Thursday, March 19, 2009

2009 Predictions for Health, Fitness and Athletic Performance

So I wrote this back in November and have not had time to even proof it and get it out and now 1/4 of 2009 is over! Time flies.

I have only listed 5 here and if you want to see the rest of the list I will only be sending it out to my loyal newsletter subscribers. It only takes a few seconds to sign up to my newsletter, so go to the upper right hand side of this blog and enter in your name and
email. I HATE spam and will never sell your address or send you crap. Plus you will be the first to hear about any upcoming events, products and news.

The rest of the list will go out to my newsletter on Monday, March 23 at noon CST, so sign up now.

Here ya go!

Mike T Nelson's Predictions for Health, Fitness and Athletic Performance in 2009

"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." Niels Bohr

In no particular order, here are my thoughts

1) Movement and Mood
I think more people will look at the connection between movement and mood. All things being equal, the better your movement, the better your mood. Notice your movement when you are sick--usually not very good. How do you know when Fido is sick? Fido's movement goes in the hopper as he mopes around. Fido can't speak to you and tell you he is sick, you infer that from his movement. Fix your movement and note the difference! This is a huge reason why I love Z Health. See also

Mood and Mobility

Dopamine, Mood, Movement and Exercise

2) Kettlebells are here to stay

Every year, more and more people learn about kettlebells and they are here to stay. Kettlebells are not new, and have been used for well over 300 years.

The kettlebell appears in a 1704 Russian Dictionary (Cherkikh, 1994). I love KBs, but I agree that they are NOT the ONLY implement to use. If you only use KBs--great, but it is not a requirement. KBs provide a great way to perform many great exercises like KB swings, KB snatches, presses, cleans, etc.

Just make sure to find a good instructor to show you have to use them properly. And be sure to stay far far away from jokers like this below (click on it to open)

Kettleworx As Seen on KARE 11 TV Can Kiss My....

3) Painful hands on (massage) work will be used less
As more people investigate the nervous system, there will be less and less use of painful techniques for hands on work.
Creating pain is NOT needed to get the desired result
, and many times it may be going in the wrong direction.

If you are trying to get OUT of pain, why would you do things that put you IN pain?

If you come in to see someone and complain about a painful right shoulder, I could take a hot poker and stab your right ankle with it. The pain in your right shoulder will feel much less. I know this is an extreme example (and no I don't use red hot pokers or branding irons) , but the idea is similar.

Despite popular belief, even scar work does NOT need to be painful. I've had great scar work done on myself and none of it was painful.

If someone wants to use an implement on you, I would politely pass. Check that, I would actually get up off the table and run out the door as fast as you could. Send a check in the mail for payment later.

You don't need someone with a dull spoon digging around your rotator cuff area. It is true that these techniques can result in temporary relief, but long term I believe there is a better way. cough cough, insert Z Health Level 4 plug here.

Don't try to blow up the safe when you just need the correct combination to open the door.

For more info, see the links below
Myth Busters: Painful Soft Tissue Work

4) Mechanical vs Neurological Solutions
The current trend seems to still be in the mechanical realm for performance and pain reduction. Oh, your hip flexors are "tight" and that further causes your glutes to be inhibited (reciprocal inhibition) so we need to stretch your hip flexors and strengthen your glutes.

While I believe you can get good results with this approach in many cases, but remember that the WHOLE body is HIGHLY INTEGRATED and it is very rarely that simple (although sometimes it is). We need to take a WHOLE BODY approach. Many times I see hip flexor and glute issues traced back to the feet/ankles being goofed up.

A pure biomechanical approach will provide some results, but at some point you will run into a ceiling (stole that one from Dr. Cobb). At some point we need to think WHY is a certain muscle tight/weak, etc and we end up at the nervous system.

The nervous system is what is TELLING the muscles to be tight, so for OPTIMAL results we need to use a system that targets the nervous system (hence, why I love Z Health, I know some are tired of hearing that by now).

If you believe that the nervous system holds all the keys, and most will agree with that, why would you go back to a pure biomechanical approach then?

When I started college many years ago (ok, it was 1992 and I suddenly feel old now since I am STILL in freaking college.) I was convinced that the biomechanical approach was the best and even completed a MS in Mechanical Engineering focusing on biomechanics. I soon realized that I needed to go further upstream into the brain and nervous system since that is what is really controlling the show! Hence that part about me still being in college.

5) Vision Training will be more mainstream
Rumor has it that Nike has a vision training system due out in 2009. Most people think of vision as only visual acuity (how well you can see the numbers and letters at the doc's office). I am 20/20, so I am all good, right?

There are actually many more components to vision such as the ability to see in 3D (since we have 2 eyes), the ability to switch from a close to a far target (looking up from my laptop here my eyes have to change focus to see who is walking towards me for example) and other components.

Remember that the eyes are controlled by MUSCLES! Muscles can be trained.

Keep in mind the SAID principle----ALL visual work will have to be made SAID specific as part of the progression! This point will most likely be lost. Z Health S Phase contains many many great visual training skills. Drop me a line if you are interested---awesome stuff

I have more predictions, but you will have to sign up to my newsletter by entering your name and email in the box on the upper right hand side. Do so by this coming Monday, March 23 at noon CST as I will be sending out my newsletter with the rest of list then.

I promise I will NEVER send you any spam because I hate stupid spam.

That is it for my crystal ball look into 2009. What are your predictions/thoughts? Agree or disagree? Am I off my rocker completely?

Rock on
Mike T Nelson