NEW YEAR NEW YOU!?
We all know the importance of looking after our bodies with healthy eating and exercise. The new year is a time when hives of us don the trainers and start use muscles we didn't know we had in a bid to feel healthier! But, after a few weeks of lazing about over Christmas and early January, the enthusiasm to launch into a full-on physical programme could put you at risk of back and neck pain.
Exercise puts added pressure on our joints and muscles, which could cause issues for your back and neck if not introduced to your body in a safe way or if your body isn't ready for it.
Kick-start your New Year routine and maintain optimum posture with the following advice from the British Chiropractic Association (BCA):
• Before you begin any exercise programme, it is really important to check that there are no medical reasons why you cannot commence the activity, particularly if you are not normally physically active. Consult your GP if in doubt.
• Make sure you get the right attire for your chosen activity. Wearing clothes that are too tight when exercising could constrict your movement and lead to injury. You should also make sure you have appropriate footwear for the type of exercise you are doing – most specialist sportswear retailers will be able to guide you on this, but support is the key!
• With all exercise, you need to warm up first. Don’t go straight into it, start with lighter movements like walking or jogging to lessen the chance of muscle strain. When using weight use a light one first to get the technique right
Use Equipment Properly
• When using weights, make sure your legs are at least hips’ width apart and lift with bent knees. Never keep the knees straight, as this could lead to over-stretching and cause damage to your back. Avoid bending from the waist too, as it will increase stress on your lower back.
• A weight held at arm’s length can have the effect of being up to five times heavier, so try to work with weights closer to the body to help avoid injury. Always face the direction you want to carry the weight and lift using a relaxed, straight back without twisting
• If using machines, make sure the seat is positioned correctly for your height. You want to avoid stooping or reaching when using equipment, or you could over stretch your back
If you have any questions or would like to find out more about getting fit and preventing back pain please don't hesitate to call me 01600 890 282
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