Eliminate Physical Pain, Get Loose, Slow Down And Have FUN!!
(An Introduction To PEERtrainer Fitness Fusion)
“Most people would love to have more motivation to exercise. But I find that many people simply want the motivation to deal with the basic demands of life. This article presents the formula for getting yourself to move more. Once your regular daily movement becomes effortless, you have discovered the core of exercise motivation.”
-Jackie Wicks, PEERtrainer Co-Founder
In order to get the motivation to exercise, run or move more, you must first make sure your body is in total balance and alignment. This article will explain to you why proper physical alignment is the first step in a process that will literally set you in motion. We will then show you some basic exercises which will help you get to this place.
The basic idea here is that when your body is out of alignment, physical pain is the inevitable result. As pain increases, your limitations grow. As this cycle deepens, you create the perfect environment for inaction. You can have all the mental energy and power in the world, and it will not fix this fundamental problem. In fact, if you take a “mind over matter” approach, it may make things a whole lot worse.
The good news is that the inverse is also true! When you get balanced and then get loose, possibilities start to increase. At PEERtrainer we are strong advocates of something we call “Fitness Fusion.” Just like our Diet Fusion concept, Fitness Fusion involves focusing on areas that you might not expect, AND doing them together.
An Introduction To Fitness Fusion
This process works. Fitness Fusion is a practical approach to long term exercise motivation. The three pillars of fitness fusion are:
1. Get aligned and balanced. (Return to your “original state” if possible.)2. Slow down and build your base. (This is the opposite of no pain no gain.)3. Find movement and fitness that you love. (The goal is to make exercise not a chore.)
We find that when people do all three of these things, in combination, very good things happen. The issue is that most people are not aware of the relationship between balance and pain. Additionally, most people have the equation “extreme cardio = only way to lose weight” hard coded into their mind. On top of this, most people view exercise as a chore. We have seen that when people embrace this simple three step process, it can set them in motion. Literally!
But the first step takes a little work, an open mind and a little time. (You might want to bookmark this page so you can come back to it.) Read about the importance of balance, and look at the exercises. If you have any questions, ask us below and we will answer you.
Step 1: Get Aligned And Balanced…
Meet The World’s Leading Expert At This:
We were introduced to this idea by one of the world’s leading experts at stopping chronic pain, Pete Egoscue. Pete is a new friend of PEERtrainer and has an overwhelming track record in the area of helping people get moving and out of pain. He once helped golfer Jack Nicklaus play in a tournament after not being able to walk hours before.
He and his team have also helped me personally, and have helped family members. I first visited his clinic in LaJolla 15 years ago, where his team cured my back pain. I recently visited one of his clinics here in Colorado, to help me undo some of the structural stress that resulted from having kids, starting a business and really not having an awareness that this was something that I really needed to be focusing on.
I had a chance to speak with Pete recently, and he outlined for us his basic approach, and why it is fundamental to getting the motivation to move more. Which in turn is fundamental to weight loss and overall health.
Chronic Pain Is The Body Telling Us It Is Out Of Balance
The very first thing that Pete explained to me is that the cause of most physical pain is imbalance, and that the cure most often is regaining this balance. “We all have the same blueprint at birth, barring any genetic defect” and that his exercises help people get back to that original blueprint.
The big challenge in his view, is getting people to take preventive action. It may be that you are reading this and not aware of any obvious pain. Yet you are looking for more motivation to exercise, and it is highly probable that you are somewhere on the path towards increasing your pain and limitations. Most of us think this is simply the inevitable result of aging.
“The absence of health, is the presence of limitation.” -Pete Egoscue
How Do I Know I Am Out Of Balance?
As we get out of balance, we start to avoid things. We avoid climbing ladders, we avoid the hill, we don’t turn our necks and rely on mirrors when we drive. The simple conveniences of modern life help condition us to not rely on our bodies and our physicality.
Another indicator is the direction that your feet point. Pete suggests an exercise where you stand up and look down at your feet. If they point to ten and two o’clock, or even nine and three, this is an indication that your body is “very inefficient.”
