I want to share and encourage you to read a great article from one of my favorite health champions, Dr. Joseph Mercola. In his article Sitting All Day: Worse for You Than You Might Think, Mercola presents and discusses the dangers prolonged bouts of sitting has on our physical health. Effective tips on simple ways to get more active in the day are included along with some of my favorite Posture Alignment Therapy exercises.
I've written about the topic myself, [See Sitting Is Killing Us], and agree wholeheartedly, however I would like to expanded on the article just a bit.
Exercise IS extremely important in counteracting the physiological effects of prolongs bouts of sitting. We absolutely must move the body, increase the heart rate and provide ways to increase muscular endurance and strength, maintain or lessen our body mass and maintain/increase mobility.
BUT.... I do not believe that the simplicity of adding traditional exercise into your day truly COUNTERACTS the postural effects prolonged static posture like sitting does to the body.
From my professional experience, unless you are doing a specific program to purposefully unravel the compromised joint and muscle patterns, I guarantee you are taking that imbalanced posture into exercise.
Without incorporating a structured program to balance the body out, you are setting yourself up for repetitive strain or chronic injury in your exercise. The body WILL find the path of least resistance in movement, and will always prefer it's strongest positions. If you sit all day, you have to understand that you are strongest in a head forward, muscular and joint imbalanced posture.
That is why you need more than just exercise, and is the primary reason why therapeutic modalities like Foundation Training, Corrective Exercise, Pilates, Yoga and Self-Myofascial Release are critically important.
As you heard in Dr. Mercola's interview with Foundation Training creator, Dr. Eric Goodman, a program like "Foundation Training may offer the best of all worlds in terms of building a strong core, eliminating back pain, and promoting optimal health that goes beyond fitness."
And I concur. Every single day I work with people who have to sit at desk jobs and who also exercise faithfully. They come into my studio because they are suffering with chronic musculoskeletal pain, have poor posture and/or are constantly dealing with repetitive stress/injury in activities of daily living or their much loved sports.
Most are avid exercisers, and yet, they still end up with poor posture, joint and other body aches and pains, and often do not understand why. Simply adding in cardiovascular exercise and strength/flexibility training without addressing imbalances does not return the body back towards it’s blue-print design.
Without a dedicated program of corrective exercises to address these postural imbalances, we simply bring the dysfunctional and compensating motor patterns into the exercise of choice. And that’s why we continue to have aches, pains and chronic/repetitive injuries.
Your body needs to perform restorative movements in addition to other forms of fitness such as cardiovascular activity to truly counteract the negative effects of sitting and inactivity.
When leaders in the health and wellness field like Dr. Mercola, Dr. Goodman and Pete Egoscue start the commentary, then the general public will begin to grab a hold of how important our posture is to our overall health and well-being.
As I like to say, "Balance the Body. Relieve the Pain." When you promote correct postural alignment and joint position, bones will go where muscles tell them, and muscles will work according to their blue-print design.
Programs like Foundation Training and corrective exercises are sequenced systematically in a way to stimulate the proper demand and function in the load joint(s). As you incorporate these powerful posture changing movements, your alignment improves, muscles and joints re-organize into better position and the pain goes away. You are now effectively counter acting the effects of prolonged sitting, and taking a more balanced and functional body into other activities of daily living and exercise.
It works, it’s easy to do, and it’s available to everyone. It really is that simple.
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Head Photo Credit: Ruby and Roxy Photography
Author: Deb Preachuk is a Corrective Exercise Specialist and the founder/owner of Pain Free Posture MN. Follow Deb on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn, or subscribe to her YouTube, Pinterest or Instagram pages.
With over 25 years in the health and wellness field, Deb helps real people transform real-world chronic pain challenges into achievable results. Deb infuses her teaching with an honest, open and down-to-earth mix of chronic pain relief therapeutic modalities training techniques to make the concepts of pain relief and body/mind transformation accessible and achievable!