|Posted on April 30, 2017 at 2:15 PM|
The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise daily for adults and 60 minutes for kids. Are you getting that much movement? Although the benefits are endless, here are 6 Reasons Why Daily Movement is Key.
We all have our reason why, write me and let me know, what are you reasons for daily movement?
1) Disc Health: The Discs between the vertebrae are like sponges and can actually get dried out. Movement, compression and decompression of the discs hydrates them. Twisting, side bending, and articulating the spine one bone at a time like in a roll-up or bridging exercise are all great for spine health and disc health. If you are already dealing with a disc issue, bulge, herniation and/or slipped disc, you will want to be careful or avoid those 3 kinds of movements until you have rehabbed the disc. How do you rehab a disc issue with Pilates? The Pilates Reformer is an amazing piece of equipment built by Joseph Pilates. It works against the resistance of springs. Lying down on the reformer mat you push your feet against a foot bar, and the mat rolls out on wheels along tracks. The spring tension attached to the bottom of the mat by hooks can be adjusted. Starting with a light tension to heal disc issues is ideal because you are created length and strength at the same time. Using the reformer to traction the body decompresses the spine and makes space for the disc to heal. Strengthening the feet, leg, hip, abdominal, and spine muscles is key for when you stand up and are required to push down into your feet and lengthen your body up against gravity.
2) Joint Health: The Joints have fluid in them too, called synovial fluid. Daily movement redistributes the synovial fluid lubricating the joint and making movements fluid. You may notice when doing a new movement like arm circles that the circle isn’t smooth, it’s jerky or uneven. With daily movement exercises become more smooth, even and symmetrical because synovial fluid is redistributed healing the joint. The muscles more optimally support the bones, and the alignment of the bones improves. When the alignment of the bones improves, grinding, wear and tear at the joint is minimized, improving joint health. Ideally the bones should all float, and when you walk out of a Pilates, Yoga or Yamuna Body Rolling class, that is often the delicious statement I hear from my students, “I feel like I’m floating!”
3) Bone Health: Osteoporosis and osteopenia can both be addressed by moving more. Bone health is directly related to the amount of force the bone is asked to withstand. We hear the term weight bearing exercise and automatically think of weight training, but did you know that bone density is also affected by the force of the muscles pulling on the bones? Which means moving without weights can also positively affect your bones! Gentle daily exercise like Pilates, Yoga, and Yamuna Body rolling all work to enhance body density.
4) Mental Health: Screen time in our society is an inevitable daily habit. Sitting and looking at a computer for many hours have implications mentally, physically, posturally and psychologically. Balancing work and screen time with nature and exercise is key. Getting outside to walk or scheduling an hour of your day to lie down on a mat and exercise is a priceless balance to our technological advances. Literally unwinding stress patterns in the mind, when you lie down on the mat and start to focus on your breathing you release stress, the mind relaxes, and the nervous system settles repairing the ill effects of stress. Psychological diseases like anxiety, depression, and attention disorders can all be improved with daily movement.
5) Cardiovascular Health: Breathing and heart health are related. As we breathe the blood is oxygenated and so is our brain. I think people believe they have to run or cycle or swim to receive cardiovascular healing. And I love all of those activities, but when healing injuries, low impact exercise can keep you moving and still deliver cardiovascular benefits. Have you even noticed your heart rate at the end of a sun salutation? Even during a Pilates flow you’ll noticed increased breath volume and an elevation in heart rate. On the flip side, learning how to take long slow deep breaths can calm the heart rate, healing and strengthening the lungs and settling the nervous system.
6) Spiritual Health: Just like you take your car in for maintenance, your body is the vehicle for the soul and requires daily maintenance in the form of movement, exercise and deep breathing. I find that when I lie down on my mat and carve out an hour in the day for self-care and self-love, my heart softens, opens and sings. I am amazed at how my moods lift, questions I was trying to find answers to become clear, and I feel more present after a workout. My mind clears because I took a break and focused just on my movement and breath for an hour, letting go of all the other thoughts in my mind. Generally I give students 1-3 breaths to rest in between exercises for recovery. During the short time it takes to breathe 1-3 times, there is a replenishing of chi, energy or light. As you make the body more supple with movement you make space for the spirit to fill you. We are beings of light. The more I study anatomy the more I am in awe of God as the Ultimate Artist.
Check out the Lake Pilates group class schedule to help you move daily. If you are new to exercise, scheduling a private appointment is a good place to start. Please contact me at [email protected] with your questions or to schedule. And definitely let me know your reason why. Thank you. Peace.
copyright Hawa Robin Cahn April 2017