Campus Commons PT - January 2021

Hunkering down and waiting for the dark and chilly winter season to pass sounds pretty nice. But the reality is, if we deprive ourselves of time outside, we do ourselves a big disservice both mentally and physically. Staying indoors all day affects your energy and mood, which makes it hard to get anything done, so here are four easy tips to make it easier to get a little fresh air. 1. Make it a priority. Getting outside means making the conscious effort to do so. If you want to reap its benefits, you have to decide to make it a priority in your day-to-day schedule. If you make the act important to you, you have more motivation to actually do it. 2. Use mornings effectively. Waking up and getting the day started can be hard. But studies have shown that natural light helps decrease your melatonin production, which means you feel ready to face the day sooner. So, set yourself a second alarm to head outside and take a quick walk around the block just after waking. Don’t even wash your face or grab coffee. Just get out there. 4 TIPS TO MAKE GETTING OUTSIDE EASIER LET THAT FRESH AIR FUEL YOU

especially if you’ll just be an active listener and aren’t required to do any work simultaneously. Attach a note to your meeting reminders to get yourself set up outside five minutes before you start. 4. Create a schedule. It might feel strange to set reminders throughout the day to step outside, but you easily get wrapped up in activities and overlook breaks, and these reminders are exactly what you need. Start with 10-minute blocks three times a day. If you stick to them, soon you won’t need a schedule to get outside anymore. Winter weather may be cold, but even when you’re bundled up under a jacket and scarf, just 5–10 minutes outside can do wonders for your mood and energy for hours.

3. Take your work outside. If you’re working from home, take some work outdoors. Phone and virtual meetings are a great outdoor option,


Since breathing is something most of us do without thinking, it’s easy to neglect proper breathing during exercise. Breathing properly during intense exercise can help you move and work more

breaths that begin and end in the chest. However, proper breathing for more intense movement comes from a muscle along the bottom of

your chest cavity, known as the diaphragm. To know if you’re breathing from the diaphragm and not just your chest, feel your lower ribs to see if they’re rising and falling as you take deep breaths. If they are, then you know you’re using the diaphragm.

efficiently, comfortably, and safely. So, knowing how to breathe properly during exercise will benefit anyone who wants to get the most out of their workouts. Whether we’re at rest or moving with intensity, breathing is how we get oxygen from the air around us to fuel our muscles and help them move. Without going into every component of your body that helps you breathe, the basic process goes like this: When you take a breath, air moves into your lungs, where tiny air sacs called alveoli separate the air into oxygen and carbon dioxide. The oxygen is pumped to the heart, brain, and muscles, while the carbon dioxide is expelled when you breathe out. The deeper your breath, the more oxygen fuels these components of your body.

So, how does proper breathing look in practice, and how can you get better at it? Well, your body posture plays a big role in that. Stand up straight, relax your chest, and lift your chin to take deep, even breaths while warming up. If you’re doing any aerobic exercises, like running, cycling, or swimming, make sure your inhalations and exhalations are equal. If you’re lifting weights, inhale to stabilize your core muscles before exhaling as you exert yourself.

Proper breathing is an important part of exercising well, which, in the context of PT, can help you heal more quickly and efficiently. For any questions about proper breathing during

That means that taking deep, measured breaths are incredibly important for exercise. The better you are at breathing, the more fuel your body has for movement. When we’re at rest, we typically take shorter

PT exercises, just ask us if you’re ever in for an appointment! 2

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