I don’t have a regular exercise programme and for someone who runs exercise-based classes that can seem odd.
However, there are good reasons why I don’t and if you came along to my classes I wouldn’t necessarily be prescribing regular blocks of workouts. I do provide reminder videos and suggested programmes for home, but the emphasis is on creating more movement in your everyday life.
This is the key to creating a stronger and more balanced body and how you enable your body to be able to be as versatile as possible.
The idea behind the classes is 3 step – first working out where your body has become stuck in limited movement patterns and picked up poor postural habits. Once these have been identified I will then show you exercises that will help get you more flexible and strong. Flexible doesn’t mean being able to do the splits or advanced yoga poses – it means that all your joints are able to achieve their full range of motion and to work independently of each other. For example, if you lift your arms above your head do your ribs move too? If they do (and for most of us they do) it means your shoulders have become stiff and lost their ability to move fully, and so your ribs hop in and help out. Nice of them hey? But in fact, if you use your ribs to help move your arms you create a compression of your lower back and intra-abdominal pressure (hello back ache and weak pelvic floor). The exercises will help you retrain your parts to move independently and achieve their full range of motion.
The third part is the most fun and the most important- being able to then take your new-found mobility and move more in life.
The main reason we end up losing so much use of our bodies – stiff joints, weak muscles or overtense muscles, is because of the lack of range of movement in our daily lives. If you think now how much do you actually move in a day? How many different movements do you make? What movements do you do lots of? And how much time do you spend being still?
Our bodies crave movement (there is a great video here that shows how much we take the opportunity to move if offered) and they crave movement because they were designed to carry out a huge range of movements in a day. Not just sitting, walking and standing.
For this reason. part of my classes is the encouragement and inspiration on how to create more movement into your life anything from using the sofa less and floor sitting instead to getting on the play equipment with or without your children so you get as much of that valuable movement richness that your body needs.
But, the most obvious reason for working this way, rather than trying to create a specific amount of time each day to do the exercises is convenience. I know, as well as many that we all lead busy lives and have felt the frustration of waiting for the baby to go to sleep or needing to get work and housework done before being able to create the time to exercise. And then, of course feeling so tired or just in that ‘don’t want to’ stubbornness that it all becomes a battle and can end in a poor self-image. Instead, if you are doing the various moves during the day – a calf stretch while washing up, some lunges pushing the baby on a swing, some hanging in the park, squatting putting the washing away, etc, you get to the end of the day and don’t need to make extra time – it has all just happened, and then you get to do the active resting poses of psoas release in your downtime.
Win, win all round.
Rosie Dhoopun is a mother of three. A Pregnancy & Post-natal Exercise Specialist, Movement Teacher, Massage Therapist, Antenatal Teacher and Pregnancy Coach. She helps women truly understand their bodies by incorporating movement, corrective exercises and lifestyle changes that allow them to feel in control of their body’s, so they can enjoy their pregnancies, have a smoother birth, recover quicker postpartum and embrace the changes motherhood brings.