Gaining good posture is one of the most underrated ways to instantly change your appearance.
Standing straight and square makes you look fitter and taller, and it improves your alertness and vitality to boot. But the effects aren’t just skin deep: over time, maintaining good posture will help keep your back strong, reducing back pain and injury. By staying active and being mindful of your form, you can convince your body that it is years younger and your appearance will follow suit.
Here are five tips that will straighten you out:
How’s your posture right now? Are you slouching because you feel tired at the moment? You can perk up by standing up.
Your blood vessels constrict during periods of inactivity, making you look and feel tired. An active, dynamic standing posture will reinvigorate you within minutes. Try lengthening your back while you stand, as if it were being lifted by a balloon tied to the back of your neck.
If you want to maximize the age-defying effects of your new stance, those Louboutins have got to go–heels throw off your center of gravity, cause bunions, and lead to back problems down the road.
If standing for a few minutes puts a spring back in your step, imagine how good an hour of activity might make you feel. Trying a new physical activity, especially one that requires attention to posture, will do wonders for your bearing and give you a renewed, youthful vigor as well.
Some sure bets for posture improvement are figure skating, ballroom dancing, rowing, tai chi, martial arts and, of course, yoga. With time and practice, that good posture you learned for the tango will bloom into a body awareness that will keep you looking sharp outside the studio.
Planks, sit-ups and your gym’s weight circuit can do more than just give you a killer six-pack–strengthening your core muscles will help you stay straight all day.
Think of it as posture cross-training. Even fitness novices can get great results from wall push-ups, pelvic tilts, hamstring stretching, and bridging. If your back is too sore to sustain a set of crunches, let a physical therapist be your personal trainer. As part of your treatment, your physical therapist can recommend a regimen of gentle but effective exercises that can be done at home, taking years off of your spine and giving you a bold new bearing.
Professional massages can peel off years of pent-up muscle soreness, and foam rollers are like masseuses in a convenient cylindrical form. Daily foam roller use takes stress off of overused muscles, strengthens complementary muscles and helps dissipate knots and tenderness.
You can promote healthy back elongation by lying on your back with the roller cushioning your spine and your arms to your sides. Flatten your spine against the roller as you exhale. You can also reduce upper spine hunching by lying with the roller across the farthest protruding part of your upper back (between your neck and the bottom of your shoulder blades) so that tension on the neck is relieved.
Given all of the sitting, slouching, and slumping that is endemic to most office jobs, work is a great place to undo all of your posture karma.
Don’t let technology take its toll on you. Be aware of your seated posture. Your spine should be in contact with the backrest from your tailbone right up to your upper back. Make sure the center of your computer monitor is six inches below your gaze. If you frequently read from papers, tablets or smartphones, bring the media up to you rather than craning to it. Not only will this save your back, it’ll make you look about ten pounds lighter!
Correcting your posture is faster, cheaper, and healthier than any beauty treatment and it revitalizes you from the inside out. Best of all, it becomes easier and more natural with practice. Make good posture part of your daily health practice, and you can look years younger for years to come.
As diseases become more defined and inevitably more complex, many treatments become so involved that the patient can no longer manage on their own and a caregiver must step in. The value of the caregiver is sometimes understated, as they are often a vital element of the healing process. In addition to emotional and physical support, they facilitate many of the technical aspects of receiving care such as in-depth planning and communication with healthcare professionals in such a manner that the patient’s needs are met. A recent article I contributed to for the European Journal of Clinical and Medical Oncology blog takes a look at how physicians may help the caregiver fulfill their role more efficiently to create a more positive experience overall.
Being proactive is important, especially for a relationship that’s based on trying to save the life of a patient. During the first patient, caregiver, and/or family appointment, the physician could begin to set the guidelines of interactive care.
- Start with the introduction and understanding of the patient/caregiver relationship.
- Focus on acknowledging the need for the caregiver, while emphasizing that too many family members in an office visit can cause confusion.
- Cover all of the bases as to who is included in the patient documentation to have access to patient information, including medical test results and physician notes.
- Discuss the availability of counseling for both the patient and caregiver, and the option of joint counseling (if available and as needed).
