Have you ever thought about the relationship between movement, exercise and training? All of these are important when it comes to longevity and healthspan, but it’s the practice of mindfully and intentionally training for something that allows you to go the distance. At Alkalign, the thing we are training for is life. More specifically, a long, high-quality life in which you can continue to walk, garden, travel and play pickleball without aches, pains and injuries. Contrary to popular belief, feeling miserable is not an inevitable outcome of aging. It’s heavily influenced by not taking care of your body when you have the chance.
There is a difference between movement, exercise and training. Movement is the activity you do throughout the day. Walking to the mailbox, taking the dog for a walk around the block, gardening, fidgeting, etc. Exercise are things we do with a little more intention and effort. For example, you may put on your workout clothes, your special running/tennis/hiking/cycling shoes or your grippy socks to make it happen. Whether it’s tennis, a hike or a class, you categorize it as exercise because it’s more structured and requires more thought, effort and exertion than walking to the faucet to fill your water bottle.
Alkalign takes exercise to the next level. Alkalign is designed to be a training program, which is why we offer all the components of fitness that one needs to stay holistically healthy – strength, alignment, mobility and cardiovascular programming. What’s the difference between exercise and training? The intention, the consistency and the plan.
Think of a contractor building a house. A good one will have a solid plan that incorporates an order of operations. If you want your house to be a high quality structure, you have to start with a high quality foundation and build from there. It doesn’t matter how pretty the paint or the roof is. If the foundation isn’t in place, the structure will eventually be compromised.
The same is true of your body. Mobility is the foundation for alignment and alignment is the foundation of strength. Cardio, which often involves larger or faster movements to increase the heart rate, should come last because if you move too big or too fast without a foundation of alignment and strength, injury is inevitable.
Alkalign is designed to incorporate all of these elements that are crucial for physical fitness. We layer on education, mindfulness and neuromuscular connection to improve cognitive function, proprioception and mind-body connection. At Alkalign, we are not just telling you what to do. You are an active participant in the process.
- We educate you on the exercises, the proper alignment and the “why” behind what we are doing.
- We empower you to make choices that work best for you, including modifications and recovery days.
- We inspire you to keep showing up with knowledgeable and engaging instructors, fun theme classes and different durations and formats that work with any schedule.
Anyone can take one class here and another class there. Anyone can “check the exercise box” with a pickup game of tennis or a random YouTube workout. Those are fun forms of exercise, but in order to have long-lasting health benefits from exercise, consistently sticking with a plan that incorporates mobility, stability, alignment, strength and cardio is crucial for long-term benefits. You can’t safely have one without the other, and at the end of the day, injury prevention is the most important thing you can prioritize and most likely the last thing you think about until it’s too late.
Take a look at your daily and weekly activities and bucket them into 3 categories: Movement, Exercise and Fitness. Which are intentional and part of a bigger plan? Which ones are haphazard or inconsistent? How can you add or subtract elements to make the approach more intentional, holistic and consistent? Not sure where to start or need help with what’s next? Stay tuned for our upcoming workshop, “The Power of the Training Plan”.