Fitness Gurus x Physiotherapy

To close out the physiotherapy series I’ve been doing on here, I chose to chat with three local fitness gurus and influencers in our very own #6ix to find out what their experiences have been with physiotherapy.

We started off hearing from two prominent physiotherapists in the city, Claudia in Part 1 and Nam in Part 2.

And we end off the series by hearing from some of Toronto’s fitness buffs! I started this series to educate you on what exactly physiotherapy is and it’s effectiveness and I’m ending it by speaking with people who have come from a place of experience. I hope you get a chance to explore the effects of this healthy movement so you can reap the benefits of a fine-tuned body.

LAURA

Laura Davidson Physiotherapy Healthy is Hot.JPG

Laura is the extremely passion-purposed brains and bod behind the fitness blog My Sweat Story and the fitness app Sweat City (formerly Whistle App). Going through a body transformation by committing to a healthy fitness routine, she overcame challenges that were both mental and physical and today is on the best part of her fitness journey. Read what Laura has to say below:

What is it that first introduced you to physiotherapy and how did you feel at your first visit?

I was about six months into my fitness journey when I chose to start going to physiotherapy. My goal was to learn more about my body, my areas of weakness, and of course, ways to correct them. In my first visit, I learned that I had a fairly excessive anterior pelvic tilt and was given new ways to begin to work through that in my fitness regimen. It was a very successful and informative appointment and I have looked back since.

Is there anything you have learned through physiotherapy that has made a measurable impact on your current fitness performance?

Absolutely. Physiotherapy has addressed and corrected a few imbalances in my hips and shoulders causing me to squat and rotate unevenly. In addition to that, it has shed light on and helped address my anterior pelvic tilt and lack of hip mobility.  

What do you think is the biggest misconception most women have about their first physiotherapy class?

In my opinion, the biggest misconception people have is probably that if you don’t feel pain, you don’t need physio, which is completely untrue. I didn’t start going to physio for any pain related ailment, but rather for knowledge and self-education. As a result, this led to me fix things that down the line, could cause me pain or injury, and have a trusted source to go to if any injury does happen.  

If you could go back in time, at what age would you have started your physiotherapy to achieve the fitness goals you are reaching for today?

I played a lot of competitive sports as a teen and feel that this would have been a huge help at that level as your body is still developing and you are building new habits and patterns in your fitness routine daily. Not to mention the level of education that would be beneficial at such a young age. I can’t help but wonder if I would have avoided developing an anterior pelvic tilt if I knew what it even was back then.

CASSIE

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Cassie is the Co-Founder of the awesome fitness retreat collective Fit Escapes and corporate training extraordinaire All Day Fit. She was fortunate to be introduced to physio at a young age and still teaches clients of all ages.

 What is it that first introduced you to physiotherapy and how did you feel at your first visit?

I was first introduced to physiotherapy during high school while playing competitive hockey.

Is there anything you have learned through physiotherapy that has made a measurable impact on your current fitness performance?

The importance of mobility, stability, activation and strength training!

If you could go back in time, at what age would you have started your physiotherapy to achieve the fitness goals you are reaching for today?

I started seeing a physio at a young age. I also currently see one whenever I am having issues with anything.

JULIA BAYNE

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ulia is the co-owner of a CrossFit gym and a Ph.D. student, read her experiences below! Her experience has taken her to fitness modeling and bodybuilding shows, so she knows a thing or two about the aesthetic and form required. Read more about her at www.crossfit6s.com

 What is it that first introduced you to physiotherapy and how did you feel at your first visit?

My first real encounter with physiotherapy was when I injured my ankle (stress fracture) a couple of years ago - I worked with a physiotherapist to rehab the injury. I had a great experience and definitely wouldn't have recovered as fast as I did without the help!

Is there anything you have learned through physiotherapy that has made a measurable impact on your current fitness performance?

At first, I thought that physiotherapy was mainly a tool for injury rehab, but now I've learned that it is so much more than that! Although I am not currently dealing with an injury, I see a therapist regularly, wherein our focus is to optimize my performance through constant movement assessment. In other words, we work together to constantly analyze my body mechanics and address any imbalances, with the goal of improving performance and preventing injury in the future. For the first time in a while, I am not battling a nagging injury and it feels great! Additionally, I'm learning more about my body and its capabilities every day, which is something I was missing before!

What do you think is the biggest misconception most women have about their first physiotherapy class?

I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that the physiotherapist is just going to give them a list of exercises to do and then send them away. The problem is that most people likely leave the session without a good understanding of WHY they are asked to do certain things. From my experiences, in the first session, the therapist focuses on education and assessment of movement/body mechanics, and if they gave me exercises to do, I understood why I was doing them and booked a follow-up appointment to gauge their effectiveness.

Additionally, the first session with a therapist does not need to be booked once an injury has happened (although if this is the case, then you should definitely see one) - it can be a tool to learn about your body to prevent an injury from happening!

If you could go back in time, at what age would you have started your physiotherapy to achieve the fitness goals you are reaching for today?

As soon as I started playing sports, especially when I became competitive or wanted to start competing! I strongly believe that any athlete can benefit from seeing a therapist. If not for rehabbing an injury, physiotherapists can work with athletes to prevent injuries by educating people about better body mechanics. Without proper body mechanics and without a good understanding of your body and how it moves, athletes are limited to sub-optimal performance. Having a strong support team of professionals is the key to maximizing performance and longevity in any sport!