Sitting at a computer and desk most of the day can cause a lot of pain in the Trapezius muscle. This is the muscle that sits on top of the shoulders at the neck region. You can relieve this tension and pain throughout the day with 15-20 reps of the following exercises every hour. Plus you get the benefit of burning a few more calories throughout the day.
Sitting with an upright posture, perform 15–20 reps of the following exercises.
1. Scapular Pinches. Roll the shoulders back, and pinch the shoulder blades together.
2. Shoulder Shrugs. Raise the shoulders up toward the ears, then lower them back down.
3. Neck Side-Bending. Tilt one ear toward the shoulder, and hold briefly. Repeat on the opposite side.
4. Neck Rotation. Look over one shoulder, and pause briefly. Repeat on the opposite side.
If you feel tight or sore in the upper trapezius after the above movement-oriented exercises, perform 1–3 reps of the following static stretch, holding each rep for 30 seconds.
5. Neck Side-Bending/Rotation Stretch.
- In a standing or seated position, place the right hand on top of the head and let the left arm rest at the side.
- Gently pull the head toward the right shoulder with the right hand.
- Rotate the head down and look at the right hip. (The stretch should be felt on the left side of the neck/shoulder area.)
- Repeat on the opposite side.
Just adding these exercises to your daily routine can truly help decrease the tension.
The provide link is an article about a HERO that I have had the opportunity to work with. He is a daily inspiration for me, and I know he is for others as well.
Just like anything in life you need to develop a strong foundation. We have all heard the saying you don’t build a house without first building a strong foundation. That statement rings true with a healthy lifestyle. If you have been sedentary you can’t just jump right in and become fit and eat healthy. You have to take the proper steps to build that foundation. When you properly build a foundation you are building for a life long journey of success.
To start building your health and fitness foundation, you must build it on the following five elements; Prioritization of fitness and healthy living, Mindfulness, Confidence, Passion, and Support.
Prioritization of Fitness and Healthy Living:
Many of us spend our lives giving to others so much that we forget to give to ourselves. Though giving to others and helping others is important and a good trait to have, it truly cannot be fulfilled if we are not taking care of ourselves. We are only our best, when we take care of ourselves and be our best.
To be our best we must prioritize and make ourselves important. This requires effort and time that is spent every day on self-improvement. Just as basic things like hygiene, sleep, work, and other things in our daily lives are priorities, a healthy lifestyle must become just as important.
Taking time for the act of fitness, consciously making the decision to put healthy food in your body, writing down goals, ridding your life of toxic people and things, these are just some of the things that can help you begin to create healthy living. Taking time every day to put some focus on this will begin to build that foundation.
This is being aware of you, your fitness, and your life. It is more than just paying general attention. This is truly being intimately aware of your actions, decisions, body, and surrounding. This is taking the time to work at truly building a mind-body connection that creates more awareness.
An example of mindfulness follows this question. How many people to you see go to the gym day after day and really never get anywhere? I can tell you the reason why this is…Lack of Mindfulness. If you go to the gym with a friend and just carry a conversation while working out you are not being mindful. Being mindful is going to the gym with a friend and pushing each other. If you are mindful, you will be to out of breath to carry on a conversation. This continues outside the gym. Be mindful of your nutrition decisions. After all, nutrition is 75% of a healthy lifestyle.
Truly being present and focused on your nutrition and workouts will turn your routine into success.
Confidence is derived from positive inner affirmations. You need to tell yourself you are worth it, you can do it, I can make it, I want to live longer, I want to look and feel younger. When you can begin pushing through and providing positive affirmations when you want to give up during a workout, choose a bad food, or make it through a rough patch in life it will resonate into creating success.
Confidence comes from reminding yourself and knowing that for every miss-step or failure is a learning experience that you must become engaged with to learn to move forward and succeed in the next attempt.
Passion Fuels Action! There are two types of decision making. Making a decision for instrumental reasons – thinking the decision will lead to something else, and fundamental reasons – doing something because you really want to do it and make a difference.
Those who succeed make their decision for a healthy lifestyle based on fundamental reasons and passion. When things you do have worth and meaning, you tend to get excited and pursue with more passion.
