By Abagail Sullivan
Content by Esther Rodriguez & Ana Williams
This Valentine’s Day, give a little love to the one who supports you most – your back. The muscles that maintain your movement and keep your life balanced deserve some TLC this February (and every month to follow!).
Treat Yourself (starting with your back)
Loving your back never felt so good! Massages help increase endorphins – the body’s natural painkiller – while providing healing nutrients to the affected area. Treat yourself to a spa day or save money and relax at home with a diffuser & tea tree oil (or even better, recruit the skills of your loved one!).
Cozy on up at Work
You may be working hard but your back doesn’t have to. Standing desks and ergonomic chairs are trending for good reason – as they help reduce fatigue and your risk of neck & back injury, while also increasing blood flow. Studies show that “spine friendly” workplaces have higher productivity, more employee engagement, better safety culture and lower costs due to less injuries.
Upgrade Your Sleep Routine
It’s crucial to rest & rejuvenate with the right mattress. Experts recommend a change of mattress every eight years (you can also try flipping it to get the most out of yours!), so research and find the right one for you, being kind to your spine even while you hit the hay.
Who doesn’t love an excuse to buy a new pair shoes?! Whether you’re walking for exercise or just getting from point A to point B, the shoes you wear play an important role in supporting your lower back. For a more personalized shoe experience, visit a specialized running store for knowledgeable recommendations regarding your best fit. Having the correct type of shoe will make all the difference – in both fitness enjoyment and injury prevention.
Get in Formation
… with stretching, yoga & morning mediation.
Yoga poses are worth more than just a cool Instagram photo. This powerful form of exercise helps promote a healthy spine while stretching & strengthening key muscles of the back. Although there’s more to yoga than just the poses themselves, the versatility of this exercise makes it easy for anyone to join the fun – no matter your fitness level.
Focus on Form
Poor form can prompt injuries and slow gains, so taking precautions can help keep your spine healthy, as well as prevent back pain. Use the gym mirrors to your advantage and align your body correctly and smoothly through each exercise. Pay close attention to your breathing during your workouts. Exhale as you work against resistance and inhale as you release. And after a solid workout, remember to give your muscles time off to recover.
Need extra help getting that form down? Consider hiring a trained professional to teach you the ropes! Even if your budget doesn’t allow for regular sessions, seeing a trainer once every few weeks to touch up on form and learn new exercises can be a great investment for your back and overall health goals.
How do YOU “love your back” each day? Share with us below to spread the healthy back movement.