“Do postural exercises daily” with Leon Turetsky

Wellness: One of the best habits you can adopt for your wellness is to do postural exercises daily, to help you stand straighter and to promote good spinal alignment. One example of that is taking breaks every 30 min at work to stretch out, open your chest and move in place. As a part of […]

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Wellness: One of the best habits you can adopt for your wellness is to do postural exercises daily, to help you stand straighter and to promote good spinal alignment. One example of that is taking breaks every 30 min at work to stretch out, open your chest and move in place.

As a part of our series about “How Anyone Can Build Habits For Optimal Wellness, Performance, & Focus”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Leon Turetsky, Founder and CEO of Backintelligence.com, where his mission is to help people ease their back pain and improve their posture from home, using natural methods like exercise, stretching, self-massage and more. Many folks believe that their back pain is a life sentence, but that is not true. With simple articles and videos (at Backintelligence.com) Leon and his team empower the individual to treat their pain from home and lead a full life. Leon has trained as a Ballroom dancer for most of his life and eventually got certified as a personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist with NASM.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

Iwas always an active kid and played a lot of sports. Later at age 12 I started Ballroom dancing, and eventually started competing at the national level. Then, I became a dance teacher and eventually competed in the Professional level. Because my body was taking a beating from all the training, I started becoming more and more interested in Yoga, Exercise, as well as, Pain Treatments like Massage, Ice Therapy, Epsom salt baths and more. I also had back pain so I was always trying different modalities to ease the pain. Eventually that interest led me to get certified in personal training and corrective exercise with NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine). I also learned a lot about entrepreneurship and business and eventually started the company backintelligence.com.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

My dad used to do many physical activities and sports with me, from an early age. We played soccer, basketball and tennis together. I think that had an impact in my adult life — to pursue movement, physical activities, as well as compete in anything I chose.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

There is no specific person but I do follow many entrepreneurs/speakers that inspire me to think differently and to motivate me to be better. Some of them are: Tom Bilyeu, Ray Dalio, Gary Vaynerchuck and others.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

The most interesting thing about me is that I seem to switch fields of expertise as soon as I get really good at something. My transition from being a fulltime dance teacher to focusing more on exercise, posture and back pain was pretty sudden. This threw some people off, that were close to me, as they didn’t understand the changes I was making and why. The biggest lesson I learned from this is that its important to communicate to others clearly how I feel about things, the changes I want to make, as well as why. This way everyone is onboard and understands what the future holds.

The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?

Always listen to your intuition when deciding which path to pursue. Many people end up pursuing other people’s passions (often their parents’), not their own. This can leave one feeling empty and uninspired in their daily lives.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

One of the books that had a huge impact on me especially as I got more into business is “The Lean Startup.” There is a great lesson in there about how instead of “Worrying” if some idea will work or not, you “Test it” very quickly and see what happens. This way, you’re moving into action very quickly, and then assessing the results — upon which you can make the necessary improvements (if needed). Then, you can do another Test. Basically, stop guessing if something will work or now, instead, Test it! This mindset helps me to constantly test things in my life, in my business, and in my personal development.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

The quote is: “What you do speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you’re saying” by Ralph Waldo Emerson. It resonates with me because it reminds me that the best way to judge someone is based on “their actions” not their words. This helps me read people. I also apply it to myself to check that I don’t just talk a big game, but actually take action towards my goals.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

Last Year we launched “The Complete Posture Fix” online course where we are helping people correct their postures from home. And this year we recently finished filming “Low Back Pain” course which will help people alleviate their low back pain. I’m excited to launch the Low Back Pain course next year sometime, for the very 1st time!

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to create good habits? Can you share a story or give some examples?

The truth is we are all creatures of habit. Another way of saying it is “we are what we do repeatedly”. If you’ve gone to the gym for 80 days straight, it is very likely you will go to the gym on the 81st day, because its already an ingrained habit. This means that the quality of our lives is directly correlated to our habits. If I get into the habit of smoking, then down the line I may develop lung cancer. That’s an example of a bad habit. On the other hand, when I get into the habit or running daily, this habit will help me stay in shape as I get older. Habits directly affect to your lifestyle.

