Living mindfully in today’s fast paced world can be a challenge. There are days where we rush from item to item on our to-do list and fall into bed exhausted, depleted and with our minds racing. We wake up to our phones and emails and get to work, school or just get busy doing what we do.
We know it would be ideal to slow down and do the whole “breathing and meditation thing” but we don’t have time!
What if, there was a way to change your perception of time and your your feeling of there not being enough time?
Would you take the chance to change?
This topic has come up within in my professional and personal world several times in the past couple weeks. The question is usually " Should I go to bootcamp for moms so I can get back in shape?" This is a class that usually involves walking/cardio/pushups/planks/abdominal exercises as well as general advice on getting back into shape. This type of class also usually incorporates baby into the exercises and provides community for new moms. My polite answer is: it depends. What does that mean?
5 Steps You Can Take To Know if You are Ready:
1. Be cleared by your medical professional to return to normal activities (often times this is your OBGYN) 2. Assess yourself for a diastasis recti. Are you able to do an mini abdominal crunch without a separation of rectus abdominus? 3. Check your body, are you painfree in your low back? Are you free of numbness or tingling in your legs? Pain is a symptom that something is not right and its your body's way of telling you to address it. 4. Do you have your active range of motion back from pregnancy and delivery? Are you able to bend forward and backward without pain or stiffness? 5. Do you have the energy to put into a class? Self care after a new baby is so important for mamas, rest, alone time, nourishing food and community.
Did you answer no to any of the questions?
Overheard walking out of 24 hour fitness this month: " I have low back pain too, its part of getting older. You just have to power through it and keep moving, that is the only the way to live".
These two ladies were in their 60s and walking out of a senior fitness class at the gym. While I applaud these women for staying active and participating in classes, I absolutely disagree that low back pain "is what happens when you get older and you must live with it".
You do not have to live with low back pain! Not everyone gets low back pain as they age. What's the secret of living without pain? Small, daily movements that build your strength and endurance cumulatively. Providing your body and your brain with pain-free positive movements to enable you to get to the bigger goals of movement.
Posture is vitally important for your well-being and your body. If you sit at a computer most of the day, its extra important for your workstation to be adjusted properly for you.
Suggestions to identify if your workstation is set up correctly: * Raise and lower your chair until your keyboard is at elbow height * Hold your wrists in a straight or neutral posture while typing * Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet are flat on the floor or on a footrest, with knees about 90 degrees bent * Adjust the height of the monitor so that the top of the screen is just under eye level. * Take frequent stretching breaks, I recommend one an hour for 2-3 minutes.
Many short breaks are much better for your body than a few longer breaks.
Get up and move around your desk, to the printer or go get some water, just move!
If you have the space, keep a yoga mat or foam roller at your desk for quick stretch breaks.
Still having pain and want to get it assessed?
Do you know what your vagus nerve does?
Vagus is Latin for wandering and this cranial nerve starts at the brain stem and goes down into the stomach and intestines, innervates the heart and lungs, and affects the throat, ears and tongue. . The vagus nerve is part of the parasympathetic nervous system which is considered your “rest and digest” system. Your other system is the sympathetic nervous system which is considered your “fight or flight “ system.
Activation of this nerve keeps your immune system in check and promotes decreased anxiety and feelings of relaxation.
Here are 5 Ways to Activate your Vagus nerve:
1. Conscious deep breathing.
*Taking in a deep breath through the nose, holding for 5-6 seconds, and then exhaling it out for a count of 10. Try this for 6-10 breaths and notice how you feel.
2. Cold decreases your sympathetic (fight or flight) system, and increases your parasympathetic (rest and digest) system response. Cold exposure activates the vagus nerve. Ways to gradually increase your cold exposure: *Splash cold water on your face a few times a day shower 💦 * Take cold showers 1-3x per day 🚿 * Try a cold plunge
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