Interview with Shauna Harrison - Why become an active member of the Bio-K+ Community

Interview with Shauna Harrison - Why become an active member of the Bio-K+ Community

Shauna Harrison
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Fitness expert, yogi and PhD in Public Health, Shauna Harrison has been on a mission for years: she helps people fall in love with movement, their bodies and taking care of their health. Find out why she jumped on board with the Kultural Evolution.

Why did you choose to become an active member of the Bio-K+ Kultural Evolution?

I love the ethos of Bio-K+ and what they stand for. As a PhD, I really appreciate how research-driven they are and how they truly try to educate the customers. As someone who really values the relationship aspect of the partnerships I engage with, I appreciate the culture of the company in that their heart and souls are in the product and they truly follow their gut {literally!}. As someone who only shortly after partnering with Bio-K+ discovered that I have an excessive system yeast situation that’s presenting in my body, I appreciate the product on a whole other level for its support of my current protocol. The timing was impeccable. Thanks, Universe!

Tell us about your own personal mission and how it connects into Bio-K+’s

Growing up, I couldn’t run a mile, do pushups, pullups or anything else on the Presidential Fitness testing that we did in school, so I literally wrote extra credit reports so I could get an A in PE. It wasn’t until I found some type of movement that really got me fired up that I began to fall in love with training. Looking back, I realize that what I really fell in love with was the process that I had already loved about academic learning – finding things I didn’t know/wasn’t good at, doing the work to learn them/get better at them, and then successfully being able to do them. It was the same with physical challenges. There is so much that can be learned by moving our bodies, being in tune with them, challenging them and having this be an integral part of our daily lives. My mission is to help people fall in love with movement, with their bodies and with taking care of their health. I want people to be able to make educated decisions about their health, including what they put in their bodies to support the movement that they are doing. As I have learned on a personal level especially more recently, paying attention to our gut health is crucial for overall wellness and also for performance.

Everyday, we are exposed to new Science and Health claims. What do you feel is a good and realistic way to approach this much information?

Critical thinking! It’s crucial. Take the time to question, to research, to seek multiple credible sources, think about potential biases in said sources, synthesize the information, form opinions, apply the knowledge, check yourself on the application and then continue the process as new information arises and as your situation changes. It’s a balance of heeding advice from sources that are dedicated to advancing the research involved and actually applying what makes sense for you in your world. It’s also being cognizant of the claims that are being made about products and how/if those claims are backed by science. I like to support brands and products that value research, that are credible and that actively invest in improvement.

Social media has changed in the way it addresses health and fitness. What would you say has been the biggest shift?

The most pervasive change is there is an increased expression via photos, videos, captions, tweets, comments, apps, trackers, etc. of one’s own health journey. People are noting their health habits and sharing them with their friends/the world. In other words, in certain sectors of the population, it is becoming the norm to talk about your health behaviors – working out, eating certain foods, etc. I say ‘certain populations’ because we always need to consider that we are solely speaking of the sector of the population that: a) is able to engage in these behaviors and also b) is on social media to talk about them. But, in the population that does have access to both of these things, it has become quite the norm to talk about your fitness, nutritional and other health-related behaviors. In the positive direction, social norms, social support, and accountability are all factors that can help people engage in and maintain health behavior change, so that is great! The more we can get people to incorporate physical activity into their day and normalize it as a regular behavior, the better!

The part that is not-so-positive about it is that because fitness and nutrition behaviors are such the “thing” to talk about, post about, share and encourage, the over-saturation of “experts” is a bit concerning to me. When the sea of information becomes overly vast, it is much too easy to grab on to anything within reach to be your “life-saver.” Because social media is now so heavily reliant on imagery to garner attention, the most eye-catching imagery can potentially get masked as the most salient advice. Sometimes it is, often it is not. We need to be mindful not to confuse the two. Incredible {eye-catching; shock-worthy; emotion-inducing} imagery has its place. So do facts and research. Same thing goes for numbers of followers, likes and comments. They have their place, they are useful and appreciated for what they represent, but they should not be a proxy for knowledge, experience or evidence-based information.

The struggle is educating the public, the users, and society on how to consume and digest information on health.

Moving forward, what would you like your fitness voice to tell the world?

I think much of the agenda that is being pushed in the fitness industry right now is about fitness for the sake of some given aesthetic ideal. Aside from being incredibly subjective at best, it is potentially very detrimental at worst. There is so much more to fitness than having a bikini body or a 6-pack. Fitness and movement are integral to keep our bodies healthy. We are meant to move. I want my voice to be a voice of movement for the sake of health, for the sake of challenge, for the sake of being in your body. The body is an incredible machine, a gift and a teacher. We need to care for our bodies, pay attention to them and give them unconditional love. I have thus far steered clear of being a voice for nutrition for a lot of the reasons mentioned above. I think messages about nutrition often get misconstrued for “diet advice” and that’s not what I’m about. I would love to be a voice that reminds people to think critically about what they put in their bodies and why, but also to disassociate food from shame. It’s important to understand how food choices affect their everyday lives and how that in turn impacts their mental sharpness, their mood and their physical performance, all while recognizing that food is part of culture and community.

 

 

 


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