7 Yoga Poses for Race Recovery

Running can take a toll on the body. The repetitive motion has a huge impact on our joints and muscles. It is, thus, vital to take the time after that big race to recover. Taking the necessary time to stretch and cool down may prevent running injuries, increase flexibility, and allow time for your body to return to a balanced state. Yoga is a combination of gentle static stretches and strengthening that may further support race recovery. Including these 7 yoga poses in your post-race flow can stretch out those tight muscles, improve your running form via postural correction and core activation, and reduce the risk of running injuries.

5 Easy Ways to Prevent Hip Flexor Pain

Hip flexor injuries are common running injuries often attributed to overuse. The hip flexor muscles bring the thigh forward and up, a repetitive motion seen in running. Tight hips can cause postural deficits that may, in turn, affect running form and may cause running injuries. If the hip flexors are tight, the pelvis may rotate toward the front. This position may arch the lower back causing, even more, issues to arise.

However, hip flexor pain and injuries are highly preventable. Taking the necessary precautions may reduce the risk of the hip flexors becoming problematic. Targeted strengthening and stretching exercises, a proper warm up, and education on the topic may aid in keeping your running training plan on track.  The following outlines 5 ways to prevent common hip flexor pain, starting today.

How Poor Posture Can Aggravate Back Pain

If someone studying back pain were to covertly take some snapshots of most of us during an average day, they would reveal some alarming information about how we abuse our backs.  Those incriminating photos would show us slouched over our work stations, scrunched up in our vehicles, or hunched over peering at our smart device screens.  In other words, we are quietly and figuratively “killing” our spines slowly with poor posture, and in the sordid process both facilitating the onset, while intensifying the severity, of our resulting back pain flare-ups.

6 Commonly Overlooked Remedies for Back Pain

 You’ve been hunched over your crowded work desk for the past few hours, intently crunching numbers as you type up the latest quarterly report for your boss.  Your persistent back pain, resulting from a serious auto accident 10 years ago, has reemerged, and is reminding you of that fact via muscle aching and throbbing.  When you finally stand up to take a well-deserved break, the poor posture that your body has been locked in for half the day refuses to respond.

What Is Your Body Language Communicating to Others and Yourself?

As humans, we tend to spend a lot of our time thinking about the things we say — especially in and around the office. Of course, it’s important to think carefully before speaking, but that’s actually only half the battle when it comes to communication. In fact, some expert believe only about 7% of all communication is verbal, and the rest of the 93% is communicated through non-verbal cues like body language. That’s a huge percentage of communication that we’re not paying much attention to.

Non-verbal communication includes things like facial expression, gestures, tone of voice, eye-contact, body positioning, and posture. As social beings, we subconsciously pick up on these subtle cues to inform our impressions of a person’s characteristics, personality, state of mind, and much more.

What Your Body Language is Saying About You

Take a look at the two photos below. Just a quick glance at the two people in the photos and we can immediately tell that the person on the left demonstrates confidence, whereas in the right, she likely feels insecure and unsure.

upright posture, confident body language      slouching posture, insecure body language

Using only body language as a cue, you were able to make a snap judgement — fairly confidently, too — about the mental state of these two people. Based on these two images, if you were asked to guess how you think each of these people would do presenting in front of a large audience, or in a leadership role, you’d probably guess that the person on the left demonstrating confidence is better suited for the job.

Assuming she is a qualified individuals, slouching puts her at a significant disadvantage compared to her adopting an upright, open posture.

This is obviously an extreme, hypothetical case and that’s not how decisions about presenters or promotions are made. However, there is something to be said about the advantage you can gain in taking extra care and attention in what your body is communicating to those around you.

Body Language on Your Own Psyche

Dr. Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, delivered a fascinating TED Talk a few years ago on the importance of body language and how our posture influences not just the way others perceive us, but also our own thoughts and feelings. In her studies, Dr. Cuddy found that indulging in poor, slouched posture where you are closing yourself off from your surrounding and physically taking up less space perpetuates feelings of fear, stress, and anxiety, lowering performance in stressful situations. This creates a negative cycle where:

Insecure Thoughts → Closed-off Posture → More Insecure and Negative Thoughts

To break this cycle, Dr. Cuddy recommends adopting what she calls “power-poses”. Power-poses are a series of strong and confident postures that have the ability to influence two important hormone levels: testosterone and cortisol. She found that adopting these “power poses” increases testosterone levels to help you feel more assertive and decisive while lowering cortisol levels to reduce stress and anxiety. The combined effects of these two hormones provide an almost immediate boost in confidence and have been shown to improve performance in stressful situations, thereby introducing a positive cycle:

Intentional Power-Pose → Boost in Confidence and Mood → Continued Good Posture

The bonus to this cycle is that not only does being in good posture fosters positive thoughts and moods, it also communicates confidence and strength to the people around you, as we discussed in the first section of this article.

So, even if you are feeling shy, insecure, stressed, or uncomfortable, simply fixing your posture to be more upright and open can help you escape the negative cycle of emotions to enter a much more positive sequence.

