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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 January 21, 2020

      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

      Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

      your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

        Why You Need a Vision

        Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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        How to Create Your Life Vision

        Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

        What Do You Want?

        The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

        It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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        Some tips to guide you:

        • Remember to ask why you want certain things
        • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
        • Give yourself permission to dream.
        • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
        • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

        Some questions to start your exploration:

        • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
        • What would you like to have more of in your life?
        • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
        • What are your secret passions and dreams?
        • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
        • What do you want your relationships to be like?
        • What qualities would you like to develop?
        • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
        • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
        • What would you most like to accomplish?
        • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

        It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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        What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

        Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

        A few prompts to get you started:

        • What will you have accomplished already?
        • How will you feel about yourself?
        • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
        • What does your ideal day look like?
        • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
        • What would you be doing?
        • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
        • How are you dressed?
        • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
        • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
        • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

        It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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        Plan Backwards

        It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

        • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
        • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
        • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
        • What important actions would you have had to take?
        • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
        • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
        • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
        • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
        • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

        Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

        It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

        Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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