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A Simple Squat Form Modification For People With Tight Hips

Tight hips can seriously mess with your squat form. That pinchy, can’t-go-any-further sensation not only interrupts your workout vibe, but it also means you’re not getting all of the booty-building, leg-strengthening benefits that squats are great for. And since so many of us have tight-as-hell hips from spending an inordinate amount of time sitting, that’s […]

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Tight hips can seriously mess with your squat form. That pinchy, can’t-go-any-further sensation not only interrupts your workout vibe, but it also means you’re not getting all of the booty-building, leg-strengthening benefits that squats are great for. And since so many of us have tight-as-hell hips from spending an inordinate amount of time sitting, that’s a lot of squat potential going to waste. Fortunately, there’s a quick easy fix that can solve many squat quandaries in mere seconds.The secret, according to Sarah Otey, an instructor at Barry’s Bootcamp, is to just widen your stance.“If your stance is too narrow, you are not training the full range of motion,” says Otey. A full range of motion ensures you’re using proper form and the right muscle fibers are firing to get you low. “[If you’re not getting low], you’re not utilizing the largest and most powerful group of muscles in your body to their full capability–your posterior chain, which includes your glutes, hamstrings, and adductors,” she explains. “When the squat stance is narrow, you rely on your quadriceps to do most of the work.”If you’re a form fanatic, you might be thinking, wait, aren’t your feet always supposed to be hip-distance apart in a squat? Great question. Hear her out: “Squats depend on mobility in the hip and ankle, and many factors can dictate which squat stance is best for you,” she explains. You may have poor hip mobility thanks to common movement patterns, like sitting at a desk or in a car all day. There may also be a genetic factor. “Everyone’s hip joints are a little different. The shape of the socket can vary, as well as the depth to which the head of the femur sits in that socket. This can give more or less range of motion,” she explains.So, if squatting with your feet exactly hip-distance apart doesn’t allow you to get low, it’s totally fine to try widening your stance. “If you widen your stance, it creates room for your hips to drop down between your knees, so your hips won’t have to move as far behind the arch of your foot (your center of gravity),” says Otey. This squat form modification will give you more power from your posterior chain, she says.In addition to people with tight hips, people with long legs can also benefit from widening their stance, as well as people who find that their chest falls forward when they squat. And if you feel like you’re predominantly using your quads, this can also be a useful modification, says Otey. (Of course, if you’re experiencing pain during your squats, stop and check in with your doctor—here are five workout pains you shouldn’t ignore.)The most important note with this squat modification is to make sure your knees still stack over your ankles, says Otey—if your knees start to bow in towards your inner ankles, you’ve probably widened too much.Before you know it, you’ll be squattin’ low like a boss and seeing the benefits. Psst—if your tight hips do still bother you, here are three phenomenal foam-rolling moves to know and love. Plus, check out these nine easy hip stretches to try:

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5 Lifestyle Changes You Should Do in 2020

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Doing various lifestyle changes can be difficult especially when you attempt to initiate huge modifications that merely remain unfulfilled over time. Experts assert that planning small changes is more practical and achievable in real life.

Drink more water

The regular intake of water provides a multitude of benefits. Water helps reduce the frequency of migraines; it helps slow down aging; it aids in digestion; it assists in weight loss, among others. Drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water each day provides you with more energy, enabling you to manage the daily grind.

Go for daily walks

We all know that exercise helps keep us healthy, as well. However, not everyone has the time—or inclination—to start a rigorous and time-consuming exercise routine. Nonetheless, you can still keep yourself healthy by taking daily walks. You can start by taking a walk after you get up from bed each day and then do another round when you get home from work in the afternoon. If you are working from home, take several breaks and walk in your front yard or garden for a few minutes each time.

Begin writing a gratitude journal

Stress gets accumulated due to the many upheavals of daily life. There is a lot to complain about and work can become too stressful at times. You should know, though, that stress and worry can be debilitating to your health. Starting a gratitude diary allows you to destress yourself, realize how blessed you are, and allow catharsis to unfold.

Do a few minutes of reflection and meditation

Because you tend to be so busy each day, you forget to find time to reassess all the things that you are already blessed with. Worries are everyday facts of living. However, you do not have to dwell on them all the time. Find a few minutes to reflect upon the good things in life. Stay still and silent for a bit. Listen to the birds and smell some flowers if you can.

Ask for help when you need it

The funny thing about most people is that it is considered a crime to ask help from others. Most people think that admitting the need for help is tantamount to admitting weakness—a terrible blunder for one’s dignity. However, it is essential to remember that no one’s perfect and that a lot of us need assistance from time to time. Learning to lower yourself and admit the need for aid ultimately lightens your soul—and even helps you learn the virtue of humility.

In essence

It is necessary to plan some changes in your life. These changes can help lighten your everyday burden and eventually welcome more positivity in the different aspects of your existence. However, you should start with doing small modifications. Keeping them small allows you to easily fulfill them because big goals tend to be too difficult especially when you’re too busy trying to keep up with the daily hustle and bustle. Also, laugh a little. Accept your frailty and be at peace with the world.    

