Expert health tips how to correct your posture.
In Irish fashion news, we take a look at the well-being benefits to having a good posture. Thanks to the pandemic, many of us are no strangers to working from home.
And we are probably no strangers to the back and neck pain that comes with it. But what is the culprit to those dreaded body aches? Well, it comes down to your posture.
Luckily, there are some steps you can do to take care of your posture, and your lower back. Want to know the exact benefits to correct posture?
Do you want to know how to keep your back muscles healthy and happy? Keep on reading for our tips.
Helps Your Muscles To Function
If you want to set your muscles up for success, you need to focus on good posture. Your muscles are anchored to bones on each end. So, in order for them to work, you need to make sure your bones are in the right position in the first place.
When your bones are out of alignment, like when your head is forward to look down at your laptop, this tugs your muscles out of place.
And what is the result? Uncomfortably shortened or overly lengthened muscles. Which we know leads to back and neck pain.
When your posture is good and in alignment, your muscles are free to move like they are meant to. This gives you the foundation to build your muscle strength, mobility and more.
Prevents Chronic Pain
Do you feel like neck and back pain are constant companions nowadays? It is likely thanks to your sitting at your desk all day long.
When you hunch, your muscles are pulled into abnormal positions. The muscles on your lower back get pulled, which makes them grow weak. And the best way to combat this problem is to focus on strengthening your lower back and being aware of your posture.
Improves Your Circulation
We all know the importance of good circulation. But in case you don’t, here’s the deal. Good circulation is important as it ensures your body carries nutrients and oxygen it needs properly.
And one of the best ways to optimise your circulation is through your posture. Think of your body like a hose. If there is a kink, it disrupts the water flow. Get rid of the kink and things run more smoothly.
Why You Should Be Stretching Your Lower Back?
Many people underestimate their backs. It literally holds you upright and lets you move around. So, you can say that it is a very important part of your body. strengthening your lower back can keep your spine aligned and improve your posture. This can help to reduce pressure on the muscles that support your spine.
And beyond that, stretching your back can prevent health problems in the future. Your spine is supported by your core.
And if it is weak, your spine can be altered. This could lead to things like bulging discs, arthritis, herniated discs, scoliosis and sometimes metabolic issues.
Also, if you sit hunched over, this could affect your ability to breathe properly.
What Are Some Of The Common Causes Of Lower Back Pain?
Your back is probably not something that you think about that often. That is, unless you have problems with it. if you experience any type of back pain – which we all probably have – it can make the everyday activities impossible. And since the best offense is defense, it is important to look after your back health.
There are many causes behind your back pain. You could be sitting for long periods throughout the day where your hips are in constant flexion.
Or you might not be warming up properly before working out. This could easily lead to a pulled or strained muscle. You could have tight or weak glutes which can lead to back discomfort.
Or maybe you have a weak core. But there are a lot of you who think of their core as only their abs. However, this is not the case. If you put on hand on your sternum and the other on your pubic bone, then wrap around the entire midsection, that is your core. Or powerhouse if you do Pilates.
How Much Should You Be Stretching?
This really depends on your body. Some people are tight, and others are more flexible. People slouch or hunch over more than others. Just like any other exercise you do, it is important to listen to your body to get the right one for you.
As a starting point, we recommend that you try to stretch your lower back at least once a day. If you cannot do this, try to aim for 2 to 3 times a week.
What Are The Best Lower Back Stretches To Try At Home?
The good news is that you do not need any fancy equipment to stretch your back. You just need a room and preferably a yoga mat.
Cat Cow Pose
If you are familiar with yoga, you probably know about this pose. It is simple and helps to extends your spine while increasing flexibility. Start with your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders. Keep your knees directly under your hips.
Next, push your hands through the floor and inhale as you look up. This is the cow part of the stretch and what extends your spine. Finally, exhale as you drive your chin to your chest and round your shoulders. This is the cat part of the stretch and encourages spinal flexion. Try to do 10 reps.
Knee To Chest
This simple stretch will help you to loosen your lower back and glutes. You start by laying on your back.
Next, bring one knee into your chest and hold it while the other leg is extended out in front of you. Keep your back on the floor and flex your foot. Make sure to take long and deep inhales and exhales. Hold this pose for at least 30 seconds and switch your legs.
Seated Forward Fold
The best thing about this stretch is that it will relieve any tightness in your lower back and hamstrings. First, sit tall on your glutes. Your legs should be together and extended in front of you.
Next, take a long inhale and lift your arms over your head. Exhale and fold your upper body over your legs. Be sure to keep your back straight. Relax your neck and take long and deep breaths. Try to hold for at least 30 seconds.
The reason why this stretch is popular is that it helps activate your glutes. This will support your lower back.
First, lay on your back with your feet on the floor and directly under your knees. Drive your heels into the floor and gently lift your hips. Next, draw your ribcage down and squeeze your glutes together. Hold for about 30 seconds and focus on your breathing. Finally, lower your back onto the mat slowly.
Shin Box Switch
This is a great mobility stretch and similar to a pigeon pose in yoga. First, sit with one leg bent in front at a 90-degree angle. Pin your other leg back behind you at 90 degrees. Make sure that your feet are not too close to the body.
Next, sit up tall and with your arms in a genie position. See if you can get your sitz bones anchored on your mat. If not, don’t worry, we can work up to that.
Lift both knees at the same time and switch them over to the other side. If you are having trouble sitting up straight, you can place your hands behind you for more stability.
This stretch is similar to a walking lunge. To start, step out into a lunge with your back leg extended and arms overhead. Next, take in a deep breath and slowly lift your chest to the sky. Be sure to stretch your abdominals and hips. Switch your legs and repeat 10-20 steps.
While any type of plank is enough to stretch your lower back, one of our favourites is a high plant with shoulder taps. It helps to stabilise your shoulders, strengthen your powerhouse and align your spine.
You start on your hands and feet. Make sure that your hands are directly under your shoulders and body in a straight line. You can have your feet together or out wide for more stability. Now, without shifting your feet, take your right hand and tap your left shoulder. Then, switch and tap your left hand to your right shoulder.
This is one of the best exercises in Pilates. It helps to elongate your spine, strengthens your powerhouse while expanding your lungs and diaphragm.
First, lay down on your back with your legs on your mat and arms at your sides. Press your arms gently into the mat and lift your head.
Make sure to bring your chin to your chest to protect your neck. Next, lift your feet 45 degrees off the ground. Make sue that your tailbone is pressed down into the mat.
Pump your arms along your hips and take in a big breath for five seconds. Exhale for five seconds and repeat for 10 breaths or 100 arm pumps.
Expert health tips how to improve your posture. Irish fashion news.