onIt's that time of year again that I take a pause on all things work and take some time away from the computer. Or at least try! Be sure to read to the end of this email to hear some brief updates and housekeeping items I'd like to share before I go…
With not being in your inbox until later into August, I wanted to share with you some links, videos and articles of interest. Feel free to peruse them over the next few weeks.
I'm seeing more published research on mask wearing and exercise. Dive into the details here:
The impact of face masks on performance and physiological outcomes during exercise: a systematic review and meta-analysis 😷
I don't know lots about Tai Chi but one day I think I'd like to try. Here is a webinar on the benefits of Tai Chi:
Webinar Replay: Combating Stress with Tai Chi ☯️
ParticipACTION is 50 years old! Watch some of their iconic commercials and access all of their resources here:
50 never looked better! 📺
Know someone that lives with Parkinson's Disease? Check out this article on the newest exercise recommendations here:
Recommendations on Weekly Exercise and Physical Activity Routines for Patients With Parkinson Disease 👩🏼🤝👨🏻
Are you thinking of icing sidewalks? I'm sure not! But in preparation for unstable sidewalks, roads and surfaces, best to get a head start on your balance training. Check out this article with some great exercise recommendations here:
10 exercises to improve your balance, prevent falls, and stave off injury ⚖️
Housekeeping notes for you:
I'm over a year in with a weekly email newsletters to you. Thanks for letting me be in your inbox week after week! Please know that I consider it a privilege to be there.
Yet, it is still a work in progress and I thought best to share with you that I haven't completely figured it all out. Long story short, I've been bouncing between two platforms to share my regular weekly newsletter and on the first of the month using an automated service to send you an article round up email that includes great articles, videos and recipes. And guess what?! It hasn't been working as smoothly as I'd like (who would have thought trying two platforms would be an issue?!).
Some people get all the emails and some people are not getting them all (mostly the first of the month emails). With that being said, I am going to take some time to transfer to one platform (mostly for my sanity!) and try to keep the first of the month newsletter but it will look a little different. All the same content but coming from me directly not the automated service. Make sense? On August 1, you may receive two copies of the article roundup. I apologize for any inconvenience.
My goal is to have my newsletter in your inbox on Sunday morning and the article round up arrive on the first of each month. You can also think of me as your fairy godmother for when you feel confused about all things physical activity, exercise and moving your body!
If you enjoy my content and want to make sure that you see these emails, you can drag them from your promotions folder to your inbox or add email@example.com to your address book.
Wishing you a wonderful August!
Stay well and happy moving,
P.S. Believe it or not, I'm building my Fall schedule right NOW! And it includes offering Yoga Therapy! Into August, I'll have the booking system up and running. Learn more about the details on my website now!
I'm really glad I am part of not one but two book clubs. The books we read are ones that I may not normally pick up and they tend to be fiction which I rarely read on my own.
What I do read on my own is non-fiction, evidenced based books mostly on exercise (surprise!) but also business, psychology and biographies.
This month I completed my book club books already so I "released" a book from being on hold at the library. It's been on my hold list for months and I purposely kept it there until I knew I could dive in with my full attention.
The book is called Burnout: the secret to unlocking the stress cycle by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski. I heard them on a podcast months back and what they shared was enlightening to me about stress.
As you can guess, they talk about physical activity. Not exercise per se but moving your body. And how it is the single most efficient strategy for completing the stress cycle.
Woot Woot! You can imagine me cheering.
Not to say I'm not learning anything from this book because that is simply not true. But what it has helped reinforce is the idea of physical activity's power over the past 16 months.
Physical activity can no longer be looked at only as a "weight loss tool" or something that builds strength. It is much more than that!
Think about it...
Have you looked at moving your body as something to do when dealing with stress? Has the impact of a world wide pandemic changed your opinion of moving your body?
If you haven't thought about it, I'd encourage you to do so now. Moving gives us space to not only improve our physical health but also our mental, emotional and spiritual health.
