Feel-Good Moves for Moms

Risk: Hand-holding

woman stretching

Peter LaMastro

Risky Behavior: Hunching to one side to hold your child's hand
What Hurts: Side and upper back

Soothing move: To stretch your side muscles, sit on right buttock with knees bent and feet curled up to the left near butt. Hold outside of ankles with left hand. Inhale, lifting right arm toward ceiling, then exhale, bending body toward left, stretching arm overhead, and looking down toward ankles. Inhale and rise up. Switch arms, placing right palm on floor and sliding it away from body; bend arm so right elbow is 1 inch off floor. Stretch left arm overhead; exhale, looking down toward right hand. Inhale and rise back up, pushing off right palm. Bending left then right counts as one set. Do 3 sets; repeat exercise on other side.

Prevention pointer: To strengthen back, lie on stomach with limbs outstretched. Engage abs and raise left arm and right leg off floor. Hold; lift head and chest off ground. With head and chest steady, switch so right arm and left leg are off floor. Keeping head up, abs engaged, and limbs straight, continue switching arms and legs in a swimming motion (move quickly while still controlling the movement) as you inhale for 5 counts and exhale for 5 counts. Do 3 times.

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