Category Archives: Exercise Science

Randomised controlled trial of Alexander technique lessons, exercise, and massage (ATEAM) for chronic and recurrent back pain

via http://www.bmj.com/content/337/bmj.a884.full

Back pain is a common condition managed in primary care and one of the commonest causes of disability in Western societies.1 2 As yet few interventions have been proved to substantially help patients with chronic back pain in the longer term.

Supervised exercise classes—mainly strengthening and stabilising exercises—probably have moderate benefit for chronic pain.3 4 5 6 7 A trial of advice from a doctor to take aerobic exercise showed short term benefit for acute pain,8 but the evidence of longer term benefit for chronic or recurrent pain and for exercise “prescriptions” is lacking.9

Lessons in the Alexander technique offer an individualised approach designed to develop lifelong skills for self care that help people recognise, understand, and avoid poor habits affecting postural tone and neuromuscular coordination. Lessons involve continuous personalised assessment of the individual patterns of habitual musculoskeletal use when stationary and in movement; paying particular attention to release of unwanted head, neck, and spinal muscle tension, guided by verbal instruction and hand contact, allowing decompression of the spine; help and feedback from hand contact and verbal instruction to improve musculoskeletal use when stationary and in movement; and spending time between lessons practising and applying the technique (also see appendix on bmj.com).

The Alexander technique is thus distinct from manipulation,10 back schools,11 and conventional physiotherapy.12 The practice and theory of the technique, in conjunction with preliminary findings of changes in postural tone and its dynamic adaptability to changes in load and position,13 14 15 support the hypothesis that the technique could potentially reduce back pain by limiting muscle spasm, strengthening postural muscles, improving coordination and flexibility, and decompressing the spine. A small trial, not fully reported, showed promising short term results for back pain.16 We are not aware of a trial reporting long term results.

Systematic reviews and a recent trial highlighted the importance of research to assess the effectiveness of holistic therapeutic massage17 18 19; we particularly wanted to assess massage as it provides no long term educational element, in contrast with lessons in the Alexander technique.

We determined the effectiveness of six or 24 lessons in the Alexander technique, massage therapy, and advice from a doctor to take exercise (using an exercise prescription) with nurse delivered behavioural counselling for patients with chronic or recurrent back pain.

Read More . . .

Advertisements

Running is ready for a barefoot revolution

By Ted McDonald / April 19, 2010

via http://www.csmonitor.com/layout/set/print/content/view/print/295440

Seattle

In the weeks leading up to today’s Boston Marathon, ads near the finish line boasted of the latest high-tech – and expensive – running shoes, promising to help marathoners run better.

But what if the way to run better, feel better, and even live better is to run with no shoes at all?

Our ancestors moved over the earth, and found their way into nearly every nook and cranny of the planet, with their bare or minimally clad feet. The foot has been the primary vehicle of our success as a species, allowing us to fulfill our desire to explore, discover, achieve, and eat.

Yet, most people these days have come to see their feet as broken appendages, unfit for the real world, sickly and weak, prone to injury, in need of support and padding, doomed to suffer.

Why?

Well, arguably, we are the first generation of runners who have worked with the hypothesis that more cushioning and support equals safer running and reduced impact. We have concluded that modern surfaces, hard and unforgiving, require ever-thickening sole padding to help counter the shocks of landing, but is that true?

It is counter-intuitive, but the truth is – and studies back this up – that the more you block out the feeling of impact in your feet, the more impact you are likely to put into your body, at the wrong time in your stride, by moving and landing differently than you would if you actually felt what you were doing.

Have you ever wondered why you have so much feeling on the bottom of your feet, so much information sensing capacity? Well, one of its purposes is to feel impact and make changes in your stride to reduce it through form and technique.

Like race-car tires, the soles of your feet are supposed to feel the road. But putting an inch or two of foam, air, or gel between your skin and the surface of the earth dulls sensation. And this dulling seems to set in motion a series of unfortunate events that ultimately leads to inefficient movement and injury.

