Wednesday, 3 October 2007

The Daily Turn On! Stretch out your morning routine

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Life is too short not to be fully "turned on." The Daily Turn On! energizes all aspects of "you." Everyday The Daily Turn On! with That's Fit Life Fit expert Laura Lewis will awaken your mind, your body and your life!

Is this your typical day? The alarm clock goes off and you jump out of bed to turn it off. A nice, relaxed body contracts and moves suddenly. One of these days, you might have a mysterious neck or back strain and not know what caused it. That good old alarm clock will do it every time! You shower, dry off, and begin to dress. You drop your sock on the floor and you bend to pick it up. Ouch! You finish dressing and after coffee you notice your shoe is untied. Can you bend to tie your shoe easily, or are you feeling your age? Driving to work, you find it is difficult to look behind you by turning your head. While sitting at your desk at work someone behind you calls your name. Can you turn to look at who is speaking to you without turning your entire body? If you do not maintain your flexibility, problems may occur with your mobility.

Action Tips:
  • Ease into a stretching routine if you are just starting out, Use legitimate guidelines for safe stretching, whether it is through a professional fitness trainer, a video of stretching exercises, or a book with clear photographs or illustrations of proper positioning.
  • Be sure to warm up before stretching by simply moving each joint with rotating movements to increase the synovial fluid or joint lubrication, as well as to increase the blood flow to the muscles. Keep in mind, your muscles are not always warm and supple. You might think about them as frozen wings. Would you stretch the frozen wing without warming it up? If you did, chances are you see and hear tearing of tissue. This is definitely a vision to keep in mind while stretching.
  • Only hold each stretch from ten to thirty seconds. Repeat three to five times before you move on to the next stretch.
  • Inhale deeply before stretching a muscle group. Gently exhale as if you were softly blowing out a candle while you move into the stretch.
  • If you feel any pain during a stretch, stop! You should expect to feel a bit of discomfort as your muscles and joints begin to loosen up. Stop if you feel dizzy at any time, Sometimes dizziness occurs if you have failed to breathe throughout your stretching. Many of us have a natural tendency to tense up and stop breathing while holding each position. Relax the muscles as you stretch and be aware of your breathing.
  • Avoid bouncing as this is not good for your muscles fibers. Your muscles appreciate a gentle, holding action. The goal of the stretch is simply to elongate the muscle fibers, to counteract their natural tendency to contract to a shorter length. The shorter the length, the less mobility one will have. When you awaken, stretch before you rise out of bed.
  • Devote fifteen to twenty minutes per day to stretching. If you spend quite a bit of time sitting or standing in one position, plan on several stretch breaks throughout the day.
  • If stretching is enjoyable to you, check out a yoga program, as stretching is a major part of this ancient form of exercise.

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