Studies about the benefits of stretching are mixed, but one thing that’s not in question is that stretching improves flexibility, which may improve your performance. Better flexibility can decrease your risk of injuries by helping your joints move easily through their full range of motion. Here are five easy stretches you can do before a workout, hike, or just to start your day.
NECK: Lower your right ear to your right shoulder. Lift your right arm and gently apply pressure with your left palm to the left side of your head increasing the stretch to your neck. Your left arm should dangle at your side with finger tips pointing toward the ground. Repeat on the other side.
Whether you’re a new dad or the seasoned dad of grown children, you now about stress. It’s not the same stress that comes from deadlines at work, staring at unpaid bills, or even forgetting an anniversary. It’s “Dad Stress”. Dad stress comes along with the responsibility of being a parent, and it can be just as difficult to deal with as “Mom Stress”.
In today’s world of working more and relaxing less, there’s never been a more important time to learn to manage your stress. Some men choose to hide their stress, fearing that others will see them as weak. Actually, it’s the opposite. Men who acknowledge and manage their stress are seen as stronger, better partners, and more emotionally balanced.
What is dad stress?
Stress is a physical or emotional reaction to internal or external events. Dads have a lot of opportunities to experience both kinds. They experience external stress when they spend sleepless nights helping take care of the newborn (and their partner). They are stressed when the teen gets the car keys for the first time. They’re stressed when a child gets hurt.
Disrupted sleep patterns happen to everyone at one time or another because of temporary factors, like a snoring partner or medication. Unfortunately, there are other factors, like stress, that can cause sleep patterns to disrupt, sometimes over a long time.
The typical adult needs slightly more than 8 hours of sleep every day, but fewer than 35% of American adults get this level of rest. Actual insomnia is defined as difficulty initiating, or maintaining sleep 3 or more nights in a week, in addition to sleep related daytime impairment. Typically, someone with insomnia feels unrefreshed when they wake, can’t get to sleep despite being really tired, has daytime drowsiness or fatigue, sometimes has difficulty concentrating, sometimes gets headaches.
Recent studies suggest that a massage can not only help you relax, but may also benefit your immune system.
Researchers who provide massage therapy at the Outpatient Physical Therapy Clinic, UAB Rehabilitation Center, identified two reasons why massage can help you stay healthier: immediate changes in the body and cumulative effects of regular massage.
Changes to the body
Immediate changes in the body come from the stress reduction gained during the session. Your heart rate can decrease, your breathing can deepen and slow, your brain gets a few minutes of rest time. There are benefits long term as well:
“Over the long-term, the benefits of massage accumulate; massage can increase a person’s range of motion, strengthen the immune system and provide an improved sense of well-being” A. Kelly, University of Alabama, 2013
Happiness really is a state of mind. Everyone defines it a bit differently. For some, it’s contentment, others satisfaction, some pleasure, some joy, some well-being, and for others just “feeling all right”.
Your happiness is influenced both by your perception of what’s going on in your life and actual environmental occurrences. Happy people actually do things that keep them happy. In other words, they actively pursue happiness, sometimes instinctively, sometimes because they’ve learned good habits, other times because they feel the need to be even happier.
Think about Scrat, the squirrel from the Ice Age films. He’s oh so happy when he finally gets his tiny hands on his beloved acorn. But think also that Scrat goes to great lengths to move toward his goal. As long as he is moving toward the goal, actually taking steps forward, he’s moving closer to his nut every moment. Luckily, you don’t have to scale icebergs or slide off cliffs to be happy, but you do have to work at it. Here are twenty things, in no particular order, that you can do to help yourself move your brain toward a happier perception of yourself and your world.
Millions of people use weight training as a way to improve coordination, increase muscle mass, speed metabolism, and improve strength. When proper form is used, weight training can be very effective in helping you look and feel better.
By definition, weight training increases the amount of effort your muscles exert and challenges your metabolism to keep up with the increased energy needed to sustain those efforts. During the process, muscles react different ways. Sometimes weight lifters experience soreness because of microtears in the muscle fibers, or feel sore from the buildup of lactic acid and other natural body chemicals in the stressed areas. Even when your form is perfect, all this exertion and stressing of muscles can cause aches and pains. That’s where massage can really help.
Since the 1960’s researchers have known that the connection between delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and lactic acid is a myth.
Lactic acid is a continual product of carbohydrate metabolism. It holds a position as a temporary product at the end of glycolysis and at the head of the aerobic Krebs cycle. That’s a fancy way of saying that lactic acid is formed when sugar is broken down in your body and it’s produced whenever the body breaks down carbohydrates for energy. The lactic acid actually helps generate energy. Lactic acid is not a toxin. Then why does it get such a bad rap?
Have you ever noticed that laziness fuels more laziness and activity fuels more activity?
