Stretch! Bringing Your Body into Alignment. Treating the pain signals.
Over the course of your life everyday habits and repeated activities tighten some muscles and leave others to weaken. (Like sitting at a desk/couch/chair, driving a car, riding a bike, lifting or squatting repeatedly, etc.) Physical activity is the essential element of a healthy, joyous life, but even healthy activities can lead to the problem of muscle imbalance issues, and eventually, pain signals.
Our joints are held in place by muscle groups, it is extremely important to maintain muscular strength with an equal balance throughout the body. (Especially as we age!) Seated positions such as being hunched over a desk, or traveling by car or airplane, can cause the chest muscles to tighten and weaken those in the upper back, which inevitably will cause neck back pain. (Figure B)
Sitting on a bike is a similar to sitting at a desk, with feet locked on the pedals working in a limited, circular, range of motion. There are many benefits from cycling, but the fixed body position on a bike can be a factor in decreased flexibility from imbalanced muscle groups. It’s just a fact that good posture comes from strong and flexible muscles. (Figure A) It's not uncommon for a person to ignore pain signals and hope it will just go away, and never return. But when pain persists, an injury is waiting to occur.
The good news: It’s fairly easy to develop correct, pain-free, muscle balance. You can enhance your mobility, and performance while preventing injury by adding a yoga practice to your program. Yoga helps the muscles, tendons and ligaments move through healthy full range of motion, bringing fluid balance and core strength – a huge benefit to maintaining the ability to stay active -forever. Learning to breathe while quietly focusing on how your body feels during movement can help to identify the exact imbalances that are causing nagging pain. Attending a few yoga classes per week and/or a few 10-15 minute sessions at home will bring fast results.
Don't wait! If you can sense it and feel it, you can change it for the better.
JoyRide541 offers a full schedule of Cycling and Yoga classes. Our mind-body fitness philosophy encourages balance in all things. Fitness is a joyful journey, come play with us!