Functional Fitness: How to Train for Everyday Life | The Health Sessions

Functional Fitness: How to Train for Everyday Life

Most of us work out with a specific motivation in mind. Maybe you want to get back in shape, build more muscle or become a better runner. Improving your overall fitness is often just a nice byproduct. But what if training for real-life situations is your main reason for exercising?

Functional fitness is a term used for full-body workouts, during which you don’t train isolated muscle groups but move your body the way you use it in daily life. Instead of bench-pressing or jumping on the cross-trainer, you train your body to do everyday activities more easily and efficiently.

Functional fitness is also the word that best describes my view on exercising with chronic illness – namely focusing on those areas of fitness that improve your health and quality of life the most. Running on the treadmill obviously boosts your fitness, but it may not be the best choice if what you want most is to be able to carry your toddler or sit behind your desk without debilitating back pain.

You probably don’t live to exercise, but exercise to live a full life.

Read more >Functional Fitness: How to Train for Everyday Life



13 Spoonie-Proof Strategies to Improve Your Attention Span | The Health Sessions

13 Spoonie-Proof Strategies to Improve Your Attention Span

“Where did I leave my keys?”

“It’s on the tip of my tongue…”

We all know what it’s like to be forgetful or have trouble finding the right words. But when your brain constantly lets you down, it has a big impact on your daily life.

Cognitive problems like poor memory, slow thinking, difficulty focusing and mental fatigue are common and frustrating symptoms that accompany many chronic diseases. Mild mental impairments can be the result of physical changes in your body, a side effect from medical treatments or intensified by stress, anxiety and depressive feelings.

People often don’t realise how much cognitive problems affect your everyday activities. When you can’t think as clearly and fast as you used to, it can be hard to finish your studies, perform well at your job, navigate busy traffic safely or even join in on conversations. As a result, having cognitive problems can contribute to loneliness and social isolation almost as much as physical symptoms do.

Attention – the mental ability to focus on one thing while mostly ignoring everything else that’s going on around you – is one of our most basic cognitive functions. It supports countless brain activities, from listening to someone talk and reading this sentence to driving and memorizing new facts.

That’s why the tips below focus on the often-overlooked mental side of recovery: your attention span. 

Read more >13 Spoonie-Proof Strategies to Improve Your Attention Span



The Benefits of Using a Treadmill: Is it Worth It? | The Health Sessions

The Benefits of Using a Treadmill: Is it Worth It?

This article is written by Melissa Hamler from Access Health

Many of us struggle to get the right amount of exercise into our busy days, often finding it too difficult to afford the gym and make the time to go there. So how can you make it easier and more convenient to get your daily workout in? Consider purchasing a quality treadmill for your home!

Brisk walking and jogging are great for our health, allowing us to reach the daily target of 20-30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity that we should be aiming for. A treadmill allows for this to be possible from the comfort of your own home, all while only requiring a one-time investment.

Read more >The Benefits of Using a Treadmill: Is it Worth It?



Why Chilling Isn't The Same as Real Rest (And What to Do Instead) | The Health Sessions

Why Chilling Isn’t The Same as Real Rest (And What You Should Do Instead)

Flicking through magazines, watching YouTube clips and browsing social media are welcome distractions when your body needs a time-out. Curling up on the couch with your latest Netflix addiction surely is entertaining, but there’s a big difference between chilling in front of the TV and real rest.

Real rest encompasses more than lying still and keeping activity to a minimum. It involves activating your body’s natural relaxation response, a state of deep rest that balances your nervous system and promotes healing.

When you feel under pressure, your body releases stress hormones, triggering your sympathetic nervous system to prepare for fight or flight. The adrenaline in your bloodstream makes your heart beat fast, quickens your breathing and tenses your muscles. That’s very helpful in dangerous situations, but unfortunately it’s also activated by everyday challenges like traffic jams and work deadlines.

Contrary to this all-too-common stress response, the relaxation response acts like a built-in tranquilizer. It stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system to slow down your heart rate and breathing, relax your muscles and boost your immunity. Research even shows that mind-body interventions that activate the relaxation response, such as yoga and meditation, can reverse harmful inflammation at DNA level.

And what’s best of all: you have the power to produce this relaxation response whenever and wherever you want.

So let’s have a look at how you can maximize your downtime with 7 powerful practices. 

Read more >Why Chilling Isn’t The Same as Real Rest (And What You Should Do Instead)



Road to Recovery: How Anne Doussan Took Her Health into Her Own Hands | The Health Sessions

Road to Recovery: How Anne Doussan Took Her Health into Her Own Hands

When you’re diagnosed with chronic illness, is there anything you can do to improve your health and happiness? Can you (fully) recover from persisting health problems, and if so, how? In this interview on recovery, Anne Doussan from Still Moving shares her story. 

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hello, I’m Anne. I was diagnosed with chronic illnesses in my twenties, and for over a decade I followed the more conventional treatments. After getting little to no relief from surgeries and pharmaceuticals, however, I decided to take matters into my own hands. In February 2017 I went to an inpatient chronic pain and recovery center to get off all my medications and find alternative therapies. Since then, I’ve learned many new approaches to managing my chronic illnesses.

Read more >Road to Recovery: How Anne Doussan Took Her Health into Her Own Hands