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'Stand up straight and don't slouch!'


STRUCTURE AND POSTURE

How to improve your posture

“Stand up straight and don’t slouch”. I am sure nearly every one of you has had a mother or grandmother utter these words. Like many things our mothers knew best! Posture ranks right up at the top of the list when you are talking about good health. Posture is as important as eating right, exercising and getting a good night’s sleep. Good posture means your bones are properly aligned and your muscles, joints and ligaments can work as nature intended. Good posture means your vital organs are in the right position and can function at peak efficiency. Posture also helps contribute to the normal functioning of the nervous system. Without good posture, you can’t really be physically fit.

Surprised? Well, you’re not alone. The importance of good posture in an overall fitness program is often overlooked by fitness advisers and wellness seekers alike. In fact, the benefits of good posture may be among the best kept secrets of the current fitness movement. The good news is that almost everyone can avoid the problems caused by bad posture…and improvements can be made at any age.

Many people don’t realise how much we need a strong structural support system, until their bones have decayed, they have a bent and twisted spine, their muscles are weak and/or they are in a lot of pain. The musculoskeletal system comprises about two thirds of a person’s body mass and its management uses up nearly 90 percent of our bodies’ energy.

Look at this diagram.

Who looks fitter and healthier? Who looks happier? Who would be able to breathe more deeply? Who will get wear and tear in their joints first?

Your physical body or your structure has an impact on every function that the body performs. Adjustments performed by Chiropractors and Osteopaths, combined with regular stretching, are your best defence against poor posture and preventable degenerative changes.

Home advice to improve your posture

  • Bring your feet parallel, not turned out, and about hip width apart. Bringing your feet parallel engages the muscles in the front of your thighs and keeps your hips, knees and ankles in proper alignment.

  • Reach up through the top of your head, feeling your spine lengthen, getting tall.

  • Bring your pelvis to a neutral position. To find this neutral position, place your hands around your hips, then tuck your tailbone slightly until your pelvis is directly over your thighs, so there is no bend in your hip joints, and there’s less sway in your low back. As you tuck your tailbone, you should feel your abdominal muscles engage a bit.

  • Draw your shoulders back and relax them down, bringing your hands in line with the seams of your pants.

  • Level your chin, keeping your head directly over the spot between your shoulders, not forward or back.


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