Whitney’s Kitchen Blog

Learning to Listen

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Posted on May 17th, 2017 by Piccarreto
Listen to your body concept -  slate blackboard sign against weathered red painted barn wood with a dumbbell, apple and tape measure

I have spent the past 2 years learning to listen to my body. With food, I find it easy. Overeat = stomachache. Headache = perhaps I overdid it with salt today. No matter the issue; water, rest, maybe a trip to the bathroom and I’m back on track.

What about exercise and non-food related issues? Are you like I used to be? A slight knee ache and you tell yourself to power through? Stopping isn’t part of the days plan and it is more important to finish, right?

WRONG!

I realized if I wished to continue my current routine I would need to become a better listener. These days I purchase new running shoes when my feet and knees tell me I need them. I heard my back and gave up trying to hold plank for 5 minutes. Instead, I accept my 1 minute and 30 second personal limit. Hurting myself is NOT worth it. Am I willing to risk stress on my knees, feet and hips that could mean surgery or rehabilitation simply to run a 7 minute mile?

My answer is no.  I’m in this for the long haul, not to be 1st place in 1 run.

Recently I have been trying to find new stretches. The humidity in Florida sometimes affects my head. That means bending over to touch my toes after a run is the last thing in the world I want to do. This led me to back off from stretching; which quite frankly is a problem. Thankfully I found myself a solution!
LEGS UP THE WALL
This is actually a yoga position. After some research I decided it was for me. It is exactly as it sounds. You lay by a wall with your feet and legs up it. Hold the position for 5 minutes (or whatever feels right for you). I started by counting to 25, then 50, then 100. Now I set my timer for 5 minutes. I close my eyes, focus on my breathing and relax. It feels wonderful after a run!!
Benefits other than stretching my hamstrings:
  • Venous drainage
  • Increase circulation
  • Relaxation
  • Stretches back muscles
  • Relieve lower back tension
  • Pelvic floor relaxation

According to research, it can also provide relief from:

  • Migraines and headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Digestive issues

I mean… The list goes one!

As with any new exercise (even something that seems “easy”), it is always best to consult with your doctor and ease into it. If you have back, neck or eye issues, this may not be for you. Please use caution.

Do your research. Find what works for you and DO IT! Most important advice of all… ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!! If we learn to hear what it has to say we have a better chance of success, health and longevity.