Posture Correction

 
Once I learned how to do posture assessments, people watching became much more interesting! I am constantly looking at the way people walk and trying to assess where they feel pain in their body - and is there a pain causing their postural problem or is their postural problem creating unnecessary pain?

Based on the posture assessments I have done in the last three years, 100 % of my clients have forward head posture so I honestly don't think there are many people escaping the issue. Poor posture may only seem to be an aesthetic issue but these are the health issues that can be caused by having forward head posture:

 
  • Muscle ischemia

  • Pain and fatigue

  • Decreased range of motion of cervical spine

  • Early disc degeneration and osteophyte formation

  • Temporo-mandibular joint pain (TMJ) and inflammation

  • Tension Headache

  • Increase in dorsal kyphosis and decrease in height

  • Decrease in vital capacity and range of motion of shoulder and arm

  • Possible protrusion of...

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What hinders your flexibility?

fitness tips stretching May 04, 2020

The first personal training certification that I took about 18 years ago taught us that the average American spends about 18 hours a day or more in a seated position. Think about it - let's say 8 hours sleeping in the fetal position, 8 hours sitting at a desk - that side sleeper is already at 16 hours and we haven't included any Netflix time, meals, or commutes!

Also, if spinning is your exercise - you are in a seated position with your hips flexed once again. The one opportunity to do something in a standing, upright position and you opted to contribute to your issues instead.

Our lifestyle has several different factors that contribute to whether we are flexible or tight. It is important to know the contributing factors so you can do you best to build a healthier lifestyle. Even diet and dehydration has an effect on your flexibility levels so that may be why you feel tighter some days more than others.

Other factors include: lack of movement, injury, scar tissue, poor workout...

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Perfect Timing

I feel like sometimes people may not stretch because there is too much mystery surrounding it. They don't know if they are doing it right, they may not know which stretches to do, and they don't know how long they should hold it for.

As a personal trainer I learned to hold a stretch for 20-60 seconds. As a yoga instructor I learned you may hold a stretch for 5 minutes to gain the maximum benefit and you haven't mastered a pose until you can maintain it for three hours!

Through teaching and practice I have learned it takes most people at least a minute for their body to actually relax into the stretch. I believe that is the goal. Our body has a couple defense mechanisms built in to protect us against tearing the muscles and tendons so our first reflex when stretching is for the body to resist a little.

You should hold a stretch as long as it takes to feel your body let go of that resistance, notice a release, and gently take it a bit further. If you don't allow your body...

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Types of Stretching

 
 
Most text books will tell you there are two types of stretching, just passive and active but I am going to give you four types.

 

Active stretching is using dynamic movements to allow the body to warm-up and open up. The sun salutations in yoga could be a form of active stretching. Generally you should do active stretching to prepare the body for activities such as running, sports, or working out using movements that mimic the activity.

 

Passive stretching is holding a stretch for a set period of time. Most books I have read tell you that you can hold a stretch from 10-60 seconds. I have found it takes most people at least a full minute for the body to actually relax into a stretch and make progress. It is my belief that if you are holding a stretch and don't feel a release then you are only maintaining your current level of flexibility. You need to feel the release and then stretch a little further as your body allows to actually improve your...

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