As you know by now, we have four pillars that we address when seeking optimal health: structure, emotions, environment, and nutrition. We are going to dive into the structural pillar, but remember all four are necessary.
When we look at physical fitness, we see a lot of variety. We have our friends who are deeply committed to hours in the gym, we have those who give a solid 30 minutes a day to weights and cardio, we have those who sporadically work out, and we have some who do not practice any type of physical fitness.
I believe we can all agree, though, that moving our bodies regularly is important to our overall wellness. This varies from person to person, but getting our heart rate up and building our strength is beneficial to everyone. Either extreme—hours of gym time or none at all—can be a hindrance rather than a help.
A common practice that I have observed is people focusing on a specific body part or two that they want to build…usually for aesthetic purposes. I’ve seen countless male patients with awesome jacked-up shoulders, and because they fail to strengthen the back as much as their chest, they end up blowing a shoulder due to the imbalance. I’ve seen women focus on tightening their abs and getting nicely sculpted arms but don’t strengthen their thighs and glutes and then have lower back strain and injury.
As with everything else health-related, we must think of the body as a whole unit working together. We cannot isolate body parts and expect our bodies to maintain a good balance. Growth needs to happen in a consistent way, and sometimes hiring a professional who understands whole-body balancing to set up a good workout routine is a great idea. You want to visualize, from head to toe, every muscle getting balanced use.
The other big missing link I’ve observed in my practice is how few of us are aware of fascia and the importance of its role in our strength and fitness.
What is fascia?
Fascia is the connective tissue that essentially binds our entire body. If we were sausages, our fascia would be the casing. Fascia is mostly made of collagen and encases our muscles, nerves, tendons, and ligaments. It connects our skin directly to the tissue under it. Fascia literally holds us together. It’s important and doesn’t get nearly enough attention.
Often when a part of our body experiences an injury, we focus on and treat that—whether it’s a muscle strain, damaged ligament, tendon, joint, or even a broken bone. What we generally neglect in the healing process is the fascia, which is usually also injured. If we don’t address proper fascia recovery, the injury will most likely become recurring.
We have one simple, easy product that you can use on the go to support healthy fascia that we have linked here. This is one of those “little changes” that can make a big difference!
So remember when addressing fitness as a part of the structural pillar:
- Focus on your body as a whole. Do not isolate body parts.
- Give your fascia some love!
What other pillars should be considered in our fitness goals? Click the links below to learn more!