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The ‘Be Healthy! Stretch to Knit/Crochet’ Category...

Strengthening your upper back

May 31, 2011

Time for another installment of tips to keep you healthy while you craft! Be sure to give Ellen at IsoBreathing Inc.
www.isobreathing.com ellen@isobreathing.com

 

Strengthening your upper back

This month’s article is a combination of strengthening your upper back along with a shoulder rotation to help improve your posture. When improving your posture your upper and mid back will not tighten as much when knitting for elongated periods of time.

Upper Back Strengthener

  1. Sit tall with both feet flat on the floor
  2. Extend both arms forward shoulder height. (Your palms will face each other) Inhale.
  3. Pull arms back bending your elbows and keeping your arms tucked close to your body.  At the same time your arms are in the back position squeeze your shoulder blades together tightly and exhale.
  4. Hold this contraction for 1 IsoBreathing breath.
  5. Repeat movement 10 times

 

Shoulder Rotation

  1. Stand tall with both feet hip distance apart.
  2. Both hands down at your sides.
  3. Rotate both arms so your palms are facing in front of you. Continue turning your palms outward and to the side, away from your body, with your thumbs pointing behind you. Your arms are slightly away from your body.
  4. Squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  5. Hold for 1 IsoBreathing breath
  6. Repeat movement 10 times

By performing these two exercises 2-3 times a day you will improve your posture within 2 weeks. Need Proof? Have someone measure you along your back from armpit to armpit while you stand naturally. Wait 2 weeks and re-measure again. You will see a difference. The average improvement is between ½ inch to 2 inches. (the numbers on the measuring tape will lessen.)

http://www.isobreathing.com

Improving your Posture

April 30, 2011

Improving your Posture

When working on a project for hours on end, if you’re like me, you sit in a comfy chair or couch. Your lower back is rounded, upper back is rounded, your head is looking down and your body has a difficult time straightening up. You find discomfort not just your upper, mid and lower back, but your neck, hips and occasionally knees.

To help eliminate discomfort sit more upright.

  1. Have both feet flat on the floor. Sit back in your chair. The back of the chair will help give some support to your back. If your feet do not reach the floor then place a pillow or two behind you.
  2. Sit back in your chair or couch and place your feet on a low step stool. This will help support your lower back and hips.
  3. If you stretch yourself out on a couch place a pillow under your knees. This will take the stress off of your lower back.
  4. Elevate your ribcage and try to keep your shoulders relaxed
  5. Keep elbows bend and hands elevated a little higher than chest height. You are now looking straight ahead at your project instead of looking down. This will help with neck discomfort.
  6. Use the upper back stretch shown in February’s blog post.
  7. Neck stretches are shown in January’s blog post

 

 

This and many more stretches are in the “Stretches for those who Knit and Crochet” book. This book can be purchased at http://www.isobreathing.com

 

Lose Weight Crafters!

April 15, 2011

Did you know that knitting burns calories? Even though you are sitting still your hands and wrists are busy at work. The added benefit of keeping both hands busy: You are not eating.

Aprils Stretch: Lower Back

  1. Sit tall with both feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on your knees. Perform a pelvic tilt (push your hips forward.) Your lower back is rounded. Push your lower back into the chair. Hold this position for one IsoBreathing breath. Sit tall and repeat 3-5 times.
  2. Sit tall with both feet flat on the floor. Place both palms on your lower back with your fingers facing the floor. Arch your back slightly using your hands for support. Hold for one IsoBreathing breath. Sit upright and repeat 3-5 times.

This and many more stretches are in the “Stretches for those who Knit and Crochet” book. This book can be purchased at http://www.isobreathing.com

Wrists and Finger care for you crafters out there!

March 12, 2011

Wrists and fingers

As we age muscles and joints tend to tighten and fatigue more quickly. Here is a simple warm up.

Fingers

  1. Open fingers as wide as you can and hold for 5 seconds.
  2. Close fingers into a fist and hold for 5 seconds.
  3. Repeat three times.

