Your Overeating Survival Guide

Overeating can happen to anyone, especially as we get closer to the holiday season. Going to family dinner parties, enjoying a company potluck, or just sitting on the couch watching holiday movies can all lead to overindulgence.

It might seem like a good idea at the time to have “just one more” helping of mashed potatoes and stuffing, but your body will soon start to remind you that overeating is not in your best interest. You might get physical symptoms like bloating, fatigue, nausea, headaches, stomach cramps, and indigestion.

Not to worry. We’re here with a helpful survival guide that will get you feeling like yourself again after you’ve gone a little overboard.

7 Tips to Help Feel Better After Overeating

In many ways, getting through the symptoms of overeating is simply a matter of time. Eventually, the food will digest, and you’ll start to feel more like yourself.

There are a few things you can do in the meantime, though, to feel better. Here are our seven favorite tips.

Don’t engage in negative self-talk

First things first. Don’t use this time to criticize yourself for overeating. It happens to everyone! It’s just a mistake, and you’re going to do better next time. So instead of stressing about the past, focus on what you can do now to feel better in the near future.

Resist the urge to nap

Taking a nice, long nap might sound good immediately after a heavy meal, but that can lead to even more issues like heartburn and indigestion. That’s because your body is still going to digest your food as you sleep. It’s better to wait an hour or two for your food to settle before you lie down for a nap.

Sit up straight

If you can’t nap, you might as well flop on the couch, right? Not so fast. It’s better to keep your body upright to encourage digestion. Stand up, walk around, or just sit straight in your chair as you chat with your friends.

Go for a walk

Taking a short stroll around the neighborhood is an excellent way to encourage digestion and help yourself feel better. Don’t focus on speed or calorie burn here. Simply enjoy the feeling of moving your body.

Do some gentle stretching

Twist stretches are excellent for moving food through the digestive system. Sit on the floor with your legs extended. Bend your left leg and bring it over your right thigh, placing your foot flat on the floor.

Keep your back straight, and place your left arm behind you for support. Now, take a deep inhale and raise your right arm. As you exhale, gently twist to the left, trying to look over your left shoulder as your right arm comes to rest on the outside of your left leg. Stay here for three breaths before gently releasing and doing it on the other side.

If you’re at a work dinner party or some other function where you can’t easily spread out on the floor, you can do this move from your chair. Keep your legs flat on the floor. Then gently twist your body to the left. Hold for a few breaths, then do the same thing on the right side.

Sip some tea

Stick with herbal teas, especially mint and ginger, as these are good for helping with digestion. The natural sweetness can also serve as a healthy form of dessert.

Stay hydrated

Even though you feel full, you still need to hydrate, especially if your meal was full of sodium. Sip on water the rest of the day and evening. Add some lemon to further aid digestion.

Improve Your Health and Mobility with StretchSPOT

If you’re looking for ways to get healthy this season, try stretching! At StretchSPOT, we’re here to help you gain mobility and flexibility through stretching. Our flexibility technicians can help you improve your overall flexibility and target specific problem areas.

Book your appointment to get started!

Woman in a beanie blowing her nose and screwing up her face

10 Natural Ways to Get Over Your Cold

When you have a cold, you might feel any combination of symptoms—headache, fatigue, dry cough, congestion, muscle aches.

Most colds peak at around 2–3 days, but it could take as long as 14 days for your symptoms to disappear completely.

There isn’t a cure for a cold; however, there are several things you can do to ease your symptoms, so you start to feel more like yourself.

1. Take it seriously

It’s important to treat a cold instead of trying to push through it. In some cases, an untreated cold can lead to more severe problems, like pneumonia or a lung infection. Call your doctor if you feel chest pain, start vomiting, develop a fever, or have other symptoms that don’t feel like a cold.

2. Rest

Don’t try to power through your cold. Taking a break so your body can rest is the best way to fight your symptoms. Even a few hours of extra rest can make you feel better.

3. Do gentle movements

If you have some energy and want to exercise, stick with something gentle, like stretching. Avoid heavy lifting or intense cardio workouts. Stretching during the day will circulate blood and oxygen through your body. Doing some gentle stretches before bed can help you sleep better.

