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  • Blog Archives - Lofft
    0 Comments Six simple things to help you age better 3 2 2015 0 Comments Here are a few simple things you can easily build into your daily life that will help you age in healthier way Spend some time on my blog and you might find other tips that will help Breath Where do you breath from When you re resting is your breathing into your belly or your upper chest Breathing in a relaxed way using your diaphragm is a strategy to manage stress improve your body chemistry and live a longer healthier life Find out more about the benefits and ways to breathe like a baby Alignment Sit and stand in a balanced aligned way This is very personal and is something I teach individually and in small groups but here a few tips on sitting well and standing well Having a balanced healthy posture not only makes you feel better it can make you look younger and more attractive Squat You could be more flexible and stronger simply by using your legs when you bend too pick things up Squatting is also safer for your back than bending at the waist with straight legs As long as you don t have pain try to build a few squats into your day all the way down with your heels on the floor It might take a while and the help of a sturdy stair banister or chair to get there but you ll be surprised how much stronger you ll feel It also builds core and upper body strength Sit on the floor A recent study in Brazil involved more than 2 000 men and women aged 51 to 80 who were asked to sit and then rise unaided from the floor They were asked to use

    Original URL path: http://www.lofft.co.nz/better-body-tips/archives/03-2015 (2016-04-27)
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  • Blog Archives - Lofft
    that crunchy exercises are not the answer but squatting in your daily life is It s easy to find but more challenging to train your postural system so it is automatic and there when you need it That s what we have to work on next along with finding mobility and flexibility for the structures that have been bracing up an unstable structure for a long time The postural muscles are like marathon runners they can keep going all day if you let them When you switch the system off with poor posture and bad movement habits the sprinters more superficial muscles whose job is it so move us around have to kick in to keep you upright They re not up to the job which is why we need to wake up the marathon postural system and give the sprinters a break A good example of this is in your neck If your head is well balanced on top of your neck and shoulders then deep postural muscles in your neck can be on the job making subtle adjustments to control this 5kg mass of bone and brain They can do this all day without tiring But when your head is out of alignment peering forward at a computer screen the stabilising postural muscles give up and the muscles down your upper back have to work hard to stop your head falling off sorry exaggeration They can t do this for long certainly not an 8 10 hour day at the office So what my clients really need is to find and wake up their postural core Does the language really matter that much Absolutely because the concept of strength can make people work too hard at it causing tension This in turn limits mobility and has potential risks

    Original URL path: http://www.lofft.co.nz/better-body-tips/archives/01-2015 (2016-04-27)
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  • Blog Archives - Lofft
    body to the limit can lead to injuries and not get you results One of the biggest issues is people who work hard on top of imbalances and old injuries This causes what are called compensations Basically because something is weaker your body works out a strategy to get round it like a limp for example or tightening up around a joint to protect it Like most short term coping strategies these have a place But if these patterns are not identified and resolved they can start to cause larger problems I know someone who had an injury to her ribs many years ago Her body worked out a strategy to manage the pain causing her to breathe more shallowly with that lung and contract muscles on that side of her body to inhibit movement The ribs healed long ago but she is left with reduced breathing efficiency and mobility on one side She was unaware of this and has been exercising with this pattern possibly making it worse So make some time in your day to be become more aware of your body Look in the mirror Is one shoulder higher are you standing with more weight on one

    Original URL path: http://www.lofft.co.nz/better-body-tips/archives/12-2014 (2016-04-27)
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  • Blog Archives - Lofft
    is to move a lot Get up at least every half hour and go for a walk regularly That will get the blood moving and help food digest It will also help you think more clearly If it s possible sitting on the floor is excellent It helps increase hip mobility and strengthens legs as you get up and down If you re working on a computer while on the floor you will need to be careful where you put it so that the screen and keyboard are at the right heights There s no getting round it Improving some posture takes some effort but it s worth it 0 Comments Posture and emotions how are you feeling today 11 17 2014 0 Comments The effect of emotions on your posture is obvious Most of us are pretty good at telling how others are feeling by the way they look There are lots of subtle cues we pick up the rounded shoulders dropped chest drooping head Even when they are trying to pretend they are fine the deflated look gives them away If the observer is a friend it means they will know to help But if you re not it could give away that the person is vulnerable There is also a powerful effect in the reverse the effect of our posture on our emotions There is even research that shows how p osture can even change who you are With that kind of impact you want to be sure you get it right Too often people go from droopy daisy to military and rigid I know I did it and I ve seen others do it too They try hard to sit up straight pull their shoulders back and their chin in as they were told by their

    Original URL path: http://www.lofft.co.nz/better-body-tips/archives/11-2014 (2016-04-27)
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  • Blog Archives - Lofft
    learn to sit stand and breathe well find your core and start finding some flexibility And doing it with friends means you have fun and ongoing support Contact me to find out more 0 Comments Ten years younger in five minutes It s possible 10 13 2014 0 Comments Your posture is one of the cues that people use to judge how old you are And you can do something about it A relaxed natural posture is a youthful thing Babies develop one naturally Children bounce around beautifully aligned resilient and comfortable So you think you re past that You can still have the best posture possible for your age and ability You would be surprised the effect it can have on the way you feel as well as the way you look Your posture also affects the tone of the muscles in your face and neck if you re well aligned and all your moving parts are in their right place you may find your clothes fit and hang better Every body is different and has it s own habits things that you think feel normal but may be causing a niggling discomfort somewhere else in your body Do you always carry more weight on one leg when you stand Or feel the need to cross your arms or have your hands on your hips Do you find yourself gritting your teeth for no reason All these could have something to do with your posture as well as the obvious slumping in a chair with your head poking forward So how do you achieve healthy balanced posture Ideally you need the help of someone who can show you how to find the right posture for you and how to exercise and use your body in daily life so that you can maintain a dynamic balanced posture in all your activites I ve done a post on how to sit well Here s an exercise in standing well Get someone to read it to you as your work through it It will take about five minutes and you ll be amazed how you feel afterwards Create your foundation Stand with your feet under your hip joints these are at the top of your legs not under your belt Check you have a tripod of support under each foot behind the big toe behind the little toe and under the heel and make sure the underside of your big toe is in contact with the ground Check that your weight is evenly distributed between both foot Dangle Now find the tallest point of your head when you re looking straight ahead Tap it to bring your awareness to it Now close your eyes if you like and imagine your head is dangling down from the ceiling by a string attached to this point on your head Build Now build your body from the head down creating as much space between each bone as possible One by one attach 7 neck vertebrae

