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The Importance Of Maintaining Good Posture

The Importance Of Maintaining Good Posture

As you go about your workout session, one thing that you might want to stop and consider is the posture that you’re utilizing. Far too many people completely overlook posture and how it’s impacting their performance or their everyday lifestyle activities.

Posture can have a profound influence on how you feel, function, as well as your overall health. Including back training exercises in your workout regime to make maintaining proper posture is a must as is making sure that you’re staying consciously aware of your posture throughout the day.

Let’s have a quick peek at some of the important postural related points to keep in mind.

Why Posture Is So Critical

First, let’s stop and consider why maintaining good posture is so critical to success. When most people think about maintaining good posture, the first reason that jumps out at them is simply so that you can look more attractive.

It’s true – standing up straight can take up to 10 pounds of body weight off your frame, so using good posture is an excellent way to improve the way you look.

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But there’s far more to it than just that.

Using good posture is going to influence a number of things such as your risk of experiencing lower back pain, your energy levels, as well as your focus and concentration.  If you’re constantly in a slouched position all day long and not using good posture, this is going to mean that there’s far less oxygen coming into the body and low levels of oxygen are one of the contributing factors to fatigue development. Therefore to help boost energy levels, proper posture is a must.

This will open up the lungs, allowing you to take more oxygen into the body, which then moves into the muscle as well as the brain cells, enhancing your overall level of energy. In addition to this, by using proper posture and keeping good spinal column alignment, you’ll be able to play any sports or other activities that much better as well.  Using good posture will make you more stable on your feet, able to change directions quickly as needed.

Habits That Lead To Poor Posture

Slouching at Work

    Now that you can see why posture is so important, what habit of yours could be leading to poor posture? One of the top bad habits is bad work ergonomics.

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    If your desk or chair isn’t at quite the right height for you, this can definitely influence your ability to sustain good posture.  It would be well worth it to have an expert come in and check how you’re sitting to ensure there are no problems.

    In addition, another bad habit that leads to poor posture is little to no activity. The more often you’re sitting down throughout the day, the greater the chances will be that you aren’t using good posture.

    Movement allows you to stand upright and decreases the amount of compression stress on the spinal column, which can be in part what leads to poor posture in the first place.

    Finally, the last bad habit that could lead to poor posture is over-training your chest muscles without enough focus on the back muscles.

    It’s important that you develop good balance between chest and back training because otherwise the chest may become overly strong and start to pull the shoulders forward, creating that rounded appearance that you definitely don’t want.

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    Add a few more back exercises into the mix and you should be able to offset this.

    Fixing Your Bad Posture

    Good Posture

      After learning the bad habits that can lead to poor posture, what habits should you have in place to help you develop optimal posture?

      First, make sure to set a reminder at your desk at work.  The working hours are when most people tend to let their posture slide the most, so it’s vital that you’re doing something to constantly remind yourself to sit up straight. A useful app I’d recommend for creating good habits is Strides. Set a timer to go off once per hour and when it does, do a quick check over your posture. Are you sitting up as straight as you could be?

      Another way to practice good posture awareness is to stand straight up against a wall and think of pressing your back into the wall.  This will help you establish whether you have a strong swayback going on, which could immediately mean there is an excessive amount of strain on your lower back.

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      If you can fit more than a hand between your lower back and the wall, you need to be working on improving your posture.

      You can also do this same exercise on the floor and think about pressing the lower back into the floor as hard as possible by squeezing the stomach and holding it there for a count of 20 seconds.

      After which, release and repeat again four or five more times. This will help you gain better control over your postural position and hopefully train your body so that when you’re standing, you automatically utilize better posture overall.

      Finally, when doing your workout sessions, make sure that you do have some exercises for the back muscles included.  Good back building exercises include bent over rows, pull-ups and lat pull-downs, single arm rows, Supermans, as well as reverse hyper-extensions. These will also strengthen the muscles that are required for keeping good posture, so you’re less likely to fatigue when trying to maintain it.

      Also be sure to perform some exercises to strengthen the core as well, as a strong core is also vital to good posture management.

      So there you have the key points to remember about sustaining good posture. Make sure that you aren’t overlooking these as you go about your training program. Posture is so often overlooked, but it’s a critical error that could significantly hinder the progress you see in other aspects of your fitness development.

       

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      Last Updated on August 12, 2019

      12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

      12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

      Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

      But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

      I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

      Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

      1. Nuts

      The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

      Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

      Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

      Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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      2. Blueberries

      Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

      When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

      3. Tomatoes

      Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

      4. Broccoli

      While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

      Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

      Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

      5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

      Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

      The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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      Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

      6. Soy

      Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

      Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

      Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

      7. Dark Chocolate

      When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

      Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

      8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

      Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

      B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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      Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

      Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

      To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

      9. Foods Rich in Zinc

      Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

      Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

      Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

      10. Gingko Biloba

      This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

      It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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      However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

      11. Green and Black Tea

      Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

      Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

      Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

      12. Sage and Rosemary

      Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

      Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

      When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

      More About Boosting Brain Power

      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

      Reference

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