It is widely understood that one of the huge differences in lifestyle between modern people and their ancestors is that we sit a lot more and walk a lot less. This sitting, particularly sitting for long periods in chairs, and particularly in front of desks with our head and shoulders hunched forward, has contributed to a lot of discomfort and injury. And it has only been made worse by being combined with the even more hours of the day peering down at screens of varying sizes and types.
Is back pain familiar to you? If so, you’re not alone. Eighty percent of the population of the US, at some point in their lives, with suffer from chronic or acute low back pain. That’s a frightening statistic. About 2% to 10% of people who experience low back pain develop chronic low back pain.
The first thing most people do when low back pain strikes is reach for the pain pills. Advil and other over-the-counter medications have numerous side effects and will lose their effectiveness when used in the long term.
Instead let’s use our body to heal our pain.
Leg Series is a set of postures I developed as a very gentle way to stretch the legs and hips. I particularly like to use it myself after I have been travelling and sitting a lot, or at the end of a long day. It is gentle enough that it works for most students.
When speaking with clients and potential clients, personal trainers are often asked their opinions about the latest fad in the exercise industry. I can't count how many times I am asked my view on such workouts as P90X, CrossFit, etc. While these are good workout programs that certainly have their place with certain segments of the population, I do not recommend them for beginners or people who have returned to exercise after a long lapse. For these clients, it is important to first master correct posture and form before jumping in to more advanced levels of exercise.
There is no substitute for consistency. You must consistently exercise your muscles, your heart, your lungs, and your mind. You must consistently stretch your body, your heart, and your mind. Consistency is not 2 days a week or every now and then. It is every day! Every day get up and move, get uncomfortable. Every day reward that movement with stretching. If you are consistent your body will thank you. If you are consistent your heart and mind will thank you.
For those of you who just hit the gym, no warm up on cardio for even 5 minutes and start stretching before your workout is asking for serious issues. First you shouldn't ever stretch cold, ever, your muscles won't be happy with you.