Month: July 2018
Posted 30 July 2018 by prehab
In this day and age, many of us experience a high level of stress. Short-term stress can help us achieve goals and stay motivated. However, our society is seeing a large increase in chronic stress levels, which play a negative role in our personal health. When we experience chronic stress, our sympathetic nervous system is consistently activated and we go into “fight or flight” mode. Cortisol pumps through our bodies in order to better prepare us to run. Our nutrient absorption is compromised, as blood flow goes from our digestive organs to our muscles, literally preparing us to run from danger. Of course this is not our brain’s intent, but our bodies don’t know the difference between active, physical danger and mental and emotional stress.
Cortisol abundance is actually one of the biggest challenges for people who are trying to lose weight. Do you exercise regularly and still have “stubborn” belly fat? Oftentimes, we see patients who are active, love doing cardio multiple times a week, have high-stress jobs, eat healthily, and still have weight to lose around the middle. These same people often have some level of inflammation throughout their bodies. For these patients, a fast-paced life often feels right–it is how they feel they are wired and they are often reaching amazing goals in their lives. However, we must all remember that constant stimulation (both physical and mental) increases cortisol surges which play a key role in weight and inflammation. Phew! How do we balance out without compromising our obligations and achievements?
The answer is multifaceted. However, changing your exercise routine is a wonderful place to start. We like this article from The Poliquin Group, highlighting possibilities for some weight bearing and light cardio, plus the addition of yoga, acupuncture, meditation, or other practices that slow down the sympathetic nervous system. If you are struggling with stress management and weight issues, feel free to reach out to us too. We have a full team of wellness practitioners at Prehab who specialize in creating health and lifestyle plans that meet you where you are, to elevate you to the optimal health we know you can achieve.
By Caitlin Goldie, Certified Holistic Health Coach
Posted 2 July 2018 by prehab
If you’ve been to our wellness clinic on the Upper East Side, you’ve probably seen our foam rollers—(you know, those long cylindrical pieces of foam that somewhat resemble rolling-pins for baking). Well, they actually serve a similar function for our bodies….ok, hear me out: when you put your weight on them and roll them along your muscles, they serve a variety of purposes, including a sort of self-massage that can be highly relaxing. So what exactly is this foam “rolling-pin” doing to our bodies? A big component is myofascial release. Fascia is a system of collagen fibers that surround our muscles, nerves, and organs. When we exercise or if we have old injuries, the fascia can become sore and restricted, causing discomfort and increasing our risk for injury. Foam rolling over tight areas can help release the fascia and helps allow it to repair. Think swifter recovery and heightened detoxification abilities. Be careful not to push it too hard, as foam rolling can be painful depending on how tight you are. Test the waters a bit and don’t dwell for too long on painful spots. You may need to work your way up to certain areas that are too tight. If you have an injury, ask your physical therapist if foam rolling is right for you. Feel free to ask us any questions you may have regarding foam rolling. We’d love to help clear up any confusion and demonstrate proper technique!
Here are some other great benefits of foam rolling:
- Reduction of cellulite
- Stimulation of lymphatic system/better immune system
- Stimulation of circulation
- Stress reduction/lower cortisol levels
- Increased flexibility and range of motion
- Faster recovery from exercise
- Injury prevention
Check out this article from Dr. Axe to read more in-depth about the benefits and techniques of foam rolling: https://draxe.com/foam-roller-exercises/