NEWSFLASH: Wellness is not just about diet and exercise!
The principle of Restoration is perhaps the most misunderstood and neglected component of wellness. Yet Restoration is crucial to attaining and maintaining a healthier, leaner, higher performing body, as well as an increased state of “happiness”. Who knew?
During these first few weeks of starting our BLOCK Training Program, you likely have increased your exercise levels and movement patterns, so you may be feeling the effects of these increases by way of fatigue and muscle soreness – this is normal. With that said however, these effects cannot be ignored. Successful TCAs understand the need to incorporate Restoration practices into their busy lives. But how? Let’s talk about the many ways to Rest, Relax and Restore!
First the biggie: Sleep!
Inadequate sleep patterns and other stressors can negatively affect the musculoskeletal systems…not to mention, cognitive ability, eating patterns, and mood. Furthermore, poor sleep patterns and inefficient recovery can negatively impact your progress during your wellness journey. But how much and what kind of sleep do we as Today’s Corporate Athletes need?
Sleep Quantity: Seven to eight hours is the general rule, but this varies from person to person and can be dependent on activity level. While many people believe that they can “get by” and thrive on minimal sleep, science tells us that there is a very small percentage of people who actually can.
Sleep Quality: Just logging the time on the pillow doesn’t always result in a “good night’s sleep” – aim for a deep, restful 7 to 8 hours or more. How? Create a peaceful sleep environment: avoid late night media stimulation such as the TV, phone or computer—those “I just need to send out a few” emails can ruin a night of sleep. Instead, read a book! Or reflect on the positive changes you have made during the day. You may even want to consider incorporating a ritual of late evening mediation to prepare for your restorative night ahead.
Don’t forget your Post-Workout Stretching:
Proper stretching after exercising results in increased flexibility and mobility and reduces the likelihood of future injuries. Stretching following your workout can also calm the central nervous system and reduce the discomfort resulting from the training that just took place. Static stretching is a great call post training, as well as a calming flow series.
Incorporating various forms of yoga can complement your overall program and provide additional conditioning and restorative benefits. Yoga can improve the condition of your muscles, bone, and connective tissue. This increases mobility and stability in the musculoskeletal system, thus reducing the potential for future injury. Yoga also promotes proper breathing and stress relief. If you’ve never done a yoga class, find a beginner class with a qualified instructor and give it a try. It’s a great way to rejuvenate your day…who knows, you may even get hooked.
Add Myofascial Release/Foam Rolling to your Workouts
Myofascial release should be a standard part of a workout for most TCAs, especially for those with problem areas (e.g., hamstrings, calves back, etc.) Myofascial release can be done with a foam or stick roller, PVC pipes, Lacrosse balls and similar tools. These practices can release fascia restriction (fascia is a thin band of tissue below the skin that encloses muscles) and can also restore this tissue when it has been irritated by injuries, stress, inflammation, trauma, or poor posture. Be sure to start slowly and be careful not apply so much pressure that the Myofascial work in itself creates soreness.
Treat Yourself to Massage Therapy
Massage can bring relief to sore muscles, while also serving to relieve stress by decreasing feelings of anxiety and depression, enhancing relaxation and increasing overall “wellbeing”.
Don’t Ignore Injuries: Remember: “PRICE”
Sometimes an unfortunate soft tissue or joint injury may arise from a slip or fall, and in some cases, from improper exercise technique, or from simply overdoing it. Obviously, we want to do all we can to avoid injury. But if an injury does occur, remember this acronym: PRICE: Prevent (further injury), Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation. This describes the best way to treat an injury (that doesn’t require immediate medical attention.)
So many of today’s population are over stimulated. They check their smart phones countless times, connect on social media all day long, shuffle kids from one activity to another, live their lives through reality TV shows, professional athletes, musicians etc.
Simply stated: we’ve gotten away from purpose and humility…we reflect very little, and we’re allowing stress and anxiety to run rampant. We need to slow down. Do we really have to be super fly on the fly? Where are we really rushing to anyway?
Restore through Rest, Relaxation, and Reflection…
WEEK 6 QUIZ:
1) To create an optimum sleep environment, you should try which of the following before falling asleep? a) Read a book b) Browse your social media sites online c) Watch late night TV d) Catch up on your work emails
2) Proper stretching after exercise results in? a) Increases in flexibility and mobility b) Reduction in the possibility of future injuries c) Calming of the central nervous system d) All of the above
3) The principle of Restoration includes which of the following? a) Rest b) Relaxation c) Reflection d) All of the above
4) The "general rule" for an adequate amount of sleep is 7-8 hours per night? a) True b) False
Once you've taken the quiz, click here to see how you did.