Jenn Hicks

Posts Tagged ‘fitness’

Dancing Through Life With Pleasure: Nia Student Stories

Saturday, October 14th, 2017
I’ve been dancing with Kim since 2013. She graciously shared her Nia story with me!

Nia movement is life
Nia is fun!

Nia with Jennifer turned a corner for me. 

I had previously tried all sorts of other physical activities and found they were either not fun, too repetitive (aka boring), or too constraining (striving to attain perfection is frustrating if you don’t possess a competitive personality).” 

Nia: no judgement & lots of laughter

“I love Jenn’s approach to her Nia classes – ensuring everyone feels comfortable in taking the routine only as far as their own bodies can go that day – without judgement, without goals, other than to enjoy the movement.  I always feel rejuvenated by the low impact technique and did I mention the typical laughter that also flows in each session?”

Thank you, Kim, for sharing your story and experiences with Nia!

Want to share your experience and inspire others? Contact me!

New to Nia and ready to experience a class? Take a look at my schedule or visit NiaNow.com to find a class in your neighbourhood!

Reflexive Conditioning: Keep your brain and body healthy

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

 

What is Reflexive Conditioning?

One of the many unique parts of a MoveIT class is that reflexive conditioning is offered.

Simply defined, reflexive conditioning is defined as the ability to respond without thinking. Reflexive muscular movement is involuntary and happens in response to a sensory stimulus.

dancing brain

What are Reflexive Muscular Movements?

We have all experienced reflexive muscular movement – it happens when the doctor hits the patella (knee) with an anvil and the lower leg extends forward, or when the optometrist shines a light into your eyes and your pupils constrict. Reflexes help keep us safe  by protecting us from danger, moving our bodies, helping us see and more.

 

Why do we need to condition our reflexes?

Why is it important to condition our reflexive muscular system? At a high level, reflexive conditioning helps us to optimize the nervous system by stimulating a very specific neuromuscular function. By training our reflexes, we are enhancing the health and responsiveness of our nervous systems so that they can react (and react quickly) as necessary.

More specifically, when our body can respond without thinking, we are safer.  For example, when we trip and fall, reflexes automatically direct our hands and arms to reach out and break the fall. Likewise, reflexive muscles will contract throughout our body to minimize injury from the fall.

 

Aging and reflexive muscular changes

As we age our brain and nervous systems change. We can lose nerve cells and weight (atrophy) and our nerve cells may begin to send messages more slowly than in the past. These changes in our nerves can affect our senses or lead to reduced/lost reflexes. This leads to problems with movement and safety. Take the example of touching a hot stove – as we age, it could take longer for our reflexive response to kick in and move our hand away. The outcome? What could be a pretty serious burn.

 

Modify and fine-tune your muscular reflexive actions

How? By coming to MoveIT!

Move IT interval trainingDid you know you can speed up nerve conduction (transmission of message delivery) through repetition and practice? You can! That’s how soccer players get good at kicking – they keep on practicing; training what could be considered reflexive (the patellar reflex) and eventually making it become under conscious control.

Likewise, in MoveIT we are training all kinds of reflexive movements (e.g.,  “startle” response, emotional responses, twitching, core reflexes, ocular reflexes & more).  We can train these reflexes to be available for us when we leave MoveIT class and live our lives. Through reflexive training (along with aerobic, anaerobic and voluntary conditioning), we can keep our nervous systems healthy by doing all the new movements that come up in class and by performing them in a diverse order.

 

Now you have more reasons to come to MoveIT – check out my schedule here!

 

(Thanks to my Nia friends Heather Umberger and Lisle Jefferies Hendrickson as well as Nia co-founder Debbie Rosas for helping me wrap my head around this important concept of “reflexive conditioning”!)