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  • Writer's pictureWellFit by Jennie

The Most Important Workout You’ll Ever Do

Updated: Feb 22

WellFit by Jennie services include Personal Training, Health & Wellness Coaching, Fitness Assessments. Available person to person in Charlottesville, Albemarle County, Central Virginia, VA or online nationally.

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Are you actually taking care of yourself with your exercise? This means moving your body in a way that it needs in order to be healthy and that also feels good and life-affirming. You might have the discomfort a burning sensation in your working muscles or some good old fashioned muscle soreness following your activity.

Even so, at the end of the day, you feel invigorated by what you are doing. You know that you are not doing damage to yourself. You are doing an activity that brings you joy or one that is required in order for you to be able to do that activity that brings you joy by bringing you into balance.

I would propose that the most important workout you will ever do is a customized set of self-myofascial release, stretching, and corrective strengthening exercises to shore yourself up physically. Our cross conditioning and soft tissue care will influence how we move, age, and are able to physically do the things we want to do in our lives. This is the initial workout that I create for a client, and it can evolve as the client masters it.

Many people, especially those of us in our middle or later years, come to their exercise and wellness aspirations with both unbridled enthusiasm and multiple muscle imbalances. This is almost universal, particularly in adults today. People who haven’t exercised or done so in a balanced way for years; whose occupation requires extended periods of desk-sitting in front of a computer; who had an abdominal surgery years ago; and/or never had that “bad knee [insert any old injury]” appropriately resolved are now wanting to jump back into exercise.

We can choose to take an intelligent approach to our exercise in order to make it sustainable. A broader base allows for a higher peak. Almost everyone has some chronically tight or weak muscles, and what in the industry are termed facilitated or inhibited muscle groups.

It is hard for most fitness professionals to accurately see, let alone correct, these imbalances. I remember attending a large industry conference many years ago and the shock of seeing myself after having been photographed in front of a grid. I was crooked! Why couldn’t I see these things on my own? If a seasoned fitness professional specializing in biomechanics can struggle with this, there is no doubt that a lay person will to a greater degree.

Think of it this way: if you were to paint a wall with cracks, holes, old peeling paint, and rough spots without preparing the surface through patching, sanding, and priming, you would get a substandard paint job that would neither look good nor last. To use another metaphor, think of taking a 400-level college foreign language course without having taken the 100-level coursework first. You would feel confused, overwhelmed, unable to retain anything, and discouraged about it to boot.

If someone gives you a “program” to follow without assessing your movement patterns, be wary. Every client deserves to have a detailed movement assessment in order to be able to develop the good, strong physical foundation required to work towards exercise-related goals in integrity. Seeing the awe, wonder, and relief on a person's face upon trying their own customized exercises and having their world open up never ceases to thrill me.

Movement assessments can even be done virtually.

Thus, injuries can be avoided, and aches & pains quelled. You can move forward with greater confidence rather than feeling scared of getting hurt when you push yourself. Moreover, you have tools in the form of awareness and appropriate, customized corrective exercises that can help keep you injury-free and able to do your favorite activities throughout the rest of your life.

If you have been experiencing chronic symptoms that have not improved despite your consistent follow through with any medical and exercise recommendations, there is something else going on.

Let’s assume that you had any symptoms checked out by a doctor in the first place, which I would highly recommend. Obviously, if more conservative measures have failed, (further) evaluation may be needed because the symptoms have a cause that cannot be remedied by exercise alone.

There is also another possibility to consider if you are having persistent chronic symptoms and you have done your due diligence by seeking out the appropriate medical care & following all recommendations. You could be experiencing what is known as neuroplastic pain or symptoms. This will be addressed in a future post.

There is no time like to the present to start or continue your exercise journey, wisely. You are worth it!

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