Preventative Medicine: Movement Assessments

Scheduling a Movement Assessment with a health and fitness professional should be part of your preventative, self-care protocol. More likely than not, this preventative protocol is not covered by health insurance…yet.

Health insurance won’t pay for prevention…

Rest assured, there is hope on the horizon. BlueCross of Western New York is offering a wellness option with a debit card program. The benefit amount is based on the plan selected and can be used at fitness centers, health food stores, and even for doterra essential oils! Wow, just wow. As a health and fitness professional, this makes me happy as it is a big step in the right direction! It’s a matter of time and I’m sure there will be more insurance companies following suit because of the many scientifically proven methods effective in health care. In the meantime, don’t wait until you are injured or in pain to do something.

Self-advocating and being proactive and preventative in one’s own health and fitness is something everyone can implement.

The importance of having a coach!

When I observe and screen for muscle imbalances, range of motion, limitations, balance, muscle recruitment, and joint range of motion, it gives me valuable feedback. There is a new level of intelligence with my clients and how they feel while moving in their bodies. That is priceless information that must be processed for healthy longevity.  

Assessments should be a continual process of refinement as the body changes. A set of personalized exercise programs should include corrective strength and flexibility exercises. This prescription is most valuable to health, disease prevention, and well-being when taken seriously and regularly. It’s not a replacement for medical care or a diagnosis, but it’s a guide to moving and living better.

Along with movement assessments, a look at nutrition is an integral piece of health within the body and mind and should be part of a health care regime. Food is medicine.

Different types of injuries:

I read a study early on in my career where they basically looked at the rotator cuffs of cadavers ranging from young to the elderly, and each one had some sort of tear or imperfection in the rotator cuff. That stuck with me as exercising the shoulder joint has always been a favorite. Everyone needs to be doing RC strengthening. Will it prevent an injury at some point? Maybe, maybe not. If not, perhaps it will lessen the severity of the injury. Shoulders start with posture. Poor posture and balance equal weak muscles, the perfect recipe for injury.

“Lesions of the rotator cuff (RC) are a common occurrence affecting millions of people across all parts of the globe. RC tears are also rampantly prevalent with an age-dependent increase in numbers. Other associated factors include a history of trauma, limb dominance, contralateral shoulder, smoking-status, hypercholesterolemia, posture and occupational dispositions. The challenge lies in early diagnosis since a high proportion of patients are asymptomatic. Pain and decreasing shoulder power and function should alert the heedful practitioner in recognizing promptly the onset or aggravation of existing RC tears.” (World Journal of Orthopedics)

Movement Assessments include all movement in the body.

Movement allows us to take on our daily tasks and athletic activities with confidence and energy.  

To move with an optimal range of motion, it takes a consistent strength program to resolve any imbalances we may develop. When our range of motion is altered by a major or minor injury, lack of activity, or disease, our muscles can become unresponsive and can lead to changes in structural alignment. It can be really frustrating to experience an injury only to have a subsequent injury impair us further. When a muscle is not being used, it becomes unresponsive to recruitment and other muscles may overcompensate. Love to be outdoors doing the things you love? It’s important to keep all our muscles moving with exercise and strength training indoors so we can play outdoors.

When I first started teaching, part of my training was to video record myself during movement classes. Football players, golfers, gymnasts, dancers, and most athletes use video feedback for movement assessments. Schedule a session today and get a true picture of how you’re moving!

Workout inside so you can play outside!

Kathy Dolan, ACE Fitness Pro, Health Coach, Personal Trainer, Yoga Instructor, is a self-employed business owner. Kathy Dolan is a master trainer with years of experience with the secrets to real results! You will find her teaching and training on the Class It Up Virtual Studio and writing health and fitness programs for clients of all ages. She enjoys spending time with her three kids whether it’s in the mountains or on the seashore. 

Step Off The Scale…Grab A Tape Measure

Especially if you are just starting a workout routine. You can lose inches, body fat, and gain muscle without changing the number on the scale and Jenn is proof of that! Muscle is much denser than fat and takes up less space. Think of 5 pounds of styrofoam vs 5 pounds of dry peas. Peas are lovely and so is muscle.

Build more metabolically active tissue to consume all those calories, even at rest. More muscle means better health and improved overall fitness levels.

