You know yoga is good for you. On a physical level, you stretch and strengthen your muscles, which has its many benefits. But once you’ve been doing yoga awhile—even as a casual attendee—you develop more than strong, lean muscles. You develop body awareness.
You may know body awareness as the scientific term, ‘proprioception’—which means to sense your body’s motion, position and equilibrium. But emotions, wellbeing and your relationship with others are also a part of your body awareness.
In yoga, you learn to adjust your body position again and again. You get good at listening to your body. And that’s a skill you can take with you into your daily life that empowers you to make better choices.
What You Eat
We all feel hunger. It’s a noticeable pang that calls out throughout the day. And we have no problem eating all kinds of food to silence that call.
Shortly after eating, your body absorbs everything you’ve offered it. If you’re eating sugar-laden treats, your body will surge with energy and then crash into a groggy abyss. If you eat a bowl of salad, your body will feel good, energized and vibrant.
Most of the time, we make this decision with our minds. You might think, “What should I eat?” But for the experienced yogi, your body tells you exactly what it wants. And you’re able to hear its yearning before you even head to the kitchen.
Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.
– Barbara De Angelis
How You Sit, Stand and Walk
One of the main ways yoga empowers you to make better choices is through body mechanics. That is what you do with your body when you’re sitting, standing or walking.
After a couple hundred classes, you know to tuck your tailbone, pull in your abs and pull your head back. You can’t help but take that with you on your errands.
You might find yourself standing for a long period of time at work waiting to speak with someone. The next thing you know you’re planting your feet into the ground, straightening your spine and lifting your chin.
If you sit at a desk all day, then you might notice yourself uncrossing your legs (and undoing a decades-old habit) while you sit tall and relax onto your sits bones.
Or while you’re walking, you’ll notice yourself standing taller with each stride. You might even draw your belly button to your spine and strengthen your core for an extra strong hustle to the copy machine.
How you open doors and drive your car will never be the same. You no longer haphazardly twist a knob or turn the steering wheel. You consciously engage your forearm and upper arm muscles and ensure the stability of the shoulder joint.
Body language plays an important role in communication. And years of yoga prime you to be an excellent communicator in the language of the body.
In your interactions, you’ll find yourself leaning in, turning towards someone or nodding more frequently. You choose to be present and practice eye contact. And just as you’ve learned to listen to your body, you learn to listen to other people.
These small and subtle choices influence how others see you. And they influence the quality of your relationships. You can make profound shifts in any relationship by choosing to enact the wisdom and awareness of body language and presence with others.
HOW YOU TREAT YOURSELF
Body awareness means you’re in tune with your physical and emotional body. The two live side-by-side so it’s easy to gain awareness of both at the same time.
When a posture is hard, you have hard emotions that come with it. You’re encouraged to be aware, to honor and to listen to them. But you’re also advised to be gentle and loving as you move past them and reach the edge of your comfort zone.
This same practice meets you in your daily life. When you’re in a tough situation at work or you’re in a disagreement with a friend or family member. Your practice of compassion seeps into how you treat yourself during tough times.
Every day the words you hear your teachers say lingers in your mind. You could almost repeat them back in perfect form. And you do, but through your body and your choices.
You always have a choice, but yoga empowers you to make better choices every day.
Counting calories won’t make you healthy. Here are ways to be fit and get healthier without dieting.
Pop quiz. How many diets can you name off the top of your head? If you are like most people these days, you can probably rattle off at least half a dozen without breaking a sweat. Some of them may dominate TV advertisements, and others may tend to be passed around by word of mouth. Still others tend to survive in the pages of self-help books and are splashed across the internet.
All of them claim that you will be able to not only lose weight but also feel more confident, more sexy and all around happier and healthier. A lot of them are liars. Many diets will help you shed unwanted pounds in the short term, but there is nothing healthy or sustainable about living off maple syrup and lemon juice or following the rules of any of the other dangerous diets out there.
In fact, diets in general are rarely a good way to improve your health. This is because most diets focus on losing weight, not promoting health. While you will need to alter your daily diet in order to improve your health if you are living off Chinese takeout and Big Macs, traditional dieting is rarely a sustainable path when it comes to your overall health. Here are seven ways to get healthier without dieting.
