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Your First Step in Feeling Better, Moving Better and Getting Stronger

Your First Step in Feeling Better, Moving Better and Getting Stronger

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 diaphragm
  • 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:

1- RELAX 

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

 

Stay in the know! Weekly tips, workouts and inflammation fighting tips! AND get a FREE Exercise guide to help you feeling and moving better right now!

 

C 🙂

 

Anti Inflammatory Based Foods – How They Help

Anti Inflammatory Based Foods – How They Help

We have all heard anti inflammatory is the way to go. To avoid x or y to prevent ___.  There is so much different information out there how do you know what is right? It can become overwhelming as you start to read it all and try to implement or try different things. Once you hear about one new thing then there is another. Who is with me on this?!

I am going to make it a little easier for you. I have done alot of the research so I am going to lay out the basics. I like lament terms personally so if you are like me in that way then this will help!

First off—- What exactly does anti inflammatory mean?

Lets back up first then make our way to that…. The definition of inflammation “is a localized physical condition in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection”. (1)  So when you think of it as our bodies defense mechanism meaning, when our immune systems think there is something harmful so it ups its defenses (our white blood cells, immune cells and cytokines). This is suppose to happen, however these things can go into overdrive, and that is where auto immune conditions come into play. For example Rheumatoid Arthritis- the immune system is attacking joints based on different factors putting up defenses to those areas. This happens when things like toxins, or medicines that build up over time in our liver, or having leaky gut occur and harmful substances are in our body for an extended period of time.  This would be referred to as chronic inflammation. On the other end of the spectrum though when you get red after your fall or eat something with too much histamine and react by allergies that in turn is an acute inflammation response.

Hopefully that helps somewhat!?

So WHY do we want to choose Anti Inflammatory Foods?

Alot of foods I grew up on like, chips, cookies, boxed meals, or really anything boxed for that matter have artificial preservatives and toxic like chemicals in them (I.E. Corn Oil, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sodium Benzonate, Artificial Colors and Sweeteners)  these things have in some way been linked to cancer, diabetes, thyroid and metabolic damage, etc. So think of what these things are doing to your body when you ingest them. We weren’t made to process this fake stuff… so hello immune response, and if you consume them frequently hello chronic response.

Now this isn’t to say that only foods are the problem for inflammation, our environments such as mold, dust, gasoline and other fumes in the air and then the metals in the tap water we drink and use…. they all play a part too.

We want to add things to our diets and lifestyles that help us. That make us thrive. Our bodies were built for that believe it or not. Many Anti Inflammatory Foods listed below have super antioxidant, vitamin, mineral and nutritional properties that can help combat these harmful pathogens and toxins weve allowed ourselves to have over the years.

The Anti Inflammatory Food List

Eating the right foods that our bodies were made for can help us heal! Foods actually do have healing properties when eaten without any thing like preservatives or chemicals added to them.  The ones listed below are just a starting point, but some key things to look for when going to the grocery store.

Some staples to look for or start adding to your diet are:

  • Turmeric – a great spice that contains one of the best known things for inflammation curcumin. Curcumin is well known for fighting inflammation within the body. Now just sprinkling a little on your food isn’t going to cut it though. You need it mixed with black pepper and honestly the best is to take it in supplement form.
  • Vegetables – Like broccoli, cauliflower and brussels are great for some of their anti inflammatory compounds.
  • Organic Leafy Greens – These are rich in antioxidants and polyphenols which are protective compounds (think spinach, kale, collards)
  • Organic Cherries and other dark colored berries
  • Organic Wild BlueBerries – I love these. These have 2x the antioxidants of normal blueberries. I add them to my smoothie every morning
  • Organic Meats/ Poultry/ Fish/ Eggs – be sure to read where they originated from. Whether they were fed corn or soy as many “cage free” varieties are still fed these things which can in turn pass it to us when we ingest it.  (For fish look for Wild Caught) The EPA and DHA in fish like salmon and mackerel are great for helping combat inflammation as well.
  • Olive oil – (the best being extra virgin for anti inflammatory effects) – contain something called oleocanthal which is shown to have similar effects like taking ibuprofen.
  • Avocados – it is basically a superfood as far as I know lol. I love them personally but so does my body. They are packed with magnesium and fiber and healthy monounsaturated fats as well as other things that have been shown to help fight cancer risk.
Ok so what is the takeaway here?
Well for starters lets focus on incorporating some of the foods listed above into our diets. Along with that try to start eliminating or cutting back on soda, burgers, fries, anything with words you cant pronounce on the label.

Is that doable?? I think so!

Another option is to add in some good for you vitamins and whole minerals daily, You can check out some of my favorites here MY FAVORITES . I personally use the Daily Nutritional Support Daily with Wild Blueberries and Spinach. It is a great way to start the day!

As always if you have ANY questions please don’t hesitate to contact me!

-C

 

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