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How a Senior Workout Will Improve Your Health and Well-Being

Regular exercise is a vital part of healthy living as a senior. It not only helps keep muscles in good condition, exercise also strengthens the body. Working out is also a fun way to meet new people, and a terrific method of weight loss.

Just like workouts designed for younger generations, senior workouts are beneficial to both the mind and the body.

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Senior workouts can be simple. There is no need for complex and difficult movements. There are some workout programs designed specifically for seniors, with slow-paced exercises that gently increase the heart rate and strengthen muscles gradually. Building and strengthening muscles makes the body stronger, and a strong body is the best protection against injuries from slips and falls.

There are a wide range of workout programs available for seniors. Most gyms and fitness centers offer senior exercise programs, as well as many senior centers. Home gym equipment can also be used, or one of the many exercise videos on the market. Some of the best exercises for seniors can be performed at home or at the park with no gym membership and little equipment.

Yoga and aerobics programs are excellent for seniors. These programs are offered at many gyms and fitness centers and are often designed just for seniors. There are also a number of videos available with senior yoga and aerobics workouts. Yoga is a great workout for stretching and extending the body, and is extremely relaxing as well. An aerobic workout, on the other hand, increases the heart rate and strengthens various muscles throughout the body.

Strength training workouts for seniors are equally beneficial and usually only require two to three days of working out each week. These workouts build and strengthen muscles, reducing the chance of injury from a fall, and improve balance. Some strength training programs focus on the entire body, while others target a specific set of muscles, like the arms or legs.

Walking is a terrific senior workout that can be done anytime and anywhere with no special equipment. Walking is a great way to spend time outdoors, it is also a wonderful workout for the heart. Brisk walking is the best way to strengthen muscles and raise the heart rate. To preserve energy, seniors may want to alternate between fast-paced, brisk walking and an easier stroll. Walking workouts can even be used by seniors who may have trouble walking by only going short distances, using a walker if needed, and by taking lots of breaks.

Not all senior workout programs involve exercise mats and stretching. There are many fun and enjoyable ways to stay active. Swimming, golfing, and even dancing are all ways for seniors to stay fit. There are many ways to make senior workouts exciting. Planning group fitness activities is a great way for seniors to interact socially as well as exercise.

Before beginning any type of senior workout program, always consult with a doctor first. Safety should be the primary concern, so follow the doctor’s orders and adhere to any necessary precautions he may recommend.

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Physical Yoga Practice for Active Seniors

An active lifestyle is one of the keys to a long life. In our elder years, it is important to keep moving in order to enjoy the wonderful essence of life. Yoga is a fantastic activity for seniors, as it is low impact, promotes overall wellness, and can be modified to suit the mobility of any practitioner.

If you have been practicing Yoga for many years, you will see your youth extended, and your ability to practice is mildly affected as you age. Even if you are well into your senior years, and have never stepped foot on Yoga mat, it is never too late to start a healthy habit (though it is important to follow your body’s own pace).

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Yoga is especially beneficial for seniors because it caters to many of their special health needs. In some cases, Yoga is useful because it helps ease the pains caused by arthritis and limited mobility. It improves balance and stability, reducing the chance of falls.

When practiced regularly, Yoga also is known to lower blood pressure. Yoga classes, geared toward seniors, can also help them establish a sense of community with one another and adopt a better outlook on life.

If a senior is a beginner to Yoga, it is best to start off slow, and go at his or her own pace. There is no need to try to push the body to do something that it has not been trained to do before. Applying force in Yoga can cause problems, regardless of a student’s age. It is always wise to move through the poses slowly and gently. Adjust the intensity, and time, held in a pose, to meet the body’s unique demands. Some of the best poses for seniors to try are relaxing, restorative, and gentle stretching postures. The corpse pose (Savasana) is great because it promotes relaxation and healthy blood flow.

