Sarah Healy physiologist and columnist unpacks the myths about exercise and gets straight to the point!
Extra flexible people are double jointed – Nope, not a thing in humans.
Joints can be hypermobile, but there are definitely no extra joints in there! In fact, hypermobility features joints that easily move beyond the normal range expected for that particular joint. Which can be very handy for the contortionist and party trick, but alas, not an extra joint in sight!
You need to wear ACTIVEWEAR to exercise – Definitely not.
Anything comfortable to move in will work. I’ve been known to get a few exercises done before breakfast in my PJ’s, so no judgement from me! We know everyone loves a good lycra but its about movement not lorna.
When you ride with a group you must stop for coffee – full disclosure, I used to ride in a bunch and more often than not we stopped for a coffee, but I’m just saying you don’t have to.
You need to be fit to attend an aerobics class (now known as group exercise classes) – the class is how you get fit not the other way round. Stand up the back, do what you can, adlib the rest.
If you have a sore knee, treat the knee – nope.
Remember that song “the hip bone is connected to the thigh bone, the thigh bone is connected to the knee bone…?” Well, when one area of the body hurts, it is often also influenced by another area. It’s amazing how often my clients with chronic shoulder pain have low back pain as well. Treating one specific area doesn’t address the rest of what is going on in there!
Our bodies are very good at compensating and finding the easiest way to do something. If we can’t squeeze our shoulders back, we’ll arch our lower back by tilting our hips to create a similar movement. This compensatory action can create strain or overuse of the lower back muscles.
If you’re not losing weight, your exercise isn’t working – WRONG.
There are endless benefits to exercise, and I will gladly list a few for you – improved heart health, lung health and mental health, decreased the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, many cancers. Regular exercise reduces the inflammation in your body, decreasing strain inside and out. There is more, but I have a word limit, you get the point though.
Want to get in touch with Sarah and find out more about healthy healing? This inspiring human can be found HERE.
When one sits down to write a description about Australian superstar Kim Morrison sticking to a word count can be tricky.
It’s not about waxing lyrical, the woman is quite seriously next level authentically inspiring.
The gorgeous health & lifestyle expert is a keynote speaker, founder of Aromatherapy company Twenty8, a world record breaker for youngest female to run 100miles in less than 24hours, a CAM Therapist ..and we have run out of word count. Seriously. You can imagine our delight when Ponderings got to share Kim’s insights.
We share with you Kim’s Guide to Self Care.
Good health and wellbeing doesn’t happen by itself.
Sure, there are some people with genetics to die for who seem to be able to eat, drink and do anything they like.
But we all know a lack of self-care soon catches up.
The reality is good health isn’t just about how you look – it’s about how you feel and most importantly having awareness.
With so much overwhelm the key is to keep it simple.
Get back to basics. And above all do not believe everything you read, see or hear.
For example, will a cream honestly eradicate wrinkles in seven days? Does a chocolate spread on white bread really seem like a healthy sandwich for your children? Will eating meat make your baby like Einstein?
To be healthy and happy there are three main areas to address. The mind, the body and the skin. Every small but essential decision you make can affect your health.
For example, it is a known fact that most women expose themselves to over two hundred chemicals a day through their personal care products alone. Frightening when you think about the products you also use around your home, what’s in the environment and the foods you eat.
But regardless of how many fads, diets, ingredients or varied opinions there are some self-care basics that most holistic health therapists, experts, coaches and scientists generally agree on concerning self-care.
The list may seem pretty straightforward, even basic, yet many struggle to adhere to it.
Choose whole, real and natural foods over refined, processed ones.
SLOW eating is not a phenomenon – eat seasonal, local, organic and whole where you can.
Aim to eat a combination of fresh vegetables at each meal.
Reduce your sugar intake, including raw treats.
Drink plenty of clean water each day.
Look after your gut, fermented foods can be a wonder food for many.
Supplement wisely, know what you are taking and what you need it for.
Move your body regularly and include exercise that raises your heart rate for at least twenty minutes, aim for three times a week.
Include weight bearing and strength enhancing exercise this could be yoga, the gym, even incidental exercise like maintaining your home with housework and gardening.
