15-Min Better Posture Workout

15-Min Better Posture Workout

15-Minute Better Posture Workout

This 15-minute posture workout is perfect for anyone who sits in front of a computer for most of their day, or behind the wheel of a car, or for those who are finding their shoulders are rolling forward with age.

My 15-minute better posture workout is a go-to for anyone who sits at a desk.

You see, when we sit and stare at a screen we tend to poke our chin forward (the pros call this forward head posture), roll our pelvis’s forward and slouch our upper backs.

Not cool for the neck, shoulders, hips, back and spine.

bad-desk-posutre

Even those of us with the best intentions will roll into the this bad-boy posture at least a dozen times throughout the day.

And, then there’s those of us who drive.

The car is one place a lot of people don’t think about their posture in.

However if you drive everyday, even if it’s only to the store and back, over the course of a year this will add up to a lot of chronic stress to the neck, shoulders, back and hips.

bad-posture-driving-car

And finally, bad posture can also pop up into our lives when we are innocently out and about walking.

In fact I see this type of posture a lot.

People walking around and leading with their chin, while rounding their upper back.

When I see this I have to forcibly restrain myself from going to that person and physically pulling their shoulders back.

bad-posture-walking

Whatever camp you are a part of this little better posture workout will help straighten you out.

15-Minute Better Posture Workout

 

  • Keep your ears in line with your shoulders
  • Uncross those legs and, instead, place both feet on the ground when seated
  • Pull back your shoulder blades, but not too strict. You don’t want to be too rigid.
  • If you have a hard time maintaining good posture when seated try using a lumbar support pillow.
  • If seated for long periods, get up and move every 20-minutes.
  • Sneak in exercise where ever and whenever you can. Immobility is the worse thing you can do for your posture.

 

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Partner Stretches

Partner Stretches

Partner Stretches

Have you ever had a Thai massage? OMG, if you haven’t you must! It’s like yoga, but someone else does all the heavy lifting.

You just lie there while someone else stretches you. It’s pure bliss.

I have had a few and even took a Thai Yoga Massage course a number of years ago.

But, another way to bliss (which is also much easier on the the ol’ wallet) is to stretch with a partner.

A partner stretch workout (where one person guides your limbs into deep stretches) can help you:

  • Relax
  • Refresh
  • Lengthen
  • Improve your mobility

Partner Stretches

Today’s workout guides you through a 17-minute partner stretch session. I emphasize opening the hips, stretching the hamstrings and making the low back all happy and smiley (low backs can smile – honest.).

In this workout I take you step-by-step through each stretch, so you can confidently stretch your partner.

Afterwards all you have to do is rewind the workout for your partner to listen to my cues while you get to lie there and be stretched!

Awesome, eh?

In this video loving husband got all the love.

Me. I got nothing. No stretches. No bliss. Nothing.

He owes me.

 

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The Best Lower Back Stretch Routine

The Best Lower Back Stretch Routine

The Best Lower Back Stretch Routine

Best lower back stretches – right here!

I loved filming this workout “The Best Lower Back Stretch Routine”. You see it’s a treat when I can film a workout not be a sweaty mess afterwards!

This particular workout is pretty much for EVERYONE!

If you:

  • Sit a lot during the day
  • Have low back pain
  • Have had low back pain
  • Want to improve the mobility of your hips and spine
  • Need to unwind before bed
  • Or, need to get the body moving in the AM

This is the perfect workout for you.

So… you see what I mean. The Best Lower Back Stretch Routine is pretty much for everyone.

The lumbar spine has 5 motion segments. Most twisting and bending is divided among those segments, although the majority of the motion takes place in the lowest two segments, called L4-L5 and L5-S1.

The structures in these two lowest segments are the most likely to wear down over time or be injured.

The Best Lower Back Stretches - Fitness with PJ

That smoking — the bad habit that increases the risk of dozens of diseases — can also lead to backaches.

One study found that smokers are nearly a third more likely to have low back pain compared to nonsmokers.

