As the days continuously get shorter and the nights longer, keeping fit becomes more and more challenging. Dropping temperatures make exercising outside difficult and not always pleasant. While outdoor activities such as skating, and skiing will always offer an outlet to those who are so inclined, not everyone can afford to devote that much time to exercising, in particular to those with full time work schedules. Thus, the most convenient way to maintain the body during the winter months is through doing stretching and strengthening exercises indoors. After all we can't all be out skiing and snowboarding every day.
A straightforward program for the neck and lower back can definitely prevent your body from deconditioning during a time when we are more concerned with holiday schedules, vacations and generally crammed work routines.
Neck exercises like the ones shown in the link below are great for also minimizing headaches. Start with the general range of motion exercises, nothing difficult but will help to move or mobilize your neck to its limits in all directions. Never push to the point of pain and remember to hold each stretch for 20 seconds. Each direction is repeated a total of 3 times. 'Neck extension' exercise is done on an exercise ball. Exercise balls are fairly inexpensive but immensely useful.
Check out these exercises here.
Next, you will do the isometric exercises. Isometric exercises are the ones where the muscle length does not change. Use your hand to apply an equal amount of force in the opposite direction you are exercising. This will exercise the postural muscles and help to maintain them. Finally, neck retraction is a great exercise that can also be done at your desk during your work days.
Stay tuned for more in Part 2 as we'll be covering indoor exercises for your lower back.