Rejuvenate your mental and physical health with good quality sleep.
Manage your stress levels, know when to ask for help.
Practice mindfulness, take a moment at least a few times a day with meditation, being present and awareness.
Practice simple daily self-care rituals using essential oils, like a lavender bath, a lemon and pine inhalation, spritzing with frankincense or diffusing oils like neroli, chamomile, orange and geranium for a stress-free environment.
Let’s face it – being healthy can be simple if you just get back to basics and tap into that incredible innate intelligence that knows what is best.
In summary, eat food as close to its natural source as possible, do some form of functional exercise at least three times a week, make sure you look into those ingredients present in your food and skin care products and most of all practice kindness with daily self-care rituals incorporating essential oils that will help you to switch off and recharge.
Kim has recently announced her launch of the Essential Self-Care Workshops in Australia. These are first of their kind, addressing the needs of busy people in need of so here is your chance to create the space for some much needed – craved – time out!
In these magical weekend workshops you will learn how to:
Eliminate toxins from your environment and use essential oils safely and effectively for health, healing, happiness and relationships. Know which oils are best in times of stress, anxiety, depression, weight-loss and overwhelm. Get educated about foods impacting the ageing process and manage stress so you don’t suffer burn out.
Workshop one is The Larwill Studio, 48 Flemington Rd, Parkville Melbourne 26th-28th April 2019. Click here to book.
Workshop two is at Perricoota Vines Retreat Echuca Moama on the 18th to 20th October. You can book by clicking here, and don’t forget to enter discount code “liz” to get $50 off.
“By lighting that inner spark you can BE, DO and HAVE everything you imagine! And, if you do take the leap of faith, I promise we will help you find your wings on the way down!”
These days, there’s a lot of hype about organic, raw food.
But is it really all it’s cracked up to be? It sure is! There’s a reason naturopaths and the health conscious are paying more attention to how they prepare and cook their produce. It all comes down to a phytonutrient called bioflavonoids (also known as flavonoids). These are mainly found in the natural pigments that give fruits and vegetables their vibrant color. Flavonoids are decomposed over time, and this process is accelerated by cooking. This is why “fresh is best” is more than just a catch phrase. It’s imperative for getting the most from fruits and vegetables.
Some of the best ones are Quercetin which prevents seasonal allergies, Rutin which helps ease bruising and other bleeding abnormalities, Apigenin which may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer and anthocyanins which has potential eye benefits.
These magical disease-fighting machines can be found in most fruits and vegetables but as a general rule, the more colorful the food is the higher its bioflavonoid component. Foods that are blue or purple like blueberries, blackberries and red cabbage are very rich in flavonoids. However, they’re also found in dull colored foods such as onion, garlic and buckwheat. The best news of all is, red wine and dark chocolate are full of flavonoids too!
The bad news is that cooking can decompose the flavonoids, leaving your fruits and vegetables drained of their nutrients.
The way to tell if your food is losing nutrients is by its color. Your food is losing its phytonutrients if its normally vivid colors start to fade while being boiled or cooked.
The more fresh fruits and vegetables are the better. If you look at the cultures that live the longest, their cuisine celebrates fresh, locally grown, seasonal ingredients rather than the imported and packaged. For example Japan has the highest life expectancy in the world. Chiyo Miyako just died last year as the oldest person in the world at 117 years old.
We can also be wary of how we prepare our food.
The skins of fruits and vegetables are often where the flavonoids are concentrated. So, to help retain the flavonoids, it is better not to cut up fruit, which damages the skin, until you are ready to eat it.
We don’t all have the time or the means to grow our own produce or the money to buy organic food from health stores. This doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t get the most out of our fruits and veggies. Little things like cooking veggies and cutting fruit less can ensure we’re getting the most flavonoids food has to offer. Healthy is being mindful.
As a naturopath, I am so passionate not just about helping people get balanced and healthy but also education.
So many people I meet don’t know about bioflavonoids. Many are not sure how to practise healthy eating habits that keep these valuable sources of nutrition in tact, it’s all about getting the most from our food. But it is also about identifying when you are lacking them as well so you can remedy the body and bring it back into health.
