Mermaid Demonstrates Water Exercises

Okay.  So I’m not really a mermaid.  But when I’m in the water I feel like one. 🙂

There are so many benefits to exercising in water.

  • Water acts as resistance to your movements so your muscles become stronger.
  • You don’t sweat.
  • You are in the sunshine if it’s an outdoor pool so your body can create Vitamin D.
  • Water supports you so you actually weigh less; gravity pulls less on you and your body can lengthen.

If you can’t bear to go into the deep end, that’s okay.  You can get all the benefits of water exercise by walking or running in the shallow end.

You can do all of the movements in this video in the shallow end, too, except the scissors sideways kick.

Water exercises are easy on your joints, strengthen your muscles and when most of your body is underwater your spine gets a break from gravity, too!

 

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What Causes Stress And How Can You Get Rid Of Your Stress Naturally?

Good stress is the kind we have when things are really going pretty well.  Life may be hectic, busy and full.  Events like weddings, parties and graduation events are being planned.  But we are in charge and probably having some fun, too.  There is stress but it is good stress.  You are in control, like the Continue reading

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Get Rid Of Stress Naturally With Laughter!

I used to work in a restaurant kitchen.  The owner  KNEW how she wanted her kitchen run!

She caused big stress for some of the kitchen employees.  She didn’t mean it, I’m sure, but she sure could do it.

At least once a month, one of the women who worked in Minnie’s restaurant kitchen went home in tears.

It was Minnie’s kitchen and Minnie knew how it was supposed to run.

It probably didn’t help that Minnie also used to be a drill sergeant in the army.  Well, at least, it didn’t help us.

So, one day Minnie was yelling (again.)  “You girls is so slow,” or maybe it was, “You girls is so sloppy!”  (It was always one of the two.)

And the other kitchen worker had left already, in tears.

And I said (with a big smile), “Minnie, if we work neat, you say:  You girls is so slow.  And if we work fast, you say:  You girls is so sloppy.”

Then we just looked at each other for about a minute, and Minnie started Continue reading

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Why Do You Need Arch Supports For Your Flat Feet?

Do you need arch supports for your flat feet?  Maybe so.  Here’s why:

Your feet are the foundation of your skeleton.  Your arch keeps you in an upright posture.

When you do not have an arch in your foot, your foundation collapses.  And when your foundation cannot support you in a neutral, balanced position you can end up with pain.

Where exactly will your flat feet cause pain?

Hold onto your hats!

While you may have pain from stretched, strained muscles in the arch of your foot there are other areas that you wouldn’t have guessed.  Like your neck?

When you have an arch in your foot your weight will be pretty much balanced on your toes, on your heel and on the outer edge of your foot.  But if you don’t have an arch you will carry most of your weight on your toes.

Here’s how to determine where you carry your weight on your feet:  Stand up, barefoot, for about 5 minutes.  Don’t move.  After 5 minutes notice where your weight is.  It will either feel fairly even around your whole foot or you feel the most pressure under your toes.

It is possible to regain some of your arch by walking barefoot and doing exercises for your foot and leg muscles.  Sometimes shoes may actually do us a dis-service.  After all, we were not born with shoes on our feet.

But if you have to wear shoes make them as comfortable as you can so nothing is pinching or squashing.  And wear a good arch support, one that will actually hold your arches up.  Make sure your arch supports fit YOUR arches.  It shouldn’t feel as though you are walking on a walnut.

So why should you wear arch supports if you have flat feet?

Remember where the weight was on your feet?  Did you feel it mostly under your toes?  If so, you are leaning forward whenever you stand or walk.

When you lean forward, your heavy head is out in front of your body.  It is exactly where gravity can grab it and pull you into poor, collapsed posture.

Poor posture puts a lot of stress on your neck muscles and causes pain in your (click the link) neck and upper back.

It can even pull the natural curve out of your lower back and cause low back pain. 

That’s why you may need arch supports for your flat feet.

 

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Improve Your Posture With These Simple Stretches

Did you know that the muscles in your chest get short and tight when your posture is poor? While your poor back muscles are getting overstretched and complaining the front muscles shrink.  The chest muscles don’t complain; they just get tight.

