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The 5 Best Ways to Prevent Knee Pain

What is one of the most used – and overused – parts of the body? 

If you guessed your knees, you are correct! Because this system of muscles, joints, and ligaments get used all the time for almost every movement you can think of, it is at an increased risk for injury, stiffness, and chronic pain. 

There is A LOT of information out there about how to keep your knees feeling their very best. To be honest, not all of it is good information. That’s why I put together this list of the best ways to prevent knee pain. 

You know me – I like to help you take prehabilitative and preventive measures to ensure that you stay in the best shape and live your most comfortable life! 

Don’t let knee pain stop you – get ready for an active, adventurous summer! 

  1. GET MOVING: I have said it before and I will say it again – motion is lotion! Achey, shaky knees are often craving some movement. Gentle movement – please do not go run a half marathon! Warming up the muscle group around your knees stimulates joint fluid and actually works to lubricate your joints. This makes movement more comfortable and less painful. Which is exactly what you want!

  2. USE ESSENTIAL OILS FOR NATURAL PAIN RELIEF: Did you go on a super long walk? Good for you, get those steps in! If you’re feeling soreness in your knees afterward, try this. Add a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil to coconut oil or other carrier oil and rub on your knees. Eucalyptus and peppermint have properties that reduce inflammation and ease pain, making it the perfect natural remedy for stiffness and aching knees. It will be easier to get up and moving again in no time!

  3. CHECK YOUR SHOES: Make sure that your shoes are providing you with adequate support. Are your arches caving in? Do your heels feel supported? You are likely putting extra strain on your knees if your shoes are not supporting your feet. Without proper support, every step you take, every move you make will cause knee pain for you..! All joking aside, your feet need to be balanced in order for your whole body to remain balanced. When you’re imbalanced, it causes your knees to overwork or overcompensates, leading to that annoying aching feeling.

  4. A HEALTHY DIET IS THE BEES KNEES (pun-intended): Try to stick to an anti-inflammatory diet. Less bleached grains, more vegetables and fruits that have vitamins, C, D, and E – all of which combat inflammation in the body. If you eat fish, try to choose those high in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, mackerel, and tuna. Use turmeric, which is high in curcumin and proven to reduce inflammation, to spice up your cooking. I actually think turmeric is amazing on potatoes – par-boil, add to a pan with coconut oil or avocado oil, salt, turmeric, onions, garlic – fry it all up!

  5. INCREASE YOUR WATER INTAKE: Your body is never functioning at its best if it is lacking proper hydration.  The body is made up of 70% water and most of your joint fluid is comprised of water.   Actual liquid helps keep everything operating smoothly in your body, from digestion to detox systems, to muscle and joint movement.  Aim for at least 8 glasses of water a day.  Start every day first thing with a glass of water in the morning.

I hope this wellness wisdom helps you navigate and resolve some of your daily aches and pains. I am dedicated to providing the best service to each and every Yoga Prehab member. 

Every level of skill, every level of fitness, everyone from every walk of life is welcome – that’s why I made sure to keep this program so affordable…

Personal training, physical therapy, and chiropractic visits add up fast! Plus, I know that for some people, going to doctor’s offices, gyms, and in higher-risk spaces is just an option right now. 

Yoga Prehab is engineered to keep you out of the doctor’s office and doing more of what you love – for much, much less at ONLY $19.99 a month. 

Plus, if you sign up for the whole year, you save even more!! Annual membership is $199, saving you $40 – that’s like getting 2 whole months of Yoga Prehab completely free!

When You Get That Feeling, You Need…Hamstring Healing

How many times in my career have I heard about unbearable, tight, fatigued hamstrings? Literally countless. 

The group of muscles in your upper thigh, particularly your hamstring, can be so easy to strain and so difficult to properly heal. Releasing the tension in your hamstrings is a way to bring mobility and comfort back to that area of your leg and ease much of the discomfort associated with long-term tension.

