The Importance of Posture

 

Good posture is directly related to good health. It’s as simple as that. Better still, by maintaining good posture, one’s muscles, bones and ligaments function cohesively for a healthy and long life. With proper alignment, this also ensures that all the organs in the body work properly too.

Conversely, bad posture tends to have the opposite effects, with the current emphasis on ergonomics.

The most plausible reason for this attention is that since people who spend their time in an office have been known to end up with back pain and/or carpal tunnel syndrome. So, yet again, the importance of posture, which is one of the leading causes of back pain, cannot be understated.

But before we delve into this aspect of the importance of a good posture, let’s first define what a good posture is.

Posture is considered to be alignment and positioning of one’s body in respect to gravity. Good posture ensures that the force of gravity acts on all parts of our body evenly. This doesn’t happen when we have a bad posture and so can cause numerous problems.

And almost immediately one can see the benefits of maintaining a good posture, no matter whether it pertains to standing, sleeping, walking or sitting – especially when it has been documented that you can lose almost 10 pounds in weight (if you’re overweight) just by maintaining a good posture.

Yet there are other benefits that will make clear how important it is to maintain a good posture at all times.

Better posture almost immediately reduces the possibility of injury and thus, improves overall physical performance, balance and agility. Since the maintaining of the right posture is also a big point to be noted in exercise, recovery from the muscle soreness of physical exertion is much better when one is able to maintain good posture throughout the routine.

What makes the importance of posture even more apparent is the fact that good posture not only increases lung volume, it also strengthens our muscles and bones. Yet it’s not just the upper body that benefits but also our extremities as well.

The lower back, hips and knees are also affected by the uneven distribution of gravitational pressure and can sometime leads to arthritis, bone spurs and fractures – since it wears down the bones and cartilage in our feet and also increases wear and tear on our lower back and hips.

If you aren’t sure whether you are maintaining the right posture or feel the need to correct your posture, taking the advice of a fitness professional in the form of exercise can quickly adjust that.

But no matter what: maintaining the right posture is vital to a longer and healthier life.

Click here to learn more about the brand new UPRIGHT trainer that could solve your posture problems once and for all!

 

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3 top ways to reduce everyday stress

Learning how to deal with stress is something that everybody needs to know. Even our health can suffer the effects of stress which can also make it difficult to think clearly enough to solve even the simplest task. The good news is that there are simple easy techniques for reducing your stress which we will cover here in this article.

As more studies show the link between stress and many health problems, stress management becomes an important consideration for many people. These 3 top stress management ways can help you to reduce the levels of stress in your life, so make good use of them.

Massage

Go get a massage, this is the first method for reducing and managing stress levels. Massage has often been thought of as a great way to relieve sore muscles, but it can also reduce overall body tension, anxiety and stress too. There are a lot of studies that prove massage is a great way to reduce stress when done regularly. There are many different types of massage, so you should try several kinds and find the one that you prefer.

Nowadays it’s not usually hard to find qualified massage therapists. Massage can release endorphins in the brain which produce pleasure which is helpful in not only stress reduction but also helpful for emotional issues such as anxiety and depression to name a few.

Relaxation Techniques

We have all already probably heard of various methods of relaxation. Some of the most popular methods are basic mediation and the various forms of yoga. You can attend online or actual classes to learn the different parts of these methods so you can learn to relax. There are also other options to these major relaxation techniques. A simpler and more straightforward option would be to learn deep breathing techniques. You can use these even when you are seated in your work station. Progressive muscle relaxation and mental imagery are also possible basic techniques you can use against stress.

Exercising on Schedule

It’s just like what your physical education teacher always said. Maintaining a regular exercise schedule can do wonders for your body. The major benefit of exercise is that it can encourage the proper circulation of your blood. This in turn ensures that oxygen and nutrients reach the various cells in your body. You need these if you ever hope to fight the bad effects of stress on your health.

You’ve now heard only a few of the most effective stress management tips available there are still other ways to approach the management of your overall stress including enough sleep and eating health. What causes your stress can be as important as treating it so you need to know what that is. Stress management can take many forms, and the methods you use will depend on your circumstances and what you prefer.

