Are You Fueling Your Body With The Right Stuff? Is Pain Caused By Nutritional Deficiencies?

Wanna know why you feel like your systems are failing and you have pain?

Suppose your body is a rocket ship.  If your body doesn’t have all of the nutrients–the rocket fuel–that it needs, it can’t “blast off.”  It gets stuck.  All the systems are NOT “go.”

Sometimes your wonderful rocket ship of a body just kind of falls over and drops off the platform. 🙁

CLUNK.

Here’s the deal:  Your body needs certain things in order to function its’ best.  Those things include:

  • stretching
  • movement
  • a strong back side
  • plenty of clean water
  • fresh air
  • sunshine and
  • all of the nutrients it was designed to use.

You just can’t fly if you don’t have the correct fuel.

We are so fortunate that we have so many choices of what to eat.  On the other hand, too many of our choices are not really food and not really good for us, either.  And, if we don’t give our bodies what they need to function well, we shortchange ourselves.

You can be overweight and still starving.  You can think you’re fit and strong yet still be malnourished.  But, if you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance that you don’t feel fit and strong.  Maybe you feel weak.  Puny.  Probably your back hurts.  Maybe you have a lot of aches and pains.

The good news is:  You are in the right place!

You CAN learn how to have a strong back side, simply and easily with equipment you already own:  your own bed.  You can learn that here at Simple Strengthening.  How cool is that?

You CAN learn how to give your body a healthy menu that includes lots of colorful foods (Sorry–Froot Loops don’t count.)  You CAN supply Continue reading “Are You Fueling Your Body With The Right Stuff? Is Pain Caused By Nutritional Deficiencies?”

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Are You As Strong As A Small Child?

I’ll bet you think you’re stronger than a little child, don’t you?  I’m sure you used to be as strong, but are you still?

Let’s think about this for a moment.  When you were little, you were running, sliding, hopping, jumping, climbing.  You were skipping, swinging, squirming, wiggling, jiggling.  Hula-hooping and jump-roping.  You were up and down, up and down.

You even used the muscles in your face.  And when you cried, you cried with your whole body.  If you were like most healthy children, you were moving all the time.  Unless you were asleep.

You used ALL of your 600+ muscles every day!

And, now?  Or, like most of us, do you use only the same 60 or so muscles, just the bare minimum to get through the day?

You might be able to lift and carry that little child, so you think you’re stronger.  But, the reality is, that little child is strong ALL OVER while some of your muscles are strong and some are weak.  Some are used too much, some not enough.

If you were as strong as that little child you used to be, you wouldn’t have that achy back and neck or those headaches.  Your posture wouldn’t be collapsing forward.  You’d feel really good!

Well, good news!

You can feel a lot better than you do now.  All you have to do is make a few changes, do some things differently, and start using more of your muscles again.  Like you did.  Remember?  When you were little?

Right here at SimpleStrengthening.com you can discover simple, easy ways to start getting strong again and use of all of your muscles again.  You can get a strong back.  You can relearn how to hold your head over your body.  You can become as strong as you were when you were that little active kid.

There’s no time like the present!  You’re gonna start feeling better and feeling stronger.

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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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How Can You Use Your Bed To Get Stronger & Straighter?

Did you know you bed makes a great exercise tool?

When we press against an immovable object, like a wall, we build strength.  That is called resistance training.  Your bed offers some softness and it also allows you to move and press into it while it presses back at you.  Here are a few things you can try when you lie on your back.

When you do the following movements, pay attention to your muscles.  Your goal is to be able to feel them as they contract (tighten up a bit.)  It doesn’t require much to make them “work.” Don’t work hard.

Gently and thoughtfully

  • press the back of your head into your bed or pillow (feel your neck muscles in back.)
  • press your shoulders backward into the bed (feel your upper back.)
  • squeeze your shoulders toward your spine (feel the muscles between your spine and shoulder blades.)
  • squeeze your belly toward your spine (feel the muscles around your hip bones, “stomach” and back.)
  • press your heels into your bed (feel the muscles in the back of your thighs.)

It takes only a few minutes when you are in bed to start to get a stronger, straighter body.  When you were a child, you had a strong, straight posture.  You were moving all the time.  You used all of your muscles.  Help your body remember how it used to be.  Use all of your muscles, not just a few.

If you have lots of aches and pains, you can find more pain relief information at Simple Pain Relief.

“Because You Deserve to Feel Better!”

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9 Advantages To Strengthening Your Back In Bed

There are lots of types of exercise and movement strengthening programs, and most of them are done in upright positions.  Here are some of the reasons I prefer a program that can be done while you lie on your back in bed.

1.  Almost everyone can lie on their back in relative comfort.

2.  Gravity works with you rather than against you.  When you are upright, gravity is working to pull you down toward the earth.  When you are on your back, you are already down.  The force of gravity becomes your friend and assists you.

3.  Your bed acts as resistance.  It is soft enough to press into, yet firm enough to push back at you.

4.  If you have an anatomical leg length difference (like 10% of us–one leg is truly shorter than the other) or if one half of your pelvis (one hip bone) is smaller than the other (like 1% of us) it doesn’t matter.  When you are standing or sitting, these size differences can throw you off balance.  They move the center of your body away from neutral.  When you are on your back, these differences are taken “out of the equation.”