One of the easiest ways to simultaneously get healthier and lose weight is to stop drinking anything but water. Drinks of every sort are filled with what most people refer to as empty calories. In other words, they are calories that do nothing to keep you feeling full or energized but do contribute to weight gain. Stop drinking soda, juice and bottled teas.
Skip the sports drinks as well. Unless you are a long distance swimmer training for an open water race, a runner preparing for a marathon or you spend multiple hours in the gym sweating like a dog, plain water will fulfill your hydration needs. If you desperately need flavor in your water, stick a bit of fresh fruit in the bottle.
This will give you the desired flavor without all the sugar in packaged flavors. Alcohol, of course, is packed with sugar and calories, but the biggest offender, after soda, is usually your morning coffee. Those flavor shots, bits of cream and sugar turn a light drink into a calorie bomb. Drink your coffee black, or at least use skim milk if you need a little dairy.
Cook at Home
If you want to become healthier and sustain the appearance and feeling that health brings you, you need to learn how to cook. You do not need to be a gourmet chef in order to improve your health, but knowing how to put together a basic meal of meat and veggies will go a long way toward making you healthier.
When you cook your own food, you know exactly what is going into your body. Restaurants and take out chains tend to use loads of oil and fats that turn a dish you would expect to be low calorie, low fat and healthy into something that is little better for you than the average pizza. When you cook at home, you are at least aware of whether or not you made something unhealthy.
Home cooking also tends to use fresher ingredients instead of the heavily salted and preservative filled items found in the frozen section of the grocery store.
Avoid Junk Food
You have likely noticed that some people simply seem to have more willpower than others. They manage to avoid eating junk food and instead snack on carrot sticks or celery. Their willpower may seem incredible, but if you looked inside their cabinets, you would probably find that they do not have chips, candy or cookies in the house.
More Sleep to Be Fit
When it comes to staying healthy, sleep is perhaps the most commonly ignored requirement. Almost everyone is aware on some level that they need to get enough sleep in order to remain healthy, but that does not stop most people from acting as if they are convinced that they can teach themselves to go without sleep entirely.
If you want to improve your health, however, enough sleep is a requirement, not a suggestion. The average adult needs between seven and nine hours of sleep a night in order to remain in perfect health. Very few people get that much sleep on an ongoing basis. Make it a point, however, to get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Going to bed every night and getting up every morning at approximately the same time will help tremendously in that regard.
If you read any sort of health columns, parenting advice or technology news, you have almost certainly heard that spending too much time using your electronic devices is terrible for your health. Overuse of electronics tends to keep people sitting down for even longer periods of time than they were already prone to doing.
This has become such a problem that people are developing what has become called “gluteal amnesia.” Essentially, people sit so often and for so long that their gluteal muscles forget how to function which can set off a domino effect that has the potential to damage every muscle below their waist.
Overuse of electronics also contributes to neck and back strain and pain as people stare down at their phones and computers. The bright blue light inhibits melatonin production, one of the hormones necessary for healthy sleep, and many people use digital conversations as a substitute for face-to-face interaction, something that wreaks havoc on a person’s mental state over time.
Along with sleep, exercise is the closest thing to a panacea that exists in real life. Exercise is essential for healthy cardiovascular function, muscle strength and plays a key role in stress relief. It can improve the function of your immune system, give you better sleep at night and help you lose weight.
You do not have to become a gym rat to reap the benefits of exercise either. Taking a brisk walk several times a week can still do wonders for your health. It is best, however, to join a gym so that you can do both aerobic exercise, such as running or swimming, as well as resistance training, such as weightlifting or pilates. Aerobic exercise is the best way to improve the health of your heart and lungs while resistance training helps your muscles, skeleton and metabolism remain healthy.
If you are focusing on your health, you need to eat right. This does not mean that you need to give up entire food groups as many diets proclaim. Unlike what innumerable diets and weight loss “experts” claim, carbohydrates are not your enemy and neither is fat. If you scarf down French fries every afternoon, then yes, you are eating too much fat. A few tablespoons of olive oil or the fat found in nuts, however, is beneficial.
