Hey all – this week instead of writing about a specific topic I’d like to chat about some powerful points Mike and I took away from the Performance Summit we attended this past weekend in Longbeach California. The speakers at the summit were some of the global leaders in the realms of physiotherapy, strength training, fitness and healthcare industries. It’s a quick read and hopefully you get some valuable information from the points.
1. Healthcare needs to replace sick care
Helping someone get out of pain isn’t healthcare – its sickcare. Healthcare is fixing things before they become a problem and that’s the mentality we need to adopt to increase our quality of life and reduce the burden on the Canadian healthcare system. Healthcare means preventative treatment. It means detecting limitations and reversing them before they become a problem so large that they result in lifelong pain, disease and dysfunction. Seek healthcare and not sick care. Get someone to look at the way you’re moving and how your body is working before it starts breaking down.
2. Pain is a teacher. Listen to it
Pain is a tremendous teacher. It’s an instant reminder that if something hurts it shouldn’t be repeated and the issue needs to be addressed. Pain itself isn’t a problem – in fact, without it you would probably die fairly quick. The problem starts when we make efforts to cover up the pain with drugs, allowing us to continue damaging our bodies and prolonging both the problem and the damage its creating. Learn to use pain to your advantage and stop trying to cover it up. When the fire alarm goes off, putting earplugs in might stop the noise but the fire is still there and getting worse until you actually start to do something about it. Don’t procrastinate when dealing with pain – it typically only gets worse and the longer you wait to deal with it the longer it takes to get rid of.
3. Pay attention to your feet & ankles
One of the big points touched on by a ton of speakers this years summit was the foot & ankle and their importance in optimal function. I’m sure almost everyone that has dealt with a personal trainer or physio at some point has heard: “you have weak glutes” or “your glutes aren’t working”. Know this: apart from the fact that sitting in a chair literally eats away at your glutes, the glutes listen to two things: 1) your brain, 2) your feet. When your feet don’t work or give the wrong signal to your brain, your glutes cant work and when the workhorse of the human body takes a holiday – everything else has to work much harder to pick up the slack and eventually things implode from getting overworked. Welcome back pain, hip pain, knee pain, foot pain…just to name a few. Make sure your feet and ankles are working – chances are they aren’t and it’s a major reason you’re moving poorly and have pain. Check out @thefootcollective on instgram for daily education on getting your feet and ankles back into working order.
Barefoot strong. Including Gray Cook
4. Not everyone should be consuming fitness
If you move poorly and have imbalances and restrictions within your body, consuming fitness is likely doing your body more harm than good. Running, squatting, jumping – all great things when done properly. The unfortunate reality is that our modern society makes it easier to survive while being a poor mover and many of the things we do day to day harm both our bodies and our ability to move optimally. Two big elephants in the room that seem to get brushed off but need to get the attention they deserve for humans to escapes pain and disease: sedentary lifestyle (sitting >6hrs a day), harmful footwear (aka almost every shoe on the market today). In your journey to earn the right to consume fitness, here are a few of the major initial steps that cannot be overlooked: 1) protect yourself from harm by eliminating elements of your lifestyle that are dangerous. Im not talking about smoking (can’t believe people still even smoke cigarettes) – im talking about getting rid of the elephants: stop sitting so much and make a better decision when it comes to footwear. Step 2) get your movement screened to make sure that its safe for you to consume fitness without harming yourself. Going straight to exercising without first screening your movement and mobility is like trying to get your PHD before even graduating high school or taking a university program. Chances are it wont end well, you will have to start over anyway so take the time to get it right in the first place and see your health and quality of life improve drastically.
5. The duty of health professionals
Gray Cook (a leading physiotherapist and brilliant guy) made a tremendous point of what health professionals should be prioritizing. 3 elements that need to be done in this specific order: 1) protect, 2) correct, 3) develop.
Protect: Protect patients from environmental harms by eliminating things that are constantly threatening their health. That means educate about sitting less, moving better, sleeping more, eating like an adult and making better footwear choices.
Correct: Now that you have eliminated exposure to environmental dangers (protect), you can start to work on correcting current limitations, restrictions and movement patterns.
Develop: After removing dangers, correcting current limitations, now you can help educate people on how to develop and work to increase capacity. Instill the fundamentals of training to get stronger, maintain your body, and practice proper movement.
-Healthcare needs to replace sick care
-Pain is a great teacher. Listen and learn from it
-Spend time making sure your feet and ankle are working right. Everything upstream depends on it
-Only consume fitness if its safe for you to do so (it isn’t for most people currently “fitnessing”)
-As healthcare professionals we need to protect, correct and develop instead of simply treating pain
Hope the points in this article were useful to you. Better health starts by consuming better information. Having a body that works and remains painfree is nobody’s job but yours. Prioritize a healthy body and live a better life.