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5 yoga poses to relieve back pain that can be done at home:

Back pain is a common problem that affects millions of people worldwide. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor posture, muscle strain, and injury. While medication and physical therapy can help relieve back pain, yoga is also a great way to stretch and strengthen the muscles in the back, reduce stress and tension, and improve overall flexibility and mobility. Here are five yoga poses that can help relieve back pain and can be done at home.

  1. Child's Pose (Balasana)

Child's pose is a gentle yoga pose that stretches the lower back and hips, promotes relaxation, and can help relieve tension and stress. To perform this pose, start on your hands and knees with your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees hip-width apart. Then, lower your hips back towards your heels and stretch your arms out in front of you. Rest your forehead on the mat and breathe deeply for several breaths.

  1. Cat-Cow Stretch (Chakravakasana)

The cat-cow stretch is a gentle and effective way to stretch the muscles in the spine and back. To perform this pose, start on your hands and knees with your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees hip-width apart. As you inhale, arch your back and lift your head and tailbone towards the ceiling (cow pose). As you exhale, round your spine and tuck your chin to your chest (cat pose). Repeat this movement several times, flowing smoothly between cow and cat poses.

  1. Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Downward-facing dog is a classic yoga pose that stretches the hamstrings, calves, and back muscles while also strengthening the arms and shoulders. To perform this pose, start on your hands and knees with your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees hip-width apart. Then, lift your hips up and back, straightening your arms and legs and pressing your heels towards the floor. Hold the pose for several breaths, feeling the stretch in your back and legs.

  1. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Cobra pose is a backbend that stretches the muscles in the chest, shoulders, and back while also strengthening the arms and spine. To perform this pose, lie on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders and your elbows close to your sides. As you inhale, press into your hands and lift your chest off the ground, keeping your elbows close to your sides. Hold the pose for several breaths, then release back down to the ground.

  1. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)

Bridge pose is a gentle backbend that strengthens the muscles in the back, hips, and legs while also stretching the chest and shoulders. To perform this pose, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. As you inhale, lift your hips up towards the ceiling, pressing into your feet and shoulders. Hold the pose for several breaths, then release back down to the ground.

In conclusion, practicing yoga can be a great way to relieve back pain, improve flexibility and mobility, and promote relaxation and stress relief. These five yoga poses can be done at home and are a great place to start for anyone looking to relieve back pain. Remember to breathe deeply and listen to your body, never pushing yourself beyond your limits. With regular practice, you may find that your back pain improves and that you feel more comfortable and relaxed in your body.

Personality, satisfaction linked throughout adult lifespan

  • Personality

Certain traits related to satisfaction in life regardless of age, study says

Read the journal article

  • The Link Between Personality, Global, and Domain-Specific Satisfaction Across the Adult Lifespan (PDF, 537KB)

WASHINGTON — Certain personality traits are associated with satisfaction in life, and despite the changes people may experience in social roles and responsibilities over the course of their adult lives, that association is stable regardless of age, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

“Many studies have shown that people with certain personality profiles are more satisfied with their life than others. Yet, it had not been extensively studied whether this holds true across the lifespan. For example, extraverted—that is sociable, talkative—people might be particularly happy in young adulthood, when they typically are forming new social relationships,” said study co-author Gabriel Olaru, PhD, an assistant professor at Tilburg University. “We thus wanted to examine if some personality traits are more or less relevant to life, social and work satisfaction in specific life phases.”

The research was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

To determine how the relationship between personality traits and life satisfaction changes over time, researchers analyzed data collected from 2008 to 2019 by the Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences (LISS) panel survey, a nationally representative survey of households in the Netherlands. Over 11 years, 9,110 Dutch participants ranging from 16 to 95 years old at the time of the first survey answered multiple questionnaires to assess their Big Five personality traits—openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and emotional stability/neuroticism—and their satisfaction with their social connections and their life overall. Only the 5,928 participants who were employed at the time of the survey also answered questions about their satisfaction with their work lives.

The researchers found that most of the relationships between personality traits and satisfaction remained the same across the adult lifespan, and that emotional stability was the trait most strongly associated with people’s satisfaction with their life, social connections and career.

“Our findings show that – despite differences in life challenges and social roles – personality traits are relevant for our satisfaction with life, work and social contacts across young, middle and older adulthood,” said Manon van Scheppingen, PhD, an assistant professor at Tilburg University and another co-author on the study. “The personality traits remained equally relevant across the adult lifespan, or became even more interconnected in some cases for work satisfaction.”