In the same way, if you live off of pasta and white bread, the sheer number of calories you are eating will do unpleasant things to both your waistline and overall health. A piece of bread with dinner, however, does not mean that you are doomed. You need to have a balanced diet that includes fruit, vegetables, meat or fish, a small amount of healthy fats from nuts or oils and, yes, carbohydrates. When you cut out entire food groups from your diet, your body may get smaller, but your health pays for it.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to shed a few pounds so that your jeans are a little less tight or so you can look fabulous in a tight shirt. Dieting, however, is not necessarily the answer to your weight woes. If you pay attention to your overall health by sleeping enough, eating right and exercising regularly, you will likely find that the pounds melt away without any sort of artificial assistance.
Better yet, those pounds will stay off with ease rather than creeping back on or forcing you to fight a constant battle with yourself. This is because focusing on overall health leads you to develop sustainable habits.
Being healthy feels good so you want to keep doing the things that keep you healthy. Diets, on the other hand, are the sort of things most people cannot wait to finish. So, prioritize health over weight loss, and you will likely end up getting the best of both worlds anyway.
If you want to be fit and get healthier these are some ways you can do it. These ways to be fit do not need a lot of dieting. You can do this daily. Be fit and be healthy. When you want to be fit, it is a way for you to love yourself. Love your body in a way that you want to be fit and be healthy all the time. Follow these ways and be fit always.
Some things are easier said than done, especially if your fitness routine falls by the wayside. If you haven’t worked out for a while, here are some useful tips and tricks to help you get back on track with full body exercises.
1) Start with Visualization for your full body exercises.
Sometimes the first step can be the hardest. This is why the power of visualisation can be the key in the first step to taking up a consistent workout routine again. Having recently undergone a minor surgery myself, I can only speak from experience when I say that visualising yourself doing what you’d like to do is key before starting any kind of routine.
Your mind is a powerful tool and can aid in preparing your body for any upcoming activity. Ideally, it would be highly recommended to practise meditation, as it in fact helps your mind to become focused on any tasks ahead of you.
2) Simply Breathe.
Another possibility to ease yourself back into your workout routine would be simple breathing techniques. After my surgery I was very restricted in my physical capabilities and I was not allowed to move about a lot. However, I still had my breath. And guess what…lungs need to be exercised too!
One of my go-to breathing techniques in this case is Nadi Shoda, also known as alternate nostril breathing. What may sound simple is actually quite challenging: While holding one of your nostrils closed, you breathe in through the open one.
Once you take a deep breath, you close both of your nostrils for a brief moment before you open the nostril that was previously closed and then you repeat this for at least ten times. Trust me, this will not only challenge your breathing muscles but also strengthen your concentration!
3) Walk, Forrest, walk!
If you haven’t noticed already, I believe in small but consistent steps. So if you feel like you are totally unfit and need to take it easy or need to recover slowly like me, I would strongly encourage you to start going for little walks.
Whether you measure those with a step counter or by minutes, the important thing is not to overdo it. Aim to walk a little further everyday and you will see that you will build up some strength. Promise!
4) Work it!
Last but not least, the only way to build up a workout routine again is by exercise itself. However, you should not overwork yourself as pain and sore muscles on the next day usually discourage people from continuing to exercise again.
And if you have just undergone surgery like me, it is best to start exercising those muscle groups which you can work and move fully.
Overall, the above steps do not need to be followed strictly and can be combined in whichever way you want to. Just remember: Be kind to yourself and take it easy.
Workout and keep your body fit. Bounce back to full body exercises immediately. Whatever you do it is always good to do full body exercises. It keeps you fit and once you’re fit, your mind will be healthy. These steps here are easy to follow for full body exercises. Whether you go to a gym or you do workouts at home, these steps will help.
Keep your body strong and healthy at all times. Full body exercises will help. Find a way to do these easy steps every day.
With the recent declaration from the American Medical Association that obesity now should be considered a disease; the United States officially becomes an even more afflicted union. Obesity, which affects 78 million adults and 12 million children, causes a plethora of other illnesses, including cardiac disease and diabetes.
