Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Stand Up


It’s time to stand up against sedentary behavior!



Did you know that 12 hours is the average time a person sits during the day?

What is sedentary behavior? Time spent sitting, which includes watching TV, driving, eating, and work/school tasks. "Sitting Disease" is a term used by researchers to define those with metabolic syndrome and experiencing the negative impacts of sedentary behavior.

What can you do to decrease sedentary behavior?
  • Try walking around your office more frequently during your work day.
  • While watching TV, try to stand every 30 minutes.
  • Set a timer to remind you to get up more often during your day.
  • Stand more, sit less!



3 Benefits of decreasing sedentary time, there are many more!
  • Helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Improve your mood
  • Increase focus/productivity



Blog post by Timarie Villa.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Exhale



When we do timed breathing exercises that make our exhale even a few counts longer than our inhale, the vagus nerve signals the brain to turn up our parasympathetic nervous system (relax mode) and to turn down our sympathetic nervous system(fight or flight). This means that by putting our awareness on lengthening our exhale we can signal to our body that we do not need to be in fight or flight mode and we can initiate the transition into rest and healing mode. With a long exhale we tell our whole being that it is safe to rest a moment, it is time to digest now, there is time to repair what needs attention within us. Interestingly, because breath modulates the nervous system, it is also a way for us to influence the other automatic, involuntary bodily functions. By setting the parasympathetic tone we slow our heart rate, lower our blood pressure, dilate our blood vessels and turn on our digestion. Just choosing to attend to our breath with intentional exhales allows us to shift our whole body into a restorative mode.

Bringing awareness to our exhale is giving us a lesson in the value of relaxation and surrender. The exhale is about letting go and clearing out. Physically, when we exhale we release the metabolites, the toxins, and the used up air. The exhale is clearing out space, giving us the ability to receive during our inspiration.


Timed Breathing Exercise

Let yourself get quiet and still for a moment during your day. Direct your attention to your breath and just notice, without trying to control or change, the flow of air that is coming and going in your body. Then, invite yourself to breathe out longer than you normally do. You may notice that this is followed by an effortless, expansive in-breath that is deeper than those that preceded. You can also spend a few moments doing an exercise of counted breathing. Breathe in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 7 and then exhale for a count of 8. Doing this a few times will accomplish the shift into parasympathetic mode discussed above.

Enjoy giving yourself this nourishing gift and know that it can have a cascade of healing benefits for your body, mind and spirit.

Blog post by Ally Wilson.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Planks!


While data on exercise changes as new studies are done, one thing that remains constant is that planks are great... but only when you do them properly!


The traditional plank (shown above) targets more than just your abdominals. It requires contraction of the quads, glutes, shoulders, biceps and triceps. It is a stabilizing exercise that can lead to improvements in other exercise moves.


3 Common Plank Form Mistakes


Arched Back

Note: In this position your abs will be inactive. This also put a lot of strain on your lower back!


Hips Too High


Uneven Hips



Other Plank Variations


On Hands



Side Plank



Taking Your Plank to the Next Level


Alternating Leg Lifts


Up, Up, Down, Down


Side Plank with Rotation


Side Plank with Hip Dips


Physioball Planks


TRX Plank



Planks can assist in many other areas!


Balance
The core stability provides and increases in your overall stability and balance.  Example: if you are bumped into while walking, having a stronger core can assist you in regaining your balance faster.

Maintain Proper Running Form
A stable core helps a runner’s body stay in proper alignment, rather than twisting mid stride.

Maintain Form in Many Other Lifts
One of the first steps in many lifting exercises is to engage your core. Having a stronger core can make it easier to keep proper form in many activities and can prevent injury to the back. 


Happy Planking!


Blog post by Erin Womboldt.