5 Ways to Prevent Texting Neck

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.

5 Ways to Prevent Text Neck:

1. Raise the phone to eye level keeping your head level.
2. Take frequent Breaks- try not to spend more than 5-10 minutes at a time on any handheld. 
3. Stand with your shoulders straight by slightly pulling your shoulder blades toward eachother.  Practice this by doing “snow angels” in the air.
4. Use a laptop or desktop for longer usage time.
5. Exercise to keep your spine flexible.


5 Ways To Change Habits

5 Ways to Change Habits

There is a saying, “ A change in bad habits leads to a change in life.”

Think about it.  It’s May and you have been promising yourself to lose that 10lbs or start exercising regularly.  For some reason, May is the month where people put those thoughts into motion.  The days are longer, the sun is out and you feel the pressure to eat healthier and get out and move.  But, how to accomplish that?

It’s easier than you think.  Here are some helpful tips on successfully changing old habits:

1. Write down your goals on paper or your phone/I-Pad/Tablet.  Look at it first thing in the morning.  Repeat your goals to yourself over and over again as you start your day.
2. Picture yourself 10 lbs thinner or going for a walk/to the gym, eating healthier.
3. Put in your calendar.  Scheduling exercise time is the only way it gets done.  If it is weight loss you want, then plan your meals and prepare them at a time when you are most likely to do so without adding stress to your life.
4. Can’t get started on your own?  Call a friend or professional for support or help getting motivated.
5. If you mess up and have a day or week where you slip up, say to yourself, “Do Over” and get back on track the next day.

After all, you are only human and it’s likely to happen.  Success comes from failure and it takes some time to ingrain these habits into our brains.

Good Luck!


The Best Postural Stretch

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.

Homosapiens to Homosedentarious.jpg                             

The result of such a position is tightness on the front of the body and over stretching the back of the body.  This can lead to neck pain, headaches, shoulder impingements or lower back pain with herniated discs.  

I have found that a yoga class after a particularly long day of slumping relieves my neck and shoulder tension.  Some poses take you into the opposite posture from everyday life, for example:  Sphinx pose.jpg                                                                        Sphinx Pose
                                                                             Or cobra pose.jpg
                                                                             Cobra Pose

Try the sphinx pose first and then slowly raise up into the cobra pose, being careful of not over extending the lower back.


Don't Just Sit There!

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.



The 6th Aspect of Exercise: Breathing

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:


Putting It Into Practice

The next step is to incorporate this type of breathing while exercising to properly activate the core and maximize your workout. Your breathing pattern will differ depending on the type of workout you use for your abs. During weight or resistance training, exhale with the contraction or exertion of your abdominal muscles for the most power. If you're exercising using yoga or Pilates techniques, inhale through your nose during the exertion and exhale through your mouth as you relax in order to maintain a rhythm and calm while exercising. By practicing the correct breathing techniques on your own and knowing when to inhale and when to exhale, you can pair proper breathing with your fitness efforts for the best possible results.

Breathe better, move better, feel better!