Hydration is more than drinking water.
I have never thought about hydration as it is explained in Melt by Sue Hiltzman. I thought you just drank more water to be hydrated but Sue has opened my eyes to how our bodies are hydrated.
Here is what she says, “Think of a dry sponge- its stiff – but when it’s moist, it’s flexible, adaptable and resilient. You can twist, squeeze, or compress a moist sponge and it returns to its original shape. Your body’s connective tissue is similar: when it’s hydrated, it’s buoyant and adaptable. When it’s dehydrated, it’s stiff and inflexible.”
Approximately 3/4 of the connective tissue is made up of fluid. Why care about connective tissue, also known as fascia? Because it surrounds every structure in your body – I like to think of the “morph suit” when it comes to the connective tissue- every bone, muscle, organ, nerve, cell, ligament, cartilage, disk, tendon, etc. are covered with mini “morph suits”. And these morphs want to move happily and freely without restriction.
If you were to take a very dry sponge and pour water over it, it would run off initially. Just as your cells are surrounded by fluid, if they have become stiff (dehydrated) then the water you are drinking rolls off of them – never to be absorbed – not good because we need the absorption to keep us moving freely without aches and pains.
You might even find that people tell you to “drink more water” but you are & find it a nuisance because you keep running to the lou (bathroom) frequently throughout your day. If you are drinking a lot of water & using the lou frequently, then that could be a sign that you are cellularly dehydrated. Now that you know it’s a sign you can improve your health, your joints, reduce stiffness and aches, perhaps even kick start your metabolism, decrease your fat storage, and decelerate the aging process – fantastic!!!
So how do we hydrate our connective tissue/fascia?
You use a roller and can combine this with Rolfing or gentle Massage.
You can absolutely roll at home and I’ll suggest a few exercises, but if you are in the area, stop by Core Conditioning, Realign Restore Meditate or Restorative Pilates to hear and experience it firsthand. Check out this Pilates workout with a roller
How do you roll?
1. First you must get to know your body. Lie flat on the floor and close your eyes. Start with your head and work your way down to your feet. Notice the imbalances in your body and the similarities. How does one side of your body feel compared to the other? It’s important to assess your body.
2. Using a full or half roller, lie on it lengthwise with your head at the top and tailbone at the other end. Place your feet hip width apart & hands gently beside you on the floor. Get a sense of how you are feeling. Is there more pressure on one foot or hand than the other?
3. Gently rock side to side for 30-60 seconds (this allows your cells to communicate with one another and has many positive benefits- another blog or read MELT )
4. Stop, balance and notice how you feel….steady or unsteady, are you leaning more to one side?
5. It is important to perform this self awareness about your body before and after the exercises as this helps to send messages where they need to go.
This seems so simple and perhaps even unnecessary and you may not see why you would add it to your workout, but each Pilates or core class I start, typically starts with this exercise and has positively affected our posture and reduced our aches and pains.
Next, I have participants do pelvic tilts, kegels and breath work on the roller. Then in class we work the core in various ways and finish off with rolling out the body from head to toe. Try the Thanks to Planks Workout or the Wild at Heart
We all love rolling out our tensor fasciae latae (TFL- band of fascia that runs down the side of your upper leg).
Move the roller up and down your leg slowly.
When you find a spot that is tender (ouch), that is an area of dehydrated connective tissue – it requires your attention! Breath and slowly move the roller side to side up and down as gently as you can. It’s better to do a little at a time each day or 3 times a week.
Here is another exercise I love teaching and doing. Take a tennis, lacrosse, golf or a soft small ball and roll it out on the bottom of your foot. Start with a light amount of pressure and roll it side to side on the front part of your heel. Then move it up and down the length of your foot (Sue advises only to move the ball from the toes to the heel starting with each toe). Finish by moving the ball rapidly under your foot. WOW -this should feel great and liberating.
Take a moment after you roll to access your body and how it feels. You may notice that if you had any foot, knee, hip or low back pain & tension, it will be reduced. Your legs may feel lighter and more flexible. You may feel more balanced and finally the foot arches are re-balanced and their buoyancy is enhanced.
Lastly (for this blog), we love to roll out our calves. As above, gently roll the roller back and forth (sometimes we use balls for this). Find the “ouch” spot that is calling your name, and gently roll the spot side to side while breathing. Then roll the roller up and down to release the tension. Know that you are having an amazing impact on your fascia tissue and your whole body (again – another blog).
These are just a few exercises that will help to hydrate your fascia and allow your water to be absorbed into your cells instead of running through you. Whether you roll at home or in class, it is a very important part of your workout.
Now that your cells are getting hydrated – try Water – 5 ways to keep you lean.
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Tanya Morrison has been in the Health/Wellness and Fitness Field for over two decades and has coached and trained many clients during this time. She is a certified Personal Trainer, Precision Nutrition Coach, Pilates/Aerobics/Yoga Instructor and more. She is the creator of the Busy Mama Reboot 28 day program, 10 Day Body Reset Detox, 30 Days to a New You, Holistic Weight Management System and many more on-line programs. To find out more about these life changing programs check out the testimonials and information at www.moveyourbody.ca
Tanya has created FREE Healthy Living Challenges that you can sign up for HERE, because even though we know all this “healthy stuff” it’s good to be reminded to keep it in our awareness. Tanya created the Busy Mama Healthy Mama Facebook page so that like-minded mama’s could get great healthy information and recipes in a fun and light-hearted way.
Tanya also teaches many different classes at Move Your Body Studio in Bobcaygeon, www.moveyourbody.ca and has written Healthy Snacks for Kids, Get the Skinny on Skinny Jeans & Living Vibrantly with Raw Goodness – Your Guide to Juicing & Blending, the 21 Laws of Irrefutable Fat Loss, How to Get Rid of Cellulite and more. Her blog, www.tanyamorrison.ca has lots of great articles to help you navigate your way to the healthy life you want, tons of recipes and great tips!
Tanya presents High Performance Nutrition for Kids and Teens, How to Become an Efficient Fat Burner, hosts Raw Smoothie Parties and many more presentations. Please contact her to set up your presentation.
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