THE BENEFITS OF MY STRETCH&TONE ZONE
A consistent practice of stretching and mobility workouts offer all kinds of mental and physical health benefits. Some, like improved flexibility are clearly evident. Others, including mental clarity and stress reduction, may be more subtle but are just as powerful. When put together, all the benefits below contribute to an increased feeling of well-being.
- Improved flexibility, moving and stretching in new ways will in turn then help you become more flexible, bringing greater range of motion to tight areas. Over time, you can expect to gain flexibility in your hamstrings, back, shoulders and hips. As we age, our flexibility usually decreases, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting, which leads to pain and immobility. My style of stretching, toning and balance movements can help reverse this process.
- Strength building – many of my exercise sequences require you to bear your body weight in new ways, including balancing on one leg or supporting yourself with your arms. Holding these movements over the course of several breaths helps build muscular strength.
- Increases muscle tone and definition. As a by-product of getting stronger, you can expect to see increased muscle tone to help shape long, lean muscles in your legs, arms, back and abdomen.
- Improved balance is one of the most important benefits of my workouts especially as you get older. Movements where you stand on one leg, or for the more advanced, handstands, headstands, downward dog position, are great ways to build the core strength that keeps you upright.
- Supporting your joint health. The movements necessary for my workouts are low impact, allowing you to use your joints without injuring them. Which also helps strengthen the muscles around the joints, lessening their load. People with arthritis often see marked improvement in their pain and mobility with regular gentle stretching practice.
- Preventing back pain may be in your control. Increased flexibility and strength can help prevent the causes of some types of back pain. Many people who have back pain spend a lot of time sitting at a computer or driving a car, which causes tightness throughout the body and spinal compression. My workouts counteract these conditions.
- Breathing techniques – Most of us take shallow breaths and don’t give much thought to how we breathe. Through breathing exercises, such as diaphragmatic breathing, it can help focus our attention on breathing and teach us how to take deeper breaths. This in turn benefits the entire body. Certain types of breath can also help clear the nasal passages (helpful for people with allergies) and even calm the nervous system, which has physical and mental benefits on and off the mat.
- Mental calmness – Some of my workouts are intensely physical. Concentrating so intently on what your body is doing has the effect of bringing a calmness to your mind. I can also introduce you to meditation techniques, such as how to focus on your breath and disengage from your thoughts. These skills can prove to be very valuable in intense situations off the mat, like childbirth, a bout of insomnia or when having an anxiety attack.
- A stress reducer – Physical activity is good for relieving stress and this is particularly true of getting in my stretch&tone zone. Because of the concentration required, your daily troubles both large and small, seem to melt away during the time you are on the mat. This provides a much-needed break from your stressors, as well as helping to put your problems into perspective. After a stretch&tone workout you will leave feeling less stressed than when you started.
- A self confidence booster – Doing my stretch&tone workouts will improve your mind-body connection, giving you a better awareness of your own body. During these workouts you learn to make small, subtle movements to improve your alignment, putting you in better touch with your physical being. You also learn to accept your body as it is without judgment. Over time, this leads to feeling more comfortable in your own body, boosting your self-confidence.
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