How to Use the 80/20 Principle to Reduce Stress

The 80/20 rule popularly known as the Pareto Principle was born by an Italian, Vifredo Pareto, after observing that approximately 20% of the people living in Italy owned an astonishing 80% of wealth. It reflected a simple symmetry of inequality then, and the principle gradually spread to other areas of life, particularly stress relief. According to Pareto, the majority of any output comes from the minority of any input.

From a wellness perspective 80% of your health problems will come from 20% of the lifestyle choices you make. Smoking for example, is a small thing that causes many people several health problems. When it comes to stress something that seems trivial would be enough to trigger major problems in some people. Someone might say something about your appearance thinking it’s a joke but if you take it to heart, chances are that it will weigh down on your mind.

To deal with the negative thoughts you will probably run to the pub for a drink but end up spending money that was meant for your bills. Later you might have to lie and the domino effect of stress continues. Depression easily steals 80% of one’s quality of life and most often, we fail to realize that its root cause is not what people say but low self-esteem. Simply working on your confidence would in this case be the 20% you need to do to avoid stress.

In today’s society, people with depression or ADHD quickly turn to drugs in a bid to manage the situation but if you were to follow the 80/20 principle, that is a drastic turn. Attention deficit problems, stress and depression are usually as a result of lifestyle choices so the simple solution would be making changes the foods you eat, how you work out and improve your outlook on life.

Anyone can use Pareto’s principle to reduce stress especially during this festive season when there are countless matters to attend to. Try making two columns of things that brings you stress and those that bring you joy. If for example you find that shopping causes you a great deal of anxiety, have someone else do it for you so you can focus on activities that bring happiness.

Trying to impress others is one of the reasons why many people feel dejected, rejected and unwanted. In line with Pareto’s principle you should protect the 80% that encompasses happiness and wellbeing by invoking positive thoughts and embracing simple solutions to seemingly big problems.

How to Live in the NOW

Many people live in the future. Why? Most people have a future that doesn’t mirror their present so they’d rather be in the future. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because Law of Attraction states, “…that which you give your attention to will manifest in your life.” However, staying in the future means your present is passing you by. The following are some ways to help you live in the now and live a happy life without stress.

1. Don’t think about it.

Your goal is to stop thinking all the time. Go write down things that pop in your mind, this could be exams that are coming up or that visit to grandpa in a few weeks. Then cross off the ones that you are happy about. The first kiss with your lover can be a great memory that you might want to remind yourself of sometimes. Now you’ve a list of bad things you think about all the time. Because you want to stop thinking about them simply make a pact with yourself to do something stupid each time your head wanders off to one of the subjects on your list. This can be shaking your head really hard or even do 3 push-ups. Warning: Be reasonable and always try to forget if it comes up again.

2. Do Yoga and exercises.

Doing daily exercising will get you in great shape and stops your head from wandering off. Don’t say to yourself I can’t exercise until I finished this, because that’s exactly what you want to get rid of.

3. Avoid daily routine

We like to plan our days so that we don’t hit any surprises. But there’s nothing wrong with some variation or on-the-fly decisions. Donate a dollar to the collector in front of your grocery story. Smile randomly when you see a new store opening up or a beautiful tree. They’re resources you can use for a very long time. You can visit the store to buy new things, and the tree will always be there for your viewing pleasure – and oxygen.

4. The past and future is a reflection of the present.

The most important thing is to do good in the present. Great memories will bloom and future health and wealth can be created. With that in mind it’s only natural to be your best in the present. Really enjoy what you’re doing. Writing or watching television; find the good things in your current activity. It’s the only thing you should worry about.

5. If you don’t like the present, change it.

You can’t change the past but you can change the future. And that’s most important. If you’re not happy with something in your life currently then change it. Want to be a architect? Go study architecture. Feeling lonely? Make a MySpace profile and meet new people. The only thing that is important is that your happy about the present. Only then your future is as bright as can be.

Practice living in the now and know that by accessing the power of now, you can enjoy even more success than ever before.

