A lot of us have had to spend a lot of time away from our normal exercise routines this year, including not getting to the gym to work on our muscle strength. Having just got back into the groove of getting those muscle pumping again, we are now in the throes of the holiday season and those muscles might be back on holiday mode again.
It's not all bad news though! Time away from the gym is not as detrimental to your muscles as you may think. This is because we have muscle memory!! This is our bodies ability to regain muscle strength again, quite quickly (!!) when we get back into the gym, and this occurs a lot faster than it took to initially gain the strength in the first place.
When we lift weights our brain creates neural pathways, laying down a memory of this task. The muscle cells themselves develop genetic markers from the lifting to help muscle growth at a later time. So you have already laid down the foundations. When we return to lifting weights after time off, the brain dives into these saved muscle memories, instead of having to create new pathways. This helps the brain to more readily recruit and stimulate muscles and get them back into strength mode more quickly.
So if you are having time off over the silly season, enjoy it, your amazing body has everything it needs to build those muscle back up again when you give it 100% in the new year
Does this sound familiar?
We have clients, particularly those with concussion or vestibular conditions, who really struggle because you cannot "see" these conditions. These clients sometimes second guess themselves, and in turn start to question their own beliefs - you may have heard of the term "gaslighting".
Gaslighting is a term that means "manipulating someone so as to make them question their own reality." In this instance, clients make them question themselves.
It is SO important to understand that many conditions that people experience, physically AND mentally, that may be hidden to the human eye, are very REAL experiences. Just because you cannot see it, does not mean it doesn't exist. We cannot compare apples with oranges!
Especially during this time of year, when there are many social occasions happening, remember that what you are experiencing is very real, no matter who tells you otherwise, and a gentle reminder to practice self-compassion.
Only a few days until Xmas, which means lots of socialisation and connection with family and friends in coming weeks.
For many, the reality of this time of year is quite the opposite with social isolation, no connection and loneliness.
Research studies on brain health and ageing, show that social interaction helps to promote the production of special proteins in our brains which reduce inflammation, protecting the brain from degeneration, and helps to support cognitive function.
The benefits to the brain don’t just come with social interaction with peers of your own age – building a connection with someone of any age - your neighbours, grandkids, fitness instructor etc can help keep your brain strong.
Also, if you know someone who may benefit from some human contact over the silly season – reach out to them – it doesn’t take much to put a smile on someone’s face with a quick visit to get those health brain proteins flowing.
Ref: National Institute on Aging. (2020).
Research suggests a positive correlation between social interaction and health. www.nia.hih.gov/about/living-long-well-21st-century
"Off Switches" are techniques to help settle symptoms, such as dizziness, eye strain, brain fog and nausea. These symptoms are common when someone experiences a concussion. Everyone is different, with different symptoms, so it can take a little bit of trial and error until you find what works for you!
These are some simple techniques you can try to help settle your symptoms and help regulate your autonomic nervous system. We need to teach autonomic nervous system that it is safe, to help calm our symptoms. These techniques can bring us from the "fight and flight" feeling, to the "rest and relaxation" state.
Please note that if you have a traumatic injury to the head that results in concussion, ensure your neck is clear of any fracture before adding compression in your neck!
Things to try: