Somatic athlete is a term I use after not stretching for well over 10 years, yet have the flexibility at 53, that many 15 year olds have lost.
The practice of somatics allows for easier recovery and is a super easy way to prep for an athletic event and life in general.
Somatic Athlete Uses Intelligence Over Brawn
Given that your brain’s motor cortex can reset the resting levels of muscles naturally and effectively, it makes sense to keep using it so the sensory-motor system continues to evolve for your continued enjoyment with your body in whatever activities you choose.
This past weekend I had the bodily pleasure to play in a national soccer tournament for us seniors.
With each passing game, I could hear an athlete say how tight they had become or what was giving out – and these are the people who play the game.
What kind of preparation did they do?
Did they continue to run more, play more games, lift more weights or do the dreaded stretching thing? All the many usual things we do using our brawn to get us or remain in shape.
Most of those activities involve revving up the muscles, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, unless we can’t recover quickly or feel good after a physical activity.
Many athletes still falsely believe stretching cools them down. Before I get a lot of flack for say that–stretching is bad for us according to the current research.
Is there something else we can do to help us recover or not stay as tight in between our events or games?
The Other Side of the Coin the Somatic Athlete Uses
The brain’s cortex, however, can inhibit muscles. Why is this important?
While you normally activate the muscles in your games and activities, what can you do to actively de-activate them?
By using the brain’s cortex, it can create chemicals of relaxation in the very muscles you used up in your activity. The very ones which become overly contracted, sore or so stiff where you can hardly move and yet can’t wait to get home and do the usual things of icing, warm water soaking, ibuprofens, etc.
These band-aid lame attempts can help some easing, yet they don’tt cause correct nor reset the resting levels of the muscles.
The brain can change how your muscles are responding through cortical inhibition where you learn to tune down or turn off unnecessary muscles from jumping in or substituting. In other words, the effort in movement becomes easier.
However, many recreational athletes continue doing something passively like drinking beer, sitting in the hot tub or icing to take care of the aches since this is what the majority of us have been led to believe or prefer doing.
While those activities can be fun, does it really regenerate the body?
How the Somatic Athlete Preps and Recovers
Preparing the body is key to not only being able to enjoy all the many ways you can play, it also allows you to recover quickly so you can play or participate in your favorite activities more often.
While it’s true adequate hydration, nutrition, and a positive mental attitude are key components for an athlete, you are always moving in your games and your movement system needs to be re-adjusted accordingly.
To re-adjust the movement system and take out the kinks or prepare for an activity is to remind the sensory-motor system of its functional capacity with the added bonus of being left feeling the resulting relaxation which occurs.
Your brain has the ability to relax your body more powerfully than a hot tub and a heckuva lot easier than sitting in ice.
Stressed, over worked muscles need time to recover and that can be enhanced by naturally utilizing our intelligence.
The brain’s cortex can be used to prepare the body and mind for a multitude of physical activities like a soccer tournament, running event, playing volleyball or just enjoying a walk or going out dancing for an evening.
You oughta be able to run at any age without pulling a hamstring or throwing your back out from just bending over.
A somatic athlete can recover and have the confidence to go back into their favorite physical activity sooner rather than later.
Come join me so you can discover how a somatic athlete can both prepare and recuperate in our a variation of the daily maintenance program so you can free yourself naturally, easily and keep on moving & playing well as you age.