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Fitness & Mobility

Exercise is a pillar of wellness.  It ties into our other fundamental health needs too, because if we are exercising we sleep better, can eat more of what we want, release more feel good neurotransmitters.  I never saw myself as an athletic person until I was in my mid-thirties.  I have done yoga since I was 12 years old, but I was pretty much averse to anything that elevated my heart rate.  I had memories of being red-faced and wheezing trying to run track in high school.  But I loved hiking, and I was starting to spend longer days outside on trails, and, newly divorced, I was doing it solo.  And I started to feel powerful.

I am telling you this because I think that sometimes we have an idea of what we are capable of that is limiting.  Yes, we may be busy, or injured or have other barriers to certain activities.  But our bodies are made to move.  Simply walking has so many health benefits.  And as we age, weight-bearing exercise can help moderate changes in glucose metabolism and declining bone density.  It's never too late to start.

Framework for Exercise (from Dr. Peter Attia, author of Outlive)

  1. Stabilty: the foundation, correct patterns of movement, using our muscle and joints properly, efficiently and safely.  For instance, knowing how to lift without injuring the back.  Many of these movements were instinctive as children, but get lost with a sedentary lifestyle.  Having a good teacher matters, whether in yoga, pilates, postural restoration.  Working on stability prevents injury.  See Hip Hinge and breathwork as examples.
  2. Strength: muscle mass declines as we age, so resistance training is crucial.
  3. Aerobic Efficiency (Zone 2): low to moderate cardiovascular exertion that can be maintained for longer periods of time, such as a jogging, hiking/rucking, cycling, or swimming.  Generally during Zone 2, it is possible to still maintain a conversation.  Good for cardiovascular health, weight management, recovery, mental well-being and insulin sensitivity.
  4. Anaerobic Peak (Zone 5, VO2 Max): short bursts of activity that involve close to your max exersion

What is a good goal to start?  3 hours per week: 1 hr of zone 2, 1 hour of strength training, 20-30 min in high intensity aerobic training (split in 2 sessions), 30-40 minutes of stability training (10 minutes daily).  As your body gets adapted to this level of fitness, you don't necessarily need to add more time, but the intensity needs to be increased.

What would an ideal schedule look like?  

  • 3-5 bouts of strength training
  • 4 bouts of zone 2
  • 2 bouts of zone 5
  • Stability is sprinkled into pretty much every day with maybe one day of a longer, more dedicated 60-minute session around stability

Yoga: Yoga has been such an important tool for me for pain relief, core stability and strength.  Having a good teacher matters.  Here are some yoga teachers I love:

  • Bonnie Weeks - Hillsboro, primarily teaching online with Studio B, Flow School (Yoga Teacher Training), Yoga Strong (Strength Training and also the title of her podcast).
  • Lisa Skaff - Movement Climbing Gym in NW Portland, Studio in SE Portland.
  • The Yoga Space in NW PortlandIan LeMasters is great and he also teaches acro-yoga around Portland.  Allison Duckworth is awesome as well.

Other Inspiration:

Read more on the blog:

Preparing for a Winter Hike

Fitness & Mobility - Amber Hincks Acupuncture in Beaverton, OR

Dr. Amber Hincks LAc FABORM
Beaverton, OR