This past weekend, I was in Florida for a performance and training summit. Leaders in health, fitness, and performance speak at these events sharing the latest research and their practical experience so that other trainers and coaches like me can help more people at a higher level.
Not only do I learn a ton by listening and participating in these sessions, I also catch up with colleagues, my business coach, and past co-workers, AND I have the opportunity to ask specific questions to leaders in the health and fitness industry.
Below is a picture of me with Dana Santas. She is a mobility, breathing, and mind-body coach in professional sports, a health & wellness expert for CNN, a best-selling author, creator of the YIT (Yoga-Inspired Training) for Athletes coaching certification, and an international presenter on ways to breathe, move, and feel better in our bodies and minds for performance enhancement and healthier, happier living.
Dana is my breathing mentor. When I first used one of her breathing programs a couple of years ago, I had a significant decrease in back pain. To this day, I continue to use the strategies she shared with me.
Even this weekend she taught me a specific technique that I wanted to learn for one of my clients!
This year, many of the sessions touched on recovery, breathing, and reducing the impact of stress.
From core control, training with bare feet, nutrition, and hormonal balance to creating our ideal business and lifestyle; all of these areas included not only the benefits of proper breathing and recovery, but the necessity of it!
These are hot topics for a good reason!
Our population is run-down, anxious, depressed, overweight, and spending many years being sick or feeling “just not right.”
Recovery is critical to optimal health. Attention to breathing is a part of recovery, and proper breathing is necessary for optimal functioning of our muscles and movement.
While we’ve been working our diaphragms through breathing exercises and putting our feet up on the wall after our workouts to speed the recovery process at Her Fitness for years, it’s only the beginning of seeing this in the mainstream.
So, you’re thinking, ”Yeah, I know I have to reduce stress…but I can’t!”
Here’s the problem with “I can’t”: if you don’t take action now, you’ll be forced to when it’s not convenient.
You’ll get sick – colds, flu, respiratory infections, tendonitis/bursitis, body parts that hurt, and much, much worse.
It could be so gradual that you don’t know what happened, and you realize that you don’t even recognize yourself any more.
Some simple things you can do to “Recover, Reduce the Impact of Stress and Breathe”:
- Take 5 diaphragmatic breaths in the morning and evening.
This has an immediate calming impact on your nervous system. This will engage your parasympathetic nervous system (also called the “feed & breed” or “rest & digest”). You will experience a lower sense of anxiety in the morning and improved sleep at night.
- Look at your poop (and make an appointment if necessary).
It’s an indicator of your health or lack of it. You should be moving your bowels at least once per day, and it should look like a brown banana (and a bit longer). If it doesn’t, make an appointment with a nutritionist, doctor, or functional medicine doctor, and find out why and what you can do about it. (Hint: the first thing to do is make sure you are drinking enough water which is, minimally, half your body weight in ounces.)
Too much time in “Fight or Flight” mode can cause constipation (this includes rabbit pellets) or loose bowels.
Just check the boxes if that’s where you are at, meaning just do it. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to be intense; it just has to happen frequently enough.
Remember this equation: 3 x 52 (three workouts per week for 52 weeks). Studies show people who exercise regularly have lower risk of disease and better cognitive function, plus lower rates of anxiety and depression.