Whether it’s dealing with a family matter, pursuing a professional goal, picking up your socks, or managing your own wellness, it’s easy to procrastinate, delay, justify and deny yourself right into a big pile of inactivity.
For many people, stress from making big decisions or dealing with an ongoing stressful situation creates a level of discomfort and confusion in our minds and bodies. The burden of inaction weighs heavier than we think on the nervous system and on just about every other body system. You can feel guilty for being lazy, especially when you naturally compare yourself to others who you see as decidedly not lazy. It can take a lot of energy to suppress feelings and it takes a lot of work by your body to resist the temptation to transfer inaction into muscle aches, pain, and a general lack of wellness. That’s why when we’re lazy, we get more lazy. Our system just finally says “oh well” and gives in.
It’s official. Silicon Valley Massage Therapy Group (SVMTG) will now offer customized sports massage inside the awesome Fitness Never Sleeps (FNS) Training Center. FNS provides a holistic approach to fitness and wellness in a supportive environment that fosters positive energy and a friendly spirit.
FNS is way more than your average fitness center, they offer unlimited access to group training, 1-on-1 personal training, nutritional coaching, top of the line equipment and focused and dedicated coaches. Their results are amazing and their members motivated and enthusiastic about continual improvement in their own health and wellness. Continue reading “SVMTG & FNS Partner for Member Wellness”
Not seeing the results you want? Check out this list and see if you can put yourself back on course.
Many people have discovered that proper hydration with sports drinks helps them run faster, have better motor skills, and stay mentally sharper–and the research bears that out. But sometimes plain old water does the trick.
1 – You are working out too much. In general, your body needs 72 hours to go through one metabolic cycle, which promotes healing of tissue torn during active workouts. Try focusing on upper body one day, lower the next and taking every third day off.
Silicon Valley offers endless opportunity for bright, motivated people. Whether it’s building the next best thing from an idea written on a napkin, to landing a dream job at a tech giant, the benefits are incredible. Every day you’re immersed in excitement fueled by caffeine and good old nose-to-the grindstone brainwork. It’s 10 hours a day of nonstop adrenalin. The work is exciting, challenging, and occasionally frustrating.
It also slowly turns you into one angry ball of stress.
All that multitasking, deadline-sweating, and de-prioritization of family and leisure time can take a toll. In your high-tech world you’re giving your all for the job and giving up a lot in return. You’re trading hard work for your company for hard work on your health and relationships. Welcome to “more than a job, less than a life.”
You can just deal with it, of course, or you can take control of this one part of your life and do something positive to help reduce the stress associated with your work.
Three Steps to the Good News
Tech companies know that the work environments they’re maintaining are high-stress. They really do care about helping you be successful and helping you manage stress. They offer opportunities to control diet with health-concious corporate café choices, gyms for exercise and volunteer opportunities in community service to help you get out of your cube. But lots of employees are so stressed, they forget to seek out these alternatives. They see themselves as so busy, they don’t see how it’s possible to relax.
The Gluteus Maximus is the largest muscle in your body, yet it is often overlooked in pre- and post-workout stretching.
The Gluteal muscles work hard. Tightness in the “glutes” often causes pain by altering the position of the leg, causing uneven distribution of forces in the knee. They can also cause back pain and stiffness. Try these three simple stretches to keep your Glutes happy:
1. Pretzel. Lie flat on your back and bend both knees. Cross one leg over the other so your foot is on the opposite knee.Bring both knees towards your chest and gently pull the uncrossed leg towards you until you feel a stretch in your buttock. Hold for 30 secs. Repeat 3 times before and after exercise. Continue reading “Three Glute Stretches That Work”
Your body is constructed around a bony skeleton composed of roughly 206 bones, which are jointed to one another. Skeletal muscles attach to two or more bones that are joined through one or more joints. Contraction of these muscles crossing their respective joints powers the movement of the bones, pivoting at their joints. Muscles tend to work in pairs, across joints, each muscle of the pair pulling opposite to its partner.
When muscles become tense due to stressors of any kind, both muscles of a pair partially contract and shorten, putting pressure across the joint(s) the muscles cross. This tension reduces the potential range of motion (ROM) at the joint(s), because part of the dynamic range of the muscles is already reached. Continue reading “Massage Can Improve Range of Motion”
The cold season is almost over and you made it through. Lots of energy goes into holiday and cold weather preparation and the actual festivities and plans flash by. Feeling restless, frustrated, disenchanted, tired and stressed is common after the holiday rush and a wintertime indoors subsides. Many of us break our daily routines, including diet and exercise, during the season and then feel a little “off” by the time Spring comes around.
It turns out nobody is more in control of your renewal, rebirth and recovery than YOU are and the new year can be a great time to contemplate and resolve to get in touch with yourself again and reach out to seek your passions, your purpose, your dreams, work on your relationships, and think about your wellness.