Put the spring back in your step

Physio guide to getting your body ready for spring

Spring is in the air but before you knuckle down to tackle the cleaning and jobs you’ve put off for a year, spare a thought for your body.

To kick-start National Spring Cleaning Week (April 8-14), the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) has produced a guide to help you put the spring back in your step. The simple techniques are designed to give a much-needed ‘physical’ boost after surviving a long, cold winter.

Chartered physiotherapist Sammy Margo says: ‘Winter is over and in addition to giving your house a thorough clean, it’s also the perfect time to stop neglecting your body so you can look and feel your best as summer approaches.

‘During the cold, dark, wet months, it is very easy to pick up bad “physical” habits such as slouching, slumping and forgetting to exercise. Simple postural techniques can help make the most of your new spring wardrobe as well as do you good in the long term.

‘The steps are quick and easy to follow, and can make you “look” instantly fitter - helping put the spring back in your step. They’re designed to firm up your muscles and minimise the risk of other conditions, such as back, neck and shoulder pain.’

The CSP’s tips are straightforward and require no special equipment. They are easy enough to integrate into daily life and can help you retain good postural health and muscle tone in important areas. Spring in your step can be viewed below.

Notes to editors

For further information on any of the points in the guide or for advice on good posture, please call the CSP press office on 020 7306 6163 /6616/6628 or on 07786 332 197/07900 160 349/07795 564 240 (mobiles).

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the professional, educational and trade union body for the country’s 47,000 chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and assistants.

A full archive of earlier CSP press releases can be found by visiting www.csp.org.uk

Spring in your step

Winter is over, spring is finally here. If you’re planning on kick-starting the new season with the annual ritual of cleaning and tackling domestic jobs, spare a thought for your body. Now is also the perfect time to give your body a spring clean so you can look and feel your best.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) has produced a guide to help you put the spring back in your step. It includes simple techniques that are designed to give you a much-needed ‘physical’ boost.

Carrying out the following tips regularly as part of your normal routine can have long-term benefits for your overall postural health.

The basics:

  • Good posture means keeping your body in correct alignment by maintaining the natural curves of the spinal structure when sitting, standing, walking or lying down. It is essential when it comes to warding off back pain and related disorders.

  • Good breathing is key to giving you more energy - helping you to feel refreshed. Be sure to breath in through your nose and out through your mouth so that you fill your lungs not your chest and shoulders.

Following these steps will help improve posture, and as a result, you will look and feel fitter. You’ll also minimise stresses and strains on your joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles and discs.

Tip One: Long Try to stand as tall as you can. This should be your natural standing (and walking) posture.

Elongating your body can make you look longer, leaner and fitter!

Tip Two: Broad Don’t slump with your shoulders rolled forward. Push your shoulder blades back and down to increase the distance between your shoulders. This will help reduce the possibility of shoulder and neck pain.

Tip Three: Flat Pull your tummy muscles in all the way then release them by 70 per cent – you should still feel them working. This helps improve the tone of your tummy muscles and reduce the possibility of back pain.

Tip Four: Step Literally put a spring in your step when walking. Strike the heel to the ground and then toe-off all the way.

This helps employ the full gait cycle by utilising the body optimally and minimising any stresses or strains.

Getting your posture right can give you a ‘physical’ boost and the confidence you need to feel great about your appearance. Carrying out these tips should form a part of your daily routine and become second nature.

Note: You can do all these steps at the same time but remember to breathe normally.

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