Posture is used to describe the way the body is positioned and carried when still (standing and sitting) or moving (walking and running).
Good posture is when gravity spreads evenly throughout the body, allowing for optimal movement, so, there is no unnecessary activity on the muscles or joints and minimal wear and tear on the body primarily tissues and internal organs.
Poor posture can affect the functioning of our internal organs. For example if we constantly sit in a slumped position the muscle that assists with breathing (diaphragm) can be affected.
Poor posture that is left uncorrected over a period time can lead to permanent posture changes, such as Kyphosis (hunched upper back), which can lead to falls in later life, or Lordosis (hollow lower back) which can lead to back pain.
Holding poor posture will lead to muscle inbalances creating muscle tension and tightness in some muscles and a lack of strength or lenghtening in the opposing muscles.
Exercises to open and align the body can help and these will be discussed in a future blog.
Standing and moving with the correct posture gives the impression of great self confidence, indeed you feel more confident when you are walking upright, a hunched over posture gives the impression of low self esteem as if you are closing in on yourself.
To stand with good posture
This is the posture you should try and maintain through out your day. It will be quite difficult at first, but with practice it will become second nature.
Stand with feet hip distance apart, knees in line with the hips. Lengthen through the spine, feel the crown of your head reach for the ceiling and your sacrum go towards the floor. Pelvis is neutral, so the tail bone is not tucked under nor is it stuck out.
Stomach is pulled in as if someone is pulling your belly button through to your spine, release the tension just till you get the feeling of a slight brace on the abs (ladies like your wearing tummy control knicks & men as if you have a wide belt on)
Draw the shoulder blades down and let the arms relax down with the little finger in line with seam on the side of your trousers Nod the head slightly to lengthen the back of the neck.
You will now look much taller and slimmer!!!