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Let's Get Physical...

3 Types of Stress(2)Like we mentioned yesterday…physical stress is anything that impacts or reduces the way your body moves and functions.  So it could be related to old injuries, accidents, but one of our most important tips is related to POSTURE!

STEP #1: Check your posture!Untitled design(7)

Yep, I said it!  Did you suddenly shift into a straighter seated position?  Did your shoulders relax from their scrunched up position by your ears?  Your mom and probably grandma always told you “Sit up straight!”  “Don’t slouch!” While these were eye-roll inducing as teens…they were pretty smart!

Bottom line, improving your posture is essential for improving your health.  We tell patients in our office daily that body imbalance related to posture equals brain imbalance in our nervous systems.

Being aware of your posture at home and at work is the key first step.  We talk a lot about keeping your ears, shoulders, hips, and knees in a straight line when you are standing.  You can have your partner or a friend take a photo of you standing in your most natural posture to check the alignment of those structures.  

Working at a desk, and recently, at a work from home desk, its important to have it set up with the optimal ergonomics.  Are you able to sit with your feet flat on the floor?  Is your computer monitor at eye level? Are your hips, knees, and elbows at a comfortable 90 degree angle with your wrists in a neutral position?  Anytime you work at a desk, set a timer to get up and stretch at least every 45-60 minutes.  

Are you a new mom nursing or bottle feeding a baby?  Using a Boppy pillow with adequate support for baby helps keep your posture at its best.  Tuck a small pillow behind your lower back, and sit up with criss cross applesauce legs to prevent slouching.  If you are bottle feeding your baby, switch sides that you are holding them halfway through to reduce the strain on your dominant side.  

Daily stretching, or yoga can be incredibly beneficial to your posture…which leads me to Step #2!

Untitled design(8)STEP #2: Exercise!

Especially this time of year, we hear a constant onslaught of the benefits of exercise.  But we all know that moving our bodies intentionally every day is vital to our overall health.  Sometimes, though, that thought can be daunting itself.  Making small efforts to move everyday is a great place to start!  Don’t think you need to train for a marathon or power-lifting event to get started!

The goal is 30 minutes of INTENTIONAL movement each day, but if you are starting at zero, aiming for 15-20 minutes, 3 times a week is a great place to begin.  Slowly start to increase you time and frequency until you have made it a habit!

This was a HUGE lesson for me in my own fitness journey…but find movement you enjoy and look forward to!  Running?  No thank you!  And once I realized I could hit my goals and not be required to run, it got much easier to make the time to exercise each day.  Maybe its yoga, or Zumba, or water aerobics, or meeting your neighbors for a daily walk with the kids, whatever makes you happy to move your body counts!  I also like to use something called “habit stacking” to push me to move.  I will often find an audio book or podcast I really want to listen to, but only allow myself to listen when I’m doing my daily movement.  Its a life hack that had made a huge difference!

What’s your favorite type of exercise to do?  Comment below and you may find yourself a friend with similar interests!


Tomorrow, we discuss the 2 Steps to reduce your chemical stress!  See you then!

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