By taking off your shoes, you give your body a chance to reuse some amazingly useful, built-in systems that help you move in a way that need not be jarring nor pounding – regardless of the hardness of the terrain.

It’s a way of movement that more effectively captures and releases stored energy through elasticity in our bodies: the splaying of our forefoot, the arch in our foot, tendons in the lower legs, calves and quads, and form, all positioned ideally to absorb and recoil the energy of movement, smoothly and efficiently.

With barefoot running, your feet and mind are synced-up, communicating in real-time, by tapping into a kind of primordial physical intelligence, which is our birthright. This built in recoil system puts to shame the claims of the marshmallow soft, spring-loaded shoes that capture the imagination of so many.

So, why did we give up our state-of-the-art – and totally free – feet for expensive sneakers? What went wrong?

My hunch is that we got unplugged – detached – from our own bodies, from our own feet. That disconnect has led to gait patterns and running styles that are unique to a generation of runners. We are the first cohort in the history of the world to run distance with cushioned, high-heeled shoes. Such shoes have encouraged us to run the wrong way!

Watch barefoot youngsters run: They know how to do it. Small, quick, light steps, landing on the forefoot, all while keeping good posture. Now watch how some adults run these days wearing $150 sneakers: big, slow, heavy steps, landing on the heel, all while slightly hunched. Ouch. It is even painful to watch.

Our padded sneakers represent a case of the cure becoming worse than the ailment, the ailment being hard surfaces and tired bodies, trying to continue moving when the safe form of moving has exhausted itself and the feet and legs would normally protest about continuing.

Does it have to be this way?

Nope. Learning how to master the fundamental human capacity of running, sans shoes, is a lot easier than you think and does not require a purchase.

Simply take off your shoes and start listening to your feet, listening to your body, moving without internal hard edges, with flow. Focus on incrementally redeveloping your feet and lower legs, one step at a time, giving them a chance to feel the world and grow from interacting with it, learning from it. And become a student of your own body and of movement, share your experiences, learn, and be inspired by others.

Crack the nut of joyful movement in your own body, your own unique vehicle. There are lots of resources online to re-learn the art of running. Check out my web site, Barefoot Ted’s Adventures, along with links to my popular Google Group on Minimalist Running. Watch for a book coming out this week called “Barefoot Running” by Michael Sandler, with a special greeting by me. Read “Born to Run,” by Christopher McDougall.

The paradigm shift away from the over-engineered shoe is connected with other shifts in thinking about our bodies and being human. In your bare feet, you are more connected to your body, better balanced, more aware, mindful, present. Those characteristics are good qualities to mimic in your mental life.

The logic behind giving up your cushioned shoes is likely to travel to other parts of your life, getting you to give up other bad or less-than-the-best habits. You’ll see.

In this past generation, running has been primarily defined by performance and weight loss, driven by the desire to become healthy and happy, yet it often missed the mark with overly ridged training schedules and pushing through the pain.

Through barefoot running, you begin to find movement patterns that chime with your mind’s and body’s needs because you are listening to your body, tuned in. Running becomes more joyful, more meditative, healthier.

Becoming healthy in mind and body is an incredibly effective way to experience authentic happiness. And it can begin by simply slipping off your sneakers and moving freely.

Ted McDonald, aka “Barefoot Ted,” is an independent athlete, speaker, and barefoot running coach.

http://www.barefootted.com/

http://groups.google.com/group/huaraches

RUNNING AS AN EXERCISE – 1895 report

via Barefoot Ted’s Adventures

https://i0.wp.com/barefootted.com/uploaded_images/Robinson_Cruose_1719_1st_edition-785278.jpg

There is wonderful comfort in a bare foot, as everyone knows. Contact with the earth is healthful. And in summer, after a rain, or in the dewy morning, how refreshing a running foot-bath through wet grass! Even in winter a short run, barefooted, through the loose snow may be made perfectly safe for those who have taken the right training, producing a warmth and glow in the feet which will last for hours.

read more

The Workout The World Forgot

http://www.movnat.com/
MovNat = Move Natural / Movement in Nature / Movement for Nature

MovNat® is a philosophy and practice that empowers Zoo humans to experience their true nature.
Our true nature is to be strong, healthy, happy and free.

