HOW TIGHT MUSCLES CAN MAKE YOU FEEL TIRED (and what you can do about it)

Chronic fatigue, adrenal burnout and constantly feeling tired have become everyday struggles for people living in the western societies. I have seen many groups and commercials where supplements are being sold for improving these conditions, but people just seem not to have the answer on how to resolve them completely. As a person that has suffered from stress-related fatigue and found what really works I am here to help you, and you can be damn sure I am not here to sell you any supplements.

THE PROOF IS IN YOUR TIGHT MUSCLES, WELL, SORT OF…

I have often seen this pattern in myself and people that are experiencing chronic fatigue and tiredness, that their upper back, upper chest and shoulder muscles are tight. Thus they are restricting their breathing so that it stays mainly chest-breathing. These people tend to have a high demanding job that requires them to meet deadlines, be at many places in one day or are responsible for a whole project. Other than those people, they can be single parents (this is a big one, especially for women), business owners or professional athletes.

So since this tight upper body pattern is present with most of them, are their tight muscles actually making them tired? Well, sort of…

You see, muscles are innervated by nerves and should there be nothing telling the muscle to contract or “tighten up”, it simply will not. In other words, if you take the nervous system out of your body, your muscles would be as soft as a sponge all the time. This means that it’s not that your muscles are tight, but it’s your nervous system that is making them be that way. And this is what needs our attention.

Now don’t suddenly jump out of your chair on a quest to find supplements for your nervous system, just keep reading and stay too cool for school.

OUR MUSCLES AND NERVOUS SYSTEM SHOULD BE GETTING ACTIVATED, JUST NOT STAY BUZZING 24/7

We live in a fast paced world, whether we are working a demanding job, taking care of our families or even thriving to achieve our athletic potentials. All of these things require our nervous system to work in overdrive. This has a tremendous effect on our physiology and physical body.

Our tasks and duties are heavily emphasizing the activation of the sympathetic branch of the nervous system, the one that proactively handles tension. This is the one that brings our physiology into a high pace catabolic state and also the one responsible for tightening the muscles so they can handle everyday challenges.

This catabolic state is very necessary for our growth and physiology, but the problem arises when staying in this state for the whole day, and not letting your physiology enter the phase of resting and digesting, a state also known as “anabolism”.

The “anabolic” state is provoked and dominated by the parasympathetic branch of our nervous system, and this is the phase where we let our physiology be overrun with anabolic hormones. We let our muscles relax and recover. We let our brain rest and therefore re-fill our body with energy, greater than the level that we have had before.  

OKAY MAN I GET IT, BUT HOW DO I TAKE ADVANTAGE OF WHAT YOU’VE JUST SAID WITHOUT “POPPIN THEM PILLS”?

It’s really simple, I have practiced these methods for a while now and all it takes is a little getting used to them.

You are going to need: breath and body.

Set aside about 20 minutes each day. Sit down, straighten your lower back and breathe. Let your breathing be natural and un-forced. If its shallow chest breathing let it be that way, do not try to force it in any way, just watch it from aside. Now while doing this, perform some basic stretches for your upper back muscles, your chest and shoulders. Try to submit to the stretches rather than forcing them. The mindset you should have here is the same as with the breath, you should let your breath and stretches expand by themselves, without your interference. Little by little, you will notice the breath moving lower and lower in your body, until finally it reaches your lower belly.

Here are some basic neck stretches you can do yourself:

What this will do is activate your parasympathetic nervous system, and thus promote the state of “anabolism”. Your body will start its recovery, and digestion at a great pace. Blood flow will also be enhanced. It is going to relieve your mind of the overwhelming stimulation it received during the day. This is a great practice to do just before going to bed, in order to have a good night of undisturbed sleep.

AND OF COURSE, CONSISTENCY IS KEY!

The more you do this exercise, the greater the benefits of it, and the better you become at it. Try to do it every day for 5 to 15 minutes and see what benefits you get. Not only will you be able to recover faster, but you will tackle everyday tasks with a centered mind, not letting your brain lose itself in stressful and un-resourceful thinking. You will become aware of behaviors, relationships and attitudes that bring you close to psychological and physiological fatigue, and then deal with them accordingly.

It’s simple, all it takes is a little consistency.

Live it up man,
Kalin  

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