Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Mental calmness is a natural result of physical relaxation,” according to Edmund Jacobson.  Dr. Jacobson was an American physician who created the practice of Progressive Muscle Relaxation in the 1930’s.  

If you are looking for a way to de-stress after a long day of work or physical activity, look no further!  Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)  is a great way to release mental and physical tension.  The more you practice PMR the more you instinctively know when you need to decompress.  Incorporating Progressive Muscle Relaxation into your life can make you a calmer, happier person.

What is Progressive Muscle Relaxation?

Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a technique in which you methodically tense and relax all of your muscles. It’s a great way to become more aware of your mind-body connection.  A regular PMR practice brings about a calmer mindset.

How Does Progressive Muscle Relaxation Work?

Sit or lie down in a quiet comfortable spot.  Begin with several slow breaths.  Focus first on your feet and progress all the way up to your head.  Inhale, contract your muscle for five seconds, exhale and then release the tension for 15 to 30 seconds. 

Continue to breathe evenly and slowly throughout.  Envision all your tension melting away.  Most importantly, focus on how different you feel when you are relaxed then when you are tense.

Lower Body

Foot -curl your toes down

Lower leg -tighten your calf as you pull your toes towards you

Upper leg -squeeze your thigh

Repeat on the other side

Upper Body

Hand -clench your fist

Arm -tighten and flex your bicep

Repeat on the other side

Mid-section

Buttocks -tighten

Belly -suck it in

Chest -take a deep breath and tighten

Head Area

Neck and shoulders -bring your shoulders up towards your ears

Mouth -open your mouth wide

Eyes -shut them tightly

Forehead -lift your eyebrows up

How often should I practice PMR and for how long?

10 to 20 minutes a day, at least a couple of times a week, is a great place to start.

The Takeaway

You can learn to relax your body and mind by practicing Progressive Muscle Relaxation.  The more you do it, the easier it will be to know where and when stress begins to affect you.  You will be well-equipped to relax your tense muscles as soon as they begin to feel tight.  This will give you a greater sense of control over your body and mind.  Once your body is relaxed, your mind will follow.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a great skill to learn in order to improve your quality of life.  Like most practices, practice makes perfect so why not start -or continue- working on this skill set today?

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Mayoclinic.org;  verywellmind.com;  webmd;  anxietycanada.com

Finding Your Fitness Flow

Did you know that you can enjoy exercise –or enjoy it even more– by getting into a flow state? Not only will your workouts be more enjoyable, but you will also be performing at an optimal level.

What Is Fitness Flow?

Fitness flow is when you are totally engaged in your workout, and you are enjoying the process. You are energetically focused on the task at hand –aware of your movements, technique and pace. The right balance of challenge and skill enhances this mind/body connection.

How Do I Know If I’m In Fitness Flow?

You are working out masterfully and enjoying it. You feel like you are in the zone and time is flying by. You’ve left all of your worries and the world behind. You are fully present and don’t feel self-conscious, bored or stressed.

Benefits of Fitness Flow

Peak performance -work at an optimal level, rather than longer or harder

Motivation sky-rockets

Happiness happens

Boredom is banished

Stress is released and your mind is decluttered

You achieve a greater sense of accomplishment and fulfillment

How Can I Achieve Fitness Flow?

Invest your mental energy into your workouts, along with your physical energy, for exponential returns

Master an athletic skill or sport, and then continue to challenge yourself in it

Block time for your workouts

Set clear, measurable goals -know exactly what you need to do

Get immediate feedback

Plan workouts that are challenging but not impossible

Focus only on the task at hand (don’t multitask)

Exercise at your peak times whenever possible

Avoid distractions

Practice to develop skills then push your limits

Choose an activity that you love

Stay positive

Use energetic music during your workouts

How Can a Golden Home Fitness Personal Trainer Help Me Achieve Fitness Flow?

We will provide you with a challenging but achievable program

Set and track clear, measurable goals

We will schedule your workouts and keep you accountable

Give you immediate feedback

We will keep you focused by providing clear instruction and demonstrations

Provide limitless positive support

We will book your sessions at your most energetic and convenient times (and locations)

The Takeaway

If you could use a little more happiness in your life –and who couldn’t?– fitness flow is for you. Mastering physical challenges is extremely fulfilling. Exercise improves your health and decreases your stress levels. If you work out mindfully, you can further enhance your wellness and improve your performance. You can enjoy focusing on your mind-body connection during training, rather than focusing only on the end game.

To achieve fitness flow, focus on your movements as you do them and challenge yourself. Once you achieve a flow state, you are super motivated to work out again and the cycle continues. A positive habit loop has been created. You are on your way to optimal athletic performance and increased happiness!

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Elemental.medium.com; Livehappy.com; 24life.com

Stick Mobility Is Great For All

stick mobility great for all

How you move is an essential part of how you navigate through life. Most of the time we don’t really think about it until we have to. Many of us focus on our cardio and strength workouts without giving mobility training a second thought. But mobility training is not just for seniors.

