Thriving Blog & Magazine
90 Days to a Healthier You: Do You Exercise the Body You See or the One You Use?
Matt Campbell
Lifestyle Medicine Monthly Challenge

I’ve never in 20 years had someone come in for an assessment and say, “Whatever we do, just make sure I don’t gain or lose weight or muscle mass or change the appearance of my body.”  

Everyone has some expectation that exercise will help improve the image they have of their body. Which is perfectly normal and reasonable. But for some reason, until recently, it has not been as common for someone to express that they want their body to move better and have an improved level of function as a result of their workouts.

Our very own Tara Thomas (Exercise Specialist, Certified Massage Therapist, Operations Assistant Extraordinaire, and generally just incredible-at-so-many-things person) brought her rugby team in for a coaching session and workout recently.

I was not fortunate enough to see their work in person, but watched some videos with our staff, and what an incredible thing to see! I will admit that for as many athletes as I’ve worked with, and as much as I understand about the human body, rugby is one sport I realize I didn’t know much about. I was so impressed by the level of difficulty and skill required.  

Our coaches immediately began breaking down the biomechanical functions the players needed to be proficient in, and we started collaborating on exercises to address those things. But then I stepped back and realized they were all the same things we give our clients almost daily in our fitness programming here. 

Now, to be clear, I don’t need everyone to be able to “scrum” or “ruck” or even perform a “line-out” (look that one up), but they are simply higher-level executions of fundamental abilities every “body” is capable of. 

We work on all fours a lot (that’s just plank), we work on explosive power and hip drive (think sleds, deadlift variations and lunges) and the ability to move quickly and change direction (coordination of the upper and lower segments of the body and movement in all planes).

Which brings me to my point…

We all have body composition goals: weight loss, muscle development, improved physique. But no matter what goals you have or activities you do, the machine is mostly the same for all of us. And to perform the tasks we ask of our bodies requires most of the same fundamental abilities and resilience to keep them moving. 

We aren’t always going to be put under the same level of stress or impact, but we all still train the same machine, which needs to be capable of the same primary movements.

So ask yourself, do you only approach fitness with an understanding of how it can make you look or what it can help you do? And if improving your body mechanics OR physique is desirable, talk to our fitness coaches! 

Thriving Magazine October 2022 Issue 16

Thriving Magazine • Issue 16

Our October issue looks how we can make positive changes in our mindset and behaviors over the last 90 days of the year so we're starting 2023 with a head start (and skipping the resolutions!). Enjoy!

Articles are written by our experts in physical therapy, fitness training, chiropractic care. nutrition, massage, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, and energy healing.