5 Tips For Reducing Work Stress

Whether you hold a full-time job or work as a freelancer, work from office or work from home, stress is a real issue that every working professional has to deal with sooner or later. As the work culture gets increasingly complicated and employees are expected to work more for less; it’s now more important than ever to find your own recluse.

Relax, if you’ve been feeling stressed out lately from all the workload, just follow these simple tips for a quick fix.

Tips to reduce work stress

1. Listen to music: If your workplace permits listening to music during working hours, plug-in the headphones and tune in for some light, acoustic music. Not only does relaxing music ease your brain by taking away stress, but it can also give you some much-needed motivation to complete the tasks in hand. Classical symphonies, relaxing OSTs and acoustic sound all work wonders.

2. Take a break: With the constant pressure coming from the weight of the world around us, it’s quite easy to feel bogged down and depressed. This is why one must break away from work life once in a while even if it sounds implausible. A break can give you a fresh perspective on things and how to get things done, which is essential for career growth and success. Don’t be afraid; just take a break and go someplace where you always wanted to go before.

3. Smile and laugh a lot: Now before you brand us crazy for asking you to laugh for no reason, just hear us out. Science has found that our mental health and brain function is interconnected to facial expressions. When people feel stressed out, a lot of stress is held in their facial muscles, so smiles and laughs can relieve some of that held tension and make you feel relaxed.

4. Exercise: No, we’re not going ask you to abandon work to visit the gym for a 40-minute lifting session. All you have to do is some simple stretches in between work to feel refreshed and relaxed. You can even go for a 10 min walk, do some pushups, or dance around when no one’s looking to bring back peace of mind.

5. Call in social support: Working, especially from home, can get very lonely at times due to lack of co-workers. In that case, it’s always good to call a friend to share your feelings and concerns. Involving friends and family within regular work schedules can relieve stress, improve trust, and benefit relationships in more ways than one.

Donâ’t think too much; just try out these simple tips the next time you get stressed to feel the difference.

Are You Planning to Fail or Planning to Succeed?

Whenever your goal is to get fit and lose weight, you’re making a plan – even if you’re not planning. Some people have a goal, yet don’t make arrangements or gather ideas for how to reach that goal.

They simply want it to happen. They might even make a commitment to be better, but that type of thinking is a form of self sabotage, because intentions aren’t plans, and you need to be aware of doable tasks that help you cross the finish line.

Lack of planning is setting yourself up for failure. You’re almost giving up on yourself before you ever get started, because you know deep in your gut, that you’ll be quitting in the not so distant future.

Maybe this is why you don’t make plans. Why go to the effort if your true, underlying intention is to start this journey for appearance’s sake only? If you truly wanted to succeed, you’d be actively working toward that goal.

If you’re serious about losing weight and getting fit, then spend some time in the planning phase. You’ll want to make plans for your nutrition as well as your exercise routines.

You might want to start off small, such as making plans to improve your diet habits little by little. Have a milestone for when you want to be eating a certain way, and celebrate those milestones that you reach.

Do the same with your exercise. Maybe the goal at first is to be able to walk 5 miles. So you start off by having a plan to see how many miles you can currently walk. Then plan how much you’ll increase your walk each week or month until you reach your goal.

Meal prep planning is a great way to reach the numbers on the scale that you want to see, or the clothing sizes. You plan out meals one day a week and cook them one day, then eat those meals all week so that it takes the pressure off of you.

Do everyday planning, too. For example – with the weather – if your plans include an outdoor walk every day, watch the news to see what the forecast is for the coming week. If rain is expected, have a plan for an indoor walk at the mall, at the gym, or on a treadmill at home.

Don’t wait until the last minute to come up with ideas and plans. In today’s world, we’re often in such a hurry or so stressed, that it’s sometimes easier to break the commitment than it is to follow through thanks to a little bit of planning along the way.

6 Ways to Rev Up Your Metabolism

When it comes to dieting, most people concern themselves most with cutting calories and burning fat. You’re measuring food, walking on the treadmill, and trying to stay away from temptations.

