Any and all movement is good!

I wrote this for the members of my migraine support group, and since migraines are a big part of my life, I thought I’d share it here as well.  Many of our members are severely debilitated by their migraines, fibromyalgia or other chronic issues and going to a gym or “working out” is just too much for them. Even a little movement each day adds up to improved health and reduced pain.  The human body is designed for movement and we all feel better when we honor that. 🙂

Stretches

Seated in a chair, hold the bottom edge of the chair seat with the left hand then lean to the right letting the right should drop and the head go as far as possible towards the right shoulder. Hold for a count of 20ish and then try the other side. Move slowly so as not to aggravate things and don’t hold for too long if there’s any sharp pain.

Standing or seated, put your hands on your hips, elbows out, shoulders relaxed and chin level with the ground.  Hold this for as long as possible or in between doing other things (while you cook, watch tv, wait in line for something, etc.

Lie flat on your back and bend your knees up towards your chest.  Hold here for 20-30 seconds, then tilt knees together (to stretch the hips) to one side and relax there for 20-30 seconds, then go to the other side.

Roll a beach towel length wise and put it on the floor.  Lie down on it length wise putting your arms out to the side with palms up.  If this hurts your lower back, bend your knees a little and put your feet flat on the floor or put a thick pillow under your knees.

Arm movements:

Lying down:  raising your arms up and down, out and back, extend your hands towards the ceiling and rotate your wrists in varying directions and then, while in this position, lower your hands towards the sides of your head while keeping your elbows pointed at the ceiling.

Seated:  scissor arms, jumping jack arms (like jumping jacks without the legs), arm circles, over head presses,   chicken wing flapping :), reach up to the ceiling as high as you can and alternate reaching one are more than the other,

Leg movements:

Lying down:  lifts, up and down, out and back, out and in, (bend knees and straighten)

Seated:  marching, up and down, scissor kicks, leg extensions (bend knee and straighten)

On the floor:  sit with back against the couch, straighten legs and place an object at the length of your ankle, bend one leg in and out of the way and lift the other left over the object, to the floor again and back.  Repeat as much as possible to help strengthen your thighs without putting pressure on your knees.  Side lying leg lifts on the floor are good as well.

Random tip:  When I’m putting away clean clothes, I take the basket/pile into my bedroom and put it on the bed.  Then I take just 2 items at a time to the closet to put away, then go back for two more, etc.  This way, I get more steps in my day. 🙂

Slightly more advanced movements for when you’re feeling more mobile–

Supermans (for the back of the body):  lie on the floor face down, arms above your head, crossed in front of your chest, out to the side or down at your side, lift your upper body and legs at the same time, hold for a few seconds and then drop back to the ground  Tip: keep your eyes on the floor the whole time so that your neck isn’t bent too much.

Hip raises (core and glutes): lie face up on the floor, bend your knees and put your feet hip width apart flat on the floor. Lift your hips up until there’s a straight line from your knees to your torso. Hold and then lower and start again. Tip:  Tighten your glutes (butt), then your abs (stomach) and then lift so that it’s a 3 part move.

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