Ever have neck pain, wrist pain, or back pain after work? Simple exercises throughout the workday will help you limber up, alleviate muscle strain and increase energy. For example, “Between appointments, stand up and walk in place for three to five minutes,” advises Ruth Frenchman, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. “You may want to bring some hand weights to work; start with two-pound weights and work up to heavier loads. Bicep and tricep curls are a great way to build arm strength.”
Nailpro spoke to several nail techs about how they deal with the physical demands of the job, and they offered tips for simple yet effective stretches and exercises. Following are a few of their favorites:
1. To alleviate pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, Latasha Osceola from Nails by Latasha in Tampa, Florida, suggests the wrist stretch: Extend your right arm in front of you, palm up, and grab the fingers with your left hand. Gently pull the right hand down to stretch the forearm. Repeat with the other hand.
2. To counteract bending over a table all day, Laura Merzetti at Scratch My Back Nail Studio in Ajax, Ontario, Canada, suggests this neck stretch: Start with your feet flat on the floor, shoulders back and look straight ahead. Tilt your head to the right, and then extend your left arm to the side at a 45-degree angle. Gently move your neck down a bit more to the right. Hold for a count of 10. Repeat on the other side. Then gently roll your head forward, feeling the stretch in the back of your neck, and hold for a count of 10.
3. Stacey Ann McKinney from Exhale Salon and Spa in Spring Hill, Florida, advocates flexion exercises learned from Body Pros Physical Therapy (bodyprospt.com), including the Pelvic Tilt: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Flatten the small of your back against the floor by tilting your pelvis inward—hold for 5 to 10 seconds. She also suggests the Single Knee to Chest exercise: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Slowly pull your right knee toward your shoulder and hold 5 to 10 seconds. Lower the knee and repeat with the other leg. This move can also be done with both legs at once.
Frenchman suggests these arm and wrist stretches:
1. Rotate your wrists in one direction, then reverse it. Repeat two to three times.
2. Interlace fingers behind your back. Slowly straighten your arms and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat two to three times.
3. Interlace your fingers and straighten your arms over your head. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat two to three times.
To strengthen and stretch the back and upper body, Frenchman recommends:
1. While sitting in a chair, slowly turn to the left, starting at your waist. Hold on to the left side of the chair. Let your head, neck and shoulders follow. Hold for two to three seconds. Reverse and twist to the other side. Repeat two to three times.
2. Sitting in a chair, bend down and rest your upper body in your lap. Let your head and arms drop forward. Relax for 30 seconds. Slowly sit up. Repeat twice. -Tracy Morin