World's Easiest Exercise (not a joke, extremely helpful)
Ever hurt your back? I can't suggest a pill or exercise to heal the soreness, but I have discovered a few things that help prevent recurring back soreness.
If I pick up things awkwardly, or try to move furniture around, or carry heavy shopping bags, or sometimes even lean over awkwardly to lift a teacup, I'm liable to have a sore back. This happens once, twice, sometimes more often each year, especially if I'm not careful.
A physical therapist working in a gym suggested I do regular stretching exercises to counter this recurring problem. She said stretching the Achilles tendon and legs relieves a lot of tension from the back.
So as a counterbalance to sitting at a desk or in a chair watching TV, I looked on the Internet for some techniques to avoid or soothe back strain. I found a few good simple exercises at, of all places, www.back.com
. I like the short videos because it's easier to watch how to do an exercise than to try to read the instructions about how to place your body and do the movements.
The first exercise they demonstrate might be the world's easiest exercise
, yet it's a very effective stretch called "ankle pumps".
You start by laying (lying?) on your back and ... well, watch for yourself.
If clicking the photo doesn't work, click here
Here are a few things I've learned (sometimes the hard way):
- If you need to lift something heavy, like a box, put one knee on the ground. This takes a lot of pressure off the back as you lift the box onto your other knee before standing up.
- If you are going to be lifting something heavy from the kitchen counter, say a can of pineapple juice or tomato juice, don't be concerned about how it looks, but rest one hand on the counter while you lift a the heavy container with the other hand. Try it and see if it doesn't make a difference.
- The best preventive remedy is to strengthen the body's muscles. I'm not sure how to do that, so I just try to remember to stretch and to walk for a few minutes a few times a week.
And one bit of advice I read somewhere seems to be effective and not too strenuous -- stretch like a cat.