We all know that good posture is integral to how we look and feel. Bad posture affects our mood, our outlook on life and it can cause other complications.
Here are 7 ways that bad posture can negatively impact our health and what we can do about it:
(1) Can Worsen Depression – Naturally how we hold our bodies will affect our mood and how we feel. Try walking around for 5 or 10 minutes in a slouched over position and pay attention to how you feel. Improve your posture and you’ll immediately boost your mood and outlook on life.
(2) Can Affect how Others View You – If you walk around with your head down and shoulders slumped all the time, others will see you as being in less than perfect health. They may not respect you as much – this is especially so in the workplace.
(3) Can Cause Sluggish Digestion – Sitting with bad posture causes your intestines to be in a folded position, which can slow down digestion, causing it to be sluggish. Both yoga and pilates are great ways to improve digestion and perk up a sluggish gut.
(4) Increases the Risk of Death & Disease – Sitting (with bad posture) really is the new smoking. Studies show that sitting can increase the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease AND reduces overall life expectancy. For every hour you sit, stand up and move your body and stretch for at least 5 minutes.
(5) It can Make you Look Like you Weigh More than you do – Sitting for long periods of time pushes our internal organs quite literally down and out. They have nowhere else to go. Very simply, move more and sit less.
(6) It Cuts off your Circulation – Ever sat for a long period of time only to stand up quickly and realize your entire leg is asleep? Prolonged sitting can cut off blood flow, increase blood pressure and cause varicose veins. Try any of these 2 minutes yoga poses right at your desk to immediately improve circulation.
(7) It Stresses you Out! – A recent study from Harvard showed that people who adopted powerful postures (open shoulders and straight spines) had a 20% increase in testosterone levels and a 25% decrease in cortisol levels—but people who slouched had a 10% decrease in testosterone and a 15% increase in cortisol. That means low self-confidence and high stress. The other problem is restricted breathing, which makes stress work. This can turn into a vicious cycle where shallow breathing makes stress worse, and stress makes shallow breathing worse. Try this: Sit up tall with one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest. As you inhale, feel your belly expand like a balloon filling with air. As you exhale, feel your belly flatten. Try not to breathe into the hand on your chest. Check in with yourself from time to time to ensure you’re breathing properly, especially when sitting for long periods of time.
Cuban Yoga Retreat December 2017
Early bird special ends May 1st!
If you’ve ever thought about treating yourself to a world class yoga retreat somewhere warm in winter, take a look at our upcoming event with Innergy teacher Mercedes this December 2017 in Cuba.
Yoga, delicious food and a chance to explore the culture and beaches of Varadero all make this retreat relaxing and fun!
Mercedes teaches Corporate Yoga and Private Yoga in Ottawa, ON and Gatineau, QC. You can read more about about her here.
For more information or to register, email Mercedes at email@example.com.
HEALTHY WORKPLACE YOGA POSE
Standing Hip Stretch
Deeply stretches hips and buttocks, strengthens standing leg, releases tension in hips, buttocks and legs, tones abdominal muscles, lengthen spine, improves balance and more.
- Step 1: Remove your socks and shoes if possible. Stand behind your chair (or desk, or anything you can use that is about belly height). Stand with your feet hip distance apart, feet parallel to each other. Contract your abdominal muscles, lift your chest up and relax your shoulders back and down.
- Step 2: Hold onto the top of the chair with both hands. Take a step back with the right foot, then the left, about 2-3 feet from your chair.
- Step 3: Reach down with your right hand and grab your right ankle. Place your right ankle just above your left knee and allow your right knee to turn out.
- Step 4: Place your right hand back on the chair with your left. As you inhale, lengthen your spine, and as you exhale, press your hips back and hinge forward from your hips. Keep your back flat and standing leg straight but do not lock your knee. Allow your right knee to open to the right side, without turning your hips. Sit as deeply as you can and breathe deeply. Keep your abdominals contracted and shoulders sliding down your back. Stay here for 3-5 deep breaths.
- Step 5: To come out, as you inhale, rise up tall, and as you exhale, place your right foot back on the floor. Repeat on the other side.
18 Best Snacks to eat at your Desk
Here are 18 of the tastiest, healthiest and most inexpensive snacks that you can enjoy at work to keep blood sugar levels regular and energy levels high.
(1) Almonds – Almonds are a great source of protein and healthy fat that is satisfying.
(2) Low Fat Popcorn – This low-calorie snack will satisfy your craving for something salty and crunchy, and it’s also a good source of fiber
(3) Fresh Fruit – Fruits are packed with vitamins and minerals and are full of great natural sweetness.
(4) Dried Fruit – Fresh fruit is always a great snack option — but if you want to mix things up, try dried apricots, raisins, apples, or bananas. These snacks are sweet, chewy, high in fiber, and high in potassium.
(5) Dry Cereal – Consumption of low glycemic index foods like bran flakes will release glucose at a slow rate in the bloodstream, which will minimize blood sugar swings and optimize brainpower and mental focus.
(6) Protein Bars – Be careful with these! Some protein bars are packed with calories. Check the ingredients and make sure the one you pick has fruit, nuts, and fewer than 200 calories.
(7) Multi Flavoured Rice Cakes – Rice cakes are great because they are low calorie and come in different flavors. For instance, you can get cheddar or caramel, depending on whether you want salty or sweet.
(8) Pretzels – Though salty, pretzels are low in fat and give you some carbs to hold you over until lunch or dinner.
(9) Frozen Banana – This is a great substitute to ice cream, which is rich in sugar and fat. A medium-size banana contains the needed amount of glucose by the brain to perform at its best.
10) String Cheese or Cottage Chese – If you have an office refrigerator, these are good sources of protein to have on hand.
(11) Tuna – Tuna contains omega-3 fatty acids, the essential fats that are known to help to preserve brain function.
(12) Wasabi Peas – These are perfect for satisfying any salty, crunchy, or spicy craving — and they have protein and fiber, which will energize you and prevent blood sugars from dropping.
(13) Hard-Boiled Egg – This is an excellent source of protein, which will satisfy hunger and stabilize blood sugars.
(14) Vegetables & Hummus – The chickpeas in hummus are a good source of calcium, iron, protein, and fiber, which prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly.
(15) Tomato Juice – Sometimes when you think you are hungry or crave sugar, you are actually thirsty. Next time this happens, try drinking a can of low-sodium tomato or vegetable juice.
(16) Kale Chips – Kale Chips are quick and easy to make: you simply toss some chopped kale in a small amount of olive oil and then bake until crispy. Optional: Add a dash of lemon juice and a dash of garlic powder and toss well before baking.
(17) Yogurt – Many yogurts are made using “good bacteria,” which is great for your digestive tract. Yogurt also contains probiotics and offers protein, calcium, vitamins, potassium, and magnesium.
(18) Apples & Peanut Butter – The apple provides fiber and carbohydrates for energy, while the peanut butter (you can also use almond butter) provides healthy monounsaturated fat and protein, which stabilizes blood sugar ups and downs.
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