Fix Your Posture and Open the Cottage

Okay, Andrew, what on earth does fixing posture have to do with helping Dad open the cottage?

Well, lets’ start with; spring has sprung (well, sort of) and cottage season approaches. Cottage season is great, you can take the kids to play on the beach, go fishing, swim in the lake, learn to skip stones, and all the other little joys of getting away.

Of course, before you can do any of that, you have to get it all opened up; shutters need to come down, skylight covers need to be removed and about a ton of cedar fronds and birch leaves need to be raked up and hauled away. And after a particularly wet April and May, the leaves are wet, and already beginning to rot, so they are heavy.

The next problem would be a matter of inconvenient timing. Mother’s Day weekend happened to be both the first convenient weekend and the first dry weekend to do it. That being so, instead of going up for at least a night, it was:

  • Get up in the early
  • Drive 3 hours to the cottage
  • Work 5 hours to get as much done as possible
  • Drive 3 hours back for Mother’s Day dinner.

If you have back trouble, and all you who read this little blog know I have back trouble, the above is a recipe for disaster. Driving is hard on my back, raking is really hard on my back, and climbing ladders doesn’t help.

At this point, like my winter tire story, you might be expecting me to say that after all the work I put into fixing my back and posture, an hour of bending, stooping and heavy lifting later, no problems. Actually, there were problems. All that work, along with the drive, played merry hell with my back.

I did a lot of work to fix my back and I have certainly realized some great benefits, but I still have lumbar disc problems, and when we got home, I hurt. I was pretty sore, from head to toe. So what did I do? I took my own advice and did some of my posture exercises.

  • First, a little bridge work to work the back muscles and articulate the spine.
  • Second, a little dead bug to engage the core and stabilize the lumbar.
  • Third, a little baby cobra to give the erectors a nice little workout.
  • Finally, a little rest, sitting in a chair with good lumbar support to let everything recover.

End result? By dinner I was pain free. Tired, but pain free and ready to face the rest of the weekend.

I’ve been doing those Monday yoga posture posts as a basic guide to posture correction, but the exercises provide so much more. They’re also a roadmap for stretching and strengthening the core in order to heal the back, to fix long term problems and improve your life. In short, an everyday exercise guide to:

“Overcoming pain, regaining mobility, learning to stand up right.”