Happy New Year from the staff at Encore Rehabilitation and SportsFit – Leakesville, MS! Shelia, Kim, Hope and Jeanne wish you a wonderful 2018!
Happy New Year from the staff at Encore Rehabilitation and SportsFit – Leakesville, MS! Shelia, Kim, Hope and Jeanne wish you a wonderful 2018!
You’re nailing your workouts, you’re eating well, you’re getting enough sleep, and though you’ve done everything you can think of, you aren’t getting the results you’d expected. As silly as this sounds, you may need to just stand up a little straighter and learn how to improve your posture.
Poor posture wreaks havoc on your body’s alignment, which can affect your spine, shoulders, hips, and knees. This, in turn, affects your flexibility and mobility, muscle strength, and joint health. As an added bonus, standing up straight will cause you to look leaner and more confident, right off the bat.
One way to improve your posture is to focus on workouts that strengthen your core, shoulders, and upper back. These muscles help stabilize your entire body, so they could potentially be to blame if you’re having postural issues. If you’re ready to work towards better posture, check out the following workouts:
Better Posture Workout from Fitness Blender
If you find yourself slumping over, this is the workout for you. This 17-minute video is great for building strength and improving flexibility in your shoulders, chest, and back!
Best Bodyweight Ab Exercises from Greatist
A strong body starts with a strong core. Need a refresher course on some awesome abdominal moves? This post covers everything from crunches to toe taps.
Better Posture: 6 Ways to Straighten Up from Women’s Health
This post breaks down some possible issues you may have with your posture and offers moves that target each issue. Many times, a certain stretch or strengthening move can make all the difference.
Exercises to Correct Bad Posture from LIVESTRONG
Here are four moves you can complete every single day in order to improve your posture. Try them out the next time you have a few minutes to spare.
Who knew that standing up straight could make such a difference? If you’ve ever worked on your posture, let us know what benefits you noticed!
“In the not-so-distant past, your food grew on a farm. Meals were home-cooked (on an actual fire, in an actual stove). The outdoors was your gym. Watches? They tracked time, not activity. Blue light, texting neck, and the masses getting supersized by McDonald’s were issues for a future generation.
Yet somewhere along the way, conventional wisdom got muddled with modern mechanisms. And the results weren’t pretty. We became much more sedentary and got fatter. And slower. And weaker (seriously). At the table, our food began to look less and less like it ever came from the ground.
“Western society is the most overfed but malnourished, sick society due to the imbalance of physical activity and real nourishment, says Stacy Sims, MSc, Ph.D., co-founder of Osmo Nutrition. “The body is designed to move all the time and use food that supports health, not quick hits of ‘feel good’ sugar and fat.”
So how do we go back? By homing in on the fundamentals and returning to the principles that have stood the test of time. Here, 10 laws of fitness your grandfather would approve of.
When Charles Atlas promised the men of America that he’d transform them from weaklings into masses of muscle, the fitness industry was forever changed. But “Dynamic Tension”—for all its faults—also had its strengths. It was a program based on the basics: bodyweight. As the legend goes, Atlas studied lions, noticing that animals had no exercise equipment. They had no gyms. Instead, they pitted one muscle against another. And dropping down and giving 10—or 20 or 50—should still have its place in your routine. “With proper form, your pushups and pull-ups are still the best exercises you can do. They engage your core with a functional push-pull action,” says Sims.
Focus on form. If your technique is all wrong, you might be doing more harm than good. Why? Misalignment means the biomechanics of movement are out of whack. The result: increased stress in different joints and potential muscle imbalances—the perfect setup for overuse, chronic pain, and injury, Sims says.
But mastering the “how to” isn’t all about taking preventative measures. “The other aspect of proper form is that you end up using the smaller, stabilizing muscles giving you core stability for daily movement,” Sims explains. And if you’re engaging your muscles all day—with good posture (yes, you really should pull your shoulders back), or by perfecting a pushup—you’re building core strength without realizing it. Slouched over, resting on your elbows, back twisted? It should be no surprise that you make grandpa noises when getting up from your chair.
Athletes have been around far longer than Gatorade and the new class of beverages strewn across supermarket shelves (ones that promise to replenish, hydrate, and boost performance). And when a run was no more than a run, athletes didn’t swear by high-concentration sugary liquids.
