Posts Tagged ‘ stretching ’

How stretching can help reduce pain in patients with chronic low back pain.

Latest studies indicate that stretching can help reduce pain in the lower back in people that suffer from chronic pain in this area. Once more these new studies indicate that when patients practice stretching routines they experiment a substantial decrease in pain and discomfort. 

Two weeks ago I read the news on how stretching the neck helps reduce pain and migraines in 75% which are associated with stiff and tight necks, upper back and shoulders.

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Work Out video of the Day: Core Training – Part 3.

Level: intermediate if you roll half way down. More advanced if you roll all the way down. Keep your chin close to your chest, lengthening your neck.

Targets:core muscles, abdominal and back muscles. Also stretches the back side of your thigh and your back.

Reps and sets: do 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions in both sides.

Tips: if you have a sensitive tailbone use pads to cushion the area of your back. If you feel any discomfort in your back do not roll back too much, always avoid lower back pain.

Why is Jane Fonda my all-time exercise role model?

I was reading the last issue of Newsweek ( August 22 & 29, 2011 ) when on page 42 I had the great surprise of finding a great article on Jane Fonda.  She has been my exercise icon since she started back in the 90’s with her videos, teaching great aerobic  exercises with or without the step. Before her, I used to go to the gym where I had a great personal trainer; I did yoga for the mind and body connection, and I also used to meditate daily. Throughout  the years  I was doing the same fitness routines until I discovered The method! In this interview of Jane Fonda you can see how beautiful she looks, perfect posture and vibrant. She gives brief tips on how to feel, look and enjoy your life after 60.  As a baby-boomer myself I can totally relate to that need of self-reinvention. 

One tip that called my attention: For fitness she recommends The Pilates Method,  I was not surprised because I know that the best bodies at any age are the Pilates bodies. The secret  for a supple and strong body.

She also believes in keeping your entire body flexible.  For her sense of well-being she practices Zen meditation. I never thought that I had so many thing is common with my exercise icon!  I have found the fountain of youth in Pilates and  stretching.  Meditating daily is also a very important part of my day, keeps me centered and balanced. Now, I feel better both physically and mentally than when I was in my thirties and forties. Thank you Jane for inspiring all of us!

What do you do to prevent the bad effects from sitting all day long?

Since computers and remote controls for every item in the house have become part of our lives, we are more sedentary. We sit for at least eight to nine hours everyday. Think about all the activities that you do in the sitting position. Your neck, your shoulders, your lower back, your hips and knees suffer in this position. What can you do to prevent the cascade of muscular-skeletal misalignment? Very simple,take frequent breaks throughout the day,at least every hour and a half. Walk around, move your arms doing circles, move your head from side to side, breathing deeply, do it for at least two minutes. Ideally you should plan a five minutes stretching session at least three times a day, and get yourself a good lumbar support for your car and for your desk chair.
Education and dedication means prevention!

Second day at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Sunday morning was a gorgeous day. The weather couldn’t be more perfect, sunny and breeze. The flow of people coming in started way before ten; you could tell how enthusiastic was everyone as they walked by the booths. This day was not different from Saturday. There were times that I had six to eight people in my booth, skimming through the book, asking me questions about stretching and demonstrating how flexible or tight their bodies felt as they tried to touch their toes. I have been a physical therapist for over 30 years, and I have never seen so many people trying to touch their toes in my entire professional life! This is a clear indicator that people respond positively when they are guided and educated correctly. The feedback from everyone was terrific, now they could understand the “power of stretching”. Overall this was a wonderful experience, interacting with so many wonderful human beings and specially helping them to achieve a more productive and healthier life style by stretching correctly everyday!

Can you touch your toes?

Stand straight with both legs parallel and slightly apart. Raise your arms up to the ceiling and slowly begin to roll down to your toes. Try to avoid bending your knees. Just do what you can without forcing your body. Drop your head down, relaxing your neck. Now feel your back and the back of your legs. Are they tight? How far did you reach? Come back to the standing position; if you feel comfortable repeat two more times. Did you get close to your toes? If the answer is no, it means that you probably have a very stiff back, hamstrings( back of your legs) or even both. This exercise is an eye opener for everyone. In order to be able to prevent back pain and sciatica it is very important to keep your back and hamstrings flexible. Remember that if you already have back issues, do not try this exercise. Always listen to your body, never go beyond your limits.

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

I have been a book lover my entire life. My father used to read 5 to 6 books a month. He used to tell me that a good book is as good as a good friend. So I began to read all kinds of books at a very early age. Reading is one of my favorite pastimes, I personally love to read fiction, poetry, real life stories and so on. I am very excited to be one of the exhibitors in the upcoming L.A Times Festival of Books. I wrote my book of stretches to educate people about the importance of stretching on a daily basis. Over the years I have witnessed the power of stretching, and the difference that it makes in people bodies and wellbeing. My booth number is 432, and it will be located at the Health and Wellness area.
See you there!
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