Breathe, Move, and Feel Your Best with Dana Santas Pt. 2

In part one, mobility, strength, and mind-body coach Dana Santas shared her journey toward becoming the Mobility Maker, along with her advice on improving breathing biomechanics and how breathing plays a role in both mobility and recovery.

In part two, Dana returns to share some of her strategies for stress, how to jumpstart a fitness routine, and why when it comes to wellness – Thorne is her go-to provider for healthy living.

Q: What led you to Thorne? 

The products and the people are equally amazing. Not only does Thorne make supplements that have literally changed my health and life, I feel like I’ve made lifelong friends with super smart, capable people who comprise my Thorne family. Shout out to Will, Paz, Mike, Joel, Bryan, Jacob and Kim as well as everyone else who supports me.

Q: Do you have any favorite Thorne supplements? Why are they your favorite? 

Meriva!  No question that Meriva is my favorite. It was the first Thorne supplement I ever tried and there was no turning back after that. I have dealt with joint issues most of my adult life. I tried so many different supplements to alleviate my symptoms and had pretty much given up when I was introduced to Meriva. Within only a couple of weeks, I noticed an incredible difference in my joints.* I realize this is just my personal experience and not everyone has the same experience with Meriva but, for me, it was like a miracle.

I’m also diagnosed with hypothyroidism and have been able to work with Thorne to figure out a Thyroid health supplement protocol that has shown in my bloodwork to be more effective than the medication I had been taking for years prior. It’s been five years now off medication and my Thyroid function levels remain strong in blood tests.*

Q: How has Thorne played a role within your recovery, training, and performance programs? 

Because Thorne isn’t just a supplement company but also very invested in research and education, over the years, as I’ve learned so much about supplements I can use personally and recommend to athletes to optimize every aspect of performance. I’m a big fan of Catalyte, Creatine, Whey Protein Isolate, Recovery Pro and Magnesium Bisglycinate.

Q: In today’s increasingly stressed-out society, many people are in need of outlets to help them manage their stress better and find a sense of calm. Can you give us a background of FocusCalm and the ideas behind it? 

Yes—with ever-increasing stressors bombarding us in our daily lives, I am so glad that mental training is becoming more mainstream and not just something available to elite athletes and celebrities. I am a big proponent of prioritizing mental health, so I was excited to partner with Harvard-backed FocusCalm, to share my science-based breathing protocols, using their neurofeedback technology to help people train and improve their ability to manage stress and optimize their mental state.

FocusCalm is a brain-training wearable that helps improve your focus and calm your mind. Using EEG technology to analyze electrical activity in your brain, it shows your FocusCalm score in real time; a low score means your brain is under heavy workload, while a high score means you’re calm and focused.

Throughout the app, you’ll find my breathing and visualization programs, including “Breathing is a Super Power” and “Stress-Less Breathing,” as well as a variety of other neurofeedback games, activities and sports psychologist-created meditations to help you learn how to calm your mind and challenge your skills to perform better under pressure.

Q: What are some of your favorite methods or ways you teach people to optimize their health and aging through fitness, nutrition, and other wellness routines? 

Teaching people to breathe better is not only my favorite method but also the starting point of my work with any athlete in any sport or circumstance. Just practicing six, deep breaths with a focus on mobilizing lower ribs not only calms the mind by tapping the parasympathetic nervous system but improves posture, releases tension and enhances mobility. Breathing really is a super power.

Q: What advice do you have for someone looking to jumpstart their fitness routine, but doesn’t know where to start? 

I wrote an entire 7-part “Reboot your workout” series for CNN to help people with just that, so I would highly recommend checking that out.

Q: What’s the best piece of fitness/training secret or advice you’ve learned over the years that you’d like to share with our readers? 

Remember: you don’t know what you don’t know! Keep a humble, student mentality because there is always more to learn.

Special note: This blog was originally published on Thorne’s Take 5 Daily blog.

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