What if I told you that an Essentrics Plié sequence could increase your energy at the same time it promotes your brain health? Interested? Intrigued? Then please read on and I’ll explain. First, though, we’ll back up to the microscopic level and have a little biology refresher.
Mitochondria - no, it’s not an infectious virus! - are one of these organelles. So what do mitochondria do? I’m glad you asked. Mitochondria are often called the powerhouses or power plants of the cells. They convert fuel, the carbs and fat from the food we eat, into energy for the cells. Every cell in your body contains mitochondria, but the exact number varies by cell type. (2) Your muscle cells contain 95% of the mitochondria in your body. It makes sense when you consider that the role of your muscles is to move your body. Our muscles were created to be strong and our bodies want to move. The only difference between a strong person and a weaker person is what they demand of their muscles. (3)
Exercise: The Fountain of Youth
When we exercise, it not only activates the existing mitochondria in our muscle cells, it also creates new mitochondria. This is called mitochondrial biogenesis. Research has shown that “the greater mitochondrial density in a cell, the greater its vitality.” (4) Vitality - aka youthfulness, or the fountain of youth - isn’t that what most people are craving? Having youthful muscles means lots of mitochondria and a mixture of slow-twitch and fast twitch muscle fibres. (5)
Energy Source & Brain Health: More Mitochondria
So, let’s talk about Essentrics Pliés and how they can help you with your energy levels as well as boost brain activity. Think about your waist-to-knee region: it holds the largest muscles in your body. Your gluteus maximus (aka, your butt) is the largest muscle. The sartorius is the longest muscle - it starts on the outside of the hip, runs across your thigh and wraps around the inside of your knee (aka, the ‘turnout’ muscle). Your hip flexors and extensors are considered “prime movers” because the have the greatest influence on locomotion/ambulation. Essentrics Pliés works the agonist/antagonist muscle groups around the hips. And they give you tons of energy. They feel tough but they work - they will increase energy, strengthen knees and hips, reduce hip and knee pain, increase speed in movement, unlock tight hips, train correct knee alignment, tone the butt/hamstrings/quads, and increase flexibility in the hips. Not to mention create mitochondria in those precious brain cells.
Watch this video to learn more about mitochondria and how to do Essentrics Pliés correctly.
Here are some guidelines for maximum benefit:
Now, go enjoy yourself during this incredibly busy time of year. And don't forget, if you need a quick boost of energy or you've forgotten where you put your car keys - do a quick Essentrics Plié sequence and all will be good. Happy holidays and Happy New Year!
1.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zafJKbMPA8 - Parts of the Cell Rap
3. Miranda Esmonde-White (2014). Aging Backwards: 10 Years Younger and 10 Years Lighter in 30 Minutes a Day. Random House Canada
7. https://youtu.be/yWGnjokZDsQ : Essentrics with Amanda on Rogers TV’s Daytime Ottawa, Dec 9, 2015 - Essentrics Pliés for Energy
Amanda Sterczyk is a Certified Personal Trainer (ACSM), an Exercise is Medicine Canada (EIMC) Fitness Professional, and a Certified Essentrics® Instructor. She offers in-home personal training in central Ottawa. Amanda specializes in helping older adults maintain and increase strength, flexibility, and mobility. No fitness goal is too small, in her opinion.