Hi there, Wobblers.
Prepare for a soft rant. This rant is designed for your own good and longevity and your ability to #move4joy until you die, so I figure it will be well placed.
Here we go:
I was out on my bike yesterday and wound up tooling around a popular lake path here in Minneapolis. Since it was gorgeous day, there were all kinds of folks out strolling around—young people, older people, people with dogs (I have, at times, believed that in this region when you go to walk around a lake, there is a person there handing out golden retrievers on leashes as some kind of prerequisite for being on the path, but that is a whole other blog post), people on rollerblades, people with headphones, and many other demographic identifyers. What struck me most as I rolled past were the people with GOOD posture, and the people with, well, BAD posture. And, many of the people who had BAD posture looked to be fairly young in age. This is one of those facts that just should not be true.
Having good posture helps many things (breathing, core strength, balance, confidence, mood, and more!). And, there are many medical and lifestyle-related factors that influence posture. The lifestyle stuff is manageable with even a little bit of effort and consistency. The medical stuff we can work around, at least to a degree.
Please check yourself out right now. Are you slouching? Are you sitting and your spine is rounded? Are you walking but staring DOWN at your phone? Here are a few tips for changing bad posture RIGHT NOW.
- When standing/walking, picture yourself as a ballroom dancer, gazing up into the 3rd balcony. We want to draw in our tummies a bit (that’s your tranverse abdominus muscle working….the deepest ab muscle in your core) and pull our shoulder blades together behind us. Now take a deep breath. Was it easier to breath big with all that expanded chest space? I thought so.
- Limit your time sitting. This one can be a toughie if you have a sitting type of job. Take a standing break every 20 minutes or so. If you are on the phone and don’t need to type at your computer, talk while standing up! And better yet, get a head-set for your phone or an ear bud that lets you keep your neck in a neutral position.
- Do a standing back-bend stretch. We spend so much of our waking lives either sitting or leaning forward. Counter act those tendencies with some deliberate stretch a few times per day. Stand tall with feet about a foot apart, place your hands on your lower spine. Inhale and send your hips forward a little, while leaning backward slightly on the upper body. This should feel like the front of your body is getting longer. If you notice any uncomfortable squeezing or compression feelings in the spine, stop, regroup, reposition, and try again with less leaning.
- Have your walking buddy keep you accountable! During my observation at the lake, I noticed many people walking and talking in pairs. This is a great chance to observe your walking partner and give each other encouragement to walk tall. Bonus: breathing and speaking will be easier, so you can fully solve all the world’s problems while getting healthier in the process!
Thanks for reading our Posture Rant this week. If you’d like further help in addressing or correcting your posture, we do that! Check us out at http://www.embracethewobble.com for all of our group and private instruction options. We guarantee with a little practice, you’ll FEEL about 10 feet tall (and possibly bullet proof) in our #move4joy studio culture!
Have a great week, Wobblers!