January 11, 2010

BABY STEP 10 - Cutting corners (Jan 10)

I don’t know if your parents ever made you stand in the corner as a punishment (mind didn’t), but I’m going to put a positive spin on the corner.
When I turned forty, I decided to get back into shape and start doing yoga again--and thus started a several-year visit to my chiropractor. Not that yoga is bad--it's just that my back had been out for a long time (you'd think fighting to walk upright would have been a clue for me long before the yoga-feather broke the camel’s back).
My chiropractor showed me an exercise that I incorporated into my daily routine (and am now re-incorporating). It not only keeps your upper back from going into spasm, it also helps prevent heart attacks. How? Well, we tend, as we grow older to not "open up" the muscles in the upper back. They become tight, and the heart has to start working harder to push against their unyielding tight wall. So by opening up the muscles, loosening them, and pulling them out to their full length, we help out the heart, as well. Anything that will help my upper back and my heart is welcome to me.
Lastly, it helps avoid the "dowager's hump" that women can get as they grow older. And who wants one of those--unless you're a female camel?
Choose a corner. Anywhere where two walls meet that you can get to. Stand facing the corner, as if you've been a good little girl, with your feet about twenty-four inches from the walls, shoulder-width apart. Place your right hand on the right-hand wall, and your left hand on the left-hand wall, about shoulder height. Now lean in for two counts, hold for three, and push back for another two. Move your hands higher on the wall and do it a second time. The lower your hands below where you started and do it a third time.
Eventually, we’ll work up to ten, which is one ‘set’ and you can do two sets a day. If your back spasms or goes out, my chiropractor recommended up to five sets a day, but no more, or you lose the benefits. Of course, I’m not a doctor, so if you need medical advice, seek it, from a physician or chiropractor.
Three corner exercises is the baby step for today. If you’ve done them, then you’re done for the day. If not, you could be less than two minutes away from being done. You’re awesome. You’re getting really good at this baby step stuff. And so am I.
Baby steps are awesome, too. I’ve begun exercise plans before where I’m all gung-ho, but by the second or third day I’m so sore I can barely move--and I don’t exercise again for a few days (or months). Baby steps eliminates that. This seems almost too easy, right?
Today it’s like we’re talking to the walls, and they’re talking back: “It’s a good beginning, baby. See you tomorrow, you good little girl.”
I second that. See you tomorrow, you good little girl. You deserve the best things in life. So go stand in the corner and start getting them.

© Copyright 2010 Heather Horrocks

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