Column: Wellness, fitness, and the gap that bridges them | VailDaily.com

Column: Wellness, fitness, and the gap that bridges them

Ryan Richards
Make It Count

Your body needs to be able to move, and that's one thing we all have in common. But what if you can't move as well as you should?

When individuals possess movement dysfunction in the absence of a medical condition, the only plausible explanations involve that individual's environment.

If a trainee cannot perform a natural human movement or assume a basic posture, and there isn't an injury, past surgery or orthopedic ailment, then we can only look to the daily patterns of their life for answers. Along with poor movement ability, a lack of fitness upon testing can also point to environmental issues.

Here are some examples of poor environmental conditions:

Sensory poor exercises

In other words, fitness practices that fail to challenge the body to the edge of its ability. For example, stretching movements that are attempting to elicit an increase in the available range of motion, where the range of motion is already optimal. Can you touch your toes easily? Stop stretching your hamstrings if you can, you're wasting your time.

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Are you strong enough to lift a house? You should then address other areas of your fitness if you can. In general, aim for as much variety in your exercise program as possible while keeping your goals in sight.

Sedentary lifestyle

Nothing much to say here. Get moving well, and start moving often. Daily walks for an hour will get you started. A sedentary lifestyle promotes movement complications.

Poor nutrition

It's politically incorrect to discuss diet these days, but increasing protein, moderating carbohydrates, limiting unhealthy fats and adding more vegetables and water shouldn't be offensive advice. If you're a drinker, then easing up on the booze is always a healthy dietary choice, as well.

Lousy sleep

I struggle with this one, personally. Poor sleep habits wreak havoc on your health including but not limited to weight gain, irritability, poor concentration, increased cortisol, anxiety and depression. Seven hours per night is a realistic goal. It's a matter of time when the system will ultimately breakdown in the absence of quality sleep.

Stress of all kinds

Is life taking a toll lately? Don't underestimate the negative and positive power of the spirit and mind. Mark Twight, owner of Gym Jones, a hearty fitness project in Salt Lake City, says the mind is primary. Take heart, and put these words to use.

In conclusion, the real message should be clear. Wellness is the absence of disease. Fitness is the ability to successfully perform a specific task. A person can be extremely fit and unwell, and people who lack fitness can exhibit health and well being. My goal is to educate the public to bridge the gap between wellness and fitness, and fill the holes with proper fitness techniques to bring up weak areas.

If movement and fitness dysfunction persist, then use this guide as a reference to source the problem. Even if you're considered a healthy and fit adult, there are always opportunities for improvement. Have a great week.

Ryan Richards is a fitness personality who has been keeping the Vail Valley in shape for over a decade. He is a master trainer at the Sonnenalp Club, and an online coach at ryanrichards.com. Call him at 970-401-0720.

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