KRON 4 | Here’s Why You May Be Carrying a 40-lb Head

Occupational and recreational habits have led to real pains in the neck. Tension and poor posture rank high as the most common pain generators. KRON 4 Morning News anchor, Marty Gonzalez, helps me demonstrate the effects of poor posture and how to fight the aching forces of gravity.

KRON 4 PosturePain4

Forward Head Posture (FHP)

One of the most common postural problems is forward head posture — for both young and old. Forward head posture is also known as:

    • Text neck, computer/notebook neck
    • Sofa neck
    • Book or reader’s neck
    • Driver’s neck

KRON 4 PosturePain1Your head should sit directly on your neck and shoulders. Think of a golf ball on a tee. But the head is more like a bowling ball (weighing about 10 to 11 lbs) than a golf ball. Your neck and shoulders have to carry the burden of this “bowling ball” all day. Supporting and moving the human head is a challenging and tiring task.

Carrying your head is an isometric contraction — you’re actually “strength training”. An isometric exercise is a static hold where the joint angle and muscle length does not change during the muscle contraction. 

Posture_AdobeStock_113073952_croppedCorrect posture: Your ears line up over your shoulder blades.

Incorrect posture: Along with forward head posture, your shoulders also “round” and roll forward.

Causes of Forward Head Posture

Repetitive use of computers, TV, video games, trauma, and even backpacks/laptop bags have forced the body forward. Also, general muscle weakness from illness or aging can cause FHP —  that is, you’re too weak to hold your own head up anymore.

KRON 4 PosturePain2

When you’re holding your head forward (out of alignment), you are putting additional strain on your neck, shoulders, and upper back muscles. The result? Muscle fatigue and an aching neck and back. Here’s why…    Continue reading “KRON 4 | Here’s Why You May Be Carrying a 40-lb Head”

How to Ignite Your Metabolic Furnace

Tired employeeYour metabolism is the rate at which all the chemical reactions in your body work as a whole to create the energy you need to thrive. Think of your metabolism as the engine in your car. Sometimes it can be a high performance machine, but without good care, it can run like a slug. Here are some tips to keep your body working at optimum speed.

Signs of a Sluggish Metabolism

The most obvious signs that your metabolism has plummeted are:

  • Weight gain
  • Inability to lose weight despite restricting calories
  • Fatigue
  • Not feeling hungry

Causes of a Deaccelerating Metabolism

The main reasons your metabolism may be slowing down:

  • Age: Your metabolism is thought to slow about one to two percent per decade.
  • Low percentage of muscle mass: When your muscle mass diminishes, your basal metabolic rate (the number of calories you burn while at rest) diminishes as well.
  • Not eating enough food! Insufficient calories can cause you to go into “starvation mode” which can slash broccoli on plateyour metabolic rate. Severely restricting your caloric intake is one of the key reasons that diets don’t work and wind up making you fatter in the end.
  • Lack of exercise and physical activity: In a UC Davis study, they found that the resting metabolic rate in highly trained runners was reduced by 7 to 10 percent when daily exercise training was stopped.
  • Dehydration: Your organs need water to function every day. When you don’t get enough water, your organs will slow down and can eventually shut down.
  • Hypothyroidism: The main purpose of the thyroid hormone is to keep your engine running. When your thyroid isn’t producing enough thyroid hormone, your metabolism will slow down.

How to Preserve Your Metabolism

To ensure a healthy metabolism:    Continue reading “How to Ignite Your Metabolic Furnace”