Do You Slump? 3 Ways to Improve Your Posture

Do You Slump? 3 Ways to Improve Your Posture

When babies learn to sit, they elongate their spine, which is naturally efficient and comfortable. Moreover, it provides the most skeletal support without requiring a lot of muscle strength.

In spite of this, around 4-years old, most of us began to slump. Why? Well, significantly, this is probably when we started school, and began spending more time sitting.

 

What is Good Posture?

To begin with, good posture doesn’t mean standing like a stiff piece of board. Actually, good posture involves having a relaxed appearance. When our posture is correct, our ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles will align naturally.

However, maintaining good posture is definitely not easy. In fact, many people overcompensate for bad posture by standing too straight.

 

How Can We Stop Slumping?

Despite the importance of good posture, most of us don’t do anything to improve it. As a result, we go about our lives uncomfortably hunching our backs. For example, we may start the day sitting upright, but soon we’re lost in our work and slouching.

On the positive side, a basic remedy to sitting all day is to simply stand up! Significantly, getting up from a seated position frequently, can remind you to reposition your muscles, and your stance, correctly.

 

3 Ways to Improve Your Posture

As examples, these three, quick and easy exercises, will realign and strengthen the muscles needed to maintain your posture. In particular, two require only your body, while one uses resistance tubing. Definitely watch the video below for a demonstration.

 

  1. Chin Tuck

First, the chin tuck, which can be done sitting or standing, can help reverse forward-head posture by strengthening your neck muscles. Repeat this movement 15-20 times.

  1. Wall Angel

Second, the wall angel, done standing at a wall, will stretch your chest muscles and strengthen the ones in your back. Start by holding each arm position for 30 seconds, and work towards holding each for two minutes.

  1. Lateral V-Raise

Finally, the lateral v-raise, also done standing, will strengthen your shoulders and core. Work up to hold this exercise for 2 minutes each day. (ImproveYourPosture)

 

With these exercises in mind, take a look at my article from March 2017: How Good Posture Improves Your Health.

 

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My name is Jacqueline Gikow. Health and wellness aren’t about being better than someone else. Instead, they are about being better than you used to be.

Further, my fitness and wellbeing programs are realistic, flexible, and compatible with your lifestyle. Contact me through Audacious-Aging.NYC® to explore how to meet your goals and fit with your best life.

 

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3 Exercises to Improve Your Foot Health

3 Exercises to Improve Your Foot Health

We’ve heard that sitting is the new smoking. Well, it turns out that, in the long term, too much standing isn’t all that great for us either. In fact, long-term effects of standing are back problems and muscle damage.

 

Why Exercise Your Feet?

To begin with, foot strength directly affects foot mechanics, gait, ankle stabilization, and whole-body balance. Surprisingly, you may develop stress fractures from overuse, and plantar fasciitis from over-pronation or too-flexible shoes. As a result, you may experience significant pain and poor movement ability. Further, injuries are likely if you have tight calf muscles, or are overweight. (CommonFootInjuries)

Given these points, your feet need training and conditioning as much as the rest of your body. In the long run, foot and ankle exercises improve foot strength and movement. 

 

3 Exercises to Improve Your Foot Health for Balance, Comfort, and Flexibility

Bicyclists, dancers, runners, walkers — in general, anyone who wears shoes, will benefit from these exercises. Interestingly, muscles become stiff and painful when you stand or walk all day.

With this in mind, spend a few minutes every hour or so to stretch, relax, and lengthen tightened muscles with these three exercises.

  1. Calf Raises with Rotation
  2. Toe Raises
  3. Ankle/Foot External/Internal Rotation

 

 

In addition, you can find help for your other extremity in this blog post: Simple Hand Exercises

 

Aquatic & In-Home Personal Training

My name is Jacqueline Gikow. Health and wellness aren’t about being better than someone else… Instead, they are about being better than you used to be. Consequently, I publish articles on this blog, about health (getting active and fit), or wellness (enriching your life).

In addition, I create fitness and wellbeing programs that are realistic, flexible, and compatible with your lifestyle. Contact me at Audacious-Aging.NYC® to explore how to meet your goals and fit with your best lifestyle.

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2 Ways to Relieve Neck Pain (And 1 Thing to Stop)

2 Ways to Relieve Neck Pain (And 1 Thing to Stop)

Most neck pain not caused by trauma is usually the result of poor posture and weak muscles supporting our head. For example, sitting at our computers, or hunching over our phone for several hours can strain our neck, and shoulders. Additionally, common sources of neck pain can result from cycling (both static and sport) or freestyle swimming.

 

Why Stretching Doesn’t Stop Pain

Stretching a muscle, lengthens it beyond its normal position. As a result, your brain is warned: “Uh oh! Something is wrong. We’d better batten down the hatches.” In fact, stretching a muscle can actually make that muscle tighter, which weakens it. In our necks, this can diminish both static and dynamic balance, as well as basic movement.

Instead, strengthening these muscles repositions our head into a neutral, natural position. (NeckPainExercises)

 

foam roll neck

Foam Roller Neck Exercise

It’s important to realize that trigger point pain often accompanies neck pain. To explain, trigger points are sensitive “knots” within connective tissue (fascia). Notably, a foam roller exercise can often reduce the knots and reactivate the muscle

To begin, use a full-length (36 inches long), 6-inch diameter foam roller.

  1. First, place the foam roll on the ground, and lie on it lengthwise.
  2. Then, place your hands on your hips.
  3. Start rolling slowly sideways, keeping your torso parallel to the ground.
  4. In general, slowly roll to each side, pausing when a painful area is felt. Remain in place for about 30 seconds before moving again.

 

chin tuck

The Chin Tuck

The chin tuck is an effective exercise to ease neck pain. Significantly, it strengthens the muscles that pull your head into alignment over your shoulders.

