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Tips For Those Seeking A Healthy Balance

Rita Garnto, is a professional self-care expert, stress management educator and author of the book, Simple Self-Care Saved Me!. 

The North Carolina resident is back in this space to offer self-care advice from working out to coping and finding balance during the upcoming holidays.  

Here is our Q&A:

Q: Considering the upcoming holidays, what are some self-care tips for finding balance?

A: First of all, it needs to be SIMPLE! 

As we get busier with the holidays quickly approaching, slide some simple self-care things into your schedule. For example, if you don’t have time for your usual 30-45 minute walk, go for a quick 10-15 minute walk to get your heart rate up. 

Do 10 squats on the spot without planning. 

Keep well hydrated. Be intentional with taking a few moments to slow down and take some deep breaths while engaging one of your senses – look out the window at the fall foliage or maybe savor the flavor of your favorite hot beverage. 

Stop during your busy day and do a couple stretches… examples include the ragdoll to stretch out your lower back, or quadriceps stretch, or reach up to the ceiling stretching your arms or do some gentle twists.

Q:  What self-care advice do you have for those just starting an exercise program?

A: My biggest recommendation for those starting out is to start SLOW with a new exercise program to avoid injuries. 

Regular stretching before exercise to warm up your muscles and after to help increase flexibility is so important because as muscles get stronger, they become less flexible.

Any kind of movement is so good for our bodies – joints, muscles, and mood.

Q: What are the benefits for athletes?

A: Self-care for athletes can include sliding different stretches into their daily schedules to help with muscle recovery and flexibility. 

Self-care does not have to be a “formal” training session and can include a flaxseed neck wrap to help loosen tight neck and upper back muscles or ice wraps to decrease joint inflammation after a particularly grueling workout.  

Self-care can also include massage therapy, acupuncture, and/or chiropractic care to increase athletic performance, decrease recovery time, and reduce injuries.

Q: If you took a survey, how varied would the response be to, “What does self-care mean to you?”

A: Self-care can mean so many different things to all of us. Whatever self-care you choose, it has to resonate with YOU and be something you enjoy doing or otherwise, quite frankly, you won’t do it! 

My focus is teaching what I call “simple” self-care which is the kind of self-care that can slide into your busy schedule without having to change clothes, schedule a time, or go anywhere specific. 

One of the biggest benefits of any kind of self-care is it reduces your stress level.  It only takes 30 seconds of deep breathing to start calming your nervous system and allowing your body to relax.

Q:  How often should you practice self-care?

A: I think self-care should be done daily and several times a day. Some of the simple self-care I do on a daily basis includes 

1) getting out of bed the “right” way to reduce strain on my neck & back, 

2) stretching while I brush my teeth, 

3) using a heated flaxseed neck warmer when I have a headache and/or tension in my shoulders, 4) stretching at random times during the day,

 5) journalling, 

6) being intentional with taking deep breathing breaks, and 7) how about a dance-party-for-one! 

For more information: https://www.simpleselfcare.net/

Our Fitness Friday feature is submitted and written by Christine Blanchette so please follow her on Twitter as well as her Run With It Youtube Channel.

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Sportswave Productions is located in Delta, BC.
Sportswave promotes/broadcasts Amateur Sports within the Lower Mainland to promote your sport.
 
He was also recognized by Ravi Kahlon, BC’s MLA Minister for Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation in September 11, 2017.
 
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