Good Posture in Practice

By now, you know the importance of good posture and the positive influence it has on your own psyche as well as others perceptions. So how do we get into good posture, and more importantly, how do we stay in it?

Getting into Good Posture

To get into good posture, imagine your head is being pulled straight up by a string. Lift your chest slightly and draw in your abdominals. Keep your shoulders down and back, and your chin tucked in. You’re aiming for a strong, confident position! When sitting, scoot your hips to the back of your chair and avoid reclining against the seat-back. If you’re not sure you’re doing it right, here’s a more detailed instruction post on how to get into good posture.

Now, for the hard part: staying in good posture.

For many of us, getting into good posture isn’t too much of a challenge. The challenge arises as we try to maintain it throughout the day. In fact, our internal data study with 15,000 Lumo Lift users revealed that during the workday, people on average spend only 36% of their time in “good posture”. That amounts to 38 minutes of poor posture per hour, and 304 minutes, or about 5 hours, of slouching per a regular 8-hour workday.

The key to achieving better posture throughout the day is to train your mind and body to adopt better posture as a habit, rather than a conscious choice. To achieve this, there are three elements at that need consideration: anatomy, muscular endurance, and the correct neuromuscular patterns.

Anatomy: Physically getting into good posture.
Muscular Endurance: Developing and strengthening supporting muscles in your back and core to stay in good posture.
Neuromuscular Patterns: Communication between your brain and muscles to learn what good posture feels like., i.e., muscle memory.

At Lumo, we’ve taken this three-pronged secret sauce to improving your posture and created a device that helps you do just that: Lumo Lift. Lumo Lift is a small, wearable device that discreetly attaches magnetically to your shirt to monitor your posture all day long, and gently vibrates when you slouch to remind you to straighten up to strengthen correct neuromuscular patterns. The accompanying Lumo Lift app recommends various exercises and stretches to help you develop the necessary muscles to support your newly improved posture.

Here’s how Lumo Lift works:

 

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Communicate Confident, Strong Body Language with Lumo Lift

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Lumo Bodytech Partners with PUMA to Provide Best-in-Class Product

We are excited to announce today our partnership with PUMA, a leading sports performance company, to introduce a new PUMA product powered by our artificial intelligence motion science coaching platform.

Our MotionScience Platform, a deep and full-stack technology architecture equipped with AI and machine-learning capabilities, currently power two of our proprietary products: Lumo Lift, a posture and activity coach, and Lumo Run, an innovative coaching platform and device for runners. We recently announced data that demonstrated that the AI-powered coaching model used in Lumo Run helps runners run faster, farther and more efficiently. Now, in collaboration with PUMA, Lumo is expanding their MotionScience capabilities to extend to a new kind of product.

“Lumo and PUMA have a shared vision for building a new cutting edge AI product and we’re thrilled to provide this solution to people all around the world,” said Monisha Perkash, CEO and Co-founder of Lumo Bodytech. “We’re also excited to expand our Lumo MotionScience Platform to build next-generation capabilities for PUMA’s market-leading sports performance products.”

The partnership, lead by the PUMA Innovation Team, is a natural, strategic move towards the next-generation of future connected health and fitness products that go above and beyond a simple tracker and into an AI-powered real-time coach that provides deep insights into human movements.

We recently announced the general availability of the Lumo MotionScience Platform, ushering in the future of personalized feedback technology for third-party partners. The Lumo MotionScience Platform, designed by engineers from Stanford University, offers access to unique algorithm models that can track a myriad of human movements and provide a wide spectrum of biomechanical insights relevant to various industry applications, while offering actionable feedback to promote behavioral change for healthier habits.

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5 Static Stretches for After Your Run

A cool down post-run is just as important as a warm-up prior to your workout. Including a proper warm-up and cool down into your running routine may decrease the risk of running injuries. A warm up increases blood flow to the muscles and increases your heart rate. It is often recommended to include dynamic stretches into a warm-up. Dynamic stretches may enhance your running form by engaging major muscles of the core, hips, and legs.

A cool down, on the other hand, slowly brings your heart rate back down and may decrease post-run muscle soreness later on.  Incorporating static stretches, such as the following outlined below, into your cool down routine may further increase your flexibility and provide varying degrees of relief.

A Beginner’s Guide to Sleeping with Lower Back Pain

Over the course of the past several days, the invigorating experience of a good night’s sleep has escaped your grasp, interrupted by the reemergence of your chronic lower back pain.  And no matter how you’ve tossed and turned, trying to get positioned comfortably upon your worn out mattress, the nagging pain and discomfort have kept you awake.  If lower back pain has been keeping you up at night, take heart, as you are not alone.

A Runner’s Guide to Warming Up

When it’s time to run, you just want to get going. Once you’ve got your runners on your feet, it’s time to start pounding the pavement, right?

Not quite – whether you’re out for a training run or about give it your all in a race, it is essential that you have a proper warm up. In this article, we find out why you need to warm up and exactly how to do it to make yourself a better, safer runner.

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