Improve Your Appearance by Learning to Balance Your Body
Have you ever noticed people with poor posture?
Poor posture is not only unappealing, but can lead to more serious injury.
What is ideal posture?
Ideal posture is an alignment of your body that allows for maximal efficiency when moving or static. When your body is moving or static it has forces that are going through it (gravity) that make it wear out a certain way or adapt to certain stresses.
Why is posture Important?
When your body is out of proper postural alignment, joint surfaces are loaded in positions that encourage it to breakdown because of the way forces are transferred. When any part of a joint becomes disrupted by imbalance, the entire joint can be thrown off. Improper postural alignment also encourages incorrect adaptation of connective tissues around the joint and incorrect length/tension relationships of the muscles. The above mentioned imbalances will result in muscles and joints not working synergistically and will lead to injury; It is not if but, when.
What are some common postural imbalances?
The most common postural imbalances that I see are forward head and rounded shoulders; often found in individuals who have a job in a mostly seated position. Your body gets really good at sitting in a bad posture because if you sit 6-8 hours a day you are effectively teaching your body that position. Imbalances can also be caused by an improper exercise mechanics/or programming.
Here is an example of the strain Someone who sits all day with a forward head posture has on the neck and upper back. Your head weights about 15 lb in a neutral head position and for every half-inch that it is not in neutral position forward it increases its weight by 15 lb….. so one inch forward is 30 lb two inches forward is 45 lb. This person probably has upper back and neck tension and perhaps tension headaches from the stress on the neck. If this person does not correct their posture it will start to affect the bones and muscles in the neck and back.
How can I improve my posture?
Doing daily stretches and strength training is imperative to keeping your body in optimal alignment. Also understanding that your body is adapting to the stresses; so if you are sitting with bad posture you are just making your posture worse. When you work a 9-5 desk job it is important to move and stretch throughout the day. I suggest setting a timer to go off every 15 minutes and check your posture; maybe do some light neck and forearm stretches.
What is the bottom line
Stretching and a balanced exercise program is effective to assure proper postural alignment. Remember that what ever posture you assume the most your body adapts too whether good or bad.
Well I hope this helps you think a little about your posture and how to make changes to your everyday routine.
Thank you for your time and energy…be well
Jaime J. Hernandez
Health and Exercise Prescriptions