Most of our patients face the same struggles; they are in front of a screen (or screens) all day long and do little to no exercise. If they’re lucky, they’ll get a chance to walk around the block a few times each week when Houston is no longer blazing hot when they get home from work.
They don’t exercise because they lack time, energy, or they just hurt. They want to feel better and they want to exercise, but, you know, stuff gets in the way. It’s no secret that they need to stretch, but they just don’t do it.
Where should you start?
Prior to joining Crossfit, I took a look at the exercise I was doing (running) and whether or not that was going to meet my physical health goals. It wasn’t. I determined that I needed to run, lift weights, and do yoga. This would give me the best of all worlds, improving cardiovascular health, increasing strength, and improving range of motion.
I instead joined Crossfit and found we did all of that, which was a huge relief on my schedule. However, while Crossfit does cover all three of these areas, there were still a couple of issues.
1. It wasn’t enough.
Huh? That stuff’s intense, how could it not be enough? Just like any exercise program, the exercises aren’t just trying to improve your strength and fitness, they have to counteract and work against all you’ve done (or not done) with your exercise programs in the past and deal with what you do all day.
I still spend too much time in front of a computer, and my range of motion has suffered because of it. While it has improved a ton, I still have work to do and that meant I was going to have to do some work on my own outside of class.
2. Too many of my patients won’t do it.
They don’t have time for walking around the block, and the intensity of this type of exercise can be intimidating (even though I don’t think it needs to be). I keep recommending that patients give Crossfit a try or that they find other well-rounded activities to do. You guys need to move more! It will help!
Then my coach recommended ROMWOD. I checked it out, but didn’t think it was for me upon first glance. Not that I didn’t think it would be helpful, I just didn’t want “one more thing” to add to my stuff. “I can figure this out on my own,” I thought. But I didn’t do it. From my experience, I’m terrible when working out on my own. A group class or guided program significantly increases my chance of success.
I saw that they had a 7-Day Free Trial and (eventually) decided to sign up. I even waited until things were slow around the house (i.e. My sons went away to camp for a week) to start my program.
I was determined to get all 7 days out of my free trial to determine if it would work for me. Was this something I could recommend to my patients?
The first day, I did the 20-minute program and was mildly shocked at how my hip range of motion was still very limited. It took me six months in Crossfit to be able to do a squat, and I thought I was improving… but I clearly still have more work to do.
The next day, I noticed that my legs felt more “awake.” That’s the best way I can describe it. Usually, I wake up and my legs are a bit stiff. Okay, a lot stiff. Then, once I get moving they’re fine. After my first ROMWOD, I noticed that I woke up with the “awake” feeling in my legs. This feeling normally requires 15 minutes or so of serious “warming up” before I can achieve it.
It’s now been 3 weeks and I’ve missed only a couple of days.
The improvement to my hips in particular has been the most noticeable. You may not realize how much you need better hip range of motion until you get it back. Simple activities are easier and it’s taken a big load off of lower back. ROMWOD has also revealed other areas in my hips and shoulders that needed help. I can tell that my overall range of motion is improving.
Best of all, I just feel better. Most patients yawn at the thought of “better range of motion” but will get excited at the idea of feeling better. More energy, less pain, and just the “I feel like getting out of bed today” feeling is highly sought after.
So why am I telling you this?
You should definitely check out ROMWOD (https://romwod.com/) for yourself and see if it’s something you can fit into your schedule. The workouts are typically around 20 minutes, but they feel shorter than that. There are nights that I just have to suck it up and get it done, but I’ve not regretted doing so.
While all areas of exercise are important (cardio, weights, range of motion), I believe that for my patients, range of motion should be the priority. I think it will drive all the other areas and will give you the fastest response that you’re on the right track.
When you feel better, I won’t need to remind you to go exercise. You’ll just want to go do it. Once you start doing exercise more consistently, you’ll see more benefits and want to do more. You might even like it!
But we both know you’re not going to exercise if you don’t feel good doing it.
So if you have to pick, start working on your range of motion. That’s what’s going to keep you mobile as you get older. That’s what’s going to allow you to pick something up from the ground or reach for something overhead.
You have to keep yourself mobile and, unfortunately, your daily activities are most likely not going to help you with that unless you make it work that way. You cannot get more fit and healthy by sitting in a long drive to work, sitting in front of a computer all day and then occasionally hopping on the treadmill.
Houston’s very hot right now and other than hunting down Pokemon, most patients aren’t heading outside with any regularity. Doing cardio is good for you, sure, but it takes awhile to notice a change. Lifting weights to keep you strong is essential, but again, results take awhile to notice.
I would be very surprised if you told me you didn’t feel better at the end of your 7-day trial of ROMWOD if you actually do it every day. Do you need to ROMWOD? I’m betting you do. Take a look and let me know how it works for you.