4. Stay hydrated

Keeping your body hydrated is always essential. When you have a cold, getting enough liquids can help loosen congestion so you can breathe easier. Stick to water, herbal teas, and broths. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can both interfere with sleep and make you dehydrated.

5. Get a humidifier or vaporizer

Adding some moisture to the air can help break up congestion. Use a humidifier or a cold air vaporizer. Make sure to change the water daily to avoid mold buildup.

6. Have some chicken soup

This magical meal can ease inflammation throughout your body, helping you feel better. Plus, it’s easy on your stomach and can get nutrients to you in a soothing cup.

7. Have some vitamin C

Overall, researchers seem to agree that, while vitamin C can’t prevent a cold, it can ease symptoms quickly. You can take a supplement or eat citrus fruits, broccoli, or bell peppers as soon as you feel a cold coming on.

8. Gargle with warm salt water

If you have a sore throat, make a saltwater mixture by dissolving a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water. Gargle with it for around 30 seconds at a time. This can help your sore throat feel better and reduce swelling.

9. Elevate your head when you sleep

You know you need extra sleep when you have a cold, but it can be difficult when you’re congested. Elevating your head with an extra pillow can relieve your nasal passages.

10. Take a bath

A nice warm bath with Epsom salt can help ease your aches and pains. Also, taking a bath at night can relax your body and help you sleep better.

At StretchSPOT, we care about your total body wellness. Whether you are an avid athlete or just want to improve your flexibility and balance, our pros are here to help you feel better with customized treatment plans. Book an appointment to get started.

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3 Fast Ways to Heal from a Sports Injury

Whether you’re a weekend warrior, an elite athlete, or somewhere in the middle, getting a sports injury isn’t fun.

A sports injury can mean cutting your season abruptly short or missing out on precious training time for competitive athletes. For recreational athletes, getting injured can interfere with your health goals and cause problems in your personal life, especially if your injury makes it difficult to do routine tasks.

No matter the injury or your athletic status, you want to heal from it fast. We have some ideas that can help you get there.

1. Follow the RICE method

Use the RICE method for soft tissue injuries, which include pulling a muscle or spraining a ligament.

Rest: Resist the urge to “muscle through” an injury. Give your body the break it needs.

Ice: Ice can reduce swelling and inflammation. Apply an ice pack to the injured area for about 20 minutes at a time. Repeat this process 4 – 8 times a day. Don’t forget to wrap the ice pack in a towel to avoid burning your skin.

Compression: Within 48 hours of getting injured, apply compression to limit swelling.

Elevation: Keep the injured limb elevated to reduce swelling. For lower limb injuries, your ankle should be above your hip. For upper limb injuries, you can elevate the area using a sling or pillow.

2. Get a professional opinion

It’s always a good idea to see your doctor when you get injured. Your doctor can tell you what, exactly, you injured and provide a treatment plan for your recovery, which might include physical therapy. Make sure to follow it carefully to ensure that you don’t re-injure yourself or become active too soon.

While a muscle strain will heal itself with time, other injuries are not so easy to manage on your own. If you think you could have broken a bone or suffered another serious injury, don’t hesitate to visit urgent care or the emergency room.

3. Eat a healthy diet

You can’t work out, so now’s the time to order takeout and binge on cookies, right? Wrong. (Unfortunately.)

When your body is injured, it needs all the nutrients it can get to heal. Many sports injuries are caused by inflammation, so you want to eat anti-inflammatory foods.

Make sure you get plenty of lean protein, vitamin C, Omega-3 fatty acids, and calcium. Fueling with fiber-rich foods can keep you feeling full and promote good digestion, which is critical if your injury limits your mobility.

Prevent Future Injuries at StretchSPOT

Once you’re back in the game, it’s important to take steps to avoid future injuries. Stretching before and after workouts can be an excellent way to stay healthy and avoid injuring your muscles.

At StretchSpot, we work with anyone in the South Bay who wants to live an active lifestyle. Our specialists can develop a customized stretching program to keep you limber and healthy while preventing future injuries. Schedule an appointment today to feel the difference quality stretching can make in your overall health.

woman relaxing in a chair

5 Ways to Make Sundays Less Stressful

Some people call it the “Sunday Scaries.” Others just think of it as anxiety at the end of a weekend.