“It’s clear that a really fundamental paradigm shift in lifestyle is needed for an enormous swath of the U.S. population – but there are also Americans who have already reshaped their eating and exercise habits, and they’re looking to not only maintain their health but also take it to the next level,” says Dr. Susie Rockway, a veteran nutritional and biochemical expert in the U.S. health industry.
“These are often busy, professional people who make an effort to eat healthy with most meals and make time throughout the workweek to move their body and get their blood pumping.”
Still, they also want to be able to enjoy an indulgent meal every once in awhile – birthdays, family barbecues or date night with the spouse. Dr. Rockway offers tips for people who want to maintain their weight while still enjoying the occasional burger, chicken wing or greasy pizza slice:
Stay Slim Tip #1 – Food diary
So, nine times out of 10 you eat healthy, eh? That may not really be true, but a food diary can help clear up any confusion. How much fattening mayo was used to make that tuna salad? If you’ve sworn off meat, are you getting enough protein and are you eating too many carbohydrates?
What kind of carbs are they? Are you eating a diverse diet that provides all the necessary nutrients? A food diary will help challenge your assumptions and make you more aware of everything you’re eating, how much and where you might make healthy adjustments.
Stay Slim Tip #2 – Stay hydrated
Whether you’ve upped the ante on your workouts or you’re consuming too much salt or too many caffeinated beverages, which act as a diuretic, doctors and researchers believe as many as 75 percent of Americans experience dehydration throughout the day. Dehydration can make you confuse thirst for hunger, cause fatigue and a fuzzy memory.
Stay Slim Tip #3 – Lineatabs
This meal supplement has been popular in Europe for 11 years and recently became available in the United States. Lineatabs contains Solusitan, an all-natural fat-binding complex. Unlike other fat-binding supplements, Lineatabs dissolve in water to become an effervescent citrus flavored beverage that users consume before or while eating a fatty meal.
Since the dietary fibers in Lineatabs are dispersed in water are not compressed into a tablet, they’re immediately available to bind with fats, turning them into an indigestible liquid mass. The tabs are perfect for people who follow a healthy diet but occasionally eat a greasy-fatty meal.
The ingredients in Lineatabs are clinically proven to help reduce body weight, in combination with a calorie-restricted diet, and can also help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Additionally, Lineatabs encourages hydration, as it makes you drink more water.
Stay Slim Tip #4 – Relaxation:
If you’re always on the go, chances are you may be suffering from excessive stress, which according to the American Journal of Epidemiology, raises levels of cortisol, a hormone that can make you feel hungry. Stress can also make busy people more prone to comfort eating, including excessive amounts and foods filled with fat, sugar and salt. Consider breathing techniques, yoga or meditation for handling a busy schedule.
Stay Slim Tip #5 – Slightly increase/mix-up cardio:
It’s easy to get into a routine in your workout. After a certain point, however, your body gets used to the exercise and you get less of a workout. You don’t have to drastically alter things though; increasing the incline on your treadmill by just 5 percent can help you lose 15 percent more calories during your walk/jog/run. If you want more muscle definition, consider trading a walk for a shorter jog, or a jog for a shorter sprint.
If you need to stay slim, here are some tips that you can follow. These tips to stay slim are easy to do. You just need to be ready to do these things every day.
Fitness is important. We need to be fit in order to keep our bodies healthy. One part of our body that’s hard to get rid of is the back fat. We need to do a full-body exercise in order to totally get rid of the back fat. here, we will learn four quick exercises in order to get rid of back fat and underarm flab.
All women will agree that back fat and underarm flab are the hardest to get rid of. But, this will not be the case if you regularly do the 4 exercises we recommend here.
The thing is these 4 simple, yet, highly effective exercises are the best workout you can choose for eliminating back fat and underarm flab, according to fitness experts. What also makes these exercises convenient is that you can easily do them at home, which saves you money on expensive gym membership fees.
For optimal results you should aim at combining regular cardio with targeted exercises. While you can’t deny that the way we store fat greatly depends on genetics, it’s also true that the upper back and underarms are the toughest to tone up. Plus, most workouts are focused on abdominal and leg muscles rather than the back.
