1. Stretching Tip: Be sure to adequately stretch prior to working out. This decreases the chance of injury.
2. iPhone Usage Tip: When texting, try to hold your phone up in front of your head to avoid prolonged forward bending of your neck.
3. Proper Lifting Tip: Keep your spine as vertical as possible when lifting objects off the ground. This can help prevent low back injuries.
4. Proper Posture Tip: Hip, knee and foot pain can be caused by poor posture…be sure to maintain good, healthy posture throughout the day.
5. Stiff, Painful Feet or Ankles Tip:Over time you may have learned to compensate for pain and dysfunction by developing a stiffer, less mobile foot and ankle. So it would be beneficial to do some foot and ankle mobility exercise such as alphabet exercises where you use your toe like a paint brush and move the foot and ankle to write the letters of the alphabet. This can be done while sitting in a chair or lying on your back on the floor.
6. Stiff, Painful Shoulders Tip: Research has shown that poor coordination of movement between the shoulder and shoulder blade is the most common cause of shoulder pain. To improve coordination of this movement, stand with your toes about 3” from the wall and place your palm on the wall. Slowly reach up the wall sliding your palm up over your head. Then slide the palm back down towards the feet turning the fingers downward. Slide the palm back to waist level and slide the palm out to the side and back across the body. Repeat 3 to 4 times.
7. Low Back Pain Tip: Due to our sedentary lifestyle, many Americans lack core strength and stability. The foundation of a good core is proper breathing. By strengthening the diaphragm you can improve the internal pressure of the abdomen improving support of the low back. Place one hand on your chest and the other on the stomach at just about the navel. While inhaling, your stomach should expand first, followed by the chest. When exhaling purse your lips to add resistance. You should shrink your waistline symmetrically engaging the stomach muscles. Perform for 2 to 3 minutes. You can increase difficulty by lying on your stomach to add resistance.
8. Sacroiliac Joint Pain Tip: Weakness and instability in the hips can increase stress on the SI Joint. Due to sedentary lifestyles, we generally have weakened hips. Strengthening the gluteus muscles is important for decreasing SI pain. Start by lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Engage the core muscles and press the pelvis away from the floor with your feet. Press until the upper leg (Femur) is aligned with the abdomen and create a straight line from the knees to the shoulders. Hold for a count of five and lower the pelvis back to the floor. Perform 3 sets of 10.
9. Backache Tip: So many of us slouch while working and sitting. This leads to forward head posture and rounded shoulders which can lead to a generalized “backache”. You will need two tennis balls and a sock. Place the tennis balls in the sock and tie off the end. Place the sock against the wall and pin it between the upper back and wall. The tennis balls should straddle the spine. Lean against the wall and bend the knees to lower your body down the wall rolling the tennis balls up and down your back. To increase mobility, raise one hand above the head while performing this exercise. Perform on both sides.