Eye Strain Exercise and Kids, Teens & Screens


– Hi friends, Jen Hoffman
from HealthyMoving.com here. This past weekend I launched
a new video and a new program, designed specifically to help
the people who use tech a lot, but listen it’s not just for tech users, anyone who spends a lot of
time doing focused activities in front of them, crafting,
all that kind of stuff. But to specifically address
the tension patterns, that are kind of indicative
of a modern body, that spends a lot of time
on a phone or computer. And I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback, I’m gonna share with you,
the exercise again today, that I gave in that video, so that you don’t have to go
hunting for it real quickly, but it’s my favorite exercise
for this kind of tech-neck, this hunched over position
that so many of us are in. But I also today wanted to, I
got some follow-up questions about other places in the body
where we’re seeing the effect of all of this time,
all of this screen time, and a lot of questions
came to me about the eyes. So I wanna give you my favorite
exercise for eye strain. But, the actual biggest response
that I got to that video, was about the little blip that
I said about kids and tech. And kids and screen time, so
I wanna start there today. So I mentioned in the
video that obviously, technology and our use of
technology and the amount of time we are spending relative to movement where we’re moving more of our body and not doing repetitive actions, it’s increasing, and
it’s impacting our body, and not necessarily in a good way. We are getting a lot of
tension and a lot of pain, physically, related to
our time at our desks, or our time on our phones,
but it’s also impacting us, not just our muscular
skeletal system but our, risk for diseases, some kind of diseases like cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer is higher, and plus I mentioned the mood thing, the way that it can impact us
from a stress level as well. And that’s specifically the thing that I wanted to talk
about with respect to kids. So it is, absolutely, we don’t, first, and when their bodies are
growing and developing, and their minds are
growing and developing, we don’t know yet, we
don’t have a clear picture of the long-term affects. But the early indications are
that there are some things that we need to be mindful of, if we are giving phones to
our kids, and our teens. So the first thing to be mindful of is the exercise that I showed you, the fact that they are rounded over, so let’s redo that exercise
and I wanna tell you how you can share it with your kids, ’cause if you just say
you’re hunched over again, do this exercise, that’s not as effective as this other idea I
have, so, the first thing, is that this rounded over position, the temptation to correct it by squeezing the shoulder blades
together, that doesn’t work. It just shifts the rounded
spine kind of on it’s axis, it like tilts it so that you can’t see it, but the vertebrae orientation, or the relationship with
each other it doesn’t change, it’s not fixing the problem. We need to do something different, and that thing is to do
the exercise I showed you, called ramp the head, so
you’re taking your head, if you look behind you at the place where the wall and the ceiling meet, you’re taking your head up and back toward that position
without lifting your chest, so your ribcage, the front of
your ribcage, your sternum, is vertical, and you’re
taking your head up and back. Don’t do this, that doesn’t do anything, chest down, head and
neck going up and back toward the wall behind you. So how can you get your kids to do that? The first thing is, you do it. Like you have to do it,
and you can be vocal, say what you’re doing, say,
oh I’m getting my phone here, I’m gonna try this exercise
I learned, head up and back, try it, how does it feel, it
feels so good when I do it, have a conversation about you
doing it, and how it feels. Someone sent me a message
saying I’m gonna buy the Tech Body Fix Program,
which is my new program that I launched specifically for people who spend a lot of time
at a computer or a phone, I’m gonna buy it for my kid and I’m going to make them
earn their screen time by doing these exercises. And I wrote her an e-mail back and I said, I love, love, love that
you wanna share this and all of the exercises in
this program with your teenager, however you do that first,
you do the program first, you live it first, and
be an example for it. I know, that chances are if
you’re watching this video, you are using screens, so maybe
you can do a habit yourself. If you join the program now, we’re going through a live
coaching with it in April. So you do it yourself in
April, you do the exercises, you figure out how you’re
gonna weave them in, so one of the ways I like to suggest is that you ramp the head, you
give yourself the intention, to ramp the head every
time you check e-mail, or every time you check social media. Connect it to something that you’re doing, and then just share that,
share that with your kids, share that with the people who
you work with in your office, share it with other people that
hey, I’m trying this thing, so that I can be more
mindful of the position that I’m putting my body
in while I’m using tech. And when you do it, oh it’s
making me feel so much better, it’s really helping with my
neck and shoulder tension, because kids have it. When I tell teenagers
what I do for a living, that I’m a movement
expert and a yoga teacher, they tell me no problem,
what do you got for this neck and shoulder tension that I have? They ask for it, so if you do it first, I like the idea of rewarding, doing okay you can have
screen time if you do this, but make that your own habit first before you ask your teens
to do that, or your kids. The second thing to think about here, for a moment, tell me
what your mood is like, when you’re like this versus
what your mood is like after you’ve ramped the head. Like when I ramp the head
my breath kind of relaxes, I feel like I’m more able
to take in positivity, my attitude is a little bit better. This hunched over position,
there’s so much research, that our body position impacts our mood, and so you wanna be gentle,
our teens especially, already have so much going on, hormonally, and then when they’re
constantly positioned like this, I’m really worried about the impacts. I wanna give them tools, but from a place of a gentle offering,
rather than a tsk, tsk. So that’s how I do it with adults, and that’s exactly how I would
wanna do it with kids first. So if you are thinking of
getting the program for your teenager, I love that you
guys might do it together, that makes, I could cry,
that makes me so happy, that is the work I want
to be doing in the world, and the offering that
I wanna give to people, but I just want you to do
it from a place of love and gentleness and compassion,
and you own it first. You do it, you feel and see the impact, the positive ways it helps you, and then you share that with your teens. Okay, the exercise I wanna
show you today for eye strain, let me tell you how you can do this with your kids and teens as well. So no secret here, that