Table, Cat, and Cow poses connect one’s breathing to body movements and can be very beneficial to seniors, as well. Pose of a Child is another relaxing posture, which is good for everyone. If mobility is a big issue, Chair Yoga might be the right style to choose. With Yoga practice, at a studio or senior center, students will bring their practice home.

This is time to try some gentle postures, flows, meditation, and breathing exercises (pranayama). Each of us has different expectations from Yoga practice, and seniors are no different. Senior Yoga students tend to have a deep appreciation for being pain free, keeping the mind active, energizing the body, and experiencing complete wellbeing.

With a little help from Yoga, and a positive state of mind, each of us can get the best quality life out of our golden years. Remember, it is never too late to create a healthy lifestyle, stimulate the mind, and tone a healthier body. Yoga practice for active seniors is “the icing on the cake.”

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Beginning Yoga Classes for Seniors

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Over millions of seniors, age 60 and older, are practicing yoga today across the globe, according to a study conducted by yoga journal. This is not a surprise indeed as this exercising system has several benefits attached to it for people of all age groups.

Yoga is reckoned as the non-competitive and gentle method of meditation and exercise that is suitable for all age groups, even seniors can enjoy the benefits offered by this exercising system.

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Features

The beginning yoga session for seniors is similar to the general beginning yoga for all. However, there are some differences in the classes offered to the seniors. The classes for seniors have modifications to postures that help the seniors to practice the postures easily and work within their physical abilities. The classes designed for seniors usually have less intense poses that focus on building strength in seniors. The classes for seniors comprise more time for warming up and additional time for mediation and breathing techniques are the prime focus on the classes for seniors.

Benefits

There are many benefits associated with this exercising system for seniors. This form of art can be practiced by anyone and at any level. The postures are modified for the seniors according to their health condition and physical ability. There are some postures that can improve flexibility in seniors and these special postures can be very helpful for seniors experiencing stiffness. There are many seniors who are suffering from depression and they find this exercising system quite helpful to alleviate the stress level and depression.

This exercising system is also very helpful for seniors who are suffering from the health conditions associated with aging including cholesterol levels, energy levels, blood pressure, bone weakness, blood sugar levels, and back pain. With regular practice of this exercising system seniors can also prevent diabetes, weight problems, strokes and heart diseases.

Types

According to Yoga Journal, there are some specific postures designed for senior practitioners and these postures focus on improving flexibility, strength and balance. Some of senior yoga classes also comprise backward and forward bends and twists. Corpse postures, Cross-legged Postures and Mountain Postures are the basic postures that are suggested to senior practitioners.

Warning

Although this exercising system is gentle in nature, but there are some postures that can be too intense for senior practitioners. So, it is always suggested to consult your doctor before starting any yoga program. The selection of postures must be done according to the body and physical condition. Some of the yoga studios make use of props to assist the senior practitioner in performing diverse postures. The studios make use of chair for seniors, instead of practicing on floor. So, you must enroll in yoga studio that specializes in offering yoga classes for seniors.

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Gentle Stretching for Increased Flexibility (Senior Yoga)

Many senior citizens find that their mobility, flexibility and body strength has certain limitations. This can be due to injuries, the aging process, arthritis and other health conditions. There is also in some people a fear of falling and concern of the recovery involved in breaking a hip.

On the other side of things, many elderly people have more free time and wish to increase their blood circulation, range of motion and stay in shape. Women are advised by their physicians to exercise to help with bone density. Exercise is also advised for heart health and to maintain blood pressure levels.

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Fortunately, there are forms of yoga that help one stay active yet take into account some of the limitations that many people have. Senior yoga classes can include restorative yoga, gentle yoga and chair sessions. Breathing, relaxation, gentle stretching and body strengthening are part of the classes, but done much less vigorously than ashtanga or other types of classes. Of course, in any yoga class, one can modify the movements and do them in accord with one’s own circumstance.

