3 Secrets to Wellness Success
Have you been on the roller-coaster ride of health improvement wins and fails on your journey to wellness success? Do you notice that when what you’re doing works, your excitement, motivation, and results are amazing. And sometimes when it’s not going as well as you’d like, you find yourself screaming (on the inside) as you hit another loop-de-loop, and realize that you’re frightened more than focused; perhaps spiraling into self-sabotage, and may to not be setting yourself up with the best strategy for the wellness success results you really want?
Let’s discuss this in a little more detail, because I believe there are a LOT of different strategies out there that do work to help you reach your health and wellness goals. But there are also a lot of crazy, life-style unfriendly options that will never help you achieve the optimal good health you desire.
Being clear on what you want and making smart choices in how to get to your goals, is the difference between your next failure and achieving wellness success.
I believe there are “3 Secrets to Wellness Success.” When all three of these key action steps are put in place, it becomes much easier to gain momentum and get results. I’m going to use “exercise” as my example to explain this, but please note it can be ANY health-related goal and you can swap the words out and fill in the blanks. Whether it’s exercise, weight-loss, weight gain, improving sleep, lowering your stress level with meditation, controlling blood sugar levels, training for a marathon, competing in a triathlon, improving your golf game, or even a daily-life goal of climbing up the stairs without knee pain, or fear of falling! YOUR health goals are personal… and your ability to achieve wellness success hinges on your clarity of what your goals really are, and why they are important to you. Then we add in the 3 Secrets to Wellness Success, and start moving in the right direction.
3 Secrets to Wellness Success
I came up with the acronym M.O.V.E. when I was doing a radio interview with Chris Robrahn for the “Spirit of Fitness” program. I’ve been a featured guest for several shows over the past 3 seasons. You can listen to past Spirit of Fitness shows here. New programs are aired each Tuesday on the Church Broadcast Entity.
What does M.O.V.E. mean?
Muscles Only Value Exercise. That’s right, the only way to improve strength or flexibility of muscle tissue is to MOVE it! We can talk all we want about improving our health and fitness, but until we take ACTION, and get MOVING, we’re not going to see improvements that lead us to wellness success.
And just so we’re clear, in my opinion, it’s not about ripped abs, bigger biceps, or being able to get your nose to your knees. Maybe when you’re in your teens and 20’s that what you want, but ultimately wellness success is about better health, optimal function, and living in a pain-free body that has the strength and stamina to do what you want, when you want, without question or risk of injury.
- Pain Does NOT Equal Gain
I know phrases like “Suck it up Buttercup,” “Go for the burn,” and “No pain, no gain,” are catch phrases we’ve been told for years. But come on, how about a little common sense… PAIN is the only way that your body can tell you that there is something wrong. Your muscles, bones, and organs, don’t have vocal cords, or lips, they can’t speak to you directly. The only way to protect yourself, from hurting yourself, is to learn to listen, and respect what your body is trying to tell you.
And here’s another thought or two on this topic. If you always over-ride the pain signals your body gives you, and brag about what a high pain tolerance you have, congratulations… your body doesn’t trust you anymore. It knows that when something hurts and it tries to let you know, that you’re going to ignore it (until you can’t…) and at that point it’s a big fat major problem – like surgery, or the end of an athletic career, or the inability to work, or you’re no longer able to participate in activities you used to enjoy because you CAN’T… and things will never be the same again. How’s it going to work out for you to push for pain? Have you already experienced this?
Lastly, in Pilates we work to make the last repetition of every exercise the very best one, to leave our muscles with the memory of how to function correctly for whatever the task or movement pattern might be. IF you’re going for the burn and then keep pushing, there’s a 100% chance that the correct muscles are too fatigued to function and some other muscle group that shouldn’t be involved has taken over. You’re now training your brain and body to use the wrong muscles to do the work. Since it’s the last thing it did, your brain will remember how do to it wrong instead of right. What do you suppose this does to your potential risk of injury? Yep, you’ve just increased exponentially, the risk that sooner or later you’re going to get hurt!
Learn to work and play in a Pain-free zone! Sure it’s okay to feel some fatigue and to push your limits and strive to lift more weight; walk or run longer distances, or faster; try new exercises and activities. Just be sure that you’re tuning-in to what your body is telling you and learn the difference between pain and work, to stay healthy while you continue moving forward towards your wellness success goals.
- The RIGHT Exercises will Give You the Right Results
Let me reinforce this third secret to wellness success… The RIGHT exercises will give you the right results. Now there is one additional caveat here. The right exercises have to be done correctly! And sometimes that’s no small task. If you want to improve at a sport, you’re going to have to participate in that sport. But chances are, there are other cross-training exercises that could be added to your weekly workout program to help you improve your skill level and get results faster. You might be advised to seek the help of an expert to guide you in selecting the right exercises and understanding what you need to focus on to do them well.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had new clients come into the studio after being released from PT. I always ask them to bring in the exercise sheets from Physical Therapy so I can see what they’ve been doing and what has been recommended for their recovery. Usually patients get released from PT when their insurance money runs out or they stop making progress (and they’re told, “This is as good as it’s going to get!”). Most of the time, the exercises are good but the client’s execution isn’t helping them maximize the benefits. By adding a little more thought from a Pilates perspective to posture, breathing, body alignment, form, function, and muscle firing patterns, new levels of progress continue to unfold. I believe that “as good as it’s going to get” can be a never-ending continuous progression to excel and improve if you’re willing to do the work and have the right exercises in your training plan. If you’re comfortable where you’re at, you can continue doing what you’re doing to maintain your health.
If you are not getting the results you want, the exercises / action you’re taking is not congruent with the goals you have for wellness success. Take a closer look at your goals. Seek help and get a fresh perspective from an expert that can best guide you to shift your thinking to better align your actions and exercises with your goals to achieve wellness success.
We’re focusing here on Wellness Success, but these three secrets to success can be applied to anything and everything you want to accomplish in life. Whether it’s a healthy body, healthy relationships, or a healthy business. Take action and M.O.V.E in the right direction. Keep in mind that pain does not have to be a part of the equation – learn to listen to and respect your body. Use your intuition to help guide you to make great decisions that are congruent with your goals. Seek help when needed from an expert in whatever field is appropriate to assist you (Physician, Chiropractor, Massage Therapist, Kinesiologist, Pilates Teacher, Physical Therapist, Personal Trainer, Nutritionist, Sports Coach…). Remember, the right exercises and actions done correctly to the best of your abilities will always help you maximize results for wellness success.
Go forth and conquer your goals; keep these 3 Secrets to Wellness Success in mind, and apply them!
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