How Your Nutritional Habits Affect Your Posture

Hey everyone,

Here’s this month’s article. Ever wondered how your diet is affecting your posture? I explore the relation in this month’s article.

How Your Nutritional Habits Affect Your Posture

by Nick A. Titley, M.S., NPI-Certified Posture Specialist

Have you ever thought that your eating habits are affecting your posture and body alignment? You probably know that age, height, fatigue and occupation affect your postural alignment. There are so many other factors that impact your posture, but what about nutrition? In this article, you’ll learn how and why your nutritional choices could be leading to postural misalignment.

To learn more, I consulted Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and Certified Nutrition Support Dietitian, Melissa Halas-Liang, M.S. to discuss the subject. “The right diet helps avoid excessive weight,” was her opening statement. She continued, “The more weight you’re carrying is more detrimental to your posture.” Melissa explains that your lumbar curve maintains your upright posture and supports the weight of your body.

Excess weight places stress on your bones, muscles and joints and can cause an unnatural curvature of the spine. “Extra weight in the stomach pulls the pelvis forward and strains the lower back, creating lower back pain.” You read that correctly, your diet might be affecting your lower back, but it’s not just weight gain that’s affecting your posture, your nutrient intake and eating practices during meal times are also creating an issue.

Vitamin D and calcium are crucial for bone health and posture. In addition to maintaining a healthy weight, Melissa urges that you get enough vitamin D and calcium in your diet. “Vitamin D plays a major role in calcium absorption, bone health, muscle performance, balance and risk of falling,” she says. Sun exposure is also an important source of vitamin D, but you also need to ensure you’re receiving enough from your diet. While calcium can be found in dairy products, fortified foods and dark green leafy vegetables, vitamin D can be found in fortified milks and cereals, egg yolk, salt-water fish and liver. UV-treated mushrooms are a good plant source.Not convinced? Have you heard of kyphosis? It’s an exaggerated forward rounding of the back and while it has several possible origins one cause of kyphosis is when osteoporosis weakens and compresses the spinal bones. “Among the lifestyle factors that increase osteoporosis risk are low calcium intake and vitamin D insufficiency,” says Melissa.

Older adults are at higher risk for vitamin D deficiency; anyone who has limited sun exposure or kidney issues also needs to be aware of this information. Please consult your physician if you’re unsure whether you’re not receiving adequate calcium and vitamin D in your diet. Do not take supplements until you ascertain this information.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation’s (NOF) website explains that excessive alcohol, caffeine, coffee and soft drink intake is detrimental to bone health because they interfere with calcium absorption and could contribute to bone loss. For you soft drink lovers, not every soft drink is bad for you. The NOF explains that colas, but not most other soft drinks, are associated with bone loss. “The carbonation in soft drinks does not cause any harm to bones. The caffeine and phosphorous commonly found in colas may contribute to bone loss. Like calcium, phosphorous is a part of the bones. It is listed as an ingredient in colas, some other soft drinks and processed foods as ‘phosphate’ or ‘phosphoric acid’.” By getting enough calcium to meet your body’s needs, you can make up for the loss.

So what about meal times? It often feels like the bulk of our problems originate from our habits around food and our meal times, but how does posture come into play? Melissa explains that eating while watching TV or on the computer means that people are usually slouched on their couch or slumped over their screens; neither are correct sitting positions for good posture and body alignment.

Additionally, you may be eating more calories while using social media and when enjoying some form of entertainment; this will lead to excess weight gain that could impact your postural alignment. Melissa blames late night, mindless eating of fatty, salty and sugary foods. You need to eat at a table, sit up with your back straight and your shoulders back without distractions (Implement NPI’s Four Points of Posture™); prevent mindless eating by becoming more mindful of your eating habits and food choices.

Your nutritional habits during meal times and your food choices affect your posture and body alignment. Ensure you’re receiving enough calcium and vitamin D and please consult a physician before taking supplements. Remember, be aware of your posture while eating and avoid eating mindlessly, you’ll look more confident and save yourself excess weight gain.

 References:

  • Halas-Liang, Melissa Personal interview. 11 February 2015.
  • “Food and Your Bones.” Food and Your Bones. National Osteoporosis Foundation. Web. 10 Apr. 2015. <nof.org/foods>.

To see the article and other articles from our website, see the link here

Advertisements

Fitness Gurus and Self-Proclaimed Experts: Why You Should Avoid Them

Fitness Gurus and Self-Proclaimed Experts: Why You Should Avoid Them

by Nick A. Titley, M.S., NPI-Certified Posture Specialist

After having a conversation with a client I couldn’t believe what someone told her about nutrition and fitness. After speaking with a self-proclaimed fitness expert she felt more drained than enlightened. The conversation stuck with me; the last straw came when I saw an “expert” incorrectly instructing someone on how to perform an exercise. After reading this article I hope you’ll understand why you need to avoid these kinds of people.

