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Eight Tips For A Healthy Spine

1. Tuck Your Chin

Chin Tuck

Very slightly nodding your chin down tenses muscles close to the neck that act as spinal stabilisers, reducing load on other muscles and also on joints within the neck. This should be a subtle movement - no double chins on show.

2. Move Regularly

Whether you are sat down, stood up or in any other posture, being static for more than 20 minutes is going to cause a problem. Any longer than this in one position overloads ligaments and muscles, no matter how good your posture.

3. Walking and Swimming

As generic exercises go, swimming front crawl and walking and the best for spine health. The movements involved are great for hip and shoulder mobility, as well as using core muscles to maintain torso rigidity.

4. Beware Flexibility

Contrary to what you may think, having a very flexible spine can increase your injury risk. Exercises for the back should concentrate on improving your ability to resist forces, such as with planks, bridges and so forth.

5. Stand On One Leg

Standing on one leg improves the control your muscles have over your joints, limiting their susceptibility to injury. When standing cleaning your teeth or waiting for the kettle to boil, stand on one leg. Don't forget to alternate.

6. Go Barefoot

Most shoes have a drop from heel to toe which alters the way we walk. Research is limited in terms of the effect of barefoot trainers on sports injuries, but for most people going barefoot around the house, or in socks in the office is a great way to help your spine.

7. Clench Your Six-Pack

Activating the six-pack muscle is helpful for supporting the spine, particularly when bending of lifting. Consciously clenching, rather than pulling in, these muscles is the best way to activate them and acts in the same way as using a weight-lifting belt.

8. Visit A Chiropractor

Chiropractors are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of spinal dysfunction. Often pain is the last symptom of a spine that is not working at its best and so a check-over, much like a trip to the dentist, is a great way of keeping yourself in tip top condition.

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