With the advent of spring comes the fear of donning that summer bathing suit with the addition of some extra curves—the result of winter sedation and comfort-food calories. Here are some things to do as preparation for safely getting your body back in shape—and always check with your doctor before starting any new routines or fasting.
Strengthen your core. Sit ups and crutches are not addressing the proper core musculature. Transverse Abdominus is the horizontal core muscle that offers spinal stability. There are a lot of great exercises on YouTube that will wake this muscle up and provide the foundation for any exercise routine that follows. A couple of sessions with a personal trainer just to target the TA would be a great investment.
Improve lymphatic flow. This is the body’s sewer system filter that eliminates toxins, cellular waste, bacteria, viruses, etc. This filter works by muscle contraction. Office jobs and couch-potatoism causes pooling of lymph, having a negative effect on overall health, and can cause muscles to lose the ability of maximum function. Try a mini-trampoline at your home office or regular office—if possible, five minutes several times a day will get that lymph flowing. “Dry brushing” toward the heart before a shower is also fantastic. Lots of good information on YouTube about how to do this.
Additionally, when you shower, ratchet the hot water down to luke warm then back to hot. Then, each time, make it a little colder for five or six cycles. This is great for your immune system, lymphatic flow, and weight loss. Avoid this if you have a heart condition.
Intermittent fasting. This has health benefits and is a great way to lose weight. My favorite is an eight-hour window in which I eat—which leaves sixteen hours of fasting each day. Anything with calories can’t be consumed in that sixteen-hour block. Your body quickly adapts. Don’t try this if you’re diabetic.
Strengthen and mobilize your feet. Most Americans’ feet are weak and stiff, with poor bone density, due to wearing shoes. Minimal shoes are great, but weak feet on hard flat surfaces, not so much. Build a four-foot by four-foot bed of round, smooth river rocks the size of an egg. Spend time each day slowly walking in your minimal shoes on this varied surface, to mobilize your feet. Should they get sore, back off, and slowly increase intensity. Progress to some nature walks—as uneven surfaces are the key. Your whole body will benefit.
Ultimately, learn some restorative exercises to bring as much balance to your body as possible. This will prevent injuries. Some of my favorites can be found on our Capstone Method YouTube page: Balance your pelvis, change your world, and Alignment Squats and Hanging for happy shoulders. Introducing these into your daily routine will have a dramatic positive effect if done with proper form, and progressively, to allow your body to adapt.
Remember: it’s more fun if the parts work and look good in the process. Happy spring!
— ARTICLE BY: Chris Crawford and Lori Robertson
Chris and Lori own and operate Capstone Method & Downstream to Wellness, with offices in Shepherdstown (WV) and Winchester (VA). Visit the above links, or call Chris at 540-270-7601 and/or Lori at 540-336-4737.