Wrists

  1. 1. Slowly circle your wrists in one direction 5 times.
  2. 2. Flex or bend your wrist so your fingers only are facing up toward the sky.
  3. 3. Hold for 5 seconds.
  4. 4. Slowly circle your wrist in the other direction 5 times.
  5. 5. Flex or bend your wrist so your fingers are facing the floor.
  6. 6. Hold for 5 seconds.
  7. 7. Repeat this sequence 3 times.

These simple warm up can also be performed at the end of your knitting session to help relax your muscles and joints.

In the book Stretches for Those Who Knit and Crochet you will find a number of stretches and strengtheners. This book  can be found at http://www.isobreathing.com

Ellen Miller is a certified Fitness Practitioner/Personal Trainer teaching for the past 25 years. Ellen writes for her monthly newsletter, blogs  and  New Orleans Wedding Magazine. IsoBreathing has been a recipient for Innovator of the year in 2006 by New Orleans City Business. She has snippets  at http://www.youtube.com/isobreathing. Ellen sells DVD’s,CD’s and Booklets of the IsoBreathing program at htpp://www.isobreathing.com  and can be reached at Ellen@isobreathing.com

February 2 Simple Stretches

January 28, 2011

February 2 Simple Stretches.

To help keep strain off the upper back, neck, shoulders, wrists and forearms I suggest you use round needles instead of the extremely long straight needles. If you are working on a heavy project such as a blanket the weight alone will cause strain and discomfort on all the above mentioned areas. By using the round needles all of the weight will be placed in the center of the needles and there will be less strain.

Upper back stretch:

Sit tall with your feet flat on the ground. Extend both arms out front. Round your shoulders slightly and try to reach as far forward as you can without leaning from your hip joint. Hold this position for 15 seconds.

For a little extra with this stretch you can drop your chin to your chest and you will include your neck.

Shoulder stretch

Sit tall with your feet flat on the ground. Take one arm and cross your chest. Take your other arm and hold it for support. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Then switch sides.

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The above is from the booklet “Stretches for those who Knit and Crochet” This book can be found on the website or on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Stretches-those-who-Knit-Crochet

Ellen is a certified Fitness Practitioner/Personal Trainer, teaching obtainable lifestyle changes for over 25 years. Ellen writes and produces fitness DVD’s  CD’s and Books of the IsoBreathing program. All are now being sold through the IsoBreathing website. http://www.isobreathing.com

Introducing Ellen!

January 5, 2011

Hello my friends,

I wanted to share something with you that will make you healthier this year! Watch the video and follow the series
Video loading….

xoxo
Nicole

Ellen is a certified Fitness Practitioner/Personal Trainer, teaching obtainable lifestyle changes for over 25 years.

Ellen writes and produces fitness DVD’s  CD’s and Books of the IsoBreathing program. All are now being sold through the IsoBreathing website. http://www.isobreathing.com

Stretches for those tight muscles

January 5, 2011

Stretches for those tight muscles

Did you ever find yourself sitting for hours on end finishing up a project? You try to get up and your muscles are stiff. I am going to post a new stretch each month starting with the top of your body working down to help you relax those tight tired muscles.

Simple neck stretches:

Sit tall with both feet flat on the ground. Take one hand and bring all of your fingers together and place that hand behind your neck as shown in the top photo.

Slowly allow your head to lean back. It will come to rest on your hand as seen in the bottom photo.

This is as far back as you should go. Hold this position and take three slow deep breaths. Then bring your head back up to a neutral position.  Repeat this three times.

Another way to relax your neck is with shoulder shrugs. Sit tall with both feet flat on the floor. Raise up both shoulders at the same time and take a deep breath. Slowly lower your shoulders and exhale at the same time. Repeat this movement 3-5 times.

The above is from the booklet “Stretches for those who Knit and Crochet”

Ellen is a certified Fitness Practitioner/Personal Trainer, teaching obtainable lifestyle changes for over 25 years.

Ellen writes and produces fitness DVD’s  CD’s and Books of the IsoBreathing program. All are now being sold through the IsoBreathing website. http://www.isobreathing.com