冷えやすい方のために、血流を良くするストレッチ!

冷え対策にストレッチが効果的な理由

多くの女性が悩まされている冷え性。寒くなる冬はもちろん、エアコンなどで屋外と室内の温度差が激しくなる夏場も辛いですね。最近は、男性の方でも冷え性で悩む方が少なくないと言われています。「冷え性」と一口に言っても、大きく3つのタイプに分けることができます。まず「手足が冷たい」という末端型冷え性です。痩せている方に多く、無理なダイエットの経験や運動不足が原因になっていることも多くあります。次に下半身の冷え性です。40代以上の女性の方に多くみられ、上半身は温かいのに下半身だけ冷えているタイプです。腰やお尻周りの筋肉が硬くなっていることが原因の場合も多くあります。最後は内臓型冷え性です。隠れ冷え性とも言われます。手足は温かいのに、内臓など身体の内側が冷えているタイプで、ストレスや不規則な生活が原因で起こることが多いです。一見冷え症ではないように見えるので、気が付かないままに不調を抱えているケースも多くあります。

こうした冷えの症状が続くと、頭痛や肩こり・首こり、消化不良、疲れやすさ、ホルモンバランスの乱れなどいろいろな不調が出やすくなります。また自律神経も乱れやすくなり、ストレスを感じやすく、ひどい場合だとうつ病の傾向も出やすくなります。基本的な冷え対策としては、薄着をしない(特に足首や首回りを冷やさない)、温かい食事をとる、規則正しい生活をする、湯船につかるようにするなどに気を付けることがポイントです。その上で、硬くなった関節や筋肉をほぐすストレッチをすると、ストレッチにより血液の循環が良くなり、さらに効果的です。お風呂上りなどの身体が温まっている状態で行うのが良いでしょう。

 冷えやすい方のための、簡単ストレッチ方法

では具体的なストレッチ方法についてです。男性に比べて女性の場合は、筋肉も少なく冷えやすい体質の方が多いようです。身体を温めるような本格的な運動もよいですが、気持ちよいと感じるくらいのストレッチをして筋肉や関節を伸ばすのはとても効果的です。特に運動不足の方の場合には、筋肉が硬くなっているために急に始めると痛みを伴う場合もあります。ゆっくり呼吸をしながら、少しずつほぐすようにしてください。冷え対策のために筋肉を付けることの重要性が言われるようになってきましたが、体力に自信のない方の場合は急に本格的な運動を始めるのはハードルが高いと思います。そこでこうした簡単ストレッチから始めるのが効果的です。数か月続けてみて体力に自信がついてきたら、様子を見ながら他のメニューに切り替えるようにしましょう。

先ほどの冷え性のタイプに合わせて、気になる部分をじっくりストレッチでほぐすようにしましょう。末端が冷えやすい方の場合は、「足首回し」というストレッチが効果的です。床に長座の姿勢で座り、片方の足をもう片方の膝あたりに掛けます。手で足首と足先をつかみ、ゆっくりと足首を回します。片方の回転だけでなく、前から後ろからと両方から回転させます。その後、足の指と指の間を手でしっかりと開いたり、前後に動かしりします。そして、親指から順に1本ずつ足の指を引っ張っていきます。一本ずつしっかりほぐすことで、血行が促進され、足先がじわじわと温まるはずです。これを両足ともに行います。

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