It is important to not spend the days only in sedentary living but to continue some type of physical activity routine unless your doctor advises against it. Not only is this important physically, but mentally it is very encouraging and lifting to the spirit to be able to do some physical movements that might have seemed impossible. Senior yoga classes also are a social setting where friendships can be built and new interactions broadened.

Some people feel cautious of trying yoga because some of the postures or asanas can appear to be contorted or required developed balancing skills. Yoga for seniors classes are taught with modifications so that people with any degree of flexibility can join in. The teacher will discuss with students how to adapt poses for various conditions and situations so that you are comfortable and still challenge yourself.

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5 Hatha Yoga Poses That Can be Performed a Home

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Hatha is comprised of many different asanas or poses as well as breathing techniques highly recommended for beginners doing yoga at home.

Here are 5 easy Hatha yoga poses you can learn:

Hatha

1. Lotus Pose

One of the easiest Hatha yoga poses, this pose teaches awareness, meditation and patience.

How to do it:

Start in a sitting position with your legs stretched out in front of you. Slowly bend your right leg and bring your foot close to your left groin. Then bend your left leg and slide it gently on top of the right. Keep the soles of your feet perpendicular to the floor. Bring your hands to prayer position in chest level, take several deep breaths then relax.

2. Plow Pose

This pose stretches and strengthens both your back and leg muscles. It’s a good pose to learn to help improve flexibility when doing yoga at home.

How to do it:

Start by lying on your back with your arms by your sides. Bend your knees slowly, bringing the soles of your feet close to your buttocks. Raise your heels towards the ceiling and with your arms and back pressed to the floor, lower your legs over your head as close to the floor as you can. Hold for 4-5 breaths before going back to the starting position.

3. Staff Pose

This Hatha yoga pose stretches the back of your legs, opens your chest and lengthens your spine.

How to do it:

Begin this pose in a sitting position, your legs stretched in front of you. Place your hands behind your hips with your fingers pointing away from you. With your back straight and your shoulders relaxed, slowly press your chest forward. Stretch your arms then pull your toes toward you. Hold this pose for 3-6 breaths.

4. Standing Forward Bend

Another easy pose to learn when doing yoga at home is the Standing Forward Bend. It helps stretch the legs, the hips and the spine while keeping the knees flexed. It is also known to help improve circulation.

How to do it:

Stand straight with your feet apart hip-width. Stretch your spine as you inhale then bend forward as you exhale. Place your hands under the front of each foot. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute then inhale before going back to the starting position.

5. Bridge Pose

The Bridge pose helps strengthen the back, buttocks, neck, spine and thighs. It is also another Hatha yoga pose that helps improve circulation.

How to do it:

Start by lying on your back with your arms at your sides and your knees bent. Move your heels as close to the buttocks as possible before slowly raising your hips upwards. Press your shoulder blades down and slightly lift your chin. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

When doing yoga at home, practice these easy Hatha yoga poses first before moving on to more complicated poses.

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3 Effective Yoga Poses for Back Pain

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Since the practice focuses on stretching to improve body strength and flexibility, further studies show that people who take yoga or stretching classes cut back on pain medications for back pain twice as much compared to those who don’t.

While yoga isn’t recommended for those suffering severe back pain, the practice can give relief to those who experience back aches occasionally. As a safety measure, be sure to first consult your doctor about your new physical regimen especially when you’re prone to pain.

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So if you want to get rid of your back aches or pains for good, here are the top 3 most effective yoga poses that can help relieve back pain:

1. Downward-Facing Dog

The Downward-Facing Dog is one of the most simple yoga poses for back pain. It is great for stretching the whole body, targeting your lower back muscles. This pose also supports the spine.

How to do it:

Begin this pose with your hands and knees, making sure that your hands are slightly in front of your shoulders. With your back pressed, slowly lift your tailbone up towards the ceiling by raising your knees away from the floor. Hold this position for 5-10 breaths and repeat the process five to seven times.

