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Avoid Handbag Strain!

Avoid Handbag Strain!

SWEAT sweat.com

 

For most ladies, a handbag is a necessity. It might be a way to make a fashion statement or a way to easily transport all of your bits and pieces around. While we may love THEM, our handbags don’t always love us back. In fact, they can have a serious impact on our body. 
 
Carrying around a handbag for long periods of time, or carrying a handbag that is too heavy, can lead to neck and shoulder pain or lower back pain. It can also cause problems with your posture, which may lead to imbalances or dysfunction. 
 
Here’s a few things you can do to avoid handbag strain: 
 
Reduce the clutter 
 
Seems pretty obvious, and it really is! By reducing the amount of stuff in your handbag, you reduce the weight you are placing on your shoulder each day. Carrying a heavy weight on one side of your body can cause problems with your posture. 
 
Be mindful of how you carry your bag 
 
Do you carry your handbag in the crook of your arm, effectively making your own little ‘handbag hook’? It’s time to stop! Carrying your bag this way can put excess strain on your elbow, something the joint is not really built to stand. Over a long period of time, it can also lead to inflammation or to rounded shoulders. 
 
Switch sides 
 
We all have a side that our bag feels more ‘natural’ on. It can take a bit of getting used to, but swapping your bag to the opposite shoulder can help to redistribute the weight. 
 
Swap bags 
 
This is KIND of an excuse to stock up on new bags - haha! Try switching up which bag you use regularly. Switching between different types, such as bags with cross-body straps, one-strap and dual-straps, or use a purse every now and then. This way your upper trapezius muscle, the one that lives next to the side of your neck and top of your shoulders, gets a bit of a rest.  


Maintain good posture
 
As with anything involving your body, posture is key! Carrying a bag on one shoulder can sometimes lead to raising the other side in compensation, which doesn’t do us any favours. Having a strong core and back muscles can help to reduce the strain on your body, as it helps keep your spine in alignment. 
 
Do some stretches to help
 
Heavy bags can mean stiff muscles. Regular stretching and targeted exercises can help reduce tension, as well as helping to strengthen your upper body. Try to fit shoulder exercises into your workout routines. Yoga, pilates and weight training can all be great for strengthening your shoulders.
 
Some exercises you can do to help include:

  • Neck rotation and stretches
  • Shoulder rolls
  • Lat pull-downs
  • Resistance band rows.  

Find the right fit 
 
When choosing a handbag, there are a few features that can make it more comfortable (and reduce the weight on your body). Look for bags with wider straps, as they can help to spread the weight over a larger area. Find a bag that sits closer to your body, as you want to be able to swing your arms and move your hips naturally. 
 
Let’s face it: handbags are not likely to disappear from too many wardrobes in the short-term. Knowing how to find the right handbag, as well as the best way to carry it to minimise strain on your body is the next best solution. 
 

* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.