Fit4Life - TUFF Performance Center
  • Ladies and Gentlemen ... If I could offer you one tip to keep you fit, healthy and motivated it would be one simple thing. One tip that could offer you immediate results and requires little effort. One suggestion that could change your whole life. One tip you've probably heard your whole life. <SIT UP STRAIGHT>

Sure there are more stringent health and fitness recommendations that you were probably expecting to hear... but that's just it. We've all heard them, probably too many times to count. And so I ask you this, Did you adhere to any of it? If I asked you today what the basic fitness and nutrition recommendations for health are, could you tell me?

So again, I say -- <SIT UP STRAIGHT>

While that sinks in, think about how many ways you could improve your life that aren't direct health and fitness guidelines but carry over to so many parts of your life.
  • None of us are as young as we once were. Take a minute to look back at photos of yourself and remember how much potential you had and how fabulous you looked - It's not too late to be that good again!
  • You're not as fat as you imagine -- but don't rest on your laurels
  • Do one thing everyday that scares you
  • Sing
  • Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind... the race is long and in the end, it's only with yourself.
  • Remember the compliments and forget the insults (we insult ourselves enough without hearing it from others)
  • Stretch (every chance you get)
  • Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. Plenty of retirees are still trying to figure it out as well.
  • Get plenty of calcium
  • Be kind to your knees, you're going to "kneed" them for a long time!
  • Are you still sitting up straight?
  • Don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself too much
  • Take a daily multivitamin (none of us eat as perfectly as we like to think we do)
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Dance! Whenever... Wherever... Go for it!
  • Don't read beauty magazines, they'll only make you feel ugly.
  • Enjoy your body, it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own. Use it every way you can!
  • But trust me about your posture -- <SIT UP STRAIGHT>
Still slouching?
A study published in European Journal of Social Psychology found subjects who were told to sit up straight with good posture gave themselves higher ratings and had more self esteem/confidence than those who were told to slouch. Greater self-confidence increases chances of maintaining a regular exercise program.
Here are several other benefits of good posture:
  • look 10lb thinner
  • appear more confident
  • relieve back pain or even prevent it
  • strengthen your core muscles
  • prevent kyphosis
  • appear younger
  • PAY ATTENTION/BE PRESENT IN YOUR LIFE - let people know you are interested in them
  • less complications from over use of cell phone and computer time
  • be more productive
  • feel more alert
  • get things done
  • be ready to take action
  • look more attractive
  • don't be called a slouch
  • make your mom happy
So here's how to do it:
1. Stand up and lift your chin slightly
2. Align your ears over your shoulders and your shoulders over your hips
3. Place your hands on your hips and pitch forward about 2 inches
4. There should a slight inward curve in your lower back, an outward curve in your upper back and another inward curve at your neck.
5. Maintain this posture and sit down.

Maintaining good posture requires abdominal and back strength -- The CORE! (the core involves all the muscles from your collar bones to your pelvis). It's not enough to simply <SIT UP STRAIGHT>. If your muscles are weak they won't be able to maintain that position over time or during movements. Try a Pilates or yoga class, which focus on posture and core strength. You could hire a persona trainer to create a personalized exercise plan for you to add strength to your core muscles.

Here is a sample exercise plan for improving the endurance and strength of your posture muscles:
  • Bird Dog (on all 4's extending opposite arm and leg simultaneously)
  • Cat/Cow (on all 4's arching and lowering back)
  • Plank (holding push up position for time)
  • Seated Spinal Twists (sit with one leg bent and one extended - use opposite elbow to press on bent knee and twist you around as far as you can comfortably twist while lengthening spine toward ceiling)
  • Bridge Hip Lifts (lie on back with knees bents and feet flat on floor, lifting and lowering hips)
  • Rotator Cuff Pulls (use resistance band to rotate bent-elbow hand from in front of body to as far out to the side as you can go)
The average American sits and remains sedentary for 8.5 hours per day. Sitting for extended periods of time puts pressure on spinal discs and fatigues the muscles. The National Institute for Neurological Disorders says back pain is the most common cause of work related disability. This results in an expense of $50billion per year for employers. Most of the back pain can be attributed to sitting. Remember to get up and move around every 30-60 minutes throughout the work day. If you sit at a desk all day, check the ergonomics of your workspace including your desk, chair and keyboard.
  1. The top of your computer screen should be at or below eye level.
  2. The desk should allow your forearms to rest comfortably at 90 degrees
  3. The chair should be at a height where your feet can be flat on the floor directly beneath your knees
Think that you can't possibly find the time to stretch every hour? If you're drinking your recommended quantities of water each day, it shouldn't even be an option, it should be a necessity! You could also use those handy little gadgets you've all got in your hands to set up reminders. Or better yet, just tell Siri to remind you!

So you see, it's a cyclical solution:
  • Feel more confident
  • Exercise more often
  • Make healthier food choices
  • Be more productive
I've come to realize that I am passionate about exercise, and I want others to be as well. BUT... not everyone is or will be. We only have so many years on this earth, so if you want to extend those years make healthy choices and if you don't want to do that at least <SIT UP STRAIGHT> and look like you do!!!

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