Pilates classes and physiotherapy in Central, Hong Kong






日期: 6月 30, 2016

Traveling is stressful to the body. Carrying luggage, sitting for long periods, switching between time zones and the hours spent in a dry, pressurized cabin environment all place different kinds of stress on your joints and organs. Add to that the mental stress of presenting yourself at your best when you’re on the road and not necessarily f your best, and the result is often illness or injury, if not right away then often upon your return home. Fortunately there are many steps we can take to ensure our bodies are well prepared for travel and the demands it places on us.

STAY HYDRATED. Drinking enough water to remain hydrated is very important. Did you know that your brain is 78% water? Dehydration impacts cognitive ability in the following ways: decreases short-term memory, reduces the ability to focus on a computer screen or reading material, and reduces hand-eye coordination and concentration. If you wait to feel thirsty before you drink water, you are already dehydrated, placing yourself at a disadvantage. To keep your system optimally hydrated, you must drink water at regular intervals, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Drinking tea, coffee, soft drinks or juice is not the same as drinking water. Aim to drink at least 1.5-2 litres of water a day, more if you drink coffee, alcohol, or if you sweat a lot.  It is best to drink small amounts throughout the day rather than large amounts at once.

STRETCH. Sitting for long periods of time especially in cramped airplane seats or when sitting without maintaining awareness of correct alignment, places compressive forces on the spine and can damage the delicate structures (intervertebral discs) between the bones of the spine. Once these delicate structures are damaged due to compression and dehydration (yes! dehydration can cause the discs to become dry and thin rather than spongy and thick) the space between the bones decreases. This can lead to pain and possible disc herniation, when the centre of the disc bulges out from between the vertebrae and presses on spinal nerves, causing significant pain. 

The following simple stretches can easily be done anywhere:

Seated Shoulder Shrugs

Sit upright, stacking the sit bones, ribcage, collarbones and head in alignment with one another. Feel grounded on the top of your sitting bones & imagine you’re sitting with your back and head against a wall.

Inhale while lifting the upper arms and shoulders to the ears. Make the neck disappear, notice the resulting tension in the tops of the shoulders and sides of the neck. Reach the fingers away from one another, opening the centre of your palms, and exhale as you reach down as if you’re trying to lengthen your arms to touch the floor, feeling the shoulders move down and away from the ears. Notice the tension melt from your shoulders and neck. Feel the activation of the upper back muscles. Inhale and once again, lift the upper arms and shoulders to the ears, but this time before extending and reaching down through the fingers, push the crown of the head upwards as if you’re pushing the ceiling away. Sense the head and shoulders moving in opposite directions. Repeat the sequence one last time, but now as you inhale bring the head downwards into the body like a turtle retracting it’s head into it’s shell as the shoulders come up to the ears. While exhaling and reaching downward through the fingers and arms, simultaneously push the head up as if to push the ceiling away. Each time you repeat the exercise, aim to create more relaxation around the shoulders and neck. Repeat 6 times.

Reach up, Push down


This can be done sitting, or standing. Reach your arms up overhead, shoulder-width apart, and flex your wrists as if you are trying to push the ceiling away with your hands. If you are standing, push your feet down into the floor. If you are sitting, push your sitting bones down into the chair. Inhale and reach up , feeling the skin along both sides of the waist stretching all the way up to the armpits. Keep both shoulders down and away from the ears while stretching up. As you exhale, bend to the left, pushing your right arm higher than the left and the right foot or sitting bone strongly down into the floor or chair. Inhale while returning to centre. Exhale, bending to the right, pushing your left arm higher than the right and the left foot or sitting bone strongly down into the floor or chair. Inhale while returning to centre. Feel as if you are yawning with your entire body, and if your mouth wants to yawn also, let it! Repeat 3-5 times on each side.

Open Your Shoulders And Chest

Stand upright and clasp your hands together behind your back with the palms facing inward. Reach down with both arms and simultaneously reach up with your chest, keeping the ribs down and together to prevent the mid-back from arching. If you can’t get the hands close enough to each other to clasp them, hold the two ends of a towel in your hands, turning the arms so that the hands face toward your back. Wrap your shoulders open to stretch the chest and the front of your shoulders as if you are trying to pull your hands or the towel apart, but don’t loosen your grip. Keep the chin in. Hold for six slow breaths, release, and repeat the stretch once again.