If you are like me, you’re never without your iPhone. I apologize to all of you android users as I am not sure if these are options for you.
What I love about this app is that you don’t have to be a designer to look like you have designed your own fancy overlay. You can choose from someone more talented than you are and “Remix” their image using your own image. This adds a professional flair to it in seconds. Here is an example of my own image I “Remixed”. I simply took my stock image I had of the sunset/lake and set it behind the Text Overlay Template I grabbed in the App. If you would like the Free Tutorial on how I did this, click the button for the instant download.
My Favorite Text Overlays
Proper posture is critical in minimizing and eliminating pain throughout the body. One of the areas of the body that good posture benefits the most is the neck and spine. Proper posture keeps the spine aligned, maintaining its natural curves and helping it absorb the daily pressures the body is put through at home, work and play.
Why is Good Posture Important?
Good posture is important because it helps the body support its weight by evenly distributing it throughout the torso and extremities. When proper posture is exhibited, the body will support its’ weight without causing undue stress to surrounding muscles, ligaments and joints. When poor posture is exhibited, unnecessary pressure is placed on the back, hips, legs and feet, causing pain from the neck down to the toes.
Although good posture is highly encouraged, it certainly does not come easy. It takes diligence, practice and awareness to correct poor posture and maintain it since slouching, leaning to one side and leaning the head forward seem natural to most. While it can seem difficult to retrain the body to sit, stand, sleep, and walk in a different position, it is certainly within everyone’s ability to change it and improve overall health for good.
Below are ten tips for improving poor posture and ergonomics. These tips apply to life at home, work and play. How many do you practice on a daily basis?
Maintain a Neutral Position While Sleeping
Sleep positioning can cause a variety of issues when it comes to posture. Sleeping on a mattress that is old or not supportive can cause unnecessary stress on the spine and its curvature. A firm mattress will help keep the spine straight and aligned throughout the night. Using too many pillows can also affect posture during sleep. It can hyperextend the neck and cause pain that leads to headaches and pinched nerves. Ideally, you should sleep with only one pillow while sleeping on your side or your back. A pillow can also be placed between the legs while sleeping on either side in order to keep the spine aligned. When purchasing a pillow, it is important to choose one that keeps the head aligned with the rest of the body. Contoured pillows are good options since they are firm and have a dip to provide a groove for the neck to rest in. Sleeping on your stomach should be avoided because it curves the neck and back. It causes soreness because it is not a natural position to be in and causes the neck to be tilted back.
When too much time is spent sitting or standing, muscles begin to tire out and posture suffers as a result. The back begins to curve, the head leans forward and the hips go in. To avoid poor posture from lack of movement, it is important to change positions often whether you are sitting in a chair at work, driving, standing in line or sitting at home on your couch. Every 30 minutes, get up and walk around to stretch the muscles. If you are driving, stop and stretch for at least a few minutes before getting back into your vehicle.
Use Ergonomic tools
There are many ergonomic aids you can use to help improve posture, especially while sitting in a chair at work or while driving. A variety of back rests and lumbar support pads are available to help prevent slouching and promote natural curvature of the spine while seated. For some, it may be necessary to wear lumbar support braces or sacroiliac belts while at work. If your job involves heavy lifting or constant bending and twisting, braces and SI belts can provide stability for the spine and reduce the chance or injury from poor posture and incorrect spinal movements.
Wear Proper Shoes
Proper shoes help promote good posture by maintaining the natural arch of the foot and absorbing the impact while walking, running, working and playing sports. When flat shoes without an arch are worn, such as flip flops or slip-ons, they negatively affect posture by changing the spine’s alignment. More pressure is placed on the heel as opposed to equally balancing it between the ball and heel of the foot, affecting the lower back and spine. High heels affect posture in a similar fashion. They throw off the body’s center of gravity and the spine has to compensate to maintain stability. This places added stress on the muscles surrounding the back, leading to back pain and soreness. If your job requires you to wear shoes that do not provide adequate support, it is important to wear orthotics or insoles whenever possible. Have an extra pair of supportive shoes on hand that you can wear on your breaks and while walking to and from your vehicle.
