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.
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.
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.
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.
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