Lately there’s been a lot of talk about our posture especially as it relates to sitting for longer periods of time and sitting hunched over our computers, tablets, or phones more than we used too thanks to the pandemic.
But there is more to posture and it’s importance to living our best.
If you’re an active person your posture can be the difference between a strong, balanced body and injury.
Even if you are not very active at this moment, your posture is contributing to the function of your internal body systems. Poor posture can lead to a disturbance in normal body functions leaving you feeling tired, achy, and even depressed.
Yes, there are chronic skeletal conditions such as scoliosis that effect posture but this article won’t discuss such conditions since that needs proper medical guidance. We will be discussing postural deviations that you can control and it all starts with body awareness.
Body Awareness is being mindful of movement and/or positioning of your body, your limbs, your head, the sensations from your muscles and your nervous system.
When you are sitting hunched over your computer, phone, or a good book you might be so focused on that item you don’t even notice your neck straining and your shoulders and back rounding until the pain gets so bad you have to change positions. It can be really helpful to pause every 10 minutes and adjust yourself to sit up taller, roll your shoulders back and down, and nudge your head back between your shoulders vs. straining forward.
Okay! So that was an easy one you might already be paying attention to. But what about your posture when you are walking or running uphill or making that walk or jog downhill? You might be complaining how your back hurts after you walk, run or hike hills. It’s because your posture or form during that exercise. Next time your out walking/running/hiking uphill I ask you to take a moment to notice how your body is aligned. Is your upper body (head, shoulders, chest) in a forward lean as if to help you push uphill? If so you are putting extra, unnecessary strain on the low back muscles. Once you notice this, adjust your shoulders back over you hips and pull your head back between your shoulders. Hold this posture as you tread forward and even as you turn to make your way down hill.
Also, remember that building up your core strength is a necessary piece to the posture puzzle. You’ll notice your abdominal muscles kick in a little more when you adjust your posture for the uphill jog. Good! You’re doing it right. Correcting yourself, looking like one confident human being, standing up taller, getting stronger, breathing better, and feeling better in your body! Keep going!