MovNat = Move Natural / Movement in Nature / Movement for Nature

The MovNat education program comprises the Natural Movement Coaching System® and the True Nature® Life Coaching.
_The Natural Movement Coaching System® enables people to make faster, safer and broader progress in the practice of natural movement.
The practice of MovNat is fully scalable and suits any individual regardless of experience, condition, or gender.

_The True Nature® Life Coaching empowers Zoo humans to experience their true nature.
The True Nature® program includes the Natural Movement Coaching System® and also addresses the rehabilitation of other natural patterns such as eating patterns, sleeping patterns, thinking patterns and other daily life patterns.

To learn more, visit http://www.movnat.com/

This video displays the most natural expression of MovNat and is designed to be inspirational.
It does not encompass all aspects of natural movement training nor explains the MovNat coaching method.

MovNat video “Explore your true nature”
Natural movement: Erwan Le Corre, founder of MovNat.
Location: Corsica island, France.
Filmmaking: Timothy Kahn.
Music: Tryad http://www.tryad.org/
“Waltz into the moonlight” and “I see”.
Thanks to Tryad for their wonderful music!

Top ten ways to become a better runner and a better person. Simultaneously.

Top ten ways to become a better runner and a better person. Simultaneously.

via http://www.elephantjournal.com/2010/09/10-spiritual-lessons-from-running-barefoot-angela-raines/

1.  Get naked. Big, padded, expensive running shoes often cause more problems than they solve.  We run best when we let our bodies operate in as natural a condition as possible.  It’s all too often that we let our remedies become our maladies.  Starting from a more natural, authentic place is usually the best way to go, in your exercise routine, love life, or spiritual pursuits.
2.  Have fun. The Tarahumara, a tribe of legendary ultramarathoners, smile huge during the hardest parts of the race. We all do our best when we’re having fun. Notice and nurture what you enjoy, and pour a little whimsy into the hardest parts of your day.
3.  Get devotional: The Hopi and Navajo do ritual running as a prayer to give their own strength to those in need. What greatness could you achieve if you were devoting yourself to something greater, if you weren’t doing it all for your own ego?
4.  Get compassionate: While marathoners are often cutthroat, ultramarathoners, who run four times that distance, are shockingly generous, often helping eachother along the way. We seem to actually perform better when we’re cooperatively, not combatively, competitive. Compassion is far better fuel than greed.
5.  Get egalitarian:  While men trounce us ladies in sprints, longer distances completely equalize this difference. Aging also impacts distance running far less than it does most other sports. According to the theory that we evolved in running packs, it was important that women and elders kept up with the group on a hunt. Elders were given particular respect since they had the know-how to track animals, something that takes the better part of a lifetime to master. We post-moderns cherish the ideal of equality and respect for all — isn’t it stunning to consider that this respect might be an ancient birthright, that even helped us survive as a species?
6.  Speak your mind: Communication was essential between members of the hunting pack to ensure they were tracking the right animal. Our ability to relate to each other is nothing without our willingness to communicate. What can you contribute to your tribe by speaking up?
7.  Get imaginative:  There comes a point in tracking an animal, McDougall claims, where following isn’t enough, and you must begin anticipating its next move. This need for anticipation might well have led to our greatest gift of all, imagination. Our ability to look across a plain and envision a city, our ability to listen to silence and hear poetry, is what makes us quintessentially human. This capacity drives all creativity, and propels us into an ever more complex future. Celebrate your imagination, and use it wisely.
8. Get free: It’s awfully hard to run long distances weighted down by physical possessions — or emotional baggage, for that matter. Running light is the way to go, for your finish time and your soul.
9.  Get Zen: Jenn Shelton, one of Born to Run’s most colorful characters, explains why she started running ultramarathons:
I thought, man, if you could run 100 miles, you’d be in this Zen state. You’d be the f@#king Buddha. Bringing peace and a smile to the world. In my case, it didn’t work.  I’m the same old punk ass as ever. But there’s always this hope that it’ll turn you into the person you want to be. You know, like a better, more peaceful person. And when I’m out on a long run, the only thing in life that matters is finishing the run. For once, my brain isn’t going ‘bleh bleh bleh bleh.’ Everything just quiets down, and the only thing going on is pure flow.
I’ve found a certain clarity during runs when I can get myself to stop resisting the pain and just be. It’s raw and real and just as meditative as anything I’ve experienced in a zendo [meditation hall].