The hamstrings are part of the superficial back line of fascia, which means they are built with more endurance muscle fibers. Endurance muscle fibers, also known as slow-twitch fibers, are meant to be more resilient and durable. These fibers that make up our hamstrings do not fatigue easily and provide us with necessary support and stability for posture. So, naturally, there will always be some tightness in your hamstrings to help you hold yourself upright and help propel your body forward while you walk.   

The problem is when they get too tight, causing hamstring strains, general discomfort, and decreased mobility. Sometimes the hamstring will get so tight it will actually pull your pelvis down and into a backward tilted position. This creates too much strain on the lower back and can be the cause of a lot of chronic discomfort or pain. 

Does any of this sound familiar…?

I would venture to guess it probably does.  So, how do you actually loosen up those super tight hamstrings that plague so many of us?

One simple yoga pose you can try is called “legs up the wall” or “waterfall pose.” This pose I find just straight up relaxing, in addition to helping stretch out the legs. Try it in three simple steps to feel a nice stretch:

  1. Scootch your booty so it is flush with a stable wall
  2. Climb your legs up the wall until they are flat against it, or modify as needed by bending your knees to ensure you are comfortable
  3. Hang out here for a minute or more, breathing and relaxing into the pose, feeling a comfortable stretch in the back of your thighs

One of the best things you can do, weekly if possible, is to devote some time to targeted hamstring release techniques. Targeting and really thoroughly stretching your hamstrings at least once each week will ensure you are making progress over time and seeing results in the form of decreased pain, lower back, and pelvic alignment, and much less leg fatigue. Set aside a minute to really get some solid work in, stretch with me, and get loosey-goosey hamstrings in under 20 minutes! I’ll guide you through every step to ensure you are maximizing the benefit of each movement throughout this sequence. 

Last but not least, check out today’s Fix Yourself Fridays on my Instagram for another super-fast method for stretching those hamstrings. Let me know if you have any questions about effectively opening up your hammies, or if there are any other muscle groups you’d like to learn more about releasing from tension!

Stay Balanced: Holiday Edition 2020

Here we are. December! In my last blog post, I focused on what steps you can take to help your body stay healthy during the holidays. There are so many things that drain our energy this time of year, and it’s important that you know how to balance it all and stay well. 

But, there are honestly so many reasons your body can feel out of whack this season. 

Maybe it’s the excess of food, maybe it’s the travel, maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s all the running around, maybe work is wild, or maybe the holidays are just a tough time for whatever reason that may be. Whatever the cause, I want you to know that you are not alone in feeling worn out by this month. I feel pretty confident that for one reason or another, the holidays are hard on everyone. 

Even so, there is a lot to be grateful for and a lot to celebrate! Celebrating your victories, getting excited about the new year ahead and spending time with those you love.  Looking back on how far you’ve come is so important, and taking the time to focus on those positives can hopefully help take some of the stress away and bring you joy. 

If staying in good health seems like it might be a challenge while you’re traveling, visiting, and celebrating – that’s okay! I have some solid advice for staying balanced this holiday season. 

Get Moving

Getting some type of motion in each day and exercising is so important. Exercise can ward off feelings of anxiety, help you feel calmer, and is, of course, great for our overall health and wellbeing. Gentle movements and yoga will be super useful if you are feeling stiff from flights or time in the car, and even just going for a quick walk or run can help you clear your head and work up a sweat. 

You don’t have to jeopardize the things you like about the holidays in order to achieve a good balance and fit in some daily exercise. Invite family and friends to exercise with you or invite them to stretch or do some gentle yoga.  

Simple as A, B, C

Make sure you are getting your vitamins! Either taking them as supplements or eating foods in which key vitamins and nutrients naturally occur will help keep you feeling good. Some of my personal favorites this time of year are: 

  • Vitamin A: found in carrots, sweet potatoes, and lots of types of winter squash, its probably easy to find something full of vitamin A on any holiday dinner table. Vitamin A is vital to your immune system and pairs well with vitamin C in helping you ward off common ailments. 
  • Vitamin B: B-complex vitamins have so many benefits, including increased energy, better immune function, and stronger mental clarity. If you’re eating almonds, avocados, and leafy greens, you’re getting your B vitamins in!
  • Vitamin C: found in citrus, lemons, peppers, and brussel sprouts, vitamin C will boost your immunity and help you fight any infections or viruses you might be exposed to. 

