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Evaluating and regaining posture

We often don’t realize, but posture plays an important role in portraying and maintaining our physical abilities. We also often don’t realize if our posture is right or not. It might feel right at times, but it’s not necessarily optimal for your physique. If you want to test your posture, there is a fairly easy way to do so.

Testing your posture

1. Remove your shoes and stand in from of a mirror on a flat ground. The mirror should be able to reflect at least a passport photo size image of yourself.

2. Feel, how you are carrying your weight. We are designed to be symmetric bipeds. And so, ideally, your weight should be divided evenly between your beet and should primarily be on the balls of your feet.

3. Observe, what direction your feet point in. Ideally, your toes should point straight ahead. But this largely depends on the shape of your femur and might take a while to re-adjust.

4. Observe, how your hands are positioned. They should be at your sides and not in front of you. You should be able to see the back of your thumb. You shouldn’t be able to see the inside of your hands.

5. Observe, how your shoulders are positioned. They should be level and more or less parallel to the mirror borders.

If you feel that you lack in any of the ideal situations listed above, you might want to work on your posture. A few exercises that might help are listed below. I’ve only included brief introduction to the exercises. You can read about it in detail over at huffington post:

1. Wall assisted body rebalance: With you legs parallel below the shoulders and hips and heels pressed against a wall, your head should touch the wall. Hold your posture with your head, shoulders, butt and heels touching the wall for as long as comfortable and improve the hold timing.

2. Janda’s shortfoot: Stand up straight. Move one foot about 2 feet in front of the other. Hold both feet flat on the ground. In this position, lift and drop your toes of the front foot. Do a comfortable number of reps and increase number over time.

3. Forward fold: Stand up straight. Lean forward such that your hands touch the ground right in front of your feet (or as far as you can go). Hold position until comfortable. Increase hold time.

4. Cat-Cow: Hold cat pose and cow pose alternatively for a comfortable time and comfortable number of reps. Cat pose is you being on your knees with you palms on the ground with your back pointing towards the ceiling. Cow pose is a similar position, but with your belly pointing towards the ground.

One thing to remember though, breathing deep is important for all these exercises. So do that and enjoy a nice perfect posture.

-Akshar Rawal

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Running…Ah running!

It’s been a year and a half since I “actually” started running. And by “actually” I mean, by choice and quite regularly. Now, it’s been a bit irregular lately, but still, whenever I start I don’t have trouble. And I like to start again. I need it. Before, even when I would start, it was never fun. So, how did the change come about? Let me take you through my journey of running.

First thing you need to know, feelings are all psychological (deep stuff, right there). Hating to run is no different. Why would you hate running and not sleeping? Consider this, what if you slept and felt sore every morning? Would you like sleeping? You’d change your sleeping posture or the mattress, that affects your posture, right?

The same thing goes for running. If you don’t run right, it causes all kinds of trouble for your body, which makes you hate and not continue running. So the first advice I got was improve your form. A colleague, who’d been running for a while shared some of his insights. He pointed me to Good form running. It takes a while to get it right. But once you do, running is all different. It feels good and haves you going back to it. Everything from there on out is just about consistency and improving your capacity with practice.

My next step, actually start running, consistently. I found out that I had horrible stamina. That’s when I was introduced to C25K – app. This is one of the apps, and you can choose any one you like. I happen to like this one. They are a set of apps that are designed to get you from the Couch to 5K. And this was perfect for me, coz that’s exactly what I was doing, starting from the couch. I have been using the app ever since. It’s been great and keeps me motivated with just the right amount of running that pushes my limits just enough every time.

It was all well and fine , until…Yeah it’s the same until. I found myself breaking off around the 4th week. When I started again, I would go back a week, because I’d lost my stamina to continue. Another break and I’d have to start all over again. This happened a few times with vacations and winter and stuff. So I changed my plans.

See, whenever I started from square one, it was easier than before. So, I started off running faster than the last time (Most apps have tracking to help). And I’ve been trying to extend my strength limits lately instead of stamina. You can choose either. The ultimate stage is essentially to run fast and long, right? 🙂

Well, that’s my story. There’s a more elaborate article over at Lifehacker that motived me to write this.

-Akshar Rawal

Learn to do push-ups right

I recently started doing push ups the right way and I gotta say, its quite a challenge. But, only at first. Once you get the hang of it, it’s really fun. So how can you get to that phase where you start looking forward to it? Well there’s a few ways you can do it.

1. You can start with doing a small number of full push ups. You can learn it to do the right way here.

2. If you’re not able to do it the right way, no worries. You can start with doing negative push ups. What is that, you ask? Well its a partial push up. You just try to go down the right way. You don’t have to get back up the right way. Start from the “arms stretched” position and lower yourself slowly. Come back up any way comfortable. Over time, you should be able to even lift yourself the right way. Lowering yourself in a controlled fashion is the primary part of the push up.

3. Having trouble doing that too. There’s still another option. Elevated/inclined surfaces. Start on stairs or a table or a chair. Start there instead of the floor and work your way down.

For either option, there are apps out there that help you set a regime. I for one, use the 100 pushups app on android. Not the best one probably, but gets me by.

-Akshar Rawal

Texting lately? Check this out!

Excess of anything is bad. Everyone knows that. The same goes for texting. But how is it bad?

Check out the inforgraphic over at huffingtonpost that explains the effects of texting on your body.

-Akshar Rawal

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