 Fitness gurus and self-proclaimed experts are everywhere. Many believe that whatever works for them will work for you and they are often the first to offer advice. They flex muscles, revealing what’s under their shirts, eagerly showcasing what they’ve attained as the proof that their advice is legitimate. You’ll be so convinced that they are experts after an interaction that you might be open toward the diet plans and exercise programs they’re willing to prescribe you even when they lack the qualifications or research to substantiate their claims.

I sat down with Akilah to discuss her experience with one of these experts. Akilah explained that she’s been on a weight loss journey and in a recent conversation she was offered nutritional counseling when she never asked for any. She explained to the guru that she added plums to her diet and he told her that she shouldn’t eat them. “He told me at my weight, my body won’t break down the sugar.” He also told her to completely cut fruits from her diet.

Akilah wasn’t satisfied with the response so she questioned it. She mentioned the difference between natural and processed sugars and reasoned that a single plum, with low sugar but full of vitamins, wouldn’t have adverse effects on her body. After her response, the expert told her to eat whatever she wanted because she “knows it all.”

If you’re a fitness guru or self-proclaimed expert that’s offering advice without any real background or training, please stop it. If you’ve encountered people like this, be careful and have no fear in challenging them. If you receive a negative rebuttal or the answers seem far-fetched then do your own research. Always ask a trained professional; it won’t hurt and most times they will confirm, or deny, the information you’re receiving.

It doesn’t stop here; unprofessional behavior also exists in the fitness industry and unqualified fitness gurus are rampant. I interviewed Thomas Johnson, Certified Trainer and owner of GetupNGetFit, and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Brett Willmott, about the subject. Thomas explained that he’d seen his fair share of these “experts” and, like Brett, voiced traits that he felt make for “bad trainers.”

Lack of attentiveness, disregard for safety, improper technique, and a lack of qualifications, knowledge and experience were on the “bad trainer” lists for both Brett and Thomas. These problems are also seen in gurus and self-proclaimed fitness experts, but the main problem with these people is the advice they’re offering. The information, while sometimes correct, might not work for you and could be detrimental to your overall goals.

While the idea of this might make you cringe, Brett ended by offering some direction. He suggested that anyone seeking help from a fitness expert should research them first. Ensure they’re qualified in the area of their instruction and always be prepared to ask questions. “With a well thought out plan, you will be on your way to an educational encounter,” he said.

For qualified fitness trainers and self-proclaimed experts, this is a wake-up call for some and a reminder for others. Even if you don’t fit the category it’s always good to think twice about what you’re discussing with someone. For anyone else, this isn’t a call to dump your trainer or question every detail, but ask yourself if you at least feel comfortable discussing questions with them. They don’t know everything, but they should at least be professional in putting that point across.

Be careful when taking advice from people who aren’t qualified in the area they’re discussing. Self-proclaimed fitness experts are easy to find, but can impart misinformation. Seek a professional and ensure that you’re comfortable asking questions.

 References:

  • Johnson, Thomas. Personal interview. 7 November 2014.
  • Willmott, Brett. Personal interview. 7 November 2014
  • Akilah. Personal interview. 4 November 2014

Nutritional lies

Hey folks,

I found this article titled “Top 13 Nutrition Lies That Made The World Sick and Fat” by Kris Gunnars and I just had to share it with you. The references used are pretty good too. Take a read for yourself at the 13 nutritional myths that Kris believes are still being circulated and leave your comments on the article below. I’d love to hear what you think !

Enjoy !

Nick

Save your money…

Every time you skip

That’s how I feel after hearing this message from BBC

Obesity has quadrupled

Nick

Seasons Greetings !

Seasons Greetings folks !

Man, it’s been awhile since you’ve heard from me. Things have been interesting on my end. I hope wherever this post finds you, things are alright and you’re doing well over the season. I feel like December just started and it’s almost over, can you believe it’s the 13th already ? 12 more days to Christmas for those who celebrate it.

So, I know this time of year there are tons of festivities, parties and celebrations. Here’s a neat infographic I found on how to work that holiday gain off:

How to work off your Christmas dinner.

Tizz the season to be merry, but please stay safe, eat responsibly (i.e. all those gains you made this year shouldn’t go out the window!), and have a grand ole time 😀

Nick

 

Best foods for Omega 3

I found this and wanted to shared it with everyone. Need to get more Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet ? take a gander at this chart and find out the foods that will help you step your Omega game up.

Nick

The Best Omega 3 Foods Infographic