Here’s What Happened When I Stopped Tracking Every Workout and Started Listening to my Body

Long ago, before the days of fitness apps and trackers, in a land without SmartPhones or Siri, there were Excel Spreadsheets. And I loved them.

 

Part of it was my banking profession; the other part was my super-charged, Type A+ personality. By day, I lived in a world of financial models and revenue projections. By night, I meticulously tracked every metric of my seven to 10 workouts per week, believing that if my calories out exceeded my calories in, I’d lose weight and perform better.

 

Cardio consumed me. I recorded the length, time and pace of every swim, run and bike ride. I monitored average, high and median heart rate, as well as calories, burned. Every. Single. Day.

 

This went on until the morning I woke up and realized I wasn’t having fun anymore. Excessive training and obsessive tracking of every workout were proving exhausting. The constant focus on external metrics and the search for extrinsic validation was making me miserable.

 

So I stopped. Cold turkey. No more heart rate monitor. No more spreadsheets. No more overanalyzing every meal. Here’s what happened.

 

When I Stopped Tracking My Workouts…

 

I started tuning in.
Instead of obsessing about what the heart rate monitor said, I listened to my body. Instead of paying attention to my watch, I paid attention to my form. Instead of believing that my workout was a time to “check out”, I took advantage of the opportunity to pay attention and to be present in mind and body.

 

I lost weight and gained strength.
I used to believe that if I wasn’t burning 1,000 calories per hour and sweating profusely, a workout wasn’t legitimate. When I stopped obsessing about the data, I started eating and exercising intuitively. I cut the cardio in favor of strengthening workouts that increased muscle and revved my metabolism.

 

I exercised less and ate better.
I stopped over-exercising and replaced intense workouts with more strength- and stretching-based exercises. I took days off and embraced things like mobility and meditation, which challenged me on a whole new level. Less output helped me curb carb cravings and fuel with healthy fats and protein versus sugar.

 

I was less stressed.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but the constant feeling that I had to achieve something quantitative was stressful. Even when I wasn’t competing in a race, I was competing with myself. A number on the scale or the readout of a monitor could make or break my day, a reaction so deeply ingrained but so counterproductive to my wellness. Once I stopped tracking, I stopped worrying about it.

 

I realized that the metrics don’t paint the whole picture.
A lot of metrics aren’t as objective as we think. Just as a scale at the doctor’s office needs to be calibrated, so do machines and trackers. Readings can vary, as can what is recorded. For example, heart rate can be influenced by your hydration, sleep or how well you’ve recovered from a previous workout. The metrics aren’t fixed, which means relying on them as your sole source of information (and validation) may not lead you to the most accurate perception of your workouts.

 

I had more fun.
My relationship with exercise completely changed. It shifted from something I had to do something I got to do. It transformed from punishment to privilege and became more enjoyable on all levels.

 

The Challenges I Faced Along the Way

 

This shift in mindset wasn’t easy.

 

During the process of shedding my tracking obsession, I experienced waves of guilt, anxiety and data addiction. It was hard to put down the watch. I had a looming feeling that if a workout wasn’t recorded, it didn’t happen.

 

The transformation from imprisoned to empowered happened slowly and over time, like a dimmer versus a switch.

 

Gradually, there were glimpses of change: I noticed that I could go for a run and still feel great even if I didn’t measure the time, distance or speed. I recognized that the world continued to turn even when I forgot to record a workout. And somewhere along the way, I broke free of the self-imposed expectations and have never looked back.

 

Ultimately, this process taught me that information is important — but what we do with it is even more important.

 

No matter whether you choose to use every gadget available or you like to keep your workouts analog, be sure to check in with how you feel and how the data makes you feel.

 

Remember, your worth is more than a number on a scale, dashboard or spreadsheet. And sometimes, ignoring those numbers may be the key to greater health and happiness.

Motherhood, Self-Care and Being an Instructor

At Alkalign we are fortunate to have a diverse set of instructors who bring their real, raw and human experiences to our studio. Our instructors range from college students to empty nesters to professionals to moms of little ones. We pride ourselves on community and our instructors are a key part of what makes it so great. If you’ve ever wondered if you can make teaching a part of your life, keep reading. We are so happy that Emily Travis of our Grand Rapids, MI studio is sharing her story with us. If you are interested in being an instructor, please contact us! We’d love to set up a meeting to see if we are a good fit.

