want to go for a hike? Monday, Jun 8 2015 

simply fit hike 002“in a short stretch, I was reminded how diverse and unique our country is, and how our history is one built on triumph, tragedy, and a lot of walking.”  one of my clients(author’s aunt) introduced me to a new favorite book in which the previous quote was written. Jennifer pharr davis, in her book, Becoming Odyssa, describes her northbound 57 day hike of the 2,175-mile appalachian trail(AT).  I also read her current book, Called Again, where she describes her southbound hike of the same 2,175-mile trail.  you can look her up on wikipedia, watch her on national new’s interviews as well as the 700 club, read about her hiking records in national geographic and other hiking magazines and maybe hike with her in the blue ridge mountains through her blue ridge hiking company.  or you can hike with me and I can now tell you how amazed i am with this young author and that I stand in respect yet, not the least bit jealous of her achievements. but, she has motivated me and i would like to go hiking in the blue ridge mountains or somewhere on part of the AT but mostly here in all the amazing places Tulsa has for us to walk.  Tulsa has many great trails; one of my favorites is turkey mountain because its so convenient and easy to navigate.  you feel like you are out in the country away from everything yet around a bend there’s the beautiful skyline of our wonderful city, along with a gorgeous view of the Arkansas river—well currently since our 100 year rains in may.  it is a well kept trail, used by many—obvious by the full parking lot and smiling faces you meet. we have options at turkey mountain of short 15 minute walks or over an hour or two-hour hikes.  plus, the arkansas river paved trail runs along turkey mountain providing even more terrain to explore for “thru” hikers.   reading davis’ books will also teach you hiking words like “thru” with an obvious definition, but in my own words—not just in and out but all the way thru, to a distant destination. we have our own thru trail(not the least in comparison to the AT) that I know will take you as far west as sand springs or east to broken arrow.  reading davis’ books really does make me want to get out and walk, I don’t have the internal push or desire to set city, national or higher records. but, i do respect and am thankful for those like davis who do set records because her “work” demonstrates that “we can” move more.  she, along with other great athletes, show that the human body is far more capable than we give it credit in our daily lives.  she causes me to glean and reflect on the importance of movement in life at all levels and every age.  she causes me to want to move more and enjoy God’s creation every day, not just some days. we also have a wonderful library in our city where you can check out davis’ book.  I would enjoy hiking with you or working with you towards strength, endurance, balance, agility, flexibility, etc so you can get out and enjoy our city and all it has to offer.  you will learn about gait mechanics, tools like hiking sticks, proper footwear and feet care. some believe life’s issues, problems, and diseases could be improved, corrected or healed with more movement.  some also say our attitudes, thoughts, desires, goals, and priorities would also see improved change, and reflect a cleaner and healthier community.  check out the message in the following quote by davis,(actually on same page in same book as the above quote). “how different America would be if sixteen-year-olds received walking sticks instead of cars.”  I would like to add to her quote—“how different Tulsa would be if we at all ages walked more”. I encourage you to enjoy reading davis’ books and also to get out and go for a hike.

rib over pelvis Wednesday, May 6 2015 

laying on floor, looking up, raise your arms above your head.  now, check to see what your ribs are doing?  did your ribs lift off the floor? are the ribs in your back still in contact with the floor?

“drop your ribcage so that the lowest, most forward bony protrusion of your ribs is stacked vertically over the highest bony protrusions on the front of the pelvis.” (bowman, katy. move your dna, 2014)  

our ribcages surround several very important organs, along with being attached to our spine.  when the ribcage remains out of of alignment it makes sense that these important organs and spine are also misaligned from their intended positions and not able to function to their max potential.

throughout your day notice where your ribcage lies.  does it predominantly protrude or maybe is it tucked back too much.  just like correcting a bad habit takes committed practice throughout our day to discover, stop, adjust and over time conquer, so can correcting bad alignment.  if you discover you are habitually thrusting your ribcage or it is too concave then begin to pay attention and like correcting a bad habit do the same with bad ribcage alignemnt.  upon discovery return ribcage to where it should be along with checking your posture alignment.  is your ear over your shoulder joint, over you hip joint, over your knee joint, over your ankle joint?  over time checking these 2 points of reference,  front of ribcage/front of pelvis and posture/joint alignment, you can adjust your alignment to neutral.

“where is my ribcage/pelvis alignement and where is my posture/joint alignment”?  

sitting is not bad Monday, Nov 3 2014 

sitting is not bad, standing is not bad, running is not bad, running on a treadmill is not bad, sprinting is not bad, jumping is not bad….

all of these things are bad when used exclusively, repeatedly without variety. we are made to sit, to stand, to run, to sprint and to jump.

we are hearing “sitting is the new smoking”, —-but it doesnt need to be eliminated from our lives like smoking does. it just needs to be used along with standing; just as running should be done as well as walking, sprinting as well as jumping….balance, balance and balance and stretching…..
squatting is not bad either!!

