What do you think of when asked about foundation?
Your house? Your core? Your upbringing or family and friends?
They all are correct answers, but in regards to our body our core… It would be our inner unit and muscles that help us stand tall and protect our spine and do every day activities … that would be our foundation.
What makes up our body’s foundation?
Our Inner Core Unit
TVA’s/ Internal Obliques/ Multifidi
Our pelvic floor
If you are asking yourself what the heck is all of that stuff and how does our pelvic floor relate…..then good I am writing this for you.
Lets start from the beginning :
When we are born our body is relaxed no tension in our shoulders or neck, were not stressed out to the level we are today. All we care about is eating, sleeping and pooping….. Look at any baby and beg to differ. Exactly.
As we get older we start taking on more stress, we carry it in our neck and shoulders, we take on all the things, stress over tests, over work, over home life, finances (isn’t adulting fun?). As this happens we lose our original relaxed breathing patterns and start implementing paradoxical breathing – meaning shallow. When we inhale we raise our chest and shoulders and traps and exhale they all go down. You might think this is ok- but over time it is not.
Those muscles become over active and cause aches and pains and imbalances. In turn our diaphragm (which is our primary breathing muscle with the lungs) becomes underactive and weak. When this happens we stop engaging the correct core muscles to aid with breathing and as a result our muscles can become weak and our outer core muscles become overactive (which = imbalances and pain). Our pelvic floor does the same- the wrong muscles become tight from clenching or being stressed and not being engaged to relax with breathing.
This equals one big mess of imbalances which can stem all throughout the body- not just those muscles I mentioned. Think about it- when those are weak and not doing their job, then other muscles will over compensate and can lead to the wrong muscles doing the wrong job which can lead to injury. Our body is one big kinetic chain yall- it will get done what it needs to using whatever it can…..
So to get fixed – we must relearn how to breathe and in turn build a strong foundation to go off of.
It is easier said than done.
But here is what we gotta do:
2- RELEARN TO DEEP 360 BREATHE
3- RELEASE TIGHT MUSCLES AND ACTIVATE WEAK ONES
THEN —— We feel BETTER!
So how do we relax?
- Try to implement self care time daily (from reading to going for a walk to yoga to meditation to sleep)
Then learn to breathe right…..
- First you gotta understand how breathing as we are suppose to works.
- Think of our inner unit as a canister
- You got the diaphragm and lungs and ribs at the top
- This bad boy is our breathing muscle and it contracts and flattens to pull air into the lungs when you inhale and expands and pushes air out when you exhale.
- The inner core unit in the middle
- Transverse abdominals, internal obliques and multi fidi these should have the right amount of pressure applied during inhale and exhale to contract and release to provide support
- The pelvic floor at the bottom
- The PF provides a foundation you could think of us a bottom of a bucket or canister holding it all up
- When you inhale you should feel your belly and ribs expand as you fill your lungs with air then when you exhale you are pushing air out and contracting within the core as the pelvic floor pushes the air out and up. Think of emptying it out from the bottom up in the exhale.
- You should not raise your shoulders when you do this at all or feel anything in your neck.
- You should feel your back expand to help relax tightness that may be within your ribs and spine and it is allowing your lungs to really be filled up
- Your inhale should match the exhale
- Think inhale for 2 or 3 then exhale for 2 or 3
The more you do this the better you will get. Breathing this way not only helps relax your body and overly tight muscles but it also helps strengthen your foundation and inner core which supports the spine. (essentially all of it supports your spine but you get what I mean).
The more relaxed you are the more efficient you will be day to day. The better your body will work, and the more you will feel a difference in your workouts.
I will be digging more into this in coming weeks but I hope this helped. I challenge you to try to do this for 5 minutes a day for the next 7 days. See if it does not become easier. See if you do not become stronger and feel better for it. I swear it is magic (our bodys know what to do!).
In the meantime – check this out – Deep Breathing Video
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In our lifetimes, almost everyone at some point is trying to lose some weight. Could be a little bit, could be alot. It could be for an event or something like a trip coming up, it could be for life. Regardless of the reason (this may be the only time I say that), weight loss is a part of most of our lives at some point. Yet many have no idea that inflammation within our bodies may be the culprit for weight gain.. and/ or the reason we struggle to get it off.
You may have tried everything cutting calories, exercising more, working out harder, eating only fats or proteins, cutting carbs, trying cleanses…. There are so many options out there…. yet nothing works now or anymore. Not to mention most of them are only going to hurt us in the long run. Why is that? To keep it short…. We are stressing our body in some way when we do these things, and whether it was in the past or present if done too long, we cause chronic stress… which can and will cause weight gain, then struggling to get it off when that time comes.
Chronic stress is caused by inflammation and only leads to more within us. When it comes to weight gain/loss inflammation is a major culprit to our progress.
Inflammation is a response our body has that is natural within us. . When our immune system senses something foreign (like an illness or bruise) it defends us by firing up white blood cells to defend us and cytokines. However it does the same when we eat something that is processed and unnatural or if we have an allergy (even a slight one we may not typically notice, like brain fog) or ingest toxins in our water or skin care products. These stress responses overtime trigger our cortisol (stress hormone) and histamine to rise. This can lead to hormone imbalances due to more and more elevations of these and our body starting to think it is normal, so it re adapts. Unfortunately hormones are what control our metabolism so in turn it affects our metabolism function. In a similar fashion this process can also lead to insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance essentially means continuously high blood sugar because cells are not responding to insulin how they should when it is released (a normal process again our body does). This leads to an increase in fat cells within us (especially with visceral fat, in women). Fat cells when stored can start to have the ability to expand beyond what they should because they want to hold onto fat stores to live off of because our body is tricked through this process to think it needs to. And once again this adds more stress and inflammation in our bodies. Inflammation can also affect our brains ability to release leptin which is a hormone that is released to tell us when we have eaten enough and to get full….. Another factor to weight gain… and more fat cells.. Making us more inflamed.
So to wrap it up – Inflammation is essentially caused by a stressor that we experience for an extended period of time. – it can be any sort of stress be it physical, mental, from eating bad foods, to taking certain medicines for too long, from lack of sleep, from toxins in our environment, etc. – This “stress” develops inflammation through our immune system by it attacking certain parts of our body (autoimmune conditions), other diseases, increase in weight through fat cells and insulin resistance.
So how do we fix it?!? Or work on fixing it??
We need to decrease the inflammation and toxins we are exposed to, we need to replace certain things with better supplementation, better foods, better things that can help first fight inflammation and bring it down, and then restore and heal parts affected.
One of the best ways to start is by learning the right stuff to add to your diet. Here is a FREE grocery list for you with all of my favorite anti inflammatory foods.