Meet Our Superhero of the Month for November: Kelly Das
When most of our members start at Mo-Mentum Fitness, they’ve already seen a chiropractor, an orthopedic surgeon, and a massage therapist. All of these health professionals are essential for helping to eliminate pain.
But one of the biggest mistakes we make today is not realizing that the way we move is creating our pain to begin with, either through injuring muscles and joints or agitating them.
That’s right, learning to master healthy movement patterns is your secret weapon to relieving sore, tight muscles and aching joints.
Kelly Das wanted to finally live pain-free. She knew she needed to start somewhere, and we’re so glad she chose Mo-Mentum Fitness in Huntington Beach as her starting point. She’s an inspiration to all of us, and this blog is dedicated to her and all her hard work.
If you’ve been exercising but are still in pain, then this blog is for you. To understand how to live pain free, we have to learn how our muscles function and how to use them correctly. In this next section, we’ll dive into exactly how our muscles work.
Muscles Always Work Together
Muscles move in patterns, but never on their own. Think of horses pulling a cart. Does one horse do all the work?
Nope! True, some of the horses pull harder than others. But when one horse moves, they all move.
The same concept is true for our muscles. Muscles always work together in groups. How they work depends on a few things:
- The specific movement
- The directions of the movement
- The movement ability of the other muscles in the group
If one muscle is injured, it’s going to experience dysfunction when moving. Which means the other muscles are going to shift and change the way they move. The muscles working with the dysfunctional muscle may have to work harder.
Likewise, our bodies work in this same amazing way. For example, if you want to get into your car and go to the store, your body will make it happen. If you reach for the toilet paper roll or your purse in the back seat of your car, your body will make it happen.
However, the dysfunctional, injured muscle will still affect how all the other helper muscles move.
Let me put this into perspective. After moving even slightly dysfunctionally, eventually your shoulder joint (or knee, or low back … you get the idea!) just hurts all of the time. You go to the chiropractor for stretching sessions, and you feel better afterward for an hour or so, but then the pain comes back again.
Most of us move the injured shoulder less. You might find yourself saying, “I don’t even know what I did to my shoulder. It just started to hurt and now it hurts all the time.”
Ugh. Sound familiar?
The chiropractor is helping, and the massage and the stretch sessions are helping too. But after your sessions, you go back to moving in the same pattern that caused the injury. Until you find the source of your pain, that injured, dysfunctional muscle keeps hurting.
In fact, until you correct your movement pattern — the group of muscles that are moving together — the pain persists and the injury slowly worsens.
So how do you fix it? In this next section, we’ll discuss how to change your patterns into healthy movement patterns.
Transforming Your Movement Patterns
The essential part of the equation most people miss is the movement part. Retraining a healthy movement pattern will help the injury get better and decrease the risk of further injury.
Kelly’s low back hurt her a lot when she started training with us. It hurt when she moved, so it makes logical sense that she’d started to move less to prevent further injury and pain.
Except for one thing — that logic is actually counterintuitive! As long as you’re moving in healthy ways, simply moving will help you feel better than not moving.
Have you ever noticed how stiff you feel after sitting on an airplane? The human body isn’t meant to sit still. It’s meant to move.
Also counterintuitive, Kelly’s back hurt, so she thought her back was the problem. But her aching back was just a symptom. The problem was more about how her shoulder, core, and hip muscles were moving.
Movement Patterns or Hard Work Out to Lose Fat?
Kelly’s primary goal was not weight loss. Instead, her primary goals were to:
- Get out of pain
- Start a workout routine
- “Hopefully” lose some fat
It wasn’t very hard to talk her into refining her movement patterns before starting higher-intensity workouts. In fact, Kelly began to feel better after her first few workouts. That, my friends, is because movement is medicine.💪
We are bombarded with information about exercise and weight loss all over social media, marketing and beyond. But it’s hard to know what’s fact and what’s fiction.
To help you really understand exercise, here are a few key concepts to keep in mind:
- While exercise will help you lose fat and keep it off, you have to move correctly.
- If your movement patterns are dysfunctional, you won’t get very far before re-injuring yourself.
- Exercising and moving correctly is the only way to build and maintain your muscle.
At Mo-Mentum Fitness, we focus on making sure your movement patterns are healthy before loading your exercises with weights and intensity. This way, you can progress at a steady pace while reducing your risk of injury.
Kelly is dedicated to the exercises that helped her back feel better and her core get stronger. She attends at least three small group personal training sessions every week. She also supplements her strength workouts with two to three yoga classes and Pilates classes.
It’s been inspiring to watch Kelly get stronger and more confident lifting heavier weights over time. It’s taken time, but Kelly has felt empowered all along the way. Fast change is not always real or sustainable. Kelly has lost fat and gained muscle while working at a pace that hasn’t cost her an injury. Instead, she’s gotten stronger! 💪
Through media and marketing, companies tell us their program is the ONLY program that will help you reach your weight loss and happiness goals. But the path to fitness and lasting health is highly individual.
In reality, each of our current body structures, past injuries, personalities, and goals are different. Following an influencer’s path to losing fat, building muscles, and feeling better will almost always be much different than what you actually need.
Here are just a few of the reasons why Kelly is such an inspiration. She knows what her body and her vitality need. And she sticks to it. Kelly keeps
- training because it helps her feel better.
- exercising so she can age vibrantly.
