To consult a physician before starting an exercise program is good advice. But before starting an exercise program, you should first step back from some common notions on exercise.

Universally, exercise is known to be good a thing; It helps to maintain normal body weight (by increasing our metabolism), improves your mood, reduces anxiety to improve sleep quality, and it can minimize some of the negative effects of ageing in multiple ways.

However, exercises can also be equally bad for you.

Additionally damaging is if you perform exercises before your muscles are ready, such as: soft tissue damage, joint instability and gradual destruction. The result is your investment in time and effort may not be rewarded or worse, your health can be compromised.

Dr. Eric Goodman, creator of Foundation Training, says; “In learning to exercise there is a hierarchy of importance, the most important being the ability to move well under the constant weight of gravity. If your body learns to move well, exercise becomes far more enjoyable, regardless of the category you choose to participate in”.

What Dr. Goodman is talking about is rarely discussed between trainers and their clients. Many high-level Yoga and Pilates Instructors, Personal Trainers and other movement specialists do not practice with the adequate training to properly load your muscles. Dr. Goodman, stresses this process is the fix to most of our common chronic pains. The right form and foundation of exercise is a cure if done well, but can be your curse if done poorly.

The bottom line is, exercise – but learn the fundamentals.

“You shouldn’t be fearful of exercise”, says Dr. Goodman, “that is a bad way to start the relationship. Look at health as a skill, exercise a part of that skill along with mental and nutritional competency. Like any skill you have to learn the basic fundamentals before progressing too far too fast.”

As a Personal Trainer, Foundation Training has become the answer to a riddle that I have been trying to solve: If someone that I am working with is having a difficult time progressing beyond a specific movement pattern or fitness level, and asking them to try harder only puts them at increased risk of injury, how do I move them forward, safely? “Foundation Training is as fundamental as it gets”, says Dr. Goodman. “It will make exercise make more sense to you”. And, it does.

You can find my previous postings on Foundation Training here and here.

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