Before our time, there were cavemen and hunters. Indians who ran the wild looking for food and traveling to different lands for better living conditions because of the weather. If you compare our lives to those who lived way before us, you could see a HUGE difference. Humans were made to move and not sit for long periods of time. In today's age with technology and high corporate jobs, it is hard to find the time to move around because of deadlines and meetings for most. Sitting down is not only bad for our back but also bad for our health.
Sitting can cause decreased blood circulation which could lead to various diseases. When our blood circulation slows down, our insulin levels are reduced and it can cause a toxic build up often leading to diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, and high blood pressure. Besides causing back pain, sitting can also effect your wrists and metabolism. When you restrict the blood flow, you restrict your fuel intake of the foods you have eaten. Muscles and organs need certain nutrients to repair and function but when you are sitting you stop the flow of these nutrients. In the end, we end up suffering from this.
There are preventative measures that you can take. Yoga and exercise are a great prevention. Any kind of standing weight bearing exercises are beneficial. Moving around of any kind helps all together because this promotes circulation and health. Standing for only 90 seconds is known to increase our blood flow. If you don't have time to workout and are stuck at that desk job, then stand at least every 20 minutes.
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Yoga is one workout that you don't need equipment for but only your mat. However, when you are starting off there are other options that you have such as props like yoga blocks and straps. These tools can help you achieve better flexibility, strengthen your muscles, and expand your practice. They are not only great for beginners but are also awesome for experienced yogis. Blocks and straps are inexpensive. Also, they are great for restorative poses that help with injured or recovering muscles, hence the word restore.
Blocks: They come in different sizes and are made from different materials. Blocks are often used to help with poses by placing under the hands, feet, or sitting. They provide more intensity and are beneficial with people with wrist problems. Blocks require less flexibility while letting you achieve the correct alignment. They help with lengthening the spine, expanding the chest, and reaching the feet. It reduces the amount of distance between each body part. Blocks prevent less strain on the muscles causing reduced injuries. You can also use blocks to help work internal and external rotational muscles. Foam blocks are the least expensive and the way to go when you are buying one. You can not go wrong with them. Other blocks are made from cork material also but can be a little bit more pricey.
Yoga Straps: These allow you to hold a pose longer and wean you into improved flexibility without forcing you into the pose. In addition, you can hold body parts that you can not regularly reach and they provide great resistant. Straps are great for legs and shoulder stretches. These are also inexpensive and are a great addition to any practice.
If you are new to yoga and on a budget, you can get these items very cheap on Amazon or Ebay. You can buy one piece at a time which does cost more or you can buy a bundle that includes a new mat, with 2 foams blocks, and includes a strap. Either way, you want to make sure that you do invest in two yoga blocks because there is more variety with two. If you are not sure if these items are for you, you can always play around with other props in your home or at your local gym to see if they are for you. Then, you can decide but you won't be disappointed.