Habits and Change

Let’s talk about CHANGE. It’s something most of us want, in one or more aspects of our lives. So, if we want change, why is it so darn hard?

You’ve probably heard of the statement regarding the brain that, “Neurons that fire together, wire together…”

Donald Hebb, a neuropsychologist, explains that every experience we have, and it’s associated feelings, emotions and physical experiences become embedded in our brains. In essence, we create new neuro pathways for the brain.The more an action is repeated, the stronger the connection between these “neurons” or brain cells becomes. This, in turn, creates habits.

There are many ways to interrupt and/or override old habits

Somatic movements that we do in the Release & Restore class, mimic muscle patterns that we use in everyday life. THese give our body messages about how we are moving now and how we move once we release these old patterns. In other words the new muscle pattern overrides the old one. We can then improve our movements and posture and get out of pain.

Nordic Pole Walking has always been considered a sport in Europe. It originated in Finland as summer cross-training for their Olympic cross-country ski team. It quickly became popular with skiers and track and field athletes in Germany. Exercise physiologists have been studying NPW for years. Nordic Pole Walking is a full brain exercise as well an exercise that uses over 90% of our body’s muscles.   Some of its benefits include:

  • Burns 25 – 46% more calories than regular walking
  • Incorporates 90% of the muscles of the body
  • Reduces stress on hip and knee joints by up to 30%
  • Improves posture and balance
  • Provides benefits for those with diabetes and cardiorespiratory conditions
  • Aids in falls prevention
  • Improves ambulation for patients with PD and Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Nordic Pole Walking is providing new treatment opportunities in Neuro-rehabilitation.

When we learn new techniques and combine them with previously learnt experiences, we activate both the conscious and subconscious areas of the brain. Both the left and right sides of the brain are stimulated when we use our arms and legs alternately. This activity opens new neural pathways and reinforces others. Adding the poles to our walk gives us information about how we hold ourselves, how we move and where we are in space. Repeating this activity overrides unbalanced movement patterns. It creates new patterns that keep us more balanced with less risk for pain.

Affirmations are also a way to change a bad habit

Louise Hay is the “Queen of Affirmations.” She says, “An affirmation is really anything you say or think.” Any thought we repeat over and over is considered an affirmation. Most of us spend a lot of time thinking negative thoughts. These are affirmations. We are affirming that we are “stupid idiots”, “dumb”, “fat”… The result of repeating these thoughts over and over again, is  believing them to be true. But are they?!

If we can create a belief from a negative thought that does not create a good experience, we can retrain our thinking to create more positive experiences. You will be interrupting old thought patterns that are not serving you well by playing your new, desired recording over the old one. This will create new neurological pathways that serve you better.

In answer to the question, Why is it so hard to change? I think its because we need to do things to “repeatedly.” Override the old patterns in the brain, in order for the habit to change. We have to neurologically connect with the behavior we want to change and then repeat it consistently until it becomes a new behaviour.

Having FUN getting FIT! That’s Nancy’s goal for you at Forever Fit. Fitness Training with Nancy McNeil at Forever Fit in Duncan, BC means finding activities that you enjoy  so she can help you meet your fitness goals. You don’t have to be an athlete to get or be fit. Nancy will help you find a workout that fits in with your goals and fitness abilities. There are a wide range of opportunities available at Forever Fit. Click on either Classes or Schedule for more inspiration. “Hope to see you soon!”