Sunday, November 29, 2009

Becoming Aware: Facebook and The Turkish Get Up

Hello, Facebook!

I now have a business page on Facebook to reach out to that community, and I encourage readers to use the "fan" function to share it with their friends.

I've been trying a new exercise which is proving very educational.  It has the amusing name "Turkish Get Up(TGU)" and is great for breaking up a routine and building full body strength, coordination, and balance.  Here's a detailed description from Palo Alto kettlebell master Jordan Vizina and a shorter one here, but briefly, you lie on the floor with a weight in one hand, and stand up.  A very simple, fundamental act, but doing it while holding up a kettlebell or dumbbell creates a surprising challenge.

The weight has to be balanced straight overhead while you move underneath it, and getting out of the supine position takes a lot more strength and agility than you might think.  Combining movements in multiple directions is required, and suddenly you discover that almost all weight lifting exercises you know work the body in very, very, limited ways.  The TGU is done slowly, giving you time to observe yourself.  You become more aware of your body's capabilities, and you become aware of the difference between training for functional strength, and bodybuilding to enlarge a few favorite muscles.

Awareness is a central theme of all the various health and fitness topics of this blog.  Exercising while conscious of what your body is doing, choosing exercises that require focus such as Olympic lifts or balancing on an unstable surface, and not mindlessly using the same simple machines and movements every workout are aspects of awareness.  Yoga is fantastic for developing awareness of your body and the fine details of how each part is aligned and connected and learning to control them.  Receiving massage makes a person aware of areas that may be tight or holding stress, but have been a problem for so long they seem normal.  (And the best therapists are those who develop a facility for being aware of their clients' condition.)

Being aware of what it is you eat leads to eating healthful food. Many people deliberately ignore what they are eating, consuming marketing instead of food. Growing and cooking for yourself, buying produce not products, and considering how what is on your plate got there will all inspire more healthful eating. Awareness of nutrition also helps of course.

Posture is another realm where awareness- of your body, of what are good ways  to stand and sit and move -is critical.  You always have a posture, 24/7, unlike exercise or eating which happen only for brief periods, so improvement requires a ready and habitual awareness.

Good therapists, trainers, and teachers provide an external perspective, and bring to your awareness things that aren't obvious from within.  Mediocre ones correct without teaching, and poor ones just go through the routine.

So now I work on making the Facebook community aware of me, and I hope I can bring a bit of health awareness to them.

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog!

    You're right about the turkish getup. My trainer showed it to me and I thought "I can't do that, I'm a girl!" But it turned out to be really well suited for my feminine strengths- it's the bulky bench press dudes who aren't flexible enough to do it. Now I'm up to 30 lbs!