365 Ways #334–Extend your health

#334--We spend so much of our lives in flexion. We sit at work. We sit to drive. We sit to eat and to relax. We even sleep in the ultimate flexed posture--the fetal position. All of this flexion, if not countered by extension, can create havoc on all the systems of the body. That flexed position has an intimate connection to the endocrine system as it's a position of protection and fear and depression. Unable to differentiate between the physical and the mental, the body then produces a cascade of stress hormones which adversely affect immunity. The negative effects continue, from the reproductive systems to the respiratory system, until all semblance of health has been lost like the remote in the cushions of your Lazyboy. So here's a proactive measure you can employ to take back responsibility for your own health. It's a movement that is simple to perform yet very effective at mobilizing the spine called the McKenzie press-Up.

1. Lie in a prone position (face down) with your hands positioned outside your shoulders, palm down.
2. Exhale and push your chest off the floor. Make sure to keep your ASIS (hip bones) in contact with the floor at all times, even if this means your arms do not fully extend. Keep your glutes and back muscles relaxed. While in this position of extension, I like to take a big diaphragmatic breath in to help stretch the rectus abdominus. Sometimes I’ll twist left to focus on the right side or twist right to focus on the left side.
3. Return to start position and repeat for five to ten repetitions.

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