 

 

My name is Emily and I am an instructor at our Alkalign Grand Rapids location in Ada Village.  My husband and I are both West Michigan transplants and have fallen in love with the area, settling down with our daughter Madison, and our old boxer pup, Burton. We spend a lot of our time ‘up north’ and are truly Mitten mainstays! A few fun facts about me…I am a VERY passionate college football fan, I have two Bachelor degrees in Sports Medicine-Exercise Science & Nursing and I love a good thunderstorm.

 

When the opportunity to be an instructor came up, I wasn’t sure if I had the time to commit to teaching. I had been a loyal client since the day the Ada studio opened in 2017 while pregnant in my second trimester with Madison. I was passionate about the practice and knew from my own body how much healthier and stronger I felt (pregnant or not). I went back to work for 3 months as a nurse after Madison’s birth, but decided that stepping away from nursing for a while was the best decision for my family and I. This decision opened the door for me to seriously consider being an instructor at Alkalign. Becoming an instructor gave me the ability to continue to have a positive impact on people’s lives. It’s a  professional outlet for me as an Exercise Science/Nurse junkie, it helps me in my own Alkalign practice and I can still focus on being “Mom.” Most importantly, being an instructor helps me maintain “Me.”

 

Some days I miss the impact I had on people as a nurse – helping people and being the best part of their day. Alkalign allows me to keep that feeling, but in a manageable way so that I can still be an important presence at home for Madison.  Being an instructor and mom fits our lives!  As an added bonus, it has helped me be more present when I am taking class. I’ve noticed as a mom that having true mind-body connection and focusing on myself for 45 minutes to an hour is so important. I am so much more present in my practice now than I was before becoming an instructor.

 

When I teach or attend class during the day, it’s nice to have the ability to bring Madie with me. Our playroom and staff are caring and attentive. It allows Madie to grow up with an awareness that self-care and exercise are vital to overall good health and that helping other people be the best versions of themselves has a far-reaching positive impact. I hope she looks back at her Mom one day and understands that I made the best decisions for myself and our family and she can too.

 

My advice for anyone with children who is considering teaching is to look in the mirror and realize that you truly are capable of things you might not think you are. Alkalign is a family, a great team to be a part of, and we all support each other. Some of the best parts of my day are in our studio in Ada. Madison cracks me up when she helps put my weights away after class — She watches everything, soaks it all in and by taking care of myself and others, I am teaching her to do the same someday.

 

Interested in learning more about joining Team Alkalign? Click the link below!

Become the Best Trained Fitness Instructor in 10 Weeks

Testimonial: 5 Years, 100 Alkalign Classes

Thank you to Lizzie, Katherine, Cathy, Pauline, Erin, and the entire team for creating a place where I felt like I could really fit in. I never played a sport and had no athletic experience of any kind. Aside from a year with a personal trainer getting ready for Half Dome in 2011, I had little formal exercise instruction. I have tendonitis and am pre-carpal tunnel, so I have issues with making sure exercises are safe. I also have perfectionist disordered thinking, so I want to give up when I fail (yes, therapy).

 

Alkalign was the first group workout that I felt I could actually do. They’re super focused on form and offer lots of modification options, so I learned safe ways to exercise without pissing off my elbows and wrists. I learned  “less is more” – do the best form with whatever movement that results in, and maybe it’s very little movement, or maybe no weights – and that’s ok!  During class, they’re constantly checking my form and cueing me to check myself. Some of the teachers and regular class attendees are ripped AF for inspiration!

 

Alkalign took in my non-exercising self,  my pregnant self (there are often pregnant, even very pregnant, women in class), and my postpartum post C-section self. After all my life stages, they also took in my working way too much self for several rounds! Each time I fell off the Alkalign wagon (because life happens), I came back in a different phase in my life, with a different body and Alkalign was always the right place.

 

Now that I’m moving, I’m going to be hunting people willing and worthy of opening an Alkalign franchise in the East Bay area so that I can keep taking classes there.

 

Thank you, Alkalign.

