Flexibility & Strength Important at Any Age

August 21, 2018
Strength & Flexibility
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What I am looking for at my age are strength and flexibility. The conundrum is that as you age you tend to lose both muscle strength and flexibility. And your pain from arthritis increases.

Practice the Movement of Children

Movement and Flexibility of Children
Photo by Gabby Orcutt on Unsplash

I have been approaching it on two fronts, deal with the pain and find an exercise routine that I like that makes me feel great. The pain dealing experiments are still in testing mode but here is a new exercise modality that you may find helpful.

Relaxercise or The Feldenkrais Method

Relaxercise: The Easy New Way to Health & Fitness is a book by David Zemach-Bersi based on a method of exercise and rehabilitation created by Moshé Feldenkrais who devised the method as a way to help with a chronic knee condition that he had from two separate injuries.

The method is based on the idea people can use small targeted movements along with a concentrated body awareness to allow them to “rediscover [their] innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement” per Wikipedia.

Graceful Movement and Flexibility
Photo by xiaole Zheng on Unsplash

Sensory-Motor Learning and Flexibility

Zemach-Bersi said in his book,  “Relaxercise is the first exercise system to improve your body by stimulating and using your brain’s natural process of sensory-motor learning.”

Your Body is Smart!

Pair of Hunchbacks from Wikipedia
Pair of Hunchbacks from Wikipedia

Massage therapy teaches us that the body is very efficient. When we repeatedly carry our shoulders high up around our ears or slump over a keyboard all day or walk with a limp because we injured ourselves, our bodies will “help us out” by modifying muscle tissue to aid us in maintaining those positions with less work.

This means that we inadvertently teach our bodies poor habits that end up hurting us and limiting our flexibility. In order to change those habits, we need to be aware of them.

The Mind-Body Connection

Strength and Fitness of a child
Photo by Jordan Christian on Unsplash

This book and method emphasize the mind-body connection. We need to practice moving like children learning how to walk, run or ride a bike. We need to connect with our senses to accomplish new things.

Ruthy Alon Bones for Life

I love the flexibility of Ruthy Alon. She has several videos on YouTube that show the results of years of the Feldenkrais Method. She moves very fast and fluidly in these but the motions when you first start are slow and deliberate.

This is my happy place
Photo by Artem Bali on Unsplash

Where I want to be eventually is in my happy place. The place I can move freely. I do not think this is beyond my capacity. I just need to breathe, stretch and keep learning to be child-like!

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