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Boost Your Flexibility with the Back Press

The back press exercise strengthens your abdominal (stomach) muscles and improves spinal flexibility. Follow these steps to perform a back press:

  • Begin on all fours with your knees under your hips and your wrists under your shoulders. Keep your back straight and your neck in its natural position.

  • Press your back upward by tightening the muscles of your belly and buttocks. The top of your back will be rounded and your stomach area will be tight. (Imagine a Halloween cat with its back "up.")

  • Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds. Return to starting position. Repeat the exercise 5 times. 

Illustration of starting position
Begin on all fours with your knees under your hips and your wrists under your shoulders. Keep your back straight and your neck in its natural position.
Illustration of the second position.
Press your back upward by tightening the muscles of your abdomen and buttocks. The top of your back will be rounded and your stomach area will be tight.

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How Much Do You Know About Stroke?

Stroke is a leading cause of death and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability, according to the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Stroke Association (ASA). The ASA reports that strokes are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. Find out more about stroke by taking this quiz, based on information from the AHA and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

1. What is another name for a stroke?
2. An ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel to the brain.
3. Which of these is a symptom of stroke?
4. Which of these lifestyle factors plays the biggest role in increasing the risk for stroke in younger adults?
5. If a person has an ischemic stroke, how quickly should the person be treated to minimize long-term problems?
6. Which type of medicine is given to help prevent a stroke?
7. Which of these may be a long-term problem after a stroke?
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