Push, Pull…

Push, Pull…

Rachel Garden

By Rachel Grunwell

There’s a time to ‘push your body’ – doing exercise at least twice weekly to get your body moving and blood pumping. But equally important is knowing when to ‘pull back’ – to recover and re-set.

With the winter months upon us it is easy for the guilt of deciding to stay inside rather than going for a walk to set in.

While it is important to keep moving even if it is cold and uninviting outside, you also need to let your body hibernate a bit.  If you’re finding it hard to rest here are three tips that might help.

1. Tune-in to the needs of your body, mind and spirit.

If you feel exhausted, then your priority is rest, sleep and eating good nutrients.

Or if your body feels sore or tight, then address this so you don’t compensate elsewhere and injure. You can do targeted stretches, get a massage, or if it’s more serious then see an expert like a physiotherapist.

I educate my yoga students about ‘tuning-in’. I stand by this rule too. I’m an endurance runner and so I use yoga and meditation to re-balance my body and mind. Gentle yin-style yoga movements help me to iron out my muscles and enable me to move well. While, the ‘stillness’ of meditation helps with rejuvenation and with clarity around decision-making. Yoga strengthens me and helps me to feel calm, rebuild and to be a stronger runner.

2. Slow down to speed up.Staying healthy Cigna Insurance

If you are in the fight-or-flight mode then you need to stop sometimes. There’s only so long you can operate in this mode.

The key is to do something that you love to ‘calm down’ and have fun! Be kind to yourself. Watch a movie, catch up with a friend and have belly laughs. Do what helps you to release your inner sparkle.

Then once you have had some time out, you can return to those never-ending work tasks with renewed energy. Time out can propel performance. I advised a company recently (through my wellbeing-in-the-workplace work) that the bosses should encourage staff to go on lunchtime walks. This would help them to feel good, reset and a spin-off is it can lift performance – and happiness levels.

3. Getting enough sleep is critical to how you function!

Sleep improves memory, immune function and cognition. I know if I go to bed later than 10pm then my next day could be sluggish. I need to get under the covers by that magic time so I can rise early to train and work well the next day.

So, consider if you are getting enough Zzzzzzz? It can change how you think and feel. 


Check out the Cigna Facebook page for more healthy tips, and visit the Cigna Wellbeing Ambassador page for videos and blogs from Rachel.

Rachel is the director of inspiredhealth.co.nz and you can follow her on Facebook or Instagram.

Disclaimer: The health and wellness information on this page is for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a doctor or nurse. Cigna assumes no responsibility for any circumstances arising out of the use, misuse, interpretation or application of any information supplied in the content. For more information, please read our Community Guidelines.