Back pain and feeling of blockage in the lumbar area: with advancing age it is precisely this area of the body that becomes the target organ of stress, bone and muscle aging, incorrect postures. The true guru of the sector at an international level is the doctor Esther Gokhalecreator of the method Gokhale of postural gymnastics and consultant of companies in Silicon Valley.
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The exercises of managers against back pain
«The back is the barometer of our health, our life habits and our emotions – says the expert – Most of us when sitting assume a relaxed and slumped position, in which the spine looks like the letter C ( the “spoon” position, with the back bent), harmful to well-being». «The chair in front of the desk – continues Gokhale – must be of such a height that you don’t have to lean forward to type on the computer, and it must not be too far from the work surface. The first step for back wellness, especially for those who work many hours at the PC, is not to lean on the coccyx when sitting, but on the ischium bones of the pelvis, guaranteeing the natural curvature of the spine». (www.gokhalemethod.com).
But how much should older adults train to take care of their backs? Research carried out in California by Proactive Health Labs recommends over 60s to exercise 150 minutes a week (an average of 20 minutes a day) to keep the lumbar and back in shape. Marcello Chiapponi, a physiotherapist specializing in posturology, indicates some simple exercises to combat back pain, which have already become a must for managers in the USA. To counteract the tendency to incorrect postures and the “closing” effect, as well as the hypotonia of the buttocks due to excess sedentary lifestyle, lie down on a mat in four legs, starting with your knees close together and pushing one leg at a time upwards without arching your back; each leg should remain lifted alternately for 30 seconds, repeating the entire sequence 4 times. To strengthen the buttocks and lumbar area, start from a lying position on your stomach, bend your knees with your feet on the mat, then extend one leg at a time at 45 degrees (with the foot “hammer”), for 3 sequences in which each leg, in turn, remains raised for 15 seconds. To improve the flexibility of the posterior muscle chain and prevent contractures, lie down on the ground and alternately keep one leg stretched out and relaxed on the ground and the other raised and bent at the knee at 90 degrees, with your hands holding it under the knee itself. Alternate legs 10 times in this movement, repeating the entire sequence 3 times and breathing deeply, to relax the mind in symbiosis with the muscles and free yourself from stress.
Diaphragmatic breathing is very useful: lying on the mat, inhale through the nose, inflating the chest and abdomen, and exhale through the mouth, flattening the lumbar spine on the ground, contracting the abdomen. If, on the other hand, you want to stretch your back during working hours, you can do it while sitting: with your back straight and your legs bent and slightly apart, feel the contact of your feet with the floor; begin to breathe long, slow and deep, inhaling through the nostrils and exhaling through the mouth.
HANDS AND ARMS
Now clasp your hands down, inhale and bring your arms up over your head, straight up, with your palms crossed towards the ceiling. Leave the right space between the ears and shoulders, so as not to load the neck with further tension, then exhale and return to the initial position. You can repeat the movement 8 times.