REST and DIGEST

I’m sure many of you have heard this common phrase throughout your life and it holds a strong truth. When at rest the parasympathetic nervous system is working hard to help your body digest, reduce blood pressure, reduce heart rate and reduce muscle tension. This particular part of the nervous system does a great job at helping the body relax. On the other hand, the sympathetic nervous system is our “fight or flight” control center. This part of the nervous system is working hard to control the rest of the body’s organs and keeping your body alert. It is important that both systems work together to keep the body in a happy state.

Autonomic Nervous System Response

Sometimes life can throw us curve balls that cause the body to panic and produce stress hormones. It is our job, as it is our body, to notice the stresses in our lives and to learn how to take control of them by initiating the parasympathetic system to do its job. Breathing exercises and meditation are a great way to do this. Take a look at Waverly’s earlier blog post on meditation techniques and benefits. Rest is also a very important component of exercise and recovery.

rest2

Adequate rest between sets allows the body to work at a maximal level. In this state you are able to accomplish all the repetitions with the proper form. Exercising can lead to muscle aches called DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), this is due to the body recovering and regenerating after your work out. On the other hand, you may experience muscle aches when your body is at rest for too long. The body craves motion and consequently a sedentary body can lead to decreased muscle mass, a decreased level of energy, an increase in overall fatigue and health risks such as heart disease and obesity. Learning to understand the body’s different aches can help you make the best decision as to whether or not you should take the day off from exercise or if you should get physically active.

Here at Aim2Walk, we use many different forms of technology to help keep the body moving and functioning properly.  We are also a multidisciplinary facility which allows the client to continue with therapy even when they need a “rest” day.  We offer massage, acupuncture and several other more relaxing and less intensive therapies when needed. It’s important to recognize what your body is telling you and how to adjust to it’s needs to allow maximum recovery for better performance and health.

Michelle Teves
R.Kin, Director of Neurochangers Program

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