There are some things we all do that aren’t good for us.
And usually this relates to things that we do so frequently that it becomes second nature and we hardly give it second thought.
But the problem is that because we do these things so often that we become unaware of the damage we are doing to our bodies.
We gradually accomodate to the stress or strain of these actions that pretty soon we are totally unaware of their effects. Consider the two examples below.
The first is something we do during the day and includes almost everyone. To understand what I’m talking about imagine standing in a line somewhere. Maybe at the bank. Or the post office. Or at Starbucks.
Now most of you are relatively active and healthy people. You understand the importance of proper posture. You know to how to establish a neutral optimally aligned position.
But then we get into line and we get lazy.
We push our hips to one side. We bend the knee on the opposite side and lock out the knee on the same side that we pushed our hips towards.
And because our legs and hips are out of alignment we bend through the torso laterally in order to adjust to the deviations below.
Take a look the picture below.
Can you see all of these things happening?
Looks pretty bad when you examine it closely and compare it to what proper posture should look like.
But no one bats an eye when the see something like this. Partly because we all do it. And partly because we do it so frequently.
Let’s look at another example. This one is during the night.
In this picture the person is sleeping on his stomach.
To accomodate this position the ankles need to be plantar flexed (toes pointed), the pelvis will be anteriorly tilted, the low wil be arched, the neck will be extended and the head turned to the side.
If you were awake you probably wouldn’t last more than 5 minutes in this position. But when you’re asleep you can go hours this way and wonder why everything hurts in the morning.
Take home message
The truth is we get the best results from the things we do most often.
If I’m active 6 days a week and relax one day I should get good results.
If I follow my meal plan 90% of the time and enjoy cheat foods 10% of the time I’ll probably be happy with my progress.
But sleeping can account for 33% of the total week’s hours (assuming I get 8 hours a night).
And how often do think about our posture when standing? Ever?
Can you see how quickly we can undermine our own efforts for proper posture and alignment? Can you see how besides the 3-10 hours a week you spend in the gym there are still 158+ hours to undue and reverse all of your efforts at pain-free quality movement.
Keep these two tips in mind this week. When you find yourself standing in a line check your alignment. Is your weight balanced between both feet? Are your hips and trunk level? Is your chest tall? Are your shoulders down and back? Is your head neutral?
And if you’re a stomach sleeper wear the spikiest belt you can find inside out before you go to sleep.
Well on second thought don’t do that but do try and get out of the habit of sleeping on your stomach.
Chris okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’