The term “Pre-hab” was first introduced to me in early 2006 when I first met the author of ChiRunning, Danny Dreyer. Interesting how other authors have now decided to use the term also, but I am not surprised since it so accurately describes an alternate path we can take in our fitness programs. An overall objective of most fitness programs is to get moving and stay moving consistently. This can be any kind of fitness training; strength training, range of motion, sport, walking/hiking, running, etc.
The most common path we find ourselves on is unfortunately the re-hab path. Re-hab is what happens when our actions create resistance towards consistent forward progress. Re-hab can be anything from the slightest mental hesitation to what is necessary after a complex surgery. The risk is too our mobility; and to some degree when our mobility is compromised so is our health.
The other path is the “Pre-hab” path that results from a fitness “practice”. Pre-hab is preventative and offers a way to completely avoid the rehab path. Here are some potential physical and mental characteristics of each path.
Re-hab Path Characteristics:
- A Mind over Body approach and hoping for the best
- Increases apprehension, fatigue, discomfort, aches/pain, injury, and even surgery
- External goal orientated, usually short term motivation
- Accepts existing habits unconsciously without considering principle
- Focused on training harder and just getting “through” the workout
- Creates resistance leading to inconsistency; stop-go-stop-go …
- Develops fear of the next re-hab event
- Has a high potential for frustration
Pre-hab Path Characteristics:
- A Mind/Body “practice” of self discovery, ie. ChiRunning.
- Increases energy; and reduces chance of discomfort, aches/pains, injury, surgery
- Internal process orientated, develops skills for long term success
- Creates new supportive habits consciously based on principle
- Focused on training smarter based on the body’s design, physics and nature; and getting something “from” the workout
- Creates momentum, consistency and confidence
- Develops a “knowing” on how to re-adjust the process before a small issue becomes a major event
- Has a high potential for enjoyment and self satisfaction
As you move through life, the choices might once again resemble this analogy:
The re-hab option results in some forward progress then a pause with resistance, and repeat. Getting restarted is harder; and even harder as we get older. The pre-hab option, such as ChiRunning or ChiWalking, results in increasing potential as a function of increasing skill. Each incremental success gives us momentum and confidence to consider a slightly “bigger” experience. In short, we become more so we can experience more. This is what happens as we pass each test and each grade in school. If your life has been an ongoing process of learning, why would your fitness programs be any different?
The choice of a fitness and life path is of course, yours.
Thoughts on this post? Leave your comment or question below and join the discussion …
David Stretanski is a holistic health, fitness and wellness coach and Certified ChiRunning®/ChiWalking® Instructor. For more information on David, please see his About Me,Contact page or his website at http://www.eChiFitness.com.
ChiRunning® and ChiWalking® are registered trademarks of ChiLiving, Inc.