nutritional meal and how it can help with functional movement

Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” –  Hippocrates

Does nutrition and diet affect movement? Well, according to PrecisionNutrition.com,

“Quality movement requires quality nutrition. And just like your movements, your nutritional needs are unique to you. Here’s how to start figuring out what “optimal nutrition” means for you:

  • Balance your intake to eliminate possible nutrient deficiencies.
  • Calibrate your calorie intake with easy, effective portion control and appetite awareness.
  • Tailor your diet for special circumstances, like pregnancy or injury.
  • Find ways to reduce stress (this may look a bit different for men and women).”

In addition, it’s been shown that weight, energy levels and eating habits can have a noticeable impact on our ability to move properly and efficiently.

Proper nutrition and food intake can help you to feel physically and mentally strong without worrying about your energy levels or body weight. Attaining and maintaining a strong body and proper and balanced movement will enable you to walk and run without feeling pain, winded, or tired.

Factors in Functional Movement

Put simply, functional movement is our ability to move with proper muscle and joint function that results in effortless, pain-free movement. While this should happen naturally for all of us, a variety of factors can occur over time requiring us to learn how to be bio-mechanically efficient.

One source puts it this way,

“If we repeatedly move our body with bad posture, or poor body mechanics, our joints don’t have enough space for our bones to move freely, and the muscles that should be moving our bones can’t fire effectively creating limitations in our range of motion, and muscle imbalances which in time can lead to injury.  Not only can our poor functional movement habits lead to injuries, but the body will accept these muscle habits as the way to always move.”

For example, a lack of physical activity from a largely sedentary lifestyle will result in poor muscle use habits. Suffering from a sports injury or an accident can restrict the body’s ability to move in a well-balanced manner. Significant weight gain and obesity can significantly alter posture and gait, leading to dysfunctional movement.

While not as common, even fashion choices can impact your ability to move and walk properly. Poor-fitting shoes and high-heels can create all types of body and movement issues.

“High heels not only affect your muscles—they can also create and worsen joint problems in your ankles, knees, and hips. … High heels have been linked to painful conditions, such as osteoarthritis of the knees and lower back pain, and problems caused by the unnatural posture required by walking in high heels.”

Included in this list of factors is diet and nutrition.

What and How You Eat Matters

Movement cannot be separated from nutrition, and that includes both what and how you eat. The most obvious to most people is obesity. We can observe the limited motion and intense exertion required for those who are considered “morbidly” obese. While this is unfortunate, these types of limitations and dysfunctional movements are not limited to those who suffer from excessive obesity.

Unhealthy diets, like those that are high in refined sugars and unhealthy fats, can diminish muscle gain and weight loss, decrease overall energy and negatively impact recovery time for those who are working out.

Food is fuel for the body, and it provides energy. There is a direct connection between our perceived energy levels and the food we eat. There’s a reason why coffee, tea and “energy” drinks remain so popular in our society: they give us a real (if only temporary) energy boost. But a lack of energy can impact our mood, our inclination to be active, and even our gait and posture. All of which can lead to dysfunctional movement.

Stress is a reality of life and how we manage it – or not – can impact our movement. In addition, food can influence our stress levels just as stress can affect our eating habits. It’s not unusual for people under stress to indulge in impulsive behaviors such as binge eating or drinking too much alcohol.

Along with developing and maintaining body awareness, or consciousness, and staying physically active, fostering and pursuing better eating and nutrition habits will support your ability to move with proper muscle and joint function.

For anyone, including non-athletes, the combination of good nutrition, proper movement and strength training will improve your long-term health. You can pursue more sports activities or begin working out, but you can also get all the physical activity you need for sufficient cardio benefit just from everyday living. In other words, improving your nutrition, movement and strength will help you control your health.

Staying Healthy and Functional to Help Prevent Pain and Injury

A proper gait, a good posture, and a well-balanced regimen of physical activity and healthy eating can help prevent chronic pain. But the reality is that life still happens. If you are suffering from an injury or pain – and especially debilitating chronic pain – we invite you to come in and see us.

At your first appointment here at Pain and Performance Solutions, we will learn all we can about your present pain and condition, along with any history of discomfort, as well as your current activity – or lack of it.

Treating and relieving pain starts once we understand where and how your pain started.

A full examination will help us determine which form of treatment is best suited to get you on your road to recovery. Your trust in us is key, as is your honesty. Ultimately, getting your body healthy and working properly is the only way to achieve total recovery. So, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and will answer any questions that you may have.

We will conduct a full examination to help us determine which form of treatment is best suited to put you on your road to recovery. Because our bodies will compensate for pain to allow us to function during our day, the pain can shift around and lead to other forms of pain.

Our goal is to work through the sequence of pain and dysfunction in order to get your body healthy and working properly, and to achieve total recovery. Don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and will answer any questions that you may have.

You can reach us at (707) 636-4404 or by filling out our online contact form.