It’s been a beautiful Indian Summer but all of a sudden those cold, dark autumnal mornings are beginning to set in. Those pesky winter colds are affecting our health and those well known, post-summer blues can have an affect on our spirit. Instructor, Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist, Rachel Rivers writes here about at least one way we can physically restore ourselves as we enter the winter months.
Back from your summer holidays and wondering where to start on your fitness regime? My first piece of advice is not to go overboard. If you have been sitting in planes, cars or trains, the last thing your body needs is to start pounding the pavement or hitting the heavy weights. The first step is to regain your mobility.
The best place to start to regain mobility is to stretch your fascia. Fascia is the biological fabric that holds us together, the connective tissue network. You have six times as many sensory neurons loaded in your fasciae as in any other tissue of your body (except for your skin). This internal webbing helps different muscle systems communicate with one another. They are what make you want to get out of your office chair and stretch or roll your neck around. Ideally, your fascias should be supple enough to slide, glide, twist and bind like long, thin sheets of rubber. When they’re not functioning properly, signals from the nerve endings are muffled or muted (so you don’t feel comfortable in your own body) or they’re interpreted by your brain as pain and discomfort.
The most common myofascial technique is using a foam roller, where you literally roll out overused sore spots with a foam roller. You can use a foam roller to roll out your legs from top to bottom (and sides) and your upper body. However go slow and when you get to a sore spot that feels like a bruise, pause for 15 to 20 seconds. The discomfort should melt away as the fascia softens and the muscles release. If you feel intense pain that doesn’t dissipate, stop and consider making an appointment with a physical therapist.
Once your fascia is subtle your muscles will be in better shape to tackle more intense exercise in addition to aiding in sports recovery and injury prevention.
If you haven’t already, try one of our Sculpt classes on a Tuesday evening. The class begins with a ten minute section dedicated to fascial release, leaving you in perfect condition to maximise the effect of the remaining 50 minutes.