Check out these tasty SF spots after your next sweat session.
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Halloween is right around the corner and we all know what that means: sweets. Although treats might be tempting, this season doesn’t have to be all about inducing yourself into a sugar coma. Here’s some handy advice on how to have a healthy Halloween and fit in some fun with your workout, too!
Beware of *terrifying* workouts, as some of your favourite studios put a spooky spin on their regular classes. At FORM in Chelsea, you can expect Halloween specials, such as Haunted HIIT, Monster METcore, Trick or Treat TRX and Pumpkin & PURE, all the while listening to some skin-crawling classics. At Ebb&Flow in Farnham, sign up for Glow in the Dark, part of the studio’s Friday night series, to enjoy a pumpkin-lit vinyasa class to themed music. You’ll be illuminated by UV lights and, to make things extra spectacular, there will be a DIY neon face paint station for people who want to literally flow in the dark.
Ever tried jumping lunges dressed as a superhero or burpees in a catsuit? Didn’t think so! Add some fun to your fitness by dressing the part and encouraging your classmates to do the same. The unfamiliar kit might even change your mindset, as you take on the strengths of a fictional character—think Thor’s hammer throw and Cat Woman’s flexibility. Be on the lookout for studios and classes on the MINDBODY app that are embracing the Halloween theme, such as The Foundry’s ‘Scary Strongman’ (as if CrossFit® wasn’t scary enough!).
Sync up your MINDBODY app to Strava and enjoy a run in the dark! Map a route that will take you down a popular street for trick or treating to keep it interesting, but don’t forget to wear reflective gear so you stay visible (we love lululemon’s tight stuff tights with discreet reflective details). If running isn’t your thing, get in the saddle at CYC:D where you’ll be treated to a high-energy evening spin class to the beat of some spine-tingling tunes (and if you’re lucky, a pumpkin protein shake afterwards to refuel!)
If you’re squeezing in a solo sweat session, then add these classics to your playlist to get you in the mood:
1. Monster Mash – Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett
2. Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr.
3. Superstition – Stevie Wonder
4. Beautiful Monster - NEYO
5. Thriller – Michael Jackson
6. I Put A Spell on You (from Hocus Pocus) – Freak on a Leash
7. Black Cat – Janet Jackson
8. Disturbia – Rihanna
9. Déjà vu – Beyonce
10. Evil Woman – Mike Posner
If you fancy catching a scary film while working up a sweat, then check out Pedal Powered horror at Courage Yard Cinema in Bermondsey. Viewers are encouraged to hop on one of 12 bikes and use their pedalling to power the cinema throughout the screening!
Acupuncture is extremely beneficial for various ailments ranging from digestion to carpal tunnel, but the level of effectiveness varies from person-to-person. I’ve had Sciatica patients spend months combating their back and leg pain, and others hop off the table in two hours, never needing a follow-up appointment. Some rotator cuffs take six weeks; others take two years.
Why is this?
While your body's response to acupuncture depends on the complaint or injury, it also depends on your overall health, and how well you take care of the injured site between sessions. If we eat junk food all the time, are inactive, don’t sleep well, or overwork ourselves, then injury is imminent, and recovery is going to be hard. Equally, if we ignore an injury or don't care for it, then we will likely stay injured for longer.
So, let’s break down what’s best for you when it comes to acupuncture:
“How often should you get acupuncture with specific ailments?”
This is different for everyone, but here are some general guidelines.
More is better.
Acupuncture has cumulative effects, so while most feel relief after one session, it likely will not have resolved the issue. Multiple follow up sessions are needed, and for your own comfort, it’s recommended that you use sessions before the effects have completely worn off each time.
Every time you receive a session, your relief should be more significant, and the effects should last longer—bringing the injury closer to resolution. With this in mind; the worse the injury, the more frequent you’ll want to receive acupuncture. Several times a week is standard, that way you will get out of discomfort faster, and you’ll need fewer sessions overall.
Understanding acute versus chronic ailments.
Some acute symptoms like nausea, dizziness, bleeding, swelling, or anxiety will clear up on the spot. However, for recent injuries pertaining to tissues, like a strained muscle, you can use three acupuncture sessions in one week with great effect. For example, with strained lower back muscles, you will feel less pain in one session, a significant reduction in inflammation and symptoms within three sessions. An ankle sprain is a little more serious and may take two or three weeks, but the general idea is the same.
With stubborn pain, or chronic issues like sciatica, skin rashes, nerve pain, hormone irregularities, it can take a bunch of sessions to see lingering results. Often there will be relief right after each session, but the symptoms return quickly (albeit with a little less vengeance). This just means the results are happening in smaller increments. For this reason, your practitioner will tell you to come in over three times a week for two or three weeks so you’ll get more relief faster, but you can space the sessions out as you begin to feel better.
“What can I do to make my acupuncture benefits bigger?”
As mentioned, how you care for yourself between sessions makes a big difference. Here’s a few pro tips.
Your practitioner will give you specific directions they want you to follow for your ailment, but generally, after an acupuncture visit, it is wise to drink a lot of water and rest.
Here’s the obvious thing we don’t often consider. If you get instant relief for your pulled hamstring, but then you go running the next day, it’s going to take forever to heal! That injured body part needs to be pampered and catered to. Your acupuncturist will give you food, supplement, lifestyle, and movement suggestions to use between sessions– use them all.
I’ve seen countless patients walk in with frozen shoulder, spend 90 minutes in the chair with various points and stimulation techniques, and then leave swinging their arm painlessly with 50% more range of motion. If they eat well, do their physical therapy, and are kind to their shoulders, the effects will last. Then, next time, we can add another 50% on to their range of motionBut, if they paint a house or swing a baseball, then I see them go right back to square one overnight. How we take care of ourselves between sessions really matters.
You will want to note any changes; no matter how small or irrelevant they seem. Your practitioner is armed with many protocols and techniques. They will always start with the combo that they’ve seen work best for your complaint, from there they will work backward or tweak it slightly based on the information you give them. Make sure to tell them every detail, even if it seems unrelated.
One lady, with unrelenting pain, finally revealed a game-changing nugget to me while nonchalantly laughing about her need to wear neck scarves everywhere. I found out she had been experiencing chills and had a significant aversion to wind during the summer. This “irrelevant” snippet made me radically change the protocol, and she was pain-free and healing rapidly within four sessions.
So, there you have it. How acupuncture benefits various body parts depends on the area concerned, but also on how we treat our bodies before, during, and after injury.