Try these stretches for a great night of sleep tonight…

Functional Aging

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Doddridge Plaza
3765 S. Alameda, Ste 102
Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(361) 857-5087
  1. Try these stretches for a great night of sleep tonight…

    Hi there! I’m Lisa Wright from Your Personal Best Training Studio, and I have something special for you today where I’m going to teach you some amazing stretches you can do before bed that will help you wind down for a great night of sleep. Altogether, these stretches will take a few minutes, and they are super simple and easy to do.

    If you do these stretches before bed regularly as part of your nighttime routine, not only will they help you unwind, but they can become cues for your body that it’s bedtime. And that can help you fall asleep faster.

    Now, as it is with all stretches, you should go only to the point of gentle tension. Don’t try too hard to stretch. Just let the stretch happen. Trying to force a stretch makes it harder for your muscles to relax. These should feel good and not like a lot of work.

    The first stretch is a forward fold.

    1. Start with your feet hip-width apart, your knees slightly bent.
    2. Next, bend from your hips, bringing your chest down toward your thighs into a forward fold, letting your arms and head hang loosely.
    3. You should feel kind of like a floppy rag doll.
    4. Just stay here and hold for 30 to 60 seconds before slowly rolling back up to standing. Use your hands to “walk” up your legs to support you as you rise.

    Good news! All of the remaining stretches are done either sitting or lying down!

    The second stretch is a seated side bend.

    1. You start by sitting on a pillow, legs cross-legged in front of you. Place your left hand on the floor beside your left hip, your left elbow slightly bent.
    2. Reach your right arm up overhead, and with your core engaged, lean toward the left, your butt on the floor, shoulders down.
    3. Hold for 30 seconds before repeating on the other side.
    4. As with all stretches, your breathing should be even and easy. This one can make you want to hold your breath. If you find that happening, please back off the stretch a little until your breathing feels more normal.

    The third stretch we are going to do is a twist.

    This one always feels so good and is great for helping to detoxify the system.

    1. To start, you are going to sit with both legs out in front of you.
    2. Now, bend your right leg and bring your right foot up and over your left leg, so that your right foot is near the outside of your left hip.
    3. Sit up super tall, and hug your right knee into your chest. Take a big inhale and then exhale and twist. Keep your shoulders nice and relaxed. Take a few breaths here and repeat on the other side.

    If you are more of a visual learner, then check out the video I made to demonstrate the three stretches above–>

    Our final stretch may seem more intimidating than is, but even so, I want you to go only as far as feels comfortable for you. This stretch is not for all bodies that are over 50-years-old. If you have any knee issues, you can skip this one.

    It’s called the swan. (NOTE: IF you need a reference for this, check out THIS LINK!)

    1. Start this stretch by sitting on the floor, a pillow in front of you. Bend your left knee, bringing the sole of your left foot toward your right inner thigh, while your right leg reaches behind you (your right quad is toward the floor).
    2. Slowly start to hinge forward from your hips, bringing your head down toward the pillow. Reach your arms gently forward.
    3. You should feel a nice stretch everywhere, especially in your left glute/hip.
    4. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

    There you have it! A quick series of stretches you can do before bed to help you relax and unwind.

    REMEMBER, if you have any questions, I’m always here to help! Just drop me a message in the comment section below.

    Have an amazing day!


  2. 9 Tips to Boost Your Workout Recovery


    Hey there! Functional Aging Specialist, Lisa Wright from Your Personal Best Training Studio here. I’ve got a fact-filled article for you today about a topic that I think we will hear a lot more about in the future. But first I have a pop quiz for you! Do you know when the magic from your workouts happens?  That is, when your body CHANGES as a result of your workout? If you said AFTER, you get a gold star!

    That’s right. It’s not DURING your workouts. Your body gets stronger and fitter BETWEEN your workouts. That makes your recovery super important, won’t you agree? And that’s pretty ironic because boosting workout recovery is one of the least-studied aspects of fitness. I think maybe that’s because there’s so much worry that we’re not working out enough, that there’s been less concern we’re doing too much.

    But scientists are starting to dive into this topic a lot more now, which is great news. When you work out, especially with weights, you are causing damage to your muscles. When your body repairs that damage, it gets stronger. I have some simple and time-tested recovery tips for you that can help you make the most of your workouts and the time between them!

    First, getting enough sleep – especially deep sleep – is important. And it might also be why your body spends more time in the deep sleep phase when you work out regularly. Make sure you schedule in enough time each night to get a full 7 to 8 hours of sleep as often as possible If you need help with improving your sleep, whether you need to get MORE of it, or improve the quality of the sleep you DO get, you need to check out my ebook, Supercharge your Sleep. You can get it by following this link to download my FREE eBook as a gift to you 

    But what else can you do to make the most of your recovery?

    Here are some other ideas

    My second tip is to eat enough protein because it forms the building blocks of your muscles. I’m not talking about eating big protein-rich meals. Your body can only process so much protein at a time, so it’s better to have smaller amounts throughout the day. The best times are for breakfast, right after your workout, and also a light protein snack a couple of hours before bedtime. Have a protein shake, some nuts, pumpkin seeds, a Greek yogurt parfait with fruit, grass-fed jerky, some organic free-range chicken, mix it up!

