There are several exercises that will help strengthen your lower back. Try these three stretching exercises to help make your back stronger and better toned:
Finally, no matter how comfortable you are at your desk, prolonged, static posture is not good for your back. Try to remember to stand, stretch and walk at least a minute or two every half hour. Moving about and stretching on a regular basis throughout the day will help keep your joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons loose, which in turn will help you feel more comfortable, more relaxed and more productive.
While it’s a natural tendency to want to rest our backs by sitting rather than standing, in many cases it’s bad sitting posture that’s contributing to the problem.
Being mindful of preserving a correct sitting position, keeping core muscles toned to support the spine will help keep your back in its best possible shape.
The enforced lockdown and working from home may mean that you are sitting at your desks for longer periods than normal. Plus, your chair and desk may not be set up as well as your office, so you may be experiencing more discomfort. Whether you experience it as a sharp, searing pain or a dull ache, lower back pain can affect up to 80% of the population at some point in their working life.
Causes of lower back pain when sitting down
Not all back pain is the same, and there are many possible causes.
Upper back pain when sitting
Many people experience pain in their necks and upper backs as a result of craning forward while sitting to look at a computer monitor or phone display. An adult head weights almost 5kgs - nearly the same as a 5litre bottle of water! Now imagine how hard it would be to carry the 5litre bottle of water in front of you with outstretched arms, and whether it would be easier to carry it closer to your body. For every inch your head moves forward from the centre of your body, you add a load of around 11kgs to your neck and back muscles - no wonder they complain when we sit badly in front of a computer or phone screen.
Although it’s tempting to sprawl out and watch television for hours, this can also easily throw your back out of alignment.
That uncomfortable feeling of stiffness when you finally do move or stand up is telling you something.
Home remedies for lower back pain when sitting
In addition to improving your posture when sitting, try these at-home remedies for lower back pain:
With plenty of time on your hands plus the knead to exercise and de-stress, there has never been a better time to make your own bread! (providing you can get hold of flour!) This loaf is made using a ‘poolish’, a yeasted pre-fermentation similar to a sourdough starter that’s classically used in French bread-making. The grains and slow proving create a complex flavour and chewy crust. Recipe makes a 900g loaf
With the prospect 12 weeks at home, here are just a few reasons why you can be better off with a set routine:
Developing and sticking with a routine that is congruent with your goals is one of the surest ways to ensure success. It is also perfectly okay to set aside certain times to do nothing. What matters is that you are conscious and alert to your choices. The next few weeks and months pose differing challenges for us all. Each of us has different goals, needs, desires, and resources. That is why it is essential to decide exactly what you want to achieve then develop your routine around your life.
Next week we will be discussing the benefits of 12 weeks with exercise and healthy living compared to 12 weeks of no exercise nor healthy living!
With the Golf Season just around the corner, its vital that you prepare your shoulders, hips and spine for season ahead. Having discomfort or disfunction in just one joint or muscle can make 18 holes seem like 108. During an average round, with practice swings included, you will probably swing your club 70-100 times and that’s no fun when you are carrying an injury! High profile professional golfers suffer from injury, but the amateur player may be more at risk than Rory Mcllroy or Tiger Woods. Poor technique, inadequate stretching prior and post-match and incorrectly carrying heavy golf bags are the main contributors to pain and discomfort. However, following a few simple tips can help solve the problem allowing you to play golf better, with less effort and have more fun at the same time.
This is a really healthy and relatively simple midweek supper that has lots of textures and is bursting with flavour, enjoy!
Warm Salad of Spiced Kale, Bulgar Wheat and Puy Lentils - Sabrina Ghayour
100 g dried Puy lentils
100 g bulgar wheat
olive oil, for frying
1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
6 fat garlic cloves, bashed and thinly sliced
2 long red chillies, thinly sliced
400 g kale, stalks removed, leaves roughly torn up
2 tsp. ground turmeric
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons and juice of 1
Generous handfuls of pumpkin seeds
100 g feta cheese, crumbled
sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
lemon wedges, to serve
Boil the Puy lentils and bulgar wheat separately according to the packet instructions, then rinse immediately under cold water until cold. Drain well, then combine them in a large mixing bowl.
