It’s no secret that regular physical activity is quintessential for your overall health and well-being. But we move our bodies less and less as movement is less and less needed in our society to live our lives. Self isolation taught us that almost everything can be done from the comfort of our homes. And even though you can order food, work from home and connect with friends through social media, the lack of movement is detrimental to our overall health, well-being and will impact your productivity as well. To make sure our bodies and minds stay healthy and fit, we need to move on a daily basis. The more you move the better. And luckily we have so many options available these days. You can do weights, go for a run, hire a personal trainer or participate in a group class to name the most common options out there. Pick something that suits you best and keeps you challenged! The more varied your movement the better! Even during Covid- 19 there are tons of options available. I also noticed many social media accounts that upload fabulous home exercise ideas that you can follow and do at home.
With that being said, as a personal trainer, I’m hyper aware of the potential training and muscle imbalances that might occur down the road when the general population moves in a certain way for a certain amount of time for to long. Let me explain 2 things I’m observing at the moment:
1. Currently as I mentioned above, the majority of us is moving less than usual since we stay inside most of the day. On top of that some of us spend the whole day in front of a computer or on the couch.
2. When I scroll through my Instagram, I see a lot of awesome challenging exercises, but I can’t help but notice that most of these exercises are focused on working out the muscles of the front of your body. There are just not as many exercises you can do with just your body weight to address the posterior chain effectively, especially for the upper body.
So this increased prolonged seated posture, combined with overemphasizing the muscles in the front of your body, exacerbate your posture issues such as neck pain. The muscles such as your chest muscles that are already tight and shortened through prolonged slouched seating positions, get even tighter from performing chest exercises such as the push up and your already weakened and over-lengthened muscles of your mid back get even weaker and are more and more unable to support your head and neck efficiently throughout the day.
So what can you do to help with your posture and neck pain?
As I mentioned above regular movement of the body is quintessential to ensure your body stays healthy. To give you an idea how a more balanced work out could look like, I designed the following two work outs for you. Check them out for free and let me know what you think:
On that note most good gyms, including the gym I work at, will address more than just the front of your body in their virtual classes and include exercises that address your whole body including your posterior chain/ posture muscles. I will post the link to our class schedule below for those who are interested.
If you don’t feel motivated or confident in your own movement, contact me, I am happy to help!
What else can you do? Aside from movement, a proper setup is also important. Like running with proper running shoes is important for your musculoskeletal health so is a thoughtful setup for your work desk. Making your work desk more ergonomic will help to improve your posture problems. The more ergonomic your desk, the better for your overall posture and well-being. If you’d like to learn more, check out these Instagram posts from Dr. Ryan Albert where he addresses the proper monitor height and proper seating position.
He also kindly shared these helpful illustrations with me:
If you need help or advice in setting up your work desk more ergonomically or if your neck/ posture problems don’t get better or get worse, reach out to him. He is available for virtual appointments.
You can contact him through email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit his website: email@example.com
So that’s all I wanted to share with you today. Let me know if you have any questions! In the next post I’d like to address all you runners out there, so if you want to stay tuned subscribe to my blog and you will be notified once the post is uploaded!
Take care and stay healthy!
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