Fixing your posture now can pay off big later. Take notes from the experts on how to sit up, stand tall and feel awesome.
The Heavyweight Shopping Schlep
How it hurts you: When we carry heavy bags, we often tense up our muscles. Do that for a long time and muscles can go into spasms or cramps, leading to a sore upper back, neck and shoulders. If your load is lopsided, you risk spine-related injuries such as slipped disks and pinched nerves.
Fix it now: Post-shopping, do shoulder rolls: Slowly roll shoulders back, making big circles, 10 times, then circle front for 10. Next, do an upper-trapezius stretch: Sitting down, extend one arm to grab the edge of the chair and lean your body—leading with your head—away from that arm. Hold 10 seconds and switch sides.
Fix it forever: Ideally, your total load should be less than 10 percent of your body weight. If you’re on a major mall expedition, drop off some bags in your car, then go back for Round 2. You’ll lighten your load—plus get extra exercise!