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Maintaining Good Posture
By: IHI
07.08.14 Tuesday
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Head up! Chin In!  Shoulders back! It doesn’t seem like it would be a big deal to just maintain a straight and healthy posture…but it is!  It’s so hard.   Years of bad posturing habits now seem to be all we know. Those stooping shoulders took years to put in their place so it’s going to take some work to get them out of that position and back to where they should be. Here is a quick little test you can do to determine if you are in the poor posture camp!
  • Stand with the back of your head against a wall, your heels about 6” from the wall.  Your shoulders and buttocks should touch the wall.
  • There should be less than 2” between your neck and the wall or the small of the back and the wall.  If there is more than 2”, that’s a sign of poor posture.
So, where do you start improving your posture? First of all, maintaining good posture is as much as mind set as anything else.  It takes a conscious, daily effort in order to change your posture.  I have the worst slumping posture so, for one day, I tried to stay focused on good posture.  I did pretty good, I must have done pretty good because the next morning, my abs were on fire!!!  That’s a good sign that I was engaging my core muscles instead of letting everything just settle lazily all around.   It was work!  That brings me to my next point… Easy stretching and strengthening of your muscles will help you in your quest for better posture.  Weak muscles don’t support your frame very well and leads to a lazy way of carrying your body.  Exercises that strengthen the core muscles will also strengthen your back and keep your spine straight.  These exercises alone will increase mobility and good posture. A straight posture will surely decrease the amount of pain you live with and it is more comfortable for all of your organs but especially the heart and lungs, stomach and spine.  When you are slumping over, they have to slump too!  When your organs don’t like the way you are standing, they will surely let you know with a slight headache…or a big headache; a back ache, even indigestion. Don’t forget to pay attention to the posture of your arms and wrists, especially when you are sitting down to work at a desk or computer.  Make adjustments so your wrists are at an odd angle to your arm or hands.  This will save you from the dreaded carpal tunnel! As you are reading this, where is your body and what is it doing?  Straighten up…put those shoulders back, keep your chin parallel to the floor…see, doesn’t that feel better?  It’ll take some time but you will soon see the benefits of standing tall!
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