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Time to move!

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Author: Will Mbanga, Posted: Thursday, 24th January 2019, 09:00

We’re already over half way through winter and hopefully you have found a way to keep yourself physically active, despite the wet and cold weather. Having a plan to keep healthy is a great first step, but without action it remains just that. We spoke of New Year Intentions last month and putting actions to your intentions is what will bring about the wellness outcomes you desire this year.

The human body was designed to move, but modern life has resulted in a de-evolving population with obesity, postural defects and mental health problems all rising significantly over the last 40 years. Add in modern stressors, poor nutrition choices, the breakdown of traditional families and, in some cases, poorly designed training programs and one can see how this combination of factors result in injuries/illness, poor posture and impacts on movement capacity.

To ensure your physical activity regimen adequately addresses muscle imbalances or structural impediments, the following tips would be useful additions to your training plan.

1. Mobility and flexibility

Work on improving your range of motion and flexibility about your joints through regular stretching and including mobility exercises between sets in the gym or in your daily routine.

2. Exercise pairing

Aim to pair exercises, for example pulling and pushing exercises (pull first, then push).

Getting appropriate rest and recovery are essential components to good health. Adequate sleep, finding ways of de-stressing, and allowing your body time to regenerate are essential components of ensuring your mind and body are in good health. We all service and MOT our cars – the same is necessary for our health; ensuring robust physical and mental health is critical for when the tough times come.

A good balanced diet is essential

With regard to nutrition and hydration, while everyone has unique individual needs, a good balanced diet (and where necessary, adding to it with high grade, nutritional supplements) is essential. A good starting point is to take a Food Intolerance test to establish the most appropriate food groups and nutrients for your individual needs. Thereafter, ensuring you eat regularly, or find an optimal Fasting protocol, and are well hydrated are the final pieces of the puzzle. Try carrying a 1 litre bottle and refilling it 2-4 times a day depending on your activity levels.

The combination of intentional movement through regular exercise, along with mobility and flexibility work will improve posture and play an important role in delivering improved health and wellness outcomes. A few exercises to include in your routine are:

• Neck rotations – to lengthen and strengthen the muscles that are bent over mobile phones/computers 24-7.

• Scapular retraction – to relieve shoulder tension and improve neck posture.

• Thoracic extension – to lengthen and strengthen the spine, and relieve tension and improve posture.

• Hip extension – to reduce negative effects of hunched sitting posture.

• Ankle dorsi-flexion – toe to shin flexes to release tension and improve movement function.

As your body moves more efficiently from a mechanical perspective, you will begin to enjoy the benefits of improved digestion, sleep and general well-being. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get moving!

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