Train your eyes, change your posture! by Immie Adshead
Long hours spent working over a desk? Back to back zoom meetings spending hours staring at screens? A busy schedule making it challenging to get to the gym?
As many know none of these factors in our day to day life set us up for success to change our posture. Most of us know the importance of good posture with the way to achieve it through strengthening and stretching specific muscle groups as part of a workout program. I’m not here to tell you that this doesn’t work – it does! What I am here to tell you is that there is a way to accelerate results – through the incorporation of vision training.
Think of it as choosing the long winding path or the more direct path that gets you there in half the time … both get you to your posture goals, but one is much more time efficient.
Why do the eyes have so much power and influence? It’s simple. They collect a majority of the information that is fed into the brain – think of the brain like a newsroom with new reporters. The eyes are the most dominant and influential reporter. The brain then makes decisions based upon the information feed it is given. Much like newsrooms around the globe, if you have quality reporters sending in quality information then you get quality decisions based upon that data. We have the power through how we choose to train to have our eyes feeding quality information that will set us up for success or not.
But posture and the eyes? How is that linked? Simply put the body follows your eyes. When you look down we tend to hunch over. When we look up we bend backwards slightly. When we look to the left or right we tend to turn that way. Try it now and see what you find! Another example is driving. If you look towards a certain point in the road then you tend to drive towards it. If you’re serious about wanting to change your posture then changing how you move your eyes is essential!
Training your eyes may sound like a strange concept, but really it’s like training any other muscle group in your body. The eyes are controlled by 6 muscles that move the eyes up, down, side to side and rotate. To train a muscle for better movement, efficient endurance or stronger, more powerful movements it takes consistent practice within your workouts with exercises specific to the muscle group.The more we practice a movement, the more the pathway from body to brain is reinforced increasing the likelihood that we will follow that path again. After all, the human brain likes to follow the easiest path with least resistance! This can work for us or against us – a movement habit can either serve us or disadvantage us, so choose which ones you reinforce wisely …
So here’s a simple way that you can get started today: simply look straight ahead as you walk (whilst obviously checking by looking around that there are no hazards in your way!) If you habitually look down as you walk this could be a game changer for your posture. A lot of the time we can be unaware of how we move our eyes, so my second suggestion is become more aware of how you move your eyes. Remember awareness is power! When we’re aware of something then we can make a change. The third way to get started is by incorporating vision training into your daily routine. I’ve got some ideas in my recently launched ebook, but it can be as simple as a few reps as you wait for the kettle to boil or incorporated into your warm up sequence of your gym workouts. There’s no right or wrong wary, you’ve just got to put in the work!
There are many other benefits to vision training which are key in competitive sports. These include optimizing eye tracking, improving balance and better proprioception. In all honesty EVERYONE would benefit whether into competitive sports or not because it helps us maintain good posture.
Vision training is incredibly dynamic and a fantastic addition to any workout program. It can be applied in a more sedentary manner or more dynamic integration into programmed exercises. How to apply it really depends on the ultimate goal that you’re moving towards!
Wherever you are on your fitness journey, right now vision training can help you reach your goals … elite athlete or just starting out and every point in between!
My mission is to empower and educate athletes of all levels to harness the power of vision training, so I put together a FREE ebook, launched last month, available at www.thebodybraincoach.com
The ebook shows you the vision training drills I use with my clients as well as how you can simply apply it to your fitness program.
Immie Adshead @the.body.brain.coach