Stand Up Straight!
Hello, everyone! I hope you all had a great Easter. This week I want to talk about what I feel is probably the biggest problem that I see, and it’s probably not something many people think about. When I first speak to people about their goals, most tell me that they’d like to lose weight or gain muscle. In other words they’d like to improve their appearance in some way. That’s a great goal, but for many people there is a very simple way to look better without even setting foot in a gym. Improve your posture.
In today’s society, most people spend all day sitting in front of a computer. What this does to our posture is incredibly destructive. Bringing our arms up to the keyboard causes us to raise our shoulders, staring intently at the screen causes us to bring our head forward, sitting causes us to slouch and round our lower back and sitting also causes our hips to stiffen up which puts a tremendous amount of strain on our backs, knees and shoulders.
For the purposes of this article where we’re talking about appearance, what do you think makes us look better, being all slouched over or standing up straight?
What I have found is that there are two keys to improving your posture. The first one is simply knowing what it feels like to be in good posture. To do that, what I want you to do is stand up, relax your shoulders down and back and take a deep breath into your chest. Relax right there. For most people, this will put them in a reasonably good position. The most important thing for you to note is the down-and-back position of your shoulders. After you’ve established what it feels like to be in good posture the most important thing you can do is just stay aware of your position and correct yourself. Remember this is going to take some work. You’ve most likely gotten yourself used to your posture over a period of years and it is going to take some time to break that habit.
One way to do this is to set a reminder on your phone or computer to stand up every 25 minutes or so and stretch for 30 seconds to a minute. For a few more thoughts and some good stretches and exercises to help your appearance and posture, go to my blog at MitchRFitness.blogspot.com.
So remember to stand up straight just like your second grade teacher told you! Also, be sure to consult a doctor before beginning any exercise program.
Mitch Rothbardt, CPT
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