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STOP for Your Health

When was the last time you stopped? Aside from sleep, when was the last time that you were awake with no technology distracting your eyes and ears? In fact, many of us take our smart phones to bed and continue to work just before shutting our eyes for the night. Don't get me wrong, media is fabulous but being busy is wreaking havoc on our health. The truth is I have been experiencing tension headaches lately and have had to take a good look at my life to see where I could reduce stress.

Fitness wise we want to get enough regular exercise that increases our heart rate while building muscle and flexibility but we are more than the sum of our muscles and connective tissue. Our brains need stimulation but also complete rest. In fact some of us can't get enough sleep because our brains simply won't shut off! See link at the end of this blog for solutions to sleep problems!

Like most people, I occasionally talk to myself and one evening while rushing around trying to complete the days tasks, the word STOP came to mind. I giggled a bit muttering, 'yeah right, who has time for that? Wait a minute, what do I say to clients when they tell me that they don't have time for exercise? Well Beth, you tell them they need to make the time!' So I sat myself down and took one minute to stop and catch my breath.

I came up with an anagram to help you to remember to do this too. Try this with me right now:

Sit still, with your spine aligned comfortably, shoulders over the hips, tension free spot for the neck over the spine.

Tune out the the technology (or turn it off) and close your eyes.

Open your chest by rolling the shoulders back and down and notice your breath.

Practice equal ratio breathing. Inhale for a count of 4 and exhale for a count of 4, by expanding the rib cage sideways. Do this for 1 minute or 5 depending on your needs.

Taking the time to do this a few times during your day will actually increase your energy level, improve your concentration and mental clarity. It will lower your blood pressure and ease stress and I bet it will help you to avoid the little accidents that can happen when we are rushing around, like smashing toes and knees on coffee tables or rolling ankles.

I hope you will STOP once in a while for your health. I would suggest even writing the word in block letters and taping it up where you will see it. Let me know if this helps.


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