This guide to keeping your body supple and flexible is really easy to follow, only takes a few minutes and could help you to avoid back pain and dangerous falls
Image: Getty Images/PhotoAlto)
Remaining bendy is vital as we age.
“Having a good level of flexibility will maximise body function, help you maintain good posture and prevent falls,” says Rosaria Barreto, trainer and director at vitalityhub.co.uk.
“It will also allow you to do daily tasks without struggling and increase the likelihood of living pain free. To stay flexible, you need to stretch and elongate your muscles on a daily basis so they maintain their full range of motion.”
Getting into positions your body doesn’t normally adopt is also vital, but it doesn’t have to require a personal trainer and Bikram yoga membership.
Here’s how to ditch the downward dog and get flexi in your spare time instead.
Be book wise
“Spending a lot of our time hunched over a screen or book can cause stresses and strains on our chest, neck, shoulders and upper back,” says Rosaria.
“Our bodies aren’t designed to look down for prolonged periods, so try placing a pillow under your arms to position your book so it’s aligned with your eyes. This will encourage better posture overall.
“Every 10 minutes, try lying on your back on the floor or bed with a rolled-up towel or blanket along your spine (between your shoulder blades from the base of your neck to mid back).
“Read in this position, with arms straight and eyes level for a minimum of one minute. This stretches your chest, the front of your shoulders and the upper back.”
Hands on your head
“It’s the classic ‘I’m relaxing’ position, which I like to call ‘the sunbather’ and has the opposite effect on muscles that are in a contracted position for 95 per cent of your day – especially if you work at a computer,” says Rosaria.
“Simply putting your hands behind your head stretches muscles at the side and top of your back and the back of your upper arms which can help improve upper back posture and reduce shoulder inflammation.”
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