Americans seem to carry bottled water everywhere and in fact it has become the second most popular drink behind soft drinks.
5 ways to prevent Texting Neck
Text neck is an overuse or repetitive use of the neck muscles and has become far too prevalent with the widespread use of mobile devices. When your head moves even 1” forward you increase the weight on your neck by 100% from 10-12lbs to 27lbs. This can cause inflammation and pain in the overstretched muscles and ligaments of the neck, leading to chronic neck pain.
There’s a lot of talk about posture, the importance of sitting up and standing straight, numerous articles about what’s best and how to relieve pain with proper posture. I have been asked and ask myself, “What is the best stretch to maintain good posture?” After all, we spend a good part of our day in slumped posture, or what we refer to as anterior dominant position. I often say that we began as Homosapiens and have become Homosedentarious.
Don’t Just Sit There!
Summer is behind us and we are heading into fall and perhaps a less active lifestyle with more focus on the workplace. Recently, it has been said that sitting is the new smoking. Did you know that the average number of steps you should be walking daily is about 10,000?
Most adults spend a majority of their day at the computer, in a slouched position. (Please see attachment) This graphic, titled “Don’t just sit there” outlines the plethora of health hazards related to sitting too long.
The key to health is movement. Keep in mind that you want to maintain a balance of not too much or too little. Some of you may already have a pedometer or device that counts your steps. If you need to increase that number, here is a rule of thumb to follow: set a timer on your computer to alert you every 20 minutes or so. Get up and stretch your arms overhead as if reaching for the sky. Take a walk and stretch your calves and legs for several minutes. Refill your water glass because you know you are not drinking enough!
Make this a habit and you will see that in fact you will be more productive as it has been shown that sitting can actually create mind fog and activity enhances concentration.
Remember the old adage, if you don’t use it, you lose it.
In my last blog post, I wrote to you about “The 5 Essential Aspects of Exercise.” What I realized is that I failed to mention a sixth—and often overlooked—component to attaining maximum benefit from your exercise regime: Breathing.
I know. Breathing is so natural, we hardly think about it. But we should. Every part of the body is affected by breathing. When done properly, it raises blood oxygen levels, which stimulates the digestive system and improves mental performance and overall fitness. There are a variety of breathing techniques being used to accomplish everything from stress reduction to stamina building. What I am going to focus on here is how to breathe properly during exercise, particularly when working on strengthening one of the most important parts of our body: Our core.
The Diaphragm’s Key Role
The “core” of the body is made up of abdominal muscles, spinal muscles, pelvic muscles, and the diaphragm. The diaphragm plays a key role in core stability.
When you activate your diaphragm during exercise through proper breathing, your other core components are better able to help stabilize your spine and provide core strength. Therefore, proper breathing will leave you less vulnerable to lower back pain and other injuries.
The trick is learning to consciously control your diaphragm! The simplest way to begin is to sit with your hands on the sides of your ribcage, take a deep breath, and check for a lateral expansion of your ribcage. An upward movement of the ribcage is a sign of dysfunctional breathing. See below: