We were all taught in grade school through high school about stretching. Some coaches even tried to teach us by many were too stiff to actually do the stretches. If you think about, they were the worst people to teach anything about stretching. Typically we have been told to hold a stretch for more than 20 seconds and try to stretch as many muscles at once as possible. That is recipe for disaster, or as in most cases, nothing happens. Sadly many professionals use this same tactic to teach stretching today and some organizations will tell you to never hold a stretch for less than 20 seconds. I recently wrote a paper at the University of South Florida comparing strength training to stretching and I was shocked at what I found. There are hundreds of studies about strength training and how to build muscle. There were very few studies about the benefits of stretching. I was shocked!
Stretching is about reducing your risk of injuries and reducing the wear and tear of aging on the joints. Your joints are held together with ligaments which are like taffy. When you overstretch the the ligaments they do not bounce back into shape. This is why highly flexible young people may experience joint issues as they age becuase the joint is too loose. The tendons connect the muscles to the bones and they are like rubber bands. You can stretch them and they will retract back to their original form. Keep in mind that mosat muscles cross over a joint. For instance, the lower muscles attahc above the knee and the upper leg muscles attach below the knee. When the muscle get tight and start to shorten over time, you will loose spacing in the knee between the upper leg bone (femur) and lower leg bones (Tibia and Fibula). Without the proper stretching, you can experience bursitis which is a sac that tells you the joint is too close together, arthritis, which is really the drying of the joint, or wrose yet breaking of the cartilage leading to knee replacement. When the bones are too close together, the bones squeeze out the synovial fluid(lubricant) that the body naturally injects into the joint to provide lubrication and cushioning. When this is squeezed out, the joint dires and leads to arthritis. All of this can be avoided by simply learnign how to stretch and doing it consistently every day. Think about your dog or cat, they stretch every day without anyone telling them to do so. Guess who’s smarter!
How do you stretch? Do you hold for long periods of time? Do you have a chronic injury?
What I am about to tell you may sound like I have lost my mind, but I have used it since I was 17 years old and it works. I grew up in WIlmington, NC and the summer temperatures can stay in the high 90’s to 100’s with humidity above 95% every day, whether it is raining or not. As a kid I work on farms to earn money between sports seasons and an old farmer taught me how to stay cooler on those hot summer days. He told me to wear a long sleeve shirts and long pants with a wide bream hat when I was outside. I know, like I said, it sounded nuts to me too. However, I decided to try it as I was dying every day in the heat. He was absolutely correct. He explained that by wearing the long shirts and pants your body would sweat which would keep you cool. The clothes would absorb the sweat and keep your body about 10 degrees cooler. You are sweating no matter what you wear, however, when the skin is exposed with shorts and tank tops, the sun dries the sweat as soon as you sweat, which will makes the skin sizzle. This will increase the temperature on your skin causing you to sweat even more without the cooling effect. Sweating is the body’s way of cooling you down naturally and it removes the toxins from your body. I know you may hate to sweat and some of you may even say you never sweat, but most of us do sweat unless your body’s sweat glands do not work properly. To help you wrap your brain around this idea, imagine how cool you feel if you jumped into the pool with your clothes on. In fact, when you would intially get out you may be a little chilled. Your sweat does the same thing.
The wide bream hat will keep the sun from baking onto your head whch will also increase your heat level. If you are concerned about skin cancer, the hat will prevent skin cancers from forming where you part your hair and this can happen to men and women. Getting sun exposure for short periods of time, like an hour or so, is good for you, but if you will be out in the sun for long periods of time be sure to wrap up and stay cool. This will protect your skin from the dangerous sun rays that can damage your skin. Happy sunning!
The Muscle Repair Shop is unique in how we view the human body. We look for the causes of your pain and what you arer doing that could causing the pain to re-occur or get worse. When I started this business in 2005, I was suffering from severe back pain. It was so bad that I would crawl out of my car by placing my hands on the ground to get out. I drove an old Lincoln Town Car and you knwo how big they were! I have a 2 year degree from Florida College of Natural Health and my focus was on Neuromuscular massage and Sports massage. After graduation, I studied with Aaron Mattes, founder of Active Isolated Stretching, for 6 months. The anatomy of the muscles came very easy to me as if by some divine intervention. Recently, I completed a Bachelors degree from Univeersity of South Florida in AGing Sciences. This has helped me better understand how we age from our 30’s until we die. I look at the body from a mechanical viewpoint. Our body balances from side to side and front to back. The muscles, unlike our bones, tend to cause pain on the opposite side of the cause. In other words, if your inner thighs are tight, you may experience low back stiffness, not inner thigh pain. I then attended a lecture at Sarasota Memorial Hospital about dementia and the brain’s role in our lives. I relaized from that lecture that our brains contorl our muscles physically, but more importantly, emotional as well. That was a big piece of the puzzle. I began combining the Neuromuscular massage, Active Isolated Stretching,and releasing the emotion with our brain. It was amazing the results I got from people that had been suffering for decades, in some cases, with chronic pain. Common ailments liek low back pain, palntar fasciitis, and tendonitis were being resolved with this technique. The best part is, I can teach my clients how to help themselves. This has baffled many practitioners. If you would like to come and talk about how I can help you, I am offering a 30 minute free consult. Just schedule here: Schedule a Free Consultation
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