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Fitness and Sexual Health through Walking, Posture, Pilates and Prelox

by Ann Crowther(more info)

listed in pilates, originally published in issue 229 - April 2016

Of course your sex life must function - regardless of your age.  A scientific, evidence based regimen, emphasizing nutrition, supplements and exercise will increase erectile quality and:

  • Improve overall health;
  • Produce stronger, harder and longer lasting erections;
  • Increase strength, fitness, flexibility and vitality;
  • Restore self-confidence;
  • Achieve maximum sexual gratification with your partner.

Can men be in good shape for sex their entire lives......the answer is absolutely they can - this is perhaps the greatest male motivator for better living.

A satisfactory sex life is a human right and an important component of a healthy lifestyle; with Prelox, a treatment combining two natural and highly effective active ingredients - Pycnogenol and l-arginine - in one tablet, it is possible to give your sex life a much needed boost without side effects.  Incorporate this with the following exercise regime and it will change the way you live and love.

Aerobic exercise improves erections, weight loss improves erections, proper rest and correct hormone balance, all improve erections. Effective walking technique, with strength and stretch exercises, prevents obesity and improves and maintains sexual function more than anything possible with diet.

 

Ann Crowther 229 Walking

The Power Of Walking

Walking helps you unwind and give yourself the time and freedom to think.  One of the biggest benefits is a heart workout.....brisk walking is one of the best and safest cardiovascular exercises; your heart beats faster and blood is pumped more quickly around your body.  If you walk regularly, at a sufficiently fast pace, your heart, like any other muscle in your body, will become stronger and more efficient; while walking, you are exercising as many as 250 muscles.

Before you set off to walk for fitness, as with any aerobic exercise, it’s essential to warm up.  Try the following exercise which stretches the Achilles tendons and the muscles in your lower legs:

  • Kneel down with your buttocks resting on your heels.  Raise your left knee and put your left foot flat on the floor by your right knee.  Place the palms of your hands on the floor in front of you.  Inhale, exhale, and lean forward, keeping your left heel on the ground.  Hold the stretch for 20 seconds and then repeat on the right leg;
  • Stand 4 to 5 steps away from a wall with your feet flat on the floor in line with your hips.  Inhale and place the palms of your hands on the wall.  Exhale, bend your arms and lean in toward the wall, keeping your heels on the ground.  Your head, spine, pelvis, legs and ankles should be in a straight line.  Hold the stretch for 20 seconds.

Observe most people walking; their shoulders are tense and hunched, heads bowed, arms rigid and still.......this is because they are not walking correctly. Sitting at a desk takes its toll on correct and effective walking technique which is largely responsible for joint and back problems. Correct alignment of the fascia - the connective tissue which separates and envelops our muscles, organs and blood vessels - is necessary; this can be achieved with correct posture and body alignment.  Your movements will be fluid, protecting your back, hips, knees and neck.  You will stand taller and look younger!

Your head weighs 12lbs and your body can support if effortlessly, only when you are in the correct position, whether sitting, standing or walking.

Posture Check

Good posture isn’t simply a matter of standing up straight.  It is part state of mind, part good habit and practice.  The health of every bodily system depends on it.  The rewards include plenty of energy and vitality - a zest for living life to the full and a wonderful and healthy glow. Before beginning your walking exercise regime, it’s important to take a good look at your posture.

Stand in front of a full length mirror, preferable in just your underwear and look at your natural posture, both from the front and from the side.  Use another mirror to see your back view. 

  • Are both halves of your body equally balanced? 
  • Is one hip or shoulder higher than the other? 
  • Does the top of your back curve outward with rounded shoulders
  • Do your head and neck protrude? 

The modern sedentary lifestyle, where many of us sit at desks all day, often hunched over computers, puts pressure on the top of the spine causing back, neck and headache.  Do your shoulders come forward, or do they look tense and raised?  Conversely, adopting a military bearing, with your spine straight and shoulders pulled back, will cause back strain and subsequent backache.