As the weekend comes to a close, you start thinking about the work waiting for you on the other side. Your kids and teens might be feeling the stress, too, as they think about upcoming exams, homework assignments, and sports practices.

While we can’t get rid of Mondays for you, we can help you identify some ways to make Sundays less stressful and more relaxing.

5 Moves to Gently Start Your Week

Worrying about the future isn’t going to stop Monday from arriving. Instead of stressing, try these five tactics to ease into your week.

1. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule

A lot of us look at the weekends as a chance to stay up late and sleep in. But throwing your sleep schedule out of whack can make Sunday a lot more stressful. When you don’t get enough sleep on Saturday night, you can feel more anxious and tired on Sunday. This makes you feel more stressed, especially late in the day. Try to shift your bedtime and wake-up time by no more than 30 minutes on weekends to see if it makes a difference.

2. Practice gentle stretches

Resist the urge to take Sunday off entirely by bingeing your favorite TV show on the couch for 10 hours straight. Instead, make sure you’re getting at least some movement in. Stretching is an excellent way to increase blood flow and relax your mind without doing an intense workout. Stretch before bed on Sunday to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep through the night.

3. Plan ahead

If you get anxious on Sunday because you don’t know what’s in store for you Monday morning, you could benefit from planning. Spending just 30 minutes on Sunday preparing for the week could help you feel calmer about what’s in store. Even better? Plan your week on Friday before logging off for the weekend so you can enjoy your Sunday without worrying.

4. Schedule something fun on Monday

If you dread Mondays, schedule something fun and inviting during it. For example, go out to lunch with friends on Monday, or treat yourself to take out after work. Giving yourself something to look forward to can change your outlook when your alarm goes off Monday morning.

5. See what you can offload

Taking control of your schedule can help you and your family get more enjoyment out of your precious weekends. For example, if you get stressed because your Sundays are taken up with grocery shopping and cleaning, maybe it’s worth paying for grocery delivery or a cleaning service. Likewise, if the idea of running the kids all over town has you in a cold sweat, talk to other parents to see if you can arrange a carpool.

We’re Here for You!

Moving regularly can help you feel better inside and out. Whether you’re an athlete, a nine-to-fiver, or a weekend warrior, stretching services from StretchSPOT can help you move freely as you transition from the weekend to the workweek. Book an appointment to get started!

relaxed sleeping woman in white sheets

5 Ways to Sleep Better When You’re in Pain

It’s hard to sleep when your body is in pain. Whether you’re recovering from surgery, healing from an injury, or have chronic muscular pain and discomfort, you might struggle to find that perfect sleeping position that allows your body to get the rest it desperately needs.

The thing is, getting a good night’s rest starts well before you lay your head on the pillow. While you might not be able to control how your body feels at the end of the day, there are several things within your control that can help you get the rest you need.
5 Steps to A Good Night’s Rest
Here are five things you can do to get better sleep so you can be recharged and ready to face the day.

1. Stick to a Sleep Schedule

Having inconsistent bedtimes messes with your natural circadian rhythm, making it difficult for your brain and body to know when it’s time to rest and when you need to wake up.

Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This lets your body get into a routine so that you will naturally be sleepy when it’s time for bed.

2. Avoid Caffeine Late in the Day

It’s easy to fall into a cycle of feeling groggy all day, then having caffeine in the afternoon that ends up keeping you up at night. Break the habit so you can get to bed without caffeine disrupting you.

Start gently. If you usually have a cup of coffee mid-afternoon, switch to green tea, which has less caffeine. Then, move to herbal tea, which has no caffeine but still allows you to have the same routine of drinking something midday.

3. Consider Getting a New Bed

Your mattress could be the culprit if you can’t get to sleep because of pain. Give it a close inspection. Look for lumps and slopes, which are a sure sign that your mattress has worn out its shelf life.

Before buying the first mattress you see, take the time to lie down on it and see how it feels. Consider your body type when shopping. Soft mattresses can keep your spine aligned if your hips are wider than your waist, while firm ones give more support when your hips are more in line with your waistline.

4. Look at your Medication

If you live with pain, you might take pain-relieving medication. However, some drugs, whether prescription or over the counter, can negatively affect your ability to sleep. Talk to your doctor to see if there’s another option.

