Posts In: Facts and Myths


August 30, 2019

Strengthen Your Core

A strong core is essential to achieving overall fitness and health.

The core muscles are not just the abdominal muscles but also include the muscles of the hips,lower back, pelvic floor and even the diaphragm (the main muscle involved in breathing).


These muscles support the entire body and keep us upright, stable and steady on our feet while doing daily activities ranging from walking, sitting at our desk, bending over, reaching and lifting to running, dancing, exercising and playing sports.


Weak core muscles can result in poor posture, lower back pain and increase the risk of injury to the back, hips, knees and shoulders.

Core exercises train the muscles in the pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in harmony. A strong core improves posture,  allows us to do physical activities with ease, and results in a trim and toned waistline.

Core exercises do not require any special equipment or a trip to the gym. Below are some starter exercises that you can do even at the office using a mat or towel for the floor exercises. 


For all the exercises to be effective the key is to make sure that your position and form are correct. 


Front Plank on Desk. Planking not only helps core conditioning but also improves balance and posture. Place your forearms on the edge of your desk or any hard flat surface. Slowly, extend your feet backward until you create a straight line. Hold the position for as long as you can and slowly increase to 20-30 seconds as you get stronger.


Chair Stand. Regular chair stands can strengthen your abdomen and thighs. Start by sitting upright on a chair with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Observe your breathing as you bend slightly forward and slowly stand up. Keep your hands free to make sure that you stand without any assistance.


Bridge. The bridge stabilizes the core and the spinal muscles. Lie on your back on a mat with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Slowly, raise your hips and tighten your core by pulling your abdomen in towards your spine. Your knees and shoulders should  create a straight line. Hold the position for as long as you can without the hips sagging and slowly increase to 20-30 seconds as you get stronger.

Cat-Camel. This exercises focuses on the core and back. Go on all fours with your hands beneath the shoulders and your knees below the hips.  Arch your back upwards towards the ceiling while flexing your neck (chin to chest) and hold for 10 seconds. Then slowly stretch your back in the opposite direction while  extending your neck and looking up towards the ceiling. Return to your starting position and repeat  3-5 times.

These Breathing Exercises Will Relieve Your Stress On Board

Do you feel frequently tired? Are you often anxious or upset? Are you easily irritated by small things? If your answer is yes to any all these questions, you could be stressed! 


One of the easiest and most effective tools in managing stress is deep breathing exercises.  

Here are three easy-to do techniques to try:


Belly Breathing

Place one hand on your belly while the other one is on your chest. Breathe in through your nose and feel your abdomen extend outwards. Exhale slowly through your lips while tightening your abdominal muscles as you pull them inwards. The hand on your belly should move more than the one that’s on your chest.

Continue for 3-4 cycles.


4-7-8 Breathing

Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, right behind your front teeth.  Breathe in through your nose slowly for four seconds. Hold your breath for seven seconds, then exhale for eight seconds while making a whooshing sound. Repeat 3-4 times before resuming normal breathing activity.


Breath Count

Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. After that, breathe normally and  count every time you breathe out the air. Once you reach the fifth exhale, start a few deep breaths again. 

Doing these breathing exercises will take only a few minutes. Work your way to at 10 minutes or more to get even greater benefits.

Stretching Exercises

There are 3 types of exercises: aerobic, strengthening and stretching. Stretching exercises have multiple benefits ranging from injury prevention to reducing stress levels.


When done properly and on a regular basis stretching exercises can: 


  1. Improve the range of motion of the joints
  2. Increase blood circulation and oxygen delivery throughout the body
  3. Reduce muscle tension
  4. Improve general flexibility

    Maintain the stretched position for 10-15 seconds.Repeat 2-3 times per stretch and do not push yourself too hard. Start with the most tolerable position then slowly increase the level of intensity and extent of the stretch after every few sessions.


Chest and Shoulder Stretch. Clasp your hands together behind your back. Keep your arms straight and raise them gently. Hold the position.


Shell Stretch for the lower and upper back and shoulders. Kneel on the floor keeping your body upright. Slowly sit on your heels while lowering your trunk to the floor. Reach forward with your finger tips or palms on the floor and hold the position. 


Calf Stretch. Stand a foot away from a wall and reach forward with open palms. Slowly bend your elbows while keeping your knees straight. When you feel the stretch in your calves, hold the position. You can increase the stretch as you improve by standing farther away from the wall.

5-Minute Office Workout to Try

Stop sitting and crouching at your desk all day long. Being fit and healthy has no excuses.