And if you are like me, this has been essential in 2020 and 2021.
Now reading this book couldn't have been at a better time.
This past week I received some heart retching news. A high school friend and former water polo teammate of mine passed away. I can't tell you how much this has hurt my heart. He was 41 years young.
The day I found out I luckily had a swimming lane booked and it seemed so fitting that with bouts of crying and sadness, I was able to move my body through the water and help complete the stress cycle - grief.
Grief isn't a one day thing by any means but that swim was EXACTLY what I needed to move through the immense emotion.
It was even more fitting as our friendship grew at the pool. My swim felt freeing and smooth with the rush of the water after each flip turn and push off from the wall being releasing.
No other way to honour my friend…and myself.
This week's event has been challenging - on many levels than I care to admit. Yet what I want you to consider is now you have the opportunity too to use physical activity to deal with whatever stress comes your way.
Want to learn more about the Burnout book? Check out this TED Talk with the authors.
Stay well & happy stress relieving moving,
P.S. Believe it or not, I'm building my Fall schedule right now! And it includes offering Yoga Therapy! Into August, I'll have the booking system up and running. Learn more about the details on my website!
P.P.S. If you are new here, you can read previous newsletters here. This newsletter content isn't something I share anywhere else (it's not even accessible without this link). I try and give my newsletter subscribers the best of the best! I hope you enjoy the content as it keeps your week focused on moving your body…whatever is the best way for you!
As we are full swing into summer, I can only imagine that you are seeing many people outside enjoying the sunshine and warm (maybe too warm) days!
Summer is my favourite time of year and I frequently remind myself that I must get outside EVERYDAY! And what is the result? I tack on more movement each day because of it. Watering my flowers and plants, walking around the block to see the construction (I currently have no sidewalks and lots of orange pylons out front) and/or taking a stroll down to a local park.
The people I see are equally enjoying the fresh air and blue skies.
I encourage you to take the time to look for a certain part of our population.
It’s the KIDS!
They have so much to teach us. So much so that I made a video for The Why I Move Project about how my son who was 3.5 years at the time, inspired me to try something new!
Insight into action:
How can you encourage yourself to be outside more this week? Who knows how much more you'll move if you do!
Watch for the kids. On their bikes. At the park. Riding a skateboard. Running in a green space. And if you are fortunate to live with one or two or interact with a child regularly, ask them what adventure outside they are enjoying lately!
Stay well and happy moving,
P.S., I practice what I preach. This weekend I'm out in the woods. Well, maybe not too deep into the woods. But I will be spending some time camping and enjoying the great outdoors even more! Flashlight in hand and my kids in tow to push the limit of exploring outdoors!
Summer is here!
If you are like me, you take in as much of the beautiful summer weather as you can. I'm even sitting outside at my patio table writing you today!
With the urge to get outside, it becomes more challenging to get our regular indoor exercise done.
Case in point - typically resistance training equipment doesn't fair too well outside. It is likely you don't have your hand weights, resistance bands or exercise ball outside. So, for you to complete your resistance exercise, you'll likely need to be in the space that holds your equipment, likely inside.
Kudos to those of you who have tried your resistance training program outside! It is possible!
But to help you get outside sooner than later, I'd recommend trying supersets. Fondly caller summer supersets.
Supersets are a way to structure your exercise for greater efficiency of time. It is combining multiple exercises in an order that allows for the shortest downtime in between.
Read - faster to the great outdoors!
Over the past couple months, I've been teaching my current group participants to pair an upper body exercise with a lower body exercise. The one area of the body works while the other rests.
Although a bit more intense (maybe not a bad thing!), adding a superset combo allows you to challenge yourself and finish quicker. Here are some more added benefits…all based in research!
Need an example?
Absolutely! That's is what I am here for!
First take a look at your current exercises. Split them into upper body and lower body movements. For your torso or core, look at the exercises for the front of your body versus the back of your body.
