Benefits of Essentrics

     Reaching my 40th year was a turning point for me.  Up until then, I was reasonably healthy and led an active life. However after having 5 children, the weight slowly crept up and I was finding it more and more difficult to loose the excess pounds. After my fifth child, I was 30 pounds heavier and knew menopause would soon be approaching which would bring even more excess weight. I had to do something now.  This motivated me to embark on a journey for the last 13 years to research weight loss, eating healthy, and exercise.  I am the kind of person that once I read a book, I implement it right away.  So through trial and error I began many exercise programs and trying out different eating programs.  All the various diets I tried are for another article, so I will focus on my physical fitness journey.  I have been known to be a perfectionist, so once I follow a program, I follow it to a “T”. I have done many DVD fitness programs focusing on weights and cardio and even have a gym in my basement.  I pretty much exercised 1-2 hours per day 5-6 days a week. I started this initially with the intention to lose weight and then once my goals were attained, I would slide into a maintenance program.  The maintenance program never seemed to happen. I, of course experienced results but weight loss was slow and I was devoting a lot of time to exercise and I seemed to reach a plateau that I could just never shake.  I started to research and realized maybe we do not need to be spending this much time in the gym. Many books were confirming this and I was intrigued.

 Along came Eccentrics. I love books so I picked up Miranda Esmond-White’s book, Aging Backwards at Costco.  She explained that the fitness industry was only 40 years old and there was so much recent research and studies proving that hours spent at the gym using weights and cardio machines were unnecessary, perhaps even detrimental and that there was a more efficient way to exercise the body. Simply put, Eccentrics is a flexibility program, with a bit of tai chi, some elements of physiotherapy stretching and a lengthening of the muscles similar to that of ballet.  Miranda Esmond-White began her career as a ballet dancer and then opened her own fitness studio but soon realized that the popular workouts of the day left her clients’ muscles looking bulky and jarring on their joints. With the mentorship of doctors, physiotherapists and feedback of her clients, she designed Eccentrics.  She is the most sought after stretch and bio-mechanics trainer in Canada, working with Olympic medalists to everyday people, young or old who are looking for results in an efficient amount of time.

     Every Eccentric workout is a full body rebalancing workout that includes equal amounts of strengthening and flexibility movements to keep us fully mobile, pain-free and feeling young without spending hours on the treadmill and weight lifting. Popular fitness programs and sporting activities use exercises or machines that rely on repetitive robotic movements which contract muscles to strengthen them. This concentric exercise results in compression and shorter muscle fibers which leads to pain, injury and lack of mobility. You do not work through the full range of motion of any joint but instead create muscular imbalance. Miranda works with many athletes who are suffering after years of exercise and fitness training.  We must balance between strength, flexibility and range of motion to prevent injury and Eccentrics does this.

     We have 620 muscles and we must work each and every one everyday! The old adage is “if we don’t use them, we loose them” is true.  We are not loosing muscle as we age, we are simply not using ALL of our muscles.  Eccentrics prevents cellular atrophy and death of all our muscles. When we do traditional exercises, we focus on 1-2 muscles or groups, excluding the surrounding muscles.  This is true of static stretching as well which again focuses on few muscles at one time, creating unbalanced muscle development and shortened instead of lengthened muscles.  This is not to deter you from any specific exercise or sport that you love but a reminder to incorporate a program that moves the less commonly used muscles at some point everyday.  We must move dynamically in our stretching and strengthening exercises to fully activate all 620 muscles, joints, and ligaments- ultimately activating the fascia which is a complex interlocking system facilitating all movement in a complexity of chains throughout our entire body. 

     As you will discover, many of the exercises are for core and posture strength.  This is where I can personally testify a huge improvement in my overall frame.  I have been doing the Eccentrics program now for over 2 years and I have never felt better!  I am almost 53 years old and this has been the healthiest time in my life.  I am no longer working out for hours a day.  I look forward to my 20-30 minute workout everyday. I just feel good during and after my workout which is like a massage that touches every one of my muscles.  Who would want to miss that? My posture has improved so much that I have gained an inch in my height! My joints have decompressed and my knee is no longer painful.  I am leaner in my legs, hips, and stomach, not to mention my arms, neck, and shoulders. I have lengthened my shoulders, pectorals and upper back and my abs are flat. I never had results like this with traditional exercise.  In total, I have lost 30 lbs. as I mentioned in my previous workouts but I was able to combat that plateau that I was not able to shake for years despite hours of exercise and restricted eating.  This is the thinnest I have ever been and I now weigh what I did in highschool!  While Eccentrics is not the only form of exercise I do, I do believe it has given me the most beneficial results in the most time efficient way.  I still lift weights but only 2 times a week and I love Nordic pole walking {another topic} and biking. Although I have accomplished my weight and health goals, I love Eccentrics and I do this to prevent aging, and to stay young and healthy. More importantly,  I know that I am better improving my circulation which delivers nutrients and detoxifies waste, improves digestion and lowers blood sugar, increases my energy, better improves my focus and optimistic thinking, increases oxygen throughout my body, maintains my weight and toned physique, makes me more flexible, limber and mobile  and ultimately prevents disease. Who wouldn’t want that?


Peggy Ondrus, B.A, B.Ed.



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