By Pilates Coordinator Kim Myers
The Importance of Good Posture
If you took a walk and leaned your head to one side, you would probably notice some pain, tight neck muscles and other possible imbalances. What about slumping at your computer or hunching to look at your cell phone? Same concept. Tech related bad posture often leads to back pain. Most of us don’t think about those repercussions daily or stop to consider the muscle imbalances we might have due to poor posture. Why is posture so important for your health?
Proper posture improves:
- Spine health – Sitting and standing with correct alignment supports your muscles, ligaments, tendons and effectively improves blood flow
- Breath – Slouching inhibits normal breathing. The better your posture, the clearer your airways
- Digestion – Bad posture will cause your internal organs to compress, which affects digestion
How Pilates can help you correct bad posture:
- Strengthens your ‘’powerhouse’’ (center of our body) – The muscles in the trunk of your body work together to support and stabilize your spine. Strengthening these muscles is key to a better posture
- Focusing on spinal alignment helps you to become more aware of your posture
- Controlled breathing and body awareness – The Pilates reformer will work with you to correct your alignment and enhance strength and flexibility. By stretching the and strengthening the muscles around your spine, you release contractions, reinforcing a healthy curvature
Self-diagnose a posture problem and/or muscle imbalances with the following questions:
- How long has your body been off-center?
- With age, are you getting shorter?
- Do you have neck, shoulder, back, hip or knee pain? If so, current postural habits may be a contributing factor
3 Tips to help get you started with better posture:
- If you sit with your legs crossed, it’s more than likely the same leg. Sit with both feet flat on the floor, or cross at the ankles
- Lateral breathing – as you inhale, expand through the ribcage (imagine your ribs are an umbrella opening) feeling your spine lengthen. Inhaling should make you taller! When you exhale – strive to stay tall. You’ll notice your muscles working to support your improved posture
- Strengthening your core and pelvic floor muscles will help to relax the shoulders and provide better back and neck support
New to Pilates at Club Greenwood? Contact Kim to learn more.