It’s simple to begin an at-home posture exercise program. Done daily, you’ll begin to notice a massive difference within the first week.
Our posture affects our bodies whether awake in how we sit and stand or asleep in how we position ourselves. Given enough time, improper posture becomes a habit—a bad one.
If you have upper back pain when sleeping, it is a strong indication you need to change your sleeping habits and work to improve posture during waking hours. It may not always be fun, however, your health is worth it. To combat this, make sure to change positions when falling sleeping and awake. For example, if you are a side-sleeper, try alternating sides when you’re aware.
If you work 9-to-5 sitting at a desk all day, take stretch breaks and walks to get your body moving.
In the morning or evening, go for that walk around your neighborhood. Say “yes” to that gym buddy who keeps asking you to join. And even as you count sheep this evening, vigilantly try to modify your sleeping position during the night.
Below are a few postural exercises to help you obtain a whole new level of health and fitness for better sleep and back pain relief.
Try these at home:
- Practice the plank by lying face down on the floor with palms alongside shoulders and feet and legs together. Raise yourself so your arms are straight and you’re balancing equally on your hands and toes.
- Crunch with Twist
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head. As you exhale, lift your right shoulder off the floor, rotating toward the left. Inhale and lower your shoulder back to the floor. Repeat on the other side to complete one rep.
- Back Extensions
- Lie face down, extending arms straight above your head. Keeping your head in line with your spine, gently lift your shoulders as far off the floor as possible, then return to the starting position.
- Pilates Swimming
- Begin lying face down on the floor with arms straight over your head. Lift the left arm and right leg, keeping the elbow and knee straight. Lower your limbs back to the starting position before repeating with the right arm and left leg.
- Shoulder Rolls
- Shoulder rolls can be done while sitting or standing. Inhale and raise your shoulders toward your ears. Hold for a few seconds before exhaling and pulling your shoulder blades down and together. Repeat five to 10 times at least twice a day.
- Kneeling Stretch
- To begin, lunge with one leg forward while the knee of the other leg rests on a padded mat. Place your hands on your lunging knee. Gently push the hips forward to feel a stretch in the iliopsoas muscle, an important connection between the hip and spine. The more flexible your iliopsoas muscle is, the freer you are to keep your spine straight.
At the end of 7 weeks, your improved posture should help restore strength and the full range of motion your body needs to not only live but thrive. After all, pain is not normal. It’s your body’s way of telling you to make a change for the better. So listen — your body is talking to you.
What’s yours going to say?