What your posture tells you about your health

Consider your body as you would a tent. Your spine represents the poles that give shape to the tent, the fabric of the tent is like your muscles, and the guy lines represent your fascia or connective tissue. The muscles and fascia help hold your spine in place, but your history of injuries, your daily habits of sitting, standing, sleeping and moving around determine how balanced your posture (tent) really is.

You might have already noticed that you slouch while sitting at the computer, or one hip looks and feels higher than the other, or one shoulder is tighter and lower than the other. This is all due to muscle imbalance and adaptive shortening, which affects your energy levels, causes joint and muscle stiffness and soreness, and loss of agility.

The biggest issue here is that immobility is a key factor in causing your imbalance – prolonged sitting in a chair or the car, even though you are “busy” working or watching TV, you’re still not moving, and muscles are meant to move. So first, you must move more often during the day. Secondly, because of this prolonged, postural overload, you should have at least 4 stretches to relax and stretch your back muscles. These are side bends, the CAT stretch (for backward and forward movement), rotation/twisting stretch, and the lunge stretch, which relaxes your major hip flexors on the inside of your spine.

When you stretch and move consistently, every day, and pay attention to your posture, you will improve your circulation, enhance your breathing, relax your muscles and automatically feel better. If you would like to have good health for a lifetime, what you do today is going to have a positive effect tomorrow and the rest of your life.

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