Ergonomics: Computer Set-up

Mirabai-Photo-WEBcomputer-pI got this email the other day from a woman with aches and pains in her back, neck, and arm. She thinks it’s because she spends so much time on the computer. “The New Year is here  and I’m determined not to live another year in pain if I can help it. I spend a lot of time on the computer. But after a couple of hours my back starts to hurt, my shoulder and mouse arm ache and I feel tension in my neck. Are there any exercises I can do to relieve this problem?”

Of course I was at my own computer reading that email and I noticed that my computer posture was less than perfect too. So I decided to share my reply to her with you.

I answered: “Sounds like the first thing you need to do is adjust the ergonomics of your computer set-up. Good posture can minimize those aches and pains.

  • Place your monitor at eye level.
  • Find your sit bones (those bones under each hip) and rock sideways to locate them. Balance your torso by sitting on top of those bones.
  • Position your hips and knees at 90 degrees, feet shoulder width apart.
  • If your legs are crossed, uncross them; crossed legs can cause a curvature of the spine.
  • Imagine your head is a helium balloon, lifting your whole spine upwards.
  • Avoid bending your wrist. Keep it in a neutral position.

Even with proper posture, sitting in the same position for hours at a time is bound to cause some stiffness and muscle soreness.

Here are three stretches that should give you some relief.”

Neck Exercise:

Side to side,

  • Place right hand on top of head. Gently pull head sideways, stretching neck towards the right shoulder. Repeat on other side. Hold for 10-20 seconds.

Front Shoulder Stretch

  • Extend right arm in front of you, chest level.
  • Take left hand and cup right elbow
  • Slowly stretch right arm across towards left shoulder. Hold for 10 counts.

Back Extension:

Lower Back

  • Stand with feet slightly apart.
  • Take hands and make two fists and place them on the lower back.
  • Slowly arch backwards, keeping abdominals contracted.
  • Hold for 10-20 counts.

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HOLIDAY WEIGHT LOSS EXERCISE FORMULA

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Holiday Exercise!

Holiday ExerciseHoliday Exercise!

With the holidays around the corner again those old familiar fears are rearing their ugly heads. For me it’s: how am I going to get through this with my sanity and how am I going to keep from gaining a ton?

Exercise has always been my catchall solution, like Windex for the father of the bride in that movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

As those of you who read my column know, during the holidays I pretty much throw up my arms and prudently sample every goodie that comes my way. But I emphasize the word SAMPLE. If I come to the table hungry those samples could get quite large, so I use my Windex (I mean holiday exercise; I don’t use real Windex) to help me through.

Holiday Exercise Tips:

Here is a short video to kick start your Holiday Exercise:

Endorphins make you feel like all is right with the world. Maintaining sanity becomes much easier after a good workout.  They also tend to suppress your appetite. 30 minutes or so of aerobic exercise is enough to get your body to release those endorphins and it burns about 200- 300 calories. Strength training about a half hour every other day burns about 200 calories. It also raises your metabolism and keeps it up for hours after you’ve finished exercising. You see where I’m going here?

If you get started now you can stay sane, get in shape, reap all the health benefits daily holiday exercise has to offer, maintain or even lose weight, and get a jump on the 2 most popular New Year’s resolutions: Get in shape and lose some weight. Not bad.

Happy Holidays

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Clicking Joints: Should I Worry?

Clicking JointsClicking Joints: Should I worry? What are those clicking, popping and crackling sounds in my joints? Is it Arthritis? Have I overdosed on breakfast cereal? No, it’s probably Crepitus. Sounds like a precursor to decrepitude, but it’s not. Crepitus is just the word used to describe the clicking sounds.

In fact, in most cases, if there’s no pain associated with those sounds, it’s nothing to worry about. Many people live their whole lives with some clicking joints and popping without any ill effects.

 Clicking Joints?

Clicking Joints have closed bags of synovial fluid, called bursa, between them. They cushion joint movement so we can walk and work painlessly. That fluid has a little bit of air or gas dissolved in it. Through our daily movement, that gas can form a bubble or cavity in the bag. The fancy term is Cavitation.

When you move your knee, elbow or shoulder, the bubble bursts and makes a click or popping sound. Cracking your knuckles is a good example of breaking those bubbles on purpose. So, the rule of thumb is: no pain, no problem.

Snapping however is another story. That rubber band-like sound is often accompanied by pain. It’s a sign you have an injury, or that some muscle, nerve or connective tissue is out of place.