Carry Your Belongings Wisely
Virtually everyone carries either a bag or backpack throughout the day for work, play or both. Whether it is a gym bag, a backpack for school, a computer bag at work or a standard purse for personal belongings, large bags are a part of our daily life and play a critical role in how posture is maintained, or not. More often than not, these bags are carried incorrectly and with too much weight. This has led to increased back, neck and shoulder pain not only for adults, but for young children and teenagers as well. When carrying a bag or backpack, it is important to equally balance the weight so there is not increased pressure on one side of the body. This will lead to a shift in the spine and could eventually lead to serious back problems as well. If you carry a backpack, it should be carried using both straps, with one on each shoulder. The straps should be adjusted so the backpack is carried around the middle of the back and not hang below the buttocks.
With purses, shoulder bags and computer bags, it is important to choose those with thick, padded straps. It is also important to switch the side the bag is carried on and shift it from front to back while carrying it to evenly distribute the weight.
If the backpack, purse, computer or gym bag you carry is heavy and the load cannot be lightened, it may be wise to switch to rolling bags that can be dragged instead of carried over the shoulder. This could alleviate a considerable amount of pressure on the spine and save you years of pain and suffering.
Stress plays a large role in our overall health and has an immense impact on posture and pain in general. When our bodies are under excessive stress, the muscles tighten and create tension from head to toe. These muscles pull the body in subconsciously and lead to slouching, a curved spine and poor posture in general. Try to identify the situations and areas of life that cause undue stress and minimize them as much as possible. Take time for yourself. Step outside if your work space and go for a walk if you are under added stress at work. Simply getting up and stretching can relax the body and improve posture related issues that develop due to stress.
Remember to Stretch
Stretching can help lengthen and open up the muscles to improve flexibility and elasticity in the muscles. When muscles are tight, they pull the body in and affect posture negatively. By taking a few minutes each morning and evening to stretch the back, neck, arms and legs, you can ensure that your muscles remain limber and improve range of motion. There are several stretches that you can do to properly loosen the muscles, such as holding knees to your chest, doing a cat stretch or squeezing your shoulder blades, which will quickly and effectively provide relief.
When an individual is overweight, posture is affected because the back has to support more weight than it should for the body frame. Someone that is overweight, especially in the mid-section around the abdominals, tends to exhibit poor posture because the hips are pulled forward, putting added pressure on the lower back. This also affects the sciatic nerve and pinches nerves throughout the spine due to excess curvature. In order to improve posture and reduce back pain, it is important to maintain a healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy weight can also help prevent bone disease such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
See a Chiropractor
You do not have to be suffering from back pain to visit a chiropractor regularly. Chiropractors can help encourage proper posture by adjusting you and realigning the neck and spine. Many do not realize that their spine is off or needs realignment until their first visit with a chiropractor. The relief it can provide is often instant and can make you more relaxed, walk taller and feel less stress. Chiropractors can also recommend stretching and strengthening exercises to maintain the realignment and encourage proper posture. A chiropractor can also suggest proper posture for activities you participate in so you avoid injury.
Incorporate Yoga and Core Workouts
Yoga, pilates and core exercises can improve posture by increasing strength and flexibility throughout the back and abdominal area. These areas are responsible for balance and posture and, when the muscles are weak and not exercised, they are unable to do their job properly. Regular participation in a yoga or pilates class can greatly improve flexibility and muscle endurance from the shoulders to the hips.
Do I eat now or later?
I am constantly getting this question on my blog and on my Facebook page. I figured it was time to give my opinion on this topic. While my workouts are typically at night and I have to deal with whether or not to eat dinner before my workout (I do eat, btw)
But for those of you that prefer to workout in the morning I am determined to give you the information you need.
You need to remember that Food is fuel and therefore it is important to eat at least something prior to a workout. Eating before exercise serves specific functions for your body:
- your muscles are fueled with the food eaten the day before as well as the hour before your workout
- your stomach is happier as it is settled and not playing hunger head games
- helps prevent low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)- a dangerous position to be in and the symptoms can include dizziness, nausea, and headaches
- helps mentally knowing that your body has what it needs to push yourself in your workout.
