Posts Tagged ‘stretching’

Stand Up Straight

June 4, 2015

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I was scrolling though a website and a headline jumped out at me:

“How Wearing High Heels Can Make Your Boobs Sag.”

Yep, that certainly got my attention. Reading the article was even more concerning.

I will cut to the chase, rather than build unneccessary suspense. Bad posture leads to sagging breasts, belly pooch and neck and shoulder pain. The shoes are just one of many contributors to posture problems.

Sitting all day, is the number one cause of slouching. We slouch over our computors, our food and the steering wheels of our cars. This causes our muscles to stiffen, and eventually for us to feel neck and shoulder pain when we try to sit up straight.  This makes our bust lines sit a little lower that originally intended.
Sitting also tightens the fronts of our hips. This perfect storm of tight hips in the front, and weakness in our backs causes our pelvis to jut forward, pushing our abdomens out with it, and making that lower belly pooch that all the crunches in the world will not abliterate.

Wearing high heels makes our ankles tighten up, setting off a chain reaction with the muscles leading up our legs. A tight lower back completes the picture, making us slump forward even more, accentuating the afore mentioned belly pooch and making the breasts sag a little lower.

Depressing, right?
There are a few ways you can fight back.

Remind yourself to sit up taller and straighter throughout the day. Pull your shoulders back, and pick your chin up off your chest. Feel the muscles open up, and your upper body lengthen. The “girls” will come up naturally, to a more flattering position.

Stretch your hip flexors, with laying hip raises, or runner’s lunges. You can also bend one leg and place your foot on the opposite knee and squat down as if you are going to sit in a chair. Feel the stretch through your hip.

Stand with your back to the wall and stretch your arms up over your head. Try to raise and lower your arms while maintaining contact with the wall. Go as far as you can and continue to expand your range of motion each day.

As for the heels? When I wear high heels I stand a little taller and am more conscious of my gait. I’m not giving them up so quickly.

Photo:  Glasshouse Images

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Smartphone-itus

October 31, 2013

Children using smartphones, standing in a row

Several years ago, when my office gave me a Blackberry, I quickly became addicted. So addicted, that my family and friends referred to it as my “Crackberry.” Now, everyone it seems, has some kind of smartphone, and the unnatural attachment to them is causing more than just annoyance.

This week, New York magazine did a feature story on the medical and physiological issues associated with gadget over use. Here are a few of the phone woes to watch for:

Nomophobia:
An acronym for “no mobile phone phobia,” this ailment affects about 66% of the population. Similar to other types of separation anxiety, the user suffers when away from their phone for even a few minutes. Symptoms include sweating, nausea and trembling.

Laptop Thigh and Scrotal Hyperthermia:

After prolonged use, the laptops lower casing can reach up to 125 degrees. Use of said hot laptop on bare legs can result in burns and discolored skin.

This intense heat can increase the temperature of the scrotum more than 6 degrees in one hour, resulting in lowering, or even halting sperm production.

Texting Thumb:

Tendentious of the thumbs is becoming more common, due the extra work they are doing while sending texts.

iPosture:

An astounding 84% of all 18-24 year olds report some kind of neck or back discomfort. The hunched position that we all assume when fiddling with our iphones is contributing to aches, pains and overall bad posture.

To avoid some of these problems, take precautions throughout the day.

Place a towel on your lap to prevent the heat from the laptop from penetrating through to your skin, and your “lap.”

Take a few minutes throughout the day to stretch, doing neck rolls and shoulder stretches to alleviate the stiffness. Move your thumbs across the palm of your hands to stretch them out, and squeeze a small ball to build up grip strength.

Or, better yet, just simply step away from the gadgets. Just try it. We KNOW you can do it!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Hot Tips Tuesday: Relieving Muscle Cramps

August 20, 2013

Everyone who does any type of physical activity has experienced leg cramps and side stitches. Today’s tips will help you beat them in no time.

New runners are often plagued by side stitches; those gripping cramps that form at the side of your waist. It happens when the overworked diaphragm begins to spasm.

To ease the pain, slow your pace, and exhale forcefully each time the foot opposite from the painful side strikes the ground. It can also help to massage the area until the pain subsides.

Avoid them by eating lightly at least 1 hour before running. A full stomach can trigger side stitches.

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Leg cramps and toe cramps are other painful side effects of working out, or even walking in high heels all day. They often hit in the middle of the night, and can be absolutely excruciating.

For a “Charley horse,” deeply massage the area until you can get up and walk it off.

For toe cramps, pull the toes towards you until the muscle starts to relax and the worst of the pain subsides.

Muscle cramps can often signal dehydration. Be sure to drink enough water when you work out to help prevent them.

You might also try keeping tonic water on hand. The quinine in the beverage has been known to relieve the spasm.

Doing dynamic stretches to warm up, and stagnant stretches to cool down will help prevent muscle cramps post workout.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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