How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

One of the habits I developed in the last 2 years is the 1st thing I do upon waking up is some form of movement or exercise. In the beginning, I had to consciously motivate myself to do it, but now its an unconscious (ingrained) habit, so I don’t even have to think about it, I just roll out the Mat and start stretching. This is a great way to start day and it wakes me up.

Speaking in general, what is the best way to develop good habits? Conversely, how can one stop bad habits?

I heard that the latest research found that in order to develop a new habit we need to do that new habit for 66 days straight. After the 66th day we enter into what is called “Automaticity” — which means that the new habit is basically happening without us having to think about it. Therefore, commit to doing that new habit for at least 66 days for it to stick.

Let’s talk about creating good habits in three areas, Wellness, Performance, and Focus. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum wellness. Please share a story or example for each.

Wellness: One of the best habits you can adopt for your wellness is to do postural exercises daily, to help you stand straighter and to promote good spinal alignment. One example of that is taking breaks every 30 min at work to stretch out, open your chest and move in place.

Performance: If we’re talking about sports performance, one of the most important things is “warming up” prior to any physical activity. This can include light jogging and stretching before your soccer match for example.

Focus: To focus better I’d recommend visualizing your day every morning. This can get you into the right state of focus to achieve your goals for the day. This way, you’ll be rehearsing your day ahead of it, priming yourself to get things done.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

For wellness: Take breaks every 30 min at work to stretch out, open your chest and do postural exercises. This will help you maintain a better posture.

Performance: Before the physical activity or sport, take 10 min jog in place or in a circle, and then do some dynamic stretching, where you move through full ranges of movements. This will warm your body up properly.

Focus: Take 5–10 min daily to visualize your day ahead. You want to visualize the tasks you are going to accomplish, as well as visualize how you’re going to feel throughout the day.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal performance at work or sport? Please share a story or example for each.

Habit #1: Have a morning routine. This is a sequence you go through every morning to wake up and prep for the day. This can include some combination of: movement, meditation, visualization.

Habit #2: Mediate daily. Meditation is a great way to clear your mind and get clarity. There are a variety of Meditation styles, but even just sitting alone for 10 minutes and breathing can do the trick.

Habit #3: Get Plenty of sleep. The last thing you want to do is run your company on an empty tank, or run out of energy in your sport. You need to prioritize getting enough sleep every night so that you can give it your all in the daytime.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

Habit #1 — Morning routine: write down a brief morning routine that you want to stick to for the next month. It should have about 3–4 diff modalities. For example, a) Run for 30 min. b) Sit to meditate c) Review the day ahead. Follow through with these back-to-back each day, and you’ll feel ready for the day ahead.

Habit #2 — Meditate: Take 10–20 min every morning to mediate. Pick a spot in the house where you can sit comfortably and simply close your eyes and focus on your breathing.

Habit #3 — Get good sleep: Have a consistent evening sleep time. For example, around 10:30pm every night I will get ready for sleep by brushing my teeth, cooling my room, etc, and then go to sleep.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal focus? Please share a story or example for each.

Habit #1: Have a To-Do list for each day. This can be in a journal or on the computer.

Habit #2: Visualize your day on the day or on the previous day.

Habit #3: Block working time periods. For example, work for 1.5 hours, followed by 20 min break. Repeat.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

Habit #1: The best way to do your To-dos is to plan them a week in advance. Pick a day, for example Sunday, when you schedule your entire Mon-Fri, To-Do list.

Habit #2: Every morning take 5–10 min to close your eyes and run through your day and how you want to see it go. Make sure you feel your emotions as you do this.

Habit #3: You can set a timer on the phone that for the next 90 min you will be working on “X”, and when its done, take some time to recharge — for example 20 min of Youtube cat videos!

As a leader, you likely experience times when you are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a state of Flow more often in our lives?

To achieve flow it’s important that we breathe fully into our belly and feel our entire body, during our work time. Many of us get stuck in our heads which can lead to rigidity and overwhelm. Instead, to get into flow, you need to feel your “being” which means you want to be doing the work with your entire body, not just your head!

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

The movement I’d recommend is for people to have some kind of a Daily Posture practice. It is simply taking some time in your day to perform postural exercises and stretches, in order to reverse the effects of our chronic sitting, and hunching over our computers.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

Arianna Huffington! I listened to her podcast on Tim Ferris show and it was awesome.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Visit our website: Backintelligence.com, as well as our Youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/backintelligence

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

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