Saturday, January 4, 2014

Day 1 TFC - Breathing, Water, Scheduling, Range of Motion

Congratulations on your decision to take better care of yourself with the Therapeutic Fitness Challenge (TFC). Your consistent work with this program will pay rewards of improved health and peace of mind. True fitness is a comprehensive endeavor. Therefore, the assignments in the TFC are well-rounded, targeting the mind-body-energy connection.

This program is not intended to replace professional medical care
nor contradict medical advice you may have received.  
If you experience physical discomfort or anxiety,
stop and consult your medical advisor.

And for today, the assignments are:

1) Spend 5 minutes noticing your breath. Extend your exhale so it is at least as long as each inhale.  (But limit this exercise if it causes any anxious feelings.)

2) Schedule 30 to 60 minutes a day in your calendar for the next 21 days to do the challenge (or 36 days if you are doing the challenge every other day).  The time can be continuous or in 2 or 3 chunks of time throughout the day.

3) Get a water bottle and find out how many times you'll need to fill and drink the water in it to get 2 quarts a day.  Your connective tissues require water for health.  Start to get in the habit of drinking that much every day.

4) Do the range of motion assessment exercises.  The links are below.  Please note that there is not a video component for today’s assignment. I prefer for you to be entirely focused on your body as you explore your range of motion. I divided the exercise into three segments so you can determine the right amount to do for your body. Although these exercises seem simple, they most likely will be moving your joints and muscles in unusual ways.  So start with the first one and if you aren't sore move to the second, and then if you're still feeling OK, do the third.  All together they will take 40 minutes.

In addition to noting the quantity of your motion, the range, please also consider the quality of motion. I am recovering from a repetitive stress injury in my left wrist/thumb/arm (quite frightening to a structural integrator, I assure you). In the process of healing, I have noticed the grabby, jerking way I typically use my left hand. No wonder it got hurt! I am consciously trying to grasp fluidly, like an octopus not a robot, in addition to being careful when lifting. As you listen to and follow the range of motion “videos” be aware of how you move as much as how much you do.

Make a note of your range of motion limitations for future reference. For example, if you experience discomfort when you raise your arm to shoulder height, you will need to modify or not do any exercise that involves lifting your arms higher. If rotating your thigh causes discomfort in your low back, you want to be careful of twisting motions.


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