BACK TO SCHOOL
Ahhh…I will always remember that time of year. Returning home from the summer holidays meant it was time to get ready for going back to school. Now my school days are well behind me, and even my own daughter has finished. Yet, I still always feel like I’m going back to school, only now it is WORK. This always requires carrying more on my shoulders. More work and travel means more luggage, briefcases and backpacks. Work meetings can mean carrying more papers, computers, and other needed items which all weigh on the shoulders. The end of summer often means carrying extra weight in your hands or on your shoulders.
This post focuses on useful tips and routines that can improve your understanding of how to care for your shoulders, and help you to prevent the most common shoulder problems. Unfortunately, shoulder problems affect the majority of people at one point or another in their lives. Most people over sixty lose their full range of motion in their shoulders. Limited range of motion does not necessarily result in pain and /or injuries. However, it is important to be mindful of maintaining full shoulder movement. Calcification can eventually occur if your body stays in a certain posture for years. This is what people commonly accept as “getting older”. An older person’s age can often be determined by the simple assessment of the position of their head, neck and shoulders. When they move as one unit it is easy to observe how rigid the body is. This process happens so slowly most people do not even notice the onset. It is crucial to be proactive in preventing stiffness. Posture, alignment, and movement are major essentials for improving quality of life as we age. Keeping your shoulders well aligned with full range of motion keeps your body more upright. Further, your neck and head should move easily, resulting in increased circulation up into the head and into the arms. It’s not so hard to be pro-active with all the Yamuna® education and tools. You just have to do the work!
Recently, shoulder problems are actually occurring in younger people more frequently due to the long hours working at computers and on smart phones. When the head is constantly in front of the body an enormous strain is put on the shoulders. The muscles that should support the front of the shoulders begin to decrease in effort and the muscles of the back of the shoulders are in a constant state of overuse.
The more I observe little children on iPads in restaurants while eating dinner, the more I cringe at what will become of people's postures. The more time children spend on computers and smart phones, and less time actually involved in physical exercise, the more likely we will be raising generations of unhealthy children. Technology is practically taking over every aspect of our lives. It becomes more and more important to bring body sustainable concepts to the public. Schools need to make time to teach children about care for their bodies and not just offer standard fitness concepts. They simply do not offer enough education on building healthy alignment and movement.
- Lift your sternum and chest.
- Pull your shoulders back and down
- Rotate your arms and hands with palms facing forward to bring your shoulder blades on your back ribs
- Focus on expanding your breathing into your lower, middle, and upper lungs. Focus on breathing into the front, sides, and back ribs. This will float the chest upward which helps to realign the shoulders.
- Do not let your head stay in front of your chest and shoulders
- When walking, lead with your chest and heart.
- When sitting at a computer place a ball between your shoulder blades to lean back into.
- Every time you feel your head creeping forward, lean back into the ball.
- Try not going to sleep on your sides with your shoulders rolled forward.
- 10. Regularly stretch your arms up over your head and try to stretch each arm in a full circle
- Try not to carry heavy bags in your hands or shoulders
- Try to lift the arch of your feet and stand more on the outer edges of your feet and fully through the entire ball of the foot. This helps lift the body upwards and in general improve the posture.
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