2024 Roadmap to Your Well-Being

by Laura Warf

January 28, 2024 | Well-Being Tips

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The holiday season, while joyous, often comes bundled with stress, indulgence, and a whirlwind of activities that can take a toll on our bodies. It's easy to overlook the signals our bodies send, indicating the need for a tune-up. Whether it's the strains from a sedentary lifestyle, the weariness from a bustling schedule or wear and tear from our favorite sport, our bodies speak volumes, urging us to pay attention.

The power of movement and the FITT Principle can help. Together they can assist you in drawing your well-being roadmap for 2024.

Recognizing the Signs: It's Tune-Up Time

From feeling achy and fatigued to struggling with everyday tasks like lifting heavy objects or noticing your poor posture in a reflection, these signs are not merely inconveniences but whispers from our bodies, signaling a need for attention. Our muscles, joints, and posture act as messengers, relaying messages of discomfort and calling for a recalibration.

The Power of Movement and FITT Principle

Movement is the elixir for our bodies. Imagine it as medicine, capable of restoring vitality and resilience. Our bodies thrive on motion—over 600 muscles and miles of connective tissue (fascia) bear witness to this fact. However, prolonged inactivity or repetitive movement can leave our fascia disorganized and stiff, like a tangled spider web. Regular movement restores fluidity and suppleness, offering not just physical benefits but also mental and emotional rejuvenation. All movement is good movement yet at times we need to make a conscious choice about how we move our bodies along with the correct dosage. The FITT principle is a helpful map to guide that way to a healthy balance.

2024 Roadmap: Use the FITT principle: Frequency, Intensity, Type, Time

Movement isn't just about staying active; it's about incorporating the right elements into your routine. This is where the FITT principle comes in—Frequency, Intensity, Type, and Time. Understanding and applying this principle can make a significant difference in your fitness journey:

  • Frequency: It refers to how often you exercise. Aim for regularity in your workouts, whether it's daily, every other day, or multiple times a week. Consistency builds momentum and allows your body to adapt positively.
  • Intensity: This measures how hard you work during exercise. It's crucial to challenge your body but also listen to its signals. Adjust the intensity based on your fitness level, for example; any aches and pains you experience, the amount of energy you have or spring in your step, along with how fast you recover from physical activity of any kind. As you get stronger, gradually progress to help keep your body resilient.
  • Type: The type of exercise you choose matters. Incorporate a variety of activities, including cardio, strength training, flexibility, and balance exercises. This holistic approach ensures a well-rounded fitness routine. Since most of us are creatures of habit, we often use our bodies the same way which can cause muscular imbalance in our muscles, tissues and bones. Cross-training and adding variety to your routine is an important element to overall well-being. If you enjoy cycling as a cardiovascular activity, which is primarily driven by the legs, try rowing, or kayaking to stimulate the upper body as well.
  • Time: This refers to the duration of your workouts. Balancing your exercise time with your other commitments is key. Whether it's short bursts of high-intensity workouts or longer, moderate-intensity sessions, find what works best for you. Even top athletes infuse lower-intensity recovery workouts into their training schedule to help their body heal, grow stronger and ultimately perform at their best.

Understanding and applying the FITT principle guides in tailoring your exercise routine to your body's needs, allowing for a more effective and personalized approach to fitness.

Feeling tired, stressed or stiff? Try a work-in rather than a work-out such as gentler approaches: stretching, restorative yoga or a posture alignment class, self-myofascial massage or enjoy a leisurely walk. When your vitality returns, amp up the intensity with a more challenging hike, functional fitness classes, weight training or a vigorous sport.

Empowering Change

Like maintaining a car, our bodies require consistent attention. Daily movement, hydration, nourishing food, restful sleep, and correcting musculoskeletal imbalances contribute to a vibrant and agile body. The analogy between maintaining a vehicle and our bodies is strikingly similar—a timely tune-up prevents breakdowns and ensures optimal performance.

Action Steps for a Healthier You

Integrating small changes into your routine can yield significant results. If you are less active, try taking short movement breaks before meals, dedicate focused sessions to build strength, incorporate rhythmic activities that elevate your heart rate, or embark on a journey toward balance and resilience through yoga practice or stretching classes such as our Mend Reset & Restore Class.

Your Health is Your Greatest Gift

This holiday season, amid the merry chaos, prioritize the gift of a healthier body. Investing in yourself now reaps rewards far beyond the festivities. Just as a well-maintained car runs smoothly, your body, when tended to, propels you with energy and enthusiasm. Consider this a gentle reminder to give your body the attention it deserves. After all, it's the vehicle that will accompany you on life's journey.

At Mend Loft in Cannon Beach, we're here to guide and support you on this journey in-person and/or remotely. You can also give the gift of health and well-being. If you are looking for a gift idea for that special someone, gift certificates are available.

Enjoy a class, sign up for a workshop in the new year or book a one-on-one coaching session.
Contact us for more information and embark on the path to a healthier, happier you.

About the author, Laura Warf

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Laura Warf is a Posture Therapist, Functional Movement Specialist, Yoga Teacher, Personal Trainer, Empowerment Coach, and Co-founder of Mend Loft in Cannon Beach. Connect with Laura at [email protected] for more information. Or visit our website, MendLoft.com

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