August 15 is National Relaxation Day and we are here for it! The STAY FIT 305 community goes so hard day after day to achieve fitness goals and the successful ones will tell you that rest, recovery and relaxation need to be a part of your regimen. We caught up with Dr. Elizabeth Trattner, Acupuncturist, Chinese & Integrative Medicine Expert based here in the 305 and asked her “how does one relax?” Here’s what she had to say:
- Get Outdoors – Plenty of us are outside getting in a bike ride or a run, but there’s a way to incorporate the outdoors into your recovery and relaxation as well.
“Plan a day trip somewhere outdoors you know with bad cell phone reception, or take all apps off your phone and restore them after the trip,” says Dr. Trattner. “In 2010, Dr. Todd Braver, a neuroscientist and neuropsychologist at Washington University, went into nature with four other colleagues to understand how the brain is overtaxed by heavy use of technology. These scientists found that being outside in nature can refresh the brain and also increase attention and focus.”
- Acupuncture – Acupuncture may seem intimidating with all those needles, but the benefits are endless, including improving moving, relieving pain, improving sleep and more. Dr. Trattner says, “acupuncture is performed using very fine needles, which are appropriately applied to promote healing. Deficiencies are tonified and excesses will be dispersed and reduced. Energy, or Qi, flows up and down the meridians or pathways. Sometimes the energy is blocked, deficient, excessive or unbalanced. This puts the body out of balance and in turn, causes illness. Acupuncture restores homeostasis and encourages healing.”
- Salt Soak – From salt baths to salt lamps, salt is very trendy right now, but there’s many reasons why. Dr. Trattner says, “the beach is an incredible place to relax. The combination of nature and salt water has a positive effect on the mind and body. If you can’t make it to the beach, I highly recommend soaking in salt baths.”
- Keep a Journal – We’re always running our bodies through the ringer, so why not work on mental fitness?
“Journaling is a way to engage the creative spirit within you and get out what is called ‘free flowing anxiety,'” says Dr. Trattner. “You do not need to be a world class writer to journal. In fact, I keep a picture journal instead. Keeping a journal helps free your mind. You can write, use imagery and if you’re really talented keep many thoughts in your journal. I use this type of journaling to channel what is deep in my subconscious mind.”
Swim – Swimming is not only one of the best workouts you can do, but it’s yet another way to relax. Dr. Trattner says, “swimming in the ocean is harder than a traditional swimming pool, as there are currents and waves that make you use your abdominal muscles (and all your muscles) even more. The ocean is the very best meditative place you could possibly be on National Relaxation Day. Saltwater induces relaxation, resets your physiology, regulates stress hormones, increases concentration and reduces tension.”