5. Calm your Mind and Body Before Bed

Make stretching part of your pre-bed routine to calm down your mind and body. Gentle stretches can help release tension and pain. Spend 5 – 10 minutes at night doing stretches that feel good to you. They can change from day to day, depending on how your body feels and what it needs.

New to Stretching? We Can Help!

At StretchSpot, we help people from all walks of life perform their daily activities more efficiently and safely through stretching. If you’re having trouble sleeping because of muscular pain, let us know. Our professionals can help you find stretches that will ease your pain and promote better sleep. Book an appointment today to get started!

ariel view of oman swimming back stroke in a pool

3 Ways to Maintain Fitness When Traveling

It’s that time of year when a lot of us are starting to dream of going on vacation. Whether you are planning something extravagant or just going to the next town over, your travel plans probably include taking a little downtime.

While you deserve to take a break from your workout routine, it’s important to stay at least somewhat active over your vacation. If you take too much time off from your exercise routine, you’ll start to lose all the gains you have made. Fortunately, you don’t need to log hours on the treadmill while your family has fun at the beach to maintain your fitness.

Stay Fit on Vacation Without Spending Your Days at the Gym

These tips can help you maintain your fitness level when you need a break so that you can come back in the same shape as you were when you left home.

1. Think short and sweaty

You aren’t taking a vacation just to go to the gym, so keep your workouts short and sweaty. A 15-minute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout can burn more calories than a 40-minute moderate-intensity workout. Focus on going all out for 15 minutes a few times during your vacation to increase your heart rate and keep your muscles in shape.

You can find HIIT workouts online or make up your own using whatever equipment is available or bodyweight exercises. A circuit of jumping jacks, squats, pushups, burpees, and mountain climbers will boost your heart rate, plus you can do it all from the comfort of your hotel room.

2. Hit the pool

If your vacation includes a pool, make an effort to do more than just lounge by it. Swim a few laps or just walk around the pool to get your heart rate up and work your muscles. Water adds up to 14 percent resistance compared with land, so walking in the water will help you burn some extra calories.

The same is true for any body of water. Getting into the water at the beach is another great way to have fun and get some extra movement in at the same time.

3. Don’t forget to stretch

The great thing about stretching is that you can do it anywhere! It’s the perfect way to unwind in your hotel room at the end of a busy (or relaxing) day on vacation.

Do some stretches before heading out for the day and at night to relax your tired muscles so you can get some much-needed rest. Gentle stretching can also prepare your body for a long flight or drive, so make sure to stretch before you depart for home.

Stay Loose with Help from the Stretch Spot

Whether you are just getting started with your fitness routine or are an athlete looking to reach that next level, we are here to help you get the most out of your body so you can feel your best with every step you take.

Stretch therapy can help you release tension while improving your posture and flexibility. Schedule an appointment at the StretchSPOT to get started!

man stretccing out his legs on grass

6 Hidden Benefits of Stretching

You might think stretching is only for athletes, but the truth is that everyone, regardless of activity level, can benefit from it. Learning the best ways to stretch for your body can improve your focus, reduce your risk of injury, and even help your digestive system function more efficiently.

It doesn’t matter how flexible (or not) you are right now. Stretching every day will help you move more efficiently and feel better inside and out. Start small, then build on your stretching regimen as you become more flexible and confident.

6 Ways Stretching Benefits Your Health

We hope these six hidden benefits of stretching will encourage you to take up stretching as part of your daily routine.

1. Improved focus and concentration

Pausing your work for a mid-day stretch could be just what you need to refocus your energy on your work. Check out our recommendations for easy stretches you can perform from your desk any time you need a quick break.

2. Relieve aches after a workout

Stretching loosens your muscles, which is critical after a long or grueling workout. Loosening your muscles can help them feel less sore and reduce your risk of injury. By promoting circulation, stretching after a workout can also release toxins and lactic acid build-up that could otherwise leave you feeling achy later.

3. Reduce stress and anxiety

Stretching after a long day can reduce stress and ease tension in your mind and body. Approach stretching with a mindful approach, taking the time to notice how your muscles feel before and after you stretch. Even spending just a few minutes a day stretching can help you free your mind of negative thoughts as you lengthen your muscles.

