Are you sitting comfortably? After a long day’s work and a stressful commute, collapsing onto a comfortable chair might be the only thing on your mind but there’s a good reason why you should settle down on something a little more supportive. While relaxing your body in this way is a great way in which to really kick back, it can also lead to poor posture, down the line, can have adverse effects on your health.
Alongside a healthy diet and a good exercise regime, good posture is the key to lifelong health and wellness and maintaining a healthy spine can lead to a much more active way of life into the future. If you spend hours of the day slumped over a computer screen, fear not; there are a number of simple and quick exercises that you can incorporate into your daily routine to keep a straighter, stronger back.
Thought that planks were just good for your stomach? Think again. The secret to a healthy spine is a strong set of core muscles and making sure they get sufficient exercise will really help you to keep your posture in check. If you’re new to the exercise, try getting someone to check your alignment as you perform the plank, making sure that your shoulders are at the same level as your lower back and legs. You can try building up the time in which you perform your plank over time, increasing the exercise from 20 seconds up to a minute as you become stronger.
- BACK EXTENSIONS
Strengthening your back directly is one of the best ways in which you can improve your posture and keep your spine in check throughout your life. Back extensions might be hard to do at first but over time, they can improve your strength and alignment remarkably and will really help you to keep things straight. Lying on your stomach, you can gently lift your shoulders as far off the floor as possible, making sure to keep your head in line with your spine. Return your body to the starting position and repeat for 20 repetitions.
- SHOULDER ROLLS
A great exercise that can be performed wherever you might be, the shoulder roll can have a hugely positive effect on your spine’s strength over time. To perform this exercise, you simply need to raise your shoulders towards your ears and hold the position for a few counts. Once you relax your body, breathe out for a few counts and repeat the exercise again. Not only will you help to strengthen your back but also, you can relieve a great deal of tension while doing so.
- ARM STRETCHES
With a busy working and social life, you might not always have the time during the day in which to exercise sufficiently but even when your schedule gets on top of you, you can still take care of your spine. While you sit at your desk, you can try stretching your arms upwards, stand up, or even walk about for a few minutes. By opening up your body in this way, you improve your body’s range of motion, keeping your joints and muscles limber throughout the day.
- SITTING STRAIGHT
An exercise that might seem deceptively easy, simply sitting straighter in your chair can have a hugely positive effect on your posture. Adjusting your chair to enable you to sit up tall with your shoulders dropped is a great habit to get into over time and can really help to keep your spine straight. If you’re struggling to maintain the position over the course of the day, you can try practicing yoga or pilates as a way of improving your general posture. The more used you get to the positions, the easier that sitting up straight will become.
- VITAMIN D
Of course, there are a number of ways to support your spine’s health which don’t incorporate exercise. Vitamin D can help to strengthen bones and maintain muscle health and, when consumed alongside a healthy diet, can really help to improve the strength in your spine. While you can get the vitamin from daily supplements, finding it naturally within foods such as salmon, milk or orange juice can have just as positive an effect and might just lead to a healthier way of life.