Mini-Trampolines Can Help You Rebound and Get Strong

Mini-trampolines can help you get stronger and straighter and there are a lot of ways to use them.  Why, you might even enjoy exercising again!

A mini-trampoline is also called a “rebounder” because you rebound when you jump on it:  It bounces you around.

They start at about $30 and go way up from there, but the $30 model seems sufficient to me.  If you feel real unsteady on your feet and think you would do better with a handle (hand rail), some come with a handle!

Once you get it set up (it has legs about 6″ long) just leave it up.  If you have to move it out of the way, you could push it under your bed or lean it up against a wall.

Kids think trampolines are fun and hey!  Why should they have all the fun?

So, once you have your mini-trampoline, what do you do with it?

First, get on it gingerly.  It’s going to feel strange beneath your feet and you’re going to do a little wobbling.  Get the feel of it.  Just feel it.

You can “jump” with bare feet or with tennis or athletic shoes.  Socks might cause slipping.  Bare-feet and shoes-feet don’t feel the same on the tramp.  You might feel more steady with your shoes on.

After you start to get the hang of it, try bare feet sometimes and shoes sometimes.  That way, you use different muscles.

It’s not necessary for your feet to ever leave the security of the trampoline.  You don’t have to jump into the air with space between your feet and the tramp.  All you have to do is…bounce.  Press down a little and let the rebounder move you up a little.  That’s called ‘contact bouncing.’  Down a little, up a little.  Try to get a little rhythm going.

If you need to hold onto a doorway, wall or chair for a while while “bouncing” or getting on and off, do it.   Safety first!

The simple act of moving slightly up and down will help your leg muscles grow stronger and improve your balance.  You can try Continue reading “Mini-Trampolines Can Help You Rebound and Get Strong”

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Tai Chi Improves Balance & Strength

Tai Chi (pronounced ti chee) can make you strong and improve your balance.  How?  And what is Tai Chi anyway?

Tai Chi is a movement program which is done standing up.  It uses all of the muscles in your lower body and legs (your leg muscles attach to your spine.)  The movements are slow and continuous.  You lean and sway and balance in a variety of positions.

All of this leaning and swaying causes you to use more of your muscles than you usually do.  When you were a small child, you used all of your muscles.  But, then you grew up.  And, now?  Most of us use only the same 60 or so (out of 600!) muscles everyday.  Only 10%.  Not so good.

But, Tai Chi causes you to use most of those lower body muscles again.

During the movement, your arms and upper body are also involved.  While your legs are doing one thing, your arms do another as part of the whole movement.  Your whole body becomes involved.  That creates whole body balance and strength.

Tai Chi is different from yoga.  Yoga does a lot of stretching and full range-of-movement and also uses floor and seated positions besides standing.  Yoga involves more of your body.

Tai Chi builds lower body strength as well as balance.  That’s why it’s so beneficial for older folks and those who have lost strength or are wobbly on their feet.

My only wish is that people would start practicing Tai Chi before they need it.  That would prevent a lot of “old age” complaints.  Old age complaints tend to be caused by poor or collapsing posture.

Yoga, and the movements here at Simple Strengthening, will help you correct your posture.  Tai Chi will help you keep or regain your balance and lower body strength.  That will help you prevent injuries from falling, make it easier to get up from chairs, and stay younger longer.

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Yoga Can Help You Get Strong, Long, Flexible & Pain-Free

Yoga is a full-body movement program that can help you become strong, straight, long and flexible.  All of those are good things that will help you be pain-free.

If you watch yoga instructors very carefully, you may notice that some of them aren’t exactly symmetrical.  The reason they started doing yoga movements was because they had pain from their asymmetry.  (That means their body wasn’t balanced from side to side; one side was shorter than the other.  There are many reasons for this.)

When they were successful in reducing their own pain symptoms, some went on to become yoga instructors.  They continue to practice so they continue to feel well.  They are now also able to help others become pain-free.

The part of yoga that contains the movements is called Hatha Yoga.

The reason yoga helps is because you use ALL of your muscles and ALL of your body. We have 600+ muscles.

But, most of use only the same 60 or so muscles every day.  When we were children, we used ALL of our muscles.  We ran, jumped, climbed, crawled, slid, hopped.  And, now?

Well, you can see the problem.  We need to use ALL of our body in order to function and feel our best.

You can take a class in yoga.  The advantage of that is the support of your instructor.  He or she will guide you in doing the movements correctly.

Yoga videos are available at stores and libraries as well as online.  The advantage of a video is that you can do it in the comfort of your own home.  That may help you to practice more regularly.

Yoga can be adapted for everyone.  If you cannot do Continue reading “Yoga Can Help You Get Strong, Long, Flexible & Pain-Free”

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