What Happens When You Start To Get Into Alignment And Balance?
According to Pete, the first thing that happens is that your fear goes away. You learn to not fear your pain. Because you are starting to understand it. Fear paralyzes and causes inaction. This makes complete sense if you think about it. Could it be that you were actually in some pain, and did not move as much because of this?
“Absence of fear produces action, and action produces results.” -Pete Egoscue
Hopefully you are seeing that this is root of true exercise motivation. It is estimated that 80% of people are in chronic pain. So if you reading this article after clicking on a link or doing an internet search, odds are very high that pain or discomfort is playing a role in your lack of motivation to move. Hopefully you will start to do the exercises below and start on the path to better alignment.
Why Better Alignment Is A Key Part Of Long Term Health
At PEERtrainer we have a habit of digging into the root causes of things. We asked Pete about the long-term health impact of getting into alignment. He stated that as you start to move correctly, this puts you on “the path to metabolic health.” He said that researchers have been able to learn what causes a cell to die.
But they don’t know why this happens. Researchers know that lack of oxygen and lack of nutrients needed to make sure the oxygen functions properly in the cells plays a role in cell death. From Pete’s perspective, when we stop providing ourselves the ability to get oxygen and nutrients to the cell, that is when our health starts to deteriorate.
The Link Between Fundamental Exercise Motivation and Weight Loss
One of the final questions I asked him was “If I improve my alignment, will I lose weight?” He stated that the two are “inextricably aligned.” When you look down at your feet, and you see that they are starting to point forward, you start to become in a state of better balance. This balance, according to Pete, “creates tremendous metabolic burn.” Almost all of his clients report weight loss as a result of doing his exercises and following his plan. Knowing that your metabolic burn will increase, will also help to build your exercise motivation.
Related Article: PEERtrainer’s Complete Guide To Building Muscle
How Long Does This Process Take?
This will be a process, and will depend for each person. Generally the primary area of focus on is the hips. Below we have outlined the basic exercises that can help you loosen up your hip muscles and start to bring them into alignment. As you loosen your hips, the pressure on your back will decrease. You can read Pete’s book for more information. There are also clinics around the country where you can get hands on help like I am doing.
An Introduction To The Egoscue Stretches
This is a very basic introduction to the Egoscue stretches, and we will be bringing you more from Pete and his team. A full list of exercises and their explanations is also available in his book titled “Pain Free: A Revolutionary Method For Stopping Chronic Pain.“
Example Egoscue Excercise #1: The Air Bench. Helps With Hips, Knees and Feet
Example Egoscue Excercise #2: Static Back. Helps With Hips, Back and Shoulders
Example Egoscue Excercise #3: Sitting Floor.
Sit on the floor with your back against the wall in a 90 degree angle. Place your hands in your lap, palm up. This is a great hip stretch, which helps align the hips with the lower body.
Example Egoscue Excercise #4: Static Wall.
Put your back against the floor, and legs against the wall at a 90 degree angle. This is a great stretch for the hips, and allows the lower body to realign without interference from possibly misaligned shoulder muscles.
Step 2: Slow Down and Build Your Base
“Why is motivation so hard? I know I feel better when I workout, I know I sleep better when I workout, but I just stop after a good two weeks of working out. I wonder if I push myself too hard at first.”
-Recent Question On The PEERtrainer Facebook Wall
Another friend of PEERtrainer is a gentleman named Phil Maffetone. If you ask Phil this question, the answer is clear- you are probably pushing yourself too hard, and this is one of the reasons you are having a hard time with motivation.
Phil is the world’s leading expert on endurance training. Phil helps athletes improve their performance by having them slow down. This is a massive simplification of course, but this is the basic idea. When you slow down, this allows you to build your aerobic base. This is the opposite of what most of us do and hear. But it works and will help you get to the point where you have fundamental exercise motivation for life.
We go into a lot more detail about Phil’s ideas in this article about how to be less tired and get more energy. The basic point made in that article is that you need to slow down, eat a ton more veggies, reduce your white carbs and focus on “good fats.” When you do this, you are putting into place the formula for unlimited energy. This might all be easier said than done, but it is a proven and powerful formula.
