Have you ever wished you were an inch or two taller?!?
How tall really are you?!?
I bet if you went and measured yourself right now, you would be surprised to find out that you are actually shorter than you remembered yourself to be.
I have always been an advocate for good posture and proper alignment, and as a former ballet and ballroom dancer, I trained my young kids to walk tall and sit upright holding a book on their heads.
Odds are, that if you were to examine your posture as you stand, or sit, you will discover that you are either slouching your shoulders, compressing your chest, tilting your pelvis forward, pooching your belly, hanging your head forward, or all of the above.
You may not realize this, but you are the architect of your body, and you influence the design by the way you sit and stand. Everywhere I go, I see people unconsciously curled up around their devices. I think it’s the new epidemic. Worse than that, the trend of the current fashion magazines is to depict emaciated fashion models with not only distorted and misaligned postures, but also present us with a distorted health standards.
Here’s why this is such a problem. A compressed chest lacks oxygen, compressed spine lacks the ability to move properly, and misaligned musculoskeletal structure is certain to lead you into a life of pain and injuries.
Are you one of those people who feels tired, stressed, hectic and overwhelmed just from sitting behind a desk all day? Are you battling aches and pains every way you turn. Are you having difficulties reaching, turning, lifting, sleeping, or just getting through the day?
Well, the problem is likely due to various weaknesses and imbalances you have developed throughout your lifetime, by inappropriate sitting, standing, or even exercising.
So let’s give this a try. Right now, sit up — or, better still, stand up. Take a deep breath. Pull in your abs and release the tension in your shoulders and down your back, plant your feet firmly into the ground, and elongate your spine by “lifting the ceiling off” with your head. It should feel like you are opening your chest, and decompressing your spine. Think of it as trying to fill yourself with energy, allowing your vertebrae to decompress and regenerate your disks, and properly oxygenate your vital organs.
Feels pretty good, right? Do you feel taller now? I bet if you went back to measure yourself right now, you’d actually find out that you are in fact a tad taller.
While I’ve promoted good posture for years, this is becoming my personal mission for 2015. I truly believe that this one little change can make a world of difference in your energy level, your mood, and the way you feel. All of these are important building blocks in creating a happier, healthier life.
The concept of minor but sustainable changes blossoming into big ones actually is the basis of my plan for making New Year’s resolutions that work.
Creating a new you won’t happen overnight. After all it took you years to get where you are. However, please don’t despair. Our body’s crave to regenerate themselves! Once we give ourselves this opportunity of regeneration, our body’s remodel themselves fairly quickly.
Small, slow, and sensible approach to change, will leave you feeling better and will become the catalysts that keep you moving.
Good posture is a good start. Isometrics are another little thing you can do that don’t require a gym membership or a single piece of equipment.
By tightening your tummy and holding it for five seconds, you’ve done the equivalent of a sit-up. You can do this right now, wherever you are. You can do it in the car at red lights, or while waiting in line at the grocery store.
It works for other muscles, too. Tighten and release your back or shoulders as a great way to get blood circulating. Sitting all day at a desk? Stand up for a few minutes and walk around. Release your shoulders by bringing them up and down, a few times in a row will relief stress and headaches.
What about losing weight?
Again, start with small, easy changes — like drinking more water. For proper hydration you should be consuming half your body weight in ounces of water. So if your weight is 130 ponds, you should be drinking 65 ounces of water per day.
Trust me, it is doable and not that difficult. Carry a bottle of water with you at all times and keep sipping!
Swap all sugary drinks, yes, even diet soda, for water. “Diet” drinks are carcinogenic. Don’t believe me?!? Perrrrfect! I’d like you to invest in yourself. Thus, pursue your own research on this matter. In fact Mountain Dew was found to rot teeth and Cola is an excellent solution for cleaning …toilet bows!
Proper hydration is another way of boosting energy and metabolism, with the bonus that it keeps you full, so you won’t eat as much.
Eating healthier needs to be a slow and steady process, as well. One thing you can re-evaluate is your salad dressing. Try making your own! They can be cheap, easy and delicious, saving you money and up to 200 calories per meal, and without any added preservatives!
The best one and the simplest of them all, is the old fashion organic, unfiltered cold pressed Olive Oil, with a Balsamic Vinegar.
I realize that none of these are revolutionary changes — but that’s the point. To change your body, what really must change is your attitude. Be optimistic. Visualize yourself being on track and focused.
Put it in writing. Make a commitment to yourself. Set realistic objectives, and lay out a plan for getting there.
- One of my favorite pieces of advice is to start with just 10 minutes of exercise a day. Increase it slowly and steadily.
- Incorporate just one new healthy habit a week.
- Acknowledge your accomplishments by sharing it with others.
- Embrace your new pathway to a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life!
Happy New Year!