Set a large saucepan over a medium-high heat, drizzle in a little olive oil, then add the cumin seeds. Once the seeds begin to sizzle and pop, add the garlic and the chilli slices and stir well, ensuring the garlic doesn’t burn. Meanwhile, wash the kale leaves and drain, without shaking off excess water (which will add moisture during the cooking process). Set aside.
When the garlic has sweated and is translucent, add the dry spices and lemon zest and stir well. Add a little more oil if the spices dry up too much. Add the slightly wet kale to the pan (it should sizzle) and stir for 1 minute to ensure the garlic and spice mixture coats the leaves well. Cover the saucepan with a lid and allow the contents to steam for 2 minutes. Stir well again and take the pan off the heat. Replace the lid for another couple of minutes.
Lift off the saucepan lid and transfer the contents of the pan to the bowl containing the Puy lentil and bulgar wheat. Give the ingredients a good mix, pour in the lemon juice, season generously with salt and pepper and add a little extra drizzle of olive oil, if desired. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary, then stir in the pumpkin seeds. Transfer to a large serving platter. Crumble the feta cheese over the top and serve with lemon wedges.
There is an Indian Belief that we are all houses which contain four rooms*: These rooms are all the same size and are identified as being, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
For many of us, we tend to reside in one, maybe two rooms for the majority of our day, week, year and life. However, the very act of ignoring or avoiding a room, can leaves us feeling empty and unfulfilled. Unless we devote time in all rooms each and every day even if only for a moment, we will slowly begin to realise that we are not complete. With the onset of Spring and the energy it brings, perhaps it’s time to ‘visit’ each room and spring clean your life!
Try to work through some of our suggestions at first and then come up with your own ideas!
1. SPRING CLEAN YOUR PHYSICAL
2. SPRING CLEAN YOUR MENTAL
3. SPRING CLEAN YOUR EMOTIONAL
4. SPRING CLEAN YOUR SPIRITUAL
Spending time in each room, will help you gain a greater perspective and bring more balance to your life. Yes, there will always be times when your work - life balance is way off centre. Invariably we will compensate with weekends and holidays, assuring ourselves that this is a temporary blip and normal service will be resumed shortly. Be aware, that this same pattern can be mirrored with our eating, drinking and exercise habits. As life speeds up and stress levels rise, our habits can change for the worse, binge drinking, yo-yo dieting and falling off the exercise wagon are common occurrences.
Finding and maintaining balance may often appear elusive, yet we can work towards that goal, every moment of every day. Remember that we stay in balance best by taking care of the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of our self. Once established, balance will give you precious time; time with family and friends, time alone, time to work, time to play, and time to live the life you want to live.
Here’s to your best year ever!
*Rumer Godden (House of Four Rooms)
3 FOR 2 Sports Massage with Charlie Crisp. Book 3 sports massages with Charlie Crisp before the 29th February and only pay for 2
Charlie is a former professional tennis player and tennis coach. Having retired through injury Charlie fully understands the drawbacks of injury plus the subsequent rehab and gym work required to get back to fitness. In his drive for better results for his coaching clients, Charlie realised he required a greater understanding of the biomechanics and physiology. Charlie used his time wisely and qualified in Soft Tissue Therapy, with the Oxford School of Sports Massage. He also studied ‘Anatomy in Motion’ with Gary Ward which allows him to use gait analysis and postural assessment to improve the ‘weakness’ and ‘imbalances’ of his clients during their personal training sessions. In his spare time, Charlie plays tennis, cooks, renovates his flat and is lead singer in a band!
skeletal alignment to help reduce pain and improve mobility. The manipulations are very fast with low force and just like the other members of the team, I combine the adjustments with soft tissue work as required.
The McTimoney technique is suitable for all ages, from young to old and is effective at treating the same conditions as diversified chiropractic.”
Caroline is available for sports massage and Chiropractic on Monday & Wednesday 9-6pm
This extremely unique ‘coaching’ session can improve your physical, mental and emotional well-being, plus help you achieve your personal goals. By combining the science of Positive Psychology with Virtual Reality Miracle Works coaching enables you to develop new neural pathways in your brain that help you connect how you perceive the world with how you feel in your body. Think of it as developing a new muscle to support your well-being!
Miracle Works coaching is particularly useful if you want to:
Shireen will be running introductory ‘wellness DROP in sessions’, each month, focusing on specific areas of the psychological and psychical well-being.
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