Take the Challenge!

Do you ever wonder why your back is sore at the end of the day? Are you aware of how many times you bend over to pick something up? Do you twist your neck to look over your shoulder or twist your back to grab something?

Now that it is summer, we are busy being active in the outdoors, camping and going to barbeques. Often with these various activities, we are loading up coolers, bicycles, camping gear, etc. It is easy to be rushing around or forgetting to ask for help with picking up or carrying something heavy.

Trust me, you want to start, at this moment, making some changes to how you move, carry, and lift things, even if it is light-weight. This will help to prevent neck and low back pain. And in the long run make a big difference to how you feel at the end of the day!

Some tips to keep in mind throughout your day:

  1. Try squatting or get down on 1 knee to reach the floor.
  2. When picking up something from the floor, get as close to the object as you can.
  3. As you stand up, tuck your tailbone, squeeze your gluteal or butt muscles, and push your feet into the floor as you stand.
  4. When reaching for something or putting an object you are are carrying onto a counter or shelf, always square your body (shoulders and hips) so your whole body is facing the area or object.
  5. If you want to move an object from one area to a different area, move or turn your whole body towards the area you will be at next. This will help you to avoid twisting your neck and back, putting less strain on your spine.

Here’s the challenge part:

Notice how you feel when you wake up. I challenge you, for one day, to keep track of how many times you bend over. How many times do you twist your neck or back?

Notice how your body feels at the end of a busy day.

Congratulations! Now you have increased your awareness of some of your movement patterns. Great job!

Ready for the next Challenge?

On a different day, keep track of all the opportunities you take to practice healthier movement patterns such as, squatting, moving your whole body instead of twisting your neck or back, tucking your tailbone before you lift something, etc.

Reflect on how you felt at the beginning of your day. How do you feel now at the end of your day?

It takes awareness to change unhealthy movement patterns. And it takes time to break habits, so be gentle on yourself.

Every time you can notice and optimize a movement pattern, you are decreasing strain on your neck and low back. Over time this will become easier and lower chances of injury.

Ready to take the challenge? Report your observations, struggles, thoughts below! So curious on what you discover! Good luck!