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What is Athletic Recovery, and why do we all need a stretch and breathwork routine?


girl doing a hip flexor stretch


Founder of the SWS Method, Shannon Watson, RN wants you to start using this stretch and breathwork program to transform the way you move and feel.


SWatson Solutions is a stretch therapy program dedicated to mindfulness and recovery that has been making waves in the field of athletic performance. Her holistic approach to mental and physical health is grounded in evidence-based science and restorative yoga, and has taken the likes of professional athletes, and D1 sports teams alike. With the introduction of her new digital program, 8 Week Total Body Reset, Watson’s methodology is now accessible to everyone, from athletes & health enthusiast to beginners, along with sports teams everywhere.


What is The SWS Method and Athletic Recovery?


SWatson Solutions is a stretch therapy program different from any other workout or yoga programs that have come before. Grounded in scientific data, the program takes into account the effects that yoga, mindfulness, and breathwork have on neuromuscular and cognitive optimization. Within Watson’s program, individuals focus on stretch and relaxing breathwork techniques to decrease the buildup of stress and inflammation within the body. The program additionally combines many elements of athletic recovery, including mobility training, stretch

myofascial release, and compression, intense hydration, key nutrition, and sleep recovery. These elements combined together in one program enforce the goal of establishing a healthy body and sound mind.


What is Stretch and Athletic Recovery?

SWatson Solutions puts an intense focus on stretch and athletic recovery. The tenets of this system include slow stretch exercises done alongside breathwork to help restore and optimize the body’s neuromuscular and cognitive functions. These terms refer to making the body’s muscles and nerves work as effectively as possible, in turn seeing improved brain health in regard to judgment, focus, memory, perception, reasoning and physical movement. Taking care of your wellbeing means focusing on not only your physical progress, but your mental health as well, and Watson takes every step to emphasize this in her method.

There are many techniques used by Watson to help improve muscle function and recovery. These exercises help improve muscles by minimizing cellular waste build-up and micro-tears which may have occurred during intense activity, aiding in athletic recovery. A few examples of the components that make up athletic recovery and are:


Active Cooldown

Cooling down after exercise is just as necessary as warming up beforehand. With active cooldown techniques, you can gradually decrease your blood pressure and heart rate to help prevent blood from pooling in your limbs. This pooling contributes to the soreness and fatigue you can feel after a workout, so maintaining a proper cool-down routine is very beneficial for alleviating your muscle soreness.


Myofascial Release

Myofascia is the connective tissue that is found throughout your entire body. The myofascial system is what allows the body to move fluidly and freely. If stiffness and pain set in, however, it can greatly disrupt their function, leaving you with less mobility. Myofascial release techniques focus on improving blood circulation and decreasing pain and tenderness throughout your body, to help restore and support your mobility.


Foam Rolling

Foam rolling is a technique for helping to alleviate muscle soreness and tightness. By utilizing a foam roller (which comes in different firmness and textures for your level of comfort) you can more efficiently alleviate your discomfort.


Sleep and Rest

Among all of the active measures you can take to support your physical and mental health, the most important responsibility you have to your body is to rest. Sleep is important for allowing your muscles to recover and rebuild themselves after intense activity. It also supports your mental health by improving your memory, mood, and other important functions.


Key Nutrition

Like your body needs rest, proper nutrition is necessary for keeping your body healthy. For athletes, the times periods before and after a workout are very important in order for your body’s recovery. Be sure to supply your body with healthy carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, and avoid processed foods and sugars. Eating fruits and vegetables throughout the day will help you to get the necessary vitamins your body needs to thrive as well.


Hydration

Nutrition is not very helpful without proper hydration. Watson enforces that hydration is critical for adequate recovery.


These are just some of the many different aspects of recovery that Shannon emphasizes with SWatson Solutions. You can learn much more about the various features of her process by visiting her site (you can even view testimonials from those who have benefitted from her guidance before).


What are the benefits of stretching?


Professional athletes know better than anyone the value of stretching for their recovery, and SWatson Solutions has served many athletes by developing their recovery process. No matter what league or level of sport, all athletes will be subjecting their bodies to intense physical activity, and their minds to significant pressure. All of these people will have a routine in place to help address this and ensure that their recovery and continued efforts are well supported.


For the everyday person, this approach is still important. If you are physically active, then your body will be subjected to some level of wear and tear. It is important that you consider your well-being and don’t write off the necessity for recovery because your activity may not be as intensive as professional athletes or other individuals.


SWatson Solutions provides a large variety of physical and mental health benefits that absolutely anyone can take advantage of. These include improved mobility, decreased stress, better rest, reduced anxiety, increased energy, and better focus throughout one’s day. These benefits combined result in greater overall health, maximized performance, and increased happiness within oneself.


What are the benefits of Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a key component of stretch and athletic recovery, but what is it? According to The University of California at Berkeley, Mindfulness can be described as “maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens.” With roots in meditation, mindfulness opens our eyes to a more accepting vision, allowing us to view life and situations with a clearer lens.

As much as having a healthy physical body is important for living an active life, you cannot overlook the value of your mental health. Stress, anxiety, and any other mental obstacles can severely disrupt your willingness to complete your responsibilities and find happiness in your life. This is why Watson places so much focus into not only physical recovery and wellbeing, but mindfulness as well. If you want to have a healthy, functioning body, you need to take care of your mind as well.


What is Breathwork ?


The recovery techniques mentioned so far have been exercises that engage many areas of your body with intense or light activity. However, breathwork is a more “passive” recovery technique that Watson emphasizes in her practice.

With the many health benefits that breathwork can provide, it is surprising that breathwork is not incorporated enough in other therapy programs. Breathing throughout a workout and the rest of your day can help promote calmness and stronger focus of the mind through:

  • Expanding the diaphragm at 100% capacity.

  • Increasing oxygen in the blood, helping with your level of energy.

  • Reducing blood pressure, allowing your body to cool down and begin a more comfortable process of recovery.


Achieve better recovery through SWatson Solutions


Shannon Watson designed SWatson Solutions with the goal of helping individuals find a better path to health that is supported not only by their physical health, but their mental health as well. Since then, she has helped professional athletes and sports teams achieve better results, and now she wants to support these results for everyday people around the world.



You can learn more about how Shannon has supported her clients on her site. There you can view her testimonials, courses, and method. Join her, and begin a better path to physical and mental recovery.


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