2. Cat and Cow Pose

Another easy pose you can try when doing yoga for back pain is the Cat and Cow Pose. This basic yoga pose stretches and loosens the back muscles for instant relief. It is usually used as a warm-up pose or a part of a regular yoga routine.

How to do it:

Begin in all fours. Then do the cat pose by arching your back and pressing your spine up. Hold this position for a few seconds before transitioning to the cow pose. To do the cow pose, scoop your spine in, press your shoulders back then lift your head. Move back and forth from the cat pose to the cow pose ten times.

3. Child’s Pose

If you’re looking for simple yoga poses for relieving back pain, the Child’s Pose is what you need to learn. It is a resting pose that actively stretches and elongates your back.

How to do it:

Begin on all fours, your arms stretched out in front of you. Slowly sit back so that your glutes or butt muscles rest (but not touch) above your heels. Hold this pose for five to ten breaths and repeat as many as you want for a relieving, soothing stretch.

To ensure that your back pain is relieved through these simple yoga poses, take time to do some light stretches beforehand. Yoga for back pain is an effective relief, but be sure that you don’t over stretch your muscles especially when you’re a beginner. Otherwise, your back ache will only worsen.

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Yoga Poses for Newbies

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Yoga is a system of unique exercises and postures that helps you attain mental and bodily control and promotes wellbeing. It helps realize your “self” its distinction from mind, body and will, thus helping it in attaining liberation. The benefits of this ancient art are enormous, ranging from physical and emotional health to spiritual benefits.

Yoga postures, also known as asanas, help promote the physical wellbeing of an individual by improving blood circulation, reducing weight, relieving respiratory problems especially asthma, reducing risk for cardiovascular disease, and normalizing blood pressure levels.

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When performed on a regular basis, yoga exercises improve physical strength and stamina, and reduce the risk for falling and associated injuries. Numerous researches have revealed that yoga helps reduce the amount of toxins absorbed by one’s body tissues, thus slowing down their deterioration.

Yoga helps improve your level of concentration and enhances mental clarity. At an advanced level, yoga has also been shown to help in developing psychic powers. Moreover, yoga helps unite your “self” with the environment and the people around you.

If you are a newbie in this field, then there are numerous yoga poses for beginners that can help you control your “self” and take you to the next level. Remember that yoga is comprised of three main modules namely exercise, breathing and meditation and there are separate beginner poses for each of these modules.

Some popular beginner poses for the exercise module include Tada Asana, Kona Asana, Trikonasana, Uttanpanda Asana, Markat Asana, Leg Rotation Asana, and Yoga Mudra. Tada Asana makes an excellent pose for beginners as it helps improve stretching, increases flexibility and increases height. Kona Asana strengthens the bones and relieves joint inflammation.

Trikonasana strengthens the back muscles and helps reduce back ache. Uttanpanda Asana has been shown to relieve indigestion and other gastrointestinal problems. Markat Asana is a supine yoga pose that promotes flexible back. Leg Rotation Asana makes an excellent supine yoga pose for those beginners who are looking for permanent weight loss. Yoga Mudra is a sitting yoga pose that helps in retaining beauty and youthfulness.

Yoga beginner poses for breathing module include Vajra Asana, Padam Asana, and Sukh Asana. Vajra Asana, also known as Diamond Pose, improves the function of lungs and cures varicose veins. Padam Asana, also known as Lotus Pose, improves cardiovascular disease and promotes peace of mind. Sukh Asana or Easy Pose is meant for people who find it difficult to execute Vajra Asana and Padam Asana.

Beginner poses for yoga meditation module include Bal Asana and Yoga Nidra. Bal Asana makes an excellent beginner pose for the relaxation of soul and body. Yoga Nidra is a meditation pose that promotes deep sleep, improves intelligence and promotes clarity of mind.

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Yoga: Postures and Poses

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Yoga has become a very popular form of exercise, however, some styles focus primarily on physically working the back, for instance: the most important Yoga poses in this case will differ from others, remaining the most important Yoga poses for another kind of Yoga.