Diana Maltzer

 

Click Here to Learn More About Franchising

Testimonial: Why I Alkalign

After umpteen years of pounding the pavement and flirting with every new exercise trend – and having just received a “gnarly MRI” on my knee – the stars aligned and Elise Fiechtner brought Alkalign to Ada, Michigan. I quickly learned that “low impact” doesn’t mean “low challenge.” Alkalign workouts kick my butt! They work every single fiber in my body and awaken my core and muscle groups that I’d unknowingly ignored for decades. I now understand proper alignment and functional movement and have learned how to recover through Recharge (rolling). Beyond all the health benefits, I’ve become part of this uber-supportive, humble, fun, come-as-you-are community.

 

The movement/practice both feeds my body and quiets my mind. I’ve entered my 60’s with new-found health and gusto, and I credit Alkalign. I Alkalign so I can do everything else in my life.

 

Being active outside in nature is everything to me. It’s my happy, healing, and creative place. I’m hiking long distances with zero knee pain. My dogs, Obie and Emmie, love our adventures at Seidman Park and along the Lake Michigan shoreline and dunes. I can tackle my favorite mountain bike course with joy and relative ease. I call Riley Trails “extreme for seniors” but it thrills me to no end to fly through the forest and handle nature’s obstacles as they come. I catch myself smiling when I’m biking 🙂

 

With the knee diagnosis, I’d wondered whether I’d ever ski again – but on a recent trip to Montana, I not only skied for five days, but I received the ultimate compliment from my ski coach son, Peter. “You’ve never skied better, Mom!” Last year I took up Paddleboarding. Talk about recruiting your core!

 

Most important of all…I’m able to be an active Nana to sweet “Oh Henry,” who’s almost three. He’s also a nature lover and, like his dad was as a toddler, he’s loaded with energy and eager for everything. There’s so darn much to discover. I’m up for his cries of “One more time” and “Let’s do it again.” Put a price on that! Henry’s new brother will arrive in August. I can’t wait.

 

Grateful,

Marti

Announcing Alkalign Unplugged!

Alkalign founder and owner Erin Paruszewski and Master Instructor Cathy Purnell join forces as newbie podcasters to have conversations on health and wellness in their brand new podcast called “Alkalign Unplugged.”

 

As a lifelong athlete, Erin is passionate about health and wellness and Cathy is one of Alkalign’s  Master Instructors. Cathy and Erin were inspired to start a podcast by the amazing clients they interact with each day. “We have so many wonderful men and women with a wide range of talents, experiences, and careers, we thought it would be fun to get to know our community and share that with listeners,” says Erin. Between Cathy’s secret desire to be a talk show host and the duo’s gift of gab, Alkalign Unplugged was born.

 

“People should tune into our podcast to learn something new about a whole host of topics they will find relatable and, ideally, entertaining!” says Cathy. The show’s focus is on health and wellness topics that are relatable to everyone. Cathy and Erin’s style is authentic and will feature a wide range of topics including mental health, nutrition, stress management, injury prevention, mindfulness and much more.

 

Alkalign Unplugged is more than just another fitness podcast. It’s an opportunity to connect with life stories that engage us on a real, raw and human level. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or PodBean.

 

 

3 Reasons Alkalign is Good For Your Mental Health

“In case of emergency, air masks will drop from the ceiling. Please put your own mask on before helping others.” We’ve all heard this on airplanes and perhaps half-heartedly pay attention to those safety instructions before taking off, but there’s validity in that phrase…..both on a plane and in life. The message is clear: take care of yourself first so that you can help others. Unfortunately, we don’t always do that and our own self-care is not prioritized.

 

At Alkalign, we put the mind/body connection at the forefront of our practice. Here are 3 reasons why you should commit to your overall health and join us in our studio on a regular basis.

 

1. Physical Activity Improves Your Mood. If we sound like a broken record telling you what you already know, that’s probably because many people don’t make physical activity a priority in their self-care practice. So here’s your reminder! Exercise helps your body produce endorphins, aka the body’s natural ‘feel good’ hormones. The simple act of devoting an hour a day can de-stress and focus you, improving your overall mental health. Simply put….exercise feels good from the inside out.

