We all used to hear that as children, right? It’s even more important now, later in life.
Parents might tell their kids to correct their posture more to instill pride and project confidence. But good posture is about a lot more at this stage of life.
As we age, our bodies are “devolving” into a more rounded, slumped posture. Not only does that add years to our appearance, but it also contributes to joint and muscle misalignment, which creates bad movement patterns. Continue with those, and pain and injury aren’t far behind.
For many, the slouching starts due to an occupational hazard: sitting behind a desk for decades.
The body will conform to those positions that it is most frequently in. As you sit in a chair, the body assumes a forward head posture with hunched shoulders. Hip flexors also are contracted and shortened. Even our breathing can become restricted.
Try this: Take a long deep breath. See and feel how your chest expands and your shoulders roll back, creating the desired tall, upright posture.
The rounded haunch is common but not inevitable. You can prevent or correct it. So focus on breathing, stretching, and strengthening your core to maintain a solid base. And be sure your regimen includes at least a couple of exercises where you’re pulling those shoulders back, like seated rows. Yoga and Pilates are also excellent for strengthening posture.
All of those will get you or keep you standing tall. Mom would be proud.
Holly Kouvo is a personal trainer, functional aging specialist, senior fitness specialist, brain health trainer, writer, and speaker.