10.  Get fearless: We’ve developped a strange phobia about running over the last few decades that McDougall finds preposterous. Running, he claims, “gets the machine operating the way it should be. End the baloney, the hysteria about running, that it’s dangerous — ‘Don’t do too much! Don’t take your shoes off!’ — Regain the use of your legs, get the engine off the block and running how it should be, and your whole bodymind will run more smoothly.” I don’t kow about you, but I make my biggest mistakes when I let fear paralyze or hypnotize me, and I’m at my best when I’m living courageously, heart at full throttle.

Links

The Connection Between Stress and Weight Gain

Beat Stress, Weigh Less

The Connection Between Stress and Weight Gain
— By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor

via http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellness_articles.asp?id=1482

These days, it seems that everyone is stressed. We all have too much to do and too little time to do it. Times are tough, money is tight, and deadlines are imminent.

What happens when you’re stressed? You tend to eat more, sleep less, skip the gym and feel rundown. Additionally, stress is linked to a number of illnesses, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and an increased risk for cancer.

No wonder so many of us are gaining weight. A study in the July 2009 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology studied stress related work demands, difficulty paying bills, strained family relationships, and depression or anxiety disorders in a nationally representative group of 1,355 men and women for more than nine years. The overall result? Men tend to gain weight when unable to make decisions at work, learn new skills job or perform interesting job duties. More types of stress affected women’s waistlines, according to the study. In addition to weight gain associated with financial problems or a difficult job, women also gained weight when dealing with strained family relationships and feeling limited by life’s circumstances. Overall, this study found that people who reported increased stress gained more weight if they already had higher body mass indexes. In other words, if you’re overweight already, you’re even more likely to gain weight when under stress.

Click to read full article

Ageless Mobility – Scott Sonnon

Ageless Mobility Part 1

Ageless Mobility Part 2

Ageless Mobility Part 3

Ageless Mobility Part 4

Ageless Mobility Part 5

Intuflow Joint Mobility

Intuflow Joint Mobility Beginner Part 1

Intuflow Joint Mobility Beginner Part 2

Intuflow Joint Mobility Beginner Part 3

Intuflow Joint Mobility Beginner Part 4

Intuflow Joint Mobility Beginner Part 5

Intuflow Joint Mobility Beginner Part 6

Bust Your Bad Mood with Exercise

Use Fitness, Not Food, to Change Your State of Mind
— By Jason Anderson, Certified Personal Trainer

from http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/articles_print.asp?id=1276

<!–

SparkPeople Sponsors help keep the site free!

–>Some days, I am just in a mood. I don’t know what you call it, maybe stressed, bored, lonely, angry, sad, anxious, or tired. I call it “getting into a funk.” When it happens, I have allowed my circumstances to dictate my attitude and my thinking and then—bam! Before I know what hit me, I’m in a full-blown funk. While I like to exercise when a bad mood rises, others turn to unhealthy habits like emotional eating or smoking. When you’re upset, stressed or otherwise not feeling like yourself, exercise—and the mood-enhancing endorphins it produces—can be the best thing for you. Don’t you believe me?

