These Bad Habits are Hurting Your Workout

by Mel on January 28, 2015

Most of us know what habits to avoid if we are looking to stay injury free and perform our workouts. But what we don’t realize is that there are little things that some of us do each day that can stress and strain our anatomy, impede our workout progress, and even set us up for a future injury.

SleepingSleeping on Your Stomach

Sleeping on your stomach causes hyperextension and compression in the lumbar spine and strains muscles in the neck and posterior chain. Doing this every night for years slowly adds pressure to the joints and nerves, contributing to spinal degeneration and allowing for the development of a variety of health problems. Sleeping on your stomach can also lead to loss of range of motion and nerve root irritation. All of these things will hinder your workouts, from squats and deadlifts to any overhead movements.

The Fix: Your bed and pillow should help keep your body in natural alignment. If you’re currently a stomach sleeper, begin training yourself to sleep on your back or side. It’s not easy, but seeing as you spend about a third of your life in this position, your body (and your workouts) will thank you. Choose a pillow that supports the head so that the neck vertebrae are neutral. Also, use a good mattress that prevents your spine from dipping or sagging while you sleep.

Self-Adjusting Your Neck

The neck is one of the most sensitive and important pieces of anatomy in the human body. It’s not the sound that is the problem (which comes from tiny gas bubbles within the fluid that lubricates your joints), it’s the way the sudden movement affects your spine. Self-adjusting, while a temporary rush and feel-good sensation, can create long-term structural problems.

People who self-adjust their necks tend to do it several times a day, every day. This causes ligaments to stretch and eventually become less stable – not a good thing when it comes to movement. This instability not only affects the mechanics of the cervical spine, but also can predispose you to a neck injury while lifting.

The Fix: Exercises that correct your posture can be performed to strengthen the upper back and neck. Massage therapy can be performed to address the muscular dysfunction and trigger points. However, if the “need” to self-adjust is due to a shifting of the spine, then this must be addressed, or a correction will often not occur.

Excessive Sitting

Our bodies were not designed to sit for long periods of time. We were designed for movement, yet the average workday for most Americans involves sitting for the majority of the time. When you sit all day, your hip flexors and hamstrings shorten and tighten, while the muscles that support your spine weaken and become stiff. This weakness, especially in the glutes, pushes your pelvis forward, putting increased pressure on the lumbar spine.

That’s just the lower back. Sitting also typically involves your head being pushed forward, which can cause headaches, neck, and shoulder pain. Your body will adapt to what you do most often. If you spend the majority of the day sitting and not active, you are setting yourself up for muscle stiffness, poor balance and mobility, and lower-back, neck, and hip issues.

The Fix: A simple change in how you view being fit can make all the difference. Instead of viewing fitness as a 45-minute workout in the gym, view it as being active throughout the day. Whenever you get the chance to include some physical activity into your day, you should. Take small breaks as frequently as possible. Use a smaller water cup so you have to refill it more often. Do a lap around the office. Step outside for a minute to get some fresh air. Stand while you’re talking on the phone. It all adds up, and it all matters. When you must sit, make sure you have a high-quality chair with adjustable arms and height, lumbar support, and ample padding.



Health Contributor at Creative Bioscience
I always look forward to expressive my passions in life to others and helping people make lasting changes. I live a busy life like the rest of us with kids, work, and everything else that can get in the way. Making time for exercise, and making good decisions about what we eat can often be a challenge. We sometimes lack the motivation and momentum to make lasting changes in our lives. I've been fortunate enough to really get my life in order and have some simple strategies to help you do the same. Mel's favorite product is Garcinia Cambogia 1234
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