A commonly held idea is that if you want to lose weight you get active and the pounds will come off. Now, although being physically active is an important aspect of losing weight, it's not the only one to be considered when putting together your own getting healthy puzzle (be active, eat well, be mindful, meditate etc.). The progress you experience from being physically active (increased: muscular strength, general well-being & reduced: body fat, overall sickness) actually does not occur during the workout. Sorry, but it is the things you do after and in between workouts that prepare your vehicle for the next course. Just like a car is built to drive, the body is built to move, but without downtime for general maintenance (sleep) even the most expensive car will break down before the finish line. Remember, there are no trophies for how fast your car could've been!
Do you like to run, jump, skip, waltz, second line, or two-step? Well if so, then I would say you're a happy and active person. If not, and if this reason is due to pain, then all that noise could've started right down in your ankle. I know you're thinking, why would the pain in my hip, shin, knee, or lower back start at my little bitty ankle, but let's think it through for a bit. If the feet are the tires of your body, connecting you to the road, then your ankles are your axels transmitting force generated by the feet to create movement. Whether it's bad axles on a car or bad ankles on the body, no matter how nice the shoes or how big the rims, you're gonna stay parked.
If I were to ask you to write down the body part or parts that you thought had the most to do with your locomotion (movement), balance, or physical power, which would you choose? Well if you didn't think of what body part touches the ground first, our feet, then you're putting the float way before the tractor. The feet are the body's foundation; they transfer the energy from ground contact up through the legs (ankles, knees, hips,) to produce stability for movement and physical activity. Your feet are like the wheels of a car, allowing your body to stand, balance, squat, lunge, or move however it needs to. Think about it, have you ever seen a Mardi Gras parade that had floats without the wheels? Nope, and that's because nobody likes watching a stalled parade!
A new year has begun, which means you should be fully recovered from the holiday hangover (food, travel, spending, family), and ready to get back to your daily routine. For a majority of Americans this routine will have changed with the date, and will for a time include some positive lifestyle modifications. According to The Journal of Clinical Psychology, each year 45% of the US will make a new year's resolution involving changing their current lifestyle practices. Sadly, only 8% will successfully accomplish their goal each year. This is a disturbingly low success rate, but it can be driven up with just a bit of personal due diligence. The trick to conquering this change and creating healthful habits lies in being true to one's own comforts and enjoyment. Some like to go it alone, while others prefer to go it with friends, but no matter what, sustaining change is the overall goal. We all know the truth will set you free, but you have to search for it diligently, like free parking in the French Quarter on a Friday night.