The next time you feel that mood coming on, identify what you’re feeling and why. Are you bored because your best friend is out of town? Are you feeling lonely since the kids have left the nest? Or maybe you are stressing over finances. Whatever it is, pinpoint it. Then use the specific ideas below to bust your bad mood with a feel-good exercise prescription.

Your Mood: Angry
Your blood is boiling! You want to take this anger out on someone before you explode!
Mood Busting Exercises: Kickboxing, boxing, shadowboxing, or martial arts.

Whether you follow a kickboxing video or take a group class, you’ll release anger with every punch, kick and jab. Imagine the target of your anger as you do a set of 12 front kicks! Besides getting your anger out you’ll blast calories with these cardio workouts. Any form of martial arts, often overlooked as a form of exercise, will also work. Besides actually making contact with pads, targets, and shields (a major stress and anger releaser!), you’ll gain gaining confidence, discipline, and focus.

Your Mood: Bored
You’re stuck in a rut and want to do something interesting, but you’re not sure what.
Mood Busting Exercises: Spinning class, step aerobics, or a new fitness DVD
Beat boredom (without food) by taking a high-energy Spinning class at your local gym. Set to great tunes, you’ll be surprised how quickly an hourlong class flies by. Step aerobics is another great workout when you’re bored because it’s always changing. You have to concentrate on the choreography—sort of like learning a simple dance that involves a step. You’ll build skills and feel really accomplished when it’s over! Lastly, head to the library or video rental store and pick up the first workout DVD that looks interesting to you. Do it at home or invite a friend over to try your newest exercise venture!

Your Mood: Lonely
When you feel lonely, throwing a pity party for one will only make it worse. Sometimes the best thing for you is to get out and socialize.
Mood Busting Exercises: Any group fitness class

Exercising with a group of people who are all following the same routine and all have similar goals can really make you feel like you’re a part of something bigger than yourself. No matter what type of class you choose, there are plenty of reasons why group classes are so popular: They offer social support, a friendly environment and an opportunity to meet people who have similar interests.

Your Mood: Depressed
Depression is no joke. Millions of people suffer from depression that is debilitating and emotionally painful, but exercise is scientifically proven to help treat depression. While finding the motivation to take the first step is the hardest part, the right activity can help.
Mood Busting Exercises: Outdoor walking, biking, or running

There’s something restorative about nature. Getting outside to breathe in fresh air and admire the scenery can make a world of difference in your perspective. Plus, regular exposure to sunlight can boost your mood and ward of seasonal depression, too. No matter what outdoor pursuit you enjoy (think outside of the box and try canoeing, climbing, or team sports, too), moving your body can help improve your outlook and symptoms.

Your Mood: Stressed
We’re all busy, often taking on more responsibilities than we can handle. When life gets crazy and you want to throw in the towel, you can wind down without giving up on your obligations.
Mood Busting Exercises: Mind-body exercises like yoga, Pilates, or Tai chi

Mind-body exercises take focus, patience, and attention. Because of the complexities of maintaining the correct form and breathing, which connects the mind and body, it’s almost impossible to think about your to-do list while you’re in the middle of a good yoga or Pilates class, for example. The quiet, meditative atmosphere in these classes (and videos) allows you to tune in to the present moment—something that the overly stressed should do more often! If you’re thinking that you’re too busy or overwhelmed to try a class, then take advantage of short video workouts that are often broken up into 10- to 30- minute segments.

Have you ever finished a workout and thought to yourself, “I wish I hadn’t done that! I really just wasted my time.” Probably not. Chances are you feel better physically and mentally. Regardless of your funk, exercise can be a useful tool to get you back to bust your bad mood and get back to your normal self. What are you waiting for?

<!– Article created on:  2/10/2009 –>