If you want to refocus your routine, you should do cardio for at least half an hour 3-5 days a week, and take up activities such as rowing or boxing a bag to tone your back muscles. Last, but not least, reduce 500 calories from your daily calorie intake to optimize your fat burning results.
Stand up, your legs apart at shoulder-width and slightly bend at the knees for stability. Your head facing down, bend your torso forward, but no more than 90 degrees. Your palms facing each other, hold the hand weight or dumbbell in each hand bent at the elbow. Lift your hands to the level of or slightly lower than your shoulders. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
2# Elbow kiss
Your palms facing up, spread out your arms on each side at shoulder-height. Fold each arm at the elbow to make a 90 degrees’ angle upwards. Then swing your hands while folded to the front so that they close in at the elbow, your forearms touching on the sides. Slowly, get your arms in starting position. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
3# Push and touch
Position your arms on the sides of your body then lift them overhead. You can use hand weights or a band for better coordination. What you do is raise your arms at shoulder height first then over your head. Make sure your palms are facing forward. Resume starting position. Do 3 sets of 6 repetitions.
4# Bent-over circular row
Bend forward at a 90-degree angle, your legs shoulder-width apart. Using one hand at a time, move the dumbbell towards the opposite hand, lift it up, then move it towards your chest and back in a circular motion. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
These quick exercises are easy to do. These are also effective in getting rid of back fat and underarm flab. you can do these exercises at home. All you need to do is spare a space that’s dedicated for your daily exercise. Get rid of back fat and achieve an ideal body. Consider doing these exercises regularly for faster results. You can do these exercises with a buddy in order to not bore yourself. You can do these along too. The most important thing is to get rid of back fat fast.
Exercising makes our body flexible. It also has unexpected mental health benefits. Let’s learn more about the whole body health benefits of exercising here…
While you’re feeling that burn, you may also feel like you want to be literally anywhere other than the gym. But your body is thanking you the whole time — exercise has powerful effects on both the body and the mind.
Many people hit the gym or pound the pavement to improve cardiovascular health, build muscle, and of course, get a rockin’ bod. But working out has above-the-neck benefits too.
For the past decade or so, scientists have pondered how exercising can boost brain function.
Studies show that making time for exercise provides some serious mental benefits, regardless of your age or fitness level (yup, this includes everyone from mall walkers to marathoners).
Get inspired to exercise by reading up on these unexpected ways working out can benefit your mental health, improve your relationships, and help you lead a healthier and happier life. (Not a bad payoff for, like, an hour of being a bit sweaty.
Get deeper and find our how exercising is beneficial to our whole body health. here are the benefits:
Rough day at the office? Spilled coffee and got your tie stuck in the shredder? Lacey in Accounts threw stuff at you again? Chill out by taking a walk or heading to the gym for a quick workout.
One of the most common mental benefits of exercise is stress relief. Working up a sweat can help you manage physical and mental stress. Exercise also increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate your brain’s response to stress.
So go ahead and get sweaty — it can reduce stress and boost your body’s ability to deal with existing mental tension. Win-win! And boo to Lacey — we got your back in the Accounts beef.
2. Boost Happy Chemicals
Slogging through a few miles on the ’mill can be tough, but it’s worth the effort.
Exercise causes your body to produce endorphins, which trigger feelings of happiness and euphoria. Research has shown that in people with major depression, exercise can increase the chance of remission by 22 percent by circulating endorphins.
For this reason, docs recommend that people dealing with depression or anxiety (or those who are just feeling blue) pencil in some gym time. A 2013 study found no difference between the effectiveness of antidepressants and exercise.
Don’t worry if you’re not exactly the gym-rat type — working out for just 30 minutes a few times a week can instantly boost your overall mood.
Read on for more whole body health benefits of exercising…
For an extra boost of self-love, take your workout to the great outdoors. Exercising outside can increase self-esteem even more.
7. Boost Brainpower
Brawn and brains are not mutually exclusive. Studies have shown that cardiovascular exercise can create new brain cells and improve overall brain performance. (Why do you think The Hulk is so good at science?)
Ready to apply for a Nobel Prize? A 2019 study suggests that a tough workout increases levels of a brain-derived protein called BDNF, which may help with decision making, higher thinking, and learning.