Find physical activities that you enjoy, then push your enjoyment into passion, which will in turn allow for more success and results.
Use this same premise for food. Find foods you love and learn to make them work in your life, whether it’s changing the recipes to make them healthier, finding alternatives to the food, learning how to cook, and learning about new foods.
Whatever it is do it with PASSION!
Social support and networks of people are important. If you are trying to succeed and everyone around you is attempting to sabotage you intentionally or unintentionally, you will hit a road block. Hire a trainer, join a group training class, or sign up for an event. These are just a few ways that you can build a support network.
Align yourself with people that have reached goals you want to reach or are working toward similar goals. This will help keep you motivated, educate you, and provide you support.
You never see an athlete training with someone who is not as good as them. They always train with those who are better than their current fitness level. That is because this makes them push harder, instill more passion, and become better.
True support will make you stronger!
A healthy lifestyle has no end. It is a journey. It is something you must strive for, work at, and continue to perfect over time. Even top athletes continue to set goals and continue to strive and work. Whether you are new to this or on a steady path, keeping these five principles in hand will help you continue your healthy lifestyle journey for life and with success.
Accountability equals success! This is true in all facets of life. It is definitely the factor that rings most important when it comes to health, fitness, and wellness.
There are two types of accountability in the health and fitness world; workout accountability and nutrition accountability. Both are very important to your success, whether you are trying to lose weight, maintain your weight, or work toward a fitness or exercise event or goal.
There are several effective ways to be held accountable and establish accountability. You can hold yourself accountable, have a friend hold you accountable, work with a personal trainer and nutritionist, or use an online program or app. Of course when you are using yourself or the app on your own, you must make sure that you are being honest with yourself. Having a friend or trainer help you adds a higher level of accountability since you have to answer to someone else.
When deciding to make lifestyle changes, you have to be fully committed to changing your nutrition habits, and establishing a proper workout regimen. Before you begin, ask yourself if you truly can hold yourself accountable for workouts that are on a schedule and with changing your nutrition. If for a moment you think this may be a problem, then you know it is time to add in the higher level accountability by having friends, family members or a trainer be in charge of keeping an eye on your goals and checking in with you.
Of course, having a personal trainer is the most effective way to reach a health and fitness goal or goals. Personal trainers, like me, not only provide you with proper progressive workouts, but they hold you accountable to show up, get you through the workouts without quitting, and keep you on course to change your nutrition habits into ones that you can maintain for life. All of my clients have many different ways that we keep in contact when they are not training with me.
It takes an average of 21 days to develop a habit, but it takes on average 21 months to make lifestyle changes a part of your daily life. Make working out part of your daily routine, the same as you have other things as a part of your daily routine. Would you skip brushing your teeth every day? So why skip working out or eating correctly? Your physical health, fitness and proper nutrition are very important. Your health is something that once it goes bad, is very difficult to get it back and sometimes you can never fully get it back. Maintaining your body is just as important as the maintenance you do on your car. Why would you take better care of your car, then you do yourself. You only have one body, so take good care of it.
It’s easy to NOT workout. It’s easier to sit on the couch and watch TV, than to take 30-40 minutes to get a workout in. We all have busy lives, and we are all are given the same amount of time each day. You have to CHOOSE to be healthy.
There is always something that motivates us. You need to find that something that motivates YOU. Whether it’s a dress you fit into 5 years ago, or a picture of the body you want. Keep that goal in mind and remind yourself of it often. Try hanging the dress you want to fit into somewhere you will see it every day. Take pictures of yourself now, and every month take new pictures every month and hang them side-by-side. Always keep your goals in mind and let it motivate you to succeed.
Accountability can be tough, but you can hold yourself accountable. Whether you have to hold yourself accountable through the use of a friend, a trainer, an app, or a combination of ways, it is the key to success. Stay focused on whatever goal you have and don't stop until you achieve it. All it takes is your hard work, dedication, and true accountability.
You will achieve your new attitude, motivation and personal power!
Taking responsibility for all of your actions, reactions and non-actions, while becoming conscious of, and consciously utilizing your power to choose will enable and empower you to create and experience a more harmonious and authentic life.
