Monday, May 23, 2011
My friends often wonder how I recover from fatigue so fast. Here I share some of my experiences with you to help you gain more energy quickly after exercise.
1. Food Recovery: Liquid
Two-thirds of the human body is water. People lose a lot of water and sodium after exercise or other activities in the summer. You will feel tired if you don’t have enough water in your body. Drinking enough (lightly salted) water will help recovery. You can also eat fruits and vegetables such as watermelon or oranges which contain a lot of liquid.
2. Food Recovery: Calories
People burn calories while hiking or doing other exercises. Protein and sugar are two major sources of calories for your body. That’s why egg drop soup, chicken soup or sweet hot chocolate will help you recover from fatigue.
3. Removing Lactic Acid: Take a shower
You are tired after exercise because your body accumulates lactic acid. Taking a shower will help you feel refreshed and remove lactic acid. Contrasting showers (alternating between hot and cold water) helps flush out lactic acid, helping you to become more energetic.
4. Removing Lactic Acid: Sleep
Sleep will help you through metabolic pathways, removing lactic acid and bringing back your energy.
5. Adjust Your Body: Massage
Fatigue also happens when you use certain body parts too much. For example, if you go kayaking, your shoulders or arms might get sore. Or, if you stare at the computer too much, your eyes might get tired. Get a massage to relax specific body parts, or even a whole body massage to relax them all.
6. Adjust Your Body: Acupuncture
Your blood circulation might not work well if your muscles are tight after a long exercise. Acupuncture can help you relax by touching these points and helping blood circulation.
7. Adjust Your Body: Tai Chi
Of course I must mention Tai Chi! Through Tai Chi exercise, you can slow down your breathing, quiet your mind, stretch and relax your body parts, massage your joints, improve your blood circulation and renew your body.
Copyright by Huan's Tai Chi 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
Many beginners have knee issues when they first start Tai Chi. They may complain of knee pain or express concern that they are not positioning their knees correctly.
I have come up with a few suggestions to address knee issues when practicing Tai Chi:
1. Do Enough Warm-ups
Before practicing Tai Chi, do some warm-ups to relax your body and adjust and stretch your joints so your body and legs are not tight before you get started.
2. Bend Your Knee Slightly, Even When Standing Straight
Even when you have a stance requiring you to stand straight up, bend your knee a tiny bit. This will help loosen your knee joint as you bend your knee, squat down, and raise your knee.
3. Avoid Passing Your Knee Beyond Your Toe or Behind Your Heel
A lot of body weight will rest on your knee if your knee passes your toe while in a bow stance or horse stance. Your knee will also hurt if it is behind your heel while in a bow stance.
4. Avoid Sudden Moves
Do everything slowly as your teacher instructs. Don’t make sudden moves. Sudden stretching, pulling, or pushing can hurt your knee.
5. Keep Your Body Vertical in Every Form
Having a tilted body position can impact your knee. Have your teacher correct your posture while in all of the different stances: standing posture (Wu Chi stance); bow stance (Single Whip or Brush Knee); empty stance (White Crane Spread Its Wings); horse stance (Cloud Hands); and crouching stance (Snake Creeps Down). When you can hold your body vertical in every form, you will be less likely to experience knee pain.
6. Move Your Whole Body Together
When part of your body moves and part of your body does not, it can cause an unbalance that often results in knee pain. This pain is due to the fact that the knees have to maintain your weight to keep your body balanced. Coordinating you whole body and moving together will solve this problem.
7. Don’t Overwork Yourself
If you are older and your knees are not strong enough to go lower, stay higher. That will help you for now. Once your knees get stronger, then you can go little bit lower.
Copyrighted Huan's Tai Chi 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
Photo by courtesy of Lavelk
Confucius is famous for his teachings on self-improvement and learning. Here are some of his words to brighten our day.
Confucius said, “With any three people walking, one can be my teacher.” What he means is that one cannot judge a person by his or her appearance. In any situation, you might find someone who has more knowledge than you in some areas. Respect others and learn from the strength and knowledge that each person brings.
To my Tai Chi students: Can you learn something new from your classmates, from either their strengths or mistakes?
Confucius said, “I’m lucky to have others to show that I have mistakes.” Confucius thinks it’s essential to correct your own mistakes and to accept the mistakes of others. He suggests that we don’t blame people for their past mistakes.
To my Tai Chi students: Don’t feel ashamed to have made a mistake. Actually it’s a good thing! If you can identify a mistake, it means you’ve found an opportunity to improve. Be glad and excited!
Act on Learning
Confucius thinks it’s OK to learn slowly, but it’s not OK not to act.
To my Tai Chi students: After you learned from the class, did you practice and review? It’s OK to progress slowly in Tai Chi, but you must move forward every day.
Debriefing: Checking In On Yourself
Sheng Tzu was one of Confucius’s top students. He learned Confucius’s wisdom very well.
Sheng Tzu said, “I am simpleminded. At the end of each day, I only check myself on three items:
1) Did I make my best effort to finish the work I have been processing during the day?
2) Did I try to do what I have promised to my friends?
3) Did I review and study the knowledge my teacher has taught me?”
To my Tai Chi students: Enough said above. Did you make your best effort in learning Tai Chi and doing it as you promised to yourself during the class? Did you review and practice at home what you learned from your teacher?
As a conclusion, we can see that being humble, facing your mistakes, acting, and stopping and self-checking are some qualities that Confucius would exhibit if he were taking a Tai Chi class.
Copyrighted by Huan's Tai Chi 2011