So, spandex pants may lead to being a smartypants — so long as you exercise while you’re in ’em.
Find out more whole body health benefits here…
8. Sharpen memory
Get ready to win big at Go Fish and Pairs: Regular physical activity boosts memory and the ability to learn new things.
Working up a sweat increases production of cells in the hippocampus that are responsible for memory and learning.
For this reason, research has linked children’s brain development with their level of physical fitness (take that, recess haters!).Trusted Source But exercise-based brainpower isn’t just for kids.
Even if it’s not as fun as a game of Tag, working out can boost memory among grown-ups too. A 2006 study found that running sprints improved vocabulary retention among healthy adults. And a 2018 study found that adults performed better on memory tests after short periods of light exercise.
9. Help manage addiction
The brain releases dopamine, the “reward chemical,” in response to any form of pleasure. And yes, our good friend exercise can kick off a considerable wave of dopamine.
However, so do drugs and alcohol. This reward cycle in the brain can lead to patterns of substance use disorder.
Exercise is there for people while they recover from addiction. Physical activity can distract people from cravings when they’re trying to quit smoking.
Working out while on the wagon has other benefits too. Excessive alcohol use disrupts many body processes, including circadian rhythms. As a result, people with alcohol use disorder may find they have trouble falling asleep without drinking.
A 2010 study on animals suggested that exercise might help reset the body clock so people can hit the hay at the right time without alcohol.
10. Increase relaxation
Lifting 50-kilo dumbbells doesn’t seem that relaxing… but have you ever caught some Zzz’s after a long run or weight session at the gym? Doesn’t it feel blissful?
That’s because a moderate workout can be the equivalent of a sleeping pill, even for people with insomnia.
Exercising 5 to 6 hours before bedtime raises your body’s core temperature. When your temp drops back to normal a few hours later, it signals to your body that it’s time to sleep.
That delicious sleepy feeling after exercise can help you wind down far enough to get some hearty sleep. But it can also help you relax in the meantime.
11. Get More Done
Feeling uninspired in the cubicle? The solution might be just a short walk or jog away. Research suggests that workers who take time for regular exercise are more productive and have more energy than their more sedentary peers.
While busy schedules can make it tough to squeeze in a gym session in the middle of the day, some experts believe that midday is the ideal time for a workout due to the body’s circadian rhythms.
12. Tap Into Creativity
Most people follow a tough workout with a hot shower, but maybe we should be breaking out the colored pencils instead. (Showering in paint, however, is inadvisable.)
A heart-pumping gym session can boost creativity and spontaneous thinking. We can safely assume Vin Diesel worked out for his “Fast and Furious” roles after the scripts were written.
You can supercharge that post-workout inspiration by exercising outdoors (see benefit #4). Next time you need a burst of creative thinking, hit the trails for a long walk or run to refresh your body and brain at the same time. Sitting at home, slouched over a keyboard, may not be the answer.
13. Inspire Others
Whether it’s a pick-up game of soccer, a group class at the gym, or just a run with a friend, exercise rarely happens in a bubble. And that’s good news for all of us.
Studies show that most people perform better during aerobic tests when paired with a workout buddy. It could be the result of inspiration or good old-fashioned competition — nobody wants to let the other person down.
In fact, being part of a team is so powerful that it can actually increase athletes’ tolerance for pain.
Even fitness beginners can inspire each other to push harder during a sweat session. Find yourself a workout buddy and motivate each other!
Working out can have positive effects far beyond those rippling biceps. Gaining self-confidence, getting out of a funk, and even thinking more creatively are some of the great reasons to exercise on a regular basis.
You might think exercise isn’t for you — but it’s for everybody, and it’s never too late to start. We’ve got some tips to help you start lifting, whatever your age.
These are some of the benefits if you do exercise. It can be good for your mental health and the whole body health as well. We all want our whole body health to be great. If we do exercise every day, our whole being benefits from it. Just a few hours each week will help with our whole body health benefit.
Getting ready for an exercise is easy. We do not need to go to the gym all the time. We always can do it at home. We get the perfect whole body benefit when we exercise regularly. As much as we need to lose weight, we also need our whole body health in good condition.
