Good Housekeeping (UK) - - Good Health -

If you’re suf­fer­ing from aches and pains, it’s easy to shun ex­er­cise al­to­gether. ‘Ex­er­cise is ac­tu­ally going to ease those nig­gles,’ says Jo. ‘Un­less there’s an un­der­ly­ing health con­di­tion, most are the re­sult of a mus­cle im­bal­ance or weak­ness. For ex­am­ple, if you spend the day at a desk, your hip flex­ors get tight, which can cause knee pain. And the mus­cles sup­port­ing the knees, hips and lower back be­come weak if you don’t ex­er­cise.’


‘Do a daily plank,’ says Jo. ‘It’s ex­tremely ef­fec­tive at strength­en­ing your core, which sup­ports the whole back and pro­motes good pos­ture.’ Only hold it for as long as you can with good tech­nique, even if that’s 10 sec­onds. Lie on your front, rest­ing on your el­bows, palms fac­ing down, toes tucked un­der, and then raise your body off the floor. En­gage the mus­cles around your mid­dle and don’t al­low your bot­tom to stick up or your back to sag. Breathe evenly. Go swim­ming. It’s gen­tle on the body be­cause the wa­ter sup­ports you, but it works all of your mus­cle groups.


Com­bat tight desk hips with leg swings when­ever you have a spare few min­utes. Keep­ing your torso still, swing each leg back and forth 10-15 times and then side­ways across the front of your body.

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