The Defy Aging Newsletter

Anti-aging psychology, holistic health, and wellness

a biweekly e-mail newsletter for helping you think, feel, look, and be more youthful and live with purpose.

October 23, 2008 Number 198

This issue:

What Your Muscles Need

Action to take

When you are sitting, even if it is just small movements, move your muscles at least every ten minutes.


Your body’s tissues become cold and stiff after being inactive for a mere 12 minutes. Muscles shorten and pull bones together, squishing the cushioning that keeps bones from rubbing against each other and rubbing against cartilage. The result is pain, swollen joints, arthritis and other health problems.

The solution, says movement guru Gini Maddocks, is to keep moving. Even a few seconds of moving your arms, legs, and neck help. The ideal is to stand up periodically and bend backwards so our extensor muscles can balance out the prolonged leaning forward at computers, steering wheels, and desks.

Gini says when she asks most people about their posture, they say it is lousy. The most common problem is that for many of us our heads are further forward than the rest of our bodies. This puts a lot of stress on our necks and shoulder muscles and often results in these muscles becoming permanently contracted. The easy solution, says Gini, is put you finger on your chin and move your head back so your hear aligns with your breastbone. Periodically doing this simple move can prevent a lot of pain.

Gini Maddocks went into a lot more depth when I interviewed her on, (which is archived on my site, The free podcast gives very useful tips on how you can make simple, sweatless adjustments in how you move to avoid aches and pain.


Rub your sore and stiff spots. It’s the nature of muscles to shrink into the position we assume for extended periods of time. Acids accumulate as slight inflammation, such as when you feel tight behind your knees. Tissue becomes cold and less flexible and joints are sore from the compression of the position. What can you do? Rub those areas to warm them and then stretch to elongate what has shortened.

~Gini Maddocks


One of the reasons I look forward to the future is having a computer like HAL in the movie 2001. I can hear HAL now, "Mike your trapezius muscles are getting tight, let me massage them."

~Michael Brickey

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