In this case you should see your doctor. A good way to promote healthy joints in general is to strengthen the muscles around them. Regular strength training can make a difference at any age. If you haven’t been exercising in a while, start slowly and build up. Last thing you want to do is hurt the joints you’re trying to strengthen.

So, what’s the takeaway here? Well, next time your friends have clicks and pops in their joints, you can tell them they probably have Crepitus!

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Longevity Solution

Longevity Solution

longevity solution

The Baby Boomer

When we reach our 40s, 50s and beyond we start to see our parents become less physically able. We look down the road at our own final decades and see that we, too, may not be as mobile healthy and vigorous – unless we start now to change our fitness habits for the better.

Longevity Solution: Fitness = Longevity

Longevity solutionFitness equals a longer life and better quality of life. No one can reverse or stop the aging clock – but we can slow it down As you plan the second half of your life you want it to be as long and prosperous as possible. You want independence, mobility, health, and peace of mind. You want the strength and stamina to meet the demands of every day life, to continue to go for your dreams and juggle the life you’ve built. You know that regardless of what you’ve done in the past, you have to start living differently now, right now. You’re suddenly faced with the need to protect and maximize your health, prevent catastrophic illness, manage degenerative disease and maybe make up for years of neglect. This can be a daunting task. And you’re legitimately concerned about it how you’re going to manage it.

Longevity solutionFor every challenge there’s a solution and fitness expert and public health activist Mirabai Holland MFA has spent her thirty-year career creating that solution.
Her Moving Free® approach to health and fitness is a comprehensive program of exercise, nutrition, stress reduction and medical care designed to ease you into the best shape of your life and slow down your aging clock. Everyone wants to live a healthy, low stress life but most of us never do because we think it’s just too hard.
Moving Free® technique provides an experience so pleasant, it doesn’t feel like work. You set your own readily achievable goals, progress at your own pace and get tangible results, virtually immediately.

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Cancer and Exercise

Cancer and ExerciseCancer and Exercise: Best exercises for Cancer Patients?

In my health coaching practice, I consult with women who want to exercise but have health issues that make them uncertain as to how much they should do. Recently I had a client who said, “I am recovering from breast cancer. I finished my chemotherapy a few weeks ago and though I still feel weak, I was wondering if I should start exercising again?” And this is what I told her.

If your doctor says you’re up to it, you can get started. Best Exercises For Cancer Patients: according to ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine)

Cancer and Exercise

The best exercises for cancer patients is a combination of the three major components of fitness: Cardio, Strength and Flexibility. These types of exercise can have a positive impact on cancer patients and survivors. Easy aerobic exercise for cancer patients, has been shown to increase hemoglobin levels, reduce inflammation, lessen fatigue, keep muscles in shape for better every day activities, increase self confidence, reduce depression and aid in recovery of surgery.

Other research has shown strength and flexibility exercises to be good exercises for cancer patients helping them return to a normal activity level sooner.

Exercise and social support seem to increase the life expectancy of breast cancer survivors, preventing recurrence.

At the beginning, gently move a few minutes at a time, and build up at your own pace. Try walking, light aerobics or swimming. As you get stronger, add a couple of days a week of light resistance training. On days you feel more tired, try doing a few stretches.

Personal Note: It has been my privilege and joy to use my skill as a Certified Health Coach & Exercise Physiologist Specialist to help women manage their cancer with the healing properties of movement and exercise. It is from my own experience, that exercising on a regular basis, eating healthy food and reducing your stress can help prevent and/or manage cancer and many other life threatening diseases.

Click on Cancer and Exercise for more info. Visit www.mirabaiholland.com

for in home exercise programs for women over 50.

Bernadine’s Crusade

My mother died in 2005 from Ovarian Cancer. Here is a poem I wrote about her.

Time it was when she found out how sick she was.

Like a Gladiator she got in her wheel chair and with her cane she fought against her illness.

Month after month she strived and relished every peach, every plum.

Moment by moment from lunch to lunch, she road the streets and shopped for food, clothes and jewelry as if she would live forever.

Her doctors were amazed at the way she road into their offices waving her cane
in stylish hats.

For her it was just the way she lived.

Opinionated, visually acute; her sense of aesthetics keen.

Expressive, she once cooed for me like a bird then clicking her teeth like a sparrow eating a tiny meal.

So it went.

Until the last, she raged with her cane beside her in the bed.

Little sips of ice mocha and chocolate malts

Slowing down.

Barely breathing,

her eyes flew open, to take one last peek

getting ready for the next to come.

mwh©

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Tennis: Improve Your Game!

