““Wild Woman is the health of all women. Without her, woman’s psychology makes no sense… She is the female Soul … the source of the feminine” Clarissa Estes
Body Balance and Prevention
As we mature, and our values and priorities change, so must our approach to health and fitness. When we’re young, we can easily scamper up a mountain, without much training. Our bodies repair fast and we don’t have to worry too much about our health.
But we all know that life begins at 40, and that sure was my experience. I climbed my first mountain at 40 and my body did everything I asked of it. I would often get little niggles and minor injuries, but they always healed within a few weeks and I didn’t get too worried about them.
By 45, I had a new lesson to learn. I had to learn that my body needed rest, not just extreme challenges and a good flogging on a regular basis. I learned that I had to sleep and could not burn the candle at both ends. And it took a little longer for my body to recover from injury. I had to learn to pace myself.
Now I’m 50, there are more new lessons to learn. Body Balance as we mature is about listening to your body, and taking action when you feel pain. I am now much more aware that I need a variety of exercise activities to prevent injury. In the past, I got injured and then got better. Now I am conscious about body balance and PREVENTION. I want to prevent injury and if I can’t, I need to put I a lot more effort to remediate the injury.
It’s no secret that one of our most Hard Core coaches, Kel, 46, is able to perform extreme endurance challenges and bounce around like a 20 year old. Kel, winner of the Great North Walk 100k and Jabulani Challenge, thinks nothing of a quick 100k jog/walk, without suffering much more than a passing niggle. And I’ll tell you why. Kel is a great “cross trainer”! She jogs, walks, swims, soft sand shuffles and pack walks. She takes time off when she’s injured and she listens to her body.
If you’re training for an endurance goal, such as Coastrek, Trailwalker, or a Wild Weekend with a full pack, make sure you listen to your body. If you have a niggle, take the time to find out what’s wrong. And make sure that you’re doing a variety of different movement patterns to assist in prevention of injury. This can be done by adding climbing, rock scrambling, yoga, pilates, cycling, stretching, swimming and walking on a variety of surfaces with and without a pack, with and without poles.
Time efficient training is also important. Interval training and pack carrying is the most time efficient training, because you push the body hard in short bursts and let it recover. Long distance walks are great but so are the short, sharp bursts. And, core strength and stretching are essential. Not exercising is NOT an option.
But if you get injured, don’t rely on anybody else to fix you. You should seek out the help of health professionals, learn everything you can from each one, and then take responsibility for fixing the problem yourself. I’ve learned that in most cases that if I’d done more core and stretching, I could have prevented the injury.
So, we all agree that we need to exercise every day, but make sure you aim for 3 interval training/cardio sessions with core and stretching, plus 3 sessions of body balance activities. And if you’re injured, consider doing make ups with the Newbies and the Wild Bootie Camp girls. That way you can monitor your intensity and back off when you need to.
Director, Wild Women On Top