In Yoga, it is believed that a HAPPY SPINE = HAPPY LIFE.  We tend not to take care of our spine in everyday living. This lack of care can lead to physical discomfort and make us susceptible to future injuries and complications.  February is the month of love and why not start by loving yourself and treating your spine right!!  Here are 10 easy tips, try one a day to get you on the right track for a happy spine and a happy life!

1. Yoga A gentle form of Yoga such as Hatha Yoga or Restorative Yoga typically incorporates stretches that can reduce back injury by increasing flexibility.  The gentler stretches in this type of class can distribute nutrients to your spinal discs and soft tissue keeping them healthy. This type of Yoga also includes relaxation techniques that can release tension in the body.  Hatha Yoga classes are available at Providence! Integrated Health and Fitness Mondays 11:30, Tuesdays at 10:30 and Thursdays at 10:30 Restorative Yoga classes are available Wednesday at 7pm and Sundays at 4pm.  Reserve your spot 908-898-0008 or www.providencehealthandfitness.com

2. Low impact exercise.  You don’t have to push yourself to complete exhaustion to receive endorphins.  You can receive endorphins just after 30 or 40 minutes of low impact exercise and this can combat pain, relax the muscles, and relieve tension. Plus, endorphins can elevate mood and relieve symptoms of depression, a condition common in those with back pain.  Check out our schedule www.providencehealthandfitness.com  to see what class is right for you! 

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3. Meditate. If you suffer from discomfort associated with your spine, take the time to engage in a simple meditation every day. Studies have shown that mediation is an effective tool for pain or discomfort.  A daily mediation requires only 10- 15 minutes of your time. There is no right or wrong way to meditate just what is right for you.  Try focusing on a pleasant, relaxing place, your breath or repeat a mantra in your mind.  Meditate with a group at Providence!  Integrated Health and Fitness.  A FREE meditation is offered every first and third Thursday of the month 8-9:45 p.m. reserve your spot call 908-898-0008 or sign up online www.providencehealthandfitness.com

4. Massage therapy.  Massage therapy is not just a treat but an essential regiment in overall wellness and a healthy spine.  Studies show that massage therapy is an effective treatment for some types of back pain. Massages offer several potential benefits, including improving blood circulation for the recovery of sore muscles, restore range of motion and decrease insomnia.  Book your massage today at Providence! with one of our highly trained and skilled professional therapist.  Call for an appointment 908-898-0008

5. Heat   increases blood flow and brings healing nutrients to your muscles. Heat can also reduce pain associated with the muscles and joints around your spine.  If you have discomfort, try a hot water bottle or heat wraps that adhere to your lower back and deliver a low level of heat.  Take a warm bath weekly for preventative care. See what works for you!

6. Daily diet.  Your daily diet plays an important role in maintaining the health of your spine. Try eating more vegetables, fruits, meats, whole grains, and legumes. Try to decrease processed foods and sweets to an occasional treat. This helps with decreasing the inflammation in your body that can trigger back pain or discomfort. 

7. Take a walk. There are many benefits of walking including strengthening the core muscles that help you stand tall, improving flexibility, and strengthening your bone structure.  Start out by taking just a few short walks each day, then build up to longer walks.

8. Lift correctly. Improperly lifting even slightly heavy items can lead to painful muscle strains.  Don’t just bend the knees when lifting but also lead with the hips rather than the shoulders. 

9. Sit up!  Be mindful of how you sit especially if you have a desk job.  Ground down through the tail bone but lift through the crown of the head to elongate spine and avoid the slouch.  It also makes you feel more open and confident.

10.  Take a deep breath.  Take a moment each day to belly breath- expand through the belly when you inhale and pull the belly in on the exhale.  This enables you to calm down, slow down the heart rate and relax the muscles in your body- focusing on your back or wherever you hold tension. 

About Providence! 

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Providence! Integrated Health and Fitness is located at 18 South Street in New Providence. Visit their website to learn more about the programs and classes offered. 908.898-0008