Spring-cleaning time; I have to say, Iâm not a fan…except when it comes to the area of good health.
And, Iâm happy to report that I have some spring-cleaning health tips thatâll have you feeling like new this spring and summer.
People across the country are taking care of their spring-cleaning to freshen up their homes and get them ready for the summer season.
I myself hate cleaning in general, so Iâm not excited at the idea of clearing out all the clutter thatâs built up and dealing with all the dirt and grime. Unless youâre talking health and wellness…now thatâs up my alley!Iâm sure youâre busy giving your home a good spring-cleaning, but have you ever considered giving one to your body as well?Iâm not talking about going on some kind of liquid-only, celebrity endorsed âtoxic cleanse.â Iâm talking about giving your body a tune-up by adding simple exercises and stretching routines that will give you extra strength and comfort this summer.Winter is the perfect time for atrophy to set in, especially if youâre in a cold weather climate. Inactivity combined with age is the perfect equation for physical spring-cleaning, and your body needs it. It can increase your strength, reduce pain, and improve your overall health. I have a few simple techniques from my own routine that can get you into better shapeâand help you get the most from the summer season.To build your back muscles and lubricate your joints, start by adding this simple exercise and stretching routine to your daily regimen:
Start by lying on the floor with your back to the ground and your legs spread apart. Then stand up. At first, you might need to grab something for assistance, but as you build strength, youâll be able to do it without any assistanceâprobably within a few weeks. Once youâve got that movement down pat, try different variations to emphasize different muscles.
Lie on the floor with your stomach to the ground and then stand up. Although the movement from laying to standing will engage all your muscles, you can change the emphasis on which muscles you use the most by altering your position. Getting up when youâre on your back, for example, can engage the abdominals, arms and quads and hamstrings.
Getting up from your stomach can engage the shoulders, chest, hamstrings and quads. You can move through a series of variations.
Stretching is also important and is often the key to mobility and healthy joints. When your tendons and ligaments are more pliable, you will have an improved range of motion, experience less pain, and move more freely.
You can increase your stretching mobility by trying to touch your toes. Although you might only be able to get to mid-chin at this point, the more you practice, the more progress you make. In timeâand it could be at least six monthsâyou should be able to reach your toes. You can execute this movement by bending at the hip.
Cardiovascular activity is an essential part of your spring-cleaning, so go out for a walk at least five to six times per week. Vary your routes and intensity levels as you progress, to keep things fun.
Your physical spring-cleaning will take a bit longer than yard work or freshening up your kitchen, but itâs worth it. It might cause some discomfort in your muscles for the first two weeks or so as you pull them out of atrophy and into activity, but itâs simply an adjustment period. Stick with it and enjoy a fresh, pain-free summer!