Health & Wellness Blog

    

Simple Tips for Better Posture

Good posture can do wonders, from enhancing one’s appearance (and confidence) to improving overall health. Good posture helps us function well, lessens stress and strain on joints, and wards off fatigue. Ideally, developing good posture should start at an early age. Maintaining good posture means knowing what correct posture is. A lot of people are challenged by poor posture because certain lifestyles and work-related tasks involve sitting for long hours.

Better Your Sitting Posture

Good sitting posture requires that feet should be flat on the floor with the back of your buttocks against the back of the chair. You should be as upright as possible without overcompensating, and armrests of your chair should be between 70 and 90 degrees to help keep you upright. Holding a good sitting posture can help prevent lower back pain and related muscle tightness.

Better Your Standing Posture

To ensure that you have good standing posture, stand against a wall with the back of your head, shoulders, buttocks and the back of your heels touching the wall. You can maintain it by visualizing yourself as a marionette with a string on top of your head. Draw yourself up as tall as possible and be conscious of it. Proper standing posture protects your spine and guards against weakening and shortening of the muscles.

Be Aware and Start Now

Both men and women are challenged by the same posture issues and it gets harder to improve as one gets older. Years of incorrect sitting and standing make muscles shorter and weaker and you will observe that you feel easily fatigued if you stand and sit up straight for a period of time. However, as you get used to it, maintaining correct posture becomes second nature. Maintaining good posture offers many benefits in terms of appearance and muscular and skeletal health. Taking steps to correct errors in your posture now will ensure that you'll have lesser aches and pains when you get older. It is said that standing up straight makes other people perceive you as ten pounds lighter - an added bonus which many of us can hardly disregard.

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8 Ways To Fend Off Holiday Weight Gain

Gaining weight during the holidays is an expected seasonal hazard for many individuals. Holiday indulgences are everywhere, and fending off the temptations can be a serious discipline.

The countless rounds of holiday parties make weight maintenance at this time of year a must. Take in the following 8 strategies to greet the New Year without an expanded waistline.

1. Plan Eating and Exercise
Experts suggest creating a plan for eating and exercise, as well as a reminder system to ensure that you follow through. Put notes or pictures in strategic places where you'll be sure to see them.

2. Small Servings
You need not be deprived of the holiday treats that you're sure to be bombarded with during the holidays. The trick is to have just a little of everything. Portion control is key to minimize weight gain during the holidays.

3. Choose Your Treats
Before partying, plan ahead which holiday food you're going to indulge in. There'll be a lot of temptations like rich dishes, sweet treats, and extra drinks. Just choose wisely and enjoy it. 

4. Get Moving
Lack of activity and rich holiday food make the perfect combination for weight gain. Short 10 to 15 minute sessions of activity, like walking, shoveling snow, or lifting weights, three times a day works just as well as a 45 minute workout. Think of these as a way to combat holiday stress and to make up for the extra calories you consumed.

5. Take Control
You certainly cannot control the type of food at any event, but you can bring your discipline to the table. To fend off those urges and temptations, try these tips:

  • Stay away from the buffet table.
  • Wear form fitting clothes to remind you that you've eaten enough.
  • Chew sugarless gum after you've finished eating.

6. Be Prepared
Don't go to an event hungry, thirsty, or tired. It sets you up for over-indulgence and poor judgment. Eat a healthy snack like whole grains, fresh fruit or low fat yogurt before hitting the event. In addition, thirst is often confused with hunger, so stay hydrated. 

7. Avoid Grazing
Often, we think that food eaten standing up or picked out from a tray doesn’t count, but it does. It is best to sit down and savor the food you've decided to enjoy rather than grazing continuously the whole time. Use a smaller plate if you want to control portions better. 

8. Limit Alcohol
Liquid calories are still calories. Besides, alcohol reduces willpower and can later stimulate appetite. Establish your limits and make you can stick with it.

You can avoid holiday weight gain if you really put your mind to it. Enjoy the delights of the season but stay committed to your weight maintenance plan.

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How Squatting Can Restore Spinal Motion and Correct Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Do you sit a lot during the day? Do you deal with low back pain? Or are you an athlete who's experiencing lower leg injuries?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then you may be able to benefit from holding a deep squat more often.

In order to garner the most benefit from this article, it's important to define the terminology used within the article, such as: squatting, spinal motion, and anterior pelvic tilt.

"Squatting" Defined

First and foremost, squatting is a form of exercise and at the same time a form of posture that shifts the whole weight of the body to the feet. It is different from sitting in that sitting involves the buttocks in taking the weight of the body.

"Spinal Motion" Defined

Secondly, spinal motion is the motion of the spinal cord of a regular human being. Spinal motion influence almost all other movements throughout the body and usually involves various vertebrae, intervertebral discs, and ligaments. It is said that the quality of spinal motion weakens when bending over, pushing/lifting objects, and sitting for long periods of time.

"Anterior Pelvic Tilt" Defined

Lastly, anterior pelvic tilt involves tilting the pelvis forwards. Literally said, it is when the front of the pelvis drops while the back of it rises. Simply put, it is like sticking your butt outward, forming an concave shape in spin. Also known as a "spilled pelvis," anterior pelvic tilt is can be the result of extreme lordosis in the spine. This can cause a host of issues and potential injury.

Deep Squatting as a Corrective Posture to Restore Spinal Motion and Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Deep squatting for ten minutes, more or less, everyday can "help restore spinal motion and correct issues with anterior tilting of the pelvis because it would correct in a natural way their posture and thus restore their normal spinal motion" accoring to Dr. Kelly Starret in the video below.

Squatting, aside from it being a form of exercise that requires stability of the trunk, it also demonstrates that a person has proper ankle dorsiflexion, glute activation, thoracic extension, and hip flexion (which helps correct a lot of musculosketetal issues we encounter, including but not limited to low back pain, groin strains, hamstring strains, anterior knee pain, and hip pain.)

The Benefits of Squatting in Third-World Countries

According to Kelly Starret, in one of his videos about squatting: "It opens up the spine back. In fact, we don't see any lumbar disease in any third-world country or in any country that toilets on the ground or sleeps on the ground. Secondarily, we see no hip disease in any country that sleeps on the ground and toilets on the ground, partly because they completely reinforce range motion?"

What Starret is emphasizing is that those who "deep squat" (that is, squatting very low with the feet facing forward and spine erect) have more health benefits as regards their posture compared to those who don't have the time to do it or don't want to do it at all.

One would never think that problems with the pelvic as well as with the spinal motion have one simple solution via holding deep squats every single day. So for those who have problems with their spinal cord or for those who experience the abovementioned "pains" you might want to think of doing deep squatting for at least 10 minutes every day and see for yourself how this would help alleviate issues with your health issues, especially in correcting your spinal motion and your pelvic tilt.

One would just have to make sure that they are squatting in the right way. So from now on, think of holding squats every day, and as what Kelly Starret points out, those who squat to poop or replace sitting have lesser health problems.

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