There really is no set amount of how much to eat as well as what to eat. This really does vary from person to person and activity to activity. There really is no wrong choice and my best advice to you is to experiment with what works well…If you feel full and feel like you are gonna barf, well then next time back off. If something is too sweet, next time go for something like oatmeal. But everyone is really different.
Not only fueling yourself in the morning is important to your success. But really maintaining healthy nutrition is key to success. You really won’t see the results you are looking for unless you fuel your muscles consistenly with the right food. Good Wholesome Food and stay away from the fried food. Vegetables and salads with no crappy dressing are a simple solution to putting the right things in your body. If you hate fruits, vegetables and salads, then contact me and let me know. I have a really great alternative for people just like you! http://facebook.com/mycoachannagray
Many people choose NOT to eat before working out because they are worried about feeling sluggish, having cramps or diarrhea, and/or an upset stomach.
One more thing to think about, if you workout on an empty stomach you will be exercising on fumes, not fuel. Like not putting gas in your car before driving to work.
Remember too that after your workout you should really fuel your body some more. You have just burned through your “gasoline” and in order to get your engine moving you need to eat some protein and carbs, so this is where you would typically have your eggs, toast, and coffee. Roughly 60% of these calories should be from Carbohydrates, this is in order to replace the Glycogen that you have lost in your workout, 25% of your meal should come from Protein, this will stop your body from breaking down the muscle to use for energy and will start to actually rebuild and repair the muscle you just worked on. HERE is what I drink only after a REALLY REALLY tough workout as it has the perfect Carb to Protein Ration and replenishes what I just lost so that I can come back hard the next day.
Stay away from the processed foods my friends, now is not the time to say I can eat anything because I just worked out.
…for those that can’t get their workout in the morning and have to workout at night, the same holds true, fuel your body to get through your workout. What I typically do these days is drink my Shakeology about 45 minutes before my workout. This also keeps me from overindulging after my workout especially late at night.
So put something in your system and your body will perform to its maximum potential.
I have been asked over the last 3 years
“How do you do it?”
“How do you work a full time job, be a mom and run a successful business?”
Well I am here to show you a few quick tips on what tools I use to stay organized and stay on top of everything without letting anything fall through the cracks. Well, not everything. I have been known to forget to invite people to my daughters birthday parties or forget to pay a bill or two, hey nobody’s perfect!
Here are 3 Tools I use everyday to keep me on top of my game. Please comment below if this video was helpful or if you would like to see more videos like these.
6 Fitness Tips for Accountability
- a-ha!! ANSWERABLE!! to who? to me? to my husband? to my kids? Well yes to all, but why?
- We need to be answerable to ourselves because we are the chatterboxes in our head playing mind games on the fact that “oh I ate horribly this weekend and drank too much” Nobody else is telling us that but our own self. So, what do we do about it? We get mad at ourselves, we get down on ourselves and sometimes we continue the pattern because we think, heck what is it worth, I will get started next week, then next week turns into 2, 3 and 4 and then you have completely gotten to a point where you HATE yourself!
- To our husband or wife? Yep, we need to be accountable to them because they have to live with our crazy self!! But you say hey my husband doesn’t support me in this endeavor, he is sitting there drinking a beer and eating chili fries, why do I need to be accountable to him? Well for one you are in this thing together whether you like it or not!! Not that you need to say “hey honey come work out with me you will feel so great” although you can, and are usually disappointed when he says no, you need to because you live in the same household and need to know what each other is doing and why we are doing it. No you may not have the support you would like to have but you can go into your workout knowing that “my spouse knows I am working on myself” there is no question about that. Then chances are, the more you work on yourself, your spouse will eventually join you in your crusade when he/she sees your success. If you didnt stay communicating on this then there may be times of resentment that you want to get your workout done and he or she wants to go out to lunch. If they are aware of your goals ahead of time, that lunch date can usually wait without resentment.
- To our Kids, well YEAH!!! DUH!! This one is pretty self explanatory…they need to know that Mommy or Daddy is working on themselves to be the best person they can be, and if we are the best we can be then our kids see that and want to duplicate what mommy and daddy are doing, being the best! Isnt that what we want?