we walked the 2014 tulsa run Monday, Oct 27 2014 

IMG_0469the 2014 tulsa run was unusually hot for October, a different path than in past, much more hilly, rewarding, frustrating, tiring, and invigorating. job well done tulsa!!! i walked with 3 friends. we didnt specifically train for this event. (actually those who are trained runners might find walking uncomfortable. hence, specificity of training.) i walk often, and i should walk more because i can. we should all walk minimum of 5 miles a day because we can. we were made to walk. you dont really have to train to walk, just walk(but i do recommend stretching and i wouldn’t recommend heading out on 15K race without some previous, consistent, long distant walking). maybe your form isnt correct, maybe your arms are too tight, hands too clinched, gait to short, chest to tight, hams too tight, hips too locked, feet turned in or out with each step, inhaling through mouth instead of nose, holding head in front of body instead of over shoulders. whew, there is a lot to think about when executing proper walking mechanics. but one thing so cool about walking is you dont have to think about all those things (and there are more). you only need to walk, and to walk and to walk and to walk. over time consistent walking itself will strengthen your body in many ways that some things somewhat correct themselves.(http://newsatjama.jama.com/2014/06/12/taking-steps-to-curb-limitations-from-knee-arthritis/) the one thing WE need to do is discipline ourselves to walk more and more and more(two things, stretch). begin at your pace, and walk a little more each day. if you are motivated by goals set realistic goals. if not, then just walk.

tulsa did great job with this run. obviously there were lots of people running. im certain there were lots of runners curious, especially in the beginning of the race, with lots of people who were already walking(me and my friends). although, our walking pace was not a stroll and actually a pace some joggers were keeping up with we were not speed walkers as that would require extensive training. we, or i should type for myself, i am a walker. i love walking. i like that we have a mode of transportation that almost every human can do without much thought. my hope is that you and i would begin to intentionally walk more, causing our cities to add more sidewalks, or grassy paths, or something so walking can easily become more an accepted part of our daily lives without really having to think much about it.

events like the tulsa run are for anyone who wants to participate. if you are a runner its doable with commitment of training. if you are a walker its doable with commitment of walking. if you would like to train for either the 2015 tulsa run or to walk it i would be happy to work with you. its a great event in a great city. to end let me share another 2014 tulsa run difference and great dissappointment. at the end of the race there were no quick trip chocolate candy bars, and this year i was hoping for a bite of good, dark chocolate:)

get on the ground, or floor Thursday, Sep 4 2014 

“i am too old to get on the floor”. is it because we are too old, or because we haven’t lately….?

sit cross legged on the floor or ground and stretch your piriformis(pf) muscle. switch legs in cross legged floor position and continue the stretch. can’t—ummmm, sit on couch/chair and place one foot on top of other thigh. hold for several seconds and repeat on opposite side. can’t—-ummmmm, come see me and i will show you ways to work slowly and get you sitting on the floor again. we can continue to get down and up off the floor. not only can but our bodies were made to sit on floor. sitting on floor and getting up without use of hands is associated with longevity of life. plus it does things like improve pelvic floor length, improve balance, increase flexibility in needed areas, and aid increasing strength of muscles, associated with reduced fat and improve breathing capacity. we were made to sit on the ground but your floor will do….

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(do not attempt this seated position at such great heights without much repeated practice of balance, stability and of course sitting on the ground or boulders.)

calf stretch, simply the best! Wednesday, Apr 30 2014 

the best flexibility exercise could possibly be the calf stretch….it may even be the best overall exercise ever. there are different ways to stretch our calves. i like this one(found through aligned and well) and also like it barefoot. you can roll a towel, use a half dome or like a friend of mine use a small, concrete pig statue; something that doesn’t move under your foot. place top of foot on object, keep knees and hips over ankles. leave heel on ground as in picture. walk opposite foot even or slightly ahead of dome/towel/pig. you will know where to place opposite foot by the amount of stretch. repeat opposite leg.  give it a try several times a day and  be your own judge. let me know if you think it’s the best.  check out 5 simple ways to avoid back pain at http://www.katysays.com if want to read more about this stretch.

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“break” “fast”, breakfast and moving Tuesday, Dec 10 2013 

I am about to “break” my “fast” from this blog. Due to move and life I’ve not posted anything in a long while.  But, as I perused the content of this blog, although some posts several years old, all remains current especially the “stories” of those who have had great success with exercise and movement in their lives.  Be encouraged by these stories and send me yours–I would love to post yours. It too will encourage others to move.  Along with moving and life this past year I have spent quite bit of time reading about and studying movement, alignment, the foot, the shoulder and other body parts along with the sum of those parts. Now it’s time to “break” my “fast”. Fasting is an excellent method of regenerating, reviewing and renewing. While resting, a fast interestingly produces energy along with increasing motivation to move. Our nightly fast from eating while we are getting much-needed/required sleep is healthy. We “break” that “fast” with breakfast which has been touted as the most important meal of the day.  Maybe that’s because it really is or maybe it’s because the norm for breakfast is that breakfast typically consist of more real foods than other meals in our generation’s history, or maybe it’s a direct result of the fast.  I am not a nutritionist(as my simply fit clients tire of hearing), so these are my assumptions drawn from experience, observation and lots of nutritional information.  I love breakfast.  It’s a fast(ha), easy meal which is easy to consume real foods—-whole wheats, butter, eggs, grits(my husband’s fav), oatmeal–make it steel and  you’ve got whole grains, yogurt, fruits and those are just a few “normal” foods that we all have been familiar with before shopping at any natural food store became so popular. I enjoy natural food stores but I was advised by a reputable “real” nutritionist at our local natural food store that everything on the shelf there is not always real, or whole, or unrefined or unprocessed. So, she said continue to read labels, be informed and be selective when shopping where ever you choose to shop.  (I love that we live in a country where we have freedom to shop where we want to)  As 2014 begins if you are not a breakfast eater I would encourage you to “break” your “fast” from not eating breakfast and try an experiment for yourself. You might join my daughter and I in making healthy new year’s resolutions such as moving more and eating better.  Experiment with “breaking” your “fast” by eating breakfast with the purpose of establishing proof for breakfast being the most important meal in your day. You might also experiment with adding more movement to your day.  Next December it would be encouraging to hear and see your results from your experiments.  And I would love to work, i.e. “move” with you this year.  Make your year one of simply eating real foods and simply moving real muscles/bones–yours.