 

2. Community & Human Connection Are Essential for Happiness. In our digital world, the need for human connection is more important than ever. Our studio is full of upbeat music, positive energy and Alkalign buddies that help you feel more connected in an increasingly disconnected world. You will also find camaraderie, accountability, support and motivation to move beyond your workout plateaus by positioning yourself next to a friend who pushes you!

 

3. We Invest in the WHOLE You. Alkalign provides the tools to help you change your life. We are built on the belief that balance is the foundation for life. Balance is what keeps us grounded and what challenges us to push our limits. Whether your life has become unbalanced or you just need a little alignment in your life, Alkalign aims to care for the whole you.

 

Ready to commit to your self-care routing? Check out your local Alkalign studio for the schedule!

Self Care is the New Health Care

As I reflect upon the past year, I would never have dreamed that I would do one Alkalign class, yet a year later I’m at almost 200 classes! I never considered myself an “excerisey” person, and definitely not a barre class person. No way. Not me. I tried a barre class years ago and I was so sore for so long that I never wanted to go back.

 

A year ago, struggling with insomnia and joint pain from hypermobility was my normal, and it was exhausting. I knew this was not the life I was meant to live. It was time for me to focus on my health and time for me to find help.

 

On Valentine’s Day in 2018, I tried my first Alkalign class as a ‘love note’ to myself. My very first Alkalign class was a 101 class with Danielle. I was pleasantly surprised that the class practices the exact exercises I was instructed from my physical therapist to do daily but NEVER did them.  Using a block between my feet reminded me to think about my gait. My Alkalign instructor helped me recognize that my shoulders, my neck, my knees, all my body needed to be in alignment. I described the class as “group PT”, and YES I would be back.

 

Eventually, I graduated from 101 to Align and I even was brave enough to try Cardio! I was hooked on feeling healthy, I was falling asleep easier and waking up without SI pain.

 

I am overwhelmed with gratitude and happiness. I have had the longest stretch of pain-free days in many years. The sharp, stabbing, fire pain of my SI (sacroiliac joint) has subsided. Alkalign has taught me life lessons in a supportive community with genuinely caring instructors. The most important thing for me, which I constantly repeat to everyone I meet, is “self-care is the new health care.” How true it is.

 

I’ve learned that taking care of myself helps me live pain-free and my feelings have trickled down to my relationship with my family. Here’s to 300 classes! Thank you Alkalign.

 

Sarah Wong – Alkalign Client

Testimonial: ALKALIGN Stands For…

Every challenge we host in our studios brings out the best in us all! We are happy to end our March Madness Buddy Challenge with this amazing testimonial from one of our Los Altos studio clients, Kristen Stothard. She shared with us what ALKALIGN stands for and we couldn’t say it better than this!

 

A: Awareness. I now pay attention to everyday movements like bending over, turning around, reaching back, picking up, and more. I realize now that doing these things while aligned properly makes a difference in how I feel at the end of the day.

 

L: Love group exercise classes! I was never one to go to the gym to workout. I had a perception in my head on what it looked like and it didn’t appeal to me. Boy, was I wrong! The community aspect at Alkalign is just as important as the exercise itself.

 

K: Keeping it real. The classes at Alkalign work for everyone. It doesn’t matter your age group, your levels of fitness if you are a new mother or a grandmother – the class is designed to fit my needs wherever I am that day.

 

A: Attitude is key! Rather than dreading the time I carve out for myself and my body I’ve discovered how to appreciate it and embrace it. This change in my attitude has made a huge difference in my personal fitness.

 

L: Listen to my body. After hitting 45 I realized my body is telling me a lot! Alkalign is teaching me to listen to those muscles and work to make them leaner and stronger, to stretch and roll consistently, and to pay attention to my balance and alignment.

 

I: Instructors rock! Oh my goodness. If it wasn’t for the amazing instructors at Alkalign I would never make it. Having them there to correct, adjust, and push me is so important. Hanging out with them after class is even better. 🙂

 

G: Get it done! Rather than look for an excuse to get out of class I look for a reason to get there and get it done. I feel better afterward and have never regretted taking the time out of my day for Alkalign.

 

N: New things my body can do. It never fails that during class I realize something my body can do that it couldn’t before. Hold the position longer, squat a little deeper, point a little straighter, etc. etc. It’s because of this that I keep coming back for more.

