Looking back on the past year (or more like years), it’s safe to say we are all due a fresh start for 2022. Prioritising yourself and setting achievable goals can offer the biggest rewards. Whether that is learning how to scuba dive, becoming a baking queen or going viral on TikTok (that’s realistic right?). They all contribute to increasing our well-being on the inside and out (although the TikTok goal might be up for debate!).
We’ve compiled our top three tips for a healthy spine this New Year — after all, our spines deserve to be happy too!
1. Move more!
Yes, we are saying it again. But seriously, exercise has profound benefits on our health, and we want you to know it.
If you are starting from ground zero, try incorporating a walk in your commute to work. Building up to 30 minutes of walking at least 5 times per week can be your new goal! You don’t need to be slogging yourself in a HIIT class every day — walking “can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance” (from our friends at the Better Health Channel). Grab a buddy or some headphones and a great podcast and you are on your way.
If you are already an avid gym goer, try out a new exercise class — whether that is boxing, pilates or yoga. Spicing things up can get us excited and keep that serotonin going!
2. Look after your core
You might think arms and legs are two of the most important parts of your body… but your core is the foundation for just about everything you do. We aren’t expecting you to get a six-pack, it’s the muscles underneath that we care most about! Strengthening your core is vital in protecting your lower back, improving balance, posture and maintaining overall health so you can participate in everyday tasks and sports.
Core exercises are easy to do at home. Why not try these whilst watching TV?
Plank: Start on your forearms with your body in a straight line. Raise onto your toes and make sure your elbows are below your shoulders. Hold for 30 seconds — 2 minutes (depending on your fitness level). You can also do these on your knees and progress to your toes when ready.
The bird dog: Start on your hands and knees, make sure your hips and shoulders are square and you are looking towards the floor. Slowly extend one arm and the opposite leg. Hold for 5 seconds before releasing down and changing to the other arm and leg. Repeat 8-10 times.
We could always be a little more mindful of our posture, especially as we return to work. Make sure to keep your shoulders rolled back, ears in line with your shoulders and use your core to maintain the natural curve in your back.
If you are sitting back at your desk remember to:
- Use an adjustable chair to keep your elbows at 90-degree angles.
- Adjust the top of your screen/ monitor to be in line with your eyes.
- Use an external keyboard, mouse and headset.
- Move and stretch every hour!
We’d love to see you incorporating these tips in 2022! We hope everyone has a great start to the New Year and we can’t wait to see you in the practice soon. Give us a call on +61 3 5381 1892 to book your first appointment of 2022.