Maintain Your Independence: Muscle mobility for holistic health

TDB Fitness Newsletter 3/28/2021

Practicing fitness for holistic health goes beyond weight loss and muscle building. Incorporate more stretching into your daily routine!

A Black person with long, braided hair stretches into a blue sky.
Photo by RF._.studio from Pexels

Tip of the week:

Stretch Every Day

Stretching is not only good for you, it is essential for maintaining a healthy body. Stretching our muscles keeps them strong and flexible. Strong, flexible muscles maintain their range of motion for longer, and therefore allow us to maintain our independence for longer.

Beyond working out, we do things all day long that make our muscles tight. Sitting at a desk in the same basic position all day, hunching over our phones, driving long distances, laying on the couch to binge watch Netflix; all make our muscles tight as well. So, when we do other daily activities that involve stretching those muscles, we put ourselves at risk for tears, strains, and sprains.

Have you ever cricked your neck or thrown out your back doing something simple? The other day, I reached for my purse in the back seat while I was driving and you would have thought I was being ripped in half. Injuries like this are a product of not stretching enough!

Watch this for a 5 minute stretching routine.

As we get older, our muscles get tighter, and our risk of injury increases. Provide yourself with the healthiest future possible and start your regular stretching habit now!

Keep in mind: it took a lifetime to get your muscles as tight as they are. Stretching probably won’t feel great at first. Your range of motion will be small. That is ok. Make stretching a habit by committing to 5 minutes per day. The more you do it, the easier it will become to include in your routine.

See the video above for an example of a 5 minute morning stretching routine!

Food for Thought:

5 Minutes

Every time Vinnie wants his clients to start stretching habitually, he always suggests they start with 5 minutes a day; either before bed or when they wake up. And it makes sense, in the grand scheme of things 5 minutes a day is a very attainable commitment. Although it seems small, 5 minutes every day compounds in the end to far more stretching than you would’ve done otherwise.

This got me thinking: what other activities could we do for 5 minutes a day that would be super beneficial to us mentally and/or physically? So I did some brainstorming and came up with a list. The items on this list are 5 minute activities that I suggest you could do in the place of 5 minutes of brainless social media scrolling, or binge watching TV. I’m challenging my Teammates to try one, some, or all of these out. If any of these activities feel like a positive addition to your lifestyle, see if you can make whatever it is into a habit

Journalling

You don’t have to be a writer to benefit from journalling. You can journal about anything you want, but some ideas include: the events of your day, your current emotional state, your goals and your progress towards them. You can also find good journalling prompts online and in specially designed journals.

Journalling is good for you because it gives you time alone with your thoughts. When we spend all our down time in front of screens, other stimuli take the place of our own thoughts. Have you ever just felt off and had no idea why? Like you just woke up wrong that day? Well, our overstimulating lifestyles provide us with such little time alone with our thoughts, you likely had been ignoring a basic physical or emotional need for a while. When you take time to journal every day, you allow yourself the opportunity to identify (and then eventually satisfy) those needs. This can result in elevated mood and increased overall contentment.

Deep Breathing

For many adults, the idea of sitting in a silent room doing nothing but breathing for 5 minutes straight sounds impossible. It may not even seem attractive. However, meditating like this for 5 minutes a day is good for your brain and your nervous system. Making it a habit can improve your overall mental and physical health.

The key to making this a habit is being kind to yourself and pushing through the frustration. For many of us, sitting in quiet stillness results in nothing but racing thoughts about all the things we could be doing. I’ve heard a lot of people say this means they can’t meditate. In reality, this is your brain’s natural response to living in a world with constant demands on your time.

Accept the fact that your brain will react like this, and let that frustration go. Instead of beating yourself up for it, gently acknowledge that your thoughts and feelings are valid, and choose to start listening for your breath. By focusing your attention on listening to your breath, you lower your heart rate, relax your body and mind, and allow your brain time to reboot.

Grooming

This one may seem a little out of left field. Many of us have a weird relationship with our own physical appearance. Society sends us mixed messages about these kinds of things. On one hand, pretty privilege is definitely a thing. Holding ourselves to beauty standards can lead to all kinds of toxic behaviors. And at the same time, people can also judge you for being too vain. Think of how many songs include the basic theme of, “I think you’re beautiful but only because you don’t know it.” It’s as if we’re supposed to live a life of punishing our bodies until they fit someone else’s definition of worthy; all while never allowing ourselves to feel any worth?

And what in the world does this have to do with being happy and healthy? Nothing. Nothing about this attitude towards our bodies is healthy, nothing about it makes us happy. Giving yourself 5 minutes a day to add to your grooming routine is a small way to reverse some of this messaging. It is still true that your worth goes far beyond your physical appearance. And, it is ok to love your body — you at least don’t have to hate it!

By grooming I mean any care you give to your appearance. It goes beyond appearances though; many grooming activities are really good for us. Although they may make us look better (whatever that means), they also improve our overall health. Ideas include:

  • skincare: exfoliate, moisturize, use sunscreen, use a facial roller
  • haircare: deep condition, use heat protecting products, use the right brushes/combs
  • nail care: clip, file, buff, moisturize
  • dental care: brush, floss, mouthwash

Ideally we would all be able to spend more time doing all of these things. However, even taking 5 minutes out of your day to center yourself is much better than remaining in a state of self neglect. You deserve to live the healthiest, happiest life possible. Healthy habit forming around practices like these can help you start you on your journey.

Team Announcements

Facebook Page Launch

As of Thursday 3/25, we officially launched our public TDBFit Facebook Page! This page will host our newsletters, and any other free offerings we include in our programming moving forward. Feel free to invite anyone you think would be interested to like our page!

Referral Program

Refer your friends to TDB Fitness and receive a week of training 50% off.

All they have to do is give us your name when signing up for a new training package. (Receive one week of training at 50% off for each referral).

Happy Hour Success

Thursday 3/25 we had our first happy hour Zoom! Thank you so much to the Teammates who showed up. It was so nice getting to see everyone’s faces and having a chance to socialize. Looking for in-person outdoor options — and some good weather — to do it again soon!

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