La Jolla Sports Club breaks down some easy self-care with meditation, yoga and plain old working out!
In case you missed our last post, we focused on a few self-care suggestions that will help if you’re ever in a mental slump or need help bouncing back to You. And while sometimes it’s true that fixing your head will help your body, in the-chicken-or-the-egg scenario, physical activity has been shown to kickstart a mental boost. So, do both.
The phrase ‘mind / body connection’ has been making the rounds the last few years, and for the best connection, nothing beats yoga and meditation. Pushing weight around, however, offers its own benefits, so since you’re here and obviously a La Jolla Sports Club member focused on fitness, let’s dive in and explore those benefits.
Yoga, and its cousin, Meditation
We’re going to go out on a limb and assume you are most likely sitting down reading this article. Those little muscles in between your thighs and your stomach are called psoas, and with all of the sitting we do in modern society, those puppies get pretty tight and can lead to a host of problems, including lower back pain, funky knees (technical term) and bad posture. Yoga is fantastic for opening your body up and increasing flexibility.
While you’re gaining that flexibility, you’re also challenging your body in new ways that help with proprioception and balance, while building muscle and strengthening your bones and joints and improving the aforementioned posture.
And all that moving you’re doing? Delivering oxygenated blood to every part of your body that helps with swelling and joint health and mobility, in addition to increasing your cardiovascular endurance and aerobic conditioning.
That’s great, but what about my brain, you’re asking. Yoga has been shown to decrease stress and cortisol levels and increase happiness and serotonin levels. And while you’re in practice, your instructor will most likely ask that you stay present, which helps sharpen focus and slow down those negative loops of frustration and stress.
We love our yoga instructors and our La Jolla Sports Club yoga classes, so if you haven’t had a chance to try them, please do and let us know your thoughts!
Once you get moving in the yoga world, you might find yourself naturally getting a little more interested in the gym and, with all of the benefits of weight training, who could blame you?
Most people get started with the idea of looking better naked. A combination of cardio and weight training will deliver the best results, but if you’re scrapped for time, La Jolla Sports Club Personal Trainers would recommend the metabolic-boosting activity of pushing some weight around. Muscle requires more energy than fat, so if you’re looking to increase your metabolic rate while you’re watching your favorite Netflix show, time to hit the gym and build those type II muscle fibers.
And while your muscle fibers are being worked, your tendons are being worked, which in turn works your bones, which in turn helps fight osteoporosis. Around the time we turn 30, our bone mass naturally begins to decline, so stressing your body through working out actually keeps your bones stronger. Guess what’s harder when you’re stronger? Falling and losing balance. Guess what’s easier to do when you’re stronger? Everything.
Speaking of, if you play tennis, golf, surf, etc., putting your time in in the gym will directly and positively translate to your sport. Our Personal Trainers would recommend adding in sport-specific moves if you’re in competition mode, so be sure to ask if you have any questions!
If sports aren’t your thing, we’re guessing that you still want to make life a little easier? Getting out of the car, carrying groceries, lifting kids or grandkids or dogs or granddogs, gardening—you name it, with a balanced training program and the increased body awareness that comes with it, you’re going to find all of those activities of daily living (ADL) much, much easier.
Diabetes run in your family? A study funded by the National Institutes of Health found that men who lifted weights for 150 minutes each week—about five 30-minute sessions—had a 34-percent lower risk of diabetes. Adding regular cardiovascular exercise slashed the risk by 59 percent.
High blood pressure run in your family? Science (!) has found a decrease in blood pressure immediately after a medium-high intensity training session. And that’s just after one session. If you’re a routine exerciser, the benefits are even better.
Helping with lower back pain, improving balance, improving posture, improving your mental state and boosting your mood and confidence, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, the benefits keep going and so could we, but we’ll leave you with these gems above.
Any gym questions at all, big or small, grab one of your La Jolla Sports Club Personal Trainers, they’re a friendly bunch!
That’s it for us this week, we’ll see you next month where we tackle women’s health!
// Your friends at La Jolla Sports Club