Looking after grandchildren is one of those joys in life… while it is extremely rewarding, it can also take its toll on the body. Striding out quickly (or running) in pursuit of a runaway grandkid, picking them up when distressed, or generally just being more active and altering how you move when they are around, sometimes leaves the body feeling a tad tired and painful.
Over the next 5 weeks we will talk about the various preventative measures you can take to look after yourself to ensure you can enjoy the time you spend with your grandchildren.
As the first week in the series, we will look at the problems and solutions when dealing with those gorgeous new-borns.
Holding a new born for hours, or repeatedly picking them up, can be a problem on your shoulders and neck. When you repeatedly reach forward with your arms or sustain a forward position when holding them, the muscles at the back of your shoulder that give the shoulder blade and neck support, become elongated and weak over time. This causes the shoulder to start sitting a little too low and too far forward, which upsets the mechanics of the shoulder. This can lead to pain, aching and sometimes pinching as you lift your arm. All of this can be avoided by improving the strength of the shoulder and the shoulder blade.
Here are few exercises that can help:
1. Scapula retraction:
– Start in either sitting or upright standing with your hands on your hips.
– Lift your sternum upwards and squeeze your shoulder blades together, drawing your shoulder blades together. Hold for 5 seconds. Relax and repeat 5 times.
2. Sit upright in a chair.
– Place a folded towel between your upper arm and your body.
– Squeeze your upper arm tightly against your body into the towel.
– Ensure you keep your posture upright, with your shoulder blades back
– Hold this position for 8 seconds. Relax then repeat x5.
I hope this is information is helpful. Tune in next week for more tips!