The Perfect Workout for an Imperfect Day

September 21, 2012 by  
Filed under current, Guest Space

You know those days when life thwarts your best attempts to get to the gym, yoga studio or Pilates class? You know that moment when you realize there isn’t enough time to get in a full workout, you’ll miss class with your favorite instructor or you haven’t had a real meal since breakfast and it’d be foolish to attempt physical activity on an empty stomach? And how about the anxiety it churns up in your stomach because if you can’t do it *just right*, it hardly seems worth it at all, but you’re keenly aware that once the day’s dust settles, you’ll be kicking yourself for falling short of your usual high standards?

Temper your self-discipline with self-care.

Exercise benefits us in many ways. It releases mental stress, builds muscle strength and improves heart function, to name a few. But, there’s one benefit that’s rarely talked about - Exercise feeds your joints.  
When you move your body, your joints secrete Synovial Fluid that brings oxygen and nutrients into your joints and carries waste products away while the lubricating fluid is massaged into the surrounding cartilage for continual ease of movement.
  So, when you’re faced with a less-than-ideal day for working out, get yourself back to basics. Ask: What does my body need? Movement. Why? Joint health. Nour-ish-ment!

Synovial Fluid: The diet of champions!

Your joints are fully nourished through normal range of movement, which means being mindful of extremes. Move too little and you won’t distribute synovial fluid throughout the entirety of each joint. Move too much and you’ll compromise the integrity of the soft tissue inside of and surrounding each joint. Moving your knee, for example, through its normal range doesn’t require an entire hour of training, a certified instructor or even a full stomach. All it takes is flexing {bending} and extending {straightening} your knee through a mindful range of motion. Squatting down to pick up rogue socks counts as breakfast for your knees. Reaching up to the highest cupboard shelf counts as lunch for your shoulders. Twisting your body to see traffic behind you as you back your car out of the driveway counts as dinner for your spine. So, on those days when you can’t get in your perfect workout, you don’t have to choose between all or nothing. You don’t have to measure success by whether you pushed your body to its limit. You can feel satisfied having mindfully nourished your body with its daily recommended allowance of synovial fluid.   How have you nourished your joints today? I'd love to know, so please share in the comments.

Image credit: Johann Snyman

About our Guest Contributor

Gini Martinez is an Embodiment Teacher and owner at Rock What’s Yours. She specializes in teaching goal oriented individuals how to engage their mind & body intelligently so they’re able to show up as their best selves and perform at their highest level at any given moment. Gini is a former dancer. She has taught Pilates and somatic movement for 15 years and is trained as a Franklin Method® Instructor. As a busy wife, mother {to 3 boys}, and business owner, Gini experiences the necessity to stay grounded, centered, and flexible on a daily basis and enjoys teaching all those willing to show up and do the work how to do the same. She considers herself a Warrior Advocate. rockwhatsyours.com facebook.com/rockwhatsyours twitter.com/ginimartinez  

Comments

2 Responses to “The Perfect Workout for an Imperfect Day”
  1. Anne Maybus says:

    Oh I feel guilty now. I sit at the desk for much of the day and I don’t move enough. I love the way you have made the connection between movement and nourishment. Thank you for your post. It has changed the way I think about exercise.