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Fit Life: A Relaxing Bedtime routine that’s good for your back

Published: Aug. 21, 2020 at 10:50 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - On this Fit Life, we’re getting you and your kids set for back-to-school with a relaxing bed time routine.

Here’s what Pamela Hernandez of Sharlin Health and Neurology told us about her Must-Do Before Bed Moves For Better Posture.

With all the changes we’re experiencing in work and life, many of us are spending more time in front of screens. Not only does that impact your posture, but the extra screen time can also impact your ability to sleep well at night.

It’s important be intentional about taking screen breaks and turning off screens for the day about an hour before bed. According to sleep.org, “The blue light emitted by screens on cell phones, computers, tablets, and televisions restrain the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle or circadian rhythm. Reducing melatonin makes it harder to fall and stay asleep.”

That hour before bed makes a great time to do gentle movement to improve flexibility and posture.

The simple act of lying face up on the ground with your feet on your bed or couch and knees at a 90-degree angle can relax your back and allow you to open up tight chest muscles.

From this position, you can do two movements to help improve your posture. The first is a pullover. Start by clasping your hands overhead with straight arms. Move your hands back overhead, trying to touch the ground with the tips of your thumbs. Don’t arch you back or force the stretch, but you should feel a stretching sensation across the front of the chest. Return your arms to the starting position and repeat for 10-12 repetitions.

The second move is a reverse bench press. You may know the traditional bench press motion but this move is done without weights and it focuses on the small muscles in the upper back. Start with your arms in a goal post position, with elbows on the ground and hands in the air over your elbows. Then gently press your elbows into the ground while keeping your spine stable and avoiding arching your low back. You should feel your shoulder blades squeeze together slightly. Relax and repeat for 10 – 15 repetitions.

If you do this nightly, not only may you sleep better but you may also stand a little taller in the morning.

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