by Gina Pongetti Angeletti, MPT, MA, BS, CSCS, ART-Cert.
Co-Owner of Achieve Sports Medicine
So many of us are used to working out at home. For many reason, it is more convenient especially if we travel for a living and are short for time, have small children at home, or simply a busy lifestyle. Others really thrive on the community that forms from going to a gym or studio to take classes, get a way from the home, not be bothered by family/work and truly disconnect. In our current environment, we are all either at home, or outside in our yards doing our best to stay motivated to be healthy, use the equipment that we have, and pick the most appropriate group or 1:1 fitness leadership that meets our goals!
For some, that is watching one person lead us in exercise on a Facebook Live video. Others thrive on Zoom, where they are able to see what their peers are doing (pending everyone's privacy approval of course!). Some are taking 1:1 classes for yoga, pilates, flexibility, injury prevention, fitness, personal training, sport-specific enhancement and more. It truly is all available, it is just a matter of what fits you the best.
Yoga, meditation, breathing activities and Pilates are all examples of wellness and lifestyle activities that can be done in the privacy of your own home, and done well individually, too. Setting up a device, like a laptop or iPad facing you and your room, can allow the health professional to observe your posture, hear your breathing, listen to your questions, and advise you on changes. The only thing they cannot do is physical touch you to cue you. But this proposed disadvantage can actually be used in positive ways...
Using your senses for increasing body awareness is a part of every elite athlete's life. It is a great part of our development as children, and the challenge we face as we age. For instance, when we lose the ability to use two feet after an ankle break and subsequent time in a boot, your body adapts when it is on crutches and one foot, and increases the kinesthetic awareness after hours, days and weeks. When we age and our inner ear is effected, our balance is challenged and at times, our muscles and tendons and their communication "up the chain" are called upon more. Often in a class, we rely on someone poking our abs or tapping a muscle they want relaxed, which triggers a reaction and resolution. But what if you had to tap more into your listening as a client to correction, and figure out how to do it on your own?
So much of the meaning behind wellness concepts such as Yoga, meditation and pilates is a lifestyle of relaxation, self-awareness, body awareness and thought isolation. Especially as we experience the stressors in life of society, finance, employment, children home schooling, increased family togetherness and more, silent hormonal changes are happening without notice. We may be sitting more, we have less serotonin creation from less physical touch, less laughter from a lack of group gatherings, sleep patterns that are altered as schedules are awry and more. Just the ACT of taking time out of your day for you- whether to start fresh, have a mid-day break from checking math homework, or end the day enlightened- not only allows your body and mind a break, but shows your family that you want to be the best YOU in order to take care of others and handle the increased pressures of getting through these days ahead.
Scientific research has shows so many positive side effects including, but not limited to, resting heart rate changes, decrease in heart attack risk, cortisol decrease, serotonin elevation, increased red blood cell oxygenation, increased focus, less irritability and many more.
Take advantage of some 1:1 time with a qualified teacher- it is worth the time and money. Learn how to control your body, perform movements, listen and respond to verbal cues, and be confident in the sport that is Yoga, Pilates and more. Take up the art of meditation and add breathing techniques to your day- we all need to practice self-control and decreased reactivity! No one will be watching you, judging, or adding stress. When classes return, you can be confident that you know what you are doing, and in the meantime, allow yourself an awkward downward dog. Find peace in learning, literally, how to breath properly. Instead of thinking of the list of things to do when you are in silence, learn how to adapt yourself in meditation and take care of your mind.
In the midst of chaos, find peace. In the presence of sadness and suffering in the world, choose gratitude for your blessings. As we are all trying to take care of each other, make sure you take care of yourself.
And if, when starting these new adventures, any one of the professionals you are working with points out imbalances or issues, or if pain arises, we are here- in person or through telehealth- for you as always!