Health, Life Hacks, Stuff to Know, Wellness, Yoga

If You Don’t Spread Your Legs, You Will Die Prematurely

Dag and Kelvin Legs Spread

What do your hips have to do with an exponentially increasing-by-the-day likelihood of falls, dependency, institutionalization and mortality? Well friends, the so-called openness of your hips happens to be one of the most significant predictors of these aforementioned outcomes and since chances are that you are no longer as young as you used to be, it’s high time to spread your legs and make some magic.

Dag and Kelvin in Bed Yoga Hip OpenersDag and Kelvin Cuddling in Bed

Kelvin and I spread on the reg because the pelvis is pivotal to balance and motion in all mammalian bodies. Our hips are also where we hold most of our tension. In addition to physical tightness resulting from stressors like sitting too long or shredding too much puffy mountain gnar, our hip flexors are also where we tighten up when we experience psychological and emotional stressors such as the feeling I get when Pit Bull Kelvin pleads with me for more peanut butter, but I know that giving him too much will cause his pancreas to eat itself (that’s what happens when dogs consume too much fat at one time). The point is that opening the pelvic area and letting loose is critical to our survival.

Yoga Hip Openers Dag and Kelvin in Bed

Personally, I’m not a fan of slow walkers. So, the effectiveness of yogic hip openers in significantly increasing peak hip extension and stride length, both of which lead to faster walking is of particular appeal to me. If you experience lower back pain, it too can often be relieved by moving your ball-and-socket hip joint through its full range of motion, and studies have shown that in addition to releasing tension accumulated in the area, hip openers result in decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Health Benefits of Yogic Hip Openers

References:

Bershadsky, S., Trumpfheller, L., Kimble, H. B., Pipaloff, D., & Yim, I. S. (2014). The effect of prenatal Hatha yoga on affect, cortisol and depressive symptoms. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.

DiBenedetto, M., Innes, K. E., Taylor, A. G., Rodeheaver, P. F., Boxer, J. A., Wright, H. J., & Kerrigan, D. C. (2005). Effect of a gentle Iyengar yoga program on gait in the elderly: an exploratory study. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation86(9), 1830-1837.

Woo, J., Ho, S. C., & Yu, A. L. (1999). Walking speed and stride length predicts 36 months dependency, mortality, and institutionalization in Chinese aged 70 and older. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society47(10), 1257-1260.

Wolfson, L., Whipple, R., Amerman, P., & Tobin, J. N. (1990). Gait assessment in the elderly: a gait abnormality rating scale and its relation to falls. Journal of Gerontology45(1), M12-M19.

 

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