Note from GGS: Today we are bringing you an awesome guest post from our friend, Coach Sirena Bernal. We hope you enjoy it!
(photo source: http://www.buzzle.com/img/articleImages/454103-23823-27.jpg)
Now that it’s become mainstream for women to lift heavier weights at the gym, it’s not hard to find blogs, videos, and meme’s educating female fitness enthusiasts to deadlift, pull-up, and or tire flip their way to a better body and to better health. Heck that’s exactly what the Girls Gone Strong tribe represents.
Rather than share with you the physical and mental benefits of lifting weights, I’m taking a different perspective on the idea of strength and putting a little “Sirena-spin” on the subject.
Oftentimes, when we think of strength, we think of our ability to pick up and move heavy things. However, just as we are to work on our physical strength, it’s equally important to work on strengthening our immunity and our body’s ability to heal.
That being said, I want to share with you 3 unconventional ways to make your body stronger, from the inside out. These ideas have very little to do with fitness directly, but have an indirect affect on how you feel in your body.
1. Activate alpha waves through brain wave entrainment
Our brain functions through 4 different brain waves: alpha, beta, delta and theta, with alpha being the one most associated with what we know as being in “the flow”. Painters or writers experience this flow when they are deeply enthralled in their work.
Being in an alpha brain wave state has a profound affect on the body’s hormonal and immune system. Alpha waves produce a calming effect on the body by reducing the output of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. (1)
Reduce the overall load of stress hormones in the body, and our immune system improves, and our bodyheals quicker, both from sickness and workouts.
The good news is that you don’t have to be Michalangelo to activate your alpha brain waves. Finding a pleasurable activity you can lose yourself in, like going for a walk, or reading a book will do just fine.
If you want to take it step further, you can listen to guided meditations using binaural beat technology to help elicit alpha waves in your brain.
2. Bring your heart into coherence.
From the brain we move to the heart, where we can also entrain this organ to produce a favorable hormonal response in the body.
The basis behind this technique is to bring your heart’s electromagnetic field into a state of coherence, which is associated with a reduction in stress hormone.
And, just like we discussed in #1, lowering our overall stress loads will prevent us from getting ill, as well as allow our body’s resources to be shuttled to more favorable activities such as building lean body mass, which is essential to feeling stronger.
3. Ground yourself daily.
Grounding, or earthing, as it is also known, is the practice of connecting our energy back with that of our Earth. Some of the benefits of grounding include:
· Reduced inflammation
· Improved sleep quality
· Increase energy levels
· Lower stress hormones
· Relief from muscular tension or headaches
· Quicker recovery time from workouts
Grounding has even been shown to be one of the simplest and profound interventions to reducing cardiovascular risks and events. (2)
Again, as you notice the key to feeling stronger is to bring yourself back in sync not only in your body, but with the Earth as well.
Walking in the grass barefoot is the best way to ground yourself. You don’t have to pay for it, and it’s available to you wherever you can find a grassy patch.
Since we spend most of our times indoors, and block our ability to connect with Earth’s magnetic field, its best to spendat least a little time outside daily. Even 5-10 minutes on the grass during your lunch break can lower stress levels and keep your body strong.
By adding these 3 effective techniques to your current lifting, yoga, or running program, you not only improve yourbody’s ability to recover from your workouts, but improve your body’s immunity by reducing your overall stress load.
(GGS: Pssssst! We are hosting a FREE webinar with Sirena and her good friend Liz DiAlto Tuesday, September 10th to discuss what to do when diet and exercise aren’t working. Register here today before it’s too late!)
You can even take it a step further and consider practicing the Quick Coherence Technique before your workout, and experiement with listening to binaural beat soundtracks while you workout, then taking your post-workout shake to the park to ground yourself.
Sirena Bernal is a personal trainer and health coach based in Boston, MA and runs her blog at SirenaBernal.com. She believes that anything is possible in life when we are strong in our body, in our mind and in our spirit.
She helps women feel stronger in their body especially when their diet and exercise programs aren’t working anymore. If you can relate, click here.