Monday, March 7, 2016
Optimizing your Immune Function
Basic Hand Care:
Always wash your hands with soap and water, or hand sanitizer. The most important thing to remember when washing hands is to rub them together to create friction. It is the act of creating friction that rids bacteria.
For Parkour/Freerunning: When training on the bars, it is common to develop calluses and inevitably... rip those calluses. These are common injuries, that can be very painful. The best way to care for calluses, is to not rip them in the first place. If you start to feel the skin on your hands wearing away, give your hands a break, or get some athletic tape on them BEFORE they rip. It takes time to build up strong calluses, and ripping them prevents you from training effectively, causes pain, and opens you up to more complications, such as a skin infection.
For Parkour/Freerunning/Tumbling/Martial Arts/Aerial Arts: Keep your fingernails short, and clean. Do not apply lotion to your hands before training. If your hands are uncomfortably dry, drink more water, and if needed, apply a natural oil to your skin such as coconut or olive oil. Applying natural oil to your skin allows your body utilize whatever it needs to heal dryness, and then the excess oil is absorbed into the body, minimizing residue on the skin.
Basic Foot Care:
Everything starts with your feet. Foot health is imperative to sustainable training, so let's talk gait first. Your "Gait" is your manner of walking. Do you walk with toes slightly turned out? Slightly turned in? Do your knees bow inward when you walk? Take a moment and be mindful about your gait, and talk to your trainer about how you may be able to correct any biomechanical flaws. Your standing posture is also important to consider. If you think about it, almost every minute, of every day, you are either sitting, walking, or standing. So let's make sure you are doing that well, before we move on to anything else. The body is designed to move, diversely, and consider that there is a multitude of stresses we can eliminate, which will allow you to have more energy, and minimize risks and challenges associated with biomechanical disorders.
Keep your feet covered and protected. When barefoot training, make sure you work up to it. If you are not used to going barefoot, give your feet time to adapt, and do not over train the skin and tissues.
Always come to class wearing clean, dry clothing. Make sure you wash your hands and shower/bathe after practice. Always report any open wounds to your coach, or to the front desk, and let us know where the opening occurred. Be sure to get a band aid and tape to cover up the wound.
Your skin is the largest organ of your body, so if your skin is compromised, so is your immune system. Keep skin healthy by staying hydrated, covering and treating open wounds, and follow through on progressions to avoid bumps, bruises, scrapes, fabric burns (aerial silks) and cuts of any kind. Progressing is not a race, so although we love a student with plenty of zeal, we want you to be safe first and foremost. It's not fun to be injured, so complete your progressions. If you feel nervous about doing a movement, tell your Coach, and ask them to give you a progression to a movement that will increase your confidence and safety.
Your muscles, ligaments, bones, and tendons need to be conditioned. The same as such for your skin! Allow your skin, time to to adapt to any new environmental feedback and training. Treat it kindly, and be mindful of your skin health.
Did you know that the feet have pressure points associated with every major organ in the body? There is a great deal of knowledge you can gather about your current health simply by checking your feet. If you suffer from any kind of body aches, pain or discomfort, be mindful of your feet, and a quick fix is to push down and around parts of your foot and see if you can pin point any sore spots. If you come across a sore spot, give it a good rub and massage it out.
- DRINK WATER!! Half your body weight in ounces.
- BALANCE your HORMONES!! If you are hungry, tired, or experience a craving, then it's a sure sign you need to balance your hormones. Nourish your body with quality calories, sleep/rest when needed, and pay attention to your HEC (Hunger/Energy/Cravings). Is your HEC in check? Because if it's not, you need to be proactive about balancing your body.
Recover from Sickness:
Do not tax your body when you are sick. This is counter productive. There is no need to exercise when you are ill, and please take the time to allow your body to recover. If you feel the need to "push through the pain", consider that it will take you two to three times longer to regain your full strength, therefore putting off your training even longer. Remember, deep, focused practice, is what will progress you most efficiently and effectively, so take care of your self and your body's needs first.