When you collapse forward you look older and you don’t feel as well.  You can’t breathe as well and all of your organs get squashed, too.

But you can start straightening up right now.  🙂  By stretching those chest muscles you can start getting your shoulders back where they belong and you can improve your posture.

Here are three easy ways to stretch your chest muscles to improve your posture.

1. Butterfly Stretch.  Lie near the edge of your bed.  Let your arm gently drop off edge of bed. (One arm at a time.)

Pretend your arm is a butterfly wing moving from your leg to your head. Turn your palm up while you do this movement, if you can.

You will feel stretching happening  in various places in the upper front of your arm and chest muscles. It’s okay to wait a little while when you feel something stretching to let it stretch.

I love doing exercises like this when laying down because gravity helps you stretch when you are on your back.

2. Doorway Stretch.  Many people like the doorway stretch because you can do it anytime.  Here’s how:  Lean into a doorway with your hands on the door frame. Position one hand on each side of the door frame.

Use three different heights for hand placement on the frame:  hands at hip height, at shoulder height and over your head.

Hold the door frame securely and lean forward. Watch the position of your head–you don’t want to lead with your head. Let your chest lead.

3.  Stretching Video:  And here’s a little video that will help you stretch your chest muscles (click this link)–>:  Stretch Chest Muscles Video.

As your chest muscles become lengthened your shoulders will be able to go back to their correct, neutral position and your posture will improve naturally.

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What Is Arthritis And Does Arthritis Cause Joint Pain?

Do you have “joint pain?”  It may caused by “wear and tear” arthritis.  Arthritis is bony growth or spurs on the bones where muscles attach.

Or maybe it is NOT caused by arthritis.

Most pain is caused by muscles and muscles are fixable.  This is true even if your doctor sees arthritic changes on an x-ray. 

We all have bony changes but we do not all have pain!

Joint pain is often really muscle pain.  We think it’s joint pain because that’s where we feel it–in the joint.

But here’s the cool thing:

When you ‘release’ or relax the muscles that cross over the joint, the pain goes away.  You can relax the muscles with massage, self-massage, heat or cold.

Have you heard me say that bodies heal all the time?  That’s just because it’s true!  🙂

And that goes for joint pain, too.

When you skin your knee or cut yourself you can watch it heal over the course of several days.  But when the pain is inside, you can’t see it heal.

But it can and it does.

Bodies heal all the time.  That includes arthritic aches and pains.

But you have to give Continue reading

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What Causes Bone Spurs?

Do you have bone spurs?   There are simple reasons for this.  Here’s an article that will explain how bone spurs develop in your neck and spine.  It works the same way all over the body.

http://simplepainrelief.com/2012/07/30/what-causes-bone-spurs-in-your-neck-spine/

Most of us have bone spurs.  They can happen anywhere a muscle attaches to a bone.  In fact, that’s the only place they DO occur.  And if you have pain, these spurs may show up on x-rays.  The doctor may say, “You have arthritis.”

But just because a spur is visible on a test does not mean that it is the cause of your pain!

The problem is that when a doctor sees something like a spur he or she thinks:  “That must be the cause of the pain!”

Unfortunately, most doctors don’t learn much about muscles when they are in med school.  They might learn ways to treat bone spurs but they don’t learn about the cause of the spur. They just may say you have arthritis.

Go read the article about bone spurs to discover more.

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What Causes Muscle Knots In Your Upper Back?

What IS the most common cause of muscle knots in your upper back?

When muscles are stretched too far too often they develop “knots.”  Those knots are a special type of contraction that keep the muscles from being stretched too far and injured. This is the most common cause of muscle knots.

This type of knot doesn’t relax well when someone presses on it.  It cannot relax because it’s already stretched too far.

A different type of knot occurs when you are actively using a muscle.  For instance, if you are carrying something that causes you to hike your shoulder and get a knot on the top of your shoulder.  That knot is a ‘normal’ contraction and will respond well to pressure.

