All posts filed under: Fitness & Yoga

3 Stretches to Relieve Wrist and Forearm Pain Caused by Computer Use

Why do my wrists and forearms hurt after computer work?  What stretches can I do to get rid of the pain? You might think of an office job as not physically strenuous.  What injury could you possibly get from sitting at a desk? Actually, people who rely on electronics at work often complain about tension in the wrists and forearms.  Some computer and office work activities that contribute to compression and inflammation in this area include: Using a mouse or touchpad Typing with the wrists at an unnatural angle (i.e. with wrists dropped) Working for long periods without breaks or stretching Carrying items or keeping the elbow bent at a 90 degree angle. These activities cause inflammation in the tendons (attach muscle to bone), ligaments (attach bone to bone), and muscles.  Stretching can sometimes help to alleviate pain by increasing flexibility and reducing tension in the muscles, both of which will decrease strain on the tendons. Try the following stretches a few times a day to 1) relieve pain and 2) prevent minor injuries from becoming …

3 Easy Stretches to Try at Work

The Benefits of Frequent Stretching Have you noticed that animals maintain muscle mass with minimal exercise?  For example, dogs spend the day eating and sleeping, with only a walk or two for exercise.  If there’s nothing to tear apart or steal, they’ll sleep.  Despite their laziness, dogs manage to maintain muscle mass and display peak performance during the weekend run at the dog park!  How do animals maintain their fitness with minimal movement? One theory is that stretching helps them to maintain muscle mass.  Resting dogs frequently stand up, stretch, and lie back down.  Some studies show that frequent stretching stimulates muscles and hormonal changes, thereby preventing atrophy and shortening of muscle fibers.  This week take a cue from your pet and add some stretches into your work day.  This may help you maintain your fitness, even if you have to skip your workout. Seated Pigeon Targets the outer thigh and glute Creates range of motion in the hip How to: Sit in your chair and cross the right ankle over the left knee. Sit …

What Show Jumping Teaches Us About Injury & Illness

5 Reasons We Hate Being Injured, Anxious, and Sick 1. Pain This is the obvious one!  Being sick or injured is physically uncomfortable and sometimes pain perception increases as the duration of pain increases.  Research indicates that anxiety and social pain is processed in the brain like physical pain.  Some people experience more distress from pain than others. 2. Free time to worry or regret If athletic activities are part of your daily routine, an injury or sickness suddenly creates a gap in your schedule, giving you time to ruminate and worry.  Perhaps you’re experiencing regret, replaying past choices, berating yourself for doing something that caused the injury or sickness, or trying to remix the past. 3. Decreased productivity Being fully or partially out of commission decreases productivity.  This creates uncertainty about future productivity and stress about deadlines.  We are used to working at full capacity and efficiency, so any hindrance carries the possibility of creating stress. 4. Loss of a healthy outlet for stress and anger You might use physical activities as an outlet for stress and anger. …

5 Simple Stretches for Winter (In)Activity

Whether you’re participating in winter sports, Netflix marathons, or in OT at your desk, stretching can benefit your well-being!  It only takes a few minutes to refresh your mind, relax your body, and prevent injuries. *Hold each posture for at least 30 seconds or five breaths (2 count inhale – pause – 2 count exhale – pause)* Clasping hands behind the back –          This movement increases the range of motion in the shoulders and stretches across the chest. How to: –          Clasp your hands (palms together) or interlace your fingers (palms apart) behind your lower back –          Relax the neck and shoulder to increase the stretch across the chest; keep chin parallel to the floor –          Lift the hands to intensify the stretch –          Modification: hold a cloth between the hands if your shoulders are tight and you cannot clasp your hands Eagle (garudasana) arms –          Stretches the muscles in the upper back, especially between the shoulder blades How to: –          Stack elbows in front of your chest and lift the hands up & away from the face; lower the shoulders away …

Week 7 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Your Relationship with Food

(This blog is part of a weekly series for Know Thyself 2019, a 365 day journal project. Start here!) This Week’s Journal Topic: Your Relationship with Food It’s the most important relationship you’ll ever have. Everyday you attend to your relationship with food.  You’re free to decide what, how, when, and with whom you eat. You’re free to decide how you feel emotionally about the act of eating, too.  Eating can be a moral issue if you attach judgments to food, such as good/bad and punishment/reward, or if you think that the pleasure of eating must be earned. Here are a few common expressions about food: “You are what you eat.” The nutrients in the food literally become a part of your body. “Eating your feelings,” refers to stifling negative emotions with food in order to avoid feeling them.  A person piles food in, rather than becoming more aware of these feelings, accepting them, and working through them. “Eating your feelings” is an avoidance strategy and reflects a desire for comfort.  Eating causes strong physical sensations that …

Willpower and Winter Fitness

How much willpower does it take to stay fit during cold winter months?  Worried or shamed about skipping/shortening workouts?  Plus, reframe and re-up your winter workout!     During the summer months, it’s relatively easy to fit in fitness.  Sunny, warm weather invites us to take a walk, hike, ride, or swim, whereas freezing temperatures encourage holing up indoors. We’re dressed in hoodies and sweatpants but are loathe to get off the couch. How can we maintain or increase our fitness when all we want to do is hibernate? The answer is to find balance in three features of any fitness regime:  consistency, duration, and intensity. Duration: Increasing the duration of the activity will require your body to adapt and grow.  Choose fun activities that keep you active for longer periods of time, such as skiing, snowshoeing, indoor cardio, yoga, or swimming. Perhaps you’re working out less often, but the change still forces the body to adapt and grow! Intensity:  If you experience diminished energy or desire to participate in activities, try decreasing the duration of the activity while increasing the intensity.  For …

Week 1 Questions for Know Thyself in 2019: Sleep

(This blog post is part of a weekly series for Know Thyself 2019: A Journal Project) S L E E P The question topic might surprise you. Why start a self-knowledge journal asking about something that we’re unconscious for? Two major reasons to figure out your relationship with sleep: Your brain health. Deep thinking and creativity require proper brain function.  If you’re not sleeping well, then your brain isn’t going to function optimally. Your physical health. Your heart, muscles, immune system require adequate sleep.  Stress hormones and insulin resistance increase in response to sleep deprivation. There’s a lot of contradictory advice circulating, such as: Rich and successful people don’t sleep more than 5 hours a night. Human beings need at least 8 hours of sleep. It’s pretty common to be confused about what YOU actually need. Let’s figure it out! Questions: How much sleep do you get on average per night?  (How to know: total how many hours of sleep you’ve gotten in the last 7 nights, and divide that number by 7)  Do you think you get …

Fasting Benefits: Weight Loss, Mental Clarity, Anxiety, and Anti-aging

Keywords: fasting, natural remedy, health, anti-aging, mental health, anxiety, ketogenic diet, spiritual growth Yesterday I fasted and today is day two. I started on Monday night at around 9 pm and have only had tea and sparkling water. I was feeling a bit dizzy this morning so I had some salt and nutritional yeast. I broke my fast this evening with vegetable fish-broth soup and beef brisket (with no ill effects!) at Deer Garden Signatures in Vancouver on Fraser Street. Yum! Why fast? The idea of going without food for at least 24 hours, and still not yet knowing when I’ll eat again, might seem crazy to some people. Most of the times I’ve told people that I am fasting, I hear a version of one of the following: “That’s not good for you! Starving yourself is unhealthy.” “You’ll make yourself sick.” “You’ll become anorexic.” Well, now, none of those are true about fasting. First of all, consider that every major world religion and culture has some mention of fasting for health. Biblical religions prescribe …