Healthy Perspective by Colin Kirts


The modern lifestyle often calls for us to be still. Unfortunately, being still does not mean we are inactive. Juxtapose this suggestion with a cat or a dog. Picture one of these animals—your pet, even—lying down. It's a fairly common occurrence, right? While lying, are any of his or her muscles engaged?

While in a resting position, most animals, even our domesticated ones, completely rest. Their muscles are in a passive state. When we "rest", though, we are unconsciously quite active...

...we sit...
            a car...
         ...we lie...
                           ...while watching TV...
                     ...we stand
                               ...propped against a bar.
We are, on a whole, terrible resters. Because we do not truly rest, because we do not consciously disengage our muscles, we create TENSION.
Tension is a problem. Tension results in knots in the muscle fibers, decreased range of motion, pain, and, more tension.
Fortunately (!!!), if you are experiencing tension, you have an invaluable tool available for your own healing: self-myofascial release.
Here's the simple version.  Find a knot. Press on it, but not too hard; you don't want to reinforce tension somewhere else, like in your jaw or brow.  Press for the better part of two minutes.  Voilà. You've just performed SMR.
The key word here is "fascia". Fascia, quite simply, is the outermost layer of connective tissue around your muscles. When you press into a "knot" for a long enough time, the muscle fibers transform. They return, in short, to their ideal state. Just as bones can realign, so can muscles. In this case, the alignment occurs between muscle fiber and fascia.

Fortunately, people in fitness industry have continued to evolve the methods for SMR. Take, for example, the incredibly simple foam roller. This is a very economic way to take care of yourself, and, it really works!

Next time you are in the Club, before and/or after your workout, find a trainer. Go over to the stretching area. In a matter of minutes, you will learn how to release tension in your back, your butt, your hamstrings, your calves, your quads, your hips, and so much more!

Will you enjoy it? Admittedly, it may hurt, but imagine how annoying it will be when you can't get out of bed on your own. You can handle a little discomfort. It won't be any worse than a deep-tissue massage, and you'll have a new, invaluable self-maintenance technique available to you!

...Try it, if not at least for the sake of being able to bond with your pets.
     ...and for your own sake, remember to REST!

Learn more about Colin, click here to visit his website.

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