  1. Begin standing, with your spine against a wall and feet out 3 inches,
  2. Next, bring your upper back and head backward until your head touches the wall.
  3. In the meantime, keep your chin down, so you pull your head straight back.
  4. Finally, hold your head against the wall for 5 seconds.

Repeat 10 times, for 2 sets

 

Don’t Do this Neck Stretch

Your head moves naturally in a linear manner. In contrast, when you rotate your head in a circular pattern, you override the protective mechanism that your body uses. With this in mind, research shows that this movement puts undue stress on your cervical spine. And it may also cause more compression of the arteries that take blood to the brain. (NeckCirclesCervicalIssues)

 

Bonus Tip to Relieve Neck Pain

Looking down at our phones can lead to neck pain and instability. Here’s a quick, simple remedy.

 

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Health & Wellness Coach/Personal Trainer

My name is Jacqueline Gikow. I am an independent, certified Personal Trainer, and National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach. Health and wellbeing aren’t about being better than someone else… Instead, they are about being better than you used to be.

Specifically, I create wellbeing programs that are realistic, easy to follow, and compatible with your lifestyle.

Want to start? Contact me, through Audacious-Aging.NYC®, to learn more, or work with me.

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How to Eat an Elephant (And Reach Your Goals)

How to Eat an Elephant (And Reach Your Goals)

“MicroMOVE” your Goals

MicroMOVEments means exactly what it sounds like. To begin with, take a large goal and break it down into teeny, tiny, manageable tidbits. In this way, you make it easier, more fun, and motivating.

In general, when we take itsy bitsy, little actions toward a goal, we reach it.

For instance, those things that overwhelm us; like exercising regularly, dropping that stubborn extra weight, or cleaning the house. In addition, the things we procrastinate on the most; changing our eating habits, getting to the gym, or doing the laundry.

 

Set Yourself Up for Success

Interestingly, successful lifestyle change is not as difficult we think. For example, instead of taking the elevator up five floors, take the stairs for one. Rather than focusing on losing 30 pounds, find a healthy new recipe

Start by defining a simple activity; not a whole exercise regime at once, rather something small. As an illustration, think you might run a marathon? Begin by walking a block. Alternatively, want to lose 30 pounds? Get a notebook, buy a new pen, or eat an apple instead of drinking juice.

 

Steps to Successfully Reaching Your BIG Goals

Significantly, there are advantages to defining small goals (microMOVEments). First, a small goal gives you something concrete to focus on. Second, completing it, makes you feel accomplished. Finally, feeling accomplished sets you up to succeed in the long term.

 

How to Eat an Elephant (And Reach Your Goals)

 

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Health & Wellness Coach/Personal Trainer

My name is Jacqueline Gikow. I am an independent, certified Personal Trainer, and National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach. Health and wellbeing aren’t about being better than someone else… Instead, they are about being better than you used to be.

Specifically, I create wellbeing programs that are realistic, easy to follow, and compatible with your lifestyle.

Want to start? Contact me, through Audacious-Aging.NYC®, to learn more, or work with me.

Get informed of my new blog posts and important activities 

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3 Ways Aquatic Fitness Makes You Stronger and Healthier

3 Ways Aquatic Fitness Makes You Stronger and Healthier

  • Are you recovering from, or do you want to avoid surgery?
  • Do you want to get stronger and more energetic?
  • Have you fallen and want to avoid a repeat episode?
  • Is moving painful or limiting your mobility?

 

I am pleased to announce the introduction of my aquatic fitness and rehab one-on-one services through the JCC Manhattan. Of course, I also offer these services to clients with access to a private pool.

 

Vertical, water-based exercise (jumping, kicking, running, strength training) offers multiple benefits for any fitness level. To begin with, buoyancy decreases the amount of weight-bearing and impact you feel in your joints. Further, an aquatic environment is beneficial with treating painful and/or chronic musculoskeletal conditions. Equally important, you improve strength and mobility while recovering from surgery.

To put it another way, aquatic exercise can be used to improve fitness, relieve recurring aches and pain, and in rehabilitation settings.

 

Water-based Exercise and Chronic Conditions

Significantly, water-based exercise is perfect if you live with a chronic condition. Namely, arthritis, (joints, rheumatoid, osteoarthritis arthritis), Diabetes, hypertension, Parkinson’s, scoliosis, and other issues. To emphasize, moving in water challenges your movements, no matter how, or which way you move — safely. (HealthBenefits)

 

Water-based Exercise and Injuries

Another key point, aquatic workouts relieve lower back pain and orthopedic (knee, hip, shoulder) injuries. Most compelling, pre- or post-habilitation, in conjunction with land-based physical therapy, increases the speed of post-surgery recovery.

In general, water fitness is an ideal activity for your back or balance problems, hip or joint injuries, and knee conditions. (BenefitsWaterExercise)

 

Water-based Calorie Burn

Surprisingly, you can burn 400 to 500 calories per hour exercising in the water depending on your size and how intense your movements are. Want another bonus? For one thing, when you’re in the water, you won’t even notice that you’re sweating! (MakeASplash)

 

3 Ways Aquatic Fitness Makes You Stronger and Healthier

If you would like more detail about aquatic fitness and rehab, head over to my in-depth article here: DipIntoFitness

 

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Aquatic Personal Training in Manhattan

My name is Jacqueline Gikow. I am an independent, certified Personal Trainer, and National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach. Health and wellbeing aren’t about being better than someone else… Instead, they are about being better than you used to be.

For this reason, every week I publish an article about health (getting active and fit), or wellness (enriching your life).

Contact me, through Audacious-Aging.NYC®, to learn more, work with me, and meet your goals for improved health and well-being.

Stay informed of my new blog posts and important activities 

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