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Hang upside down

Hang upside down

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Hanging upside down may help you relax, improve your spine health and mental sharpness. This is known as Inversion Therapy.

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How to Do It

Hang upside down on a regular basis. You will need some kind of an inversion table of an inversion device for this. Although just lying on your back with your legs up can also have similar benefits as hanging upside down.

Start by hanging for around 30 seconds to a minute each time.

Once you feel you are ready, gradually increase the duration of each hang.

5 minutes is considered a good maximum length for an inversion.

Finding a place to hang can be difficult. Inversion tables and chairs can be purchased and your local gyms may offer equipment you can use to invert yourself.

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  • May improve focus and mental sharpness [5]
  • May relieve back pain thus improving mood [1], [2], [3]
  • May relax muscles and increase flexibility thus improving mood and confidence [2]
  • May improve blood circulation [3]
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Time Commitment

1-5 minutes

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Why it works

  • The blood and oxygen supply to your brain is increased while upside down. This may improve mental capacity [5].
  • Many of your muscles are not relaxed when sitting or standing. Even when you’re sleeping, your muscles might not be completely tension-free. Hanging upside down allows your muscles to relax, relieving tension in your body and mind [3].
  • Hanging upside down decompresses the spine. This means it counters the effects of gravity, which causes pressure between vertebrae, reducing the space in between them. Spinal nerves can get affected by this pressure, which often causes back pain [1], [5]. Relieving back pain may have tremendous positive effects on your mood.
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Suggested Frequency


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Side Effects

  • May damage your retinas, but this is rare. If you have an eye condition, get professional advice before hanging upside down regularly [4].
  • You should also avoid inversion therapy if you have high blood pressure, or a fractures leg or back [2].
  • Hanging upside down on a full stomach is not a good idea for obvious reasons. So try to hand upside down only on an empty stomach.
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Gurus/Celebrities/Doing it

Bradley Cooper

Eva Mendes

Gwyneth Paltrow

Dan Brown

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  • If hanging vertically is hard for you at first, you can try hanging at less extreme angles. You can use an inversion table to adjust the angle of your inversion.
  • Adding inversion positions to your yoga routine can also improve your spine health. Something as simple as lying down with your legs up against a wall can send blood to your brain which is good for mental sharpness.
  • When starting out have someone else present to make sure you don’t fall or struggle to return to an upright position.
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 Happiness  Confidence  Stress  Fitness  Productivity  Sharpness
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