After a hard workout at your local gym similar to Fitness 19, you’ll need to relax and unwind. Post-exercise recovery is important for a healthy body and mind. It helps in reducing the risk of diseases like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer.
Some people believe that post-workout recovery is an excuse to eat junk food and overindulge in other unhealthy habits. Although these people do not get the full benefits of their workouts. Many health professionals recommend a period of rest after intense exercise to allow the body to repair itself and have recognized the importance of post-workout recovery.
Drink some water
After a strenuous workout, your body needs to be hydrated. But it is important that you drink water in the right amount and at the right time.
Drink water after a workout session to keep your body hydrated and avoid dehydration. Your muscles need water to help them recover from exercise. Without enough water, your muscles cannot repair themselves as well as they should.
If you’re doing intense cardio exercises like running or cycling, drink up to 2-4 liters of fluids during and after the session for best results.
Take a nap or doze off for 10-20 minutes
You should take a nap after your workout session because it helps you recover faster. You will also be able to maintain your concentration and focus if you take a nap after a workout session.
A study shows that people who nap after their workouts are more likely to experience better sleep quality and less fatigue than those who do not nap. People who napped were also less likely to experience muscle soreness the next day.
Napping is also beneficial for your brain, as it helps improve memory retention, mood, and alertness levels in the long run.
Stretch out your muscles
Post-exercise muscle tissue is in a state of repair and growth. The muscles are damaged during exercise and they need time to rebuild and grow stronger. This process is not only important for the muscles but also for the body’s overall health.
Stretching after a workout is not only good for your muscles but also helps with reducing soreness, improving blood circulation, and increasing flexibility.
You should stretch after your workout session because it helps you feel better both physically and mentally.
Meditate and Relax Your Mind and Body
There are lots of benefits of meditating, and it can help you relax after a tough workout session. It can also help to lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of stress-related diseases. Meditation can help you reduce stress, improve focus, increase creativity, boost memory, retention, and recall, reduce pain, improve sleep quality, and increase energy levels.
If you want to enjoy the many benefits of meditation, it is important that you start with regular practice. Your first step could be to set aside 10 minutes in your day for meditation. So, after a hard workout session, it is important to relax your mind and body.
Beginners Core: How to do Pelvic Tilts.
What if reducing back pain, increasing core awareness, and strength. Reducing hip pain and aiding the natural curves in your spine “were” easy to do?
It has been brought to my attention on more than one occasion that we as a society often overlook the power of simplicity. Is it that we are lead to believe that if something isn’t complicated? Or expensive or taught at a fancy center that it cannot truly be helpful?
I occasionally have students mention that they are off to PT for this or that. Only to find that what they are being told to do are the very things they are learning in my classes. And the therapists are amazed at their sense of awareness and ability. Now, this is not to toot my own horn. But rather push my point that sometimes we don’t realize the power of something until we step away from it.
And the same goes for simple movements.
Have back pain? Who doesn’t?
Struggling with your, ahem, pelvic floor? You’re not alone.
What if there was something you could be doing right now to help those areas improve?
Would you be O.K. with the notion that the approach was simple, elementary, small and lacks a fancy name and does not end in a complicated arm balance? Would that be O.K.?
Sometimes to truly take a step forward, we do in-fact have to take a step back, and that is where pelvic tilts come in.
Not in the sense that we are losing ground or less than, but rather that we are in deep need to create a deeper sense of awareness and understanding of our body and how it moves.
Pelvic tilts truly are one of my most favorite moves, and I often think of it as a secret weapon! This small movement packs a powerful punch! That it simultaneously free your lower back release your hip flexors. In addition, pelvic tilts improve core function and awareness and ungulates your entire spine.
I know what you are thinking now, “where can you sign me up” for learning how to do pelvic tilts??
Except as a yoga and movement teacher for over fifteen years now I have learned that one: I was practicing pelvic tilting all wrong. And two: I see many following in my similar footsteps.
Let’s fix that!
There are tons of benefits to pelvic tilting and it SHOULD be an exercise that everyone does regularly. Because you can do it in just about any plane of motion and position.
If you need a list of reasons WHY pelvic tilts are not just good for you, but necessary!
What are the benefits of Pelvic Tilts?
- * Pelvic tilts create a sense of awareness of the pelvic floor muscles
- *Pelvic tilts release sacral (SI joint) pain
- *Pelvic tilts release the femur, tailbone, sacrum connection for more mobility and motility
- *Pelvic tilts help one access and tone the lower abdomen muscles
- *Pelvic tilts release lower back
- *Pelvic tilts liberate the entire spine
- *Pelvic tilts loosen tightness hanging on the shoulders
- *Pelvic tilts release tightness of the inner hips and inner pelvic attachments
- *Pelvic tilts tone the pelvic floor and core muscles
- *Pelvic tilts activate the glutes/buttocks
- *Pelvic tilts increase awareness of the hip-spine relationship
- *Pelvic tilts assist in a deeper breathing and better lung use
- *Pelvic tilts enhance your body’s natural alignment and curvature
- *Pelvic tilts assist your lumbo-pelvic relationship to sit in neutral with less pain and restriction
- *Pelvic tilts improve posture
- *Pelvic tilts help you look taller and leaner
- *Pelvic tilts teach you how to wear your core on the inside of the body rather than the outside
- *Pelvic tilts release the lateral side body
- *Pelvic tilts stretch the abdominal walls from sitting all-day
- *Pelvic tilts release the fascial netting of the lower body and spine.
By now you are wondering how do you effectively and properly practice pelvic tilts?
How To Do Pelvic Tilts:
- Pick your position. You can practice pelvic tilting lying down, standing in a slight chair pose, sitting, or even prone. I think supine is the simplest way to practice and the floor gives you good feedback as to what you are doing for starters.
- Lying down with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, make sure your heels are not too close to your sit bones, when they are too close it inhibits the range of motion for pelvic tilting.
- Find your breath, a deep breath in through your nose and out through your nose to settle into your body.
- Keep your body relaxed for now, INHALE and work to arch your lower back away from the floor, like there was a pin poking you. Do not lift your hips off the ground. Go as far as you can comfortably and keep stretching until your inhale is complete.
- Pause for a moment.
- Now EXHALE and glide your lower back into the floor, WITHOUT squeezing your buttocks together or lifting your hips up off the floor while pelvic tilting.
- Now repeat again drawing a deeper sense of awareness to the movement, between what moves and what doesn’t.
- After a few rounds, on the exhales work to draw awareness and attention to your anal sphincter, with the exhale on the posterior tilt (when you tip back into the floor) work to contract that part of the pelvic floor. Notice what else wants to contract, more than likely trying to do the job for this part of your pelvic floor, especially if you have never used it before.
- Inhale release the anal sphincter. You will notice if you contracted when you proceed to release. Do this several rounds.
- Now mentally move forward on your pelvic floor and work to contract the vaginal passageway or for men the soft tissue behind the scrotum. For many, this will be more difficult, especially if there was trauma (like giving birth) the nerves and tissues may not be connecting back with the brain properly.
- Repeat the process of EXHALE contract and tip back, and INHALE release and tip forward. This will feel more internal. Think about contracting while in cold water, or for men like flexing an erection, women engaging during intercourse. (I see potential practice opportunities to engage your pelvic floor here).
- Now finally move even more forward on the pelvic floor and think about where your pubic bone is and work to contract the lower front belly and pelvic floor on the exhales. This will feel more like pulling inward on the belly, but this time it’s triggered by the pelvic floor not the navel. Think of the action of cutting off the flow of urine or holding when you have to go to the bathroom. Good news, those two actions ask you to use your pelvic floor muscles.
- Repeat tilting trying to engage each of these three areas, all individually, and all together. Notice what is easier and what takes more work.
A few other tips about pelvic tilts:
As you become more comfortable with the movement, especially while lying down. Consider adding in the arms to the movement. INHALE and arch the back, release the pelvic floor, AND reach your arms overhead! STRETCH. Exhale and return back to the floor and contract the pelvic floor.
By incorporating the arms in you get more of a full spinal interaction. Plus, the hip flexors and lower back get even more limelight. Notice when reaching if one arm hits the floor and the other does not. This can easily become a tool for not only teaching pelvic floor activation and releasing the lower back. Which can also assist spinal and fascial assessment as well.
Here’s to happy pelvic tilts!
P.S. Not sure where the heck your pelvic floor is??? >>> CLICK HERE. <<<
And learn about it NOW!
PPS Here is a great video I shot of an entire series of pelvic tilting, core integration, and full spinal release! Because everyone needs a visual!
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>CLICK HERE <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
This video was created because of my yoga former teacher training students,
may you never stop learning.
The Down Dog and Puppy Dog Blog: What You Are Missing
I never really gave much thought to Down Dog. I mean, it was a pose that I could do for the most part. Sure my shoulders were weak, and I felt a bit shaky. Overall, my Dog was down.
Well, at least I thought. I believe there is a part of your brain that stops thinking, opening itself up to learning when we think we got it. That was me in Down Dog.
As my shoulders got stronger to hold the weight of my body, I began to build patterns to get the pose done. Patterns that left me avoiding critical areas that I could most certainly be liberating via The Dog.
A few years after entering into the world of teaching yoga, I soon discovered I was missing some significant aspects of training in the asana department. I mean, I knew the basics. This pose looks like this, so let’s shove your body into that pose. Amen. (insert sarcasm)
An entirely new world opened up to me when I stepped out of the yoga world to learn more about the body. Like really learn about how the body moves, why things happen, why body parts hurt and how to unwind the body with cues and directions beyond “if it hurts don’t do it” and “honor your body.” Which are both beautiful and sound cues, but I wanted to understand? I wanted my students to understand so that they and I could take back ownership over our bodies and start to truly mend injuries and issues that don’t ever seem to go away.
I took training from The Gray’s Institute. From Katy Bowman, Leslee Bender, Anatomy Trains, and got my hands on all I could find from the teachings of Dr. Stewart McGill, to name a few.
I first started to apply these concepts to my practice and saw a remarkable difference — less pain in my shoulders and lower back. The longstanding stability issues in my pelvis began to improve, and for the first time, I truly understood where the core was and how to access it.
There was a time I would walk around the room while teaching and see a student’s shoulders what I now know as “internally rotated.” I’d attempt to grab onto his (or her) upper arms and roll them out. And when they didn’t even move a millimeter, I’d walk away pretending like that was how it was supposed to be. If you are a teacher you can relate. I wanted to help; I saw the issue but didn’t know exactly how to adjust the pose or how to “fix” it. Like why didn’t that work? Why didn’t they move? What was I missing?
A lot of this video is to explain that. One’s shoulders are acting immobile and how to begin to correct this.
The day I was introduced to Puppy Dog in a new way, my entire teachings revolving around Down Dog and shoulder issues changed.
All-day long we sit, we are internally rotated at the shoulder, collapsed in the chest, and limited in mobility between the shoulder and the rib cage. So no wonder when we come to yoga and pop up into Down Dog with little notice and warm-up, we are in my mind (we could be) doing more harm than good.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO
It is my observation that Down Dog and Puppy Dog’s focus is NOT the hamstrings as they often take over the pose. Using cues to press their heels down (which is fine and dandy) and walk their Dog as the first cue in the pose. The focus, first and foremost, is the spine and shoulders, hamstrings, and calves.
Downward Dog is us upside down. And we should approach it in such away.
If your hips are tight before a hippie pose, we work them. The same should be valid for the shoulders.
Meet Puppy Dog Pose. Puppy Dog is not a fancy pose and most often looked at as a modification or lesser variation. But do not be fooled, my friend. Puppy Dog will expose everything Down Dog lets you avoid.
Puppy Dog assertively guides your shoulders and arms into their proper position- external rotation. It’s that fantastic stretch across the upper back and gives you back that full range of motion a little bit by little bit that Down Dog has been allowing you to skip over for all these years.
Puppy Dog gives you that broadening, lift, and support we struggle to find in Down Dog. And when our Down Dog’s spine looks like a macaroni noodle releasing the hamstrings and bending the knees is the action step we want to cue. See, when the arms are at full extension, and the legs everything is pulled to its max and the spine gets caught in the middle. You end up with a rounded back, tucked pelvis and shoulder issues waiting to arise. Oh snap! I didn’t even mention proper leg rotation. GAME CHANGER!
As you will find out in this video, by releasing some of the tension and adequately positioning the shoulders, you get an entirely different experience. One that in my mind is wayyyyyy better than the stuff I was experiencing earlier.
Stiffness, not your issue? Watch the video and find out how to build stability by doing Down Facing Dog and Puppy Dog the right way.
But honestly, whether you watch this video or not. The Benefits of Down Dog and Puppy Dog are out of this world amazing!
Benefits of Down Dog and Puppy Dog:
- Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
- Energizes the body
- Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands
- Strengthens the arms and legs
- Helps reduce the symptoms of menopause
- Helps prevent osteoporosis
- Improves digestion
- Relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue
- Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, sinusitis
- Tones the arms and legs
- Opens the chest
- Tones the arms
- Tones the core
- Releases the spine and back
- Builds strength in hands, wrists, shoulders
Check out Hope’s other blog: 5 Things You Should be Doing to Help Back Pain
Join Hope’s Online Community: Mindful Movement & Yoga Studio
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As the creator of the Core Functional Fitness Program, I have over a decade of experience teaching and practicing functionally fit exercise. These 6 Principles are key to truly developing your functionally fit practice.
1. Three Dimensional
In order to do the things we need to in life, we have to move in a multidimensional form. In order to improve our overall health and ability to live and function, our yoga class should too. This involves moving in three planes of motion:
Sagittal, which moves front to back (lunge)
Frontal, which moves side to side (like a triangle), and
Transversus, which cuts the body in half, top to bottom (a movement like a twist or cross of the midline).
Challenge yourself as a teacher or practitioner, and move in as many ways as possible.
When we step onto the mat, we need to take into consideration that gravity is always around us and upon us. Try to play with gravity in as many different positions and movement patterns as possible. See what happens. Especially when it comes to the pelvic core and gravity, we will see the body respond differently. This can be a great way to test and build your balance.
We often think of “dynamic” as complicated or having a lot of moving parts. But dynamic can also be movement using multiple forms.
Here’s what I mean by this: When you step into a lunge, your arms always go forward and up, but what about moving your arms out to the sides or back by your hips? This way, you give yourself a dynamic range rather than always putting your body through the same performance.
Dynamic can also mean moving in and out of a pose at variable speeds and levels, depending on your ability. This type of dynamics can offer the muscles a less stressful way to release, and it gives the mind time to get to know the new body part or range of motion discovered.
It is important to understand that each individual’s needs are unique. Believing that everyone in a class should be doing something exactly the same is not only crazy but also harmful. If we consider men and women, our bodies are drastically dissimilar. Testosterone and estrogen act different on muscles and the build of a person’s body. Bone size, shape, and spacing, as well as tendons, muscles and ligaments, all are very different from men to women.
This seems like a simple concept considering the average person takes a breath anywhere from 21,000-24,000 times a day. The reality is that most people are shallow breathers and, on top of that, hold their breath. If you have the desire to improve your physical body and get healthy, it really needs to start with your breath.
Weak breath flow has a slew of negative consequences, including poor digestion, asthma, anxiety, depression, headaches, muscle cramps, and even pelvic floor dysfunction. So before you step onto a yoga mat, into a physical therapy clinic or a Zumba class, get educated and learn how to breathe; your body will thank you. There are also several breathing meditations that can teach you to tune into your breath and help you grow your breathing practice.
6. Acknowledging the Mind and Spirit
We are not just a body bouncing around from point A to point B. One of the reasons I love yoga is that yoga understands that this physical body is the most superficial form of the self. There is so much more to understand than just what you see physically.
Usually, when you have a physical symptom or issue, that “issue” has been going on for quite some time. The physical body is the soul’s last attempt to get us to listen. When I exercise or step onto my mat, it is just as much a spiritual experience as prayer or meditation, if not more. Because now there is an honoring of the body involved that I have to act on and respect … something that I can very well translate into my everyday life.
If you are interested in growing your core and practicing these principles of Functionally Fit Exercise, practice along with my Core Functional Fitness Course.
Core Functional Fitness – Functional Foundation
- 14 modules of step-by-step instruction as lecture, application, and exercises to be functionally fit
- Certificate of completion and the opportunity to continue toward teacher certification with Hope Zvara
- BONUS 60-page PDF foundational manual for your ongoing reference and application
- BONUS recordings of CoreXpert Q&A sessions with Hope Zvara
- My training comes with a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee!