7 Key Aspects to Moving Better and Reducing Pain the Goal: Maximize Longevity

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Everyone wants to move efficiently. Everyone wants to feel great and be able to perform at optimum levels and achieve personal best. Everyone wants to minimize pain, discomfort and maximize longevity... and you can! To do this we have to continuously focus on taking care of ourselves and incorporate the personal maintenance on going for now and to pave way to our longevity. "Work hard, rest well" is a motto I've used for many years with clients and groups I've worked with as well as my own program. We will only be as good now and in the future as the quality and quantity of care and maintenance we grant ourselves. We need it... we deserve it... we must have it. Or we raise the risk for pre-mature wear down and syndromes that will increase pain and discomfort. This can continue to complicate ease of movement and thus decrease our quality and quantity of performance and what we are physically and mentally capable to do and achieve. YOU are you own service and the machine that keeps the machine running at peak levels! That said here are seven key aspects to moving better while minimizing pain:

- Foam Rolling: Self myofascial release methods are a major way to help maintain flexibility, enhance rest and recovery, increase and facilitate adequate and consistent circulation to joints and muscles, enhance performance while ultimately increasing longevity and integrity of overall movement and ability. Modalities include foam rollers, tennis, lacrosse or various medicine balls, "the stick" and more. Consult with a fitness or medical pro on an individual approach that is optimum for you ongoing.

- Stretching: A personalized flexibility program is another excellent way to insure efficient movement and maintenance. This opens space to the joint and encourages optimum circulation. That said, hyper flexibility or being "too flexible" at certain joints or musculature can create instability and increase chance of injury. "Hyper flexibility creates instability." I will always encourage at least one if not more sessions with a qualified pro trainer and or med pro to help you create the individual flexibility plan that is best and balanced for you, your activities and your individual ability to achieve optimum flexibility. This process is ongoing as well.

- Consume Anti-Inflammatory Foods: Some notable top anti-inflammatory foods include but are not limited to: turmeric, ginger root, wild caught salmon, sardines, green tea, blueberries, walnuts, broccoli, jalepeno peppers and more. Consumption can enhance ability to recover and feel good. There's been some fabulous blogs on Healthy Living on anti-inflammatory foods and their benefits. [1]

- Insure Adequate Sleep, Rest and Recovery: This key is vital to safe and optimum movement both in the short and long term. Simply put, if you're rested you operate at peak levels and have the opportunity to achieve your personal best. If you're tired or compromised you not only function at a sub par level but open the door wide to the possibility of injury and or short and long term total burn out. A significant amount of growth hormone re-generation for both men and women occurs during sleep as well and this is of course important for muscle building and maintenance. Be conscious of signs of over training which include but are not limited to; constant fatigue, poor performance, irritability, propensity for injury and inability to sleep. [2]

- Manage Past Injuries and or Syndromes you may have: Seek a qualified physical therapist, med pro or chiropractor to balance any would be issues unique to your situation, e.g., look at past injuries or imbalances that cause discomfort, pain and inhibit optimum functional and safe movement. Access to a "go to" medical professional for you can be a huge component to your quality of movement, recovery and ability to minimize pain and discomfort.

- Move Consistently: We are built for locomotion and born to move. We're not meant to sit at a desk or a car all day. We're not meant to be bent forward at the computer and or texting. Get your body moving -- DAILY. And exercise optimum posture both in the seated and standing position. Optimum circulation is enhanced greatly by consistent appropriate movement for you.

- "Know Thyself": Challenges are great. I encourage you to explore and continue to add variety to your exercise and activity program. But as I say, "know thyself." In other words partake in activities that are right, appropriate and ultimately safe for YOU. Don't over shoot. If your peak is walking on the treadmill then stay with movements that are similar in difficulty for you. If you feel you're up to a triathlon, then that's fantastic again -- if it's appropriate for you. Safety is always the No. 1 consideration in your workout program. The idea and goal is to come back stronger and better every time you exercise on going. I've done multiple segments on my RR Live! Podcast on the effects of extreme training. It's not the extreme training that's wrong it's most likely just not appropriate for you. Much like the fact that doing tackling drills with Clay Matthews, plyometrics with LeBron James or doing clean and jerks or heavy dead lifts for speed are not appropriate for me (or most folks for that matter). Optimum activities for you are ones with a reasonable intensity and you having the motor skill or "being good" at what you're doing... bottom line. Many injuries ensue due to either the motion being too much or you just don't know how to do it and the movement is then executed poorly.

Train hard... train smart out there everybody! - RR

- Head Trainer for The Dr. Phil Show (12th season)
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