There are also very difficult one might focus on in other styles of Yoga designed to stretch and strengthen other specific parts of the body, and many that work the entire body, treating the body as left and right equals yin and yang.

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There are specific Yoga poses for the floor parts of Yoga exercise, as well as the more familiar standing Yoga poses.

One of the most basic kinds of standing Yoga poses one will learn in Yoga is what is called the tree balance. In this balance you will:

  1. Prepare as always by checking the posture and lifting through the torso, pushing your shoulders down.
  2. Hold your eyes on one object diagonally or straight forward for the entire pose.
  3. Stand with your feet together.
  4. Lift up onto the balls of your feet.
  5. Rock your weight back, onto your heels.
  6. Strengthen the right leg shifting all of your weight and lift your left leg slowly up so that your foot lays flat, toes down, resting on your right inner thigh.
  7. Your arms slowly lift up to what is called the prayer position: both palms meeting directly above the top of the head–the full body in perfect alignment. Meeting above the crown chakra and lengthening all the way through the body.

The benefits of practicing this posture are many. It will result in remarkably noticeable balance and grace.

The posture requires balance, focus and concentration–all the basic guidelines of Yoga–both spiritual and physical are involved in Yoga poses. The tree balance is one of the many Yoga poses where the key is to relax and clear your mind. Not thinking about the difficulty of the pose itself–releasing tension–that is the mental aspect of several complex positions–without which many Yoga poses would be virtually impossible to hold.

This is one of the most well known Yoga postures. However, there are many. Including, as I mentioned before, many floor Yoga poses. Focus and breath–this is how you remain in any of the Yoga poses.

One example of the floor Yoga poses is the snake:

  1. Lay flat on your stomach with your hands on your shoulders.
  2. Lift up by straightening the arms and focus up–as though your eyes were also a part of the arch.
  3. Focus on pushing the pelvis down towards the floor–arching your back.
  4. And keep your shoulders down, as with virtually all Yoga poses.

Remember, all Yoga poses are meant to be held. You do not just reach the posture. Instead you reach it and remain there–thirty seconds, a minute etc. Holding, breathing, the asana, and the pranayama, this is how the balance is earned. In all Yoga poses you will find that you can stretch further and further each time. There are many other yoga poses and techniques out there–go find the perfect kind of yoga for you!

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Using Yoga Poses to Improve Your Health

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Yoga Poses are the body and mind places you are trying to achieve through Yoga that are also called Asanas. The benefits of practicing Yoga is mainly to exercise, strengthen and tone your body’s muscles and exercise your mind. It takes a great deal of willpower and tenacity to accomplish each Yoga Pose and you have to have the discipline to practice your routine of poses or asanas daily.

You may or may not know that the effort required for yoga is certainly not easy (what program ids that actually works though!), but the total body benefit is worth all the hard work. The art of practicing Yoga exercises or Asanas can and will improve your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

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To be able to accomplish the Yoga Poses requires you to study each pose and perform it deliberately as you control your body and mind simultaneously. Learn the following different Yoga Exercises, Postures, and Poses in the following sections and then incorporate them into your routine.

Warm-Up Poses

In general, warming up depends on the particular style of yoga that you practice and your studio, class, DVD, or online training will show you the best warm up for the type of yoga you are doing.

Standing Poses – You should learn the following Standing Poses

  • Virabhadrasana or Warrior Pose
  • Utkatasana or Squat Pose
  • Uttanasana or Standing Forward Bend
  • Tadasana or Mountain Pose
  • Uthita Trikonasana or Extended Triangle
  • Garudasana or Eagle Pose
  • Natarajasana or Dancer
  • Bakasana or Crow Pose
  • Chaturangsana or Plank Pose
  • Purvottanasana or Back Bend
  • Vasisthasana or Inclined Plank

Seated Poses – These poses can be done while sitting.

