Your Body Tips
Tips From a Stretching Therapist
If you’re continually struggling to become more limber, it might be time to try a new approach. Fascial Stretch Therapy, which targets connective tissue rather than isolating individual muscles, has been shown to improve flexibility by up to 200 percent. FST creators and former dancers Ann and Chris Frederick recommend following these principles to find the greatest range of motion within your body:
• Create space in the joint first: By gently pulling a limb away from the socket (such as the hip joint) before going into a stretch, you’ll be able to stretch further.
• Stop before it’s painful: The brain interprets pain as a signal that something is wrong, so the stretch ends up being counterproductive.
• Stretch with a bent knee before a straight leg: “There are 34 muscles across your hips—why would you start with the toughest hamstring muscle?” asks Chris. By stretching the smaller muscles in the hip and back first, you can increase the hamstrings’ range by 20 to 50 percent.
• Don’t hold it: Moving through stretches in waves better prepares the body for dancing than sitting in a static position. It also opens up different angles within a stretch.
• Visit a specialist: When you’re lying down relaxed, an expert can find imbalances that you might not notice yourself, then give you stretches to do on your own before chronic injuries appear. Find a fascial stretch therapist near you at stretchtowin.com/directory.
The 10 Most Nutritious Foods
Stock up your shopping cart: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a study listing the most nutrient-rich superfoods, based on the amount of 17 key nutrients per 100 grams. (Unsurprisingly, most are leafy greens.) Add these top 10 to your regular meals to supercharge your diet.
2. Chinese cabbage
4. Beet greens
7. Leaf lettuce
9. Romaine lettuce
10. Collard greens