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FIT
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How to Protect Your Back

Author Jennifer    Category Fitness     Tags , , , , ,

If you injure your back you are not going to exercise. This is antithetical to losing weight and keeping fit.

 

Here are some tips on how to protect your back from injury –

 

If you stand for long periods of time it is best to stand with knees flexed and if possible try to periodically rest one foot and then another on a small footrest.

 

You can also prevent back pain by being careful about the way you get out of a chair. Whenever possible be sure to avoid lurching, straining or struggling to get up. It also helps to sit in a chair without arms. This process greatly reduces muscle effort and stress on your arms and legs.

 

If you remain seated for a long period of time at your job you can also reduce back stress by sitting erectly and place a small cushion behind your lower back… You can also do a standing back stretch with both hands on your hips and bending from the hips a bit backwards. If you stretch frequently that can help prevent tension, stiff neck, muscle spasm, shoulder and arm pain and well as headaches and back pain.

 

Walking is also good for most people’s backs. Walk with a good posture with your head held high and your chin tucked. Make sure you let your arms swing freely as this is good exercise for the back muscles as well. When you are walking keep your forward motion by propelling the ball and toes of the rear foot forward so your weight is well distributed.

You should also be sure to always wear high quality comfortable walking shoes and wear thick socks when you are walking. Walking inside in bad weather, as in walking in a shopping mall is best.

 

To protect your back you should also pay special attention to the way you are bending a lifting. Whenever possible be sure to do this from a squatting position and also be sure to use your legs to bear some of the weight of your legs. You should also try to keep the load close to your body and make sure that you bend from the knees and hips only.

 

Believe it or not you can also hurt your back getting in and out of bed. To prevent this you should enter your bed kneeling on your hands and knees and then set yourself down gently. Before getting out of bed in the morning roll onto your stomach and then back to the edge of the bed in the crawling position. Then place your feet on the floor and give yourself a push off with your hands until you are standing up.

 

FIT
30

The Rules of Doing Tai Chi Correctly

When you practice tai chi exercises you don’t have to get them perfect. However there are some basic guidelines that you need to enjoy the maximum health, mental and spiritual benefits of doing them.

 

The first thing you need to be mindful of when you do Tai Chi is how you turn directions. Most people get the hang of this when they practice in a group. However when you do them alone it helps to imagine a clock in front of you and picture a midnight, three o’clock, six o’clock and 9 o’clock on a dial. This can help prevent you from making a full spin with your body when making a quarter turn or ending up facing the south when you should be facing east.

 

The next big thing that you need to pay attention to when you perform tai chi is how you are breathing. This is not breathing that is done from the upper chest. It is done from the diaphragm. You will also be breathing more through your mouth then you normally would. Usually people breathe through their nose.

 

It is also important to take deep cleansing breaths that initiate from a place as deep in your belly as you can feel. This helps calm and relax you as well as limbers you up so you can perform the postures.

 

You will also be taught to hold your breath. Many tai chi masters say that the healing does not take place on the inhale or exhale but rather on the pause between either.  So you are never gulping air like a goldfish in a bowl. You are inhaling, holding your breath and then exhaling.

 

As a general rule in Tai Chi you will be breathing in whenever you elevate your arms and breathing out when lowering your arms or bending.

 

It is not speed that counts when you do tai chi. Exercises are done very slowly which at first makes people who are not used to it teeter off of their balance. You should also never find yourself breathing fast!

 

One rule in Tai Chi is that you should never bend your knees further than your toes. So this means that if you look down you should still be able to see them. Doing too deep of a squat is a no no in Tai Chi. This is how you build lower body strength and stability.

 

It is also crucial that you keep your body relaxed while you do these exercises. You should shake out as much tension from your neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, fingers, legs, ankles and toes as you can before you start.