Happy Lucky Penny Day! Of the many days a year that are for celebrating, we like to think we should embrace any cause to have a good time! Today if you see a penny, take a moment to contemplate your luck and pick it up!

Want to make sure you keep the spring in your step after all that stooping to pick up lucky pennies? Check out these tips:

  1. Bend with the knees
    Even if the load you are carrying is as light as a feather (or a penny), use your knees as you bend down and stand up straight. Squat down instead of bending to reduce injury. Take a hint from golfers and watch how they bend to line up their shots.
  2. Develop strength in your legs
    Squats may not be fun, but they are your best friend when it comes to strengthening your lower body. Some experts say it is the single best strengthening move you can do for yourself. No need for heavy weights or lots of grunting. Squeeze in 3 sets of 20 squats a day for strong legs that represent the foundation of your body and help reduce back injuries.
  3. Wear supportive shoes to prevent ongoing back pain
    High heels, flip flops or other shoes that don’t support your arches or the natural gait of your walk will change your stride. Your body must adapt to compensate for this which can lead to stiffness, aches and a sore back. If you do want to indulge in impractical footwear from time to time, try to keep a backup pair of shoes in your car, bag or at the office so you can switch out when penny hunting. 
  4. Keep muscles loose and flexible for maximum mobility
    Once upon a time, gym teachers and physical therapists encouraged “static stretching” to help loosen muscles. Now research has shown that stretching combined with movement is the best way to go. Walking is actually the easiest form of stretching, and can be the best for your body in a pinch. Yoga is also a great way to stretch while moving, and inverted stretching on a Teeter Hang Ups are both great ways to stay loose. 
  5. Remember the back muscles must be strong too
    Sometimes when we read about our core muscles, we only think of what is on the front or sides of our body – but the back is laced with muscles, and these are often the ones that cause pain as they hold our bodies in misalignment. Focus on performing exercises for your back to help discourage misalignments and back pain. 
  6. Walk out the kinks
    As we said in tip 4, walking is one of the best ways of stretching. If your back is sore, try going for a walk. The natural stride of your step will help loosen many muscles and may help your body work itself back into natural alignment. Sitting is the worst thing you can do for the health of your back (and the rest of your body). Stand up and walk around every few hours to prevent hunched posture, extra loads of pressure on your lower back, and to help stretch your lower body in general. 
  7. Be kind to your body
    In the day and age of “go, go, go” it can be easy to think that taking time to stop and care for our bodies is an indulgence that we can’t afford. It may seem selfish to take an hour for a massage, five minutes to invert or half an hour to practice yoga – so instead we pop a pill and hope for the best. In the long run, you are the only one responsible for taking care of the health of your body. Set time aside for yourself every day to nurture your body and check in with yourself to discover where aches and pains are popping up. In these quiet moments, you can often sense minor complaints before they turn into larger problems. Address these complaints with love, care and action and they will save you pain in the long run.