Having a full-time job takes a lot of energy. At the end of the day, all we want to do is just go home, lie down on our beds, and sleep like a log until the weekend arrives. However, while it’s understandable that we sometimes live in our offices, it is not an excuse to ignore what our body needs and deserves! 


We could go on and on about the benefits of exercise, and most people would probably just say work drains the life out of them, and that they have no time to breathe, let alone go to the gym. So why not bring the gym to you? Here are some great exercises you can do without having to leave the office!


Triceps Dips: Place your chair against a wall, and position your hands at the edge of the chair, shoulder-width distance apart with both hands facing forward. With your butt away from the chair, bend your elbows until you come to a seated position, and extend once again. Make sure not to lock your elbows as you lift back up. Complete 20 dips.


Seated Leg Lifts: Seated straight on a chair, rest your hands on the sides as you lift one leg extended. Straighten your leg completely with toes pointed out. Lift your leg up and down by an inch, making sure that your abs stay engaged the whole time and your back stays straight. Do this 15 times, rest for a bit then switch sides.


Seated Ab Twists: Sit straight on a chair with your hands behind your head. On the exhale, lift one knee as you rotate your body and bring the opposite elbow towards that knee. Return to your starting position, and repeat 15 times on one side. Repeat on the other side.


Wall Sits: Stand against a wall, and slowly bring your body down to a seated position. Making sure that your knees are in line with your hips, stay in this position for 30 to 45 seconds. If you want to make it more challenging, lift your heels up and down to work your calves.


Wide Second: Place one hand on your desk and the other on the hip. Stand with feet laterally rotated and shoulder-width-distance apart. Bend your knees until your hips come in the same line, and then stand back up without locking the knees. Pulse up and down 30 to 60 times.

There are many causes of lower back pain. Some of which include injuries, inactive lifestyle, poor posture, certain illnesses, obesity, and age. Although age is one of the causes of lower back pain, younger individuals can still be affected. It is one of the most common pains that we have to deal with, and it can happen at any age and for several reasons.

Common Causes of Lower Back Pain

  • Lack of physical activities or being sedentary
  • Drinking too much energy/caffeinated drinks (as they intensify inflammation in the lower back muscles and contribute to the formation of kidney stones)
  • Reading in bed while sitting in a semi-reclined position (this puts stress on the lower back muscles)
  • Hunching while carrying a bag
  • Eating food that increase inflammation (white bread, red meat, pasta)
  • Too much lifting
  • Bending over the sink for more than 2 minutes (especially for tall people)
  • Poor sleeping position
  • Long drives

Because lower back pain is a common problem that has to be treated, there have been numerous suggested ways to deal with it. Still, it is better to examine and know which of these suggested solutions are true and which of them are just myths. The following is a list of facts and myths about lower back pain.

  • Slim individuals don’t suffer from lower back pain. – MYTH

While it is true that keeping your ideal weight can prevent lower back pain, it still does not guarantee that you won’t experience it. Because it can be caused by genetic factors, some types of back pain do not have anything to do with weight. In fact, in some cases, overly thin individuals can have a more fragile structure that can result to pain in the lower back region.

  • The best remedy is bed rest. – MYTH

For some people who suffer from extreme lower back pain, the best option would be to stay in bed. Keep in mind, though, that staying in the same lying position for a long period can actually worsen the pain as it creates more pressure on the back.

  • Physical activities should be avoided by people suffering from lower back pain. – MYTH

Exercising regularly makes the skeleton, bones, and muscles strong if done properly. Physical activities can prevent lower back pain. In fact, working out on a regular basis can relieve back pain caused by an injury. Exercising strengthens the body, and thus prevents back pain.

  • You can prevent lower back pain by sitting upright. – MYTH

It is true that slouching not only causes back pain but also causes damage to your back. But what is unknown by many is that sitting upright for prolonged time also causes lower back pain. The key is to lean back from time to time to prevent or to minimize back pain. More importantly, you should stand up at intervals because prolonged sitting is what results to lower back pain.

  • Lower back pain can be relieved by acupuncture. – FACT

To some people who suffer from back pain, medical acupuncture has been a great help. This form of alternative medicine has been adopted by some doctors because it provides relief from lower back pain.

  • Overweight people are more prone to lower back pain. – FACT

When you are heavier, there is more pressure on your back. It’s as simple as that. Therefore, keeping your ideal weight will help you prevent back pain.