Sitting Neutral

  • Vajrasana or Hero Pose
  • Dandasana or Staff Pose
  • Baddhakonasana or Bound Angle Pose
  • Gomukhasana or Cow Face Pose

Sitting Forward

  • Pascimottanasana or Sitting Forward Bend
  • Paripurna navasana or Boat Pose

Sitting Back Bends

  • Bidalasana or Cat Stretch
  • Ustrasana or Camel Pose
  • Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose
  • Dhanurasana or Bow Pose

Sittting Twist

  • Ardha matsyendrasana or Half Twist

Inverted Postures and Balance Poses – These poses help to increase circulation, stimulate the brain, enhance glandular system functioning, and relieve pressure on the abdominal organs helping with digestion and blood flow.

  • Sarvangasana or Shoulder Stand
  • Halasana or Plow Pose
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward Facing Dog
  • Setu Bandha or Half Bridge
  • Urdhva Dhanurasana or Full Bridge
  • Karnapidasana or Spider Pose

It’s recommended that people try and practice different yoga poses at home or even in the office or workplace but if you are feeling like you’re not able to complete a posture, please don’t push yourself. Yoga is not a competition so just relax, rest for a minute and try the pose again. Also remember not to try yoga poses that are beyond your capabilities.

If you attempt asanas that are beyond your level you can injure yourself which is not what we are trying to achieve with yoga! You might find it helpful to get some expert guidance through popular online training websites where a professional teacher can instruct and coach you through each Yoga Pose ensuring you are doing the exercise correctly.

Do Yoda Proud-Meditation Techniques 101

Meditation refers to a state where your body and mind are consciously relaxed and focused. Practitioners of this art report increased awareness, focus, and concentration, as well as a more positive outlook in life.

Meditation is most commonly associated with monks, mystics and other spiritual disciplines. However, you don’t have to be a monk or mystic to enjoy its benefits. And you don’t even have to be in a special place to practice it. You could even try it in your own living room!

meditation

Although there are many different approaches to meditation, the fundamental principles remain the same. The most important among these principles is that of removing obstructive, negative, and wandering thoughts and fantasies, and calming the mind with a deep sense of focus. This clears the mind of debris and prepares it for a higher quality of activity.

The negative thoughts you have – those of noisy neighbors, bossy officemates, that parking ticket you got, and unwanted spam– are said to contribute to the ‘polluting’ of the mind, and shutting them out is allows for the ‘cleansing’ of the mind so that it may focus on deeper, more meaningful thoughts.

Some practitioners even shut out all sensory input – no sights, no sounds, and nothing to touch – and try to detach themselves from the commotion around them. You may now focus on a deep, profound thought if this is your goal. It may seem deafening at first, since we are all too accustomed to constantly hearing and seeing things, but as you continue this exercise you will find yourself becoming more aware of everything around you.

If you find the meditating positions you see on television threatening – those with impossibly arched backs, and painful-looking contortions – you need not worry. The principle here is to be in a comfortable position conducive to concentration. This may be while sitting cross-legged, standing, lying down, and even walking.

If the position allows you to relax and focus, then that would be a good starting point. While sitting or standing, the back should be straight, but not tense or tight. In other positions, the only no-no is slouching and falling asleep.

Loose, comfortable clothes help a lot in the process since tight fitting clothes have a tendency to choke you up and make you feel tense.

The place you perform meditation should have a soothing atmosphere. It may be in your living room, or bedroom, or any place that you feel comfortable in. You might want an exercise mat if you plan to take on the more challenging positions (if you feel more focused doing so, and if the contortionist in you is screaming for release). You may want to have the place arranged so that it is soothing to your senses.

Silence helps most people relax and meditate, so you may want a quiet, isolated area far from the ringing of the phone or the humming of the washing machine. Pleasing scents also help in that regard, so stocking up on aromatic candles isn’t such a bad idea either.

The monks you see on television making those monotonous sounds are actually performing their mantra. This, in simple terms, is a short creed, a simple sound which, for these practitioners, holds a mystic value.

You do not need to perform such; however, it would pay to note that focusing on repeated actions such as breathing, and humming help the practitioner enter a higher state of consciousness.

The principle here is focus. You could also try focusing on a certain object or thought, or even, while keeping your eyes open, focus on a single sight.

One sample routine would be to – while in a meditative state – silently name every part of you body and focusing your consciousness on that part. While doing this you should be aware of any tension on any part of your body. Mentally visualize releasing this tension. It works wonders.

In all, meditation is a relatively risk-free practice and its benefits are well worth the effort (or non-effort – remember we’re relaxing).

Studies have shown that meditation does bring about beneficial physiologic effects to the body. And there has been a growing consensus in the medical community to further study the effects of such. So in the near future, who knows, that mystical, esoteric thing we call meditation might become a science itself!

 

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Why Muscles Get Sore

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As people age, they begin to complain more of pains in their muscles and joints. They seem to stiffen up with age, and such commonplace activities as bending over for the morning paper can make them wince.

Such pain can grip so fiercely that they are sure it begins deep in their bones. But the real cause of stiffness and soreness lies not in the joints or bones, according to research at the Johns Hopkins Medical School, but in the muscles and connective tissues that move the joints.

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The frictional resistance generated by the two rubbing surfaces of bones in the joints is negligible, even in joints damaged by arthritis.

Flexibility is the medical term used to describe the range of a joint’s motion from full movement in one direction to full movement in the other. The greater the range of movement, the more flexible the joint.

If you bend forward at the hips and touch your toes with your fingertips, you have good flexibility, or range of motion of the hip joints. But can you bend over easily with a minimal expenditure of energy and force? The exertion required to flex a joint is just as important as its range of possible motion.

Different factors limit the flexibility and ease of movement in different joints and muscles. In the elbow and knee, the bony structure itself sets a definite limit. In other joints, such as the ankle, hip, and back, the soft tissue—muscle and connective tissue—limit the motion range.

The problem of inflexible joints and muscles is similar to the difficulty of opening and closing a gate because of a rarely used and rusty hinge that has become balky.

Hence, if people do not regularly move their muscles and joints through their full ranges of motion, they lose some of their potential. That is why when these people will try to move a joint after a long period of inactivity, they feel pain, and that discourages further use

What happens next is that the muscles become shortened with prolonged disuse and produces spasms and cramps that can be irritating and extremely painful. The immobilization of muscles, as researchers have demonstrated with laboratory animals, brings about biochemical changes in the tissue.

However, other factors trigger sore muscles. Here are some of them:

1. Too much exercise

Have you always believed on the saying, “No pain, no gain?” If you do, then, it is not so surprising if you have already experienced sore muscles.

The problem with most people is that they exercise too much thinking that it is the fastest and the surest way to lose weight. Until they ache, they tend to ignore their muscles and connective tissue, even though they are what quite literally holds the body together.

2. Aging and inactivity

Connective tissue binds muscle to bone by tendons, binds bone to bone by ligaments, and covers and unites muscles with sheaths called fasciae. With age, the tendons, ligaments, and fasciae become less extensible. The tendons, with their densely packed fibers, are the most difficult to stretch. The easiest are the fasciae. But if they are not stretched to improve joint mobility, the fasciae shorten, placing undue pressure on the nerve pathways in the muscle fasciae. Many aches and pains are the result of nerve impulses traveling along these pressured pathways.

3. Immobility

Sore muscles or muscle pain can be excruciating, owing to the body’s reaction to a cramp or ache. In this reaction, called the splinting reflex, the body automatically immobilizes a sore muscle by making it contract. Thus, a sore muscle can set off a vicious cycle pain.

First, an unused muscle becomes sore from exercise or being held in an unusual position. The body then responds with the splinting reflex, shortening the connective tissue around the muscle. This cause more pain, and eventually the whole area is aching. One of the most common sites for this problem is the lower back.

