Yoga and yard work could help your back -

Yoga in your yard

A long weekend may finally be your chance to catch up on all that work around the house, but trying to get weeks worth of yard work done in such a short time is bound to beat up the body.

"Think of bending forward and how long a muscle has to hold you up. You're also working with gravity, so if you're leaning forward, even 3 percent forward, all of your muscles in your back have to hold you up," says Judi Bar - a certified yoga therapist at the Cleveland Clinic's Wellness Institute.

She claims a few yoga poses in the process can make all the difference. "So the idea would be to release the tension, get blood flow, counter it, so ideally you'll be able to garden longer that day."

Especially when the work calls for bending over a lot, she says take time out to bend backwards to counteract it and get the blood flowing again.

And when raking or shoveling, try to reach up over your head or twist your trunk and hold it.

She says you can also save your back when pulling weeds by tightening your abdominal muscles and using your core.

Most importantly, she stresses breathing during the stretch. "The key here would be breathing; adding more oxygenated blood to the system while we're stretching. Thus, this is why it's called more yoga than just stretching."

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