The grace of the human body is truly a beautiful thing to observe.
When all muscles, ligaments, and tendons are in sync to perform a concerto, arms, hands, and fingers race across the piano keys in perfect agility. Or as legs, feet and toes gingerly trace a trail across a dance floor executing graceful liquid movements.
It is flexibility that allows the body to bend the knees and flex the arms and make us move about in our every day lives.
One moment can be on tip-toes reaching far above the head to pull a book of its shelf, the next bending down to pick up the strewn papers that fell from inside the cover. We push our bodies from one position to the next, having it perform our own personal pirouettes as we slip into our cars, jump out of our seats, twist our way around crowds, and prod our way down the sidewalk.
Each and every motion we make requires some sort of stretching pulling action that requires squeaky clean joint action and supple taffy movements from the muscles. But many people can attest that our bodies with each and every second of the day are slowly making their way from a gumby-like state in childhood to the that of a rusted out tin man as the years pile up. Bones creak, muscles stiffen and backs ache.
Good news is that the body responds positively to the love and care it receives when it is given a proper diet, exercise, stretching and happy attitudes.
And it starts with the minute your eyes flutter open into a new day. Flinging oneself out of bed the minute the alarm goes off already starts the body off in stress. Before your eyes even open, take a long deep breath in slowly as you stretch every inch of you body starting with pointing the toes and reaching the leg as far down the bed as possible as your arms go above your head stretching the arms, hands and fingers towards the ceiling then back behind your head, tightening every muscle with the stretch. Hold that stretch as you hold your breath for 3-5 seconds, then slowly release your breath and release your stretch and relax the muscles.
Do this 2-3 times before setting your feet on the floor and racing into gear for the day. It gets the lactic acid buildup moving out of the muscles from the repair that went on during your sleepy dreams. It brings oxygen to stimulate the brain into action and releases endorphins for a happier day.
Those of you with more ambition and time can follow up with yoga, pilates, tai chi or simple stretching exercises to wake up the body even more and continue the flexible moves.
Water plays a big part in keeping the body supple so keep hydrated throughout the day with just plain water, not coffee, not sodas, not lemonade, not beer, not flavored water. Just good ol’ plain H2O. In fact, start the day off after a nice long activity of stretching with a tall glass of tepid water with lemon. A lot of lower backaches and stiffness occur due to chronic dehydration so drink up.
Reduce your eating of packaged foods, cooked animal fats and processed sugars. Eat plenty of raw fruits and vegetables with their own version of filtered water, vitamins, minerals and alkalinity. Alkaline foods reduce acidity in the muscles causing them to relax which improves the body’s flexibility.
Be sure to keep in motion with exercise whether it’s walking, biking, running, or any favorite activity that engages your body. A toned body is alive with good circulation providing needed nutrients to every cell for proper functioning.
And most of all keep joy in your heart so that every bone in your body and each and every cell in your muscles flexes in a happy manner.
Take care of your body, the vehicle that allows you to play in this fabulous world through flexible movements in a three dimensional wonder called life. You’ll find yourself in high spirits walking tall and straight, your feet dancing lightly with every step, no matter what your age.