How are  your arms?  They should fall with the palms of your hands facing the outsides of your thighs.  If your palms are pointing behind you, it is an indication that your chest muscles (pectorals) are tight and are pulling the arms in.  Do you have a large curve in your lower back, which makes your abdomen and bottom protrude?

Next, examine your legs.  Are they straight?  Are they so straight that your knees are pulled back and locked?  Or are your knees collapsing toward each other?  Do your feet turn in? (Take a look at some of the shoes you wear regularly.  Are they worn down more on one side than the other?  If so, you may be ‘rolling’ your feet as you walk.)

Now place a chair in front of the mirror, and sit the way your normally do.  Observe the way you are sitting.  Look at your body composition and shape.  Are you firm and toned with definition to your muscles?

Are you happy with yourself and your lifestyle?  What image do you present to the world? You might not be satisfied with what you see, but don’t be discouraged, because you can improve yourself and well being simply by holding yourself properly.  If your practise the Pilates posture technique, even just for a few minutes, three times a day, you will place your body in the correct position for optimum health and an effective walking regime.

I believe that the Pilates posture is the most beneficial for your body.  You will see even quicker results if you practise the posture before you start walking, as when your body is aligned, walking exercise will be even more effective and corrective.

The Pilates Posture

  • Stand with feet parallel, hip distance apart, and with the soles of your feet flat on the floor. Loosen your knees, so that they are neither locked nor bent, but relaxed;
  • Align your centre of power, or core muscles, raising your hip bones very slightly up toward your ribs by drawing your navel back toward your spine;
  • Inhale deeply through your nose, bringing the breath down into your ribcage.  Now exhale and sigh, which will funnel your ribs down toward your hips and straighten your back.  Pull your upper body gently upward;
  • Relax your shoulders!  Try squeezing your shoulder blades together and then dropping them down slightly, exhaling slowly to help you relax;
  • Turn to look at your profile and imagine there is a straight line running down from your ear, through the middle of your neck, your upper arm, the middle of your thigh, through your knee to reach just in front of your ankle bone;
  • Position your forearm forward, with your elbow slightly bent, your thumb tucked in, and your hand resting against your thigh;
  • Ensure that your weight is placed toward the back of each foot, with your hips positioned directly above your heels;
  • Notice how you now feel lifted and balanced - your weight is evenly distributed throughout your muscles, and you have lengthened and de-pressurized your spine;
  • To correct a ‘computer head’ (a protruding head and neck), draw your chin back while looking straight ahead.  Now imagine that you have strings attached to the top of your ears pulling them upward.  This will lengthen the back of your neck and lift your chin at 90degrees to your body.

Aim to walk for 20 minutes for a minimum of 4 times per week.  Walk at your optimum pace, i.e. the fastest pace for you with good technique.  Don’t forget your warm up stretches and Pilates posture check before you start.

Walk The Frequency, Intensity and Time - F.I.T. - Way

If you follow the F.I.T. principle of walking - Frequency, Intensity and Time - you will burn approximately 100 calories per mile, as well as calm your mind, boost your energy levels, improve your sex life and your quality of sleep.

  • Frequency:  Walk 3 to 5 times per week;
  • Intensity:  Walk fast.  Your breathing rate should increase (but not so much that you can’t talk) and you should start to perspire after about 5 minutes.  To gain more benefit, walk uphill or wear wrist weights;
  • Time:  Walk for between 20 to 60 minutes each time. Gradually increase the duration of your walks over a period of 3 to 6 months.

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About Ann Crowther

Ann Crowther trained in Pilates in California, and later in Exercise and Health Studies at the University of East London, followed by specialist training in Kinesiology, Nutrition and Stress Management, Ann draws on over 20 years of experience as a fitness trainer and has won extensive praise for the development of her own highly successful Pilates system. She is the author of Pilates for You, Duncan Baird Publishers, and several fitness DVD/book sets. She may be contacted via pilatesplusann@hotmail.com ; www.anncrowtherlifestyle.com.

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