Category Archives: Women’s Health
Are you one of those sitting a lot, not taking stretching breaks, constantly wearing a heavy backpack, or not exercising much? If yes, you may have noticed that back or neck pain has become a frequent guest. Even though you might be ignoring it, your body is actually trying to tell you something. It is time for you to start thinking about your posture when you sit, stand, sleep, and carry heavy backpacks or bags that might be weighing more than is healthy for your spine.
The danger is that if you keep ignoring the pain in your back and neck, your muscles will get strained or pulled and will stop supporting your spine correctly. Guess what- if your spine is not supported correctly, your vertebrae can get misaligned, nerves between the vertebrae can become pinched, and your brain will not be able to communicate with the body organs (how it usually does through the nervous system). This is not the news you want to hear about your spine and organs, right?
So how can you avoid the misalignment in your spine and say good-bye to the pain? There are a couple of good tips to consider:
- Exercise! Do it on a regular basis, not just weekends or when you have time. Exercise every day! Build up those back and neck muscles to help support the vertebrae and spinal ligaments.
- Maintain a healthy diet and weight. The less weight you are carrying around, the less stress you are putting on your back and neck joints and the less pain you will feel.
- Rest! Get a good night’s sleep every night, your muscles will be rejuvenated and ready for the next day.
- Relax! Take time to distress and become as stress free as possible; this will help those “knots” in your back.
- Keep good posture habits! Make sure that your back is straight, shoulders are squared, chin is up, chest is out, and stomach is in. If you can draw a straight line from your earlobe through your shoulder, hip, knee, to the middle of your ankle—–you’ve got it! To learn more about good posture, go to http://www.wikihow.com/Improve-Your-Posture
- When driving for long periods of time or sitting for extended hours, take stretch breaks, stand up and walk around at least once an hour.
- Avoid tucking the phone between your ear and shoulder and do not sleep on your stomach. This can cause stress and extra pressure on your cervical vertebrae and pinch nerves.
- Get lots of vitamin D and calcium. Your spine is made of bone so make sure you keep them strong!
- Lift with your knees bent, not from your back.
- Choose a well-padded backpack; wear it with both straps that are properly adjusted. It should weigh between 5-10 percent of your body weight- so keep excess items out of your bag!
Are you looking for a fitness challenge in your life? Then sign up for the “5 Day Challenge!” The challenge is an event held at the Wellness Center running from March 20th through March 24th. Each day the participants will complete the appropriate task. Champions will be determined at the end of the 5th day!
Day 1: The Cooper Test – Run 12 minutes and measure the distance traveled
Day 2: The “Ups” – Push ups + Pull ups + Sit ups + Jump squat – Participants weakest category = Score
Day 3: Let’s Rock – Transverse the rock wall for as long as possible
Day 4: Row, row, row – Row for 10 minutes and see how far you went
Day 5: The 40/40 Challenge – Click HERE to learn more about this challenge
If you’re interested or would like more information about this event, contact Jesse Stein at 701.777.2719 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So often I have a hard time making it to the gym on a regular schedule like I expect myself to. Sometimes there is a paper whose due date seems to creep up on me, or maybe a test I know I need to study for. Either way I always feel as if I’m not getting enough exercise for that given week. These times make me wonder, what is the perfect amount of exercise to see the largest benefits? Spoiler Alert: I don’t know.
But what I do know is what guidelines to follow and I know the warning signs of exercising too much and too little. Here they are:
These are some warning signs you are exercising too much:
• If you are always working out alone all the time, and while at the gym you isolate yourself from others. It’s bad to work out alone, but when it is a recurring theme it might be a warning sign.
• If you work out consistently with a routine lasting more than 2 hours.
• If you suddenly increase the routine length and total amount of time exercising
• If you are exercising through tough pains
All of these are possible signs of excessive exercising or overtraining. Continuing to exercise too much will actually cause a decrease in your body’s performance. You will become sorer, more prone to injury; you will possibly develop sleep problems or appetite changes. But most commonly many emotional changes will take place like becoming more depressed and anxious.
It is easier to see if you aren’t exercising enough because there are guidelines that tell us how much exercise we should be getting. 2.5 hours of moderate exercise a week, with two days of lifting weights. Every 2 minutes of moderate exercise, however, can be switched with one minute of high intensity exercise. Using these guidelines as a minimum will help you stay healthy and physically fit.
After learning what too much and too little exercise is, it is time to set time aside to meet these guidelines. Be cautious if you go way over and watch for the warning signs of too much exercise. If you feel you are overtraining give yourself a prolonged rest period so your body mentally and physically can recover.
*Minimum required amounts of exercise were taken from the “2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans”