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Top Ten Things for Improving your Wellbeing Right Now!By Brooke Siler
We do we seem to always be looking for major ways to change everything we do all at once when in fact it’s the small changes we make that add up to a whole lot more in the long run? Here are a few of my favorite small changes that make big differences. By the way, I give these as homework to all my students (including the celebs) and they create the most long-lasting changes because they go after bad-habits and raise body awareness.
1. Consciousness through Observation: Stand in front of a mirror and study your standing form. Is one hip higher than the other? Do you favor one leg more then the other? Is one shoulder raised? Do you roll to the inside or outside of your feet? Ask yourself “What habits do I have that create these effects?” “What can I do to recreate balance in my body?” (e.g. Carry my bag on the other shoulder, walk evenly through each step, cross my opposite leg over the other when sitting, etc.) These questions alone can begin to reeducate you to simple resolutions for slight aches or pains.
2. Remind yourself to sit and walk tall creating “perfect posture”. Imagine pressing the crown of your head upwards toward the ceiling or balancing a stack of books on your head. Do not allow bad habits to create muscle imbalances. Instead begin to create awareness by listening to your body.
3. Take time to wander. Sometimes a stroll through a bookstore or another place that has visual stimulation without crowding your already busy brain can be just the thing that helps clear thinking and allows the brain to process extraneous information.
4. Before getting out of bed in the morning bring your knees into your chest to stretch out your lower back. Upon sitting up, reach forward and try to touch your toes. Make sure to breathe and don’t push the stretch. (Especially if you have any notable back problems such as herniated discs or chronic back strain). Stretch your arms above your head and take a moment to let your body catch up to your brain before rushing off to work.
5. Before heading out for lunch lean up against a wall with your feet about a foot in front of you and slowly roll your upper body down toward the floor. Think of “peeling” each vertebra off the wall as you go and stopping at the bottom of your low back. Let your arms hang loosely by your ears and take a deep breath. As you begin to roll back up the wall imagine you are placing each vertebra back on the wall, an inch higher than where it was originally, and create an imprint of your spine into the plaster behind you. Remember to soften (micro-bend) your knees to avoid any muscle strain in your back.
6. When you feel tension or tightness in your neck do not toss your head from side to side to release it, instead roll your shoulders forwards and backwards in complete circles to loosen the muscles that lead up to your neck. Much neck strain comes from the back and shoulders and not from the neck itself.
7. Stand tall with your heels together and your toes about three inches apart. From the connection of your heels begin to feel you are “sewing” your legs together into one unit without gripping your knees. Feel the muscles of your inner thighs and buttocks working to create a stable base from which you can pull up in your waist and balance. Press the crown of your head upward toward the ceiling. Try to rise onto your toes without your heels separating and hold this balanced position for a count of three. Slowly begin lowering your heels back down to the floor feeling as though you are resisting gravity’s pull downward. Make sure you are not gripping the muscles around your knee joints. Repeat 3 times.
8. When sitting (especially during meals) – remember not to slump backwards in your chair. Instead sit at the front (or very back edge if it is a straight-backed chair) with your legs uncrossed, and pitch your torso slightly forward until you feel you are sitting on top of your “sit bones” (These are the ischial tuberosities). Remember that your pelvis is part of your torso and that you should not simply bend forward from the waist but instead lift up out of your waist take the whole unit forward with you. This simple move can help with digestion by allowing circulation to flow throughout your center.
9. When you walk into a room-any room- imagine you are entering the Grand room at the Ball and stand tall and proud with your chest and head high. There is nothing that garners as much attention or inspires as much confidence as a well-poised and postured body.
10. Smile! It works 12 muscles in your face as well as balances your blood pressure, heartbeat, and respiration. Also…it’s pretty nice to look at.
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