Though we have all been born into different families and circumstances, we still all have the power to choose our paths. The power of that choice is an incredible gift.
Unfortunately it is a gift that many choose to not utilize, or unconsciously utilize at best. This only serves to produce “undesired” or mediocre results at best.
This is why so many "perceive" themselves as victims or creatures of circumstance rather than "creators of circumstance."
This Power to Choose on the surface can be quite obvious to most, as we utilize this power daily as we make choices about where we work, what we eat, the clothes we wear, when we go to bed, etc. These common on the surface "external" examples of how we exercise our power to choose individually are the obvious conscious choices that we each make on a day to day basis.
Most overlook the fact that the vast majority of our choices made are being made "unconsciously", below your conscious awareness. Every minute of the day, both on a conscious or subconscious level we choose and there is an inevitable outcome that follows. Although we are well aware of the "conscious choices", it's more times than not the "unconscious choices" that lead to producing our "less than desired" results regardless of how badly we may "want" something.
With each choice that we make, comes the need for accepting responsibility for what we experience in our life, in relation to each of the choices we make.
If we are unhappy in our work, we have free will, or a choice to change our profession. The choices we make concerning the kind of foods that we eat or whether or not we workout, will determine our health to a great extent. What time we choose to go to bed at night determines how we feel the next day.
We have been given the power to choose and decide these things for ourselves, and each and every one of these obvious "conscious choices" is a direct reflection of the outcomes that we experience on a day to day basis.
Our lives, the events, conditions and circumstances in our lives are nothing more than a mirrored reflection of the predominant mindset that we choose to hold. The choices which we make, have, and continue to make will produce our future results. These go much deeper than the day to day choices relating to the physical activities that we engage in, which most "perceive" as being the ultimate cause of these outcomes. This requires a deeper look without fail at the quality of our consciousness which in turn reflects in the day to day choices that we each make, and the outcomes that we experience.
If we have "less than desired" outcomes, whether physically, financially, relationally, emotionally or spiritually, making the choice to enhance our level of awareness and responsibility for our choice of action, reaction or non-action allows us to start becoming more aware of our "conscious choosing" to "apply" what we discover to change the end result.
Contrary to the majority mindset, life is not a random and chaotic unfolding of events, conditions and circumstances. For every effect, there exists a cause. Most just choose not to look deeply enough to discover the "true cause."
When we take responsibility, take a moment for self-reflection, and truly look deep within ourselves we can change the results and outcomes. Sometimes this can be done on our own, and other times it requires a personal lifestyle fitness coach, a personal trainer, a nutritionist, a therapist or others to help use out.
Whether we do it on our own or with the expertise of others, we have “The Power of Self Responsibility and Choice!”.
You have finally got yourself on track and being consistent with regular exercise, good nutrition, and logging/tracking everything to hold yourself accountable. Now it is time for you to go on vacation. Does this mean you throw in the towel and let it all go down the drain? Absolutely NOT!
If you are on a weight loss journey, then you need to stick to your guns while on vacation. This will keep a set back at bay. Can you indulge once or twice while on vacation? Yes, but you need to still keep track and keep moving.
If you are not on a weight loss journey and just maintaining, then tracking is really important. Excess calories can get the best of you really fast without accountability. Yes you can indulge here and there, but don’t throw it all away for a too many hot fudge sundaes.
So how can you maintain those health and fitness goals you’ve finally arrived at and keep from over splurging, even while on vacation? The answer is the same way that you do when you are not on vacation.
Here are your vacation tips:
1. Be prepared
Know where you’re going and what kinds of food will be there. If you’re going to a barbecue and you’re expecting there to be a lot of fatty foods, like potato salad, bring your own food, or eat beforehand so you’re already full.
Also, before you go out of town, do your restaurant research.
2. Plan activities that involve movement
Every environment offers ways to stay active.
If you’re going to the beach, sign up for a surf lesson. Go for a hike if there are trails nearby, or just go for a walk around the boulevard.
3. Visit the hotel gym
Most hotels have gyms for their guests to use. Make time early in the morning or late at night to make use of it and you won’t have to worry about exercising during the rest of the day.
4. Keep track of your calorie intake
It is okay to indulge and treat yourself, but keep track of how many ice creams cones you eat.
