Thoughtful Thursday…Human skills for longevity
Welcome to Thoughtful Thursday. This GreenNote Fitness newsletter mindfully gathers and distills useful information that is supportive to our journey. It is my mission to educate, inspire, and propel you into action that moves you towards your goals and life of purpose. Take control of your journey today.
If you’ve been following me recently, you know that I’m on a journey of longevity…daring to live well. This has been very transformative for me. It serves as a beacon, a light that steers me clear of the rocks. My lifestyle choices, relationships, sleep, stress management, movement practices are moving in the direction to align with my journey. As a reminder, a journey isn’t perfect but rather it is in pursuit of getting a little closer, a little bit better, each and every day. This leads me to something I’ve been struggling with - joint pain. Quick background story. Last Fall I was experiencing much pain in one of my SI (sacroiliac) joints. The joint is between the sacrum and ilium bones in the pelvis. The sacrum supports the spine and is supported by the ilium on each side. I had problems moving, putting on my socks, let alone doing my work as a personal trainer. When it got to its worst, it left me in tears and weakened my spirit. After all, aren’t personal trainers suppose to be an example of good health? After speaking with some knowledgeable doctors, I no longer thought it would be a defeatist act to get an injection in that joint to help alleviate the inflammation. That joint is now feeling great. However, my other SI joint is going down a similar path and I want to stop that pain in it’s tracks and ideally get to the root cause. Enter Dr. Kelly Starrett. Kelly Starret is doctor of physical therapy, world-class coach, thought leader, and New York Times bestselling author. I recently listened to an interview with him. He was asked about how to deal with SI joint issues. As my attention to this interview intensified, I was at first a bit surprised by his response. He began by taking a broader look at movement in it’s basic form. He spoke of getting back to the principles that make us human. He explained the following skills that I am re-examining and incorporating into my daily life.
Walk more - If experiencing back pain, begin walking, even just a little bit as the first thing you need to do is to restore function, decongest the tissues, and put loads back in. The minimum dose is 10,000 steps per day
Resting Squat Position - Lower into bottom of the squat and hold for 10 minutes (think of a toddler squatting on the ground). This position is really good for the back (and for doing squats and deadlifts); when we sit in that position, we are restoring normal motion in that SI joint. Getting the sacrum in that position is really important for spinal health
Handle stress - Be able to “turn-off”; have a bed time routine that includes 10 minutes foam rolling before bed, treat your soft tissues, you will sleep better, and will turn on parasympathetic nervous system
Move more during the day - Tissues will heal better and you will sleep better
I’ve been incorporating walking into my intermittent “low” protein days that I’m doing for fat loss and long term health. I’ve begun resting in the squat position and foam rolling before bed. I move throughout the day but will be mindful if I’m on the computer for an hour to get up and move around. If this will prevent my SI joint from worsening remains to be seen. Looking at the Human Skills, I know that there are areas of each I can improve upon and have added it to my journey of longevity and daring to live well. Enjoy your journey, Lisa Schaffer GreenNote Fitness You wouldn’t happen to know just one person that would benefit from this information? Please forward it to them! Did you miss last week’s newsletter on six steps I’m taking for a healthier life in a technology world …? P.S. Check out my Facebook page for inspiration. P.P.S. Discover GreenNote Fitness recommendations for books, podcasts, and more on body, mind, and spirit.