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Sunday, March 29, 2015

You Need To Stretch

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As part of your physical activity program which should include both aerobics and strengthening exercises, you should also add gentle stretching exercises every day to avoid an overuse injury from doing repeated reps of only let's say one kind of leg exercise, or only doing curls with the barbell etc. You need to mix it up and you need to include stretching between workouts.

Here are some stretching routines that I do:

Above is an illustration of something my chiropractor taught me years before which was once called the McKenzie  movement. Essentially you lay face down on a comfortable but stable platform (a carpeted floor does nicely) You let your body go limp, and then position your hands as shown and push your upper torso up till your elbows lock while looking straight ahead. You then exhale and let the air out of your lungs while letting your lower back muscles relax completely. I repeat this 10 times in a row at least once a day, sometimes twice. The standing illustration can be done at any time of day basically just about anywhere for temporary relief.

Another basic one I do before doing the stair climbing routine is something called the knee/thigh stretch. Essentially you sit on a carpeted  or padded floor and touch the bottoms of your feet to each other and line them up symmetrically so your heels and toes match up with each other. I then hold onto the front of my feet and pull them in towards my groin and up gently while letting my legs and knees relax. I then hold that move me for 30 second up to 3 or 4 Min's. it takes a while to work your way up. Without getting out of that position you may only last 15 seconds and you can let go of your feet and clasp your knees at the outside and hold them back up to temporarily eliminate the stretch. This movement has helped immensely to loosen the tight muscles and ligaments involved in climbing stairs two at a time. I normally do this in the morning and again after stair climbing. Don't try this in while wearing jeans or restrictive clothing. Put on a pair of loose shorts. At first it helps to sit down with your back up against a sofa and pillow behind your back. The idea behind this is to slowly begin a little at a time to loosen up your ligaments and muscles in your legs and thighs and your knees. IT HURTS at first and then feels amazing afterwards. It has also put a spring in my step that I didn't have before.

I am doing the stair climbing routine (two steps at a time 6 days a week now) and am working my up to 20 flights of stairs a day 6 days a week. My last post indicated a big drop in cardiovascular problems and an improvement in one's A1C glucose readings by doing 70 flights of stairs weekly. If I maintain this pace which isn't bad at all, I will be at 120 flights of stairs weekly taking two at a time. It builds overall body and core strength and especially your balance and leg strength. My evening and morning glucose readings have been terrific for the most part since starting this routine. (SEE my last two posts).


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