HELLO DECEMBER! The end of the year tends to be a hectic time for all of us, between work deadlines, holiday shopping and traveling. While you’re busy focusing on everybody else, don’t forget to take the time and listen to your body. Below you’ll find some tips to help you alleviate any tension in your body.
Your upper trap muscle is both a neck and shoulder muscle, and since it also functions as a posture muscle, it’s susceptible to a lot of stress. To stretch the left upper trap as in the picture, place your right hand on top of your head, and bring your right ear to your shoulder. Be sure to avoid rotating the head as you bring it down. You’ll feel a great stretch on the left side of your neck. Hold this for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Perform 3 sets, alternating between left and right.
One of the most important factors in living a healthy lifestyle is drinking enough water, but so many of us forget to. Which can cause detrimental effects. We all know how important it is to drink 8 glasses of water a day, but do you know why? Your body is made up of 75% water, but so is each muscle! This pie chart shows you that each muscle tissue consists of 75% H2O, 18% protein, and the rest broken down into smaller components. Which makes sense why if you want to bulk up, you want to drink up. If you feel dehydrated, it’s your body’s way of telling you your muscles are being deprived of nutrition. No matter what, being busy with work, family and life can get in the way of drinking as much water as you should, so set reminders or alarms for yourself to keep your body in track.
Yoga is becoming an increasingly popular exercise and meditation workout, but so many of us get lazy or don’t want to commit for an hour long session. Especially during the holidays :) So, this month we’re going to give you a great hip opener pose to do called Happy Baby. To really get the most out of this stretch, you want to hold it for a couple minutes, really focusing on your breath to calm your body and mind
Stretches the spine, hips and groin
• Lengthen your lower back down onto the mat
• Allow your shoulders to remain pressed to your mat
• Keep the knees resting on the torso
• Grab for your feet or ankles.
• Tuck your tailbone down towards the mat
• Gently tuck your chin into your chest to avoid tension in your neck
• If you have a hard time grabbing your feet or ankles, you can grab onto your shins to pull your knees into your chest.
Your rotator cuff is a group of 4 muscles along your shoulder blade (scapula) that help you achieve different shoulder motions. Their primary function is to stabilize the ball of the shoulder joint in its socket, allowing the shoulder to move freely in all directions.
1. Supraspinatus: brings your arms up out to the side
2. Infraspinatus: rotates your arm away from your body
3. Subscapularis: rotates your arm towards your body
4. Teres Minor: rotates your arm away from your body
All muscles of your rotator cuff attach to the shoulder joint via a tendon. So when you have rotator cuff tendonitis, it is inflammation of the tendon, not the muscle itself. The resulting pain and swelling within the joint can weaken the rotator cuff muscles and interfere with its normal function. If untreated, the tendonitis can result in a tear.
Common symptoms include a deep, achy pain either within the shoulder or along the side of the upper arm, which worsens with any overhead activities. This causes difficulty performing everyday functions such as washing your hair, brushing your teeth, or tucking in your shirt behind your back.
It’s best to avoid any motions that increase your pain, and icing the shoulder for 10 minutes at a time 2-3 times a day can decrease the pain and inflammation associated with this condition.
Having your shoulder evaluated by a physical therapist can determine the best course of treatment once the pain goes down. Remember, the absence of pain doesn’t mean everything is alright!
We hope you found this newsletter informative! If you have any questions, suggestions or advice you want to receive, let us know and we can mention it in a future newsletter.
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