WITH CHILDREN

It is easy to neglect yourself when you are looking after children as you take their needs into account over your own. Carrying children and all their paraphernalia around can certainly take its toll, but you’ll be more use to them without any muscle strains.

Buy a good baby carrier, there are lots of baby carriers specially designed to ease pressure on parents’ shoulders and back. Purchase a good quality one and above all, read the instructions and wear it properly to minimise back strain.

Don’t arch your back. It’s common for people with front baby carriers or those carrying heavy bags, to arch the back. This shifts all the pressure to the lower back causing strain. Instead, stand up tall and tense the stomach muscles to relieve some of the pressure.

Use your legs when lifting a child, or anything from the floor, squat down and then use your leg muscles, not your back muscles, to stand up

Avoid trying to carry everything at once. Take the children indoors first, and then return for the shopping, this way you can be sure loads are equally distributed

It can be tempting to pack everything for those just-in-case moments, but if it isn’t essential, leave it behind. Try and distribute weight evenly across both shoulders, and change sides regularly