Monday, May 13, 2013

monday morning tips

  • nearly 90% of all germans had/have/will get back problems! 
  • Before WWII an average german walked more than 20km. Nowadays? on average- 400 meters. I couldn't believe it when my professor told me!
And let's not even start about the weight gains on average compared to back then! 
There are of course multiple reasons for all these changes- job industries, transportation, food, etc.

Every one has had a back ache before, right? That feeling when you get up and you think 'oh-oh something isn't right here' and then you go through the day with some sort of limitation to movement. Sometimes you can't turn your head left/right/up/down, you feel your spine is 'out of line' you cant bend over, whatever it is, it's sucky! 

The good news? You can change your backs wellbeing! Great, right? All you have to do is follow the exercises from the list bellow EVERY morning after waking up. Try this for a week and see if you feel better ( I promise you will but you better see for yourself!)

First off-- this is (if you ask me) the MOST important thing while moving any part of your body:
BREATHE! with every stretch it is vital you breathe. why? because if you hold your breath, your circulation gets stopped, your blood doesn't get enough oxygen and you build up unnecessary pressure in your body. Remember: relax- breathe in, tense-breathe out. also during your day try to focus on this.

secondly-- first few times doing this, please be careful, do everything slowly and accurately, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to comment on this post.

lastly-- when you bend down, to pick something up (anything with any kind of weight) bend your knees and bend over. IF you need to bend down and twist slightly, MAKE SURE you twist back to your feet before coming up. Very important.... 

ok, you ready? :)
  1. Before getting out of bed, lie on your back, bend your knees and pull them towards you (if you can't reach your knees then use your blanket around them and pull BUT NOT WITH FORCE) imagine your knees want to reach your shoulders (left knee-to left shoulder; right knee-to right shoulder) this is a great hip opener and it already flexes your back softly.
  2. stretch your legs out and reach your arms over your head or sideways if there is not enough space, flex your toes towards your face, and streeeeeeeeetch your right side and then your left. Imagine you want to push away an imaginary wall at your feet (with your heels) and hands (finger tips).
  3. once out of bed, stand up straight, take a deep breath in and focus on your posture, how are you standing? Lift your toes off the floor, now put pressure on your heels, and on the front of your foot- where your big toe and little toe are attached. Relax your toes down, but keep the pressure on those three spots on your feet! (this is a lot harder than you think, maybe start with one foot at a time) repeat twice and relax.
  4. close your eyes, soften your knees (if you need to really bend them, go ahead!) suck in your belly button but keep that breath going! slowly begin to drop your chin to your breast bone and start to roll down your spine vertebrae by vertebrae until you are hanging over or on your knees, take a few deep breathes in and out (let go of the neck) and slowly start to roll up, YOUR HEAD IS THE LAST THING TO COME UP. you might feel dizzy, that is a normal reaction if you are not used to this type of movement (make sure you are close to something to hold on to) do not twist in this exercise, your body is always facing forwards. REPEAT 3 times.
  5. stand up straight, bend your knees and swing your hips side to side, this is really important for the men because they tend to be as rigid as they can be in their pelvis, therefore it is really important to do these moves. sway from side to side and then tilt your pelvis front and back (help: you can put your thumb in your belly button and your index finger on your pubic bone, when you tilt your pelvis up the fingers come closer together and when you tilt your pelvis back your fingers go wider apart)- your shoulders should not be moving. then, do the hoola hoop- imagine you have a hoola hoop around you and you are circling it around. AGAIN, shoulders in place. keep breathing and smile.
  6. plant your feet firmly on the ground, hip wide apart, bent knees, now the pelvis (hips) stay put and you only twist your shoulders (arms bent at elbows) and head side to side. It's as if you are trying to look behind you. Start slowly and keep breathing. Once repeated a few times, start to twist so much that you inevitably have to move your pelvis. Let the movement get so big that in the end your whole body is twisting side to side but your feet are FIRMLY on the ground. 
  7. Now, feet still hip width apart, the whole body is straight, knees soft (suck in that belly) and you will only move your head from side to side, up and down. Imagine you are drawing with your nose, a big 0, a big ---line and also an 8. 
  8. Now shake your whole body out, legs, arms, twist your face- smile, scrunch your face together, wide eyes, squinty eyes, pretend you are chewing a HUGE piece of gum and really over exaggerate these movements. get that blood flowing in your face!

I know it seems like a lot of writing but once you do it and understand the movement, it's easy peasy and this will only take around 10 min! You might be thinking 'naaah I'd rather sleep for ten more minutes than look like a honkey doing these weird movements' but really, what are ten minutes a day for a better spine? NOTHING!

now go try it out :) and theeen? treat yourself to the easiest pancake recipe known to woman!

Easy Peasy Pancakes

1cup flower (I used spelt)
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp sugar - optional
1 tsp vanilla -optional
1 medium ripe banana
3/4 cup milk (as you wish-i used soy)

in a bowl mix all the dry ingredients together
in another bowl, mash the banana with a fork, add the milk and whisk it until semi smooth, add to the dry ingredients and whisk all together, add milk until consistency is perfect for you.

Get out a pan, put some oil (coconut, ghee, whatever you want) and start cooking them up! serve with fruit, maple syrup or whatever your heart desires!

 Guten Appetit!


  1. Great post! In an earlier post you wondered why people are lazy/in denial when it comes to their health. My back is probably the thing I worry the most about and I should do much more. I started this morning with a little dance after my shower (#8), but I missed the rest of the steps. My back hurts often. I think its a combination of sitting at work and a soft mattress. So I have a stand up desk that I use sometimes (like now - even tried some of the moves) and I'm thinking of how I can make my side of the bed more firm even though Joc likes it. Are soft beds bad for your back? I even slept on the floor the other night to see if it helped. Maybe these exercises are the key!

  2. Hey Hoff!
    Standing up desks are a good idea if you are aware of your posture (whole body) if you stand in a posture that will put pressure on the wrong points, stand up desks will actually give you back pain! Let's skype sometime and I can evaluate your posture and help you regain the correct way! (For instance, I know you push your pelvis forward and we would work on bringing it back without any following movements). The right mattress is one that does not change the physiological state of your spine, soft ones normally do (!)
    Good for you for trying some of the exercises!!!

  3. - like it!

    Nada, where is today's blog? I'm missing it.

    1. Haha, I like it G! Probably not taken either. I stick my pelvis out so that if I walk into something it isn't with my face. I did the exercises today (some of them, missed several I see) and it felt good. I find I can barely bend over that way before I get sharp pain in my neck and sides. I don't think I stand properly at my desk. I shift left and right, forward and back, but figure it must be better than sitting. Anyhow, I could use your posture evaluation!


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