Susan Byrne is absolutely passionate about health and wellbeing with a focus on people being empowered and lifted in the knowledge that they are healthy and happy. Susan specializes in women and children’s health. Susan has over 20 years health experience and in-depth qualifications in Nutritional Health, Herbal Medicine, Supplementation and Flower essences including a Bachelor of Health Science, Dip. Herbal Medicine and Dip. Nutrition as well as being a member of the NHAA. She is a well known public speaker on Naturopathic subjects and is an advocate for women’s welfare. Click here to speak with her about your health needs.
What’s the difference between a professional and an expert?
The person who not only has impressive qualifications but has walked the walk and speaks from experience. Bravery comes in many forms and sharing a personal story that may in some way help another is a type of courage we love at Ponderings. We welcome one such person: Sarah Healy- Health Professional and life changer.
Here’s a discovery that may help you on your journey: exercise helps to reduce anxiety but how do we put it into action? I can speak from experience, and I want to share this with you.
I’m an Exercise Physiologist, and up until recently low and behold I had a fear of exercise.
Sounds ridiculous right? I started to avoid exercise, feeling anxious and using every excuse under the sun to resist. I used pain and injury as my excuse. My clients come to me with pain and injury, and I give them exercises to help.
I wasn’t always this way, but I have for a very long time identified myself as an injured person. I remember going to a chiropractor as a gymnast at ten years old because I was experiencing back pain and that continued through years of gymnastics, competitive aerobics (never was very good at that fake smile), track cycling and anything else I could try.
After having my first two children, my anxiety levels were through the roof.
Sometimes just the thought of going for a walk or a ride would stir up pain in my back and knees. Back spasms weren’t uncommon, and I feared it would be too debilitating to feed and carry my babies. None of my pain or injuries were severe, but my anxiety would cause tension, and that tension and memory of pain would bring on more pain and panic.
Stress or anxiety causes a stress response, fight or flight. Chronic anxiety can lead to hyperstimulation, even if the threat has passed, leading to headaches, tight and painful muscles and general aches and pains.
I was anxious about exercising, not exercising, having injuries, having pain, putting on weight; afraid people would think that because I was injured, unfit, in pain and overweight I wouldn’t know what I was talking about professionally.
I didn’t initially realize that my anxiety was increasing my pain.
It was when I noticed it in a family member that was experiencing pain always just before the same event and always less when away on holidays that it finally linked for me. I was also very aware of what I was missing out on with my family when my husband would take the kids for a walk or ride, and I wouldn’t go. I was missing out on so much. I was determined not to identify myself as an injured person. It wasn’t the exercise as much as wanting to move daily as part of my routine, wanting to move and not thinking about it so much.
The mental aspect of pain is so incredibly powerful that you can experience higher levels of pain just by receiving an MRI diagnosis than compared to those with the same injury but without MRI investigations. You are not your MRI; you are not your diagnosis.
Countless studies have identified the benefits of exercise for the symptoms of anxiety so I was well aware that exercise could help me too. Where I stumbled was the very thought of exercise was making me feel anxious. I needed to reduce the fear of exercise and the only way I could do that was also to reduce my fear of pain and injury. If I was to try exercising I needed to be calmer and accept that if I was to feel pain during or after my session that would be ok. My pain was not an emergency.
New neural pathways were needed in my brain, to bypass my routine response of ‘oh no I’m about to exercise and make all of my injuries and pain worse!’ Who would create those pathways? Me.
I would meditate and imagine my body relaxing, my muscles relaxing and when I started to add more exercise, I would treat myself like I would treat my clients (I know right? Who knew?) As therapists we are so good at helping others we often neglect ourselves!
I went back to basics but also changed things up because with different exercises or environments I was less likely to predict a movement that would cause me pain.
A local ‘Ninja Warrior’ gym was one I tried. Ninja training meant fun climbing rope ladders and monkey bars and flipping tyres, the time would fly by. It didn’t feel like a workout, and I gradually started to trust my body again and not obsess over little niggles. Activities I did not even consider through fear of pain and debilitation were now an option.
