Prevention Awareness for Weekend Warriors

Prevention of what? when? how?
Weekend warriors take a high risk subjecting their bodies to intensive physical activities without movement and aerobics during the rest of the week. In a sense they are out of shape, more vulnerable and more likely to sustain trauma and physical injuries.

What's the answer? At least some aerobic activity and stretching every other day. When you first begin an aerobic program, contain your enthusiasm and work out gently only 8 or 10 minutes for the first few workouts. Your body will adapt very quickly and each subsequent workout can be longer and more energetic until you achieve an ideal 20 minutes of continuous aerobic stimulation.

If you are not a member of a fitness center or feel you don't have the time to devote outside of your home or office - there are no excuses! Besides the availability of home exercise equipment - treadmills, stairmasters, exercycles, Nordic Tracks, etc. - probably the least expensive and very effective piece of equipment is the rebounder, pulled out of the closet when used and otherwise hidden. Another option is a home step aerobics program following a video. It's your choice!

If you observe animals, you'll notice when they awaken they stretch; it's their instinct that moves them. We need to reawaken this instinct in us. Now, here are some simple movements which can be done anywhere at anytime in the home, office, or on vacation.

1. Hamstring and upper body stretch - Hold on to the door knob of an open door, put your feet slightly apart, facing directly forward and slightly ahead of your hips while bent at right angles with back straight from the waist.

Relax the breath and feel like you're lengthening the upper body. With arms straight, while stretching your hamstrings, gently and slowly rock your buttocks from side to side. This will further release tension and compression.

2. Spinal stretch - Holding the door knobs with arms straight, feet comfortably apart pointing slightly outward, squat flat footed with your knees over your feet (do not let them cave in). In this position, let the head relax forward and allow your pelvic floor to release dowward. After a few moments, gently and slowly rock the buttocks back and forth for further release (stay in this position for several minutes before rising).
A program like this starts with baby steps. As you progress, you may wish to add more stretches and movements and extend the times dedicated to your health; your own body will be your motivation. The results are enjoyable weekends with no soreness, stiffness, or excessive tiredness. These positions and movements are natural. If there are obstacles to stretching or exercising, please consult your health practitioner.

By Mark Lamm

The American Holistic Health Association has compiled a collection of self-help articles to support your efforts to enhance your own health and well-being.

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