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Hi, I'm Alexandra Ellis, an anatomy loving body-nerd who enjoys breaking down complicated body concepts to help you maximize your performance for pain-free living.
Read my entire story here.
When I told my husband that I was thinking of cutting my coffee habit, he looked at me like I was crazy. Why on earth would you give up the delicious toasty beverage that we enjoy as part of our morning ritual? In fact, the average American drinks 2.1 coffee drinks per day, and the number only increases with age.
I wasn’t drinking coffee in excess at all – just a large mug of the golden nectar each morning. It was part of my morning ritual and I fancied it up with collagen peptides and coconut oil to craft a frothy and fulfilling beverage.
But I also was tired every single morning. Like literally drag yourself out of bed tired even after 7.5 – 8 hrs of sleep. Come bed time, I was super wired and would get caught up in reading or writing in my journal until I was exhausted, which was usually around 11:30 – 12 am. With a wake-up time around 6:30am, this pattern was not working well.
Have you ever considered how important your big toe is to walking? It plays a critical role in walking, running and jumping, but tends to be very weak because it’s constantly covered by shoes.
Don’t believe me? Take your shoes and socks off, stand barefoot, and try to lift and lower JUST the big toe.
If you’re not able to, chances are your awareness and proprioception of the big toe could use some improvement.
I recently was speaking with a student who just suffered an MCL tear and was frustrated with what they felt was a very slow healing progress. This student had followed their orthopedic surgeon’s instructions to a T and had abstained from any activity for two weeks but the injury still wasn’t feeling better. Returning to activities, such as running or swimming, only reaggravated the injury leaving my super active student sitting on the couch, hoping this injury would just go away.
And I know my student is not alone.
How many times have we felt a tweak or twinge and decided to just “rest for a few days” until it went away?
Well here’s the thing about the human body and injuries – it’s both as complex as you’d imagine and very simple at the same time.
When it comes to the psoas, most of us think only of its role as a hip flexor. But the psoas runs from the vertebral bodies at the base of the ribcage all the way through the pelvis to the inside of the femur. Its path allows it to be involved in many spinal and hip motions.
The number one request I hear from my clients is to “stretch their psoas” – and this exercise is a great way to do that.
With the rise of sedentarism in our culture, many desk heights are also seeing a rise. It’s been said that “sitting is the new smoking” and while standing at your workstation isn’t a cure-all, it can help you to log more movement throughout your day. Sitting in itself isn’t bad for you, it’s the fact most of us log 8-14 hours of sitting every day.
While at rest (which you are when seated), your body slows many metabolic and biological processes down, since you aren’t using them. Standing also allows you to fidget, which I have found to be incredibly helpful in maintaining my focus. While we’re told all throughout school that we “need to sit still!” I am excited that the tide is shifting and we’re being told to move more.
Standing desks are nothing new – during the 18th and 19th centuries, they were popular in the homes and offices of the rich. It’s believed that da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, Virginia Woolf and Ernest Hemingway were all standing desk users. read more…