One good way to lose weight and tone up is to focus on gradually improving your metabolism. If you’ve been a yo yo dieter for years, then chances are your metabolism is struggling, which means you have a harder time losing weight. There are six ways you might be able to change that.

#1 – Build muscle to burn fat for you even when you’re just sitting there.

No one has time to exercise all day long, You’re probably lucky if you can squeeze in twenty minutes of it, much less a full hour. But you can still burn calories even while you’re sitting still or resting if you build a little muscle to work for you.

Muscle works almost like a furnace. It helps burn calories at a higher rate than fat. So even if you haven’t shed enough pounds to see those six pack abs yet, don’t quit lifting weights, because each time you do, you’re one step closer to increasing your metabolism and reaching your goals.

#2 – Stay hydrated throughout your day.

You’re probably already drinking water in order to stay fuller and steer clear of snacks. But water also helps you rev up your metabolism. Even a couple of glasses of water can begin boosting your metabolism up to 30%.

It may not sound like a lot, but when you drink that water daily, or even more for bigger benefits, you start to see a long-term weight loss that you can enjoy almost effortlessly over the course of a year.

#3 – Choose interval training when you exercise.

There are all sorts of exercises that will help you lose weight. Lifting weights, doing cardio exercises – they’re all beneficial. But certain programs like HIIT or other interval training programs boost your metabolism even more because your body is getting intense workouts buffered by short resting periods.

#4 – Eat enough (and the right kinds of foods) to fuel up your body throughout the day.

You may have already chosen a diet program to follow in order to lose weight. Maybe you cut carbs or sugar, or switched to a whole foods program. You might even simply be cutting calories or using mindful eating.

Just make sure you’re getting enough food, because it fuels your metabolism and ultimately helps you keep the weight off for good. Of course, not every food will help with this situation. Sugary donuts won’t help as much as lean protein, for example.

#5 – Stop drinking alcohol.

Even if you’re only a weekend drinker, your metabolism might take a hit if you consume wine, beer or other alcoholic beverages. The reason for this is that your body focuses on alcohol digestion first, so it ignores the food calories you have consumed, slowing it down to a crawl and causing some of it to be turned into fat stores.

#6 – Improve your sleep habits.

If you’re running on fumes, it’s hard for your body to have a fast metabolism. Find out why you’re feeling sluggish and tired. It might be that you’re using technology before bed and finding it hard to get or stay asleep.

Or maybe it’s other sleep hygiene issues, such as uncomfortable bedding, a room that’s too warm, or too much noise in the bedroom. Target the problem, make changes and see if your body is able to begin burning fat faster.

How to Avoid Carbs and Make Good Protein Choices

Carbs aren’t necessarily bad for you. In fact, they provide lots of energy for you to get through your day. But for some, reducing carbs is a quick way to lose weight without feeling like they’re having to give up many of their favorite foods.

Part of the problem is, most men and women get far too many carbs – way more than they need for energy. They might even eat mostly carbs, avoiding protein, so they never feel full for long, and constantly want to snack throughout the day.

This packs on pounds quickly. A typical carb-laden diet might be donuts for breakfast, a sandwich with fruit and chips for lunch, and pasta for dinner. There’s very little (if any) protein in a diet like that, so the person is always hungry, and might even add dessert carbs to the mix, too.

Try reducing your carb count to under 100, lowering that number the more weight you want to lose at a faster speed. You can focus on net carbs when you look at the nutrition label.

Net carbs are the total amount of carbs minus the fiber count in the product. This actually allows you to eat more carbs than if you simply tally the total carbs on the label and log those in your tracking system.

Swap out certain foods for low carb options. For example, if you like making bean burritos at home, switch your regular white flour tortilla with a white flour low carb option. A regular tortilla has about 98 carbs, but you can find low carb options with only 4 carbs in them.

Or, invest in low carb bread that you can order online from places like Netrition. The bread looks, feels and tastes like white bread, so the flavor is there, and you don’t feel deprived.

Focus more on eating carb-friendly vegetables (like broccoli or avocados) and fruits (like berries). Eat plenty of protein. Don’t worry about the fat content. If you like a marbled steak, go for it!

