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Sit And Walk With Your Head Slightly Forward? This Can Seriously Damage Your Health

Sit And Walk With Your Head Slightly Forward? This Can Seriously Damage Your Health

Our addiction to checking our smartphones, together with leading a sedentary lifestyle which includes sitting down at computers and desks for a majority of our day, can add to bad posture if we’re not consciously thinking about how we sit or the angle of our head.

There are various negative effects brought on by our forward head posture such as major strain on our neck, backs and shoulders and causing misalignment through our spine and the muscles surrounding and supporting these areas.

Bad posture doesn’t just affect the obvious areas in our body but our overall health suffers too – feelings of stress, mood, and even behaviour are all affected by the posture we choose to take each day.

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Negative Effects Of Forward Head Posture

1. Causes misalignment of our spine

The most obvious negative effects of forward head posture is the tensions the occur in the muscles around the neck and spine. Each time we lean forward 60 degrees, we add an increase of 60 pounds of weight into our neck. You can see how adopting this position on a regular basis during the day can cause havoc and pain throughout the neck and back.

Our muscles then try to adapt to the position and cause tension, strain and misalignment in order to protect the spine.

2. Reduces Lung Capacity

Having the head in a forward posture can go on to cause even more health complications. According to Rene Cailliet MD, director of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Southern California, having our heads down at an angle when texting, for example, can add up to 30 pounds of abnormal leverage on the cervical spine, pulling the entire spine out of alignment and losing up to 30% of vital lung capacity which obviously will affect the efficiency of oxygen getting to the cells in our body.

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3. Increases Risk Of Depression

Poor posture also has been shown to affect depression in people, stress response, self-esteem, body image, as well as brain function and behaviour. A study in Brazil looked at posture in people with chronic depression. The researchers found that when people were going through bouts of depression, their forward head posture was more prominent.

4. Increases Risk Of Heart Disease

Saying your heart can be affected by your forward head posture seems far fetched but chiropractor Adam Meade explains that the curve of your cervical vertebrae are referred to as “the arc of life” by neurosurgeons because it’s these small bones that create the main gateway for the spinal nerves that affect every organ in the body including the heart.

Want To Correct Your Head Posture? Try These Simple Exercises

Doing simple exercises throughout the day can help to realign your neck, spine and muscles in order to help the body function optimally and not be so affected by bad forward head posture.

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Chin Tuck

This exercise helps develop good postural habits if done throughout the day forcing the head and neck into a better position for realignment.

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    • Sit or stand up straight, looking straight ahead. Gently use one finger to push the chin in towards your neck and hold for a few seconds. Repeat this throughout out the day to force your neck to align with the spine.
    • Gently draw your head and chin back like you’re creating a double chin. You can use your fingers to push your chin back but make sure your head is facing forward and not tilting in any direction.
    • Doing this gently, you should feel a stretch along the back of the neck.
    • Release your chin and repeat.
    • Do around 10 reps each hour.

    Shoulder Blade Pinches

    The slouching forward of our shoulders can create tension in our neck, upper and lower back as well as decreasing our lung capacity and compromising the health of our organs. This exercise is designed to realign the back and stretch out the shoulders and rest of the body.

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      via PFC Studio

      • Sitting or standing with your back straight, draw your shoulder blades towards each other. You can interlock your hands behind your back for maximum stretch.
      • Hold this for a few seconds, release and repeat.
      • Try to perform 10 reps every hour throughout the day.

      Featured photo credit: Carlos R via pexels.com

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      Jenny Marchal

      A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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      Last Updated on November 11, 2019

      How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

      How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

      Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

      To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

      Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

      1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

      Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

      Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

      To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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      2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

      Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

      If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

      Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

      3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

      Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

      Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

      4. Feed Your Brain

      Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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      This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

      Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

      Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

      5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

      According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

      Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

      Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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      6. Write it Down

      If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

      It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

      You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

      7. Listen to Music

      Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

      8. Visual Concepts

      In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

      Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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      Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

      9. Teach Someone Else

      Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

      Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

      10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

      Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

      So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

      Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

      More About Boosting Memory

      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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