Now back to my Rock Star Client, Jenn.  As we continue our journey, I just had to share her progress with you all. Below is from Jenn’s Facebook post. I know you have heard it before, but making lifestyle changes is a process. A journey of self-discovery. Jenn trains and meets with me once a week. Each and every week, we work on a piece of the new and improved methods for getting healthy and maintaining health. Our sessions cover Jenn’s workouts, macros, dietary plans, and the safety of each exercise in her program. Our assessments of lifestyle habits help to make behavioral, nutritional, and other changes that promote better health and overall wellness. We create custom-tailored plans for a well-rounded routine. I am loving getting to know Jenn and her adorable son (when he’s not at school). I am beyond excited to work with such an amazing soul!

Flex Friday!

Jenn’s Facebook Post

My body changed so much after 40 – especially w the baby, who is now almost six 😳- and if I had a nickel for everyone who told me as I surpassed 220#’s that I’d never get my body back, The Boy wouldn’t need a college fund – truly, I don’t really care about having a “body” anymore, I mean, I have a man who loves me at 200+#’s (thank you honey, @big_tom_otto ), but being fit and being able to keep up and get up off the floor easily and not have my knees and shoulders and elbows hurt all the time; this.

And having the energy to have a good attitude when things come up that would normally piss a person off; this, too. And knowing I’m making deposits into an account I’ll surely be withdrawing from when I’m 70, just like my retirement fund but for health, not wealth; this, three! But mostly, looking at myself and liking what I see looking back for the first time in six years; especially and unequivocally, that!

I don’t have time to pack a bag and go to the gym and work out and then shower and change and pack up and get back in the car to drive home or work or wherever…My feet hurt from shoes and I didn’t want to invest in another pair of pricy sneakers. I didn’t want to buy equipment or videos or any other dust collectors. I also didn’t think I could afford what I wanted, which was Oprah’s trainer and chef, (we’re being real here).

I wouldn’t trust anyone trying to sell me something here. And I know I can sound salesy when I believe in something. So. Hopefully, for Kathy’s sake, I haven’t lost you. But really. It’s not impossible, it’s not a gimmick and it’s not cost prohibitive if you’re already spending $$ on healthclubs and classes. In fact, it’s more cost efficient because it’s customized – all pfat, no filler 😜”

Consistency Over Perfection.

Remember, health and fitness is a journey. This is why taking pictures, measurements, and journaling are all forms of tracking progress. They can be very motivating when you’re having a hard day. Below is a text Jenn sent me along with some pictures after I suggested she go back to her before pictures. She was pleased to see that she had lost “back fat” and the timing of that was perfect.

“It’s such a mind game, ignoring the number on the scale; all that work and sweat and I still weigh what?! It took these pics lined up side by side for me to really see it. It’s working. In my own time, on my own terms, with what I already have. #mytrainerlive” -Jenn

Work on the following if you are an emotional eater or if you find yourself feeling up or down each time you step on the scale.

Work on becoming a conscious eater. Breathe and count to 30 before starting your meal. Slow down. Eating fast can contribute to poor digestion and a host of health problems. “Eating more slowly may be a crucial lifestyle change to help prevent metabolic syndrome,” said Takayuki Yamaji, M.D., study author and cardiologist at Hiroshima University in Japan.

  • Focus on real information about yourself like: I am feeling better about my food choices and moving towards a more authentic and healthy relationship with food.
  • Find other ways to measure your successes like how your clothes are fitting. Who cares if the scale is the same when you just lost an inch off your waist! Grab a tape measure. Balance your life.
  • Make health your main goal because what good is 10 pounds on the scale when you haven’t learned anything? New lifestyles habits will keep the weight falling off in due time. Be patience because the slower you take it off, the more likely it will stay off.

CONGRATULATIONS JENN! You inspire so many!

Kathy Dolan, ACE Fitness Pro, Health Coach, Personal Trainer, Yoga Instructor, is a self-employed business owner. Kathy Dolan is a master trainer with years of experience with the secrets to real results! You will find her teaching and training on the Class It Up Virtual Studio and writing health and fitness programs for clients of all ages. She enjoys spending time with her three kids whether it’s in the mountains or on the seashore. 

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Doing the Holidays Healthy

Doing the Holidays Healthy by Kathy Dolan

You have heard it many times: Most people gain 7-10 pounds over the holiday season.

It doesn’t have to be this way! You can enjoy all the holiday foods, goodies, parties and come out feeling amazing. Doing the holidays healthy doesn’t mean you don’t get to indulge!

