The following post is an excerpt from a blog entry by Margot McKinnon at BODY HARMONICS. To read the full article, click here.
1. Good posture looks and feels great.
People think they will look and feel better when they lose weight but in our experience, we have seen just as many people gain a sense of “body confidence” as they start to stand taller on their legs, gain tone in the midriff and open up through their neck and shoulders.
2.Good posture feels light and tension-free.
This takes a bit of time because it takes most of us many years to build up the tension and stiffness we tend to put up with day to day. Once some of the tension drains away by working on exercises for your posture, the penny starts to drop and people want more of that lightness and ease that comes with an aligned and toned structure.
3. Good posture helps you feel younger and get better with age
This is one of our favourites and when we have had the privilege of working with people for a number of years the changes are dramatic. And, once people understand that ageing doesn’t have to mean feeling worse, the motivation level of working on postural support goes up dramatically. All of a sudden, there is a shift in thinking and people start to notice how the little exercises they do actually pack a huge punch toward good posture.
4. Good posture puts less pressure on your joints
In the functional realm it just makes sense to work on postural control and support because it helps our joints stay mobile and hydrated…working well in other words. When we are thoughtful about the exercises we do and how these affect our joints we set ourselves up to feel good when we move and when we are still.
5. Good posture automatically pulls your tummy in without you having to think about it
This is always surprising to people because they think they have do thousands of abdominal exercises to create tone in the midriff. There is no question that strong abdominal muscles are important; what people don’t realize though, is that the position of the pelvis is a huge factor in the potential for tone in the midriff muscles. So, something as mundane as pelvic tilting that frees your hips and realigns your pelvis on your legs is just as important (and sometimes more so) than an exercise that creates that burning sensation in your abdominal wall.
6. Good posture saves your knees and hips
Let’s face it, hip and knee replacements are two of the top orthopedic surgeries going and they are not just for old folks anymore! In most cases poor tracking and a pattern of less than optimal support around these joints are partially responsible. On top of that years of muscular imbalances from head to foot can put extra strain and stress on these joints without you even knowing it. The bottom line is that your hips and knees depend on good mechanics along the entire chain from top to bottom to work properly and last you a lifetime. So, doing exercises that make posture and alignment top priority literally means your hips and knees get a break, get some help from other parts of the body and end up lasting you forever.
7. Good posture makes you taller
Work on your posture with a few targeted exercises each day and we guarantee you will feel more stretched out and like your head balances on your spine in a more erect way. Most people report they find themselves looking straight ahead rather than down and that they have to adjust their rear view mirrors in their cars because they sit taller and more erect without even trying. One of the best parts of this “I feel taller” sensation is that your shoulders and upper body feels open and square. And the best part? Working on your posture takes only minutes a day.
8. Good posture helps your balance
Our major balance centers are located in our head and neck. So, if your head is not properly positioned atop your spine, your sense of balance can become precarious and compromised. Most of us try to grab the ground with their feet and legs, and if we spent some time on exercises for our eyes and tilting our heads in different directions a new-found sense of equilibrium and steadiness emerges. So, the next time you feel like your balance is off, remember to move your eyes up, down and side to side and to practice turning your head left and right. These little exercises work wonders.
9. Good posture means your organs sit properly inside you and have a better chance to function well
All you need to remember here is that if taking a deep breath feels laboured, or your digestion seems sluggish or unpredictable, part of the problem is likely rooted in your posture. It is by no means a cure all, but when we align our bones, our organs align and our bodies start to work the way they were intended. Something as simple as lying on the ground and swaying your knees and hips side to side can massage your digestive tract and get things moving!
10. Good posture keeps your body flexible and mobile
You have to try it to believe it but in our experience focus on postural control and support leads to way more flexibility and agility than the best stretching program out there. Think of it like hanging a door: if you don’t get the door frame straight and the hinges set just right, the door can’t swing freely. It is the same with our joints. Our mobility depends on the support we create for our joints!