Warming Up Like A Tiger
Tiger Balm! Grrrrrreat Warm Up
I have had arthritis since childhood and exercise for me means the difference in having mobility and losing it.
It also means that warming up is even more critical than it is for some others since I not only have to get the blood flowing but I also have to get past joint stiffness and pain.
One aid I have used for years is that potent Asian import ointment called Tiger Balm.
It helps everything from migraines and sinus problems when applied to the face but it is a better skin and joint "deep heating" product than many sold for just that purpose.
A tiny bit goes a long way, too, and it is easier to carry in a little can than messy tubes. There's even an extra strong variety for those wanting to turn up the heat.
It occurred to me while rubbing this stuff into my knees before exercising and looking at the can that I might take a cue from the tiger on the tin for a warm up, so for fun, sometimes I imitate a cat to get started.
It's a combination between Yoga and my own variations.
I start on my side lying down and stretch like a cat, rolling from side to side and extending arms and legs fully, then relaxing several times. (Purring is optional!)
Next, I get up on all fours and stretch again as a cat would, and then I kick out with my (hind) legs like a cat kicking prey.
Next I sort of rear up on folded legs and shadow box like a cat playing with a toy, and then I get up and pace in spirals and work up to a trot.
It's silly and playful, but it get the blood moving and thinking tiger thoughts makes me feel stronger about exercising.
While I use a tiger, any animal might inspire you to do a warm up routine.
Do I ever roar or hiss while playing kitty? I think I'll take the fifth on that!