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Yoga: The Ultimate Solution to Chronic Pain

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A recent study found that patients with chronic disease and depression found a sort of release upon trying a mindful-based stress reduction course. The study proved that there was a considerable improvement in the participants’ mood, functional capacity, and perceptions of pain upon participating in the activity. According to the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, it was found that 89% of the study’s respondents claimed that the program helped them in various ways. Despite having 11% of the participants remaining neutral, most of them agreed that the activity allowed them to better cope with the pain. Chronic pain may be common, but this ailment is considered one of the most severe medical conditions out there. The medical condition is believed to have affected over 100 million people in the United States and correlates to an annual cost of $635 billion.

The Effects of Chronic Pain

A small-scale study was conducted in a semi-rural population in Oregon, wherein issues about affordability, addiction, and access to care are abundant. During eight weeks, the participants were instructed to try a mindfulness meditation followed by a mindful hatha yoga exercise. According to Cynthia Marske, an osteopathic physician, and director of graduate medical education at the Community Health Clinics of Benton and Linn Counties, she claims that numerous people have lost hope because of the possibility of chronic not being fully resolved. However, she believes that mindful yoga and meditation can help the body’s structure and function and cater to the healing process. 

The Difference Between Healing and Curing

According to Dr. Marske, he claims that healing is becoming whole again, while curing is the point of eliminating the disease. He believes that yoga and meditation can help make things manageable during the chronic pain healing process. A study conducted found that mindful meditation and yoga led to notable improvements in a person’s perspective on pain, disability, and depression. In the Patient Health Questionnaire, also known as PHQ-9, it was found that the scores of the standard measure of depression dropped by 3.7 points on a 27-point scale. Dr. Marske concluded that some patients often experience a similar drop from the use of anti-depressants. 

Depression and Chronic Pain

Dr. Marske claims that depression and chronic pain go hand in hand. However, he believes that mindfulness-based meditation and yoga can, indeed, restore a patient’s physical and mental health. He believes that both of these combined are effective alone or infused with other medication and therapy treatments. Participants also received instructions from MBSR, a systematic educational program that trains people to raise awareness of the self in the present time and a nonjudgmental manner. The results support other claims on how MBSR can help treat chronic pain while healing from perceived depression. Dr. Marske says that the bottom line is that patients are looking for new ways to endure chronic pain and effective non-pharmaceutical remedies available. However, he firmly believes that yoga and meditation are the go-to plans for patients searching for relief from chronic pain.

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Lady Gaga, Ray Dalio, and Oprah Swear That TM, a Meditation and Yoga Derivative. Works for Them

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Mental health is a major aspect of our well-being. It affects everything else, from decision-making to stress management. Meditation and yoga are key techniques in maintaining excellent mental health. However, there’s a trending derivative that’s currently making the rounds among celebrities—Transcendental Meditation (TM).

Personalities at Twitter, including Square CEO Jack Dorsey and Beyonce swear that this new technique works as it helps them improve creativity, control stress, and boost energy levels.

During Oprah Winfrey’s “2020 Vision Your Life in Focus Tour” conducted at Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Saturday, Winfrey and Stefani Germanotta aka Lady Gaga discussed their love for TM and its corresponding benefits in their lives. These celebrities, including Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio, share that they learned TM from their teacher, Bob Roth, CEO of The David Lynch Foundation.

What is Transcendental Meditation?

Transcendental Meditation or TM is an exclusive practice. Its followers—or would-be followers—are taught by certified instructors through a 4-day course that’s made available for $380 to $960, depending on the student’s level of advancement.

According to Roth, TM is a simple meditation technique that requires you to sit for 20 minutes twice a day while uttering a repeated mantra. In his 2014 YouTube video, Roth adds that TM differs from other meditation techniques because it “allows the active thinking mind to just, all of it to just settle down, and experience quieter levels of thought” as compared to other techniques that prompt you to focus on your breathing or observe your thoughts.

More Important Than Work

Winfrey, in her 2018 Super Soul Conversations interview with Amy Schumer, asserts that TM is “one of the most life-enhancing things [she] ever did”. After the said TM experience, Winfrey shared in her 2011 interview with “The Dr. Oz Show” that she hired a TM coach to teach her Harpos Studios production crew how to meditate.

She says that her staff would, then, take a couple of breaks each day as the practice of meditation is “more important than the work you are doing. [TM] brings a kind of energy and an intensity of energy, an intention that we have never had before.”

Reason for Success

In his 2018 Facebook post, Dalio attests that TM is possibly “the single most important reason for whatever success [he’s] had.” Dalio, 70, shares that he first came across TM during his early 20s. In his book entitled “Principles”, he says that TM “has enhanced my open-mindedness, higher-level perspective, equanimity and creativity. It helps slow things down so that I can act calmly, even in the face of chaos, just like a ninja in a street fight.”

Dalio asserts recommends those who are curious about the positive effects of transcendental meditation to get a copy of Roth’s 2018 meditation book, “Strength in Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation.”

End Thoughts

Meditation and yoga have long been used to correct certain mental health issues. Recent studies report that transcendental meditation, a newer derivative of these techniques, poses possible health benefits. In a 2009 research, experts discovered that young individuals who practiced TM for 3 months displayed lower levels of anxiety, anger, depression, hostility, and even blood pressure.

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