First and foremost, if you have any type of physical fitness exercise routine, pat yourself on the back. Albeit, walking, cycling, doing house chores, weight lifting or other fun physical activities–it ALL counts as movement!
Keep in mind that the latest guidelines posted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2018) recommended amounts of physical activity (150 minutes per week) and strength exercises (two days per week). Oh, and good news, exercise bouts can and should be in increments of 10 minutes or more!
Okay, let me get off of my educational exercise soap box. Okay, I’m going to assume you have some type of routine going to your local gym or home gym. Perhaps you walk on the treadmill, maybe you do some strength exercises (e.g., bench press, squats, etc.) and finish up with some core exercises and cardio in cycle class. You probably look super focused and like you know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
Good news! This is great! Even better news! There’s a way to work EVEN SMARTER at the gym.
DID YOU KNOW?
Most of us are roaming around this earth with one or more muscle imbalances?
It is extremely common. What do I mean by muscle imbalances? Well, we often overuse and underuse muscles as a result of repetitive (un)movements in our daily lives. This results in super tight and lengthened muscles. Sometimes, good ol’ fashioned genetics can pass down muscle imbalances, too. Chronic muscle imbalances often lead to future physical challenges later in life.
WHAT IF…. you could identify your muscle imbalances AND revise your exercises to help you strengthen weaker muscles, increase flexibility in tighter muscles, and potentially alleviate nagging pain(s) you’ve had for days, months, or even years?
I’m serious. Months and years. Knowing and working on your muscle imbalances WILL ROCK YOUR WORLD.
Contact me [firstname.lastname@example.org] to schedule your posture and movement assessments TODAY. This is one of the best investments you will ever make in yourself or a loved one. This can be done virtually or in-person. It’s painless. It’s easy. All you need is me and one of our smartphones. The results will have lasting effects on your life FOREVER. Guaranteed!
And the best part is that from here on out, you’ll understand the WHY to your WHAT’s at the gym!
Is it just me or do people look like walking ZOMBIES nowadays?
I’ve seen people walking around with their eyes barely open, dark circles and bags under their eyes, looking upset and stressed with their head down texting while listening to music through their earbuds and NOT paying attention to the environment around them.
Sounds very zombie-like doesn’t it?
Lack of sleep, maxed out schedules, mismanaged stress, lack of physical activity, and constant interaction with the virtual world have padded the United States’ chronic disease numbers more than ever.
How did we turn into zombies?
- As of 2012, about half of all adults—117 million people—have one or more chronic health conditions. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015)
- Heart disease, cancer, and stroke were among the five leading causes every year between 1935 and 2010.
- On average, U.S. adults age 25 to 55 reported sleeping only 6 hours, 31 minutes on weekdays and 7 hours, 22 minutes on weekends. (source: National Sleep Foundation)
- “Multi-tasking is what makes us feel pressed for time,” says Elizabeth Dunn, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. (Read more in this Economist article that breaks down the busy bug that has plagued our world over the years.)
- “People are frugal in guarding their personal property; but as soon as it comes to squandering time they are most wasteful of the one thing in which it is right to be stingy,” said author Lucius Annaeus Seneca. “Life is long if you know how to use it [time].”
- In a 2014 National Public Radio survey, 49 percent of respondents said they had a major stressful event or experience in the past year. Health-related problems were the most common source of stress followed by finances and work. (Read more about the survey at http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/07/07/327322187/stressed-out-americans-tell-us-about-stress-in-their-lives)
- A 2014 Stanford University study examined national health survey results from 1988 through 2010. Researchers found huge increases in both obesity and inactivity, but not in the overall number of calories consumed.
Now, let’s talk about the ridiculous amount of time we spend on our cell phones (not even including lap tops, pc’s, nooks, tablets, etc.).
- As of January 2014, 90% of all American adults had mobile phones, including a whopping 98% of 18-29-year-olds.
- On average, Americans spend about 2 hours 57 minutes on their phones per day or more than 20 hours per week. During that time, you could have watched 40 episodes of your favorite sitcom or taken 27 spinning classes (or both at the same time)!
- 61% of the people use their phones in the bathroom.
- People also use their phones when eating at a restaurant (36%), when riding public transportation (35%) or when playing with children (35%).
CHRONIC ILLNESS. CHECK.
Look how the person to the bottom right is standing in the picture. Better yet, check out the person in the bottom left image below. Both stances pose problems for the individual.
The person to the RIGHT exhibits a significant arch in the lower back and the knees appear to be locked. The calves (gastrocnemius and soleus), hip flexor, lower spine (erector spinae), muscles on the inside region of the thigh (adductors), and the largest muscle of the back (lattisimus dorsi) are all overworked and tight for this person. Possible injuries: hamstring complex strain, anterior knee pain, low-back pain.
The person to the left exhibits significant cervical extension (extended neck) and scapular rotation (forward shoulder roll). The neck (sternocleidomastoid, levator scapulae, and scalenes), shoulders (upper trapezius), back (teres major, subscapularis, and latissimus dorsi) and chest (pectoralis major and minor) are all overworked and tight for this person. Possible injuries include headaches, biceps tendonitis, rotator cuff impingement, thoracic outlet syndrome.
Two images above are from http://www.freeimages.com
This best ways to resolve these issues is to STRETCH THE OVERWORKED MUSCLES and to make some minor changes to your posture when using a phone or similar device.
3 Quick and Easy Cell Phone Use Posture Tips
- Hold the phone at eye level (see picture on the right).
- If standing, have a slight soft bend in your knees.
- Brace your core and add a posterior tilt (think minor pelvic thrust and squeeze your butt cheeks together) to your pelvis. This removes the potential lower back arch.
As always, CONTACT ME to learn more about these tips, review specific stretches, and discuss how you can strengthen muscles that are underworked in these postures.