Entheos Academy - How to Get Back to Your Optimal Physical Functioning: Rise and Shine
MP4 | AVC, 812 Kbps, 1280 x 720, 29.970 fps | AAC at 147 Kbps, 2 channels, 48 KHz | Duration: 56mn 51s | 391 MB
Genre: eLearning, Health | Erin Carr | Language: English
What do you do on a daily basis? Does it involve excessive sitting? Standing? Repetitive bending and lifting? Ill suggest ways to help yourself throughout your day to day toward optimal function. (Check out the Top 10 Big Ideas from the class below!)
Erin Carr is a licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy. She uses a multi-faceted whole body approach, treating patients of all ages. She believes the body works as a whole, achieving optimal function.
How to Get Back to Your Optimal Physical Functioning: Rise and Shine
Every day, our alarm goes off. We get up for our day ahead. We continue into our cars, onto school, work, errands, back home. We do this like clock work, day in and day out. What do you do on a daily basis? Does it involve excessive sitting? Standing? Repetitive bending and lifting?
As a physical therapist, I see people of all ages and backgrounds. Teenage athletes who sit in uncomfortable desks all day followed by hours of practice and homework. Computer engineers spending their entire day in front of a screen.
Teachers who stand on their feet all day long. Retirees who have days filled with appointments and social activities. What ever you do, you do it everyday. This puts us at risk for overuse injuries as we use the same muscles and joints to perform similar tasks over and over again.
Today, I will be sharing tips, tricks and facts that can help you help your body heal from or prevent an injury from the time your alarm goes off. And over the next five months, I will suggest ways in which you can help yourself throughout your day to day, whatever it may be, creating a positive shift in your mind and body toward optimal function.
The Top 10 Big Ideas
Getting Out of Bed
Have you ever noticed how you get out of bed every morning?
Do you sit up, roll or jump after your alarm has woken you from your slumber? To help prevent added stress and strain to our neck and back, log roll out of bed. Anyone with a previous back injury or surgery knows this trick, but this is also beneficial in preventing an injury before it starts. Start on your back, bend both knees. Roll to one side, with your head still on your pillow. Let your legs drop off the edge of the bed as you use your top arm to push yourself up into a sitting position with your legs hanging off the edge of the bed. Your head should come up last, placing less strain on your back and neck all while preventing any light-headedness you may experience after a nights rest.
Brush your teeth
Of course we should be brushing our teeth for the health of our teeth and gums.
But try brushing your teeth while standing on one leg. Thats right, stand on one leg. Working on your balance helps improve something called proprioception.
This is your bodys ability to know where it is in space. Standing on one leg for just a few minutes a day can build the communication between our brain and body via proprioceptors. Proprioceptors are found in ligaments, tissue that connects bone to bone throughout our bodies. Knowing when and where to step without looking, preventing a fall after tripping on uneven cement, walking on uneven terrain without rolling an ankle. These simple activities we do on a regular basis wouldnt be possible without having good balance and proprioception.
So, stand on one leg while you brush.
You will notice improvement day to day, and before you know it, you will be able to stand on one leg for three minutes without swaying or teetering. I am sure your dentist will be impressed.
Dont forget to alternate legs.
Do you have some sort of go to morning warm up like walking or jogging? If you are not an early riser or exercise later in the day, I am not suggesting you switch your workout routine, but I do recommend doing something to jump-start your day.
Rather than hitting your snooze button, take that 10-15 minutes to walk around the block, go up and down the flight of stairs in your home or apartment building a few times. Research shows that some form of light exercise in the morning can have a positive effect on your blood pressure, metabolism and will definitely get your muscles and joints warmed up for the day ahead. These 10-15 minutes can help rev up the serotonin (aka happy hormones) in your gut and brain to jump-start your day positively and naturally.
Its your morning coffee.
In general, I am sure everyone has been told they should drink more fluids, but may not know exactly why. Rehydrating in the morning after a nights sleep can boost your metabolism, and as a physical therapist, I also recommend that my patients get their electrolytes too as they are necessary for optimal musculoskeletal function.
Sometimes your muscles and joints can stiffen over night, so hydrate them with the minerals they need for optimal function like sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. These are essential for proper muscle contraction while aid in the prevention of muscle cramps, reduce delayed onset muscle soreness after exercise and swelling with sedentary work.
Dont skip breakfast, it is the most important meal of the day. We have all heard this before. Try to actually take the time to prepare that bowl of oatmeal, protein shake or omelet. And take time to eat it. Your body needs and deserves the time to eat and digest providing nourishment, sustenance and energy you need for the morning. Keep in mind what you put into your body can really have an affect on your overall energy for your day.
On the Road
Whether you live in a big city like I do requiring an hour plus commute or have a short 10-20 minute drive, we all have to sit in our cars for a period of time to get to and from place after place.
When you get in your car tomorrow morning, do you notice any gaps between the back of your seat and your low back? Do you find yourself hunched or slumped in your seat? If so, I highly recommend a small lumbar support. You dont have to get a fancy cushion, just use a rolled bath towel or small neck pillow from home, place it in the lower part of your back and see how it feels.
You may have to move it around and see where the sweet spot is for you. This can help promote the natural curvature of the lower spine while preventing injuries before they start.
Whether you have had to drive for 15 minutes or an hour to work, before you get out of the car, breathe. Sometimes we are in such a rush to get to our destination we forget to slow down and literally take a breath. Take a slow deep breath in through your nose. Let your belly rise, ribs expand, chest puff. Through your mouth, slowly exhale. Chest drops ribs compress belly draws in.
Exhale until you feel like you cant let out any more air. Do it again.
Exercise your diaphragm, your primary muscle for breathing. Just like the muscles in our arms and legs, the diaphragm needs to be exercised and challenged too.
Breathing in through your nose filters the air coming into your body, while eliminating stale air through your mouth from your lungs helps release toxins. Feed your brain and body with clean oxygenated blood before transitioning from your car to your office or classroom.
Before you park your car at work or school, where do you usually park? Are you close to the entrance? Far away? If you dont have an injury, think about parking further away than usual, or take the stairs instead of the elevator if you have to park on a different floor.
That little bit of aerobic exercise is so good for your heart, lungs, muscles and bones. Day by day, you will notice and feel more energized for your day ahead.
Desk Set Up
If you havent had your desk checked out by an ergonomic specialist, here are a few general questions you should ask yourself as you sit at your desk. Are your feet flat on the ground, or on a footrest? Is your chair providing good back support? Are you slumped in your chair? Do your knees feel or look higher than your hips? Are your arms supported comfortably on armrests? Are your shoulders hunched up toward your ears? Do you find yourself looking up at your computer? Are your wrists bent up or down when typing at your keyboard?
If you answered yes to any of these, adjustments need to be made. I will get into more detail regarding ergonomics when discussing tips for optimal work related function in the next lecture.
Whatever job you do, whether sedentary or active, make sure to change body positions every hour. Stand if you are sitting. Sit if you are standing. Shift your weight side to side. March in place. Stretch your arms toward ceiling. Take a mini recess every hour. Repetitive movements, or repetitive stagnant postures can create overuse injuries, muscle fatigue, and wear on our joints.
Taking breaks can prevent injuries from happening, while promoting blood flow.
Stimulate your muscles and nervous system to keep your mind and body refreshed throughout the day. Kids are not the only ones who need a recess.
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