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Sarah Russo3 years ago

Newcastle locals, how flexible are you?

We rely on our flexibility more than we realise; whether it's looking after the kids, playing sport or reaching for something on the top shelf. The better your flexibility, the easier every-day tasks become. Improving your flexibility can benefit your posture, reduce muscle stress and your of injury. Daily stretching exercises, such as yoga and full-motion movement may ease your aches and pains by relaxing your muscles and surrounding joints. Incorporating regular massage into your routine will also ensure your muscles are in their best possible condition. Try our three methods to improve your flexibility and be amazed at how great your body can feel!

Yoga

Practicing yoga can improve your posture, muscle tone and release stress as well as being linked to lowering your risk of heart disease and cholesterol problems.

Practice these yoga poses daily to increase your flexibility:

Downward-Facing Dog: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Fold at the waist and press your palm flat to the floor (beginners may bend your knees). Your hips are now in the air; hands should be shoulder-width apart and your arms, shoulders and back should be long and straight.

Practicing downward facing dog in a yoga class.
Practicing downward facing dog in a yoga class.

Tree Pose: Begin by standing on one leg. Bring your right foot up to your ankle, shin or thigh (depending on your flexibility). The underside of your foot should be flat against you’re other leg. Beginners may feel more balanced with their back against a wall. As you progress and feel more centred, raise your arms over your head for a further stretch.

Relaxing with a tree pose at the beach.
Relaxing with a tree pose at the beach.

Massage

Regular massages will aid in improving your flexibility by ensuring your muscles are relaxed, releasing knots and stretching joints to improve overall motion.

Try one of these massages to improve your flexibility:

Thai Massage: By using gentle pressure on specific points, compressions and stretches, Thai massage reduces stress and increases your flexibility.

Sports Massage: Designed for those with a physical injury, sports massage aims to treat and prevent injuries and even aids in enhancing physical performance. The techniques used in sports massage can help loosen muscles and increase flexibility.

A massage is the perfect way to release muscle tension.
A massage is the perfect way to release muscle tension.

Full Motion Training

Limiting yourself to short-range exercises such as squats, lunges and jumping jacks can decrease your flexibility.

Follow these steps to increase your range in these movements:

Standard Squat: Stand with your feed a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Roll your shoulders back and away from the ears. Extend your arms parallel to the floor, palms facing down. Inhale and lock your hips while slightly bringing them back. Keep pressing your hips back as they knees begin to bend (like you are sitting). Ensure your chest and shoulders stay upright and your back is straight. A full squat is completed when your thighs are parallel to the floor or lower.

Proper form while practicing a squat is very important.
Proper form while practicing a squat is very important.

Jumping Jacks: Stand with your feet close together and your arms to your side. Bend your knees slightly and jump off the balls of your feet, extending your legs up and outwards. At the same time as your leg motion, raise your arms above your head. Complete in quick successions; extending up and out again as you touch the ground.

Jumping jacks are a great full motion exercise.
Jumping jacks are a great full motion exercise.

Increase your flexibility in Newcastle.

Want to try yoga?

Lisa Pollard Mindfulness Based Yoga & Meditation Teacher

Lisa Pollard has been practicing yoga for 22 years, and teaching Newcastle locals the art of yoga and meditation. In addition to her classes, Lisa runs Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction 8 week courses (MBSR). MBSR is an experimental eight-week program, aimed to increase learning and growth of one’s life. Contact Lisa to find out how yoga and meditation can improve your health and wellbeing.
Where: 113 Albert Street, Wickham NSW 2293


How about a massage?

Massage Space at the Place

Qualified award winning therapist, Kathleen tailors each massage to suit individual needs. Services available include remedial, sports and relaxation massages. Utilise the free parking within Charlestown Square using the closest car park entrance at the corner of Frederick and Ferris Streets. Health Fund rebates through HICAPS is available for both half-hour and 1-hour massages. Book an appointment Monday to Friday and selected Saturdays.
Where: The Place, Charlestown Community Centre, Corner Pearson and Frederick Street, Charlestown NSW 2290


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