Sometimes we start a new project or exercise plan not knowing exactly what we want to get out of it. And, that’s fair. Often we don’t really know what can happen. There’s the direct results, and then there’s related, or ripple, effects. We can’t control or anticipate everything. And, there’s a learning curve. Often when we learn something new it can lead to “ah-ha’s” that we didn’t even know were there. That is one of the cool things about the journey of life.
I often write about how to get the most out of any exercise you do. Why? In a nutshell, it saves you time and you get better results.
But what does “better results” mean?
For some, results look like a smaller dress size or losing weight for a college reunion. Trouble is, once that result is achieved, often it’s back to the same old habits. Then the dress size goes back up or the smaller pants don’t fit any more.
I would put it to you that there are ways to get other, more fantastic and long-lasting results. It comes from learning how to get the most out of whatever exercise you are doing.
The number one thing is learning to use and reinforce good posture whenever possible. This one is huge, so I put it before anything else. If you set up for exercise (or even sitting around) in the best possible alignment that you can, every move you make from there on out will do several things for you.
- One is that your muscles can then work in their optimal position. When that happens, you avoid straining those or other muscles. That sort of thing leads to aches and pains or injury.
- The other thing is that muscles in good alignment work together more efficiently. That helps to make you stronger.
- Another one is that you can start to change old habits like slouching that lead to lethargy. For some reason, lethargy loves to build on itself. Once you feel lethargic, you don’t want to get up and move. It’s a downhill spiral.
It’s all about posture.
So, first and foremost, when you exercise or move around anywhere, any time, pay attention to your posture.
If you are doing an exercise standing up, STAND TALL before you start. What does that mean? It means extend your spine by lifting the top of your head to the ceiling. Bring your shoulder blades towards each other and down so that your chest opens and lifts up. Then, check out your low back. Is your tummy jutting forward so that your back is arched more than a little bit (some curve in your low back is normal)? If so, draw your naval back towards your spine gently without changing anything else. That means you don’t suck in your tummy by hollowing that area and rounding your back. Just stand tall and press back with your abdominals.
Similar things go on if you are seated on a chair, bench, or ball. Extend up through the top of your head, shoulders down and back, chest lifted, abdominals engaged.
At this point you may be thinking it’s too much to ask, especially when adding movement to it. But, if you can master this again and again, any movement that follows will feel much better AND give you better results. Forever.
All the best
PS. BTW, great posture and alignment also helps you look better in whatever dress or pants you are wearing. It’s a win-win.
© 2018 Kristen Carter. All rights reserved.