Sunday, March 27, 2016

Move Often, Not Just at the Gym

On Dr. Mercola's Web site, Katy Bowman discussed nutritional movement, or moving throughout the day as opposed to being sedentary and going to the gym at times. A masseuse recently told me that muscles "freeze" like meat in the freezer if you do not move. We know that we are usually more stiff in the morning after a night of sleep than throughout the day. I tried to do a back bend in the morning and the physical therapist told me that muscles have to warm up first. That is why stretching is important.

In her discussion, Katy points out how most of us are sedentary at work or in front of the computer and television all day, then spend a specific time at the gym. Instead, it is best to work in housework, walking and other tasks throughout the day to keep circulation flowing, muscles fluid and calories burning instead of just working out a few hours a week.

Dr. Mercola wrote that the interface between active and inactive muscles in your body is where injury happens. To read Dr. Mercola's article and see Katy's video, click here: bit.ly/1XWeM74.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Life Your Leg for Core Abdominal Strength and for Balance

I have been ignorant when it comes to physical therapy. And, in spite of MANY abdominal exercises and Martha Graham dance contractions, my deep abdominal muscles need some work, according to my great physical therapist.

Here is a test to see if your deep abdominal muscles are strong: Stand with feet hip width apart. Place your fingers (one hand for each side) by your top pelvic and pubic bones and monitor if your hips do not shift when you move your leg. This is key.

Simply lift one leg at a time, just an inch or two off the floor, while you breathe. Hold for 30 seconds. Are your hips shifting? This may be a sign of abdominal weakness.

Repeat the exercise with a two-inch mat under your standing leg.

Repeat the exercise with your eyes closed. Try to keep your leg up for 30 seconds. This measures balance!

Repeat for the other leg.

Repeat all variations for each leg equally and as needed.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on http://www.authorhouse.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories. These two books are on my Web sitehttp://www.louizapatsis.com.


Friday, March 18, 2016

Physical Therapy Exercise for the Gluteus Medius- Clam shell

I went to physical therapy for the first time this week! And I have done a lot of exercising, dancing and walking! I need the physical therapy to stabilize and strengthen deep abdominal and other core muscles and to soothe tension in my hips and thighs.

The gluteus medialis, I was told, supports the hips and thus takes tension off the knees, which take a lot of wear and tear in anyone's life, especially an athlete's. Here is a simple exercise to strengthen this muscle. 

Lie down on your right side on an exercise mat. Make sure your hip bones are aligned and the lower back is not stuck out or ducked under your spine. Breathe in by expanding your rib cage and belly. When you breathe out, concentrate on your belly muscles contracting around your navel. Bend or straighten your right leg. Open a bent left leg like an opening clam shell (a nick name for this exercise) as far as you can without compromising your hip position. Close the leg so your knees meet. Do this slowly five to ten times. Repeat while on your left side.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on http://www.authorhouse.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories. These two books are on my Web sitehttp://www.louizapatsis.com.