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Why Young People Should Stretch

Whether you are an athlete or have an average level of physical activity, I believe stretching should be an integral part of your daily life. Often, young people focus on building muscle and developing aerobic fitness, but flexibility is equally important. Why Stretch? Stretching is necessary - it helps keep muscles and fascia flexible, strong and healthy, thus maintaining range of motion in the joints. A short tight muscle is a weak muscle. For example, young people who are office based or in full-time education sit in a chair for a large part of the day. This tightens the hip flexors and hamstrings making it more difficult to extend the legs and knees fully, which affects walking. Now imagine what could happen when more stress is placed on...

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Benefits of Stretching at Work/Workstation Stretches

Benefits of Stretching at Work/Workstation Stretches In previous blogs I have mentioned how sitting creates compression in the spine, increasing pressure on the discs and shortening the pelvic muscles. Stretching throughout your work day will help you avoid injury to your low back, shoulders, knees, elbows and wrists, reduce your stress levels and potentially increase your productivity. Often clients are self-conscious about stretching at work, but consider the importance of maintaining blood flow and nutrient supply maintaining elasticity and energy levels of your tissues, to enhance your flexibility joint mobility reduce muscle tightness and discomfort improve muscular balance posture muscle co-ordination and you just might feel the odd side-glance is worth it. Who knows you might start a new wave of body awareness in your office. Although the main areas to...

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Understanding Your Spine & How to Keep It Healthy Part 3 – Lumbar Spine

The lumbar spine refers to the lower back, it starts about 5-6 inches below the shoulder blades and connects the thoracic spine to the sacral spine. Consisting of 5 vertebrae (L1 - L5) the lumbar spine is designed for power and flexibility - lifting, twisting and bending. The lower the vertebra the more weight it must bear, therefore the two lowest spinal segments L4 - L5 bear the most weight and are most prone to degeneration and injury. The lumbar spine meets the sacrum at the lumbosacral joint L5 - S1. This joint allows for considerable rotation so that the pelvis can swing when walking and running. The spinal cord travels from the skull through the spinal column to where the thoracic spine meets the lumbar spine at...

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Understanding Your Spine & How to Keep it Healthy – Part 1

The spine is complex and is one of the most important components in the body. I think it is important for everyone to have some understanding of its anatomy so that they can make appropriate decisions about treatment if they suffer from back pain, or want to maintain a healthy spine. The spine is made up of 33 individual bones (vertebrae) stacked on top of each other in 5 areas: Cervical Spine - consists of 7 vertebrae C1 - C7. C1 is the atlas vertebra; your skull sits on top of this. C2 is the axis vertebra.C3 - C7 comprise the neck. Thoracic Spine - has 12 vertebrae known as T1 - T12 and forms your upper and middle back. Lumbar Spine - consists of...

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Foot Anatomy, Problems and Top Tips for Functional Feet

As summer approaches I often teach a series of classes dedicated to “unloved body parts” as we prepare to peel off extra layers and get ready for the holiday season. For many, feet fall into this category, yet as the foundation of our bodies they are a really important part of our natural balance-keeping systems. Humans have a unique foot shape that allows us to walk, run, climb and do many other activities. Although hands have a similar structure, feet, because they bear more weight, are stronger and less mobile. The bones of the foot are organised in rows, named tarsal bones, metatarsal bones and phalanges. These make up the toes and blade of the foot. The largest bone of the foot is the heel (calcaneus), it...

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