Is your posture making you sick?

When I walk the dogs in the morning I don’t wear my glasses. My eyes aren’t all that bad and when I see someone walking towards me I can almost always guess their age. And I’ll bet you can, too. We pick up these clues from someone’s posture and by their gait, or how they walk, and there is one woman at the park that I aspire to be.

Without my glasses on, this woman appears to be in her late 20’s early 30’s. With my glasses on, she’s clearly in her mid-late seventies. Pretty cool, huh? That’s what I want to be like when I grow up. She has great posture and she kind of just kicks along when she strides. Most women her age are standing/walking with their chins jutted forward (forward head) and their backs hunched (kyphosis). Their arms no longer swing, they just kind of hang there. Most of them also limp or shuffle, not picking their feet up when they stride. Not this lady. She looks like a model. I love her; she’s my inspiration and I’ve never said more than, ‘Good Morning’, as I go through my morning wrestling match with the dogs.

Here’s an easy way to begin correcting your posture:

1. Sitting on a ball or a desk chair, rest your forearms (fingertips touching) on a desk or table.
2. Drop your mid-back towards the floor.
3. Pull your chin towards your neck as you press the back of the head against an imaginary board lying on your back from your head to your hips.
4. Also press your low back into the same imaginary board.
5. Once you have found your position. Brace all the muscles in your hips, arms and spine. Bracing these muscles is like clenching your fist. You have put your spine into a new shape and you are bracing your muscles to hold your new alignment. Hold the bracing for 10 seconds.

This exercise is not as easy as it looks. It’s not too hard to drop the spine or to pull the chin in but you have to also pull the low back towards that imaginary board. You cannot make a correction by correcting only one segment of the spine. The mid-spine is not hunching all by itself. It is being allowed to hunch by the weaknesses above and below it. Address all three areas and the change will be rapid.

Is your posture making you sick?

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