- working out to show up as her best self for her family and friends.
These are reasons Kelly started exercising and has continued to exercise. It’s non-negotiable for her. Not only is she living better, she wonders why she waited so long to start!
Find Your Healthy Movement Patterns at Mo-Mentum Fitness
Kelly’s dedication to her vibrant health has been an inspiration for so many people at Mo-Mentum and Team Mo. She wanted to start living pain-free, and she knew the path to that was to start moving.
But not just any movements. To feel like your best self, consider working with a trainer to make sure you’re moving correctly. Healthy movement patterns will help you live your best, pain-free, vibrant life!
I get it, finding the motivation to exercise is hard. But Mo-Mentum has your back. Not only do we teach you healthy movement patterns, we help you find your motivation to exercise and keep it for life.
Stop by, call us, or click here to schedule your free assessment and strategy session today.
Kelly, thank you for being such a great example of the importance of doing the nonnegotiable work to up-level our movement patterns. Overhauling our movements has numerous positive results, including:
- Increasing your overall strength and health
- Getting out of pain
- Becoming stronger
- Losing fat
As we’ve watched you achieve all these things, we’ve been blessed by your kind, gentle spirit. Thank you for being our Mo-Mentum Fitness November Superhero of the Month!
- Describe what your life (and your health) was like before fitness.
In my 30’s I used to exercise semi-regularly doing Pilates and running, but in my 40’s I had stopped exercising altogether. I was extremely sedentary 5-6 days a week and only got physical activity on 1-2 days a week if it was a busy weekend. My cholesterol was borderline and my doctor kept telling me to exercise to keep the levels down or I would need to go on medication to control it. I started to have constant lower back pain that spread to my hips and legs.
- Was there ever a low point or an experience that made your priorities change?
By November of 2022, I had trouble lifting a laundry basket full of clothes and taking dishes out of the dishwasher, without experiencing back pain. I could not sleep through the night without waking several times due to pain in my back and hips.
- How did fitness come into your life (or back into your life)?
I developed serious lower back pain (see #2), which finally spread to my hips, and caused me to seek out a new gym where I could get my joint health back. I wanted to be able to sleep through the night without pain.
- What kind of results have you seen since starting a regular fitness program?
Since I started exercising regularly, my hip and back pain has decreased by 80-90%, I feel stronger in my core, my body fat index decreased a lot, and I get compliments on my arms and back 😊 which is a nice bonus! Since I’ve started at Mo-Mentum Fitness, I have lost 10 pounds, I’ve gained 2 pounds of muscle and my body fat percentage decreased by 6.3%.
- Please talk more about the actual changes in your life. (weight loss, confidence, more endurance, less medications, increased energy, better relationships etc.)
- Increased energy
- More toned body
- No need to get on cholesterol or thyroid medication
- Better sleep
- Let’s focus in on the blood work. What kind of changes have you seen there? What do these changes mean for your lifestyle, longevity, finances, etc?
I’ve been able to lower my ‘bad cholesterol’ to below the recommended level, which gives me peace of mind that I won’t need to start taking high-cholesterol medications. I believe that exercise also has helped me to maintain my thyroid levels which is important to me because I only have half of my thyroid gland and hope to avoid needing to take daily thyroid replacement hormones.
- Why do you make fitness a priority in your life?
Fitness is a priority for me because I want to be able to move without pain, and I have found that stopping my exercise regimen even for 3-4 days has a negative impact on how I feel. My back and hips tighten up, I experience increasing joint pain, and I know that’s my body telling me to get moving again. I want to be able to move this well when I’m in my 70’s and hopefully have grandkids!!
- These days, what makes you truly happy and feel at peace?
I love coming to yoga classes – they not only help my body but also my mind to feel at peace! I also am truly happy when spending time with my family and knowing that I can stay active and do the things we love to do (like skiing, scuba diving, and hiking).
- How do you feel compared to 1 year ago?
I feel great! I feel like I am much stronger, my muscles are working better together, and my posture is still improving! And now I know much more about what my body needs to loosen up my hips/back/glutes and get the pressure off of my joints.
What is your favorite thing about Mo-Mentum Fitness?
Hard to pick just one! I love that Mo-Mentum understands me personally and knows what my body needs to be successful, and the philosophy of ‘functional strength training’ for improved movement and mobility. I love Amanda and think she is an inspiring person to everyone who comes to the gym. I love the knowledgeable, fun trainers at Mo-Mentum, and I like that there is a variety of group fitness classes to take, including cardio, weight training, and stretch/movement classes. I love the other people who come to Mo-Mentum who have similar goals and that we all motivate each other, and everyone is willing to give advice.
- What would you say to the person who knows they need to start exercising but is afraid to start?
I tell all my friends to just do it, a little bit each day, because you have to start somewhere. I don’t think people are necessarily afraid to start – they just don’t make the time to do it and they look for the shortcuts, the pills/supplements/chiropractor, etc. I am blessed that I’m able to take the time to help myself feel better, and I guess I would tell others that to me, that is one of the most important gifts you can give yourself, and sometimes you just need to be selfish because it’s so important to exercise to maintain your health!
- Specifics: your age? job title? children? spouse?
Age 49, married with 2 boys in high school, part-time Realtor, full-time mom and volunteer
Quote: Carpe Diem – Seize the day. To me that means, Don’t wait, live your life to the fullest every single day!