alignment and posture—what’s the differrence??? Tuesday, Jul 23 2013 

in this blog im simply using posture and alignment interchangeably.  BUT while one can have somewhat good posture without good alignment, good alignment develops simply good posture. posture could probably be a best litmus for one’s health—-not Spinesaying it is, hence “probably”.  so, that means its “my opinion”. simply consider good posture verses bad. with either the following are all critically affected: balance, breathing, internal organ placement and function, bone development and morphing, muscle placement and function, external appearance such as confidence, flexibility, abdominal strength, ability to move, chronic pain, and the list is much longer even including calories burned.  it’s even said that with proper alignment of head back and chin down we might simply keep our youthful tight neck/chin muscles—-makes sense to me and wow, is that enough motivation to simply want good alignment.  it’s not about holding your shoulders up straight or sticking out your chest.  its simply about foot placement, knee flexion, pelvic floor lengthening, abdominal strength, shoulders relaxed, head placement, and eye contact.  simply check out june 6, 2011 and april 19, 2011 blogs about posture.  simply contact me for exercises that enhance and promote proper alignment.  also, simply realize that while you can exercise 3 times a week and achieve great results, with repetitive daily use of proper alignment you will simply achieve life changing results. and if you think you are stuck with what you have simply think again.  the body responds to where it is being placed daily, both by its surroundings and to simply repeat– alignment.

 

high heels, flats, tenny shoes or barefoot??? Sunday, May 26 2013 

i discovered katy bowman through continuing education I participate in to keep current in this ever-evolving field of the human body—not the human body but the field—ha!  is aerobics the right way, or is it anaerobic,  running,  walking,  high intensity training or short bouts several times a day—–will we ever have a straight answer to any physical exercise how-to-do-it-right concern????  i found a resource that actually does answer quite a few exercise questions.  it is titled Every Women’s Guide to Foot Pain Relief: the new science of healthy feet, by katy bowman, ms.  katy bowman is a biomechanist who teaches use of proper body mechanics for health. her book is not only easy to read but full of practical application along with preventative and corrective exercises that we all(men, women and children) can benefit from.  i have used many of her exercises for myself and in training clients.  i appreciate her work along with her desire for the general public to have useful information that can be applied “at home” or along with your own doctor, therapist or trainer’s help. you can purchase her book through the website www.alignedandwell.com,  amazon or like me, download it free through your library on your ipad, kindle or other electronic device. if you are a client(or my sister:)) this is a homework assignment—-let me know what you think—–

moms with young children don’t skip over this.  she provides critical and helpful information on how shoes hurt or help bone formation.

following are excerpts from provided from her blog with permission of use for bloggers:

Who should read Every Woman’s Guide to Foot Pain Relief: The New Science of Healthy Feet?

Women with foot pain. D’uh. And, woman with spine and sacro-iliac pain, low bone density, massage therapists, women’s health professionals, yoga, Pilates and exercise teachers, runners, and anyone interested in the body and human science.

Women whose feet feel fine. Because 80% of them will suffer from a pelvic floor disorder at some point in their lives. Then there are knee and hip surgeries. People who don’t want these ailments should know how their shoe choices and foot mechanics contribute to these situations.

Health professionals. The role of musculoskeletal alignment in health is well researched and well documented in scientific journals, but is not in the training of most medical and wellness professionals. This is continuing education.

Taking a break Tuesday, Feb 19 2013 

imagei just returned from a 7a.m. session with a client who was “worn out” from previous week of company and family events.  i commended her for her commitment to exercise by continuing to workout when she really wanted to take a break. by taking unnecessary breaks people often wake up 6 months later wondering how they stopped and then are discouraged by how much harder it is to get going.

 
Check out active rest blog, Friday, Jun 10 2011.
 
taking a necessary break is very much a part of lifestyle fitness.  breaks can be done in a variety of ways.  sometimes they need to occur within your workout and of course some times instead of working out.  ideas of “breaks” within a workout include  reduce time, reps and/or intensity. “rest  is good” and highly recommended within and at times instead of your workout

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