    Tip 3: Drink enough water!  Make sure to drink at least half your body weight in ounces every day to keep your muscles supple and boost your body’s ability to repair itself. (water that you drink DURING your workouts doesn’t count toward this number!) So if you weigh 140 pounds, you’d want to get at least 70 ounces of water a day, and more when you exercise.

    Here’s one way to keep track.

    Get a 20-ounce water bottle, and put one rubber band around it for how many times you need to fill it up to get your water quota for the day! Again, say you weigh 140 pounds. That means you would have to drink around four bottles, right? So you would put four rubber bands around the water bottle. Every time you finish a bottle, you would take the rubber band off. Pretty cool, right?

    Tip 4: Skip the post-workout beer. Research shows that alcohol can get in the way of your body’s ability to recover, plus it can mess with your sleep. Just say, no!

    Tip 5: Try foam rolling. Using a foam roller is a form of self-massage, and can help ease knots in your muscles and fascia, which is your body’s connective tissue. Rolling out your body’s biggest muscles, like your glutes and back gives you the most bang for your buck, so I like to focus on those.

    Lay on your side on the floor and extend your bottom arm up over your head, and place the roller below your armpit, and roll out those tight muscles! Make sure you keep your core engaged, and you don’t hold your breath!

    Tip 6: Get a massage. A massage is a lot less work than foam rolling and a lot more pleasurable. If you can schedule a regular massage, your body will thank you for it! Plus, your massage therapist might be able to tell you if there are any spots on your body that need to spend more time with the foam roller.

    Tip 7: This one has to do with taking rest and recovery days. There have been several great studies comparing passive recovery – which is a rest day with very little physical activity  – and active recovery. It’s pretty clear that doing light to moderate exercise helps flush out waste from your muscles and can speed up your recovery between sessions. A recovery day doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. It can mean going for a walk or hike, playing golf, or taking your bicycle out for a spin.

    Tip 8: If you’re lifting weights, you should take at least two days off between training the same muscle group. The bigger the muscle group, the more time you need before training it again. So, after doing a lot of leg exercises, you want to take a minimum of 2 days off before working your legs again. Does that make sense?

    Tip 9 is probably the most important recovery tip of all.

    Listen to your body.

    If you’re tired but still want to work out, do something that’s not so taxing on your system, like an easy cardio session or even a walk. If you are feeling wiped out or you need a little break, respect that – but make sure to get back at it tomorrow!

    I hope these tips have been helpful! As always I’m here if you have questions. Just leave a comment below or call the studio anytime! 361-857-5087

    Talk to you again soon!

  3. Tight Traps

    By Terry Cobb, ACSM CPT


    Does your upper back ever feel tight, as though you have “knots” in it? You may have an upper-trapezius strain, a common repetitive stress injury (RSI).  This can be caused by placing too much stress or strain on a joint or musculoskeletal tissue. This can happen while performing repetitive motions, whether on a computer, on the telephone or in a sports activity.

    Some causes of injury are due to overuse of the muscle-even at a low intensity.  Repetitive motion doesn’t allow rest between the movements and can cause irritation.

    The upper trapezius muscle needs to be able to shorten and lengthen properly.  For example, when you are cradling a phone between your ear and shoulder, it can cause one shoulder to be elevated and will extend the neck. This can also cause tightness in the rhomboids, causing the shoulders to round.  Moving out of these positions from time to time throughout the workday will increase blood flow and oxygen delivery to the muscles. Developing better posture will help maintain the optimal length of the muscles.

    See the following “Exercises at the Office” to help to relieve tightness of the neck and upper back.

    Sitting with upright posture, perform 15–20 reps of the following exercises every hour when you are at your desk for upper trapezius pain.

    1. Scapular Pinches. Roll the shoulders back, and pinch the shoulder blades together.
    2. Shoulder Shrugs. Raise the shoulders up toward the ears, then lower them back down.
    3. Neck Side-Bending. Tilt one ear toward the shoulder, and hold briefly. Repeat on the opposite side.
    4. Neck Rotation. Look over one shoulder, and pause briefly. Repeat on the opposite side.

    If you feel tight or sore in the upper trapezius after the above movement-oriented exercises, perform 1–3 reps of the following static stretch, holding each rep for 30 seconds.

    1. Neck Side-Bending/Rotation Stretch.
    • In a standing or seated position, place the right hand on top of the head and let the left arm rest at the side.
    • Gently pull the head toward the right shoulder with the right hand.
    • Rotate the head down and look at the right hip. (The stretch should be felt on the left side of the neck/shoulder area.) Repeat on the opposite side. If your shoulders tend to round forward, you can improve this condition by the scapular pinch and by a pectorals stretch.

    Desk by Bob Anderson (Shelter Publications Inc. 1997)

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Your Personal Best Training Studio
Doddridge Plaza
3765 S. Alameda, Ste 102
Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(361) 857-5087