Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Life Fit Chat with Laura Lewis: Stretch it out

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, it was noted that this ancient healthy practice may significantly city the rish of falls among older people anbd Life Fit Chat with That's Fit Life Fit Expert Laura Lewis brings conversation provoking tidbits to your table, served up with a touch of spice! Byte-sized information that pack some punch, brought to you every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday!

Did you know ... Stretching your muscles increases the length of your muscle fibers, increases mobility and strength of your joints and spine, and increases blood flow and oxygen to your internal organs and tissues, which in turn increases your energy level. What this means in real life is if you maintain flexibility you will be able to perform everyday activities without straining tight muscles. If you do not stay active and include a few simple stretches in your everyday routine, you will be stiffer and probably complain about "my aching back" a little more often than your mobile buddies. If you have ever seen a cat or dog awaken from a peaceful slumber, you will often see them stretch their entire body, then amble upon their way. Infants will often stretch upon rising. Stretching is a natural way to keep your muscles and joints flexible.

Stretch your limits: You will not find typical Japanese elders sitting front of Starbucks sipping coffee at 6:00 a.m. You will, however, find them in the park performing Tai Chi. Tai Chi, a form of stretching and breathing exercises, enhances balance and body awareness through slow graceful, and precise body movements. In the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, it was noted that this ancient healthy practice may significantly cut the risk of falls among older people and help maintain strong and flexible bodies of those who were seventy years of age and older.

Regular Stretching is physically beneficial in a wide variety of ways besides maintaining mobility.

Benefits of Stretching:
  • Helps to keep your spine flexible
  • Decreases natural compression of joints
  • Improves strength
  • Increases circulation to all internal organs and tissues enhancing their proper functioning
  • Supplies more energy to the body
  • Helps keep bones healthy and strong due to slight pulling on muscles and ligaments that are connected to bones
  • Might relieve constipation by opening the joints and muscles in the hip area
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