Our whole body health benefit is important. it keeps us alert and productive all the time.
Exercising isn’t “one size fits all” — far from it. Cardio, HIIT, low-impact, plyometric, Pilates, resistance, running, weight training… the list goes on and on. Whichever workout you do, muscle flexing should be part of your routine.
Stretching is beneficial for everyone, from the power athlete to the desk worker. It can boost muscle function; relieve stiff, sore muscles; and minimize injury, among other perks.
But with all the different types of stretches out there, how do you know which ones are best for you? Where do you start?
These five core stretches are moves everyone should add to their daily routine, whether you train hard every day or squeeze in a quick 7-minute ab workout before dinner. Think of these stretches as a minimalist routine to help your body move better in your day-to-day life.
“I always say that strength comes from mobility,” says Mathew Forzaglia, a New York City-based personal trainer. Whip out this routine each morning or night to help combat stiff and sore muscles. You can use it as the basis of a customized stretching routine, based on your workout and lifestyle habits. Of course, talk to your doctor if you have new or increased pain while doing these stretches. Check out the routine below:
Forzaglia calls the couch stretch a staple for everyone, especially those who sit at a desk most of the day. “It will open up your hip flexors and lower abdomen while focusing on ankle mobility,” he says. “This will also help reduce tightness in the lower back.”
The couch stretch is sort of a floor lunge using the couch to support one leg. To do it, stand facing away from the couch and place one foot on the edge of the couch seat (Get it? “Couch stretch”?). Step the other leg forward as if you’re going into lunge position. Lower your “couch” knee to the floor and make sure your hip stays open. Reach your hand on that same side up to the ceiling. Hold for 1 to 2 minutes. Release and switch sides.
For more hip-opening, back-pain-relieving goodness, put your body into Pigeon, a yoga pose named for the fact that it’ll (sort of) make you look like the bird.
Sit on the floor with your left leg straight out behind you with the toes relaxed and your right knee bent outward. Pull your right heel to your left hip, making sure your left hip doesn’t open up. Slowly bend your torso over your right knee. Rest your hands on your hips or thighs or stretch them out on the mat. Hold and breathe for 1 minute. Slowly switch sides. You can make this stretch a little easier by keeping your torso more upright or make it more advanced by lowering your upper body closer to the floor.
The scorpion stretch not only stretches out your hips but also helps your chest, shoulders, and biceps. “Most people sit and hunch forward, so this will help [them] open up their anterior and stand up taller, reducing upper back pain,” Forzaglia says.
To do this stretch, lie facedown on the ground with your arms straight out from your sides, forming a T shape. Keep your left leg straight. Bend your right knee and lift your right foot up and over to the left. Alternate legs. There are beginner and advanced versions of this stretch, depending on your comfort level.
This deep stretch can be a little tricky to master, but it’s definitely worth it if you want to become more agile. “This will help keep our hips mobile in a place that we may not ever get into in everyday movement,” says Forzaglia. Targeting your hamstrings and inner thighs, this stretch is particularly ideal for athletes who need to perform lateral movement, like cutting sides or dodging, in their sport.
Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder width and your toes facing slightly outward. Shifting your weight to your right leg, slowly bend it so that you end up in a squat with your right leg bent and your left leg extended. Lift up your left foot so only your heel is on the ground. Repeat on the opposite side.
This yoga favorite targets your hip flexors and lower abs, which are often static throughout the day if you work at a desk. It also strengthens your wrists, arms, and shoulders, which can improve your posture. Those who run regularly can benefit from this stretch because it aids in rotational and lateral movement.
To do the stretch, lie facedown on the ground with your legs a few inches apart and your toes stretched out. Place your hands next to your lower ribs and, as you inhale, press your hands into the mat so that your torso is lifted. Press the tops of your feet down to slightly lift your thighs. Draw your heart forward so your neck isn’t hunched over. If you rotate your torso, you can also isolate the right or left side in a deeper stretch. Hold for 1 minute. Slowly lower to the starting position.
These exercises here are great for muscle flexing. All these will slowly keep your body strong. You can do these muscle flexing exercises regularly for the best results. We need exercise for our overall fitness. Try these muscle flexing exercises to keep your body and mind well.