Sunday, January 5, 2014

Day 2 TFC - Breathing, Assessment, Intentions

Yesterday we assessed our range and quality of motion. Today we are going to continue to assess aspects of our fitness. There are more exercises than usual today, but each one is short.

1.     Sit comfortably with good posture or lie down and breathe through your nose.  Keep your jaw relaxed but closed and breathe consciously for 5 minutes. If you feel anxious, try inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. If you still feel anxious, stop the exercise and breathe naturally for the rest of the time. Breathing through your nose activates the parasympathetic (calming) nervous system and also uses more intrinsic muscles in your chest. It’s a habit worth developing.

2.     Keeping your heart healthy is one of the most important parts of fitness. Do your typical aerobic exercise and measure your heart rate 5 minutes into the exercise and at the height of your aerobic activity. Then stop exercising for 2 minutes and measure your heart rate again. Write down the numbers. Using this webpage, determine: a) if you are exercising within your target range, and b) your Heart Rate Recovery. 

3.     Time how long you can comfortably do a wall sit (instructions here) and write down the length of time you held the sit and the approximate angle of your thighs.  Keep your knees in line with your middle toes the entire time. “Comfortably” means that you aren’t wishing you were somewhere else, that you can breathe deeply, and that you can stand up again without groaning or hurting. (You can count seconds in your head, or you can use a stop watch.)

4.     Test your flexibility. It is important to do this test with no pain. Standing with slightly bent knees, bend forward to see if you can touch the ground. If so, notice if your fingers or palms touch.  If not, measure how far from the ground your finger tips are.  Bend your knees, stand up carefully and write down your results. (Skip this assessment assignment if you have low back or sacrum troubles.)

5.     Stretch. 

6.     Write down your intentions for the next 20 days. Do you have any specific goals or aspirations? How would you like to feel when you are finished with this challenge?  As much as possible, be specific and include your desired emotions.

You will want to refer back to your results later in the challenge, so please write them down somewhere you can find them later. (You are welcome to report on the Facebook page if you’d like.) And one more thing, keep drinking water.

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