If you want to move better, train better and counter the effects of hours of sitting, mobility is an essential part of your fitness program.  Stick mobility can help you move with more ease and efficacy. It can improve your athletic performance and prevent you from getting injured. 

What is Stick Mobility?

“Stick mobility is a training system that improves your flexibility, strength and coordination.” –Stickmobility.com

How Does Stick Mobility Work?

The mobility stick is a pliable dowel-like tool with non-slip grips. The versatile yoga-inspired device was invented by three Personal Trainers in 2015. It is now employed by countless elite athletes to up their game, as well as people of all ages and abilities. Using a mobility stick is a great way to improve your mobility, strength and stability.

You can either push or pull the stick in designated poses that activate all the muscles along your kinetic chain. The mobility stick provides leverage for better positioning and range of motion.

The rubber grips on the top and bottom allow for more muscle engagement. This excellent tool helps you to stabilize your stance so that you can deepen your stretches.

Top Ten Ways Stick Mobility Can Improve Your Life

  1. Better joint mobility, and spatial and body awareness
  2. Better strength -when you improve your mobility, you are better able to get into optimal positions to generate better strength and power
  3. Better stability
  4. Better flexibility -the mobility stick helps to secure your stance so you can deepen your stretches. It increases your range of motion and loosens tight shoulders and hips. You can recruit more muscles and improve body rotation by pushing or pulling on the mobility stick.
  5. Improves your warmups
  6. Enhances your cooldowns and recovery sessions
  7. Helps to prevent injury and can also be used to recover from injury
  8. Improves athletic performance
  9. improves health and wellness
  10. Allows you to make any exercise easier or harder, and can also be used to learn barbell movements

The Takeaway

No matter who you are, creating a Stick Mobility routine will enhance your life. Stick Mobility is a great counter to higher impact workouts as well as sedentary lifestyles. It will help you to move better, pain free, as well as increasing both your energy levels and your sleep.

The Personal Trainers at Golden Home Fitness can demonstrate how to employ Stick Mobility as part of your custom fitness program. For your complimentary In-person or Virtual Personal Training Session click here.

We hope you continue to navigate through life effortlessly and pain-free for many years to come!

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Stickmobility.com; menshealth.com; stickmobility.co.uk; nfpt.com; performbetter.com

 

Exercise Keeps You Young!

Unless you’re a child, you’re probably not looking for more candles on your birthday cake.  And yet each of us is getting older by the second.  There’s no need to panic!  Recent studies have shed a lot of light -and hope- on the subject of aging.  Medical experts have proven something amazing.  That much of the physical and mental decline associated with aging is not inevitable.  You can, in fact, look and feel 30 years younger than your age simply by being active! 

Working out for thirty minutes or more at least five days a week is ideal.  But even moderate amounts of exercise done regularly can help you look and feel younger.  Being active keeps you healthy and young from the inside out  – at the cellular level.  If you want to avoid frailty, disease and the loss of your independence, exercising is for you.  An active lifestyle will improve your brain, heart, lungs, muscles and immune system.

Top 15 Ways That Regular Exercise Keeps You Young

  1. Slows down cellular aging.
  2. Reduces the risk of disease and illness.
  3. Improves your heart and lung capacity. Your lungs and the tissues around them become stronger.  Your heart also becomes stronger and better able to pump blood throughout your body. Exercise lowers blood pressure and boosts blood vessel flexibility.  This helps to protect you from the number one killer of men and women which is heart disease.
  4. Boosts energy efficiency.
  5. Improves bone density and helps to prevent Osteoporosis.
  6. Increases blood oxygen circulation and helps to get nutrients to all of your organs.
  7. Improves your posture and flexibility.
  8. Strengthens your muscles off-setting the loss of muscle strength and muscle mass associated with aging. Improves your joint function. This makes everyday tasks easier and allows you to remain independent longer.
  9. Lowers stress, anxiety and depression -all of which increase the negative effects of aging.
  10. Enhances your mood and vitality. Endorphins and dopamine are released, and your confidence increases.
  11. Refines your skin.  More oxygen is supplied to your skin, and toxins are removed from clogged pores through sweat.  The result is softer, more supple and glowing skin. Exercise may even reverse skin aging.
  12. Improves your balance and reflexes, and reduces the risk of falls and fractures.
  13. Boosts brain health for better cognition and memory, and lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s.
  14. Improves your metabolism, which slows down as you age, so you can burn more calories and maintain a healthy weight.
  15. Improves your sleep. You are able to fall asleep quicker and to enjoy better quality sleep after exercise.  This allows all the systems in your body to operate optimally.

The Takeaway

Science demonstrates what we always suspected.  The best way to counter aging is to stay active.  Would you like to have the lungs, heart and muscles of a 40-year-old when you’re in your 70’s?  You can enjoy a healthier body and brain for longer if you exercise regularly.  If you want to avoid illness, frailty and the loss of your independence, an active lifestyle is for you.  The sooner you start and the more consistent you are the better.  Your lifestyle will largely dictate your fate so why not make it great?

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Medicalnewstoday.com;  health.com;  time.com;  nytimes.com;  wellspring.edu;  healthyhumanlife.com

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