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  • Writer's pictureJamie Elmer

Your well being, MMIW and Walking Backwards...December, 2023


 

 And here we are…November 21st. Hard to believe!

 

I hope this email newsletter finds you and your loved ones well, healthy, safe and at ease.

 

Below are 3 things I’d like to share with you today:

 

1. Prioritizing your well-being this holiday - however that may need to look for you

2. I’m giving a portion of all proceeds in 2024 to MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women)

3. Benefits of walking backwards (recent articles in CNN and on BBC)

 

To learn more about all of the above, please continue to read below…

 

1. As we’re well into November, and many of you are making plans for upcoming holidays, remember to prioritize your mental, emotional and physical health. Gift that to yourself this season. Don’t wait til 2024. And if that means you don’t do all the things that other people think you should be doing this holiday, let that go. You have that choice.

And, if the holidays are your favorite time and you love to do all the parties, gift giving, planning, cooking and socializing there is to possibly do, more power to you. Enjoy!

 

2. For the past 6 years, since starting my streaming membership site, I’ve given a portion of all Movement Therapy Company proceeds to a non profit. In 2024, I’ll be giving a portion of all proceeds to MMIW - Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. This is a branch of Native Hope. To learn more about this important non profit, please visit www.nativehope.org

 

3. Last, in the past month, there have been two articles about walking backwards in the mainstream media - one on CNN and one on the BBC! I love that the benefits of walking backwards is actually getting to be more well known. Here are a few pointers about walking backwards - how to do it, and why it can be helpful for many of us!

 

Most of what we do in our everyday life either strengthens or tightens the front of the body: sitting, texting, typing, driving, cooking, and walking forwards. When the front of the body is tightened, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the front of the body is strengthened. Walking backwards does the complete opposite in our muscles and joints (in a good way), of all that these forward type movements do.

 

For over 20 years I've given clients the homework of walking backwards. Here's why...

 

When we walk backwards:

 

*Our balance is improved

*We gently stretch our calves (which most people desperately need!)

*We use the muscles in the front of our shins (the anterior tilbialis), which is weak on many people from under use

*We have the opportunity to strengthen our hamstrings and gluteus maximus (muscles which become weak and underdeveloped from sitting - and key muscles that we need strong in order to support our hips, lower back and spine)

*We get a little bit of extension in the front of the hips/the hip flexors, which helps to decompress the lower back and puts the lower back in a bit of natural extension

*Most people naturally don’t lean back while walking backwards, as much as when we walk forwards - and when we don't lean back, there is less pressure on the lower back and then naturally we use our abdominals more

 

*Start with just 1 minute of walking backwards each day…turn your head from one side to the other, approximately every 4 steps…this way, you won’t bump into anything, AND, you'll get some neck rotation, which you need.

 

*Walk in an area where there are no tripping hazards.

 

*Work up to 2 minutes, 5, then 10.

 

*For people that sit at a desk or in a chair for long periods of time, try to walk backwards when standing up…even if it’s just a few steps.

 

*For people that have long commutes, get out of the car and walk backwards for at least a few strides - longer if possible.

 

Questions about walking backwards? Email me: info@movementtherapyco.com

 

Take good care of yourself and each other this week.

 

My best to you, always.

 

Jamie

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