Once you have a list, start to pair movements that
A) Are larger muscle group actions (e.g., multi-joint movements such as squats and chest press). Theses can be your first pairings.
B) Are similar with set-up such as with the same type of equipment or body position (e.g. two exercises that use a bench or a platform would be a step up and bent over row).
Pair those exercises that fit well together. You will probably find that you will have four to six pairings, which will be 8-12 exercises total.
If it is helpful for you, write out the pairings on a post-it note and place the notes out in a row to visually show your plan.
Here is a sample superset workout I did this week:
I did two sets of 12 repetitions of each, moving from one pairing to the next. With a five minute warm-up and five minute stretch, I was done in about 45 minutes.
This sample workout is of course only a sample. I encourage you to look at your current exercises and how you could utilize summer supersets.
Have no exercises? No problem.
Click here for my FREE resistance band ebook with 16 resistance band exercises to get started.
Still having trouble?
Reach out to me directly and let me know how I can help you!
Here's to lots of time outdoors whether that be in your yard, at the park or anywhere in between.
I am happy to support you on your physical activity journey!
Stay well and happy moving,
Are you enjoying listening to any good podcasts these days?
I've really been enjoying Brené Brown's Unlocking Us podcast. I reserve it for when I can listen to it all in one walk. You heard it right - I'm only listening to her when I go out for solo walks.
I find it gives me time to really hear what she is saying and not get distracted by anything else. It's borderline my own counselling session over my headphones! LOL!
Yet there is some truth to that because I've stared to apply some of her content to my life. It took me a moment to process how this happens but it was interesting how it unfolded right in front of me…
Imagine a bright sunny day. Blue skies that go on forever and big white fluffy clouds gliding through the sky.
I'm in the zone. I'm experiencing flow as I ride my bike through the river valley, loving every moment. This is one of my favourite things to do.
As I shoulder check before I make a turn onto a foot bridge, I see another cyclist behind me. My mind instantly turns into race mode as I focus my pedal strokes and up my cadence. He can't catch me I think to myself.
I round off the bridge and head off into a winding path with some incline. All the while knowing he is behind me.
I’m pedalling strong. I feel good.
Up ahead I see it. An obstacle on my path. With construction around, the path has been ripped up and a ramp has been placed over the path. I brace myself for the bump and realize there are wooden planks over the ramp too.
Am I to cross with the planks?
I quickly changed course to use the planks to only have my bike swerve over to the left, heading towards the orange temporary construction fence.
In that second, the cyclist behind me passes me on the right and surges ahead.
I comment "this isn't pretty" to him. Completely embarrassed and berating myself for such incompetence.
I dislodge my bike from the side of the path. I didn't hit the fence, just landed in a mud trap beside the ramp.
I get back on the bike and within seconds my inner voice throws jabs at me. "How stupid was that?", "you suck", and "What did that cyclist think of me? What an idiot she has no idea what she is doing!"
The ride took a turn that I didn't expect. A shame storm.
Would that other cyclist reflect on my misstep at lunch later that day?
Could this have happened to anyone?
How interesting - this shame was real!
Then I stopped. Not literally but I demanded my thoughts to stop.
It was a mistake or should I say a minor turn that took me off course for less than a minute.
And it was in that moment that Brené Brown's voice showed up. I had just listened to her podcast about the distinction between shame and guilt.
Shame being something is wrong with me.
I wondered how often does this happen during physical activity. I harbour a guess it can be more than I know.
Does anyone else experience shame in their physical activity?
My educated guess would be a huge YES!
For me it took my enjoyment right out of my ride. It caused me to freeze and question that I even knew what I was doing.
Imagine someone else who had a misstep in physical activity and a shame storm rose up out of them?
Would they ever do that physical activity again?
Physical activity is "easy". We can be our own worst enemy with the way we speak to ourselves which makes physical activity very hard.
And this brings me to the title of Brené's book, The Gifts of Imperfection. I'm reading it now with one of my book clubs.
