Fitness & Wellness
WELLNESS TIP OF THE MONTH
Wellness: a consistent deliberate effort to achieve the highest potential for a total well-being.
LOOK AND FEEL YOUNGER Starting in your 30s your body’s connective tissues-muscles, tendons and ligaments start to shorten and tighten losing elasticity. Even more than aging, poor posture (such as slumping while you sit, stand, or walk) causes tightening and impedes blood flow.
BLOOD CIRCULATION IS THE KEY TO LIFE
Living tissue relies on the constant circulation of blood to supply oxygen and nutrients to every living cell and to carry waste away. When we are doing Essentrics and the Aging Backwards classes, we are working through stretching to get maximum circulation, getting the blood that is pumping through our hearts through our entire body. We need that circulation of blood and bodily fluids to wash right through to the end of our fingertips—to the ends of every muscle from toes to brain. We do that by exercises right to the ends of our fingers. If you find yourself just using half of your body, force yourself to go right to the end of your limbs and you’ll see that you revitalize your whole body, get more energy, and feel refreshed by the end of the workout.
When you spend a great deal of time in a neutral position like sitting, blood in the pelvis and the legs can become stagnate. This can lead to poor circulation and blood pooling which is a concentration of blood in the muscles. Usually it is referred to during an exercise class.
According to the Mayo Clinic, stretching increases blood circulation and blood flow to muscles. Increased blood flow to our body and brain can be achieved through Essentrics and Aging Backwards work outs. Increased blood flow will also boost your oxygen to your muscles, help remove waste products such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid while increasing endorphins, which are natural pain killers and promote a general sense of wellbeing.
Let’s go back to carbon dioxide for a moment. Carbon dioxide, CO2, is a gaseous waste product that the blood carries to the lungs where it is exhaled. Lactic acid is produced in our muscles and blood cells when the body breaks down carbohydrates. Over time, poor blood circulation can create a buildup of calcifications (those hard knots most of us have in our upper back). Not to mention a hunched, aged look and restricted movement.
Despite the damage you’ve done, and no matter how old you are, flexibility can be regained by stretching regularly and improvement can be seen within weeks. When you stretch, especially within the Essentrics and Aging Backwards technique, you actually lengthen the muscles and tendons. This is what increasing flexibility means. When a muscle is flexible, it enables the joint to completely flex, extend, and move in multiple directions (known as range of motion), whether it is to throw a ball, or turn a car’s steering wheel. Enhanced flexibility and movement rang also affects your life in ways you don’t realize. In one study, participants age 60 and older increased their everyday walking speed by simply stretching regularly, nothing else.
In Essentrics and Aging Backwards classes, we keep the blood flowing into all of the muscles (large and small). If we don’t use our muscles, they will dry out. We do a lot of joint rotation, stretching every joint as we are moving those joints, lubricating the joints and bringing the blood flow in. Also, in addition to all of those wonderful things, Essentrics and Aging Backwards does, it is also a mind-body exercise which helps lower age-accelerating anxiety, stress and high blood pressure while also raising your ability to battle damage from free radicals. (Definition: as the body uses oxygen, these by-products cause oxidative damage to the cells of the body. Free radicals come from smoking, pollution, poisons, fried foods and as a by-product of normal metabolism. Free radical damage is associated with an increased risk of many chronic diseases.)