4. Spasm theory

In the physiology laboratory at the University of Southern California, some people have set out to learn more about this cycle of pain.

Using some device, they measured electrical activity in the muscles. The researchers knew that normal, well-relaxed muscles produce no electrical activity, whereas, muscles that are not fully relaxed show considerable activity.

In one experiment, the researchers measured these electrical signals in the muscles of persons with athletic injuries, first with the muscle immobilized, and then, after the muscle had been stretched.

In almost every case, exercises that stretched or lengthened the muscle diminished electrical activity and relieved pain, either totally or partially.

These experiments led to the “spasm theory,” an explanation of the development and persistence of muscle pain in the absence of any obvious cause, such as traumatic injury.

According to this theory, a muscle that is overworked or used in a strange position becomes fatigued and as a result, sore muscles.

Hence, it is extremely important to know the limitations and capacity of the muscles in order to avoid sore muscles. This goes to show that there is no truth in the saying, “No pain, no gain.” What matters most is on how people stay fit by exercising regularly at a normal range than once rarely but on a rigid routine.

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Self Massage

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Are you aware of having a personal massage therapist, actually two of them, available to you and ready to serve and fulfill your wishes twenty four hours a day and seven days a week all year round and charge you not a dime? And would you believe me when I tell you that these massage therapists are perfectly happy to provide you with therapeutic sessions anywhere you please (your bedroom or living room, your office or car, in a public park or at the library), as frequently as you summons them and for the duration of your choosing? I am talking about your own two hands. Yes, your own two hands are perfect capable of massaging away your stress, your tension, your stiffness and your pains while bring forth an increase of blood circulation to invigorate and rejuvenate you with a fresh supply of oxygen into every cell in your body. Research shows that massage therapy, whether it is performed by a paid professional massage therapist or by your own built-in and securely affix hands, also boosts your immune systems as the production of white blood cells is stimulated in the process as is your mental capacity.

Chances are that you probably perform self massage therapy on a regular basis without ever calling it that. Stroking your forehead in a spontaneous reaction to a headache, grabbing the back of your neck to squeeze aware aches and stiffness, scrubbing yourself down with a loofah sponge in the shower or bath, rubbing your sore feet after a long day or hard work are all forms of self applied massage therapy. Congratulations! You are an experienced self massage therapist and you did not require formal training, a certification or a license.

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The following is a list of techniques you can safely apply to your own body and promote overall wellness from the tip of your toes up to the crown of your head:

  • Upon awaking and upon going to sleep. Twice a day, morning and evening, treat yourself to a session of gentle punches. Always moving in an upward motion from bottom to top, begin with the legs, proceed to the arms, then the torso, the back, the head and the face. This will beat out your tension, stress, kinks in your muscles, will improve your blood circulation and will strengthen your body.

  • A treat after dessert. Whether you have had a large meal or a small one, help your digestive process by rubbing your tummy in the same direction as your food travels through the systems; clockwise. Therefore, use the palms of both your hands in a clockwise circular motion.

  • A therapeutic exercise before and after the more athletic type. Punch yourself before stretching, cardiovascular or strength exercises to get more blood flowing into your muscles. After exercising, rubbing your muscles in the direction of your heart will promote the elimination of metabolic waste as well as expedite the relaxation and recovery of your muscles.

  • Massage your appended massage therapists. You may do this with or without lotion buy you should do it daily. Intertwine the fingers of both hands and rub the heels against each other in a circular motion. With on thumb, rub the entire palm of the other hand and then switch. Untwine your fingers and thoroughly kneading each hand, gently pull on each finger and finish by pinching the webbing between the thumb and the index finger of each hand.

  • Play tennis without a racquet. To exorcise tension and stress, massage your feet by stepping on a tennis ball. Actually, a gulf ball will work just as well. From a standing position press one foot on top of the ball, apply as much weight as you can and slowly more your foot around.

Enjoy yourself massage and stay well.

 

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