Hands up anyone who doesn’t enjoy taking a break? I can almost feel the whoosh of air as hands reach for the skies in a frenzy all over this corner of Essex!
Anyone who knows me well enough will know that there is nothing I enjoy more than putting my feet up. Call me lazy if you like, I prefer to call it energy conservation. Hardly doing my bit for the carbon footprint granted. However, conserving the energy within our body plays a key role in the recovery of our muscles. And I like to feel that on most occasions I have earned my moment of relaxation. Mostly anyway!
Of course, I am certainly not advocating the role of the couch potato. Any chiropractor worth his salt will tell you that inactivity is as bad for you as over activity. I am, however, quite well versed in knowing exactly when to take that all important break.
This edition of my newsletter/blog is therefore devoted to imparting this mantra to all of you who care to read it. Therefore empowering you with a valuable tool required in ensuring that you have the energy to fulfill all of your daily chores. And I call this snippet of genius….
‘Time Break’ versus ‘Task Break’.
How often have you been either mowing the lawn, or cutting a hedge and you’ve said to yourself “I’ll just finish this patch of grass” or “I’ll just get to the end of this row, and then I’ll take a break”? Now these are just two examples so if you are not green fingered these may not apply to you, but I bet we can all apply the principle to something in our lives.
This is an example of a Task Break. Taking a break only once the whole task is complete. Very noble, and very psychologically satisfying too. However, that extra five or ten minutes could well be enough for your muscles to reach full exhaustion. Or to put it another way tire them out completely! The possible repercussions of this could mean that some muscles start to spasm, or even little micro-tears form within that muscle resulting in a great deal of discomfort that may require some treatment to help put right. Not to mention getting nothing else done for the rest of the day!
A Time Break is different. Rather than being hell bent on finishing one task in the shortest possible time, set yourself a time limit on how long you work before you take a break.
For example, mow for fifteen minutes, then stop no matter what stage of the task you are at, and do your stretches that your chiropractor has specifically given to you (that should only take approximately one to two minutes in total). Then carry on!
A simple rest and muscle stretch can help remove built up lactic acid (a chemical produced within a muscle due to prolonged contraction of that muscle) and replace it with much needed oxygen, which will allow the muscle to continue to work for a longer period of time, and thus potentally avoiding injury.
So it may take five minutes extra to finish the task. Who cares?! What matters most is finishing the task safely and without injury. And as a result, you may also be able to do another task later on in the day, therefore accomplishing more than you would have done by taking the ill-advised task break.
All good things come to those who wait. More haste less speed. And many other old sayings to boot! Like all things genius, this is simple. The tortoise knew it in his race against the hare. I know it. Now YOU know it.
Happy resting people, see you soon.