Saturday, June 27, 2015

A feel good post

So I told you about my great experience with FitCamp.

I told you about my no-gym-membership necessary interval training game.

But what else do I do to keep myself feeling my best?

1. MY FEET!

You all know I have a love/hate relationship with my feet. Ugly but functional I try to smooth them out and pretty them up but oh do they ache sometimes. And working out only adds to their woes. Luckily I upgraded my socks with a pair of Titan Elite Quarter High Basketball Socks. Don't worry, you don't have to play basketball, these socks are great for any athletic pursuit, including my favorite athletic pursuit: lounging around the house in my pajamas! Seriously, I have wood floors and a tendency towards Plantar Fascitis - I live in memory foam slippers - occasionally I want to feel the move of my foot on the floor without howling in pain after two minutes. It can be done! These socks hug your feet, cushioning the ball and heel and supporting the arch. They fit like a second, improved skin. I wore them to Tuesday's workout and, whereas my feet usually let out a humid sigh of relief when I take off my socks at the end of the day, when I took off these socks my feet chirped out a chipper "what's next?" No achy joints, bones, muscles, ligaments, FASCIA!

So care for your feet: oil or lotion, a regular clip of the nail, stretches, massages, a bit of exfoliation can't hurt, and of course, a high quality shoe and sock such as the Titan brand provides.

Repurposed packaging: Going to use this as a hair elastic
2. MY MUSCLES!

My college sisters may remember me rolling on a pickle jar in the living room, just trying to get those knots out of my legs! If I were an animal I surely would be a bull, plowing ahead and knowing no limits, at least when it comes to physical exertion. I don't know when to stop. Part of this has to do with living with chronic pain. Pain is our body's way of telling us to relax and slow down, but when you have Chronic Pain you have to learn to ignore those signals or you will start to close down. Since I have to ignore those signals to function I don't know how to listen to the REAL signals that mean I am pushing myself too hard. I rely on outside indicators, like my husband telling me I am overdoing it, or using someone else's workout to pace mine.

Anyhow, all this pushing has led to webs and webs of scar tissue in my body, most impressively my legs. It has gotten better, but they still need a lot of work, and while I would love to set up biweekly massage sessions, that is neither in the budget nor is there room in the calender.

So I do it on my own!

Old on bottom, new on top
I moved up from the pickle jar, to a repurposed foam roll from Ax Man, to a hand me down roller from my cousin Carole (she had one delivered to MN when she visited because she couldn't fly with it yet couldn't manage a week without it, seriously if you are an active individual you WILL get addicted!), to my most recent, most prized roller, appropriately called the Muscle Mauler Max.

Just look at the bumps and spikes on the roller. It arrives in the mail hungry to rip through those gnarled webs and lengthen those legs. I may appear to be an average 5'4, but I plan to stretch these babies out a good two more inches! ;)

THE MAULER!
My two favorite exercises/stretches with the mauler/roller involve my upper back (I love to hear it crack crack crack as the spine aligns, the pressure releases from my neck and skull, and I save myself the time and the cost of a visit to the chiropractor. I even imagine a little Cha-ching, cha-ching with every crack....okay, not really, but you could!), and the iliotibial band, which is located on the outerside of your legs, from the hip to the knee. The IT band is so painful to work through that I usually start with the fronts of my thighs to get warmed up. My legs lock up and tense with the pressure and I must breath deeply and be patient to allow them to relax. I have heard others say that this self myofascial release feels good, but for me it is only slightly short of unmedicated labor pains and I have been known to suddenly jump up onto my feet when I just can no longer take it. But every moment I spend on there, the few releases I am able to achieve, makes my legs feel like they can breath again. Like the blood is flowing in new areas. Like they are rested, and strong, and ready.

Even if you don't abuse or overwork your muscles I recommend the Mauler. It doesn't take much time, especially if you watch television. I try to read while I roll but I find myself rolling away from the book or unable to relax. I think I will start to have the kids read to me while I roll so they aren't being ignored but aren't using me as a jungle gym either.

Have any of you tried a type of a roller? Was it smooth or ridged like the Muscle Mauler? I would love to hear about your experience.

3. HYDRATION

With a household of five we have entered the "never enough water bottles" zone. With berry season beginning it was time to order another fruit infuser. Without central air I need to drink an obnoxiously large amount of water. So much that water gets BORING!

Luckily I was able to try out the Brimma Fruit Infused Water Bottle Infuser. I love that the fruit section fits in the top of the bottle. My old infuser had the fruit in the bottom and I always forgot and ended up holding the bottle upside down between my knees trying to get the section correctly attached.

A couple weeks ago we went out of town on short notice for a weekend. As I tried to work through the perishables that Friday I came across more fruit than we could eat before leaving. I packed the apples and oranges away to bring in the car, but fond partial pints of berries in the fridge as well as a half of an orange. We couldn't eat everything so I put these random bits into a glass jar in the freezer. Whenever I want a cold glass of fruit infused water it takes no time to grab a few of those frozen pieces and put it in my new infuser. The fruit keeps my water cold and as it thaws it flavors the water.

My favorite flavors thus far are fruit combinations containing raspberries. I even love to over smush the berries, causing small gritty seeds to float about the water. Little extra bits of yum as I swallow it down.

4. THE SUN!

Really though, they are pretty sad looking bears
Or rather, Vitamin D. I am always short on it. Getting a bit of a farmer's tan this year and chowing down on double doses of the supplement so I am hoping my numbers will be in range for once! I know the sun makes a difference, but if I have good numbers I will also attribute it to my NutraBear Vitamin D3 supplements. Gummy bear type supplements without corn syrup or food dyes, these supplements don't LOOK like anything special, unless wrinkled dried up prunes that look like a , hmmm, are those supposed to be bears?, are special. But once you get past the dried up appearance (I believe this is from packing so many supplements in a jar) the bears have the most flavorful taste of any of the gummy vitamins I have ever tried. Mango and Peach fills each little bear with such flavor that I automatically checked what the limit was for the day and snuck a couple extra.
Look at all the cute wrinkly bears!

I do feel a bit silly, an adult eating gummy bears each morning, and I do wait until after my coffee so as to not spoil my tastebuds with all that sweetness, but I must admit I don't forget to take my supplement so often as I would with the small white chalky tablet faintly calling my name.

How about you? How do you make sure you get all the neccessary vitamins? Do you have any vitamins or supplements which you regularly take? Ever tried the gummy form?

What else do you do to keep yourself feeling the best?

**I received products to review in exchange for my honest opinion.**

2 comments:

  1. When we have gummies in the house, I catch Chad sneaking them. I'm trying to get DHA/EPA into Emma, so I'll try new gummy brands, randomly.

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  2. Marnie G (Derrick Todd)July 1, 2015 at 12:07 PM

    It makes a HUGE difference when you wear good socks. Many people neglect their feet -- specifically their socks. The feet are vital in not only exercise but in day to day activity as well.

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