6 Common Culprits to Low Back Pain

1/ Too much sitting. The body was meant to move, not stay static for long periods of time. If you are stuck sitting make it a point to get up and move every 20-minutes for 30-seconds.

2/ Bulging or ruptured disks. Disks act as cushions between the bones (vertebrae) in your spine. The soft material inside a disk can bulge or rupture and press on a nerve. However, you can have a bulging or ruptured disk without back pain. Disk disease is often found incidentally when you undergo spine X-rays for some other reason.

3/ Skeletal irregularities. Back pain can occur if your spine curves abnormally. Scoliosis, a condition in which your spine curves to the side, also may lead to back pain, but generally only if the scoliosis is severe.

4/ Arthritis. Osteoarthritis can affect the lower back. In some cases arthritis in the spine can lead to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, a condition called spinal stenosis.

5/ Osteoporosis. Your spine’s vertebrae can develop compression fractures if your bones become porous and brittle.

6/ Muscle or ligament strain. Repeated heavy lifting or a sudden awkward movement may strain back muscles and spinal ligaments. If you aren’t in shape and place constant strain on your back it may cause painful muscle spasms.

The Best Lower Back Stretches

 

10 Ways to Keep Low Back Pain Away

In addition to the workout above!

1/ Get more exercise. While you may think it best to rest your back if it’s hurting, experts recommend the opposite. Regular physical activity can help ease the inflammation and muscle tension.

2/ Watch your weight. Extra pounds, especially around the mid-section, can make back pain worse by shifting your center of gravity and putting strain on your low back.

3/ If you smoke, stop. Smoking restricts the flow of nutrient-containing blood to the spinal discs (not to mention what it does to the rest of the body).

4/ Sleeping position. If you are prone to back pain sleeping on your side with your knees pulled up a bit and a pillow in-between them may help ease the pain. Back sleeper? Then put another pillow under the knees.

5/ Posture. Pay attention to your posture and when seated be sure to push the bum to the far back of your chair and keep your knees a bit higher than your hips. Standing for long periods of time? Position one foot higher than the other using a small stool.

6/ Avoid high heels. Sorry, but high heels shifts your center of gravity and places a strain on the low back. Stick to one-inch heels if you can.

7/ Stash the skinny jeans. Tight clothing interferes with bending, sitting and walking – all of which can aggravate low back pain.

8/ Lighten your wallet. For you men out there, sitting on overstuffed wallets can cause discomfort and pain. Lighten it up, or take it out of your pocket when seated (such as when driving).

9/ Pick the right purse. Messenger bags are best for the back (where the strap hangs on the opposite shoulder of the bag). These types of bags help to distribute the weight more evenly and keeps your shoulders and back pain-free.

10/ Forget the back braces. There are a variety of braces on the market and while they may be helpful after certain kinds of surgery they is absolutely no evidence that these braces can help treat chronic pain. In fact, they can actually add to the pain as the muscles will get lazy because they are not being used everyday to stabilize the spine.

 

The Best Lower Back Stretches - Fitness with PJ

 

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Stretches for a Better Night’s Sleep

Stretches for a Better Night’s Sleep

Stretches for a Better Night’s Sleep

If you struggle with falling asleep this is the perfect routine for you. These stretches aim to give you a better night’s sleep.

For 15-minutes I lead you through a series of gentle stretches aimed at releasing all the muscles that get tight on us during day.

You will feel a lightness and a relief throughout the whole body afterwards, setting yourself up for a peaceful deep sleep.

These are the perfect stretches for a better night’s sleep.

A Better Night’s Sleep

Some sleep stats from Statistics Canada:

  • Men sleep less than women. However, that’s a pile of you-know-what at my house.
  • Peri and menopausal women sleep the least out of any age bracket for women.
  • People who work full-time sleep (on average) 24 minutes less than those who worked part-time or not at all.
  • Working in shifts (shift workers) can affect a person’s sleep and health – since the night is the body’s most natural time to heal and rejuvenate.
  • Individuals with a personal income of $60,000 or more sleep 40 minutes less than those who make less than $20,000. Researcher’s believe it’s due to longer working days and commutes.
  • On average married Canadians sleep 24 minutes less than unmarried Canadians.
  • Kids deprive parents of sleep. Individuals who had one child sleep, on average, 17 minutes less than those who don’t, and parents with two children on average 25 minutes (sorry, no data on 3+ more kids).
  • Being stressed for time greatly affects sleep. Canadians who reported feeling highly time-crunched slept almost half an hour less than people who indicated they have a low level of time stress.

If you have problems with sleep I highly recommend these posts I have on the site:

How To Improve Your Sleep (audio)

Insomnia – 3 Unconventional Tips to Sleep Better

Over 40: Dealing with Stress, Sleep, Sex and Success (audio)

 

Things You Didn’t Know About Sleep

What-You-Didn't-Know-About-Sleep-Fitness-with-PJ

 

TIRED OF TRYING TO FIGURE WHAT WORKOUTS YOU
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15-Minute Total Body Stretch

15-Minute Total Body Stretch

15-Minute Total Body Stretch

When I was younger I used to scoff at the whole stretch/yoga thing. While I did the typical after workout stretches with my clients and classes I was never really committed to maintaining any type of flexibility program personally.

I thought I would be young, agile and free from tight muscles and tendons forever. Ha! Then I entered my mid-life.

It’s Fine to Have a Tight A**

While it is admirable to have a tight behind, or tight and toned thighs, what is not so charming is the inability to touch your toes.

Tightness in the muscle, tendons and fascia happens through age, overuse, underuse as well as injury.

When we age, we lose some of the water in the tendons, making them stiffer and more susceptible to injury.

When we overuse a muscle we can create muscle tightness because it is always in a contracted state. And when we underuse our muscles, such as sit in one position for long periods of time (like me sitting here writing this blog), we create muscle tightness as a result of the restriction in movement.

All of this can add years to your body, as well as decrease your quality of life.

 How Much Stretching?

This can all be avoided, though, with a regular stretch program – and with a HUGE emphasis on the word REGULAR.

Because tissue is elastic in nature it will always go back to its original length. So, stretching once or twice a week will not train that muscle to stay in the new lengthen position you are asking it to stay in.

This is even more true after the age of 40.

To really see changes in your flexibility, and keep your body agile and young,  you need to stretch every day.

Aim for 5 minutes a day to start and work yourself up to 15-30 minutes. The key here is consistency.

Total Body Stretch For All Levels

Join loving husband and I in this total body stretch routine. It’s perfect for all levels of flexibility, and a great addition for after your workout as well as first thing in the morning.

 

Want More Stretch Routines?

15-Minute Morning Stretch Routine

Hamstring & Hip Opener

Foam Rolling Routine

15-Minutes to a Stronger Low Back

10-Minute Morning Routine

10-Minute After Workout Stretches

 

TIRED OF TRYING TO FIGURE WHAT WORKOUTS YOU
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15-Minute Morning Stretch

15-Minute Morning Stretch

15-Minute Morning Stretch Routine

This 15-minute stretch workout is perfect to do first thing in the morning to get the body moving and ready for the day. And it is also a great way to finish a workout, or to do just because.

This routine will increase your flexibility and improve your day. Pretty awesome, eh?

And… this workout is my first workout with a partner. Yes, Fitness with PJ is stepping up its game for 2016 and I now have a partner to show the modified versions of my exercises.

You can choose to follow me and the more intense stretches, or follow loving husband for the modified.

15-Minute Morning Stretch Routine - Fitness with PJ blog graphic

15-Minute Morning Stretch and Pizza

After much coercing and bribing with promises of pizza, Coke and M&Ms loving husband has agreed to help me on my YouTube workouts. Yippee!

For our first workout together I decided to break him in gently with this stretch workout. I felt it was best to lull him into a false sense of security to begin with.

Next week the sweat will begin. But, shhhh…let’s keep that our little secret for the time being.

TOOLS NEEDED:

Mat

Chair if you’re tight

 

TIRED OF TRYING TO FIGURE WHAT WORKOUTS YOU
SHOULD BE DOING

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PJ ox

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