- What can you do to strengthen your muscles? Studies say high resistance exercise like weight lifting.
- What can you do to strengthen your bones? Studies say high impact exercises like running and jumping.
- What can you do to strengthen your heart and lungs? Studies say any cardiovascular exercise like running, swimming, or cross-country skiing.
- What can you do to strengthen your cartilage in your joints? Studies say cyclical loading exercise like running.
- What can you do to strengthen your intervertebral discs? Nothing. At least that's what people believed until recently. Before this year there were no scientific studies that showed you could strengthen your intervertebral discs, but a new study has changed all that.
Osteoarthritis is commonly believed, by doctors and the general population, to be a disease of aging and obesity. Knee osteoarthritis (OA) can be found in about 1/3 of all adults over 60 years old in the United States. The prevalence of osteoarthritis has doubled in just the last 50 years.
This is how most doctors have thought about OA up until today:
There have been studies however that are starting to disprove this theory. A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences throws the theories of aging and obesity causing knee OA out the window.
One very important key to health is variety. Variety of movement. Variety of activities. Variety of exercise. Variety of stimulus. It is often said, humans are creatures of habit. Why? Because doing many, if not most, of our daily activities unconsciously saves us time and mental energy. Evolutionarily this saving of time and energy allowed us to invent tools, control fire, and eventually invent cars, computers, the internet, and the new iPhone X.
Habit has great benefits, but also some downsides. Being creatures of habit means as we do the same things each day, we tend to move the same each day. We get out of bed the same way, brush our teeth the same way, our movements in the shower are the same every day, we park in the same place each day, walk the same route daily, do the same exercises at the gym, etc. This pattern of habit creates many imbalances in our body that can lead to injury and pain. Variety breaks this cycle and saves us from injury and pain.
The Floor Block is a great e-cise to improve upper body posture and alignment. It is very common for people of all ages to have some degree of thoracic kyphosis, rounded shoulders, and forward head posture. The Floor Block will help correct all these imbalances which can lead to decreased pain, better breathing, less headaches, and improved athletic performance.
To do the Floor Block you will need two Egoscue Small Foam Blocks and an open floor.
Our bodies lose water all day long through sweat, breathing, and elimination (going to the bathroom). We must replace that lost water on a daily basis or we will become dehydrated and risk negative health consequences and even death (depending on the person and environment, you can live from a few hours to a few days without water before dying).
Summer is winding down and it's back to school time. Going back to school presents several challenges for students of different ages that can negatively affect their posture and health. Here are the challenges preschool, elementary school, middle school, high school, and college/graduate school students face and how to combat them:
August is National Golf Month
In celebration of National Golf Month this August, I am offering free 30-minute golf specific posture evaluations. Sign up by contacting me and requesting a golf specific evaluation.
July is National Park and Recreation Month which is designed to encourage you to get outside and enjoy the many benefits of nature and play. The theme of 2017 National Park and Recreation Month is Get Your Play On!
Idiopathic means of unknown cause and often of spontaneous origin. Idiopathic back pain is back pain that doctors cannot explain because there is not obvious structural cause of the pain like a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, or stenosis. Idiopathic back pain is the "diagnosis" given by doctors to patients that have chronic (over 6 months) back pain and they have been unable to figure out why. There is always a reason why however...
Chronic back pain can be very debilitating and often all you want is to find a way to make your pain go away.
Steve Kerr, coach of the Golden State Warriors basketball team, was in that place in 2015 when after rupturing a disc in his back he just wanted the pain to go away and was told surgery would fix his problem. Before surgery Kerr's pain was so bad that he couldn't walk more than 30 yards without needing to stop and sit down. He described it as "getting old."
I think his injury and pain had nothing to do with his age and can't be blamed on "getting old".
About Matt Whitehead
I'm an Egoscue University certified Postural Alignment Specialist (PAS) and Advanced Exercise Therapist (AET), certified personal trainer, PatchFitness performer, FiveFingers wearer, trail runner, cyclist, dad, music lover, environmentalist, hiker, and wanna-be slam dunk champion. I will be providing you with the latest posture exercises to help you live, play, and be pain free.