Srv1WebTennis! How To Improve Your Game

My friends say I’m like a broken record when I tell them “An ounce of Prehab is Worth a Pound of Rehab”. But with the rising number of baby boomers and beyond taking to the tennis courts, this phrase rings true especially if you’re interested in staying literally, in the game!

For general tennis conditioning, start with easy aerobics like cardio interval walking/jogging.

Alternate three minutes of brisk walking with a minute of faster walking or jogging. Build up to 8 sets (32 minutes) each session, at least 3-5 days a week. Also, if you have the space, try stepping laterally several steps to the right and then to the left during the 1-minute intervals.

This will help build your stamina for those bursts of speed you need on the tennis court.

Tennis: How To Improve Your Game

The following 5 site specific exercises can help you warm-up your racquet arm and strengthen key muscles to help avoid injuries but improve your game.

Srv1WebFigure-Eight Warm-up

With your racquet in your hand perform an overhead serve (without the ball) and follow through with a figure eight motion. Start slowly and increase your speed as you feel your arm, shoulder and core muscles getting warmed up. Repeat 12 times.

 

 

 

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Improve Your Tennis Game Ball Grip Strengthener

Squeeze a tennis ball in the palm of your racquet hand. Hold for 10 seconds.

Repeat 6 times. Strengthens grip.

 

 

 

BbdHndWebRubber Band Grip Strengthener

Stretch rubber band while extending fingers of your racquet hand. Hold for 10 seconds,

Repeat 6 times. Strengthens the opposite muscles from ball grip.

 

 

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Wrst-Curl-Right-WebForearm/Wrist Exercise

Holding a can or hand weight, place your arm edgewise on a surface for support. Using just your wrist, curl all the way to the right and then to the left.

Strengthens the forearm and wrist and helps to prevent tennis elbow. Repeat up to 12 times.

 

Wrist-Curl-Left---Web

 

 

 

 

 

 

LungeWebWalking Lunge

Lunge forward with one leg while bending other leg with heel off the ground.

Pause for 1 second. Switch legs and repeat. Strengthens leg muscles. Do up to 16 times.

 

 

 

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Fashion Flash Fall Edition

Fashion FlashIt’s Fashion Flash Monday!

As always, I am happy to be our Fashion Flash host this week. My Moving Free with Mirabai the Women’s Health Blog helps you fight age-onset health issues with targeted articles about how you can be and stay Fabulous Forever

Speaking about fabulous, we have a  new edition to our fantastic team of bloggers. Please welcome Allison Cohen from neversaydiebeauty

Keep reading and get the latest info and deals in beauty, fashion, skincare, health and fitness for women 40+.

 

ready_or_not_screen_print_boston_artist_nick_ward2Allison from Never Say Die Beauty is giving away a stunning PUR Cosmetics Limited Edition 10th Anniversary 4-in-1 Pressed Powder Mineral Foundation compact in the shade Blush Medium. The blingy silver compact celebrates 10 years between PUR and Ulta Beauty. Enter here to win it!

 

 

BEAUTY INFO ZONE LOGO HEARTBeauty Info Zone loves nothing more than to offer a wonderful giveaway and the one from Enchanted Apothecary is exceptional. Not only are the soaps from this company beautiful but they are infused with crystals and crystal energy. This is an international giveaway that we are excited to present.

 

 

 

Notes From My Dressing Tableheader-maybe-1024x198Get gentle care for your beautiful coloured hair with Derm Organic Color Care Hair Care This line is affordable, easy to buy, is vegan, gluten free, PH balanced and cruelty free.

 

 

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Barbara Hannah Grufferman, author of THE BEST OF EVERYTHING AFTER 50 and AARP contributor, wants to remind us that September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and it’s the best time to pay attention to our bodies.

 

 

 

 

http://movingfreewithmirabai.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/PRIMEBEAUTYScreen-Shot-2012-05-28-at-6.15.05-AM-300x62.png

 We all struggle with self esteem issues from time to time. A new book Prime Beauty is reading gives us 7 Ways to Banish Negative Chatter Forever and Reclaim Your Life!

 

 

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Jackie Silver from AgingBackwards.com reveals some of the surprising causes of hair loss in women.

 

 

 

 

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http://movingfreewithmirabai.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/nononsensebeauty-300x74.pngIs cottage cheese truly healthy for you?  Deb of Nononsense Beauty Blog  looks at the  facts and figures of this iconic diet food.

 

 

 

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Society Wellness shares a list of 9 nutrients that can help support your fitness goals.

 

 

 

 

Second-LivesBring In Your Parents Day.  Think of it as Career Day at your child’s school in reverse.  Instead of you explaining to their fellow classmates what you do, your son or daughter tells you what they do on the job.  It’s all part of your second life transition.

