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Can Smart Phones And Texting Really Be Causing My Neck, Shoulder, and Back Pain?

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Humans were designed to stand upright.  And yet, too many of us are spending a large portion of our day staring at a tiny screen, causing us to strain and position our head forward.  People spend an average of 2-4 hours each day with their neck bent at this unnatural angle while shooting off emails or texts.  This forward head posture that is assumed while using our mobile devices or smart phones is not the natural position that our neck was designed to be in.

The human head weighs on average between 12-15 pounds, but the more forward your head is in your posture can cause this to increase up to 5X!  Can you imagine walking around with a 60 pound weight tied to your head?  Let me explain it to you this way…picture a waiter or waitress waiter-carrying-serving-traycarrying a tray, and on this tray is a bowling ball (a bowling ball on average weighs 8-10 lbs for a woman, and 15-16 lbs for a man, just about the weight of a human head!).  But here’s the trouble…the bowling ball wants to keep sliding to the front of the tray.  If we think about the server’s arm as being analogous to our neck, and the bowling ball sliding forward on the tray as equating to our head, just how tired is that server’s arm going to be by the end of the day?  Well, that’s what your neck can feel like with a forward head posture! read more

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6 Additional Exercises You Can Perform Right At Your Desk

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In my last post I got you started with 6 Great Exercises You Can Perform Right At Your Desk.  In case you missed it, you can access it here.  Let’s add 6 more exercises to make your “workout” complete!

chest-stretch1) Chest stretch–Standing nice and tall, tighten your abdominal muscles (without  holding your breath!).  Place both hands behind your head with your fingers locked and slowly lean backwards, arching your upper back.  You are trying to open the chest and stretch your pectoral muscles (try not to arch your lower back).  Hold for 15-20 seconds.  Do 3 reps. read more

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6 Great Exercises You Can Perform Right At Your Desk

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You’ve most likely heard the news by now...sitting is the new smoking.  Unfortunately, sedentary jobs are often unavoidable.  It would be great to be able to get a standing desk, or be able to do a bodyweight workout every day, but that’s not always feasible.  So at least you can do some desk exercises during the day without even having to break a sweat.  Here are 6 to get you started…

ebook_cubicleworkout_image91) Seated neck stretch–Sit up nice and straight with both feet on the floor.  Place your left hand behind your back (if you do this standing) or you can grab the bottom of your chair with your left hand (if sitting).  Slowly bring your right ear down toward your right shoulder (you should feel the stretch on the left side of your neck).  Gently take your right hand and place it by your left ear.  Add a gentle overpressure with your right hand (pulling your right ear further down toward your right shoulder) so you feel a good stretch on the left side of your neck.  Hold for 15-20 seconds without holding your breath.  Repeat a total of 3 times, then switch sides and perform 3 repetitions to the left (just switch arm/hand positions and bring left ear down toward left shoulder). read more

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Kettlebells vs Dumbbells…How Do I Choose Which Is Best For Me?

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When it came to weight training, there used to be two choices…barbells (plates attached to a bar for bench presses or curls, e.g.) or dumbbells.  Now, we have a third choice…kettlebells.  So let’s focus on barbells and kettlebells and, specifically, the benefits of each.  Is one of these better than the other for getting results?  Let’s take a look…

workout-upper-body-5If you’re looking to perform basic movements, then dumbbells would be more advantageous, since they are great for a little bit of everything.  Start with the very basics…chest press, shoulder press, rows, or squats, holding the dumbbells at the shoulders.  Since you are not swinging the weight around (as you would do in a swing or snatch), it makes the movement a little more straightforward. read more

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9 More Reasons Why You Should Be Strength Training (Part 2)

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In Part 1, I listed 9 Reasons Why You Should Be Strength Training.  In case you missed it, you can check it out here.  Still not convinced of the benefits and think that by simply performing cardio you’re maximizing your health and welfare?  Well, here are 9 additional reasons why you should be strength training.

642x361_importance_strength_training_wom1) Improve self-esteem–Strength training can certainly help to improve an individual’s perceived body image.  Think about tracking your progress so you can see your strength gains from week to week. read more

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9 Reasons Why You Should Be Strength Training (Part 1)

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Maybe you wanted to lose some weight.  Maybe you just wanted to tone up.  And just maybe you wanted to be able to go for long runs .  So you went to the gym and spent an hour or more on the treadmill…and/or the elliptical…and/or the stepper.  And you’re proud of yourself because you’ve been sticking to your healthy meal plan.  But all is not right…the weight’s just not dropping like you thought, or you’re having trouble completing your running because of nagging injuries.  And you rack your brain, maybe blame your genetics for having “slow” metabolism.  But truth be told, maybe you’re missing something critical…like strength training. read more

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12 More Ways To Increase Your Running Speed (Part 2)

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In Part 1 of “12 Ways To Increase Your Running Speed,”  I listed 12 ways that you could have a better, faster, harder, and stronger workout.  In case you missed it, you can check it out here.  Here are 12 more ways to consider to increase your running speed.

the-myth-of-toning-header-v2-11) Strength Training–I’ve mentioned it previously on several other blog posts.  I’m not saying to take up bodybuilding, but stronger, leaner muscles will certainly help you to attain a new PR.  Just 2 to 3 short training sessions a week can have significant positive impact. read more

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