If I could, I'd take up manual labour but unfortunately, it doesn't pay well. If you're rolling your eyes, try to count the number of overweight people working on the streets you've come across. Right. Besides being an enabler in getting plump, desk jobs are a pain in the back. Literally.
Slouching over a desk results in loose back muscles. We have been training, unknowingly, to provide our bodies with imbalances. Now think long hours of sitting at the desk. It's just ludicrous if you think about it. This self-destructive training starts early too - at schools!
Thus, back pain has become a frequent complaint.
Fret not. You can minimise the damage. An effective way to address back pain is working on your core strength to increase flexibility of muscles that are tight, which will provide better stabilisation of the spine.
You can integrate core strength training exercises into your workout, rather than doing just the traditional crunches and sit-ups.
One way of improving core strength is by breathing effectively. Deep breathing will utilise the diaphragm muscles that will help support the spinal column and lengthen the spine, which is great for the lower back.
The plank exercise can help reduce back pain and strengthen the core muscles as well. Start by getting into a push-up position. Rest your weight on your forearms, not on your hands. Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles. Engage your core by sucking your gut in.
The hip flexor stretch is also quite effective in alleviating lower back pain. Begin in a lunge with your right foot forward. Slowly lower your left knee to the floor. Once you're in a stable position, grab your left foot with your left arm. Pull your foot toward your pelvis to increase the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds. Change sides to stretch your right hip.
And since we can't do away with sitting, here's how to have better alignment:
Keep your feet are on the ground, toes pointing straight ahead.
Make sure there's a slight arch in your lower back.
Relax your ribcage.
Relax your shoulders.
Lift your chin.
Relax your jaw.
Don't sit back- keep moving and keep fit!