Today’s purses are larger than ever, designed to hold everything from your wallet and keys to lotion and granola bars. Big bags are perfect for helping the modern woman go about her day. After all, you never know what you’ll need, and a sizable shoulder bag lets you tote around anything that might come in handy.
Here’s the problem: carrying a heavy purse on one shoulder is enough to throw off your center of gravity, destroy your posture, and wreck your back. If leaving home with only the bare essentials simply isn’t an option, implement these winning strategies to stay healthy, stylish, and well-equipped to handle whatever might come your way.
Lighten Your Load
Four key items account for the most weight in the average woman’s purse. Target these items first to lighten your load:
- Dump out spare change from your wallet into a jar on your dresser. When it’s full, convert it to paper money at the bank and treat yourself to a “free” lunch!
- Remove items you don’t need from your key chain.
- Toss out expired coupons so you’re not lugging this extra weight around.
- Downsize your makeup to a portable all-in-one kit.
With the essentials pared down, lighten your load even more with these additional tips:
- Sort your bag for the next day: Spend two minutes each night sorting through your bag for tomorrow. For instance, if you know you’re going out to lunch with coworkers, you don’t need that granola bar for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
- Divide and conquer: To make bag sorting easier, keep permanent items on one side of the center divider and temporary stuff on the other side.
- Create a pouch system: If some items always go together – such as your checkbook and a pen, lipstick and mirror, or coupons and reward cards – speed up the bag sorting process by grouping these items in the same pouch. Small fabric makeup bags are perfect for this, but even disposable zip-top bags work fine.
Carry Your Purse Correctly
It’s not just about the size and weight of your purse – the way you wear it also matters. Avoid injuring yourself with these four tricks:
- Switch shoulders: If you always carry your bag on one side, the muscles there could become overworked and permanently throw off your posture. Every five or 10 minutes, switch your bag to the other shoulder to prevent this.
- Don’t overload your elbow: You might assume the solution to the lopsided shoulder situation is to carry your purse in the crook of your arm. However, heavy bags can cause tendinitis, so it’s better to stick to the shoulder switching technique.
- Carry two bags: Instead of one giant bag, limit muscle strain by carrying one bag on your shoulder and one in the opposite hand.
- Sling the bag across your body: Lengthen the strap on your purse so you can wear it across your body. This helps your core muscles bear more of the weight.
If your upper body is weak or you have tight muscles, carrying a heavy purse will deal damage faster. Prevent neck and shoulder problems with these simple moves:
- Neck exercises: Rotate your neck in slow circles five to 10 times. Then, lean your ear toward your shoulder and gently pull your head down for a deep neck stretch. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.
- Shoulder exercises: Stand tall and relax your shoulders. Then, roll your shoulders up, forward, and back 10 times. Reverse directions and repeat another 10 times.
Buy the Right Bag
Your tastes in purse appearance and functionality are personal, but there’s no need to sacrifice comfort for style. Look for a bag you like that fits these descriptions:
- Minimal hardware: Buckles, belts, and other metal hardware add heft to your handbag. Opting for a sleeker style automatically lightens the load.
- Wide strap: A purse with a two-inch-wide strap helps to distribute the weight and prevents your bag from digging into your shoulder.
- Lightweight material: Nylon or fabric is much lighter than leather.
- Small size: If you can get by with fewer items in your purse, opt for a smaller bag, so you’re not tempted to fill it with things you don’t really need.
- Backpack: If practicality is your most important feature, a stylish backpack could be the perfect replacement for a one-strapped purse.
Get a Chiropractic Adjustment at Spine Correction Center
If your purse has already done a number on your back, a chiropractic adjustment can help realign your spine. Then, you’ll have a clean slate to implement these tips and prevent future back problems.
To schedule a free consultation, please contact Spine Correction Center in Fort Collins at (970) 658-5115!