It’s time to redesign the whole body workout.
When we think of these types of routines, we usually think of training the core, glutes, legs, and arms. But if we really want to take care of our general wellbeing, we need to expand beyond these muscle groups. In fact, there are several areas that experts say we often forget when working to improve our health.
Here are other parts of our body that also need love:
We tend to think of our mind as separate from the rest of our physical health, but it has a vital function and the brain benefits from exercise as much as anything else.
Brain function is known to decrease over time, but there are ways to reduce the risk of it, explained Rana Mafee, a neurologist in Westchester, Illinois. Although genetics play a role in cognitive function, Mafee says that “it’s environmental factors like diet, sleeping habits, or chronic stress that slowly grind your brain down and make you less sharp over the years.”
The good news is – similar to how consistent exercise can improve our longevity, regular brain exercise can improve cognition and provide lifelong benefits. The idea is to strengthen the longevity of through exercise Neuroplasticity, that is, in short, the brain’s ability to adapt and master new skills, and to store memories and information.
“A lack of mental exercise will gradually reduce the effectiveness of the brain’s neurotransmitters, making it harder to focus, make and keep lasting memories, or even do everyday tasks,” Mafee said.
Adults should focus on keeping their brains active. We can do this in a number of new ways, from learning a new language to navigating a new city. The key is to challenge our minds. We can also try to learn another hobby, such as learning to play the piano or a new sport. Mindfulness meditation has also proven helpful here.
“In addition to healing and repairing cognitive decline, regular brain exercise can improve mental acuity, improve your mood, and improve your overall quality of life,” Mafee said.
Mindfulness meditation is an excellent way to train our brains.
Keeping our lungs healthy should be a priority as they move oxygen from the air we breathe into the blood, said Alberto L. Rozo, pulmonologist at Northwell Health in New York City.
Exercise is necessary for lung function to perform at its best, and since “lung function gradually declines every year from the age of 35,” said Rozo, it’s important to build habits that help increase our lung capacity.
This includes daily aerobic workouts and breathing exercises like Diaphragmatic breathing. Lie on your back and place one hand on your stomach over your belly button and one on your chest. Inhale through your nose for two seconds and feel the air rush into your stomach and push your stomach out. Then exhale through pursed lips for two seconds and allow your stomach to empty. Repeat several times.
“It’s important to exercise the muscles that control wrist function to optimize strength and joint stability,” said Joseph A. Gil, an orthopedic surgeon in Rhode Island.
Paying attention to the wrists is especially important for anyone who exercises or exercises on a regular basis. A special warm-up that stretches the wrists and forearms could help prevent overuse or injury by “preparing the muscles and tendons to overcome the cumulative stress” that exercise could put on them, Gil said.
Stretching the forearm muscles with “Wrist extension and flexion“Is one of Gil’s favorite pre-workout wrist warming techniques.
To do this, lay your forearm flat on a table and let your hand and wrist dangle from the edge. Slowly bend your wrist down, then bring it back up. Repeat this several times, then move on to the other side. You can do this with a small, light weight too.
He noted that you might want to consult with a trainer to work on the range of motion of the wrist before lifting weights, which “puts a lot of strain on the tendons and ligaments around the wrist,” or yoga, “which requires an extreme wrist position that the Makes participants vulnerable to ligaments “. Injuries. “
Don’t forget that our wrists also need some maintenance – especially before training.
The five bones located just behind the toes, known as the metatarsals, carry a large portion of our body weight and require special attention to keep them in good working order. According to Bruce Pinker, a foot and ankle surgeon in New York, the metatarsal region has something of a “spring-like quality that helps create the arch of the foot.” This flexibility requires maintenance to ward off injury and fatigue.
Pinker said that by neglecting regular foot stretching, “You risk your feet tensing up or contracting, which can cause pain. ”And since many people wake up feeling a certain amount of stiffness in their feet, Pinker also believes that“ it’s important to tip your toes afterwards Wake up stretching or exercising ”.
To do this, take a page from a dancer’s playbook: Kelby Brown, a dance and fitness trainer in New York City, suggested trying point and flex foot progressions to strengthen your toes and ankles and create flexibility. Start by sitting with your back against a wall and stretching your arms out at your side, “with the tip of your middle finger pressed lightly into the floor,” he said.
Then tighten your core and keep your legs tight together. Point your toes from this point and count to four. Then bend your feet and count to four. Do this a couple of times. In the stretched position, your feet should “resemble a cashew or banana,” Brown said.
According to Melissa Wood-Tepperberg, a certified yoga and Pilates instructor, you can also multitask with a standing quad stretch and maximize foot flexibility. Although this movement is primarily intended to stretch the front of the legs, “you can draw attention to your foot by using your palms to pull your toes inward to stretch the top of your foot,” she said.
“Put all of your weight on your standing foot and grab the opposite foot with your collapsing hand,” she explained. Holding a table or stable surface can improve your balance. Then place your palm on your ankle. Flex your foot, then point your toes. After pointing and releasing your toes about 10-20 times, repeat the process on the other side.