Do the cold winter weather and gray skies leave your mind and body feeling fatigued and sluggish? Are your lower back muscles stiff and tight from shoveling snow over the winter and staying cooped up in your house during unfavorable weather conditions? If so, it's time to put a spring back into your step and relieve your lower back pain with the following four lower back healthy habits.
Focus on Good Posture: If you spend your day sitting at a computer or driving the family to/from activities/school/etc., it is important to focus on maintaining straight body alignment by elongating your posture. Instead of leaning forward with your shoulders and neck while in a seated position, pull your shoulder blades back, engage your mid-section and breathe from your core for healthier posture throughout your body.
Strengthen Your Core: The root of lower back pain can stem from weak core muscles. Strengthen your abdominal core and lower back muscles by adding simple core exercises to your regular fitness routine. Only 15 minutes of core exercises such as the Superman (extending both arms and legs while lying on your stomach) and Plank (holding your body off the floor by leaving your forearms and toes touching the floor) three to four times per week can help build a stronger core that can help to alleviate lower back pain.
Incorporate Daily Stretching: Loosening tight muscles and elongating your body with daily low intensity stretching exercises can help keep your body fluid and moving pain-free. You can relieve and revive tired back muscles with 10-15 minutes of light stretching per day by incorporating popular yoga movements such as Child’s Pose (kneeling on floor, lower head to ground, extending arms forward and hips backward) and Standing Ragdoll (bending forward, cross your forearms and loosely let your head and arms hang freely toward the floor).
Schedule Regular Therapeutic Massage Therapy Sessions: Therapeutic massage is a medically proven method for supporting your health and wellness by providing relief from lower back pain, reducing stress, increasing circulation and improving range of motion. A deep tissue massage can best be used to treat chronically tight or painful muscles, repetitive strain, postural problems or recover from injury, while a hot stone massage can help ease muscle tension without deep pressure. If you are new to massage therapy, a Swedish massage is a great way to experience muscle relaxation and stress relief for both you mind and body.