Rounded shoulders, nagging headaches, constant lower back pain... sound familiar? All these symptoms are running rampant in today’s society, due to so many people living a sedentary lifestyle and spending most of their day sitting at desks or looking at smartphones.
Unfortunately, the fix isn’t as simple as daily stretching. While releasing chronically tight muscles is definitely beneficial, it will only provide temporary relief. Since the opposing muscles usually don’t have the strength to maintain this improved positioning, the body gradually contorts back into having rounded shoulders, forward head, and curved spine - and the aches and pains continue.
Therefore, to reach a more permanent solution, it’s equally important to also be strengthening these opposing muscle groups with carefully selected corrective exercises. When this is done, it’s much easier to keep your body aligned throughout the day.
Below are some examples of both stretches and exercises that are effective in correcting rounded shoulders and forward head posture (commonly known as “Upper Crossed Syndrome”), as well as lower back pain, knee pain and tight hips (commonly caused by “Lower Crossed Syndrome”). Both of these syndromes are extremely prevalent in people who sit at a desk all day!
Note that, for best results, frequency is key. Try to perform the stretches every day if you can, and the resistance exercises at least 3 times a week. If you don’t have access to a gym, most of the exercises can be done at home with resistance bands (at least when you’re just starting out - it’s highly recommended to begin adding weights once they become too easy).
The vast majority of people who venture into a gym (or decide to hire a personal trainer) have one goal in mind: weight loss.
Whether it’s five pounds or 50, they remain fixated on the scale, and gauge their progress solely based off whether it budges (in the correct direction) or not - which can leave some feeling frustrated and even defeated in the cases when it does not!
This is unfortunate, because not only is it entirely possible that your body composition could be changing while you are staying the same weight, there are also a plethora of other benefits (that are arguably more important) to exercise other than simply losing weight.
These benefits all have incredible implications for your mental health, longevity, and sense of well-being, and can all be used to noticeably improve your quality of life!
It’s an established fact that in order to lose weight, you need to maintain a steady caloric deficit over a long period of time. You must burn more calories than consumed. However, despite knowing this, many people still struggle to see any progress with their weight loss goals.
Here are five common mistakes people make (whether they know it or not) that are impeding their efforts to slim down:
Regardless of what your goal is - and especially if it has to do with body composition changes - then the ability to track your food is a valuable tool. It can spell the difference between years of frustration in the gym, versus making huge steps towards acquiring the physique you want in only months. On top of that, it’s really not that hard to do! With free apps like MyFitnessPal currently available, tracking food is only a matter of taking a few minutes to learn how to measure/weigh food, check labels, and search for things in a data base. Calories and macronutrient totals are all calculated for you. Before long, it becomes so second nature that you barely even need to think about it.
Whether you're looking to lose a few extra pounds, get bigger and stronger, or improve your posture and ease of daily living - there are always a few key points which are paramount to success, yet are unfortunately frequently overlooked! Some of the most important ones are outlined below, along with how I can help you capitalize on this new knowledge.
Hiring a personal trainer for the first time may seem like a big investment. It’s certainly not something that anyone would consider “cheap” (would you be willing to put your health and well-being in our hands if it was?) and it’s easy to think of other ways the money could be spent - restaurants, nights out, new gadgets... the list goes on. However, personal training is an investment with absolutely life-changing returns, ones that will pale any kind of small sacrifices made in order to achieve them.
Kat has spent years gathering knowledge on how to achieve the healthiest lifestyle possible (for the body and the mind), from both extensive research and practical experience. She loves to pass it all on to as many people as possible!