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While the arrival of the holidays means twinkling lights will deck houses and you’ll set the table for fabulous dinners, it also signals the season for additional stress. Between stretching paychecks to cover the cost of gifts and finding room in your home for guests, the hustle and bustle can zip the cheer right out of the air. Make the most of this special time of year by managing stress with these following tips:
Unwinding with a massage is an effective path to relaxation, and studies have demonstrated this therapy’s stress-relieving capabilities. A pilot study published in The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry assessed the effects of massage on reducing anxiety, aggression and stress on young adults adults in a psychiatric inpatient unit. Researchers combined standard treatment protocols with 20 minutes of daily massage therapy for seven weeks. They found that massage had immediate benefits for relieving anxiety and may be advantageous for de-escalating stress.
When you have a few minutes to spare this holiday season (maybe while the turkey is in the oven or before guests arrive), treat yourself to a shoulder rub with the Moji Curve PRO or the Moji Mini PRO. To experience the extra relief of an ice massage, stick the device in the freezer beforehand.
If you’ve been getting your daily physical activity and eating right all year long, don’t let your routine go to the wayside during the holiday season. Even if you haven’t been as diligent as you should, get started today. Not only will sticking to a healthy regimen stave off stress-causing guilt from indulging in holiday goodies, but exercising reduces anxiety, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
If you live in an environment where it snows, consider signing up for a gym membership. Not only will you be able to exercise in a temperature-controlled space, but going to the gym also gives you an excuse to escape a hectic household. Additionally, fight the temptation of binge eating pumpkin pie by opting for low-fat and sugar-free desserts this year.
Often, stress results from not having enough time to get everything done. While you can’t stop the clock, you can certainly control the number of items on your to-do list. For some folks, that’s hard to do, especially if you’ve made it a habit to take on extra responsibilities. This holiday season, avoid the overload with a simple two-letter word: no. If you just can’t stand the thought of cooking for 20 family members, suggest an alternative. For example, offer to bake the turkey and have everyone else bring side dishes. On the other hand, you can simply express to your family that you’re too overwhelmed to host the holiday dinner. They should understand and offer their support as need be.
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Endurance athletes who take part in marathons, triathlons or century bike rides typically have fitness goals of strength and stamina. Your body needs to be strong enough to carry you long distances, and it needs to have the proper training in order to function for extended periods of time.
Before a race it’s crucial to plan a training program to prepare, and most of this will include running or cycling through intervals of faster and slower speeds, up and down hills and longer and shorter distances. It should also include cross training with strength exercises and core workouts such as Pilates for total body training.
Another factor that should be included in a pre-race program is athletic recovery and stretching. Whether you’re a new or seasoned endurance athlete, you’ll be putting your body through more intense challenges, which is sure to leave you with sore muscles from time to time, but it can also increase your risk of injury. To prevent getting hurt and having a setback, you need to take the proper precautions, which include stretching and massage.
A century bike ride will take you 100 miles, and it will certainly test your mental and physical prowess. This may seem like a lofty goal, but it’s certainly an achievable one that many endurance cyclists aspire to complete.
Being able to bike 100 miles requires serious commitment, dedication, planning and training. Once you decide to take part in a century ride, you need to starting working at least eight weeks beforehand to prepare your mind and body for the challenge ahead. Your training program should consist of long and short rides as well as intervals of different speeds, resistance levels, terrain and hills. It’s also a good idea to cross training with weight lifting to strengthen your muscles and exercises such as Pilates that provide stretching and improve posture.
Another key component is nutrition. Your body won’t be able to last long if it is not being fueled properly. Even slight dehydration can completely zap your energy levels and cause sore musclesand cramps. If this does happen, giving your muscles a massage can help. Additionally, eating the right amount of carbohydrates and fats is needed to fuel your muscles and provide you with the nutrients to keep you going mile after mile. You’ll certainly want to pack snacks to stop and eat during your ride to replenish fuel sources, curb hunger pangs and boost energy. Remember not to pack any foods that are too heavy or hard to transport. A muffin may sound delicious, but it can be messy to eat. Also, be sure not to try any new foods in case it affects your stomach negatively and you have to stop mid-race.
Here are some tasty, helpful snack options to pack for your century ride:
Whether you’re preparing for a cycling race, training for a triathlon or simply appreciate the exhilarating cardio workout you get from riding, your body (the lower half in particular) is certainly being challenged.
Most of your focus will be on the meat of your training – developing programs for each ride to incorporate different terrain, speeds, hills and other aspects of riding itself. But it’s also important to remember that your training doesn’t stop once your session ends. In fact, time spent after you hop off your bike is just as important as time spent on the saddle. Cooling down and taking part in athletic recovery reduces your risk of sore muscles and injuries, which can sideline you and set you back in your schedule. This is especially problematic if you are on a deadline for a race.
After each bike ride you should be taking the time to stretch out your muscles and allow your mind and body to return to their resting states. It’s also useful to incorporate self massage into your routine each week, especially after an intense ride. Massage will help loosen up muscles even further, which is important so you don’t create any imbalances.
There are several key muscles you should focus your massager on after a bike ride: