Daily Exercises to Help Military Members Reduce Pain: Part 1
Written by Dr. Navid Hannanvash PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS, CAFS, FAFS | CEO & OWNER
Work. Parenting. Errands. Driving. Exercise.
What do all these things have in common? Some or all of them are part of the daily life of any military family. What do all these things have to do with your body? They all place a different stress and strain on different parts of your body. As a result of these daily activities our bodies can become achy, sore, or worse yet lead to some sort of injury causing you to miss out on the important things in life. While it may be virtually impossible to cover all of your bases with a few exercises (to find more specific exercise for your individual life contact our office), we’ve compiled a list of some generic, total body cleansing exercises that can help alleviate or protect your body.
I know what you’re thinking: what does lying down like a starfish have to do with my health? Well the truth is, there are three things in this world that are undefeated: death, taxes, and gravity. While we can’t help you on your tax returns, we do know that every single day our body is fighting an uphill battle against a force that’s causing us to slouch and roll forward (causing stress on our neck, back, and other structures). Along with that, our hectic lives rarely allow for a moment to focus on our breathing (see our post on breathing for anxiety/stress reduction). This exercise accomplishes those two tasks with one quick hitting activity.
How to do it? Simple. Lie on the ground and curl into the tightest ball you can, then unwind and completely lay flat melting into the floor. Close your eyes and inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth for one minute (you can set a timer on your smart phone so you don’t fall asleep). Sounds too simple to be true? You’re right. This simple one-minute reset can alleviate spine stress, lower blood pressure, decrease stress/anxiety, and reduce pain.
Yoga may be something you are familiar with, but who has time to set aside an hour and a half to drive to/from a yoga class and contort your body into a pretzel. Instead, do three quick sun salutations whenever you feel like you need a total body “reset.”
How to do it? Watch this simple video for a quick introduction and step-by-step guide to a sun salutation. 3 simple salutations will alleviate the focal stress that your body is experiencing and “spread the love” throughout the body.
I know what you’re thinking: “I read that whole article and all you gave me were two things!? The truth is, these two exercises (when performed regularly and correctly) can provide one of most powerful foundations of health that you can think of. Still yearning for more? Stay tuned for Part 2.