Gently rebalance your mind and body and boost your musculoskeletal and nervous system health with 6 easy steps.
Here are our top tips:
1. Better Breathing: Release Muscular Tension
We can breathe, on average, around 25,000 times a day. If you have a long drive to work every day, or need to spend hours in front of a screen for work or study, this can cause muscular imbalance. For example, tightness in the chest, upper abdominals, shoulders and neck. This can further constrict our breathing, which in turn can increase stress and reduce our ability to move well.
To counterbalance the forward flexion of the spine, and to release tight muscles in the chest, a stretch may help. For example, lying on the back, with arms extended, palms facing inwards, take a breath in through the nose as you open the arms out, staying in line with the shoulders. Then, breathe out slowly as you bring the arms back to the start position, and repeat 5 times. This stretch can also be done lying on a foam roller, to help facilitate the release of tight muscles.
2. Walking: Step into Bone and Muscle Strength
Exercise has multiple benefits for maintaining good health throughout our life. Our focus today is on walking, as it’s a great activity to help build muscle. In addition, activities that help build muscle may also help build stronger bones. Walking is described as a “LISS movement” – that is, a low intensity, Steady State and low impact activity, which means it’s beneficial for healthy joints, and is more likely to be sustainable as an exercise habit.
Other low impact exercises can include Pilates, swimming and restorative yoga practice. Brisk walking outdoors further boost walking’s health benefits, as studies suggest that exercising outside may be beneficial for reducing stress. Strong legs from walking also help to improve balance and knee health.
3. Workspace Health: “Motion is Lotion” for Musculoskeletal Health
When setting up your work space, consider whether you could adjust your surroundings, environment and schedule to improve your spine health. For example, by using a laptop stand to ensure your eye gaze is level to the screen, you will be able to keep the neck in a neutral position. In addition, regular movement breaks are essential, as it’s important to keep the body mobile and supple.
At work, if you are sitting most of the time throughout the day, try moving around and add some stretches every 30 minutes. Alternatively, if you are standing for long periods, you may need to sit down for a break and try some gentle stretches in a seated position.
4. Chiropractic Care: Stay Well Adjusted and Move More
When we have an active lifestyle, spinal health is essential to help promote healthy nervous system function. The para-sympathetic nervous system facilitates rest and recovery. If muscles in the back are tight or compressed, it can affect our nervous system and our ability to move well, potentially leading to further muscular imbalance and deterioration of the joints.
A Chiropractor is qualified to check whether there are any contributing factors impacting your spinal health, and offer diagnosis on musculoskeletal conditions and treatment. Patient education plays an important role in Chiropractic care, as understanding your spinal health and how to move more efficiently can help to support your everyday healthy habits and motivation to stay active.
“If you would seek health, look first to the spine.” – Socrates
5. Recovery: Musculoskeletal Health, Magnesium and Myofascial Release
Magnesium is known as a calming mineral supplement, and it’s an important contributor for multiple enzyme reactions in the neuromuscular system. A magnesium supplement may help muscles to relax, promote healthier nerve function and assist with recovery from exercise.
Self myofascial release work, for example foam rolling, using the Makarlu Lotus or Chiropractic needling and massage therapy can all help to release tight and sensitive trigger points and promote healing and muscle function.
6. Rest: Restore and Rejuvenate your Nervous System
An adequate amount of sleep can help to boost energy, and allow the brain to clear away toxin build up in the brain. A study in Scientific Reports has shown that poor sleep can impact posture, whereas in contrast, a good night’s sleep may help to improve posture and balance. A healthy spinal position when sleeping, with a comfortable, supportive mattress and pillow can help to support the nervous system.
It’s not recommended to sleep on the front; instead try to sleep on your side or back. Just as with work ergonomics, again the neck should not be resting in a position where it is too high or without adequate support. Are you are a busy parent up at night or not sleeping well? Consider the benefits of a short daytime nap. Studies suggest that even a mini nap during the day can provide health benefits for the nervous system.