When you have good posture, your body moves more easily and with more energy. Your posture, or the way you hold and move your body in daily habitual fashion is the foundation for every movement your body makes and determines how well your body adapts to the demands placed upon it.
These demands can be from the simple pull of gravity on our bodies, to the activities of daily living (cleaning the home, sitting at a desk all day, caring for children and pets) and movements performed in recreation and athletic pursuits.
In fact, proper posture and alignment allows your muscles and joints to function better.
You are less likely to:
- suffer from chronic muscle and joint pain
- fatigue easily, or unnecessarily due to overuse from imbalances or movement compensations
- wear and tear on the spine, discs, joints and cartilage
- be susceptible to repetitive stress, and movement restrictions
- decrease your likelihood of falling
- experience dysfunctional adaptations due to overly tight and inhibited muscle response
- have problems with internal organ function
- deal with decreased oxygen flow
- experience tension headaches
While improving posture is easy to do and can be done with simple and properly applied exercise, it does take time and effort to correct.
Best results for correcting your posture, alignment and movement function will come from partnering with a Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist.
A great CES can assess your posture, then help guide you through a SMR, stretching and posture correcting exercise plan that is designed for your unique needs in mind.
The Good Posture Trick
However, ALL of us can implement small movement changes that will help improve our posture!
I challenge you to try this simple trick.
Always keep your gaze and your feet underneath you pointing straight ahead.
Our bodies need a stable base of support, and without one, will tend to go where we look. With our feet placed in different directions, we're likely to shift our weight, and one you look down, your body has to adapt and stoop to keep you from falling over. When standing, keep your feet aligned and gaze level. When sitting, come forward to the edge of your chair and get your shoulders stacked directly over your hips, feet flat on the ground at a 90 degree angle to the knees and hips with your gaze straight ahead. In both situations, your posture immediately has to improve.
The goal is to think of having all 33 of your vertebrae stacked in a straight line directly upon one another and your head and gaze straight ahead.
Not only will this will help keep your center of gravity stable. As you’ll immediately notice when you try it, you can’t have poor posture if you keep your eyes at eye level. You might be surprised that you feel awkward in this position, or that you feel muscular work to hold a more stable and upright body position. More than likely, you'll need to practice for a few minutes at a time with conscious effort at first, as our old body positions and habits are so easy to slip back into.
Give it a try, and please be sure to share your experience of trying The Good Posture Trick with me by posting your comments below.
If you enjoyed this article, or know someone who can benefit, PLEASE SHARE!
Stock Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Head Photo Credit: Melissa Thome Photography
Author: Deb Preachuk is a Certified Foundation Training & STOTT Pilates Instructor, Corrective Exercise & Posture Alignment Specialist, and the founder/owner of Pain Free Posture MN.
You can follow Deb on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, or subscribe to her YouTube, Pinterest or Instagram pages.