Cartoon of two people sitting down having a conversation

Why Healthcare Is Like Dating

You’re looking for someone to care about you, enough so that they want the best for you.

Could be dating, could be finding a new healthcare provider. Whether going well or not, these two situations have a lot of similarities. They boil down to some base questions:

Are you meeting the right kind of person?

In dating, you want to meet someone that you have something in common with.

In healthcare, you want to meet a provider that has training “in common” with your condition. A doctor for illnesses, a dietician for nutritional advice, a massage therapist and exercise physiologist for muscle imbalance and injury prevention – the list could go on and on.

Are you meeting them at the right time?

I recently had a client come in with debilitating back pain. She could hardly move. She’d already been to the physiotherapist, who had given her some exercises to increase her core strength (the right solution, long term)… that she couldn’t do, because she could hardly move. What she needed was the right type of healthcare for her present condition – in this case, remedial massage to relieve the muscle spasm and allow the exercises to work. For the most effective and efficient outcome, you need the right healthcare at the right time.

Do you like them?

In healthcare and dating, there are many fish in the sea. Your doctor, exercise physiologist, dietician, remedial massage therapist, physiotherapist, etc. has approximately the same training as all the others in their field. But, as with dating, just because a person meets basic criteria doesn’t mean that you have to stick with them. Better healthcare happens when you have good communication, and good communication happens when you connect with people. Look for someone who listens to you, asks good questions about how you feel, wants your input, looks to make you a part of the solution, and is nice to you!

(And just like dating, when you find a good one, hang onto them!)


Stress Management In 27 Seconds

Feeling a little overwhelmed with life? In less than 30 seconds, you can feel better. Follow these steps:

  1. Go outside.

2. Look up at the sky. Are there trees around? Look at the trees. Take a deep breath. Take three more.

3. Think about how much sky there is. It goes forever! And it will keep going, today, tomorrow, and in 20 years. Think about how much your to-do list matters, in the scheme of things.

No matter how challenging life is today, it won’t stay that way.

never ending blue sky at the beach at Theodolite National Park at Woodgate Queensland


Supportive health coaching in Brisbane

What You WON’T Get With HealthFit

Every single day thousands of people decide they are going to make a lifestyle change for the better, and they are EXCITED.  They seek help with the process from personal trainers, exercise physiologists, nutritionist and dietitians, doctors, and even family and friends. It’s all too common to see the excitement and motivation fade after a couple of months though, and this often stems from well-intentioned but demoralizing comments from the exact people they need support from!

This is an especially common experience among many HealthFit clients. Though it’s rare that they’ve been told specifically “not to bother”, often casual comments like “I’d thought you’d have done that by now” or “Why don’t you just X, it’s easy” leave them feeling pretty hopeless. The end result is the same: “I can’t do it, I give up…”

HealthFit coaches have heard these stories and we’ve built our coaching process to be everything they aren’t. We’re so grateful to our clients for sharing their past experiences with us, and helping us become something beyond the scope of your average health and fitness advice. By blazing that trail, our clients have helped us decide what we WON’T do for you:

We won’t judge by appearance. Healthy comes in many shapes, sizes, and forms. If you’re happy, we’re happy. If you aren’t, we’ll support you through the process of getting there by building on your strong points. Physical, mental, and emotional health all get as much support as you need.

We won’t judge by ability. One of the biggest problems in the fitness industry and media today is the idea that everything has to be done at 1000% speed, perfection, and effort, or it’s not worth doing. The plain fact is that no one starts anything as a master. Our coaching focuses on teaching you the right skills at the right time, so that progress is smooth and steady and enjoyable!

We won’t guilt-trip you. We get that life happens. (Really. We know what it’s like to eat a whole tub of ice cream in a sitting. More than we’d like to admit.) When you take the occasional step backwards, we’ll be right there with you to help you reframe, refocus, and move forward without worrying about the past.

We won’t make you feel embarrassed. In fact, all we want to do is make you feel great. We keep focused on the positives. When challenges arise, we focus on your strengths to create a plan to get around them without you feeling uncomfortable or overwhelmed. Comfortable, confident, and a little bit challenged is the name of the game.

We won’t tell you to do something you don’t want to do. You are the expert in your life, your abilities, and your body. Sometimes we might give you a little push in one direction or another, but you always have the final say in every decision. Our goal is to help you figure out how healthy is made easy for you. 

By listening to what doesn’t work, we’ve learned what does. We’d be thrilled to give you the support and tools you need, and keep you excited about the process of making progress! If you think HealthFit health and fitness coaching sessions sound right for you, we can meet you face to face around Brisbane,  or online anywhere, anytime. Contact HealthFit here to set up an obligation-free consult call and take the first step towards feeling great!

 


Building muscle with yoga

Does Muscle Actually Turn Into Fat?

The Short Answer: Despite the shift from a toned to a softer appearance, nope, muscle does not turn into fat with decreased use.

It’s actually impossible. Muscle tissue and adipose tissue – aka fat – are different types of tissue, from function all the way down to the molecular structure. Muscle tissue turning directly into fat would be the everyday equivalent of turning water into motor oil. But that doesn’t change the fact that muscle tissue will change appearance through decreased use.

So why do our muscles go from lean and hard to small and soft?

The shift of larger, harder muscles to smaller, softer muscles is due to a loss of muscle size and muscle tone. Appearance can also be affected by overall levels of body fat. Of those contributing factors, muscle tone has the greatest effect on how much a muscle looks like, well, a muscle.

A muscle’s “tone” is it’s level of contraction at rest. That may seem contradictory, but all of your muscles maintain a very low level of contraction at all times. This helps keep you upright and in control of your body. Muscle tone is also developed when your muscles do regular, intense work (like strength training). Done frequently, heavy lifting will stimulate your nervous system to maintain increased muscle tone even at rest, as that makes it easier to generate more force and strength when you need it. (Heavy lifting will also stimulate an increase in the size of your muscle cells, which leads to an overall increase in muscle size.) Your large skeletal muscles account for anywhere between 25-45% of your body weight, and they are heavy energy users, even with low resting tone. Increases in both size and tone increase resting metabolic rate – exactly why it’s said that muscle burns more calories than far.

When regular physical demands decrease, your body recognizes an opportunity to save energy by decreasing the size and resting tone of the muscle. The loss of tone in particular leaves the muscles looking softer and looser – giving rise to the myth that your hard-earned muscle turns into fat!

 

References
Martini, F. H. (2005). Fundamentals of Anatomy & Physiology (7th Edition) (7th ed.). San Francisco: Benjamin Cummings.
Masi, A. T., & Hannon, J. C. (2008). Human resting muscle tone (HRMT): Narrative introduction and modern concepts. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 12(4), 320-332. doi:10.1016/j.jbmt.2008.05.007