Keeping track, keeps you mindful.
5. Keep the right mind-set
You’re never going to enjoy yourself if you think of healthy living as torture.
Remember food is a fuel. Think of what your body needs to be properly fueled so that it has energy to go to that museum or amusement park all day.
6. Pack light hand-weights or resistant bands
Packing these items will allow you to do some exercise before leaving the room
Make time in your vacation plans for exercise.
7. Do little exercises in the water
Most vacations have some form of water available, whether it is a basic pool, glorious lagoon style pool, or at the beach. While you want to relax by the water, every half hour get in the water and do things like leg raises, jump up and down, or even do a few laps. The resistance the water gives you will intensify the workout, and have no impact on your joints.
8. Find a quote that inspires you
Having a daily or weekly mantra helps. Find a quote that inspires you to stay healthy and fit, even while treating yourself.
1.Make it YOUR goal - not someone else's expectation of you. In order to succeed, YOU have to be convinced that this is something you really want to do.
2.Create a plan. Take the time and effort to figure out HOW you'll succeed. Certified personal trainers and credible books and articles are your best sources of help here.
3.Expect failure…and then get over it. Life happens an...d you WILL have setbacks. Just get back on your feet as soon as possible.
4.Get support: Get a workout buddy or trainer; and tell your family and friends about your goal-they will encourage you and help you stay on track.
5.Break your main goal into smaller steps and focus on those day to day steps.
LIE #1: I have no energy, working out will just make me more tired.
REALITY CHECK: Studies have shown that exercise can help people who have chronic fatigue syndrome. Exercise will make you feel more energetic. This of course is under the premise that you have gotten enough sleep, and are not on any medications that can make you drowsy.
LIE #2: Going to the gym and working out is too expensive.
REALITY CHECK: There may be a bit of truth to this depending on the gym. Yes, not all gym memberships are created equal, and some will break the bank. However, the gym is not the only place that you can workout. Between home equipment, and a little creativity, you can spice up your workout plan.
LIE #3: I am too busy to workout. I can't find the time in my schedule.
REALITY CHECK: There are 1,440 minutes in a day. If you take some time to reflect on all you do during the day, there is time to workout. Do you spend time on the computer (Facebook, internet surfing), or spend time watching TV? If so, then maybe there is some time you can carve out for workouts.
These are just a few of the excuses/lies that we tell ourselves. Making a decision to incorporate fitness and clean eating into your life comes down to your commitment to yourself. Yes, everyone has distractions, or a bad day, but give yourself a reality check and don't get in the way of your success.
If you work at a desk or in meetings for 12-15 hours a day, the last thing you are thinking about by days end is working out.
The biggest excuse, or reason people put off working out after work is they are to tired. No kidding! After you sit as a sedentary individual all day, staring at a computer, and breathing half the breaths that an active person breaths due to sitting there is no wonder you are tired and unmotivated.
Did you know that in a 12 hour work day you can get 48 minutes of exercise in without even doing exercise on your lunch hour. If you have an hour lunch you could definitely squeeze in more time then, but we will discuss that in a moment.
First thing is equip your office with the right tools. Have athletic shoes, maybe some resistance bands, a set or two of dumbbells, and always utilize office furniture.
Exercises can consist of jumping jacks, push ups, using the resistance bands, running in place, simulating jumping rope (or actually have a jump rope if space permits), tricep dips off chairs, biocep curls, squats, etc. The list is really endless.
So, how do you get 48 minutes of exercise and still get your work done. Every exercise needs to be done for 1-minute. Every 15 minutes you will do one exercise. By days end you will have accomplished 48 minutes of exercise. How cool is that?
Now back to the lunch time workout. If you have an hour lunch, do 30 minutes of exercise. When you are done with your 30 minutes each your lunch while you are cooling down. Then you will be ready to get changed back into your work clothes, and ready to conquer the afternoon.
If you have the ability to add the lunch time workout, you will have a total of 78 minutes of exercise in by the end of your work day. Plus you will feel more energized throughout the day, and after work. Oh, and it is proven that you are more alert and productive when you take breaks from your work for a minute.
So it is a win for your, and your employer.