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Posts Tagged ‘Daily Stretching’

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Life has really changed at my house.  It seems like yesterday I was bundling up to walk Bandy in the frigid darkness and writing about winter walking.  Instead, summer came early at my house.  We’ve had temperatures in the 80’s for the past couple of weeks.  I’m looking forward to the return of normal temperatures in the 70’s for the next few days.  And, unlike last year, it has been sunny and dry. 

We’ve had the perfect weather to tackle outside projects around the house and yard and I’ve been working like crazy.  So far this year I have weeded all the flower beds and painted 2 sides of my foundation.  (I’m on the 20 year plan with this foundation painting.  I figure if my house could go the first 50 years with a bare foundation then I didn’t have to be in too much of a hurry.  I did the first side about 11 years ago.  Now, I only have the back side of the house to go.  Maybe if this weather holds out I can get that done before the mosquitoes invade my yard.  If not, I have about 8 years to meet my personal deadline J). 

I would guess in the last 3 weeks I have spent about 20 hours bending over, bending down, pulling, twisting, bending up, bending down, and pushing.  It was tricky trying to paint from the ground up while standing in a bed of irises about to bloom.  I felt like I was playing twister!

And you know what?  I’ve not had one sore muscle…not in my legs or arms or back or neck.  I found this a little curious because I remember last year once the rain stopped and I could get out in the garden, I was uncomfortable pulling weeds and digging and planting.  I remember my knees hurting and my back aching.  I had to lean my knees on a padded pillowy thing for goodness sake.  I remember thinking if this is how I feel at 42 how will I ever garden when I’m 50 or 60.  

I’ve spent some time thinking these past few weeks as to why I haven’t had any discomfort or pain this year.  There has to be a reason, right? 

I’ve come up with two possibilities…qigong and walking.  

Qigong is “a form of traditional Chinese mind/body exercise and meditation that uses slow and precise body movements with controlled breathing and mental focusing to improve balance, flexibility, muscle strength and overall health.”  

As you may know from reading Is Walking Enough (Part 2), I’ve been doing a short qigong routine for about 9 months now.  It took me a few weeks to get the hang of it and remember the sequence without referring to the pictures.  This qigong sequence of 6 movements seems to stretch most, if not all, of the major muscle groups.  I do these stretches every morning.  It feels great and it doesn’t take a lot of time to complete – about 12 minutes.  Doing these stretches every day has increased my normal range of motion and has increased my overall flexibility.  It is nothing now to bend down and reach and stretch because my body has been training to do this daily through qigong!  

I also think that walking soon after finishing these tasks helped my body recover quickly.  Like taking a hot shower after exerting yourself, I think that walking soon after my tasks gave my allowed my body to move and stretch and stop the soreness or stiffness that might have occurred had I just sat down and watched TV after I finished working.

Have you been working hard in the yard or house, playing tennis, running or riding your bike after a winter of little activity?  Are you calling on your body to move more than normal now that the weather begs for outdoor activities?  Have you noticed stiffness or soreness and wish you had a way to minimize these side effects of the weekend warrior?  If you want to prevent post-warrior pain and soreness, give qigong and walking a chance…a hot shower won’t hurt either.

What home projects or fitness activities have you been working on or have planned for the Spring?  Do you ever feel sore or pain from your work or fun?  Let us read all about it in the comments.

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