Muscle fatigue and pain from exercise, the ‘good pain’ -I don’t fear. I love the feeling of my body reminding me I have put in the effort. I have enjoyed welcoming that feeling back into my life.
Please find movement that you enjoy even if it takes you years and many trials to work it out. ASK FOR HELP from physical and mental therapists. Meditation and mindfulness are such powerful tools too. I have learned to believe I can heal and if I do experience pain, I can relax with it before panic makes it escalate. I have even recently started playing Gaelic Football, it’s not easy, I haven’t run in years but its fun, so much fun.
We are blessed with so much choice here in Australia, take advantage of that. It doesn’t have to be an organized sport it can be hiking to a waterfall, swimming, a circuit with a group of friends, walking your dog on the beach, street orienteering (it’s a thing, look it up, it can be fun) Moreover, if that means being the slowest on a Gaelic football team and sitting on the bench for the finals than do it and cheer as loudly as you can. At least then you’ll have a reason to train.
I can’t say that my anxiety is gone, but it has diminished.
There were a few anxious tears before the first few Gaelic training sessions, could I do this? What will others think of me? I’m too heavy, slow, uncoordinated? However, each time I attended those sessions, it would get easier to tie up my boots and go.
So why am I sharing my story with you?
Because for someone with anxiety you can feel very alone with your experience. You agonize over every detail and can become very focused on your own story and worries. Once you start to open up, you realize your story is not that different from so many others. I have learned so much from everyone that provided me with the tools to help myself, and I have continued to research more so I can help my clients get back their joy in movement.
Want to get in touch with Sarah and find out more about healthy healing? This inspiring human can be found HERE.
About Sarah Healy:
Exercise Physiologist – AEP AES ESSAM | Bachelor of Applied Science – Human Movement |
Graduate Diploma – Exercise for Rehabilitation | Cert IV – Training & Assessment
An Exercise Physiologist with over 13 years of experience and has been employed in the sport and fitness industry since 1996. Sarah works with individuals experiencing pain, musculo-skeletal injuries, posture/muscle imbalances and those that have developed anxiety relating to exercise and movement.
Hard working people, fun people and people with awesomeness dancing in their soul like Michael Jackson on crack have smelly feet. It is a fact.
Truth is I do not own many pairs of socks. They don’t like us here. I like bare feet. Bare feet and a nice Jimmy Choo do not mix. Neither do Kmart boots. Just saying. Information is information.
Polished floorboards and a soaring roof glide above like a church cathedral, of glass angles and the smell of the ocean is drifting through the wide open doors. It reminds me of my old ballet haunt. My children are laughing at some random joke they made, most likely inappropriate and just out of ear shot. He walks in and kisses me on the cheek, asking how many goals I kicked today. A little warm and fluffy ewok like animal otherwise known as my Dog licks my ankle. My heart gets big. So big it feels like it will take off like hot air balloon right out of my chest and my eyes start to water. It is too bright in here. So much light.
Will it leave?
Will it last?
Maybe that is not an ewok licking your ankle darling maybe its the black dog? He is here to ask you Who Do You Think You Are. You Cant. People Will Say Things. People Will Poke At You. Be Smaller. Cmon Turn Down the Volume on that Light. That Little Light That You Let Shine. No, surely not.
Fear knocked and the door, faith answered, and no one was there. Ah ha, I remembered we aren’t mates anymore.
There is a place we call cuppa snuggles. It is the time when all the ODonnell women folk make a cuppa and jump on my king size bed for gossips and chats, laughter and silly reminiscing. Remember the time Nanna spat her teeth out? What about that time we ransomed the dog for chocolate biscuits?
Her and I stand and look at the ocean together and smile, it is happening. It is really happening. We spoke of this, we whispered about this place when we were smaller. When the world was big.
Mum, why can’t you?
I am so sorry, but I am really tired, it has been a big day, and I am a bit dizzy.
You have time for other people, but not me.
