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Skeletal therapist Dell-Maree Day shares the invisible exercise technique that can help set you straight.
Start by mastering how you breathe
Stop work every hour and repeat this deep breathing exercise six times to strengthen the muscles around your diaphragm: Breathe in through your nose and as you breathe out through your lips think, ‘My body is tall and relaxed’. Repeat the breathing exercise while in the sitting posture (see below). You can also try doing it while in the other postures as described. In time, as you do the breathing exercise and think this thought, your body will assume the position automatically.
Sit on the front half of a chair. Place your feet flat on the floor with a hand’s width space between your feet and knees. Sit up tall and relaxed. Holding this pose helps tone abs and burn kilojoules. As your spine stacks itself up into a natural position there will be a reduction in the compression and distortion of joints, which is the key to eliminating aches and pains when seated.
Stand up tall and look straight ahead. Have your feet slightly apart for extra stability. Your body should feel relaxed – don’t try to “stand up straight” as people tend to over correct, sticking out their chest and ending up sore. Standing tall will relax your upper back and shoulders.
Lying on your back, bend your knees so the soles of your feet are on the ground and not too close or too far from your bottom. With your arms at each side move your hands roughly 30cm from your sides. Sink the top parts of both your upper arm bones into the floor, which naturally rolls your collarbone wide and repositions your thoracic spine. This relaxes the large upper back and neck muscles. As the pressure will be taken off major joints, you’ll feel more relaxed.
Always aim to look straight ahead. Make sure your jaw is not too close to your throat or too far away. When in resting mode, your facial and neck muscles should be relaxed and not clenched. Looking straight ahead prevents jowls from falling forward and strengthens your neck muscles. The stronger your neck muscles, the less upper back pain you’ll experience.
Learn more about The Invisible Exercise program at theinvisibleexercise.com.au