Centerworks Blog

Latest "Flexibility & Stretching" Posts

Pain-Free Hands: 3 Hand & Finger Exercises for Improved Flexibility

Here are three easy hand exercises to help stretch your palms, and improve finger flexibility. Our hand & finger muscles primarily work to grip and grab objects, so these muscles can get tight and cause joint pain in the fingers, hand and wrist.  Use these simple hand stretching exercise tips to release muscle tension and improve the mobility and flexibility to keep your hands and fingers pain-free, healthy, and fit.

Posted by Aliesa George in Flexibility & Stretching, Videos.

Foot Fitness Exercise: Flexing the Ankle for an Effective Calf Stretch

Today’s foot fitness tip is especially important for runners, walkers.  It also can benefit people with lower back issues.  I’m going to share my “secrets for success” in improving leg, ankle, and foot flexibility with an easy and effective calf stretch. Whether you’re fit with no injuries, or are experiencing back pain, or just have tight lower back muscles from lifestyle habits or vigorous workouts taking the time to stretch your ankles and calf muscles can help keep both your legs and lower back in great shape!  Check out this video clip to discover how to get the most from your calf stretch.

Posted by Aliesa George in Back Pain, Flexibility & Stretching, Foot Care & Foot Fitness, Videos.

Moving Meditation: Pilates and Other Great Mind-Body Exercise Methods

I read an article the other day and it said, “Pilates isn’t a mind-body exercise in the meditative way that Yoga, Tai Chi, or Qi Gong are, but it does use your mind to influence and improve your body.”

It seems evident to me that this author has probably never experienced a Pilates workout!  And in my study of Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and meditation,  I believe that these great mind-body methods are more similar than one might think for improving whole-body health.

Here’s Why:

  • All  have underlying principles & philosophies behind the exercises.   And even meditation (sitting still) is an exercise!
  • Each Mind-Body method has a system of utilizing the breath, and specific breathing patterns to improve technique and maximize benefits from your practice.
  • All require, concentration, coordination, and improve whole-body health, balance, and body control.

It’s not just, let’s move the body, but let’s be aware, in-tune, and conscious of what we’re doing, how, we’re doing it, the initiation point, end point, and in-between points for every movement.

I think it’s wonderful that we have options for focused fitness and enhanced wellness for improved mind-body health.   There is a method out there to help meet the needs of each of us as individuals.  And if you want to develop and fine-tune your skills, cross-training and exploring different mind-body methods may give you an increased appreciation for your body, health, and the ancient wisdom that is at the root of each of these techniques.

Look for my series of upcoming posts on the benefits of each of these great mind-body methods.

  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Tai-Chi
  • Qi Gong / Chi Gung
  • Martial Arts
  • Meditation

And I’m curious to know… What’s your  #1 favorite Mind-Body Wellness method?  Answer the  survey, and if you have a moment – tell me why it’s your choice in the comment section below.

Posted by Aliesa George in Exercise and Fitness, Health, Meditation, Mind-Body Health, Pilates, Polls & Surveys, yoga.

Stretching Safety Tips for Fitness Workouts and Improved Sports Performance

It seems like stretching is sometimes a low priority when time is limited and you want to get a great workout.  Is your goal to warm-up for your more vigorous activities?  Do you want to increase your flexibility?  Are you aware that WHAT you stretch, HOW you stretch, and WHEN you stretch really does make a difference?

Here’s a great health article that was recently in The San Diego Union-Tribune about dangerous stretching techniques and the benefits of dynamic stretching before exercise.  It also includes some great tips on how to stretch safely, and a few examples of good stretching exercises for your post-exercise cool down stretching routine.

Are you on track with your flexibility training exercises to stretch safely for your fitness workouts and sports performance goals?

Posted by Aliesa George in Exercise and Fitness, Flexibility & Stretching, Links to Interesting Articles.

Through the Eyes of a Yogi: Connect and Discover Mind-Body, and Spirit

A good friend recommended the book Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramahansa Yogananda to me a while ago, and I’ve been slowly working my way through it!  It is an excellent read for anyone interested in a life story filled with exceptional information about the spiritual journey of a man, and Yogi, and religious insights for health, wellness, and enlightenment.

I have personally gleaned many little gems of information that have added deeper dimensions of perspective and awareness to my life, and I’m only half-way through the book on my first read.  Some books I don’t care to read more than once, this book I look forward to reading again, but with a pen and highlighter in hand next time through so I can mark the passages and insights that have relevance to my life that it would be great to quickly find for reference and review.

I have not done much yoga in my life yet, nor am I completely up to speed on the culture and religious values of the people of India, but this book is inspiring me to want to learn more and perhaps discover new insights for my life’s journey to higher states of enlightenment and a deeper connection to my spiritual self.

I can see some of the points of perspective that Joseph H. Pilates may have taken from his studies of Yoga and Eastern Philosophies that have been incorporated into the Pilates Method, system, and exercises.  And although the spiritual aspect of Pilates is not discussed much, I do know for me, as my mind-body awareness and physical health has improved with the practice of Pilates, there has been a positive shift and uplift of my spirit too!

I am looking forward to finishing this book, AND then starting again from the beginning for a second read.  Perhaps the Autobiography of a Yogi will even inspire me to delve into a bit more Yoga and perhaps add some Yoga training to my lifestyle for added growth of my spiritual and physical health and wellness…  It will be interesting to see what evolves!

Many thanks to my friend Deborah for the recommendation, and  I too highly recommend this book!

Posted by Aliesa George in Book Reviews, Health, Meditation, Pilates, yoga.