When a workout isn’t long enough or intense enough to result in severe fatigue, plain old water works, says Matt Fitzgerald, sports nutritionist, and author of thebook Diet Cults. “In fact, it’s not necessary to drink anything in most workouts lasting less than an hour,” he adds. That’s not to say that drink scientists aren’t onto something: “You need a small amount of sodium to actually pull water into the body,” says Sims. That’s why low-concentration approaches (Nuun, SOS, and Sims’ OSMO) have become popular.
Rising with the sun means more hours to move and more hours to eat well. “One of the overlooked benefits of eating breakfast is that it provides an early and additional opportunity to make progress toward meeting daily quotas for high-quality food types such as vegetables and fruit,” says Fitzgerald.
It’s not hard to start knocking out nutritional requirements before your day begins either—one serving of vegetables or fresh berries added to whole-grain cereal—can make all the difference, says Fitzgerald.
Just remember composition, says Sims. A croissant and a coffee won’t cut it: “You wake up with high levels of cortisol (the belly fat hormone), and adding sugar and caffeine will perpetuate cortisol’s actions,” she says.
You won’t find the recipe for a healthy diet on the back of a package. Change the way a food naturally exists, and you change the way your body absorbs it. “There is a disconnect between the marketing claims of pre-packaged food and real food made from scratch. And food can’t just be reduced to single compounds,” says says Allen Lim, Ph.D., founder of Skratch Labs.
To that extent, Fitzgerald has spent time analyzing world-class endurance athletes—a group as fit and healthy as any population on earth—finding a simple trend: “what I call ‘agnostic healthy eating,’” he says. What that means: eating inculturally normal ways, but not avoiding food groups entirely; filling meals with vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, fish and high-quality meat, whole grains, and dairy; and only sparingly eating low-quality refined grains, processed meat, and sweets. “If this formula is good enough for athletes who place tremendous demands on their bodies, it’s good enough for us,” he says.
The most sophisticated and reliable fitness monitoring device that exists—or will ever exist—isn’t a device at all: it’s your brain, says Fitzgerald. “If your body needs rest, your brain will communicate that to your conscious awareness in the form of feelings of fatigue and low motivation,” he explains. The symptom: a greater perceived effort: “If the body is fatigued or if its performance capacity is compromised, the brain will have to work harder to get the same level of output, and the greater the effort the exerciser will perceive.”
On the other hand? If your body is responding well to your training and is ready for more hard work, your brain will let you know that too in no uncertain terms, Fitzgerald says.
“The more you enjoy your training, the more you’ll put into it,” says Fitzgerald. “And the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it.” The research agrees: Your best efforts will likely come when you’re having the most fun, a 2012 study by Alan St. Clair Gibson of the University of Worcester found. Find something you like and the addiction will come naturally: “Research indicates that the association of ‘fun’ with things you do perpetuates stress release, making you want to go back for more,” says Sims.
One of the problems with the evolution of cross-training is that you can go hard every day. The problem: That’s not what your body needs. The key is finding an easy-hard cycle you can give into, says Michael Joyner, M.D., and physiologist and anesthesiologist at the Mayo Clinic. “People have forgotten to make the hard days harder and the easy days easier.” Think in terms of “active rest”—a 3- or 4-mile run for a distance runner, calisthenics, jumping rope, or classic conditioning drills, Joyner says. “That’s really important.”
Aerodynamics, biomechanics, breathability—they’re words that get a lot of ink (on labels, in magazines, and in the scripts of gear salespeople across the world). And yeah, tech has its perks. Breathable fabrics make long and hot hikes more bearable. But will your gear always make the difference?
A recent University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill study found only 14 percent of runners who laced up in lightweight kicks reported injury in a year’s time; almost half of runners in traditional sneakers did. So plus one for minimalism? Not so fast. The same University of North Carolina research revealed that people who chose traditional shoes landed differently from those who donned the minimalist shoes (on their heel or mid-foot versus on their forefoot).
The point: Everyone is different. And gear that works is subjective. “Good gear makes things more enjoyable, and most importantly prevents injury,” says Sims. So don’t skimp on no-brainers: proper bike fit, shoes, and protective items—but don’t become slaves to them.
Take this in the most expansive and philosophical way: Build movement into all aspects of your life—work, home, play—and throughout your life. You name the disease and exercise is the cure. “It’s proven to reduce the likelihood of weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis,sexual dysfunction, and a host of infectious diseases,” says Fitzgerald. Work out, and not only will you be healthier, but happier, more confident, and (bonus!) smarter, Fitzgerald adds.”