Key word being imperfection. We aren't perfect nor is physical activity perfect.
I encourage you to look through the lens of imperfection and listen to your own stories you are telling yourself about your physical activity experiences. Do you have shame storms too?
I encourage you to recognize the shame storm and try to turn it down like I did on my bike ride that day.
Know that you or your physical activity isn't perfect but that is the gift.
Stay well and happy moving,
Are you like me and dove into a lot of online workshops and/or virtual presentations during the past 15 months to only have the replays sitting in your inbox because you just can't watch another video?
That's me in a nutshell. Shall I say I'm an information junkie? And more specifically a physical activity information junkie!?
I scrolled back in my inbox this week and found my oldest video. It is from November 2020. And it was a big one!
To give you context and the back story, in general, Canada is one of the leading countries in the world for physical activity research and health guidelines. I was in my undergraduate degree in the late 1990s when our professor was part of the steering committee for the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines. He quizzed his exercise physiology students what we thought of how it looked and what it said. These guidelines have since been updated recently into the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines that not only factors in physical activity but sedentary behaviour and sleep.
It's been an ongoing process of doing the research and publicly sharing the evidence of the what, when, where, why and how of physical activity.
Go Canada Go!
Jump back to this week and this video in my inbox and it makes me glow with excitement. What I watched was the launch of the World Health Organization's Every Move Counts Campaign and guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour.
Physical activity has gone global!
Want to learn more?
Check out this video!
What I love about this message and video is that physical activity is for all citizens of the world and it can look and feel different for everyone. It is not a one size fits all behaviour nor does it have to look a certain way to gain benefits.
Kudos to WHO for connecting the dots.
Now for you! What are the unique, interesting and engaging ways you move your body in this world?
Stay well and happy moving,
I'm going to be quick with words today...
I wanted to share with you my next instalment of Real Moves for Real Life video series and highlight my favourite joint!
Yes, I have a favourite joint. It might just be my favourite because it is so multi-talented.
Check out my video to find out which joint I'm talking about!
Three cheers for the days getting longer and just maybe you are getting outside to move more! And the movements in this video can be really helpful to bring some mobility and space to the body.
Since this joint is so multifunctional, I'm certain I'll have more videos on this joint for you soon! I am here to support you in your physical activity journey.
Stay well and happy moving,
P.S. If you have missed my other Real Moves for Real Life videos, here is a link to the playlist.
Have you ever had a liquid soap, shampoo or lotion bottle where the pump lid stopped working?
Hold tight. Stick with me on this one…
Well, I have not one but two Costco sized bottles sitting in my shower - shampoo and conditioner - both with pumps that no longer work. The conditioner pump stopped working a couple weeks after purchase and the shampoo one, well, um, stopped working when I dropped it on the bathroom floor!
Now, I'm no MacGyver and I am not particularly handy but my best solution was to keep the pump lid on the top, unscrewed and use the little straw as a dip-stick.
I feel like no one talks about this. I'm fairly certain I'm not the only one this has happened to.
Although this is no secret, it is something we do - we compensate - to get what we want.
This same is true with movement.
I see it all the time whether it be on a yoga mat, in a gym or group exercise setting, the bodies moving in front of me, compensate to move in a way they THINK they need to.
Said another way we think we know how to move our bodies, with potentially some compensations to make it look a certain way but we forget our innate ability to feel how we move.
Once we stop listening to our bodies and try to only think our way into a movement, it is possible that more and more compensation patterns begin to take hold.
Some compensation is a good thing. We may need to limit a specific movement because of injury, or because there is a weakness or lack of range of motion or because we don't have the physical fitness.
Remember my broken shampoo bottle. It works for me right now but at some point the shampoo will lessen and will be stuck at the bottom of the bottle. To get it out, I'd probably want to tip the bottle over for a period of time to get the remaining shampoo close to the top.
Yet, overtime, the compensation itself can become the problem, because it is by definition not the natural way of moving. Sticking with my shampoo analogy, by leaving it upside down for too long with the lid unscrewed, I will loose all my shampoo down the drain!
