Exercise plays a crucial role in the treatment of disease or injury and for the
maintenance of health. Even those who are ill or have been inactive for a
period of time can discover the body’s capacity for recovery by engaging
in flexibility and strength building exercises. Walking is the best form of
exercise for people of all ages. Before the carriage and automobiles,
walking was the main mode of transportation. A day’s journey was
20 – 30 miles and today we barely walk at all.
Have you ever watched babies place their toes in their mouth or their legs behind their heads? It reminds us that
our flexibility is far less than it once was. The vast majority of people, including athletes, know very little about
the proper methods of stretching. Our muscles are working against forms of resistance all the time: the door or
window we push open, the groceries we carry home, or the weight of the body itself, lifting our legs to climb
stairs or getting ourselves out of bed in the morning. These are everyday “loads of resistance” most of us meet
When resistance is increased, however, we feel the effects of the added exertion – a sore back after lugging a
heavy suitcase around, or still leg muscles after too much walking all at once. Usually, the muscles that are
briefly pushed beyond their capacity quickly settle back to their normal level of inactivity and no longer feel
sore. The few everyday instances when we make our muscles work harder – and the discomfort that may
result – make a case for stretching. Stretching helps strengthen all the muscles, balancing out the body so it can
perform at its peak without risking injury. The whole body benefits – both in its appearance and in how it
functions – from the improvements made in the muscle, neuromuscular system; alleviate many of the symptoms
of stress, aid in the prevention of joint and muscle injury and re-injury. The human body needs to walk and
stretch in order to become healthy and physically fit (as well as help control blood glucose levels!).
Nature has given us two very different breathing patterns designed for very different situations. When our body
is under stress it responds with restricted breathing. Of course, we all know how to breathe in order to survive,
but breathing specifically to melt tension from your body is another story. Correct breathing clears and focuses
your mind; gives you more physical energy; reduces carbon dioxide in the blood allowing the heart to pump
better; and rids the body of toxins.
The human body is designed to discharge 70% of its toxins through breathing. If your breathing is not operating
at peak efficiency, you are not ridding yourself of toxins properly. Other systems of your body, such as your
kidneys must work overtime. This overworking sets the stage for illness and disease. Learning how to breath
effectively to reduce stress and tension is very important in achieving and maintaining health.