Adam Powell, DPT and Steve Milliron PT, ATC
Encore Sports Medicine – Hoover, AL
“There are three important factors that help shape your life. Family, friends, and fitness have an enormous impact on your well-being. These facets can provide encouragement, confidence, and self-esteem. Your most joyous occasions are made exceptional when you are healthy and surrounded by loved ones. These pillars shape us mentally, physically, and emotionally. Your family, friends, and fitness are integral pieces to your health.
We acquire habits and beliefs from our parents, siblings, and close friends. You are much more likely to perform daily exercise if you surround yourself with individuals that share the same goals. Recreational activities are vital to your mental and physical health. They provide an escape and release from the stress and monotony of your everyday life.
Everyone agrees that the most difficult aspect of exercise is getting started. You have to maintain the motivation to make it a habit. In these instances, it is helpful to draw from the support of your companions. You have the opportunity to positively influence the health of your loved ones. We all should provide support to our loved ones that are experiencing difficulty in becoming physically fit.
A regular daily exercise routine will change your life. It will provide you a sense of accomplishment and will result in improved self-worth. Exercise gives us an opportunity to achieve goals and track progress. It is truly amazing how the human body improves itself through physical training. Exercise will have a dramatically positive impact on a sedentary individual.
Your body becomes stronger, more flexible, and more tolerant by increasing your physical demands. Everyday tasks will be accomplished with greater ease and efficiency when you are physically fit. Both the young and the elderly will benefit from an exercise regimen. It is important that you choose a form of physical activity that is both rewarding and fun. You will not continue to participate in an exercise routine that you consider “very hard” or a “chore.”
Easy everyday activities are beneficial to your health. Simply walking, whether in a group or alone, is an excellent form of exercise that can be performed indoors or outdoors. Whether it is a quick walk around the block, or a long walk in the mall, walking is an effective tool that will improve your general well-being. Walking with a group of neighbors, church members, significant others, etc. serves as a time for bonding and communication. Walking alone provides a time for reflection and relaxation.
You may find that formal exercise classes are best suited to meet your needs. Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, Tai Chi, Crossfit, step aerobics, and cycling groups have all become quite popular. The social component to this form of exercise is what many find intriguing. They enjoy this type of activity because they find that the utilization of an instructor improves their form and technique. Group exercise is an excellent strategy to ensure your enthusiasm and adherence to a new routine.
Exercise can be quite intimidating to beginners. You may be more comfortable receiving experienced direction from a qualified personal trainer or coach. This is a way to achieve your goals if you desire one on one guidance and supervision. Video workouts such as P90X, Insanity, etc. are great tools if you want the structure of a formal class but the freedom to perform your routine at any time or location.
Is summary, there are multiple forms of physical activity that will positively influence your life. You must find an exercise routine that you enjoy. You will positively impact the health of your friends and family by encouraging them to get active and stay active.
If you have any questions regarding starting your new exercise routine, please call (205) 682-7650 and talk with Steve Milliron, PT/ATC, Tim Sirmon, DPT, or Adam Powell, DPT. They see patients daily at Encore Sports Medicine on 2801 John Hawkins Parkway on Hwy 150 in Hoover, AL.
Adam Powell and Steve Milliron helped put this article together. Steve is a physical therapist and athletic trainer in the Hoover area over the last 20 years. Adam is a recent graduate from UAB and licensed physical therapist for Encore Sports Medicine. He is married and lives near Hoover. ”
*It is important to note that one should consult with their physician prior to starting a new exercise routine.
Encore Rehabilitation, Inc. is one of America’s most diversified rehabilitation providers. It began with two University of South Alabama classmates in the physical therapy program who visualized a rehabilitation company that would provide exceptional physical therapy services and expand their roles as healthcare providers to a national level.
Under the partnership of Paul G. Henderson, PT and Paige B. Plash, PT, Encore Rehab was founded in 1981 and delivers the best rehabilitation services to thousands of patients daily in locations throughout Alabama and Mississippi. Encore Rehab is an employee-focused company with a tremendous team of dedicated and experienced employees who understand the many environments in which a therapist can provide treatment. Through the company’s specialized divisions, Encore Rehab provides rehabilitation services of unsurpassed quality that help patients return to a healthier lifestyle.