toast for breakfast, but I want you to take that risk because you’re hardcore and fully committed.  Oh, and if you don’t eat breakfast now, eat it anyway.  I know it makes you feel sick to actually eat before noon, but push yourself!  You’re awesome!  Oh, and you have to take stuff to work too.  It might make your bag really, really heavy but that’s all part of the challenge!

Step Four:  Don’t drink anything that isn’t water or coffee or tea coloured.  And no, that doesn’t mean water coloured paints or Coke or whiskey because it’s brown.  There are rules here.  Drink until you have to pee.  And it’s not a dark colour.  Keep drinking until you’re peeing a lot.  See, even your bladder is getting into the challenge!

Step Five:  Exercise.  Put on those things with soles that sit by your front door and go outside.  If it’s -25, go to the mall.  Walk there.  Hell, walk up and down your stairs.  Set a timer for 30 minutes and just keep doing stuff that involves movement until it beeps.  I know, I know, it’s another 30 minutes you could be pretending to do work at your desk.  But this challenge is meant to separate the committed from the uncommitted.  I know you’re committed!  I know you can do it!

If you have a gym membership, actually walk into the door.  Once you’re there, pick some stuff up and put it down.  Then do it again until you’re tired.  You can use the black things, the long skinny things and even the really complicated looking big pieces of stuff.

Okay, so we’re at the end of Day 1.  Having fun yet?  Okay, now your challenge is to do this.  Every.  Single.  Day.  For 30 days.  I know it sounds totally incredible that regular people like you can actually do this.  At the end of it, you won’t believe your eyes!  Then you can help me sign up more people for this amazing program.

Does it sound simple?  Does it sound ridiculous?  Does it sound like anybody can do it?  Not just anyone can do this, it takes a special breed of person, but I know that you are definitely that person.  That’s why I’m sharing this amazing new program with you, and only you.  Feel free to PayPal me $50 to paradigmfitnessottawa@gmail.com if you want to sign up and learn more about this amazing offer!