OK so how do we stay accountable when we lose our motivation?
- Keep a daily journal and/or daily post on facebook, but some may think I wont do this people will think I am crazy, trust me when you step out of your comfort zone and do this you are way more inclined to keep up with it because if the world knows then you feel that you have to step up or shut up ask our friends to join us. We work really well when we know others are doing the same thing, so ask a friend to join you. If they say No they are not ready at least you may have motivated them to start a program soon.
- Take Before pictures and post them everywhere you can see them daily. This will be a constant reminder to Yep get up off the couch!
- Find something that motivates you, find a dress or a pair of pants you would die to fit in and hang it up where you can see it
- Make working out part of your daily routine. Would you skip brushing your teeth everyday?
- Join a Challenge Group, what is a Challenge group? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to be a part of my next Challenge Group
5 Body Beast Tips for Women
1. Plan your weekly meals
Protein for breakfast
Take your Suma I take it. you can order here
Contains no risky or untested ingredients, sugars, starches, synthetic materials, yeast, grains, or excipients. A powerful adaptogen that strengthens the body. Supports protein synthesis for faster muscle repair
1 capsule in the morning, 1 before bed
Post workout Shake: make sure you have a 3:1 ratio of protein to carbs.
Whey protein is the fastest absorbing
Here is the recipe for my Post – Workout Shake
1 cup Almond Milk
1 Tbs All-Natural Peanut Butter
1 scoop Beachbody Base Shake (unflavored whey protein)
1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
4 cubes of ice
Lunch: veggies or salad with a protein
For busy working professionals (prep your chicken breasts on Sunday, bake with some Mrs Dash seasoning. Usually 4 days worth for freshness)
Other suggestions: Egg Salad or Fish
Snack: almonds (Trader Joes pre-packaged is the easiest) are budget-friendly take snack bags and count out 10-12 almonds and fill them up. (Parents have your little ones help you fill the bags)
2oz unprocessed lunch meat (Trader Joes, whole foods, sprouts)
Dinner Fish, Chicken, meat and Steamed Veggies
Clean Eating Meatloaf
2. Take your measurements : ie Body Fat, inches, and pictures.
Take them day 1, between each phase (after week 3)
-if you don’t I can guarantee you will regret it, you will be able to compare and see your progress. 90% of us think we have not experienced any results because we are “living” in our own bodies and cannot really feel it. Pictures and inches don’t lie.
-you may need to adjust your caloric intake going into the Bulk phase if your weight and body fat change. Recalculate your needs at this point
for body fat measurements: the most accurate way to measure is a dunk tank test which is typically hard to come by or is expensive, also something like the BodPod is an option (you can google local facilities that offer this service). Next most accurate way to measure is by using body fat calipers. There are multiple ways to do this (different methods) the drawback is that you have to do it exactly the same way and in the same location in order to get an accurate result. What I have been using recently is the Omron Body Fat tester. This is used in gyms by Trainers and is a pretty accurate. It’s affordable and you can find it on Amazon
3. Write down your weights/reps You have no idea if you are progressing unless you write it down and improve on those weights and reps. Here is an Excel version of what I use to write down my numbers.
4. Don’t compare yourself to others going to the same journey Use others results as a motivation but don’t compare yourself to them. We are our worst enemies when it comes to results. We look in the mirror and think that we look like someone we actually do not look like. We are all built differently and you should acknowledge that. This is why taking pictures and taking measurements are by far the most important piece of measuring your results.
5. And I am going to be the myth buster right here. I get questions all the time about women bulking up. It is impossible for you to BULK UP when you are a female. If you are afraid of looking like those large bodybuilding women, Be confident in knowing that you will not look like that. What you will find it is that you will typically lose weight and get leaner in the first phase. The second phase you will tend to feel a bit bloated and may possibly gain weight. The third phase you will be surprise us to call well you will look. Those women that look like a man typically take lots of supplements that are not natural and have been doing that for many years. Please don’t fret and I highly recommend doing this program.
If I have not covered some or any questions that you have, please don’t hesitate to email me at Coachannagray@gmail.com