 

Glamour-Granny-Travels-logo-FFWhat I had in mind when setting off for a five day trip to Oman last year, was a vacation of nothing more than relax, rest and luxury.

 

 

As our health-conscious population lives longer and longer, I think aqua, with it’s ability to surround and support our aging bodies while we keep them operational, is the wave of the future. Get those creaky bodies in the water. Try it, you’ll like it.

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Walking From The Core

MIRABAIWALKTREASURYHILL_WEB_9289I’ve been shooting some walking sequences in the Colorado Rockies these past couple of weeks and it’s been spectacular. We planned it just right. The aspens are turning gold, and that clean crisp flavor of Fall is in the air.

It’s a perfect time to walk, and walking is about as perfect a human exercise as we’ve got. It’s a great combination, Fall and walking: not too hot, not too cold, lots to look at. And, doctors always want us to walk when the tell us to get some exercise. I wonder if they walk themselves. So your doctor should be very pleased when you call and say “I’m starting a walking program, what do you think”? Do check with your doctor to make sure you don’t have any issues that will keep you from brisk walking, and then if all’s good, get to it.

Besides getting a great cardiovascular workout you’ll strengthen and sculpt your legs and butt. If you swing your arms you’ll get some shoulder action too; all this while leaf peeping, or people watching if you’re in the city, and enjoying the fall air.

There’s been plenty of buzz lately about core exercise and how a strong core, the abs, back, butt and upper thigh muscles, can keep you mobile into old age. There’s a lot of truth to that. The core muscles hold you torso erect and promote good posture and general body strength.

If you do it right, walking can strengthen your core and improve the way you walk at the same time.

A weak core makes you slouch and walking slouched messes up your gait and can even give you back injuries. Start by standing tall with your head over your shoulders, shoulders over your hips, hips over the feet, abs pulled in. If you’re not used to it, it’ll feel like work at first. But, try keeping that posture while you walk, even for 5 minutes at a time. It will become more and more comfortable. You’ll start to realize it’s the natural way for humans to stand and walk. Your gait will improve, your core will get stronger, you’ll be less fatigued and you’ll enjoy your walks more. And won’t you look cool and snappy out there with that perfect gait.

I’ve got another week of walking in the Rockies for a living and I’m enjoying every minute of it; being out in the open air, checking out the fall color and looking cool and snappy.

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Cooking Healthy

Cooking Healthy Cooking Healthy is what my husband and I both love to do together. It was a challenge at first because he’s one of those ’60s kids who became a vegetarian at 14 and never went back. He’s been a vegetarian for 53 years. I, on the other hand, enjoy chicken, fish, and lean beef in moderation. Luckily he’s not one of those anti meat people, and he has no problem helping me cook it. He just has no desire to eat it. That’s fine, to each his own.

The interesting thing about this cooking healthy relationship is that we’ve developed a bunch of recipes that can be either vegetarian or not or both.

If you like Asian Fusion, here’s one of our favorite recipes to try at home.

The recipe makes 4 servings.

Cooking Healthy Recipe

4 cups, skinless chicken breast, chopped small
1 cup, brown rice
1 cup, sweet red pepper, chopped
2/3 cup, Vidalia onion, chopped
1 tablespoon, garlic, minced
4 tablespoons, low sodium soy sauce.

Here are the steps.

1. Start your rice in a separate pot with about 1 2/3 cups of water. Keep an eye on it, and flip it occasionally as it plumps

2. Sauté the chopped chicken breast in a large saucepan in about ¼ cup of water and 1 tablespoon of low sodium soy sauce. Add a small bit of water if chicken starts to stick.

3. When the chicken looks like it’s starting to cook, add the tablespoon of garlic

4. When the chicken is about 1/2 cooked, add the Sugar Snap Peas, chopped pepper, cooked onion and 2 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce

5. When the dish is nearly cooked, add the cooked rice and one more tablespoon of low sodium soy sauce.

You can substitute wild rice or white rice if you don’t like brown rice. And you can spice it up with a pinch of dried crushed red pepper and/or a ½ teaspoon of graded fresh ginger if your taste runs that way. Or add some fresh cilantro if you so desire.

The whole dish takes about half an hour from start to serving. It’s less than 500 calories per serving. If you’re a vegetarian, omit the chicken (this will drop the calorie count to about 300 per serving). Hope you’ll try it.

BTW, an hour of vigorous aerobic exercise should burn it right off.
For more info on at home exercise programs and wellness info visit www.mirabaiholland.com

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