Try our balance challenge and see where you stand (pun intended). Try each move (1 added each week). If you can do it, move to the next. If not, keep working at it daily until you have it, then progress to the next challenge.
We are going to close out hip month by activating and lengthening our posterior chain with these 2 exercises.
In the month of November, we will be exploring our hips. Each week we will release 2 new exercise for you to try. Give it a whirl!
January is a time for goal-setting. With that in mind, I wanted to talk about the idea of rewards. Not the reward of doing something good for yourself (though we will touch on that as well), but more about the idea of rewarding yourself with something (think clothes, spa day, food, etc) for reaching one of your goals. While this seems like a logical way to get yourself motivated, it turns out the truth is as the title states…”You are not a dog” and this particular rewards system does not work for our species.
I know some of you have already started an internal argument with me. You may have had results increasing a good behavior or decreasing a bad behavior by using a reward as a shiny, gold, dangling carrot. This could be true, but let me ask you, how long did these changes last? Was it something short-term? Were you able to continue this changed behavior over the long-term? Are you motivated to continue?
While research still continues to pick apart motivation and change, there are some concepts that come up time and time again. For example, the idea that there are 4 main motivators. On one side people are extrinsically motivated, meaning they are motivated to do something for a reward or out of fear of a punishment. Close to this is an external motivator. These are the things you do because you feel you “should” and feel guilty when you do not complete them. On the other side of the spectrum we are looking at internal motivators or things that align with our values. Next to this are the intrinsic motivators or the things you LOVE to do, no real persuasion needed.
So the rewards I am talking about are those in the extrinsic category. These are the deals you make with yourself (“after I lose 10lbs, I can buy a new dress”) that involve a reward or punishment. This reward system has shown to increase the wanted behavior immensely in the short-term, but for long-term change, can actually hurt your motivation.
Let’s use exercise as an example. You hate running, but you made a New Year’s Resolution to “get in shape”. So you decide that for every day you get up and run, you get to buy yourself a fancy coffee. So you head out every morning and suffer through your 45 minute jog, distracting yourself with music, and thinking only of your coffee reward. After about 2 weeks, you decide it is not worth the coffee. It is too awful. So you start up your coffee pot at home, have a little session of self-loathing and resentment, and throw the idea “getting in shape” in garbage.
Now, let’s try this a different way. You decide you want to “get in shape”. So you decide to experiment with different ways of moving to see what feels best to you. You decide you love swimming. You love the silence in the water, the rhythm of the stroke, and the time away from your phone. You exit the water feeling energetic, calm, and ready to take on the day. You LOVE it. You can’t imagine starting your day any other way. That is the reward.
By taking the material reward away, you were able to focus on the things that were important to you. The things that aligned with your values. This was the reward for your changed behavior. When you added the reward in, that was your main focus. The reward undermined your intrinsic motivation and undercut the success of accomplishing your long-term goals.
So how do we connect with our internal and intrinsic motivation? Well, start by asking yourself why you want to accomplish a certain goal. What would change in your life if you accomplished it? Why are you making it a priority in your life right now? These questions will help reveal your values.
Now choose a step in the direction of your goal. Is there an easy step? Something that does not even feel like a sacrifice , something you may even enjoy? For example, say you want to move more, but you don’t really like exercise. BUT you do love spending time with your friends. Is there a way to ask a friend to join you on a walk or at the gym so that you can socialize and work toward your goal of being healthy?
If you can’t find a way to easily motivate yourself, take a look at your values. How do your values align with the next step toward your goals? For example, you don’t have a friend that can meet before work for a walk, but you value moving better and feeling healthier and those values align with the act of walking. So now, you are walking for your health, not just because you feel you should. This also leaves room for variety. Health could also be represented in a different movement, a mediation, or cooking a healthy meal. You are not committed to one activity in order to reach your goal.
So when you think about all you want to accomplish, first ask yourself why. Then get very clear about your values. Try to find something that you already like to do or is easy to do to start moving towards your goals. Then, move forward with your values in mind. Get rid of the material reward and let your accomplishment, discipline, and transformation to becoming who you want to be in this life be your ultimate reward.
Brenna sits down with Jon Robichaud from iKor Labs to discuss CBD. What are the benefits? How is it made? Is it legal? Take a listen to find out the answers to these questions along with more history on the industry, the high standards set by iKor, and if you could benefit from using CBD.
The Squat – it is the epitome of a gym exercise, the king move amongst gym rats, the foundational move for all athletes. Anyone can do a squat. It should be a no-brainer, right? Sorry, not so fast.
When we were kids, squatting was a part of life (think of the kid in the diaper who you know is doing his business because of the squat position he is holding). As we get older and we spend more time sitting and working and trying to squeeze in a workout here or there, the tighter our hips become, the more our squat goes awry. Once our hips have become off-kilter, the squat work we were hoping would sculpt our hammy’s and glutes is actually putting pressure into our low back, knees, and other vulnerable joints.
Focusing on the position of your pelvis and hips during a squat, can not only help you get stronger in the areas your are trying to target, but it can also help you retrain your hips into a balanced position. Watch this short video and learn how to squat to help you balance your pelvis, remain injury-free, and get the most out of your squat.
Brenna sits down with Dr. Elyssa Wright to talk about your brain on exercise. Listen to learn how you can tell which side of your brain is working better, how you can train your brain during exercise, and the importance of linking physical activity and brain activity.
Learn more about Dr. Elyssa Wright: https://www.bodyandbalancechiropractic.com
Brenna Backe sits down with Katharine Hauge, DPT to discuss low back pain, and specifically, the role the SI joint can play. They cover why the SI joint is so important, how an imbalance can lead to pain or injury, and how to differentiate between hip pain, knee pain, and pain caused by the SI joint. If you have ever had low back and/or hip pain, you will want to listen to this episode.
Brenna sits down with trainer and massage therapist, Ryan Tara to talk about breathing. Learn why and how you can control your mood with your breath, how and when you should breath during exercise, and play along as Ryan takes you through a quick and easy breathing exercise.
Yes, this is yet another blog post about how important it is for us to breathe. Why? Because we forget. We do breathing exercises for a few days, maybe a couple of weeks, and then what happens? Life, stress, and our daily grind get in our way. So consider this your public service announcement for breathing for good health.
Now, I know you are busy, so I will get straight to the point. Doing some form of breathing exercise can help you with the following:
- Stress Reduction
- Proper Organ Function
- Decreased Inflammation
- Better Sleep
- More Endurance, Stamina, and Energy
- Increased Flexibility, Tension Relief
- Reduced Spinal Pain, Better Posture
- Better Brain Function, Clarity
- Decreased Anger
- Strengthen the Immune System
- Promote Good Digestion
- Strengthens the Heart
You get the point, right? It is one of the best things you can do for your well-being.
So, let’s get practicing. Below is a video from my friend and amazing body-worker and life-coach, Emily Wishall. In this video she goes over a few different ways to use your breathe to help you achieve your goals. Whether you are trying to fall asleep or trying to gain some more energy in the afternoon, this 10-minute videos goes over simple exercises you can start incorporating into your daily life.
Also, check out Emily’s 10 Simple Steps to Jumpstart Your Day.