Connection of mind-body key
ENGLISH proverb ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ rings particularly true for Katie Stewart.
For several years, the former Cottesloe gym owner watched clients fail to achieve health and weight loss goals.
Trapped in a cycle of weight loss and gain, as well as constant injury, they were lacking a mind-body connection.
Determined to create a new and effective regime, she joined forces with business partner Lisa Rowley.
Together they devised Mindful Movement, a basic exercise program of repetitive low-impact actions, designed to build selfrespect and body awareness, induce weight loss and treat mild anxiety and depression.
“Success shouldn’t come down to a number or an external force telling you what is your version of healthy or happy,” Stewart, an accredited exercise physiologist, said.
“It has got to come from your own trust in your own body.”
The pair, known as The Exercise Therapist, have offered the program in a series of workshops across Perth.
“A client was in a constant cycle of 20kg on, 20kg off and being mentally unhappy and therefore diagnosed as having depression and anxiety, which was being managed with medication that changed all the time,” Stewart said.
“I didn’t give her any diet; we just started our daily 12-minute practices and she lost eight kilos over about six weeks. It was because of the subliminal increase in her personal confidence. You start having a better relationship with your body because you’re spending more time with it and understanding it and you are thinking about how you move. So through no other means other than changing the way she thought about her self and body, she empowered herself with making subconscious decisions.
“Because it’s subconscious, you don’t have to change anything: you don’t have to clean out the pantry or invest in hours of cooking – that comes naturally because you start to want to eat different things and you become curious about how to look after your body better.”
Stewart said the program was particularly beneficial to those aged 45-plus because of the high risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
“As we get older our brain activity regresses and we stop pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone,” she said.
“We stop naturally growing from a neural point of view and stimulating the brain, so the brain starts to shut down other areas that aren’t constantly used.”
Katie Stewart. Picture: Jon Hewson