201204-beauty-backThere is something beautiful and elegant about a firm, blemish-free back revealed in a low cut dress or bare back top. A strong and graceful back is a symbol of elegance and style. Although not frequently exposed to the world, the back requires a certain degree of tender, loving care just like any other part of the body.

The back muscles require meticulous care. One of the biggest favours you can do for your back, and also your figure, is to be aware of your posture and learn to make it work for you rather that against you. Your figure is largely determined by your posture. Good posture enables your body to create a graceful line and makes your movements elegant. It also makes your back less susceptible to injury.

Improve your posture

Always maintain good posture whether sitting or standing. Having correct posture means keeping each part of the body in alignment with the neighbouring parts. This preserves the gentle, natural curves in your spine and keeps all body parts balanced and supported. Good posture centres on the correct pelvic tilt because when the pelvis is balanced, the spine is subject to the least possible stress.

When standing. Tuck your bottom under and pull your tummy towards your spine. It is said that when standing in a correct posture, it should be possible to draw a straight line from your earlobe, through your shoulder, hip, knee, and into the middle of your ankle.

When seated. Your upper back should be straight and your lower back slanting slightly forward. You may place a cushion behind your back to help balance your pelvis. Ensure the seats at your home and work place are comfortable and offer good back support. Long hours of work often result in poor posture and strain to the lower back. When sitting at your desk, tilt your computer screen towards you to avoid craning your neck. Moreover, avoid sitting for extended periods of time – get up and walk around once a while.

When sleeping. Use a firm mattress but not one that is too hard. The important factors when choosing a mattress are generally personal preference and comfort level. Lying on your stomach is not the best position as that causes the abdominal muscles to sag. It is recommended that you lie on the side with your knees bent to relieve pressure on the discs. It helps to place a pillow between your knees to help keep stress off the hips. You could also lie on your back while keeping your knees slightly bent by putting a pillow under them.

Apart from good posture there are a few other practices that can keep your back in tip-top shape. For instance, always bend your knees and keep your back straight when lifting items off the ground or floor. Also, keep any object you lift as close to your body as possible.

Regular exercise is good for the back. Swimming, and gentle stretching exercises are particularly helpful for strengthening the back. There are also other parts of your body that you can strengthen to take the strain off your back. Strong stomach muscles take a lot of strain off the lower back. Powerful buttock muscles also play a major supportive role in relation to the back. Keep both of these parts firm and taut.

Do not resist the urge to stretch when you feel it. Stretch wholeheartedly and uninhibitedly. Stretching decompresses the spine and trims the midriff (the front region of the body between the chest and the waist). It also eases your body into action at the start of the day and revives declining energy levels, so go ahead and stretch!

Back skin care tips

Keep the back free from blemishes by exfoliating regularly with a body brush or a loofah. You can use a long bath brush to scrub the hard-to-reach areas when bathing. This is effective in removing flaking skin, superficial blemishes or dry skin, and improving circulation of blood throughout the body, giving your skin a smoother and less wrinkled appearance.

If your skin is greasy and prone to spots and blemishes, consider using antibacterial soap though if you suffer from back acne, a dermatologist will give you the best advice you on products to tackle this. Moisturise with a lotion of your choice after bath or shower.

A beautiful back is an invaluable asset that can be flaunted in lots of outfits. In fact, a beautiful back is an absolute essential if you want your exit to be as good as your entrance.

 Published in April 2012