Overcoming Pain: A Story of Hope
By Tammy E.
“I can barely move my legs, it hurts to lift my arms, I’m just too tired and sore to work out “
Do you find yourself saying these things when it comes to pain and the ability to exercise? Do you try and talk yourself out of working out for fear of feeling worse after? These were the words of my client “G” 2 months ago.
G came to me with a history of Osteoporosis and Arthritis. Pain encompasses her body on a daily basis. G felt she needed a change one day, when she realized she could no longer walk up her stairs at home or go for walks with her husband. Simple daily tasks now seemed like mountains of effort and she had become so stiff, holding a coffee cup was sometimes hard. G decided to take a stand and I became her Personal Trainer.
Through perseverance, dedication, and her determination to not let her body seize up, G began her program with me. In the beginning, gripping weights was a challenge, getting on the rower by herself proved to be nearly impossible, and getting up and down from the mat was sometimes so overwhelming, she would talk herself out of it.
Through encouragement and patience, I succeeded in showing G how daily functional movement could be improved through these important aspects of fitness such as:
· Flexibility training : such as standing hip flexor stretch
· Ground based mobility : such as open books, cat and cow
· Fundamental exercises to strengthen muscles and bones : such as bicep curls, hamstring curls, hip leg lifts, squats, ball sits, step-ups, upright rows etc.
G has the determination to not let her illness and pain get the better of her, and it has been seen in her progress. Not only does G feel more energy, she also has improved quite significantly in her overall stiffness of her body. G can now grip weights with little pain, has increased her weight training by 10 pounds and recently bicep curled a 20-pound straight bar, when she could barely lift 7 pounds previously! G can also get herself on and off the rower and has increased the resistance from 5 to 14.
When I first met G, she thought she was a “weakling destined to be a prisoner to osteoporosis.” G’s self-acceptance and outlook has changed and has more confidence in her abilities to exercise as well as take control over an illness that she refuses to let stop her.
Way to go , G ! Keep up the great work.
Mental Health and Exercise
At Club16 Trevor Linden Fitness and She’s FIT! we are all about creating our best life, and an active, healthy lifestyle contributes to both your physical and mental wellbeing. Regular exercise has endless benefits to your physical health including strengthening bones and muscles, weight management and reducing risk of chronic disease. An active lifestyle also has tremendous benefits to your mental health, which can positively impact several different areas of your life:
1. Improves Mood
Exercise has been found to improve our mood through increased self-esteem and cognitive function, and reducing feelings of anxiety, depression and stress. When we exercise our body increases production of serotonin, endorphins and dopamine, all of which contribute to feeling positive and motivated throughout the day.
2. Increases energy
An active lifestyle has been found to increase energy levels, helping us feel more alert and motivated. You don’t have to do an intense workout each day to feel these benefits, even a 15-minute walk can help you feel more energized. A University of Georgia study found that exercise can decrease fatigue symptoms up to 65% and improve energy levels up to 20%.
3. Improves sleep
Another benefit is improving our sleep quality by spending more time in slow wave sleep (deep sleep), which is the most physically restorative phase of sleep. Of course when we have a good night’s sleep, we have a lot more energy to go about our day and accomplish our daily goals.
Staying active and taking care of your body can boost your self confidence in many ways. By taking care of your mind and body, feeling more energized, accomplishing your fitness goals and feeling great about your appearance, these are all contributing factors to feeling more confident about what you are capable of achieving, and we can ultimately see these benefits in several different areas of our life.
· 2 ½ cups whole pitted dates
· 1 ½ cups of water
· 1 ½ cups rolled oats
· 1 cup almond flour
· 1/4 cup coconut sugar
· 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 1/2 cup natural almond butter
· 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
· 1/4 cup coconut oil
- Pre-heat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9-inch square pan and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper.
- Add the dates and water to a medium-sized sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 7-8 minutes, or until the dates have softened. Towards the end of the cook time, start mashing the dates with a fork which helps absorb any remaining liquid. Cover and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, almond flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon and salt.
- In a small microwave safe bowl, add the almond butter, maple syrup and coconut oil and microwave on two 30-second intervals, stirring in between and after until smooth.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, and stir until wet and crumbly.
- Press a little over half of the crumble mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Spread on the warm date filling.
- Sprinkle on the remaining crumble mixture and press it lightly into the date filling.
- Bake for 28-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Using the edges of the parchment paper, lift the date squares out of the pan and cut into 16 pieces.