So in terms of movement, maybe feel a bit more rather than just think.
Take a small test. Try a few sit to stands (don't know about this movement, watch this video for a brief tutorial).
Simply move. Maybe think where are my feet in relation to my hips? How forward am I sitting? Do I use my hands for support?
Now try another three or more repetitions. But this time feel. Where do you feel the movement?
The movement is in the legs but do you feel something going on in your shoulders, neck, jaw? How about in your in your back? Is there somewhere in your body that is trying to do the work too hard, too much or too fast for what you are trying to achieve - moving the hips and knees?
Compensations can show up at any time in the movement so becoming aware and present can help you identify what is and isn't working…regardless of what it looks like.
So not to worry. My shampoo bottle continues to produce shampoo and so too will your body continue to produce movement. Simply recognize that for things to work well long term we must always be open to change and change that will make us better (or help us keep using that shampoo over the long term!)
Stay well and happy moving,
P.S. This recent article reminded me of the MacGyvering we've had to do with home exercise. Although it is written with the focus on people with Ankylosing Spondylitis, I still think the ideas are great for anyone to use at home.
I'm trying something new this week in my newsletter; really it is a new type of video I want to share with you. Be sure to like it on YouTube if you get value from it!
Think of this video as a short learning lesson in your inbox straight from me!
I love whiteboards (and let's be frank, all office supplies!) so I've decided to teach you a specific concept to use to accelerate your physical activity success!
The main idea is using the Triangle of Physical Activity Success. A spin on the Triangle of Success that entrepreneurs use. Not exactly the same but super helpful concepts to unravel your physical activity pursuits.
Alright, let's dive in!
Now grab a sheet of paper (or the worksheet handout below) and draw yourself a Triangle of Physical Activity Success. Is your triangle small, large, lopsided or straight? Find out which physical activities are working and what are the ones to drop (maybe just for right now).
I'd love to hear how your introspection goes! Feel free to share this email and video with others especially those who you know might be struggling right now with getting their bodies moving!
I hope you enjoy the content as it keeps your week focused on moving your body…whatever is the best way for you! Know I am here to support you in your physical activity journey.
Stay well and happy moving,
Here is the handout!
If you were to put yourself in front of a mirror, what would you see?
A human body in space.
If I asked you to move your body, be it your leg or your arm, what then would you see?
A human body moving in space.
The work I have done for over 20 years is that of the mirror. I watch someone move in front of me and see how they move in space.
I use the framework of anatomy and biomechanics (the study of how forces affect biological systems)to assess movement and provide specific exercises to help people move better. I know the femur (leg bone) moves in the pelvis and more importantly, I teach people how their own leg bone moves in their own pelvis.
When teaching biomechanics to others, I also teach proprioception.
Say what? Proprio-what?
Proprioception is an individual's awareness of where their body is in space.
As in my previous suggestion, move your leg while standing in front of a mirror. Do you know where your leg is if you move it out to the side? The mirror can show you but can you feel where it is without looking?
A couple weeks ago, I participated in a yoga therapy intensive training course. Forty hours to be exact! It has provided a crystal clear vision of how I help people. I use biomechanical processes to teach more presence and awareness in people's bodies.
Biomechanics + Proprioception
And what yoga therapy does is provide a targeted approach to compensation patterns that either enhance or hamper our movements.
This can and does happen in a group class but in a one-on-one session, yoga therapy can be used as a laser focus tool to bring conscious attention to what might be unconscious otherwise.
Lots to say. Lots I've learned in this training and I look forward to sharing more with you through my newsletter.
As I share, let me remind you, that I too am a student (for life!) Some of the work I did in the course provided many insights into my own body and movement as I became my own witness to what is possible with yoga therapy.
If this intrigues you, there is an upcoming opportunity to work with me over Zoom. Stay tuned for details to come.
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 private blog. ~Lisa