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Every two years, Certified Fitness Instructors are required to update their certification by taking continuing education courses. For the past 10 years or so, Sit and Be Fit has offered a continuing education course for instructors through a company known as Desert Southwest Fitness. They recently sold their interests to Human Kinetics, a prominent publisher of books on health and physical activity, as well as continuing education courses.

To be included in their catalogue, it was necessary to research and update all of our references. This is a massive amount of work but it took me back to the genesis and development of Sit and Be Fit. It also gives me the opportunity to introduce you to one of my mentors, Dr. Rene Cailliet. Here is our story.

Aware of our mutual interest in exercise, my dentist directed me to a book he found exceptional, “The Rejuvenation Strategy” by Dr. Cailliet. The author was Director of Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Santa Monica Hospital and Medical Center. This specialist had earned the reputation as the doctor of last resort if you had a muscular, skeletal, or neurological problem that was not responding to typical treatments.

His philosophy was simple: Begin by revitalizing connective tissue and correcting postural alignment. Connective tissue is the body’s basic building blocks, which when unused or underused deteriorates and dries out (like a sponge). Gentle exercise is the key to revitalizing connective tissue.

Correct posture increases vital capacity and the ability to move.

As I delved into his book, I found a kindred spirit, a respected medical professional with research credentials who viewed the purpose of exercise, as I did. Exercise does not have to be super strenuous and exhausting to be effective. There is so much more to exercise and it starts with simple things.

Sit and Be Fit continues to build its fitness strategy around many of the concepts I learned from Dr. Cailliet and other professionals, including Mary Mayta and Susan Calhoun.

Here is a simple exercise that improves posture and reduces neck pain.
-Tuck your chin in, keep it level, do not lift or lower it.
-Place one hand under chin; visualize the hand as a set of railroad tracks.
-Slide the chin forward and back on the railroad tracks, emphasizing the backward motion.
-Do 5 repetitions and hold head in back position to the count of 4, after each repetition. (Forward – Back – Hold 1-2-3-4)

By the way, at the time his book was published in 1987, Dr Cailliet was 69 years old. He will be 98 this June and he and his wife remain active and rejuvenated! This is definitely a man who walks his talk!

My warmest regards,

Mary Ann Wilson

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