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8 Ways to Avoid Your Smart Phone Deforming Your Spine

8 Ways to Avoid Your Smart Phone Deforming Your Spine

We have entered an age where technology is a large part of people’s everyday lives, especially the smartphone  Whether it’s using your phone to do a little research on the go, or sending e-mails to clients, to talk and text friends, check your social media, or to fling little birds at pigs, almost everybody who has the ability to read this article probably owns a smart phone. One thing that people do not realize is the damage they could be doing to their spine, while using their smartphones.

A study done by Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine, published in the Surgical Technology International journal, showed that looking down at your cell phone could be the equivalent to putting a 60 pound weight on your neck. Imagine the long lasting effects you are leaving on your spine by doing this. If you want to help drastically reduce the stress you are causing on yourself, take a look at these 8 tips.

1. Hold your phone straight out in front of you

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spine

    By doing this, you are avoiding having to bend your neck down to look at your phone, thus reducing the stress on your neck and spine. The idea is to try and keep your device at eye level. The diagram above shows how much “weight” can be relieved just by simply raising your head to use your phone.

    2. Adjust your posture frequently

    When you are using your smart phone for a long period of time, you can help relieve stress on your spine by checking and adjusting your posture frequently. If you adjust your posture frequently and maintain a neutral posture overall, you are more likely to keep unnecessary stress off of your neck and spine.

    3. Take frequent breaks

    This is one of the best things you can do for yourself. If you want to eliminate back and neck pain, put down your phone and take a walk, or stretch. This way, you are taking time away from slouching over your cell phone and making yourself feel better by getting a little exercise and fresh air.

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    4. Keep yourself healthy and promote bone strength

    You can actually help prevent a lot of wear and tear on your spine that is caused by prolonged cell phone usage by keeping yourself healthy and supporting bone growth. Some ways you can do this is taking in plenty of calcium and vitamin D, which will keep your bones from thinning over time. You can also do bone strengthening exercises, such as yoga, light weight lifting and walking.

    5. Keep hydrated

    Staying hydrated throughout the day can help relieve stress in your body, from the neck down, so be sure to drink plenty of water if you have to use that phone for a long period of time.

    6. Refrain from texting for a day

    Another incredibly beneficial thing you can do is to try and avoid using your phone for texting or e-mail. You can simply call people if you need to talk, or even meet up for lunch with a friend. This way, you are not spending your time hunched over texting, but rather socializing with somebody face to face.

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    7. Add magnesium to your diet

    Magnesium helps contract and relax your muscles. It may reduce tension in your neck and back caused by using your phone for an excessive period of time. You can get magnesium from certain vegetables, nuts and whole grains, soaking in an Epsom salt bath, or by simply taking it as a supplement.

    8. Seek chiropractic care frequently

    If you are in a position where you need to use your smartphone daily, it would be wise to visit a chiropractor regularly. Who better to help you relieve back and neck pain than a professional?

    Your spine has 33 of the 206 bones in your body and can make everyday tasks impossible if not properly cared for. Do yourself a favor and use these 8 tips so you can live a pain free life.

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    [Source: Assessment of Stresses in the
    Cervical Spine Caused by Posture and
    Position of the Head, 9 “Back to Basic” Tips]

    Featured photo credit: http://pixabay.com/en/users/JESHOOTS-264599/ via pixabay.com

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    Michael Daws

    Aircraft Painter, Sports & Lifestyle Blogger

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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!

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    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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