The past few months when I walk into the gym I’ve noticed this darling little girl entertaining herself with her frozen books and tablet. She is in her own world until her mommy walks by, then she lights up with pride like a Christmas tree. Last week I had to talk to the little girl’s mom and find out their story.
Sarah is a young single mom who is devoted to her six-year-old daughter Molly and to her workouts. I was curious about how she gets her daughter to be so well-behaved while she works out for more than an hour. She said, “I explain to Molly that it is important for me to workout because I will stay healthy and be around for a long time.” Molly understands this and tells her
okay mommy I want to have you around forever.”
Many moms express that they struggle to get in their workouts because they feel guilty and selfish for doing something for themselves and not spending time with their child. Sarah’s approach of leading by example offers a healthy and positive perspective. Kids really can get more than we give them credit for, and even though Molly is only six, she is able to understand why exercise is important for her mommy.
Sarah invited Molly to become part of the solution by treating her with respect and getting on her level. The loving way fitness and health was presented caused Molly to be more open to and even embrace healthy habits. I’m sure we’ve all experienced how challenging it can be to get the children in our lives to eat nutritious foods. Sarah says, “I show her what I eat and she wants to eat it too, and she ends up loving it. She loves the idea of being healthy like her mommy.”
This precious relationship between a mother and daughter shows that when you give love, respect and nurture your relationship with your child, she will respond with an open heart.
When Sarah and Molly aren’t in the gym you can find them in their back yard jumping on the trampoline or playing soccer. But Molly’s favorite thing is lying down, staring at the sky and having girl talk.
The secret to looking thinner, taller and confident is good posture. Improving your posture will dynamically effect your overall well-being. Think about the person that walks into a room standing tall, head up and gait sure, that’s the person that gets noticed. A confident man and woman is the one that turns heads and captures opportunities for all the right reasons. We want that person to be you, so let’s get started.
I. Develop Self Awareness Of Your Posture.
Right now how are you sitting? Are your shoulders slumped forward and spine rounded? Or are your feet planted on the floor, shoulders relaxed down and back, spine straight?
Now stand up and just let your arms hang down by your side naturally. Which way are the palms of your hands facing? If they are facing backwards, you are rolling your shoulders forward. This is typical especially if you work at a desk all day or if you do a lot of weight training. Have you ever noticed how guys that have big muscles seem to have rounded shoulders? Ideally you want your palms to be facing each other toward the midline of your body and thumb up.
You might realize you have bad posture but unless you make a conscious effort it will not improve. You could go through the whole day with the same hunched back and imbalanced hips unless you remember to pay attention.
II. Posture Check ins.
- Write post it notes and place them on your computer or on the bathroom mirror to remind you to have good posture.
- Set a set a Pomodoro timer or an alarm on your phone to take posture and activity breaks every 30 min. Posture and activity breaks will help you expand your body and think with more clarity.
- Ask yourself, “how is my posture? Are my ears in-line with my shoulders? Are my feet flat on the floor?” Sitting for long periods of time will cause you to get stiff and more than likely you will end up slouching.
- Ask friends and family to remind you:)
III. Resistance training specific to improving posture
So much of life is pulling us forward, from reading and writing to cooking and typing, the list goes on and on. To make a significant change in your posture, you have to get in there and strengthen the under worked opposing muscles and stretch the overworked ones.
Here is one of my favorite exercises at the gym, the rear fly. I always do light weight and high reps of 15-20. I pause for a second when I am at this part of the exercise.
I encourage you to get a band and do the rear fly with it during your posture breaks at work. Perform 30-50 reps of this same exercise.
When you pull back turn your thumbs to face behind you.
Control the band coming in.
Here is an excellent workout that you can do at home.
My favorite exercise to open up my chest and to feel an overall good stretch is lying over a stability ball. ahh…
With all the hard work you do everyday in and out of the gym, you deserve to walk proud.
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
*I freeze these and keep some in the frig for a snack when I have craving for something sweet*