- Physicians should listen and be sensitive to commitments the caregiver may have made regarding how he or she will manage the patient’s care. For example, when my mother was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, I promised to keep her pain free and give her the best quality of life that I could for the remainder of her time.
To read A New Member of a Patient’s Healthcare Team: The Caregiver by Joni Aldrich, visit the EJCMO.tv Blog.
You may be aware that stress can cause damage to your body in such a way that it accelerates types of health deterioration normally associated with aging. However, there other contributing factors that you may not be familiar with. One among these is the activity of running at a steep incline. In a recent article for US News, I explain this phenomenon:
All running isn’t always good. Uphill running (in particular) places additional stress on the knees and ankles, reports the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. “There is at least a four-fold increase placed on our knee joint [with uphill running], and this can lead to premature breakdown of cartilage, also known as arthritis,” says Moshe Lewis, chief of physical medicine and rehab at California Pacific Medical Center, St. Luke’s Campus. If you’re just beginning a running program, the AOSSM cautions against uphill running at first. Even if you’re an experienced runner, take care with steep inclines. After all, the ideal running surface is “flat, smooth, resilient, and reasonably soft,” says the AOSSM.
It has also been observed that overheating your food, bad posture, and listening to loud music can have other negative health consequences. To read more about that, read the article 6 Surprising Behaviors That Age You in the US News Health blog.
“Boomeritis” refers to injuries to older amateur athletes from the baby boomer generation. In this Mind Your Body episode, I interviewed Dr. Moshe Lewis, a California pain management and rehabilitation specialist who most often treats baby boomers with back and knee pain—as the body ages, wear and tear happen. To counter aging, he recommends the triple threat of 1) heat to increase blood flow 2) ice for its natural anti-inflammatory powers and 3) activities in water to maintain buoyancy and offset gravity.
Are you a well-intentioned “weekend warrior?” Great! You’re receiving benefits that boost mood, reduce stress, increase muscle and cardiovascular health and provide social stimulation. Sporting on weekends only, however, increases the risk of a muscle strain, ligament tear or joint injury. To keep problems at bay, Dr. Lewis recommends that you…
Maybe I’ll see you on the bike path behind my house, running barefoot down at the beach, or at yoga. Just remember, your efforts at staying fit mean you’re winning that war.
Article written by MindYourBody.tv
Here is an article I recently wrote for Sutter Health Online on Cinnamon Oil’s health benefits and how to keep your joints healthy:
Pelvic Circles for Joint HealthFor people suffering from arthritis, exercise is the most helpful tool in reducing pain and gaining additional movement in the pelvis region. Pelvic circles are a safe, low-impact way to start exercising now. They are effective both in and out of the pool.
Pelvic Circles: Place your hands on your hips. For extra stability, grasp the side of a chair (or the wall of a pool, for aquatic aerobics). Relax your body, but remain upright. Rotate your hips in a circular motion. Move slowly and continuously for two to four minutes. Work up to five sets.
Cinnamon Oil Compress: Sweet Relief for Joint PainEating cinnamon boosts circulation, but cinnamon oil also makes a great topical treatment for sore muscles and joints. You can make this aromatic treat by filling a jar with cinnamon sticks and olive oil, and infusing them on a bright windowsill for two to three weeks.
When intense pain strikes, dampen and wring a towel. Microwave it for 5 seconds, and spread just a few drops of cinnamon oil on the towel. Reheat for another 5-10 seconds. Apply the towel as a warm wrap, and enjoy all of the pain relief benefits of Icy Hot mixed with the luxury of a spa treatment.
Read this article on the CMPC Sutter Health Website
Another study on exercise has been released and to no one's surprise, it suggests that daily exercise can increase the quality and longevity of your life. ABC News has a great overview of the latest findings:
A little exercise goes a long way, a new study suggests. So little that 15 minutes of it per day reduces one’s risk of cancer and adds an average of three years to a person’s life.
Taiwanese researchers examined more than 400,000 study participants in a 12-year period, where patients self-reported their weekly exercise regimen and were then placed in one of five groups: inactive, low, medium, high or very high exercise activity.
Read the entire article on ABCnew.com