5.  Lots of us are “vertically challenged.”  We just plain feel better when we lie down. This is due to leg length differences, scoliosis (curvature of the spine) or weak back muscles.

6.  If your back is weak and you have trouble staying upright, working from a flat position is easier.

7.  It is easier to isolate the areas of your body that you need to strengthen when you are on your back.

8.  Stretching from this position is also easier because gravity pulls on your arms and legs while your back is in a neutral position.

9.  You don’t need any additional equipment.

So, those are some of the reasons I’m working on a program to help you get strong while you lie in bed.  If you read the articles here at SimpleStrengthening.com you will find lots of “how-to’s.”

It is so important to have a strong back side!  Everything from your knees to the base of your skull should be strong.   When your back side is strong, you will feel better, your body will function better and you will be able to withstand the forces of gravity when you are upright.  This is a good thing.

“Because You Deserve to Feel Better!”

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You Can Use Your Bed To Get Stronger & Straighter

Have you ever thought about using your bed as a resistance tool?

When we press against an immovable object, like a wall, we build strength.  That is called resistance training.  Your bed offers some softness and it also allows you to move and press into it while it presses back at you.  Here are a few things you can try when you lie on your back.

Gently and thoughtfully

  • press the back of your head into your bed or pillow
  • press your shoulders backward into the bed
  • squeeze your shoulders toward your spine
  • squeeze your belly toward your spine
  • press your heels into your bed

See if you can press one hip at a time into your bed.  Can you do the “wave” with your whole body?

It takes only a few minutes when you are in bed to start to get a stronger, straighter body.  When you were a child, you had a strong, straight posture.  You were moving all the time.  You used all of your muscles.  Help your body remember how it used to be.  Use all of your muscles, not just a few.

If you have aches and pains, you can find more information here at Simple Strengthening and at Simple Pain Relief.  There are lots more articles there for you.

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Get Strong Legs on Your Stairs – How to Use Your Legs Walking on Stairs

Maybe you have knee pain, and maybe you don’t.  Maybe your legs feel weak or maybe they feel “out of balance” or “too tight.”

Your legs were designed to be used in certain ways.  But, lots of times, for all kinds of reasons, we “forget” how we used to climb stairs.  Sometimes, we just “clomp” along, with flat feet.  We “pull” ourselves up, using the handrail.

Sometimes we make our poor knees do all of the work.  Uh oh, not good.

If you learn how to use your legs as they were designed to be used, they will become stronger and feel better.

By the way, if you cannot do this because you have too much knee pain, here are a few tips just for you.

1)  Walk down the stairs backward, while you hold the hand rail.  This uses different leg muscles and might make going down stairs much easier for you.

(2)  Begin a walking program.  Walking properly will strengthen your legs.  Check this article about walking for knee pain.

(3)  Keep reading, because simply knowing the proper way to use your legs and feet might help you immensely!

All you need for getting stronger legs by climbing stairs is…a staircase!  And, your willingness to try.

Here is the technique.

Place one foot on a stair, but don’t pull yourself up with handrail, and don’t lift your body with your knees, and don’t let your feet be flat boards.  There, we got all the “don’ts” out of the way.

Here are the DO’s.

(1)  Do use your feet to raise your body.

(2)  When your foot is on a step, raise your heel.

(3)  Feel your calf muscles work.

Now, only your toe is supporting you on the stair.

If you have to use the handrail or wall for support that’s okay.  But, no pulling yourself on allowed.

(4)  Take a step to the next stair and repeat.  Use your calf muscles and feet to lift yourself up the stairs.

When you use your calves and feet, as they were designed to be used, there is much less stress on your knees.  You will have less leg and knee pain.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

“Because You Deserve to Feel Better!”

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Strong Bones Bounce: Another Benefit of A Strong Backside

You’ve heard about the benefits of weight-bearing exercise for strengthening your bones.

Being straight and having a strong backside puts the pressure of being upright on your bones, where it belongs.  That lets your bones become strong.

And you can read about preventing osteoporosis with good posture (which you can create with the SimpleStrengthening exercises.)

I’m here to testify…

I kind of hate to admit it, but from time to time, I trip.

I had a lovely “trip” just a few days ago.  A five-point landing.  No one applauded, but I’m quite sure it was very impressive.

And, once again, I did not break any bones.

And, I am grateful.

How do I keep my bones strong and healthy?

Let me count the ways:

1.  Plenty of sunshine (creates vitamin D.)  Bones need vitamin D to absorb calcium from your food.  (D3 is the best type.)

Most people in the northern United States are deficient in Vitamin D.  This happens because you don’t get enough sunshine on your skin for one reason or another.  Your doctor can do a blood test to check if you are deficient, if you want.

A good time to get sunshine is while you are…

2.  Walking.  Walking is weight-bearing exercise.  So is being on your feet while you watch TV.

Instead of Continue reading “Strong Bones Bounce: Another Benefit of A Strong Backside”

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