No sweet child, if you only you knew. All my love goes to you and your siblings. I do what I do for you. Your smile makes me breathe, and your heart is my treasure to protect. The universe gave you to me, and now I must give me to you. It is written in the stars and in our biology. We have been friends for eons you and me.
When they are so small and tiny they need you; when they are big and independent, they need you. Balancing…on a budget
I haven’t heard from you; you sound really busy. Things must be going well. You must be doing alright if you are in Point Lonsdale now, business is good huh? Its a bit far away from the go-to people in town though isn’t it? Oh well, each to their own.
That is correct.
Is this a hairdresser? We need a hairdresser. I do hope you are useful here.
No, its a wordsmith agency of awesomeness.
Least do no harm, that is my motto, this anti-seizure medication will do the trick.
Yes Ok Doc.
Why am I SO HUNGRY, its the anti-seizure medication. That cow is making my mouth water. What the actual hell is going on? Put down the bacon. I said put down that bacon.
To be fat and live or to be thin and sick? That is the question.
Mum! Dad is going to be pissed, your dog ate his new Yukka plant.
For the love of Jehovah. Eye Twitch.
That bloody dog! Three dogs. Why do we need three dogs?
Its a pack thing. One needs a tribe and a pack. Now we have a pack.
Mum! Dad is going to be cross, your dog just ate his new socks!
The actual pair of glorious cotton foot pockets that matched had now crossed into the abyss of dark matter otherwise known as Kelpie.
I have never felt so inspired, your story, omg your story! I was so scared to put myself out there; now I know I can do it. I know I have to do it. Because my story matters. My story needs to be told, and I understand it isn’t just because its mine, its because it will help someone else, and that’s more important than being stuck in fear. It is about communication and human interaction. Smile. Yes my dear bright and shiny human, it does. You matter. You all matter. So much.
Chairs are pushed in, the looks on faces make my heart swell again. They heard. They felt, and they understood. These beautiful seeking, learning humans.
Fear once knocked on this door but doesn’t any more; he’s gone up the road for a listening ear. He worked out his BS isn’t welcome here anymore.
Mum have I told you today that I love you? Would you like a foot rub?
Yes please favorite child, but first may I make you some pancakes?
Let’s turn up that French jazz music, how groovy is it?
You guys are seriously messed up, and lame. Who listens to Jazz Music and talks like that?
You once did before hormones took over you child. This one still has at least a years worth of reciprocal love left.
Hey, Dingus, do you need me to get milk on the way home? (Heavens open, choir sings.)
Why am I so tired? I wish that nerve would stop twitching every time I exercise. It makes me nervous. What if its the aneurysm?
Don’t think about it; it will go away.
It will just pop on you, exploding in your head bigger than the Sydney NYE Fireworks and Y2K back in the day, and Bobs your Uncle you will be standing there looking at yourself wondering what the hell happened and who’s that standing over there? Archangel Gabriel? Wow, you’re much taller than I imagined, Gabe those wings are working for you.
Did you come to meet me personally? What do you mean what am I wearing? I am stuck with this for the Afterlife? No, I did not know that there was a fresh hole in my pants near my… Bikini waxes are so yesterday…
You really need to buy some better activewear. You old fave puma trackies and holy t-shirt are so gross. You are not a hot mum. What will you do if you actually die on one of these walks? You know how people are, they won’t stop they will think you are a homeless person. Of THAT ILK, the low brow type. You know what people think of homeless people. Except you and a few good eggs. You know what its like to have no home.
F%$k it, and f$%#, Lorna Jane.
Bikini waxes are out of fashion; bikini waxes are out of fashion.
Monash University would like to congratulate you on finishing the first part of your certification.
Mindfulness. Breathe in. Breathe Out. I am that I am. This too shall pass. God give me the strength to move through this world and do not harm but to radiate all that is good and pure.
MUUUUUUUM! Do you shop? There is NO FOOD!
We would like you to get on board and donate your time to the cause; we only need you to drive over 6 hours to do it, it will be great for the organization. They need people like you.
My kids need people like me.
No, I do not want to lock the door and put on my sneakers. It’s Tuesday. What! Is it Saturday? Oh wow, that went quick. Where are those Nikes?