You can even have real butter and plenty of cheese when you’re on a low carb, high protein diet. Fat isn’t the enemy. In fact, it gives you that full sensation you need to stave off the munchies.

If you’re craving dessert, there are low carb option you can make such as chocolate bombs. Or, buy sugar free candies in the store made for diabetics – because these give you the sweetness you desire, without the heavy carbs!

Lose Weight By Implementing Small Changes

The idea of starting a diet is daunting to many men and women. It signifies drastic deprivation and severe lifestyle changes that often make it feel more like punishment than a benefit.

So a better way to shed pounds for many people is to do away with traditional diet plans and instead focus on implementing small changes throughout the year. These changes will be so small that you won’t be focused on it 24/7.

You can make one change every week that helps you lose weight. For example, you might start out with the promise to drink a small, 8-ounce glass of water before each meal.

That means not declaring you’ll limit yourself to a certain number of calories, but just giving your stomach a padding of “fullness” before you begin to eat your meal. Eight ounces is tiny, too – so you won’t have to down a big, 24-ounce bottle.

Another change you might make is to take the stairs or park your car farther when you go somewhere. You’ll be getting more exercise and revving up your metabolism as you burn a few more calories here and there.

Sometimes, your changes won’t have anything to do with food or exercise. For instance, getting a proper amount of sleep can help you lose weight. So one change you might make for one week is to start going to bed at the same time every night (or getting up at the same time every morning).

Being on a set sleep schedule does wonders for your weight loss journey. But that means keeping to a schedule whenever possible – including weekends when you ight otherwise want to stay up late and sleep in late.

With food choices, you might begin to taper off the amount of food that you eat. If you usually get two scoops of mashed potatoes, try one. If you drink two sodas with dinner, drink one and a glass of water instead.

Weaning yourself off of the typical super sized portions we’ve become accustomed to in this world is easy when you do it bit by bit. Embrace the bottom “better than the day before” so that your only focus is improvement, not perfection right off the bat.

There are 52 weeks in a year. If you implement one small change each week, you’ll discover that you are seeing the scale move – and it won’t even feel like you’re trying to succeed!

Click here to learn about the 7 “FATTY” Foods that Can Help You to Get a Flat Stomach

Setting the Right Kind of Fitness and Health Goals for 2017

Have you ever gone on a diet and set unrealistic fitness goals for yourself? Maybe it was something like, “lose 30 pounds in 2 weeks” or “run a marathon in 10 days” (when you’d never run in your life).

This kind of self sabotage is what typically keeps people fluctuating with their weight over the course of the years. One day you’re fully committed, and the next day you’re fully overwhelmed.

This year, set your goals the right way. Keep long term success in mind when you do it. You’d much rather lose the weight permanently than lose it fast, but gain it all back (and more) a few months down the road, right?

Start with the goal to implement better health habits that contribute to your weight loss, but don’t connect directly to it in an obvious manner. For example, keep stress lower this year.

Stress eating is a major source of diet failure. So learn how to lessen or manage your stress so that you don’t turn to food whenever a situation arises. Another diet failure stems from lack of sleep.

If you’re running on fumes every day, it’s going to lower your metabolism and cause you to reach for sugary, caffeine-laden snacks and drinks that artificially give you energy, only to make you crash a short time later.

This kind of rollercoaster makes you eat to get through your day. So work on your sleep regimen by implementing proper sleep hygiene and sticking to a schedule that gives you plenty of rest to get through your day without help from unhealthy snacks.

Next, focus directly on your nutrition. Make small changes, rather than drastic ones. Pick a new habit to implement each week, such as portion control or less sugar or sodium.

It’s okay if you choose to track calories or other elements, if that works better for you. Set your goals the right way, though. Don’t go from a diet of 3,500 calories a day to 800 calories.

You’ll be miserable! Instead, curb your calorie intake a bit at a time over the course of a few weeks and watch the weight drop off effortlessly. So the same with your exercise goals.

Add a bit of workout time in your day, or set a doable goal of walking a mile, later raising it to 2 miles, then three, and so on. Don’t try to run before you can walk. Not only will you burn out quickly, but you could injure yourself.

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