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Sep 29

Tip of the Month – September

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Coach Monika says…

 

The Benefits of Ideal Posture

The next time you’re out and about, take a look and observe the posture of children, teenagers, and adults: walking with the head down, looking at their phones, slouching forward.

“For Heaven’s sake, walk upright, stand tall, and sit up straight!” We all have heard this comment from someone close to us; so, we adjust while being watched … and then we go right back to slumping because “it feels better.” However, the incorrect positioning of the body can affect numerous aspects of our health and well-being. The effort required to correct and maintain good posture is worth it.

Here are some points to consider:
  • Posture – either good or bad – influences both the way we feel about ourselves and how others perceive us.
  • Researchers report that ‘slouching’ individuals are more prone to developing feelings of helplessness and sadness. In a recent study, people were assigned a slumped or upright position. They had to complete a reading test, a social speech task, mood, self-esteem, and perceived threat assessment. The upright group reported better mood, higher self-esteem, greater arousal and less fear.
  • For fitness, correct or ideal posture is critical to achieve optimal results. When the thoracic spine is in an excessive forward curve (slouching) it is difficult to take in a full breath, which in turn influences our ability to perform cardio-vascular and strength exercises.
Test yourself:
  • Sit on a chair and slouch forward and breath in
  • Sit tall, stand upright, and take a full breath

Feel the difference?

When trying to improve posture and body alignment the biggest challenge is to re-educate the nervous system because it controls bodily function and movement. The system lays down pathways that become automatic through repetition. Slouching/slumping for a long period becomes a habit and thereby a health hazard because the nervous system programs this posture as being ‘correct’! Breaking this habit takes awareness and continuous commitment on a daily basis.

Illustration of incorrect posture

Incorrect posture

Illustration of correct posture

Correct posture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference:

The Calgary Herald, C4, Health Section, May 18, 2017. Helen Vanderburg, Heavens Elevated Fitness

Schloder, M. E. (2016). Ballet for athletes. Modified exercises for cross-training.

Schloder, M. E. (2016). Ballet for swimmers Modified exercises for cross-training.

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