By: Teisha Lowry Cox
Today, a lot of people think that going to the gym is their answer to weight loss and living a happy and healthy life. Lashing it out at the gym is not necessarily the answer.
The biggest hurdle is overcoming “inactivity” which is affecting more and more people than ever before. Sedentary work life and sitting behind our technology is a huge problem and has been dubbed as “the biggest public health problem of the 21st century”.
From personal experience: I use to think my gym membership was the answer to my high consumption of donuts and cookies followed by nasty homogenised milk, but now…working in the industry for the last eight years, I have certainly changed my perspective on intense training and self-depreciation.
At my own studio, we interpret functional and primal exercises that work to achieve an individual’s goal. Not only do they make working out fun and interesting but it also restores function to the whole body – including your brain. Your body moves synergistically together and safely because you are generally using your own body weight as your apparatus rather than heavy weights and machines but rather creates a sense of self-awareness. This means exercise becomes productive rather than lazy and movement is utilising the whole body rather than isolating muscles and joints…which in everyday life we need functionality.
These days, many of us lack good balance or correct motor skills, from birth our bodies are growing and getting stronger from the simple caveman movements such as crawling, walking and running after our catch of the day, in primal terminology they are known as reptilian and dog crawling.
So what are primal movements? These are movements developed over thousands of years from the caveman days; these are based on key movements we as humans utilised to survive. Even though our lifestyle and environment have changed these exercises allow you to move and develop these into your daily tasks…such as squats, yes squats! With the proper instructor, you can perform this simple exercise so it impacts your whole body and not just your booty.
To restore one’s body to its peak potential you don’t need crazy weights and full on aerobic exercise classes. You can do it yourself at home by watching the millions of Youtube videos (which are free) or if you’re stuck on where to start, just start walking and focus on your breathing! Seriously, walking is so underrated. If you really want to work on this movement stuff, finding functional personal trainers who are far more advanced in this area and work from a holistic POV. Private sessions are a great way to start, and once you have your foundations down, you could probably step it up or other group classes and other activities.
A real functional studio is not CrossFit and nor are the instructors yelling over the top of trance music, there should be no machines, cross trainers, weight machines and there should only be a few free weights, TRX suspension training and the use Olympic style exercises, resistance bands, large dynamic movements and a strong focus on core function and pelvic floor activation – that’s when you know you’ve found a proper functional training center. And they should assess your posture before you start any program!