Here’s one small thing you can do today for better health: Improve your posture by using your cell phone as a reminder to sit or stand up straight
Why you need to do it: We’ve become a nation of slouchers, stoopers and slumpers, thanks to hours spent in front of computers and televisions, and as a result our posture is abysmal. Shoulders hunched, chests caved in, we look like we’re reverting to simians. The physical ramifications are many: muscle stress, back and neck pain, achy joints and headaches.
What you can do: Use your cell phone’s many sounds to remind you to snap your body into shape. Personal trainer and certified strength and conditioning specialist Mike Donavanik says cell phones are perfect tools for this, since we carry them with us practically everywhere. “Every time your phone buzzes for whatever reason, whether it’s a call, text, or email, take a second and check your body,” he says.
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If you’re not in proper alignment, here’s how Donavanik suggests you get there: First, engage your core muscles (those that surround your entire trunk, including the back), by drawing in your abdominal wall. Next, pull your shoulder blades back and down, and think about elongating or extending your spine upward. “An easy way to think about this,” he says, “is to align your ears, shoulders, and hips.”
Do this enough times, Donavanik says, and “Hopefully, your posture will be better each time than the last time.”
Eventually, he adds, you won’t have to shift into position when the phone rings—you’ll already be there. And if your phone isn’t ringing/buzzing/vibrating/chiming often enough, set your alarm as a reminder. Or get more friends.
Do you try to improve your posture throughout the day? Let us know in the comments.
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Jeannine Stein, a California native, wrote about health for the Los Angeles Times. In her pursuit of a healthy lifestyle she has taken countless fitness classes, hiked in Nepal, and has gotten in a boxing ring. Email Jeannine | TakePart.com