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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 September 18, 2020

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

    Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

    1. Exercise Daily

    It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

    If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

    Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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    If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

    2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

    Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

    One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

    This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

    3. Acknowledge Your Limits

    Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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    Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

    Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

    4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

    Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

    The basic nutritional advice includes:

    • Eat unprocessed foods
    • Eat more veggies
    • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
    • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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    Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

      5. Watch Out for Travel

      Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

      This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

      If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

      6. Start Slow

      Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

      If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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      7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

      Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

      My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

      If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

      I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

      Final Thoughts

      Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

      Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

      More Tips on Getting in Shape

      Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

      Reference

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