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Author: Shirley Ruetimann

Body Mindfulness Studio / Articles posted by Shirley Ruetimann (Page 3)

Wrist Flexibility and Mobility

A lot of people have been telling me about experiencing discomfort in their wrists when performing weight bearing exercises in class. Other stories about repetitive strain injuries, carpal tunnel and myriad wrist troubles, as well as Marja's recent workshop showcasing 'Wellbeing in the Office' have acted as inspiration to blog on another often overlooked joint. We tend to take the flexibility and mobility of our wrists for granted; whether it is tying shoelaces, throwing a frisbee, or cradling our newborn we expect our wrists to perform. However, long periods at a keyboard, playing certain sports or doing a job that involves repetitive tasks can take its toll. This diagram shows the movements your wrists and fingers should be able to do. The wrist joint is a complex joint...

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3 Reason to Stretch – Flexibility, Range of Movement & Strength

Many people struggle with inflexibility and diminished range of movement in their joints, especially as they age*. It is generally accepted that stretching is an important part of any fitness and exercise program, so why is it often the most overlooked or poorly executed part of such a program? Recent conflicting studies about the benefits of stretching have confused the 'to-stretch or not-to-stretch and when-to-stretch” debate, but as somebody who teaches Method Putkisto, an exercise method which incorporates several types of stretching and strengthening, I think it is important to highlight the positive results that I see in the large variety of bodies and their owners’ lifestyles until more research is done. Your focus may be on building strength, or you may prefer to regularly change your...

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Ankle Flexibility – Crucial to Body Positioning and Injury Prevention

Today we spent a whole class working on ankle flexibility; 75 minutes and nobody noticed the time passing. Why? As often happens the catalyst was somebody arriving fresh from a visit to the podiatrist, with a new pair of orthotics, and sharing the news of their diagnosis. Our ankles are often ignored or taken for granted, but their flexibility is key to body positioning, athletic performance and injury prevention. As stability joints, they must absorb force, transfer and stabilise weight as you walk, run, or simply get up out of a chair. This must happen quickly, and if you consider the average person takes 5,000 – 10,000 steps per day, you begin to realise the potential impact of learned movement patterns. The ankle is a hinge joint and on it’s...

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Movement is Medicine

 When most of us think of medicine, we conjure images of pills, potions, tests or worse, surgery. However, one of the most potent forms of medicine is movement - pure and simple physical activity. I have just returned from a weeklong workshop dedicated to movement under the direction of MP founder Marja Putkisto. I arrived with a sore back and returned uplifted, relaxed and energised.  Slogans abound among health and fitness professionals, and everyday column inches are devoted to a new superfood that will lower your blood pressure, increase your metabolism, ward off type 2 diabetes or some other scary ailment. What we in our remote control culture often fail to recognise is that inactivity/sitting is the 'disease” of modern times, and no number of green smoothies will...

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The Importance of Working Safely (Part 2)

Injuries can happen anytime – getting out of bed, walking along the pavement, even standing still, but are more likely when exercising. This blog is a continuation on the importance of working safely. If you missed Part 1, you can retrieve it from the archived blogs. One thing that is worth noting is that many injuries develop gradually over years, and can be due to over-use, over-stretching and/or mis-alignment. In class I am there is to guide, supervise and assist; home practice is very beneficial, and following a few basic guidelines will help you stay injury free. Warm Up – this is important prior to any physical activity. Basic breathing, stretching and mobilisations help prepare your body for more challenging stuff. Don’t forget to give your mind...

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Transverse (Lower) Abdominals

This blog is the result of a question that came up inclass recently – 'Is it possible to reactivate and strengthen the lower abdominals following surgery such as a caesarian section, even after several years?” Yes* In my last blog on pelvic floor activation, the transversus abdominis (TA) got a mention due to working in coordination with the pelvic floor, so please do read that blog in conjunction with this one. The TA is the deepest innermost layer of your abdominal muscles and is located underneath your rectus abdominis (star of the six-pack). The TA runs horizontally across your abdomen and is involved whenever you move a limb or exhale; it also holds in your internal organs. Its main function is to activate your core muscles and stabilise...

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Pelvic Floor Activation and Strengthening

What is your Pelvic Floor and What Does It Do? You could think of the pelvic floor as a muscular hammock that spans from your tailbone at the back to your pubic bone at the front and from one sitting bone to the other (side to side). It supports your bladder, bowel and in women the uterus; it gives you control over when you empty your bladder and bowel. The urethra (urine tube) and the rectum (back passage) and for women the vagina pass through the pelvic floor muscles, which wrap quite firmly around these passages to keep them shut*. Pelvic floor muscles are also important for sexual function in both men and women. A weak pelvic floor means your internal organs are not fully supported, and...

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Drinking Water, how much and why

'Pure water is the world's first and foremost medicine' - Slovakian Proverb We are always being told to drink more water, but how much is enough or too much and why does it matter? All of you who attend my Method Putkisto classes, are familiar with my usual parting request to remember to drink water especially after class. I have never explained why - so here goes...

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Deep Breathing – essential for Life and Health

We tend to take breathing for granted, after all we do it automatically around 22,000 times per day, but would it surprise you to know that improving your breathing could change the way you look, improve lymphatic function, lower your blood pressure and help you cope with stress? Shallow chest breathing, which is the default for many of us (especially when we are stressed or anxious) leads to higher than desired levels of carbon dioxide in the blood. Whilst this isn’t life threatening, it does cause fatigue, mental fog and impaired tissue function. It also limits the efficiency of your lungs, tenses your muscles, speeds up your heart rate and weakens your diaphragm. Your body receives less oxygen, and your sympathetic nervous system becomes overstimulated. How should...

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