What’s inside muscle knots?

Nothing but muscle tissue is inside.  There are some chemical changes in the tissues but there is nothing to squeeze or cut out.

How can you get rid of those miserable knots in your upper back?

The over-stretched type of knot needs treatment in many places to help it relax.  You cannot have someone blast away on it because it can’t relax that way.  Rather, you have to go on a search for tight and tender areas that surround the knot.  After you relax those muscles then the knot can relax, too.

The most common places to find tight muscles that are causing your upper back knots are:

  • On the front side of your ribs.
  • On the side of your ribs.
  • Lower on your back, below your arm pit.
  • On your upper arm.
  • Your upper chest where it attaches to your arm.
  • Your neck muscles.

Press into those areas looking for tightness and tenderness.  Press into the muscle not just the skin.  Pressure is a type of massage that can help those areas relax.

If you can’t effectively massage or press into those areas a skilled massage therapist can help.  But be careful:  If a therapist is not very skilled he or she will blast away on the knot and it won’t help.  You may have to direct the therapist where to work  if that is the case or just go to someone else.

You can discover more about getting rid of those miserable knots in your upper back by downloading a free report from me at Knots In Your Back.

The hardest area for you yourself to help relax are the muscles on your neck.  When you move your arms, they tend to tighten.  I cover those muscles in the Knots In Your Back program.

You can also find lots of articles about the knots in your upper back at Simple Back Pain Relief.

 

 

 

 

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Muscle Strain In Your Upper Back–Why Do You Have Tight Shoulder Muscles?

I’ll bet you have tight muscles in your upper back and neck.  That’s called muscle strain and most people have it.

Some people have it all the time and some people only have it occasionally.

What Causes Muscle Strain?

Your head is supposed to sit over your spine just like a toddler’s head does.  The problem is, for one reason or another, when we are passed toddlerhood, our heads move forward.

Your head is heavy!  Now your muscles have to work to hold up your heavy head.  When you were a toddler your spine bones held it up.

The job of bones is to hold us in the correct place.  However, when we get out of the correct, neutral posture then your muscles take over the job of bones.

And that’s not the job of muscles.  Their job is to help you move not to hold you up.

So your muscles get strained.  They are working too hard.  They are not happy.

Your tight shoulder muscles are a symptom; they are complaining.  That’s what symptoms are:  complaints.

How Can You Get Rid Of Muscle Strain?

1.  Take the strain off the neck and back muscles by improving your posture.  Sit up straight.  Stand up straight.  How can you do that?  Lift your breastbone.  Pretend there is a string attached to your breastbone and it is pulling you up to the sky.

2.  Strengthen your back muscles.  The muscles in the front of your body are already tight and short even though they don’t complain.

3.  Stretch the muscles in the front of your body.

You can learn an easy way to do #2 and #3 by watching this little video.

And here are 6 ways to help your shoulders relax:  http://www.simplebackpainrelief.com/upper-back-pain/shoulder-pain/tight-shoulders-here-are-6-ways-to-help-your-shoulders-relax/ 

There are lots of upper back pain relief articles at that website.  Spend some time and look around.  You CAN get rid of the muscles strain in your upper back naturally.

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Bodies Need Balance–Strong Chest Muscles Can Cause Knots In Your Back

Knots in your back can be caused by overstretch of back muscles.  When the back muscles are overstretched they complain.  They get knots or give you pain in some other way.

Poor posture is the most common cause for upper back muscle strain but here’s another aggravating factor.

This note came to me from a reader who had muscle knots in his back.

I discovered that my pain came from unbalanced exercise. I have in the past and was again doing a push-up regimen. Without strengthening the counter-balancing upper back muscles, my push-ups were causing imbalance and thus pain. I’m now doing a more balanced workout and feeling fine.

It’s much more common that our back muscles are weak.  If you spend lots of time on the chest muscles making them look and be big and strong, they can easily overrule your back muscles.

We need strong back sides from the knees to the base of the skull.  That will help keep you from having knots in your back.

There are many more articles for you at Simple Back Pain Relief.com  Check it out!  🙂

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