Nancy L (ACE certified) @ NancyLFitness.com is offering:
REPS / STRETCH/ FLEX CLASS
Improve balance and coordination; reduce the risk of injury through proprioception training.
What is proprioception?
Proprioception is your sense of position. It is knowing where your body is in space without having to look, a subconscious process. For example, it enables you to walk without looking at your feet.
One’s proprioception tends to weaken with age. This is because signals to and from the brain slow with time, resulting in a negative effect on balance which increases the risk of falling. Impaired balance is usually one of the first symptoms of declining proprioception.
There are, however, exercises designed to improve one’s proprioception, performed at any age. When properly executed these exercises teach/re-teach the brain/body to adequately and safely react to changes in position, surroundings and other external forces.
Although exercising to improve proprioception is beneficial and helps reduce the risk of injury, one also needs to be careful. Instances where it may be advisable NOT to perform such training include situations where there is:
Contact a health care professional with any questions before beginning any training/exercising. Be careful about participating in group fitness classes such as advanced core training that require a higher level of expertise.
Start with simple exercises on the floor; increase the difficulty as proprioception improves.
Wear non-restrictive clothing and good shoes. Be near a support (such as a wall or a chair) or have someone in the room in case of dizziness or weakness to catch yourself if you lose your balance. Concentrate on breathing; do not hold your breath (may adversely affect blood pressure).
Some exercises to try are depicted below:
Stretching is physical exercise. It helps to improve a muscle’s elasticity, tone and flexibility. It also works to enhance balance and increase blood circulation. By warming up the muscles and raising the heart rate (HR), stretching prepares the body for exercise with improved physical performance.
Stretching also increases production of synovial fluid that reduces friction in certain joints and helps to improve range of motion (ROM). ROM is the ability of a particular joint to move. [Pain, swelling, and stiffness associated with arthritis can limit the range of motion of a particular joint, reducing function and the performance of everyday activities. Stretching Helps!!]
Ideally, before an exercise routine, warm-up with about 10 to 15 minutes of light aerobic exercise (walking, biking, eliptical trainer, etc.) before stretching. Then do about 10 minutes of dynamic stretching: slow controlled movements through the full range of motion. Risk of injury is reduced by performing these movement stretches.
At this point the muscles are warmed up and ready for your particular exercise routine. After the exercise routine is completed perform static stretching to realign your muscles and to cool down, bringing your HR back to normal.
After any physical activity, there can be a build-up of lactic acid. Stretching helps to reduce the level of lactic acid, helping to alleviate muscle pain and/or cramps.