Looking Back and Growing Forward: Embracing a Growth Mindset

The 10 year Anniversary of the opening of our Menlo Park studio has given me pause to reflect and look back and how my own life has changed since 2009. There are a few more candles on my birthday cake and more “laugh” lines on my face. All a testament to a decade of a life well lived!

 

In 2009, I was a full-time mom raising my 3 daughters. Amy was 17 and a junior in high school and beginning to look ahead to college. Molly was 15 and a freshman at St. Francis. Abby was 12 and attending St. Simon’s school. I was a part-time chauffeur, laundry service, short order cook, counselor, volunteer, etc, etc…And I LOVED every second of those years. (Well, maybe not every second!). While the girls were at school I was running a lot of miles at Rancho San Antonio with my running partner. We logged close to 40 miles per week when we were training for marathons, qualified for and ran the Boston Marathon twice. The endorphin rush of a good long run is something I still enjoy, albeit at a much slower pace. Looking back, I could mourn what is no longer… our home filled with the laughter of my girls and their friends (especially during high school when our home became home base after school). Oh, how I loved spending time preparing snacks at the kitchen island, silently listening to the deep inner workings of the teenage heart and mind. I still manage a run with my running partner on Friday mornings but they are shorter (and slower) and we don’t spend an hour afterward lingering at Starbucks over a non-fat latte. Yes, those years were fantastic but instead of longing to go back, I have learned to look forward. To “grow” forward and embrace a growth mindset.

 

In roughly 2010, our therapist posed the question of “what is next for you, Cathy, once your girls grow up and your nest is empty?” I had to give some serious thought to the fact that I was nearing a “forced retirement” of sorts. What would my next chapter be? I still had a few years to ponder my options. Would I go back and renew my teaching credentials? Go back to work? Devote time into more volunteer endeavors? Be a lady of leisure? 😉

 

Fast forward to 2011, I was taking classes at the Los Altos studio (after an IT band injury after the Boston Marathon). I worked at the front desk and grew to love the community of instructors and the clients. When Erin approached me to ask if I would be interested in training to teach, I thought she had lost her mind. I was 49 years old!!! A fitness instructor??  After consulting with Jeff and the girls, I leaned into my self-doubt and said YES! Was I scared? You bet I was! Would I be able to get up in front of clients/friends who once viewed me as a student, put a mic on and lead the class?? Would I remember what to say to cue them into position? Would clients be put off by my age? My inner critic was large and in charge! Training to teach allowed me the opportunity to confront that inner mean girl, lean into the challenge and flex the muscles of a growth mindset.

 

The decision to teach at Alkalign has changed my life in more ways than I can say. This chapter of my life has been incredibly fulfilling.  I love what I do and look forward to what is ahead at Alkalign and in other areas of my life. My three teenagers from 2009 are now embracing their own growth mindsets. Amy is 27 and getting married in August. She and her fiance, Max, will be heading to Germany in September so that he can pursue a master’s degree.  Molly will be moving from Washington, DC where she has been a pediatric transplant nurse at Georgetown to Seattle for a job at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Abby will graduate in May from Villanova University and is heading to NYC to work as an Economics Consultant. They are fearlessly embracing the unknown of what is to come. I couldn’t be more proud of them and I look forward to watching them continue to blossom.

 

My nest may be empty but my life is full because of my connections and community at Alkalign. As for Jeff and I, we are excited about what life has in store for us. We look back with so much gratitude while setting our sights ahead to a bright future.  

One Decade Down

Ten years ago today, March 28th, I opened my first boutique fitness studio in Menlo Park, CA. I was newly married and new to the area, only knowing a few folks from my banking days on Sand Hill Road.

 

Obama has just initiated his tenure as the 44th President and Slumdog Millionaire won Best Picture. Beyoncé’s Single Ladies and Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” topped the charts. Uber was conceived and the first iPad was yet to be released. The U.S. was in the midst of a financial crisis. Swine flu was a global pandemic.

 

I was 30 years young and as green in business as my environmentally friendly studio. I was lucky to have an amazing team and a seemingly endless supply of energy that allowed me to teach 22-24 classes per week. I was on the forefront of the barre craze, bringing the first studio of its kind to the peninsula.

