BREATHING AND POSTURE
Perhaps I repeat this message too often. But because of my dad’s passing and his inability to stand tall and breathing deeply, I thought I’d mention it again.
Your ability to breathe deeply is directly affected by your ability to stand up tall. Try breathing deeply with slumped shoulders and rounded back. Then do it again with lengthened spine and shoulders pulled back. You’ll feel just how much more air you can bring into your lungs and how much air you can push back out of your lungs.
The most efficient breathing pattern is to breathe in normally without straining. Then feel that the exhale is taking longer than the inhale. This style of breathing actually improves your lungs ability to utilize oxygen more efficiently. If you’re interested in learning more about this, check out THIS ARTICLE and scroll to PURSED LIP BREATHING.
YOUR ASSIGNMENT: This week, reinforce this idea that you’ll breathe better throughout your lifetime simply by standing taller. Then practice taking normal inhales and longer exhales. Know that by doing this you are better utilizing the air that’s coming into your lungs.
7-Minutes of Stretch
Even just a few minutes of stretching can help you with your fitness goals. You don’t have to spend a lot of time with it. Just raise your arms overhead and try to touch the ceiling. There. Done. Feel better? That’s all it takes! Here’s a 7-minute stretching sequence I did on Facebook live last week. Check it out…
YOUR ASSIGNMENT: This week, either do this 7-minute sequence (it’s actually 8.5. Oops) or do one of my STRETCH workouts.
THORACIC SPINE MOBILTY
The two most flexible parts of the spine are the lower back and the neck. It’s common to have discomfort in these areas because they are the least stable areas of the spine. The least flexible section of the spine is the thoracic spine which runs from the middle of the back to the base of the neck. Years of poor posture can create a hunched back. Make sure that doesn’t happen to you. HERE IS A VIDEO with two exercises that help.
YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Do these two exercises and see if you can feel more mobility in your shoulders and neck because of the increased movement in your upper back.
Maintaining flexibility is so important, especially as we age. It can be easy to let stretching slide. But doing just a few minutes of stretching every week makes a huge difference. If you stretch often enough, eventually you’ll discover the stretches your body needs the most.
I have a bunch of STRETCH WORKOUTS in the library.
Also, the 7 DAYS OF STRETCH PROGRAM is a great way to do a few minutes of stretching every day. It is now under the PROGRAMS section in the video library.
YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Sometime this week, do some stretching. How about joining me for the live stretch class on Friday?