4. Improve flexibility

Being flexible is about more than being able to do the splits. When your muscles are flexible, your body is better able to perform activities without getting injured or sore. This can include everything from tackling a challenging workout to doing household chores. Flexibility also improves muscle efficiency and endurance, which can help you move more without getting tired.

5. Improve digestion

That uncomfortable feeling you get after eating a large meal can be eased with specific stretches that target your digestive system. Gentle twists can increase blood flow to your bowels and even reduce inflammation, helping those with chronic gastrointestinal issues feel better throughout the day.

6. Ease headaches

Instead of reaching for pain killers the next time you feel a headache coming on, try stretching. Sitting in one position for too long or feeling stressed can cause you to unconsciously contract the muscles in your neck, leading to tension headaches. Spending a few minutes doing gentle neck stretches can loosen these muscles and help your headache go away naturally.

Conclusion

Stretching doesn’t always get the positive attention it deserves. Many people ignore it as part of their workout or daily routine, thinking that a few minutes of stretching can’t make a big difference. The truth is that any amount of stretching throughout the day can help you feel better mentally and physically.

See how stretching can benefit your lifestyle by booking an appointment at StretchSPOT. Our experts can help you understand the best stretches for your body based on your specific needs.

woman in office holding exercise mat

5 Health Tips for Office Workers

Spending your days at the office can quickly take a toll on your body, regardless of whether you work from home or physically enter an office space. Between poor posture, hours upon hours of sitting, and tempting snacks lurking around every corner, office workers face several hurdles when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle.

If you have an office job, here are some easy things you can do to stay healthy during the workday so you can do all the things you love when you’re off the clock.

5 Easy Ways to Stay Healthy in an Office Job

Your health and wellness need to be priorities every day, including when you’re at work. Try implementing easy these ideas into your workday to improve your health for the long-term.

1. Add movement to your day

Research has shown a direct link between sitting all day and an increased risk of mortality and chronic disease. The only way to combat this is to move more instead of spending eight hours (or more) a day sitting. Set a timer to get up and walk for five minutes every hour. Make the extra effort by walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Park further away from the office and suggest walking meetings with colleagues. The more you move, the healthier (and more alert) you will be.

2. Pack a lunch and snacks

Bringing a healthy lunch from home will significantly reduce the temptation of going out to eat and loading up on calories at lunchtime. If you work from home, keep the routine of packing a lunch the same as you would if you had to go into the office. You’ll be less likely to order out or to graze on unhealthy snacks when your stomach starts growling.

3. Take stretch breaks

Sitting in a chair can lead to tight hips, shoulders, and arms. Set a timer every few hours to stretch your chest, neck, arms, hips, and legs. This will help you re-align your body and stay loose to prevent injuries. You’ll likely see an increase in productivity as your body releases endorphins, and your blood starts to flow more efficiently.

4. Plan your workouts

Fitting exercise into your day is crucial when you spend most of your time sitting down. Plan your workouts for either before or after work and do everything you can to make sure you don’t miss them. Sign up for a class at a gym or find a running partner to stay motivated and accountable.

5. Stay hydrated

Keep a large water bottle on your desk and use it throughout the day to make sure you are staying hydrated. Reaching for water instead of another cup of coffee when you hit a mid-day slump can help you feel more energized and lead to increased productivity.

Conclusion

You can still live a healthy life if you have an office job. Make a dedicated effort to move around throughout the day, pack healthy foods, and take care of your body by stretching and drinking water. To learn more about how stretching can help you or get assistance with your stretching, book an appointment with StretchSPOT.

smiling man in front of laptop stretching out his arms

Having Trouble Concentrating? Try Stretching!

We often correlate stretching with exercise. While it’s undoubtedly beneficial to stretch before and after a workout, the benefits of stretching extend well beyond the physical.

Stretching can help you feel better and make it easier to focus throughout the day. Whether you regularly face a mid-afternoon slump or are just feeling stuck in a rut at work, try adding a few simple stretches to your day to jumpstart your mind and get back on task.

The Impact of Posture on Your Focus

How we hold our bodies impacts how we feel, including our ability to concentrate. A recent study from San Francisco University tested students on their ability to perform simple math problems while holding correct posture versus sitting slumped over in poor posture. The students overwhelmingly performed better when they sat upright.