 

Ten years later the world is a different place and I am a different person. Obama, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga all still rock and I have evolved. I have matured. I have become more open and more discerning. I am a mother to two beautiful girls who inspire me each and every day. I am the Founder of Alkalign, a holistic health and wellness company deeply committed to its values and mission. I am a leader who is wholly invested her community. Together, we are a team of individuals; a family of originals.

 

I have sifted and sorted through the b.s. of owning a business. I have met many amazing people. I have met my fair share of @$$holes. I have stepped outside of the fitness industry’s flashy, fad-focused comfort zone to a place no one has gone before. Beyond the barre and in a direction that most don’t even realize they need to go. At least not yet. My goal is to innovate ahead so that my clients never fall behind.

 

Who knows what the future holds? I predict that someday people will look back and try to picture life before Alkalign much like we look back and imagine our lives before Snapchat, Instagram, oat milk, emojis and #hashtags. #canyoubelieveit #hashtagswereinventedin2007

 

All I know for sure is that my life is more fulfilled now because of every person I’ve connected with and every obstacle I’ve encountered and ultimately overcome. The physical strength I glean from Alkalign pales in comparison to the mental.

 

I am deeply grateful for the last decade and look forward to a fulfilling adventure ahead as I forge a path forward with friends, family and franchisees by my side. Thank you to everyone who has and will continue to be part of the journey.

 

 

Human Beings Need Human Connection

Those of you who take my class frequently have heard me joke about cuddle parties and eye contact parties (yes, they are a thing).  And while we often laugh off those ideas as yet another “weird Bay Area thing”, it’s actually not niche or fringe.  Activities like these are speaking to our deep-rooted need for human connection.

 

In our world of social media, screens, and virtual assistants, we are more starved of real, authentic human interaction than ever.  The New York Times just published a piece on human interaction being seen as a luxury good. Some of the fastest growing health and fitness brands are entirely virtual and you participate from behind a screen in your own home.  While I’m all for reducing barriers to increasing how much you move, some things can’t be done from behind a screen.

 

Alkalign prides ourselves on bucking the tech trend.  Yes, we put down roots in Silicon Valley – the tech capital of the world – but we are committed to offering a community-based brick and mortar experience. Our physical studios and group class environment offers our clients a more effective workout because you get immediate visual, verbal and hands-on feedback from our highly trained instructors.  We can adjust your alignment, rub your feet, and greet you with a hug.

 

What’s even more powerful than what we do for your workout is the relationships created, fostered and nurtured from within our four walls.  I am constantly humbled by the support and encouragement our clients offer each other through the good days and the bad. All you need to do is check out our client testimonials to read about the power of our community or better yet, come in and take a class to experience it for yourself.

Everyday is a ‘Full Body’ Day

Your body is a system of systems that work together to help you functionally move in everyday life as well as perform better in every activity you engage in. Why would you treat your body as separate parts on your workout days? We’ve all heard the infamous line from friends, family, and coworkers: “It’s leg day.” We’ve listened to it so much we fail to question why people isolate their body parts in their workouts. We assume that’s how strengthening should happen because that’s what we’ve been conditioned to believe.

 

Alkalign believes your workout should work your whole body, every time. Your body is smart and dynamic…isn’t it time you start treating it like it is? Your mind isn’t separate from your body, your legs and arms don’t work in isolation without your core. Mindful movement combined with paying attention in class is not only great for your body, but also for your mind and mental health.

 

For most of us, most of the time, total-body training that incorporates functional training is the best thing for your body. Workouts (like the kind at Alkalign) that rely on combination strength-training moves, stretching and mobility that engages your mind and muscle groups all at once with are the best way to get what you want out of your fitness routine and overall wellness for long-term.

 

Whether you are an endurance athlete looking to up your game, have an injury that has sidelined you from exercise, and you want to get back into it, or a regular Joe/Jane who just wants to feel better in your body, we have a workout that’s perfect for you.

 

Whole body. Whole person. Whole life.

