The gym isn’t the only place to get fit. Back in the “Good old days” life, was enough to keep a person healthy. We milked cows, collected eggs, and walked to school thirty miles up hill each way. Now we sit long hours in front of screens, drive or fly longer distances for work or fun, and lounge on a comfy couch after a hard day.
Before there was a child in my life I went to the gym. I did yoga and cross fit and ran as I pleased. Now I struggle to peel myself off the couch to do the dishes once my daughter has gone to sleep. I noticed a big change in my body as it adapted to my new life. I have aches and pains I have never had before. Back aches, headaches, tight hamstrings and odd pains that are all evidence of a body that is no longer “fit”. I found myself saying that tomorrow I would sit up straight, or be ambitious and go to the gym, or go for a run, but that tomorrow has still not come. Another sleep deprived night gets in the way and the last thing I want to do is use my energy for exercise!
So I asked myself, “How did people do it before yoga, running and gyms”?
The answer was simple. You LIVE with purpose, and DO with purpose.
I am going to show simple things that seem mundane and obvious, but here is the thing. We aren’t doing them. These simple tasks have been substituted for slouching, twisting and bending in ways our back cries out for us not to do.
The idea is to live with a neutral spine. Imagine someone pulling a single hair from the top of your head and you don’t want it to come out. Lift your ears away from your shoulders. Now at the same time drop your shoulders down your back gently, nothing should be forced. Now tighten your tummy as if someone was about to poke you, and bam. You have a powerhouse ready for anything.
I want you to do everything from lifting your child, opening doors, tying your shoe, picking up toys, to even brushing your teeth, with the PURPOSE to be strong in your body and to build strength.
1: The Squat.
-Bend your knees and stick that bum out!
-When coming back up squeeze those cheeks together and push them forward.
2: The Lung
-launch one leg back and bend at the knees making sure the front knee doesn’t come over the toes.
3: The Golfers Tee
-Balance on one leg and like the letter T let your trunk go forward and your leg come up.
-Your arms can be used to help balance.
-Tighten that bum and come back up to standing.
They seem simple but the trick is to do them. See how many squats you actually do in a day and you will rival any boot camp class on the market. The balance and proprioception gained from the Golfers Tee is fantastic. I couldn’t believe how wobbly I was to start, and how slow I had to go to maintain my neutral spine, but as I pursued I noticed a great change in strength within the first couple of days.
Once you break old habits doing these tasks become second nature, but that is good! Your back will stay healthy and strong for longer and you will be pain free and able to give your baby all the undivided attention he or she wants!
If you have any questions regarding anything written here or would like more info please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or book in for a treatment. My goal is to give you the tools to be strong and to use massage as just another tool in your box to keep you maintaining your health and wellness.
Suzanne Schmidt RMT