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Great set of core exercises

Great set of core exercises

Here is a great infographic of a series of useful exercises which with regular practice will help avoid injury, improve your posture and maybe even rehabilitate old niggling injuries.  

I recently started incorporating this into my daily routine and its been working wonders. Frankly it would be great to see schools encouraging pupils to learn and practice these as it would do wonders for their long-term flexibility and as we know, prevention is far better than cure when it comes to poor posture.  Even if you are a relatively active person, this will work groups of muscles that don't commonly get used, so there is huge benefit for people of all levels of fitness to utilize something like this.

Posture Infographic

Improve your posture with a great lower back workout.

This is a great series of exercises to help your lower back and improve your posture.

Some of them are a little tricky, but take it slow and steady and after 12 minutes or so, you should definitely be feeling the benefits of being more limber. Over time, this will absolutely improve your core stability, posture and loosen up your lower back.

Do pay attention to the details and cues and continue only as long as is comfortable. If you have acute or chronic back pain, want to enjoy the benefits of better posture, or simply want to become a better athlete, this is a great posture improvement video.

3 simple exercises to improve your posture

3 simple exercises to improve your posture

The months and years of sitting slouched at your desk have started to take their toll on your back and you've realised you need to do something about your bad posture. But how do you actually go about starting to improve your posture? Beyond products like Smarter Posture Mat, just by taking that first step of being aware of sitting smarter can actually have an impact. Whilst the years spent slumped will have inevitably tightened your muscles, with some simple exercises, these can easily be loosed and you can achieve a smarter posture.

So here are three simple exercises to improve your posture:

  1. The Superman - Start by lying facedown on the floor and raise your hands above your head, palms down. Then gently lift your torso whilst rotating your shoulders so your palms are facing each other. Hold for five to ten seconds and try and align your head with your neck and back. Lower your torso and repeat 10 times or so.
  2. Static Back - This one's a cracker and you just need a bed or chair! Start by lying down on the floor. Best start ever!! Now raise your legs onto the bed or chair with your knees at a 90-degree angle, getting your hips in as close as possible to the chair or bed and keep your arms grounded by your side. Now do nothing for 5 - 10 mins and just relax as this will loosen up the muscles in your lower back and stretch your thoracic muscles.
  3. Static Wall - A slightly more intensive version of the static back stretch. Whilst the previous exercise rested legs on the bed, this one has your entire leg at a 90-degree angle to your body rather than just your knew. Start by on the floor with a wall in front of you and slide your legs vertically up the wall bringing your behind in as close as possible to the wall, so you form an L shape. Simply keep your arms by your side and hold for 5 minutes. This delivers the same benefits as the previous posture exercise, but a more intense feeling

Remember, improving your poor posture is very much within reach. Whilst it won't happen overnight, start by taking the first steps with these and other exercises and you'll be sitting smarter in no time!

Choosing the right mattress to support your spine

Choosing the right mattress to support your spine

In the same way that choosing a good pillow helps support your neck, selecting the right mattress for your spine to support your posture is equally important. It's true that your body type will largely dictate the type of support you need, with the general rule being if your hips are wider than your waist, a softer mattress can accommodate the width of your pelvis and allow your spine to remain neutral. Although if your hips and waist are in a relatively straight line, a firm surface offers better support. Whilst we obviously can't easily control our posture when we sleep, at least a supportive mattress will help keep your posture in check.

There are so many different types of mattresses on the market today and for people with spinal issues or poor posture, a foam mattress rather than one with inner springs will largely be preferable. This is because springs or pocket springs can create pressure points on the body and don't support the natural curvature of the spine. By comparison, foam mattresses adjust to the contours of the body, so as you move in your sleep, your bed adjusts to you.

The excellent page Sleep like the Dead has a great comparison of a variety of mattresses and some great pointers on what to look for when buying a new one. There are also several interesting startups like Casper and Tuft and Needle producing some great value, well-engineered foam mattresses and they also offer 100 day free trials meaning you can test it out before you buy.

So do you research before you spend the cash and try out a variety of beds and find one that's right for you. You spend 1/3 of your life sleeping so do it right!