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Lower back pain is very common and can be the result of a variety of causes. One of these isn't usually the primary suspect but it occurs more often than one might think: constriction of the piriformis muscle. This small slim muscle is behind the gluteus maximus, connecting the spine to the top of the femur.

If the piriformis muscle tightens, gets pulled, becomes inflamed, or spasms, an effective piriformis stretch can restore muscle function and relieve pain.

What is the Piriformis?

Read more: How To Get a Deep Piriformis Stretch With These 12 Exercises

High blood sugar occurs when your body can't effectively transport sugar from blood into cells.

When left unchecked, this can lead to diabetes.

One study from 2012 reported that 12–14% of US adults had type 2 diabetes, while 37–38% were classified as pre-diabetic (1).

This means that 50% of all US adults have diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Here are 15 easy ways to lower blood sugar levels naturally:

1. Exercise regularly

Regular exercise can help you lose weight and increase insulin sensitivity.

Increased insulin sensitivity means your cells are better able to use the available sugar in your bloodstream.

Exercise also helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction.

If you have problems with blood sugar control, you should routinely check your levels. This will help you learn how you respond to different activities and keep your blood sugar levels from getting either too high or too low (2).

Good forms of exercise include weight lifting, brisk walking, running, biking, dancing, hiking, swimming and more.

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Bottom Line: Exercise increases insulin sensitivity and helps your muscles pick up sugars from the blood. This can lead to reduced blood sugar levels.

2. Control your carb intake

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Read more: 15 Easy Ways to Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally

Whether you're in your early 20s or your late 80s, following a regular weightlifting schedule can be beneficial to your overall wellbeing. In your younger years, a vigorous strength training workout can promote lifelong health, while older adults can maintain muscle strength and integrity by keeping up with a gentle weightlifting regimen. Although your exercise routine may change as you age, regular strength training through the years can help you to live a longer, healthier and happier life.

Why Should I Be Following a Weightlifting Regimen?

If you aren't already following a regular strength training routine, it's never too late to start. Lifting weights each week offers a number of physiological and psychological benefits at every age, helping you to:

• Lose weight and tone your muscles

Lower levels of LDL, the "bad" cholesterol, while increasing levels of HDL, or the "good" cholesterol

• Promote healthy bone development

• Enhance cardiovascular health and reduce your blood pressure

• Boost cognitive functioning

• Improve your flexibility and mobility

• Look better and feel more confident

• Improve your mood and decrease anxiety

Read more: Don’t Let Age Get in the Way of Your Weightlifting Routine

Stop looking for dynamic stretching exercises in Google. This list is the only resource you'll ever need to find stretch exercises for ALL your body parts!

CLICK HERE to jump straight to the 101 stretches, or read further to learn more about stretching and exercise in general.

The Truth About Stretching and Warm Up

Warm Up

I've heard it time and time again that warming up is a waste of time and energy. The excuse is usually that a warm-up will take away from the energy needed for the actual workout, but that's just not true. Actually it's a great way to get your heart pumping and get you in the right state for exercise.

A good warm-up should last about 5-10 minutes making sure to get the heart rate elevated. When you get your heart rate up, it will start pumping more blood and oxygen throughout the body, including into the muscle tissue. The muscles will become pliable and more flexible allowing for better range of motion and exercise performance.

Warming up also lubes the joints, readies the tendons and ligaments, and has quite a few mental benefits as well.

Stretching

twisted-lunge

Twisted Lunge

Stretching is just as important as warming up in most cases. Stretching should be done after the warm-up or you can do dynamic (active) stretching with the warm-up (before the workout).

Either way, it's a good idea to get it done for many reasons. As mentioned before, when the muscles are warm, they are more pliable and flexible. This will allow you to perform better in any activity.

Read more: Dynamic Stretching Exercises for Flexibility and Warming Up

Two years ago, Shirley Webb of East Alton, Illinois, couldn't get up off the floor without help. Earlier this year, the 78-year old deadlifted a 225-pound barbell with ease. The record-setting senior weightlifter sets a great example of how everyday seniors can improve their mobility, feel better, and have fun with exercise. Here's how Webb got started and kept going with free-weight training, and what we can learn from her.

Find a workout buddy

Webb said she decided to join her gym after going along to keep her 20-year old granddaughter company. Fitness experts say having a workout buddy and a workout group is a great way to stay motivated, pursue your goals, and have more fun while you exercise.

Choose a senior-friendly gym

Webb told ESPN she wasn't intimidated at all by her first visit to the gym. The fact that the staff took the time to explain all the equipment to her and her granddaughter cemented her decision to sign up, she said. You're more likely to go work out if you look forward to being at the gym, so choose a place that makes you feel welcome. There are more than 36,000 gyms in the US, so unless you live in a very rural area you probably have more than one choice nearby. Visit a few before you sign a contract.

Work with a patient and attentive trainer

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