Think of me as a "Change Agent."

Last week I attended the IDEA conference in Anaheim, California. This fitness and nutrition expo drew 25,000 fitness professionals. In this world of information it’s very confusing to know what to believe. The overwhelming amount of information available to us on exercise and nutrition is difficult to decipher – even for fitness professionals! Obtaining the most up to date knowledge by continual learning is one of my core values. If my sharing improves your life in any way then my mission is accomplished! Think of me as “A Change Agent!”

I presented “Does Your Core Training Align With Your Neck” and shared the it’s time! Fitness Results core training program. Back and neck pain is a 216 billion dollar problem worldwide. We need to share the core training love and keep changing the way train, age, and live. I was honoured to be a part of this awesome conference.

While I was there I took advantage of the opportunity to attend some top-notch sessions.

Here are my top 5 takeaways from the sessions I attended in random order:

#1 Body Health = Mental Health

The body tells the brain more than the brain tells the body. When you feel your body telling you something (For example: butterflies, gurgles, pain) ask yourself, “What is my body trying to tell me?” 80% of the messages go from the body to the brain, and 20% from the brain to the body.

#2 Older Adults Are Getting Fitter and Feeling Ageless.

Don’t ask me to define “older” exactly, but research shows that we don’t dress, act, move, look, or feel like our parents did when they turned 50. Drop “growing old” and keep “growing up” I say!

#3 The Knee is the Most Dumb*** Joint in the Body

They spend their life talking to the hip and the ankle and still don’t have much to say for themselves! Our system learns from previous stress and experiences that accumulate to a lot of restrictions. Movement and soft tissue work is the body’s plumber! Get out the myo-fascial release tools today.

#4 Men and Women Both Need Improved Pelvic Floor Health

This historically taboo subject was addressed in a session where I built a pelvic floor with play dough and from the pubic bones to the hip sockets in real time. If breathing and specific pelvic exercises were integrated into fitness, both sexes would benefit with less impotence, incontinence, and painful sex.

#5 The Amygdala is the Boss of Your STRESS System

Two sessions and a 15-minute conversation (lucky me!) while waiting in a lineup beside Dr. Julia Degangi have me feeling very optimistic. The neuropsychologist, a leading expert in brain health, shares where science meets the spiritual and what we can and should do about our STRESS levels. Stress is a steroid for the emotional brain and the cortisol is neurotoxic. The advances and research in exercise (largely on aerobic) show that exercise is neuro-protective and acts like a fertilizer to the thinking brain.

Habits make up 45 % of our day and in my role as a change agent of health I shall continue to establish ways to help us all improve them in order to improve our quality and quantities of life. Degangi states that our brains focus too much attention on our problems and too little attention to the solutions. Our brains can habitually predict the same outcomes for us over and over. Unfortunately, our attention span has decreased by 30% since the year 2000. Largely due to the mobile revolution, we now have the attention span of less than that of a goldfish – only 8 seconds (goldfish has 9 seconds). Making the connection between our thinking patterns and what she calls the “Paradox of Progress” was the suggested start to achieving goals you feel have not been achieved with the methods you have previously attempted. More to come on this fascinating topic!

As I said, I attended some top-notch sessions. Three inspiring people delivered keynote presentations:

First, the incredible story of Victoria Arlen who spent 10 years unresponsive in a wheelchair suffering from two rare autoimmune disorders. She went on to win several medals in the para-Olympic games and walked out on stage with beauty and grace. She tells us to change anything “Impossible” to “I’m possible.” Believing that movement creates miracles, her advice is to always “show up” and enjoy the view along your journey.

Then the 93 year old widow of Jack Lalane, known as the “Godfather of Fitness” popped out of her seat, up the stairs to the podium and promptly impressed us with her wit and genuine elation to still be on the upside of the grass. Elaine Lalanne presented an award in her late husbands memory to a real life fitness industry hero Jay Blahnik. Jay is currently the Director Of Fitness for health technologies at Apple.

Lastly, “Functional Life Coach” Mastin Kipp dynamically projected himself on stage in front of the boldest presentation slides I have ever seen. “Living Your Purpose” is embodying the expressions, emotions, behaviours and lifestyle that light you up. How you express that purpose continually changes and evolves as we age. 

Kipp reveals the many ways that we continually get in our own way of living our purpose. He states that our unhealed, unresolved, and unidentified traumas chronically disrupt us. The symptoms he lists under the emotional trauma tag line run include anxiety, insomnia, feelings of worthlessness, self doubt, anger, and bullying. His examples of low and high level coping mechanisms surprised me. Things like gossip, alcohol abuse, soul-sucking jobs and high fructose corm syrup are in the low level category. Personal growth without trauma work leads to high level coping skills some of which include strict exercise, dieting and yoga. Gluten, sugar, dairy, meat, soy, GMO and taste free food all make the list as well. 

Finding emotional awareness, intelligence, and fitness was the message given to turn you on to your purpose path. Feeling safe and exploring modalities that pair the mind (cognitive) and body (somatic) were the strategies given to move from survival to growth mode.

Mastin’s Fear Maxim: Unless you are in mortal danger, use fear as a compass. Living your purpose is the greatest gift you can give those you love. Purpose is the immune system of your emotional health.

Inform, Instruct, Inspire @ it’s time! Fitness Results


Written by: Sheila Hamilton Copyright July 2019


Session notes and slides from IDEA Conference 2019 Anaheim, California