Okay, I noted last time that lately I haven’t really been “on-topic” regarding posture, fitness and back pain. I did promise that, although I haven’t been posting as much on posture, I haven’t abandoned it. For instance, I’ve started building out a little section to collect the basics of posture, and posture correction.
Well, it’s Posture Monday, and I haven’t prepped a dedicated exercise to go over with you, but I do have a story that combines surviving this madness, and working posture at the same time.
Posture and Tension
For most of last week I was carrying a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders. I think I overdid it a bit…okay, a lot in Pilates last Saturday. Which I compounded by overdoing it a bit…okay a lot again on Sunday.
How much tension?
Well, I was having trouble sleeping, and my neck hurt pretty much all week. Compound this with a home office that is not nearly as ergonomically set up as my work office, and I simply wasn’t getting any relief.
Now, this was not the crick in the neck, pokey, pinchy pain you sometimes get from sleeping with your neck in an awkward position. This was a throbbing, stabbing ache all up my shoulders and neck, and felt so bad I was worried I’d herniated a cervical spine disc.
Normally these circumstances would lead me to go get a massage, but of course, we are not living in normal circumstances. So what to do?
That breathing exercise I’ve recommended for you? Note the posture I gave; it’s perfect for turning off all the muscles in the back line of the neck. In other words, it allows the neck to relax.
And what did I tell you about my days with the boys? Long lunch time walks.
Well, this weekend we moved all the boys up a bicycle. Now my 6 year old, who only has two speeds (on and off) has gone from fast to greased lightning, and now bombs up the trail so fast I have to power walk to keep up.
What is one of the keys of power walking? Swinging the arms in a gentle, natural range of motion, bringing tension relief and blood flow to the shoulders and upper arms. And this is done while concentrating on keeping proper posture.
So a simple walk with my boys, and what do I get of it?
- Connection to the most important part of my life
- 20 – 30 minutes of exercise, 95% spent in the Cardio zones
- Sun on my face, wind in my hair (okay, on my scalp…I’m bald)
- Time to practice proper posture in a dynamic setting
In short, an exercise in surviving, and even thriving, in these parlous times.
And, by the by, I learned that Amon Amarth’s Varyags of Miklagaard is an absolutely perfect power walking song. The beat and tempo enabled an absolutely perfect distance munching stride that allowed me to keep pace with my youngest on his new bike.