Your Smart, Dynamic Body

Earlier this month, I had the incredible opportunity to spend the weekend at 1440 Multiversity to take a course on Dynamic Aging co-taught by movement and yoga/mobility pioneers Katy Bowman and Jill Miller. While I am still processing all of the juicy content from the weekend, the one overarching message from the course is that our bodies are smart and they adapt quickly.  As you delve into the details, this can be both good and bad.

 

The benefit of quick adaptation is that we are resilient.  For example, if you’ve ever broken your toe, you know that your body adopts a new walking pattern so that you can still walk while giving the damaged toe time to heal. However, once your toe has healed, you likely still walk like a person with a broken toe because your body has adapted to that new movement pattern. The magnitude of the movement change depends on the severity and duration of the trigger that caused it. This change in movement pattern can cause excessive wear and tear on tissues and joints and be a trigger for chronic movement dysfunction and pain.

 

The good news is that you can break this cycle (and Alkalign can help). First, identify your (bad) adaptations. Do you have imbalances in your strength, coordination or mobility on one side vs. the other? What is your body compensating for and why?  Alkalign’s balanced strength building classes and trained instructors can help you identify this for yourself. Then, restore and maintain mobility by staying for the final stretch and taking Recharge and + Recharge classes.

 

Finally, move mindfully and diversify your movement.  All Alkalign classes help you learn how to do this. However, 1 class is only 4% of your day.  Take your education outside of our studios and into your car, office, and home. Sit in as many different ways as possible; put your pants on with your left leg first; walk to places that are less than 1 mile from your home.  Your body will thank you today and for years to come.

 

Want to learn more? Check out this video on the Alkalign YouTube Channel on how Alkalign can help you rehab your movement.

 


CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO ALKALIGN’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL


 

Bruised But Not Broken

Barry’s Bootcamp recently opened in Palo Alto, CA and my Co-Director of Innovation, Lizzie, invited me to join her for a class. We alternated between running on the treadmill and heavy weights on the floor. During the second set of treadmill sprints it happened: the dreaded treadmill tumble. It happened so fast I didn’t have time to process. I fell off the treadmill. OMG. I fell off the treadmill! Ouch. Right away I could tell my fall was going to leave a mark. I had road rash on my arm and bloody knuckles. Despite my embarrassment I got back on and completed the workout. Surprisingly no one even seemed to notice it happened, which only made it all the more awkward.

 

After the fall I replayed the scenario in my head. I am a movement specialist who studies and coaches movement for a living. I am a functional fitness expert. Running is a faster version of walking and walking is the beloved 7th functional movement. It’s the one functional movement that we do most in our daily lives. I’ve run 7 marathons and thousands upon thousands of miles in my life. How could I, of all people, fall off a treadmill?🤦🏻‍♀️

 

The truth is I lost focus. I got distracted and stopped paying attention. I went into auto-pilot and my movement became mindless. It happens to all of us every day. We are so busy that we occasionally miss a step or mis-judge the distance between our hip and the corner of the counter. Sh*t happens. Unless we wrap ourselves in bubble wrap and never get out of bed, that will never change. We can’t control the universe but we can impact the way we respond to it.

 

The key is resiliency. Train your body to respond to its surroundings and circumstances with mitigated risk. All the work I’ve done at Alkalign to improve my strength, balance, core stability, mobility and mind body connection made the difference between a serious injury and being relatively unscathed. Alkalign doesn’t guarantee you won’t stumble or even fall, but should you get knocked down, a regular, functional movement practice helps you get up again with the grace of Chumbawamba.

 

My elbow, knee and ego may have been severely bruised, but I was not, am not, nor will be broken. To me, the investment in myself and my health is worth it.

Podcast Alert! Improve Your Functional Movement
Erin Paruszewski interviewed by Drew Taddia on Exploring Mind and Body.

Alkalign Founder Erin Jennings Paruszewski was recently featured on Drew Taddia‘s podcast, Exploring Mind and Body. In the episode, Improve Your Functional Movement, Erin talks about what Alkalign is and why everybody needs mobility and functional strength training.

Drew Taddia travelled the world as a professional baseball athlete for 10 years before following his entrepreneurial spirit started his health and fitness business. Seeking a larger platform to reach more people and help change their lives for the better, he started sharing his information on radio and podcasts. Find Drew Taddia’s show iTunes, on his website or on Facebook.