lots of screen time causes eye strain and that
can lead to tension headaches and all kinds of stuff, the way most people try
to resolve that eye strain is by rubbing the eyes
or closing the eyes, and that isn’t the most effective way. The eye muscles are in their tensest, their most contracted position, when we’re looking at something
that’s right in front of us. They are in their most relaxed state when we’re looking at
something that’s far away. So, the way to relax the eye muscles, is to just take a quick
break away from your screen, and look at something that’s far away. So you can do this if
you’re in your office, if you’re driving in your car, you’re obviously not
looking at your screen while you’re driving in your car, but when you’re stopped at a
red light or at a traffic light you can just get your,
your eye muscle tension, doesn’t relax just by not
looking at the screen, we need to look at
something very far away, so if you’re in your car at a red light, see if you can see something
the farthest thing you can see. If you’re in your office or in
your house, go to the window, and look out the window and
allow your eyes to focus on the farthest thing away
from you that you can see. So I play a game with my kids with this, and my kids don’t log a
ton of screen time yet, but I’m playing the game with
them now when they’re young, so that as they get older
we can continue to do this, but we play what’s the farthest
thing that you can see? And we play it sometimes
when we’re out on walks, we play it when we’re in
the car, at different times, who can spot the farthest thing away, and then everybody tries
to look at that thing, so it’s a really simple way
to get your eyes to relax, and if you’re trying
to motivate your kids, to ask them as well, to
do it with you, as well. Okay, so head up and back, eyes relaxed by looking far away, these are just two of
my most favorite tips for getting our bodies,
responding to the tension that we’re carrying in our
bodies because of screen time. I developed this entire program, calling it the Tech Body Fix because I really wanted to respond to, give people a movement
program specifically designed for what’s going on in their body. Sometimes we take these tech bodies to a typical exercise class and we get injury and pain as a result, because when we move away from the tech, our body doesn’t necessarily move away from the position we were in, our body adapts to the position
we’re in most of the time, so I always think of it like that. You know your grandmother
might’ve said to you, don’t make that face it’ll stick that way. Well like we kind of stick that way, we get into these positions,
and then even when we stand up our muscle tension is still impacting us, so then we take that body to
the yoga class or to the gym, and we might have injuries as a result. So, I designed a movement
program to do two things. Number one, to give you
exercises you can do, while you’re on your tech,
that is half of this program. And there’s a daily
exercise that you can do, while you’re on your computer,
while you’re on your phone, to specifically address
things, like ramping the head, and other exercises to address
the tension that you have. But then the second piece of the program, is movement classes,
mat yoga type classes, I’m a yoga teacher, so
there are yoga type classes, but they are specifically
addressed to the body that spends a lot of time
in focused activities. If you don’t use your phone
or your computer a lot, but you do a lot of crafting,
or you’re driving a lot, a lot of the same tension
patterns come from driving, it’s all related to that, the
way that our modern bodies are responding to the
amount of time we spend, in this box right in front of us, without having to move
too much outside of that. So, I’m launching the
program with live coaching, and accountability for the month of April, which I’m so excited, we’re gonna all move through
the program together. Here’s my plan, we are gonna move through the program together,
everybody who joins now, the registration is closing
March 31st, and this group of amazing people is gonna
ask me all kinda questions, they’re gonna say hey my
teenager had this question, or could we have a class that’s specifically
related to this pattern, and I’m gonna realize that
I wanna add new things to make the program even better. So I’m gonna close the registration down, on March 31st, go
through the whole program with my first inaugural
introductory group here in April, and then I’ll spend the rest of the summer re-shooting videos making things even more amazing in the program, and I’ll open it back up for registration, maybe late summer or early fall. Of course the program’s
gonna be more awesome then, so the price is probably
gonna be a little different. If you are thinking about doing it, and you want the best deal on the program, now is the time to join Tech Body Fix. If you’re not ready to
jump into the program and all you do is ramp the
head and relax your eyes by looking away, later this
week I’m gonna come back with one more exercise, one
more mindfulness practice in your body about body positioning, specifically about how you’re standing. So keep an eye out for that as well. I wanna give you tons of tips, but I want to really work
with a core group of people who says I’m done with this, I want something different for me, and maybe different for
my family, with respect to how we are responding
physically to our tech. That’s what this program is all about. If you like this, if you
find these exercises, the ramping the head and the eye strain, and the conversation around how this tech is impacting our kids, their bodies, and their mental and emotional health, I would so appreciate if
you would share this video. Again, HealthyMoving.com/TechBodyFix registration closes March 31st, if you have questions about the program or whether it’s right for you,
you can e-mail me anytime, [email protected] I see I have one question, oh star-gazing. Diann I’m so glad you
brought up star-gazing. So, one of the things I
love about star-gazing with respect to helping with eye strain, is that not only are you
looking at something that’s far away, but the light, the
darkness around outside of you and the lack of light is
so relaxing for the eyes, so we’re coming to a time of the year where it’s staying lighter
a little bit later, but maybe you and your family
can also just step outside, enjoy, like who can see the farthest star, and appreciate how your eyes relax. That would be a nice way
to wind down the day, and then have no screen time
after that before sleep. That can serve you physically,
mentally and emotionally. Listen, doing this work
together with our families, with our teens, can absolutely
be a bonding experience, if we approach it in the right way. So you can take care of your body, and bond with your
family at the same time. Isn’t that wonderful when we can do that? Alright, thank you so much for watching, for sharing, for commenting,
I love engaging with you guys, I hope you have an absolutely
amazing Monday, bye-bye.

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