Many of us choose a fitness routine and keep it the same every single day.
We like the predictability. Maybe it feels grounding and reliable, or maybe we don’t have time to learn something new. When it’s a regular routine, we don’t have to think about it too much.
I’ve done this too (with my yoga practice), and I see this often with friends and students.
My friend who runs marathons is always training, so she doesn’t feel she has time to do anything else. Another friend cycles every other day, but doesn't move in other ways on the off days. Some people walk every day, but don’t stretch or move their spine.
Doing the same exercise routine over and over can seriously tighten our fascia.
Fascia is connective tissue. It’s like a 3-D net throughout the body giving us our physical shape. It can be fuzzy and thin, or thick like leather. Fascia grows every night while you sleep and when you move and stretch your body in the morning, it gets re-absorbed and doesn't create any issues.
If you don't move your body in a variety of ways, the fascia will thicken in those areas and cause restrictions in your range of movements.
This tightening can lead to impaired range of movements in our joints, and restrict our strength, mobility, and flexibility.
I had a body builder in my yoga class who was very strong in certain movements, but when I asked him to try a different position, he couldn't move his arms. He could only move in the way he’d been training.
These limitations can affect our whole body, and have a big impact on daily living.
Internally, the fascial nets connect everything. A pull, imbalance or tightening on one area, will affect all areas and can lead to physical compensation somewhere else. For example, if the fascia in our hips is really tight (perhaps from sitting too long), it can affect how we stand and walk, putting excess pressure on our knees. This in turn, can create knee pain.
Repeating the same exercise over and over can cause repetitive strain injuries to the body.
When we only move in one plane (like running or cycling), we create patterns that limit our mobility. My friend who runs marathons has had many injuries over the years, and this is true for so many of us committed to fitness.
Sometimes we get used to injuries. Some people even feel proud of them, as though they’re a badge of honour. But injuries take a toll on our body, and having an unbalanced routine isn’t a sustainable way to exercise.
Fascia responds best to fluid movements, hydration, and pressure (like massage).
Research continues to prove the importance of fascia and the need to give it a wide variety of movements to keep it responsive and malleable for overall health.
Still love your routine? Here are some ways you can support your fascia:
Have you ever got so excited about an exercise routine that you didn't want to do anything else? I'd love to hear about your experience, in the comments below.
To your fluidity and flexibility,