You may recall from my previous post that I am currently testing the HoMedics STRETCH mat to help my rather temperamental back. After two caesareans just 18 months apart and a rather too sedentary lifestyle, I find my back is prone to grumble and even goes into spasm if I lift too heavy a weight.
I have to admit that this has limited the range of activity I do, despite the advice of my physio that I should be exercising MORE, not less. Bed rest is not the answer. Painkillers and movement such as back stretches are.
I am learning about the benefits of stretching my back in a gentle programme of pilates once a week and trying to limit the length of time I sit blogging in the broken down armchair which currently serves as my ‘office’.
In truth, we all need to incorporate more stretching into our daily routine and there are 3 key benefits.
- Prevention of more serious damage – for example, tears to ligaments
- Improvement of general mobility – helping to stave off age-related stiffness, aches and pains
- It feels good.
As we know, exercise is good for body and mind and studies show that it may even stave off dementia.
Stretching helps improve balance and coordination which can help if you tend to be slightly accident-prone. The last time I put my back out I simply bent down to pick up a black bag full of rubbish. That was it!
But we seem to be up against the clock these days and finding the time (and inclination) to exercise is difficult.
When I remember (!) I do a short series of stretching exercises such as a basic pilates roll down, hip twists and basic Yoga pose – Pose of A Child. Even though I do pilates weekly, I still struggle to remember all the moves.
No such problem with the HoMedics STRETCH mat which puts you through a selection of yoga stretches without you having do much other than lie there and relax.
Yoga is proven to help you to release tension and improve flexibility with immediate benefits for the shoulders, hips and back.
The STRETCH mat puts you through a gentle, but thorough workout by inflating precision controlled air chambers in sequence to encourage your lumbar region to stretch, release and relax. And it’s so simple to set up – simply unfold, position the headrest and plug in.
Then choose from one of 4 pre-programmed sequences:-
- Twist – A short session that focuses on relieving tension in shoulders and hips.
- Flow – A progressive flow of stretches that gently mobilise the whole length of the spine, leaving you feeling refreshed and supple.
- Energise – An uplifting program designed to help you refuel and boost your energy levels.
- Stretch – An ‘all-round’ treatment to provide a refreshing antidote after staying seated for a long period of time.
The sequences are of varying duration and you can pause, play and customise the intensity of each one to suit your flexibility.
When you’re done, simply fold the mat away again. It has a handle so you can carry it from home to the office.
The HoMedics STRETCH mat is an ideal way to bring the benefits of yoga into your day – whether you are a yoga-phobe or a yoga-lover.
All you need to do is relax and let the mat do the work and treatments can be repeated as often as feels good for you, but as with anything new, always start gently and build up your regime as your body becomes accustomed.
More on the HoMedics STRETCH Mat