In the real world, we all too often find ourselves slumped over our desks without being prompted. This includes everyone from elementary school students to adults. The average American spends 10 hours a day sitting, often in a slouched position.

We can’t always change the amount of time we spend in a seat. What we can change, though, is how we hold our bodies while we’re seated and the ways we stretch our muscles to help our bodies obtain excellent posture.

Stretches to Improve Posture and Concentration

You don’t need to plan ahead to fit stretching into your day. It can be done anytime, anywhere, with no equipment necessary. Try incorporating these stretches into your workday to get a boost in energy as you reset your posture so you can get back to work.

Arm stretch

Stand inside a standard doorway. Place on hand on the frame at the height of your armpit to support your body weight. Start leaning forward until you feel tension between your biceps and pectoral muscles. Stand here for about 30 seconds, slowly increasing the tension. Then, swing your arm forward and backward a few times before repeating on the other side.

Neck stretch

Sit on your right hand in your office chair with your feet on the ground. Gently extend your neck to the left, trying to reach your left ear to your left shoulder (or however close you can get. Don’t force it if you feel tight). Hold for about 30 seconds. Then, repeat on the other side.

Back stretch

Reverse your curved spine with this back stretch. Sit on the edge of your chair. Plant your feet on the floor. Straighten your arms in front of you, then raise them over your head with your palms facing each other. Draw your arms behind your ears and bend your back slowly until your spine starts to curve backward. Look up at the ceiling as you breathe deep and hold for one minute.

Conclusion

The next time you’re having “one of those days” at work where you just can’t seem to focus on anything, try stretching. You might be surprised at how effective just a few minutes of stretching can be when it comes to increasing your productivity.

To learn more about stretching or to get assistance with your stretching, book an appointment with StretchSPOT. Our experts can help you determine the best stretches for your body and guide you through stretches that will help you feel better inside and out.

Woman smiling and walking and talking with a city backdrop

Sneak More Fitness into Your Day

At first, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendation of getting 150 minutes per week might sound like a lot. Broken down, though, that’s only 30 minutes of activity, five days a week.

Even better! You don’t need to fit 30 minutes of activity in all at once. Breaking your activity down into several short bursts of activity can be just as effective as exercising for 30 minutes at a time.

If you are struggling to find 30 minutes to be active a day, you aren’t alone. A 2018 report from the CDC found that less than 25 percent of Americans achieved the minimum guidelines regularly. Fortunately, there are several ways to sneak activity into your daily routine so you can sit less and move more without feeling the impact on other aspects of your life.

5 Ways to Move More Throughout the Day

1. Walk and Talk

Walk around your office or home the next time you are on a phone call with a colleague instead of sitting at your desk. Even standing instead of sitting will give you benefits by increasing your heart rate and burning a few extra calories.

2. Exercise During Commercials

You don’t need to give up watching TV to be more active. Designate each commercial break to run through a quick workout. Target one muscle group per commercial or do a full-body workout. For example, do 10 jumping jacks, 10 crunches, five pushups, and five squats during each commercial break. You could also march in place until the commercial break is over.

3. Stretch and Cook

Put that awkward time when you are waiting for your meal to heat up in the microwave to good use. Start with some shoulder rolls, then stretch your calves, glutes, hips, and arms. Use this trick at work while you heat your lunch and at home as you cook dinner on the stove.

4. Find Ways to Walk Further

Walking is an excellent exercise, and there are plenty of ways to add it to your day. Park your car far from the door to the grocery store. Use the bathroom on the floor below your office instead of the one that’s only 20 feet away from your desk. Take a walk after meals to improve digestion and keep your blood flowing. Short, five-minute walks quickly add up over the course of a day.

5. Set a Movement Timer

Set a timer on your phone, watch, or computer that will remind you to move regularly. For example, set a timer to move for five minutes per hour. Get up and walk around the building, do some jumping jacks or squats, or just stand and stretch at your desk for five minutes. If you do this once an hour for every hour of your workday, you will have completed more than 30 minutes of activity before you leave the office.

Commit to Moving More

With these easy ways to be more active, there’s no excuse not to meet the minimum activity requirements of moving 150 minutes per week. Commit to moving more throughout the day so you can enjoy the health benefits that come from being more active. Your heart, lungs, mind, and muscles will all thank you.