Step 3. Make Movement Fun and Stop “Working” Out
If you really embrace the ideas presented in steps 1 and 2, you will find that this final step comes naturally. You WILL want to move more, and it will open up the possibilities to have more fun. Someone on our comments section below said “Have to smile at something else I realized and that was that I enjoyed the FEELING of EXERCISING…using my various muscles.”
This is really the goal of all of this. When you enjoy the feeling of exercise, you are motivated for life. We do understand that this entire proces takes some time. It takes a while to build your base, to give you more energy. It takes a while to train your muscles to be in better balance.
Ask PEERtrainer A Question About This Article (We Will Answer You!)
Article Q and A:
Question:“I have done ballet for 19 years of my life since the age of three and “naturally” turned out feet (or hips, really) goes with the territory and is not something I would want to change and I do not feel or believe I am out of balance because of this. This is a rather strange allegation to make. Surely I can be “balanced” while maintaining something that is a rather fundamental trait of a ballerina?”
Answer From Pete’s Team: Great question and I love a healthy dose of skepticism. First…let me start by saying, do NOT start walking around in your life with your feet straight. In your case, your feet are turned out for a reason and it has become part of your “pattern”. What needs to happen is nothing…if you feel that you are in the right place posturally.
As for the millions of others out suffering from chronic pain or they can’t move efficiently…listen up! Your feet will tell you a lot about your overall body function. Look down and notice that your feet are pointed in the same direction but one is pointed out more than the other or…at the base of your big toe, you see the making of a bunion and it is painful or just painful to look at. Foot posture issues like these don’t happen overnight. They are a result of movement impairments that you didn’t even know existed…until, PAIN!
Having helped multiple “high level” ballerinas over the last 20 years with chronic pain and dysfunction, the running joke during therapy was for them to go against their norm where their feet are constantly toed out (ingrained, learned habit) and get them to do the corrective exercises with their feet straight.
Just getting them to do exercises with their feet straight changes the relationship between their leg bones and where they relate with the pelvis. Fortunately, we were able to compromise and hopefully understand that the feet straight blueprint for the human body is just that…a blueprint. So, in order for your body to reach any type of move potential with minimal compensation, you will just need to do some e-cises that focus on balancing and building the relationship between your hips and shoulders. Its that easy!
Question: “Can someone with ankylosing spondylitis become pain free? As the joints fuse I’m wondering if Pete’s method works?”
PEERtrainer Note: This is a spinal form of arthritis- and there are tons of other people with various autoimmune disorders who are in physical pain. Hopefully this advice will help anyone with an autoimmune disease. We also recommend a clean diet that is also high in micronutrients to help deal with autoimmune disease. Dr. Fuhrman’s eating plan has had particular success in this area.
Answer From Pete’s team: AK is a serious diagnosis. (OK, I said it…) Now let’s move onto something a little more enlightening and positive. A dentist of mine said to me one time that I should only floss the teeth that I want to keep. I have adopted that saying for this discussion and I want you to think about your joints, muscles, ligaments…and other internal structures the same way that we would think about our teeth. Only move the ones that you want to keep.
Yes, AK sucks! Yes, the pain is persistent! Yes, you could gradually get worse to the point of joint and overall body deformity.
No, you don’t have to let any of this happen. As you decrease your movement and your stress and emotional negativity about the symptoms increases, your immune system begins to spiral downward. Every system is tied directly to your immunity and especially your lymph system and digestive system.
Just by you being on PEERtrainer and taking the time to ask this question means that you have NOT given into this progressive, dismal diagnosis. Don’t let the fear take over and get moving! I am not telling you to ignore what your very helpful MD’s have told you… I am just saying that the fear tied to this can be squashed when in addition to your normal meds, you are given a dose of hope as your next medication, via the exercises, your prognosis is completely different that it was yesterday.
Get the Pain Free book, try the e-cises and if you have to decrease your reps and sets, do it.