I get to work with some real brilliant people.
A couple weeks ago during a follow-up appointment a patient came up with a super unique physical activity plan for herself.
She works from home and is finding her days continue to be long with sitting and screens.
Here is her plan:
On weekdays she will take four 5 minute bouts of physical activity.
4 x 5 minutes x 5 days
On the weekends, she will have time for more so she will do a slightly altered plan of five minute bouts.
5 x 5 minutes x 2 days
Let's run the math:
Weekdays = 100 minutes
Weekends = 50 minutes
Total of 150 minutes per week!
She is right on target for physical activity guidelines!
See I told you the people I work with are smart!
The type of physical activity was a combination of climbing stairs, dancing to a song(s), walking in the hallway of her condo and completing 1 or 2 different body weight exercises such as 2 sets of 12 sit to stands and/or wall push ups.
Now the question might remain in your head Lisa, is this good enough?
This patient also questioned me if this is actually beneficial.
In fact, there is evidence that short duration physical activity accumulated throughout your day is beneficial for your health.
For individuals with chronic health conditions who have limited capacity, some research has shown that short bouts of arm ergometry (think a bike for your arms) significantly improve physical and cardiovascular function.
If you can boost your intensity level, there is also benefit to short durations. One study looking at sedentary men found that brief intense interval exercise improved indices of cardiometabolic health compared to longer duration sessions of exercise.
We know the benefit for kids too! One study found that short bouts of physical activity in students' day having a small positive effect on math fluency and positive changes in students’ behaviour were noted by the classroom teacher. Now doesn't every teacher want that!
For this patient's case, breaking up her sitting time has some metabolic benefits. Research has found that interrupting long periods of sitting with 3-5 minutes of light walking every 30 minutes can improve blood glucose control in overweight and obese individuals.
One more to read if you are interested…
‘Movement snacks’ and how they might benefit health.
By doing the math, we can start to see physical activity time add up. And add up with reward!
Consider how little bites of exercise might take you closer to your best health!
Stay well and happy moving,
P.S., Has sitting too much at a screen got your shoulders and neck all tied up in knots? Consider joining me on Saturday December 10 for Yoga for the Neck and Shoulders at Yoga Within Edmonton. We will take a targeted approach to find ease and lightness as we role into the busy holiday season!
Are you someone who likes a tool that does lots of things? Something like a swiss army knife that is small and compact and can do up to nine functions?
Well, the pelvic floor muscles are the Swiss army knife of the body!
This muscle group has the MOST functions in the body with a total of five.
Let's unpack what they are…
Sphincter: allow for bladder and bowel control
Support: holds the pelvic organs (bladder, urethra, intestines, rectum; in women the uterus, cervix, and vagina)
Sexual: location of pleasure, orgasm and erections in men
Stability: part of the deep core system that creates stability for low back, pelvis & hips during movement
Sump pump: helps with the movement of the lymphatic and vascular system
Being physically active, the stability provided by the pelvic floor muscles allows for responsive engagement as we move. Poor function can result in impaired movement and even injury.
How connected are you to your pelvic floor muscles?
If you replied,
'not at all'
'sort of but I'm unsure if I am doing it right'.
Then my upcoming Pelvic Floor workshop is right for you!
Next Saturday, November 26 I am teaching a 2-hour workshop at Yoga Within in Edmonton. We will practice engaging the pelvic floor on its own and with movement, review the anatomy and biomechanics of this deep core muscle group and even throw in some breath work (hint, hint…the pelvic floor has a role to play with your breathing too!)
I would love to teach you in this live in-person workshop.
I hope to see you there!
If you are not in Edmonton or cannot make the workshop, please comment below if you are interested in working with me one-on-one or if you'd be interested in another workshop either online or in person.
Stay well and happy moving,
If you are a Canadian, you are likely familiar with the Grey Cup. It is the Canadian Football League (CFL) championship game that determines who is the best team over the playing season.
Now, don't worry. I won't ask you to define what a three downs per possession means. Nor will I ask you to tell me the difference between the CFL and the National Football League (NFL).
Instead, I want you to think about the crowning moments of your year.
For a CFL player, the Grey Cup is where it is at. They have started in the pre-season in June and played a game almost every week until the playoffs. If the player is lucky to be on a team that makes the play-offs, he needs to continue to keep his endurance and skill up for what might be the championship game. Once the player's season ends, he must hit reset and fall into the off season with a change to his training (both physical and mental) and a decrease in competition and games.
So I ask, when is your Grey Cup?
Are you working on something in your life that has a natural build to an ultimate event or time?
This past week I was invited to meet with a writer who will be sharing my professional expertise and experience in a national publication for farmers.
Farmers (likely CFL fans themselves) know these kinds of physical demands as a CFL player.
The preseason of seeding and getting their crops in the ground.
To the regular season of waiting for crops to grow and ensuring the soil is fertile.
To the build and crescendo of harvest, where they are working tirelessly to get this beautiful crop off for the season. Their Grey Cup of sorts.
If you ever get a chance to drive through the prairies during harvest, look out for the humming of combines as they roll across the fields sometimes together in groups of two or three. It is an amazing sight to see!
Since it is likely neither you nor I are CFL players or farmers, I ask, what are you working towards?
Is your physical activity supporting you today and into the future?
For me, a big thrill of moving my body is for those two hour bike rides in the summer that allow me to be out on the road. It is all about having the strength and endurance to get out in nature and hike when the opportunity arises. And all the hours in the pool provide me the confidence and pleasure to jump off a boat and pick up a line to ride the waves behind a boat.
For you, maybe you are physically active to keep up your physical fitness to travel and enjoy exploring a new place. Maybe you play on a recreational sports team and you too have a season of sorts. Or could you be caring for a parent or child or loved one who needs you to be at your top physical game. Or is it the endurance to get all your Christmas shopping done!
Whatever your Grey Cup is, I suggest you take stock of the influence your day to day physical activity has on your crowning moment of the year!
What I will mention though before I close is that the 2022 Grey Cup is this coming Sunday November 20 in my hometown, Regina Saskatchewan. It will most definitely will be a chilly event outside!
Stay well and happy moving,
P.S. Sometimes purpose and Grey Cup moments stem from your WHY. Check out the The Why I Move Project. It's my passion project of curating stories of WHY people are physically active. Care to share? I always love hearing your stories.
I'm waist deep in training this week. Eight days of intensive training for my yoga therapy practice. I'd like to share with you one of my key learnings this week.
It is all about biomechanics.
This can be very important when we speak of the core. I spent a whole day reviewing and discussing the superficial and deep core.
Now I won't get into the anatomy and biomechanics right now (stay tuned!).
What I will say is consider your own core with the following questions:
1. When you move are you “locking and loading”?
2. Are you gripping in your abdomen?
3. Are you bracing with your breath?
4. Are you using other parts of your body to create stability in your middle?
Good core = Ease
Our core is the ultimate destination of the forces that enter our body be it from a specific exercise or a pushing a door open.
The core is also the initiator. It is the initiation generator of forces that move us in the world.
Yep. The core is pretty darn important. AND understanding the biomechanics of it can be super helpful and getting you to move better and move more often.
Now back to training after my little public service announcement!
Stay well and happy moving,
Missed my most recent newsletter? Don't worry, I've got your back. Find all my exclusive letters here on this blog. ~Lisa