Improving your Posture for your special
Article courtesy of www.weightloss.com.au
One thing that all brides-to-be have in
common is a desire to look their best on their "special
If you want to look great on your wedding
day (and for the rest of your life!), improving your posture
between now and then may be just the way to go. Here's some
advise from our friends at weightloss.com.au that will help
you to stand tall and look as beautiful as ever on your big
The benefits of a good Posture
Among other things, an improved posture
- help you look and feel healthier, younger,
taller, stronger, fitter and more svelt
- help improve your breathing
- help you become stronger and more confident
- help you get more out of your chosen
sport or exercises
- decrease the risk of injury
- prevent strain on your muscles, nerves
Signs of poor Posture
Bad posture usually results from poor habits repeated over
a lifetime. Unfortunately, many of us don't even consider,
let alone analyze our posture until we experience restricted
movement or pain caused by poor posture.
If you want to do a basic self-assessment
of your posture, look for one or more of these typical signs
of poor posture:
- rounded back
- drooping chest and shoulders
- head protruding forward
- tilted pelvis and hips
- collapsed arches in your feet
- an elevated hip or shoulder
- body rotation
For a more accurate and professional assessment
you should visit one of the many specialists who deal with
diagnosing and rehabilitating posture related problems such
as your chiropractor, physiotherapist, remedial masseur, osteopath
or personal trainer.
Causes of poor Posture
All of the problems listed above are potential indicators
that your body has habitual irregular movement patterns.
The reasons for these irregular movement
patterns can be wide and varied but typically include things
- poor ergonomics, particularly relating
to sleeping, sitting or standing habits
- muscle and/or skeletal imbalance
- untreated/undiagnosed injury compensation
- poor or inappropriate techniques used
during exercise and sport
Improving your Posture
Improving your posture is possible once the causes of your
"symptoms" have been identified.
Typically, improving your posture means
improving or changing your habits, some of which you can do
all by yourself, others you should consider getting help for.
If you want to feel and look better, become
fitter and stronger, lose weight or become and stay pain free
into your later years try some or all of the following tips
to improving or maintaining your posture.
1. Find your neutral Alignment
Your personal trainer or any of the other
practitioners detailed above should be able to help you understand
and recognize what a neutral alignment looks and feels like.
Generally speaking, neutral alignment is where your spine
is in its strongest position and is able to deal with external
stresses and strains.
Understanding what your neutral alignment
is and how to move into it while sitting, standing and moving
will greatly improve your posture.
2. Check your posture Constantly
Try to get into the habit of checking your
posture throughout the day. Using reminders like setting the
alarm on your phone or watch to alert you every hour to check
your posture will help you to form this habit. Another way
to remind yourself is to use post-it note on your computer
screen or in your car.
3. Vary your position Often
If you sit down a lot during the day, look
for excuses to stand and walk around. For example, if most
of your work is done sitting behind a desk, try standing up
when you talk on the phone (standing while on the phone actually
improves the sound of your voice by ensuring the airways from
your diaphragm are clear).
Other excuses to vary your position include
getting up and walking to the kitchen or water cooler for
a glass of water every half an hour or so and standing up
to stretch every 45 minutes while you're watching TV. Whenever
possible, go for a short stroll around the block or around
your neighbourhood during morning tea, afternoon tea or your
4. Strengthen your Hips
Misalignment in our pelvis and lower back
can often be caused by weak or inflexible hip muscles. Include
exercises in your workouts that stretch and strengthen you
hip flexor, extensors, abductors, adductors and rotators muscles.
Any good gym instructor or personal trainer
will be able to tell you which exercises and stretches to
include in your workout and show you how to do them correctly.
5. Strengthen your Abdominals
Learn the appropriate abdominal strengthening
exercises to train your abdominals to hold your pelvis in
neutral alignment. Try doing some stabilization work using
a Swiss Ball in addition to more traditional abdominal exercises
like crunches and knee raises.
Again, if you are new to exercise or have
never been taught how to use a Swiss Ball before, seek the
expertise of a gym instructor or good personal trainer.
6. Stretch and strengthen your Back
Learn how to correctly perform lower back
stretches and strengthening exercises. You can perform most
stretches anywhere at any time. Lower back stretches are often
great at helping to minimize or eliminate debilitating back
Lower back strengthening exercises will
ensure that your lower back muscles are strong and balanced
with your abdominal muscles.
7. Strengthen your upper Body
Incorporate exercises into your workouts
that help strengthen your shoulders, upper back, chest and
arm muscles. Remember one of your goals should be muscle balance
so don't focus to heavily on one particular muscle group and
vary your exercises regularly to achieve balance and continually
challenge your muscles.
8. Vary your exercise program
Try Yoga, Tai Chi or Pilates and consider
including at least one of these in your regular exercise program.
These styles of exercise emphasize alignment and controlled
movement of the spine, which can greatly improve your posture.
9. Use Imagery
Visualize yourself as a giant gum tree reaching
towards the sky; or imagine yourself growing taller as you
stretch your arms above your head. Walk tall; concentrating
on your posture and imagining yourself moving in perfect alignment.
10. Seek advice from Specialists
Postural problems left untreated can have
a negative impact on your health and reduce your quality of
life. In addition to your personal trainer, you may want to
consult with a podiatrist, an orthopedic specialist, a physiotherapist
or a chiropractor.
Remember, the sooner you get help and start
to address the underlying causes of poor posture the more
easily it will be for you to change your daily habits and
the better your chance of improving your posture so you can
avoid other problems and pain later on.
For more useful tips on looking and
feeling your very best, visit www.weightloss.com.au.