Yay, it is Friday and I have a great story to share with you all!
Last weekend, while traveling home from a fabulous northern California weekend, my boyfriend/partner in crime and I stopped for dinner in a little beach town. Afterwards he, being as into fitness as I, was caught stretching while waiting for me to exit the restaurant by an older couple traveling back home to San Diego. The man told my boyfriend, caught in mid stretch that he had sciatica and asked what type of stretch he should do for this ailment. He told the man to wait for me. As I exited, I got briefed on this conversation and asked the man how far his pain traveled down his leg, if he had a herniated disc and guessed which part of his lumbar spine was probably affected. He was impressed, but more importantly, after assessing his flexibility at rapid speed just by observing his stance, I took him to a flower pot just high enough off the ground to get a leg up to stretch his hamstrings one at a time. I taught him how to align the bones in his leg from hip to ankle and after holding the stretch for about a minute and a half on each leg he announced, "Ginger, I think I'm cured." Though "the cure" was most likely just a temporary fix, this brought a huge smile to my face. It only took a few minutes to affect another person's life condition. I love that. It's why I do what I do. I SO want to impart my knowledge to those who are interested in making life condition changes in order to feel best in their own beings....physically, mentally, spiritually, it all works as one unit. The point is, he felt better and he will take that new small bit of information about his own body and use it whenever he needs to now.
Here is a simple stretch to help MOST back pain to subside:
Put one leg up on a table or edge of something stable, no higher than your hip.
Align your standing/supporting leg so that the toes of that foot are pointed forward and that leg is under your hip.
The leg extended up in front of you should also be aligned from the hip all the way to your ankle so make sure that you bend your knee or knees if you need to just a bit in order to maintain alignment.
Make sure the front knee is not rolling in or out, it is straight in line with your hip and ankle.
Gently lean forward, curving your spine and relax your hands on your thigh. Let your head and neck relax.
You will feel your hamstring stretch and your lower back muscles lengthen.
By the way, driving can aggravate sciatica. Sitting too long in the same position is a drawback, so I'm adding my driving posture video blog from last year below...just to remind each of you to be conscious in your body while you're driving. You don't have to have sciatica to need these tips.
EXTRA NUTRITION TIP FOR THE WEEK:
In order to help stimulate your metabolism, try having a serving of nonfat, plain yogurt in the morning. Taking in more calcium CAN aid in getting rid of unwanted body fat storage and help the fat to be used for energy. Be careful not to add too much to this yogurt! A couple of almonds, raw and unsalted and a small amount of blueberries is best.
It's been awhile since I've blogged, but I felt inspired to share my thoughts on bottled water with you as I am currently studying nutrition.
Drinking water can be hard for most of us, even when we're thirsty. It's much more satisfying to grab a pick me up, coffee type of drink. Water is also easier to drink if we get a bottle of it to have on hand since many of us have such active lives. This leads to possibly grabbing one of those waters that promises to include vitamins and minerals. It is usually flavored so that it is more enjoyable when we drink it, and don't forget, it has vitamins so it's healthy, right? Well, not really. The vitamins that are in most, if not all of these types of bottled water are water soluble. This means that when they are added to the water they are generally flushed out of our systems along with the water when we drink them. If the bottled water contains fat soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A and D, our bodies will have a nearly impossible time absorbing these vitamins because there is no fat present in the bottled water. So basically, all that we are absorbing from this "special water" is sugar the sugar that is added for color and flavor. The sugar that gives us unwanted calories.
Sad, I know... I have friends that swear that they drink this type of bottled water and it cures their hangovers... they'd be better off drinking plain old water. Better yet, we'd all benefit and help the environment by getting a canteen or glass bottle for refilling from our filtered tap water. Much healthier indeed.
Ginger Daniels Movement Specialist