Keeping the healthy balance starts with your mindset. So many have the all-or-nothing mindset which just sets you up for a lifetime of the yo-yo effect (aka ups and downs on the scale),  fluctuating body fat levels, and moods! Why torture yourself?

What is the “doing the holidays healthy?” For you, maybe it’s getting through the holidays without giving up on all your health and fitness gains! Maybe it’s feeling your best with energy and good health all season. Maybe it’s looking gorgeous in your little black dress for the company Christmas party or sparkling with good health celebrating New’s Year’s Eve with your kids.

What makes my clients succeed with year-round health and fitness training is the very same thing you need to do to maintain your healthy habits through your jolliness.

What is that one thing? Accountability!

Now, you are thinking you have to journal your food or track your calories? Nope. Train 4 times a week with me? Nope. Miles of cardio? Nope.

Accountability means setting a few loose rules or boundaries. Keep it real and honest. Heading into the holidays with a plan in place. Focus on how you want to feel during the holidays. Thoughts and feelings are our superpowers, so charge them up.

During Thanksgiving dinner, we can easily consume 3000 to 5000 calories so extra exercise is a must!

Here are a few tips:

Accountability

  1. Sign up for a Turkey Trot or a Turkey Burner Class
  2. Set a time to meet and walk the trail with your neighbor, sister, or friend.
  3. Book a few extra sessions with your trainer.
  4. Sign up for a contest like Doing the Holidays Healthy”  #Hashtag us and win free stuff!

Meal Planning

1) Plan on eating treats and sweets, but pick only the best foods that you don’t get all year. Don’t waste your calories on store bought cupcakes or the cheese and cracker platter. Savor your mom’s dressing, homemade cinnamon rolls, or dad’s prime rib. The foods that say holiday!

2) Portion Control.  Here’s my big tip: Eat a little of everything and a lot of nothing. ELF BITES. Elves are little wee creatures. LITTLE WEE BITES.

3) Eat small meals to avoid binging. Graze. There is always another gathering around the corner. Pace yourself.

4) Hydrate! For every adult beverage, match it with a glass of water. You will be so glad you did.

Watch the coffee beverages as they are as many calories as a meal. Stick to healthier drinks like vodka soda, bloody mary, or champagne to avoid the excess sugar of the season!

Move It (and dancing counts)

Every single chance you get to MOVE, MOVE. When you park at Costco, park out as far as you possibly can. Do 10 Minutes of cardio before you shower. Work the 10-minute abs while dinner is cooking. Sign up for early morning sessions with your trainer and get the heavy lifting done early. Put on your favorite playlist and dance like Richard Simmons, walk like Kathy Smith or run like Deena Kastor, even if it’s for 5 minutes. Set a timer and get up from your desk every hour and do 50 squats or pushups.

Focus on Family and Friends:  

The non-caloric soul food being served! It is said you hear the most when you are listening. So enjoy catching up with your friends and family. Enjoy these occasions and being around the people you love, not the food and drinks.

Here is The Instagram Hashtag Challenge:

Hashtag EVERYTHING that you do that is positive and healthy each day!

Start the train rolling with good vibes. The more you tag, the better you will feel! Look for health every single day and post a selfie of you working out, eating healthy, or setting an alarm clock to wake up and go to the gym!

The opportunities are endless. Get creative, not only will you inspire others with your healthy choices, you will get inspiration from others in the Doing the Holidays Healthy movement!

Have some fun! You CAN fill your newsfeed with MOTIVATION.  Choose Healthily!

Here are a few ideas to get you started and keep adding!

★Every day you got 8 hours of sleep

★Did a 10-minute workout

★Had a salad

★Intermittent Fasted

★Meditated

★Did Yoga

★Worked out

★Walked the dog

★Flossed

★Skipped the seconds at the buffet

★Did an act of gratitude

★Took a power nap

★Did a HIIT workout

★Parked in the furthest parking spot

★Focused on the family, not the food.

★Talked/chatted/called a friend

★Had a massage

★Had a healthy snack today

★Upped your workouts! Upped your intensity!

★Did an extra 5 minutes on the run

★Played charades at your next gathering

★Stayed hydrated

★Drank a protein shake after working out

★Had an extra serving of salmon

★Passed on the office donuts

★Had an ELF BITE OF ______ (Donut, See’s Candy, Cookies, Pie)

★Had an ELF size cocktail (1 glass instead of 3)

★Drank a glass of water between cocktails