Happy Spring to our patients, staff, friends, and neighbors here at Austin’s TexStar Chiropractic. Dr. Henry, DC, here. In previous blog posts, I communicated about having the privilege of writing health wellness advice columns for several years now. Previously, we featured the health wellness advice of a local massage therapist and personal trainer (Jeaninne Litz). Today we are proud to offer you new insights from a lifelong Austinite and Certified Personal Trainer, Dana Williams. Dana is going to share keen insights into “the dangers of the seated position”.
For the last five years Dana has served as a certified personal trainer with Camp Gladiator in Southwest Austin and Westlake. If you are not familiar with it, Camp Gladiator offers personal training in a group setting and has locations all over the Austin area. They now offer both online and in person work outs that can be tailored to all fitness levels. One of the things I really enjoy about Camp Gladiator classes is the supportive atmosphere that comes from having fitness veterans working out right alongside people who have just started their fitness journey. Without further ado ill turn it over to Dana:
Sitting is the New Smoking
Now, more than even just a year ago, many of us spend most of our day sitting in a chair, or standing, hunched over a computer. You may think the “dangers of the seated position” sounds dramatic, but the effects on sitting for most of the day on a regular basis have actually been proven to be as harmful to the body as smoking! In addition to that, it can cause lower back pain, neck pain, and rounding of the shoulders. You may be thinking “I have to get my work done, and I need to sit at the computer. What can I do to lessen the effects?”
- Take Frequent Movement Breaks
Set a timer for every hour and walk around for 5 minutes. When you are on the phone, put on earbuds and walk around while you talk. Do not skip lunch. Spend part of the time getting your body moving during lunch.
- Incorporate movements to increase strength in our posterior chain
When you are sitting all day long, your hip flexors are tightened, and the backside of your body, your posterior chain becomes inactive or weakened. In addition, many people, including runners and cyclists, engage the front side of their bodies, and neglect the back side when exercising. To counteract this, you can include simple exercises that can be done throughout the day (in your movement breaks!), in your workouts, and also in the evenings. Many of them can even be done without breaking a sweat! Some examples are superman’s, wall angels, glute bridges, bent over rows, and deadlifts. If you are unsure how to do these movements with proper form, it is a great idea to work with a trainer to prevent injuries and strengthen the correct muscles.
- Strengthen Your Core
Many people think that you work your core so that you can have a flat stomach or a “six pack.” However, having a strong core will truly help you in every aspect of your life including posture, reducing lower back pain, and even increasing balance. If you are already sitting for long periods of time, it is best to avoid doing a lot of ab exercises that engage and work the hip flexors, such as bicycle crunches and sit-ups. Instead, try some of these exercises to increase core strength: planks, angry penguins, and flutter kicks. If you are unsure how to do these movements correctly, or maybe you lack motivation, I suggest you work with a trainer who can assist and motivate you.
- Visit a Chiropractor!
If you have been sitting for years, you may be experiencing some long-term issues that a great Austin-based chiropractor can help you to identify and put a plan together to help you resolve. Restoring normal movement and biomechanics is the foundation that most chiropractic treatments are built on, so it is a great place to start if you feel like you are having trouble getting moving. Some of the ways to know that you may need to see a chiropractor are chronic pain in your neck, back and/or shoulders; restriction of movement in your neck, shoulders, back, pelvis or hips; frequent headaches, or rounded shoulders.
By Dana Williams
Thanks, Dana. If you are one of the countless Americans that are feeling the effects of all that sitting, we have been doing then Camp Gladiator may be a great option for you. What I like about it and why I recommend it to a lot of my patients is that their trainers can work with you on your form to prevent injuries as well as modify the exercises for you if you are working through an injury.
CG is offering a one-week free trial so that you can find out if it is right for you.
You sign up by calling Dana at (512) 709-9176 or typing this into your web browser: bit.ly/danaoneweekfree or by using the QR code below
All the best to you from me and the entire team here at Austin’s TexStar Chiropractic!