    Original URL path: http://www.lofft.co.nz/better-body-tips/archives/10-2014 (2016-04-27)
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  • Blog Archives - Lofft
    in relation to their knees Who cares Well you should It s your body I m suggesting you try it for yourself and see what works for you Option 1 Thighs parallel to the floor This means that hip and knee joints are both at 90 degrees This position is often favoured by the people who come and set up work stations in businesses Option 2 Hip joints top of the legs where the bones join the pelvis slightly higher than your knees This means the hip and knee joints are at greater than 90 degrees I like this position as it helps you sit on the front of your sit bones and park your pelvis in a neutral position see my blog on sitting well It ensures you re using your legs to help support you and it keeps your hip and knee joint muscles in a more relaxed position Try them both and let me know what you think Don t forget to move around during the day As much as you can 0 Comments Avoid the pokey head 9 7 2014 0 Comments Starring at a computer all day without good postural support can lead to forward head posture It s not attractive and it causes pain Here s how to avoid it Ever caught sight of yourself in a shop window or mirror and not recognised the person you saw That s because we usually look at ourselves from the front And it looks ok in two dimensions If you ve got a ache or pain in your upper back after a day s desk work chances are you have or are developing forward head posture Why it s a problem Aside from the upper back problems research has also suggested that forward head posture can

    Original URL path: http://www.lofft.co.nz/better-body-tips/archives/09-2014 (2016-04-27)
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  • Blog Archives - Lofft
    diaphragm contracts downwards to expand your lungs As well as being a very efficient way to get the oxygen you need it a sends the rest and digest message to your body As this happens your heart rate slows your brain can function fully you can digest your food better and the world feels like a safer place Of course if you slump when you sit you don t have space for your belly to expand Posture and breathing go together You might have to practice good breathing for a while before it starts to work automatically After some practice you may find your sleep and digestion improve as well as your ability to manage stress and negative emotions in any situation If you need some help get in touch and I can send you a breathing exercise you can practice at home 0 Comments This weather can ruin your posture as well as your day 8 11 2014 0 Comments It s cold in Wellington this week and as well as frozen toes and fingers your posture could be at risk This could lead to aches and pains in addition to the winter blues So be aware and take some action It s a natural protective instinct for humans and animals to curl up when it s cold We fold our spines forward elevate our shoulders and hunch over to retain what heat we can Fine if you re stuck out in the weather with no way to get warm and you re trying to save your life But it can also be an instinctive reaction to seeing the rain outside even when we re really quite cosy inside Here s your winter posture survival guide Get moving Get the blood pumping around your body It could be a simple as getting up from your chair and taking a walk around or marching in place Get really warm in a way that makes you happy It could be a hot chocolate by the fire a hot bath or a trip to the sauna Put on more clothes rug up My mother always said not to complain about the cold if I wasn t wearing any wool She was right And with wonderful products like merino possum blend there s no excuse to shiver Stay mindful of your posture check out last week s blog for tips on how to sit well The spirals I explain there are another great way to warm up a bit if you re stuck in a chair at work Don t forget the water it s easy when it s cold not to drink enough water Not only is this bad for your organs and skin your connective tissue can dehydrate and contract This connective tissue called fascia acts like the wires that hold up a yacht s mast Tension and dehydration can pull you out of shape If you can t face yet a glass of cold water try a cup of green

    Original URL path: http://www.lofft.co.nz/better-body-tips/archives/08-2014 (2016-04-27)
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  • Blog Archives - Lofft
    surfaces as this is also strengthening 0 Comments Can you sit on the floor 7 21 2014 0 Comments Our bodies are designed to sit on the floor right into old age But so many of us have lost the ability to do it Why Chairs A recent Brazilian study of more than 2 000 people found a link between the ability to get down and rise from the floor and people s health and longevity We spend so much of our lives sitting on chairs at work in the car and on public transport eating watching TV It s no wonder we get out of the habit And then we wonder why it s not comfortable down on the floor anymore So we give up Altogether But we go to the gym do yoga and all sorts of exercises because we complain constantly of tight hips creaky knees weak leg muscles no core Now as someone who teaches efficient movement Pilates and posture it seems a bit strange for me to tell you to start at home by sitting on the floor more often It doesn t matter how you do it crossed legs out straight straight folded under you Mix it up Don t do anything that s painful and build up to a longer time each day It will get easier and the process of getting up off the floor will make you stronger Of course if you can t get down onto the floor at all give me a call 0 Comments Is funky posture an international fad 7 17 2014 0 Comments My clients tell me that once you become aware of posture you start to notice it everywhere And not surprisingly it s a real obsession of mine We re on holiday and just

    Original URL path: http://www.lofft.co.nz/better-body-tips/archives/07-2014 (2016-04-27)
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