Do you suffer from headaches, neck tension, back pain or aching muscles in general?
As a Pilates instructor I work with a lot of clients who are looking to heal these painful pathologies.
Pilates is tremendously successful in restoring these clients to a place of healthy and pain-free living but in order for Pilates to truly help, it must be taken out of the studio.
What you learn on your mat must be applied to your daily life.
If you spend 1 hour per week on your mat and 40+ hours sitting at your desk with bad posture, there’s a slim chance that your pain will improve.
Practicing Pilates on a regular basis increases your awareness of your body in all areas of life, including your daily routine. Understanding proper alignment and how your body was made to move can significantly impact the way you feel on a daily basis.
There are few simple postural changes you can make to your daily tasks that will help you avoid back pain and injury down the road.
This list is by no means exhaustive or detailed. But I know you’re busy so here are a few, quick, easy changes that will help you feel better right away.
1. Blow drying your hair/washing your face
Rather than rounding forward, hinge at your hips and maintain a flat back to avoid compression in your spine.
Rather than hunching over the wheel, place your sit bones directly underneath you (bucket seats like to push you OUT of this position) and bring your head back over your spine.
3. Picking up your child/heavy objects
Bend at the knees, not in the back.
4. Holding your baby
It is SO hard to avoid popping your hip out to the side but doing this day after day can cause real problems. When possible, use both arms to support your child and switch sides regularly.
I don’t know about you but I tend to hold Blake on my left hip while I’m doing things with my right hand. I know it’s unavoidable sometimes but do your best to adjust your posture when you can.
5. Sitting at your desk
Sit up on your sit bones rather than back on your tailbone. Relax your shoulders down your back and keep your head over your spine (forward head is a common cause of neck pain). Simple change, BIG impact.
Remember that simply being mindful of your posture throughout the day can go a long way. These little changes may be just what you need to feel better and avoid long-term damage.
Question: when do you find it hardest to maintain good posture?