professional health exercise tipsChris Hallford is the owner of Exercise Progression,  where he and his team help people on improving pain and injuries through exercise, lifestyle modifications, nutrition, and pain release technique.

I paid visits to him when I was preparing for my first half-marathon last Fall.   I often felt short of breath and tense back muscles even before I started training for the run,  for which I didn’t get much relief through doctor or massage.    When I registered for the half-marathon,  never having run long distance before, I wasn’t sure I could stick to the end.

Chris turned out to be the great helping hand.  After a few visits I felt much better in breathing.   During the training after each practice run, different parts on my body would become really tight, a visit to him soon after the practice was my “secret weapon” to quickly recover.   When the final day came to attend US half-marathon in San Francisco on Nov. 1, I surprised myself and my friends with a pace of  8:30/mile.

I personally believe being fit and physically active is a “beauty factor” for a woman.    Having many things to juggle in life I don’t have much time to prepare for a competitive event, but the experience with the half-marathon led me realize, that the charm in such an experience, is more than just having a slim or toned body, but even more to the inner strength, the spirit sides.  It’s very empowering.

So I decided to give Chris an interview, to see what someone like him has to offer.   He was an athlete himself  – was a junior national swimmer and in junior Olympic polo team, and participated in many other sports.    Suffered great physical pain in youth years and now in a healthy and balanced state, he gained valuable experience to help others achieve fitness+health.

Q: What’s your definition of a fit body for women?
A: Someone who can easily do body-weight type exercises such as squats and push-ups. They also must be able to do at least 30 minutes of cardio at about 75% max heart rate.

Q: What do you think is a healthy fat level/range for fit women?
A: Health and fat are no longer viewed as opposites now. Studies show that happy “fat” people are healthier than skinny unhappy people. So I don’t judge health on weight alone.

Q: What kind of sport injuries are petite women like Asian women prone to?
A: It all depends on the sport and their individual ability. I have never noticed a difference between asian, mexican, or other people. The main things most injuries have in common are the person’s fitness and ability.

Q: What kind of preparation/precaution should be taken by petite women when they participate in medium and high intensity sports/workouts?
A: Proper warm-up just like everyone else. The closer the warm-up resembles the sport the more prepared the athlete will be.

Chris has a business website (http://exerciseprogression.com) and a Pain and Injury blog (http://epmt.wordpress.com).  I copied over a poem he posted on his blog (only one):

Art of Happiness
The righteous path is not a straight line
It has ups and downs
Smiles =) and frowns =(
All are good
All are necessary
Without them we lack emotions
And without emotions we lack life
Life is everything we feel
Enjoying every breath of them is the art of happiness