The researchers also found that different personality traits were related to people’s satisfaction with their social lives and careers—most notably conscientiousness for work satisfaction, and extraversion and agreeableness for social satisfaction. People who saw increases in these traits across time also reported increases in their life, social and work satisfaction.

People’s satisfaction with their work was the most affected by differences in age. As participants in the study aged, the relationship between career satisfaction and emotional stability grew moderately stronger.

Despite a weaker correlation between openness and life satisfaction overall, the researchers found that people who increased in openness also increased in life satisfaction across the 11 years measured by the LISS survey. This relationship may be explained by indirect processes, according to the researchers.

“Emotional stability likely shows a strong link with global and domain-specific satisfaction because this trait colors people’s general view of the world,” Olaru said.

“A good example of how personality interacts with the environment can be found in the work context. One of our findings was that the link between emotional stability and work satisfaction increases across age. This might be explained by the fact that emotionally stable people are less scared to quit unsatisfactory jobs and more likely to apply for jobs that are more challenging and perhaps more fulfilling and enjoyable in the long run,” van Scheppingen added.

Future studies should examine how variables that change with age, such as income, employment status, marital status and health, affect the relationship between personality traits and overall satisfaction with life, according to the researchers.

“While we did not examine what caused these changes, [the research] shows that our personalities and our happiness are not set in stone,” van Scheppingen said. “Perhaps we may even be able to influence how we change: If we try to become more organized, outgoing, friendly, this might increase life, social or work satisfaction as well.”

Article: “The Link Between Personality, Global, and Domain-Specific Satisfaction Across the Adult Lifespan,” by Gabriel Olaru, PhD, and Manon van Scheppingen, PhD, Tilburg University, Wiebke Bleidorn, PhD, University of Zurich, and Jaap Denissen, PhD, Utrecht University. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published online March 20, 2023.

high calcium foods to nourish bones and promote good health:

Calcium is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in maintaining strong bones and teeth, muscle function, nerve transmission, and other important bodily functions. However, many people do not consume enough calcium in their diet, which can lead to a variety of health problems, including osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bones and increases the risk of fractures. Fortunately, there are many high calcium foods that can help you meet your daily calcium needs and support healthy bones and overall health.

Dairy products are the most well-known source of calcium. Milk, cheese, and yogurt are all excellent sources of calcium and other important nutrients like vitamin D, which helps the body absorb and use calcium. However, some people may be lactose intolerant or have a milk allergy, which can make it difficult to consume dairy products. If you are unable to consume dairy, there are other high calcium foods you can incorporate into your diet.

Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens are another excellent source of calcium. These greens are also high in other important nutrients like vitamin K, which plays a role in bone health by helping the body use calcium. In addition to calcium and vitamin K, leafy greens are also rich in antioxidants, fiber, and other vitamins and minerals that are essential for good health.

Nuts and seeds are another great source of calcium. Almonds are one of the best sources of calcium among nuts, with one ounce providing about 8% of the daily recommended intake. Sesame seeds and chia seeds are also high in calcium and can be easily incorporated into your diet. Additionally, nuts and seeds are a great source of healthy fats, fiber, and protein, making them a great snack option.

Tofu is a plant-based protein source that is also high in calcium. Made from soybeans, tofu is a popular ingredient in many vegetarian and vegan dishes. Half a cup of tofu provides about 20% of the daily recommended intake of calcium. Additionally, tofu is a good source of protein and other important nutrients like iron and magnesium.

Finally, there are many fortified foods that can help you meet your daily calcium needs. Fortified foods are foods that have had extra nutrients added to them, such as calcium, to make them more nutritious. Breakfast cereals, plant-based milks like almond milk and soy milk, and orange juice are all common sources of calcium-fortified foods. However, it's important to read the labels carefully, as not all fortified foods are created equal. Some fortified foods may be high in added sugars or other unhealthy ingredients, so it's important to choose wisely.

In conclusion, incorporating high calcium foods into your diet can help you meet your daily calcium needs and support healthy bones and overall health. Dairy products, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, tofu, and fortified foods are all excellent sources of calcium that can be easily incorporated into your meals and snacks. By eating a varied and balanced diet that includes plenty of high calcium foods, you can support strong bones, healthy muscles, and overall wellbeing.