Even with all the craziness, fueling your body with good nutrients and keeping active will help you find and maintain balance this holiday season. I promise that taking just a little extra time to eat something healthy and move your body will have a huge payoff in helping you feel good the whole season long!

I’d love to invite you to join me on Instagram for even more holiday wellness tips, and don’t miss out on the opportunity to enter to win the incredible Holiday Giveaway, which includes a delicious selection of tea from Tea Sparrow and a FREE course from me!!

Also, check out how you can maximize mobility in your shoulders with just a few minutes each day. You’ll see immediate improvement. Perfect for loosening up after periods of extended holiday travel! 

Stay well!

How to Get Rid Of “Holiday Hangover” 

Aside from getting your flu shot and having Vitamin C supplements at the ready, what else can you do to stay healthy and happy during the holidays? 

The basics are this: get enough sleep, stay hydrated, move your body. 

Getting enough sleep may be easier said than done, but it is so, so essential. If you’re feeling fatigued, every part of your body is going to feel it too. In order to keep all the functions of your body in top condition, you have to get enough rest. 

At least 8 hours is recommended, but let’s be honest…how many of us actually get that much?

But, did you know that while you are sleeping your body does most of its healing?  So, cutting into that sleep you need can really take a toll on your health. Think about it — do you want muscle recovery, digestion, or detoxification working at a sluggish rate?

 Nope. 

Ideally never! And definitely not during the holidays when there are so many yummy foods, desserts, and drinks to indulge in. You want everything functioning at full capacity to enjoy the holidays in good health, even if we snack on a few too many cookies shaped like snowmen!

If you’re somewhere chilly or if you’re lucky enough to be in warmer weather for the holidays, it’s probably not quite reaching summertime heat levels wherever you are this month. Drinking water and iced coffee can be so easy when the sun is scorching hot or you’re enjoying the beach, but sometimes as the weather cools down we have a tendency toward not maintaining adequate water intake. 

Drinking water not only helps maintain normal organ function and cell growth, but it is also a key piece of flushing your system and aiding your liver and kidneys in your body’s natural detox processes.

The average recommended water intake per day is 8-10 glasses per day.  (That sounds like a whole lot of trips to the toilet if you ask me!)

Whether its sweets, a few cocktails, or half a cheesecake that your body needs to flush out, drinking plenty of water will help this process tremendously. I’m a believer in living your life and enjoying that second (or third) helping of your favorite holiday food, but I think you can agree that feeling bloated after eating too much is never, ever fun. 

Water, even with a squeeze of lemon or lime for some extra vitamin C, can help with stimulating digestion and flushing your system. Keep a water bottle on hand, find a water source at every party you attend, and be sure to drink a huge glass of water right when you wake up and right before you go to sleep. 

One of the body’s best detox mechanisms is the lymphatic system, which is stimulated almost purely by movement. Exercise, walking, massage, and yoga are all great ways to stimulate the lymphatic system.

Twists, gentle movement, and gentle stretching is beneficial for the lymphatic system and will ultimately help boost digestion and strengthen your immune system. I’m sure you’re completely out of Thanksgiving leftovers by now, so if you want to get your lymphatic system pumping and feel totally refreshed, try out this Turkey Day Detox Flow!  

The holiday season is always crazy, so we all need to be sure we are providing our bodies (and minds!) with a little extra TLC. Get some extra sleep, drink a ton of water, and be sure you’re moving each and every day!

I’d love to invite you to join me on Instagram for even more information on holiday health this coming Workout Wednesday, where I’ll explain how we can use yoga to help ease anxiety. And keep an eye out for an exciting Holiday Giveaway announcement coming up soon….!