Fabulous Fit Tip #6
FIT TIP #6: PERFECT POSTURE, Round Two
I am passionate about posture, because I understand how important it is to our overall health and well-being. After working with hundreds of clients over the years, I have seen the health benefits of good posture as well as the detrimental effects of faulty posture. Our posture and our structural alignment doesn’t just affect our joints. It also impacts our organs and other physiological functions as well.
Since this is a follow-up from my previous fit tip on posture, you might want to review Fit Tip #5. For more detailed information regarding posture, you can check out Chapter 6 of my book, “Forever Fit and Flexible.”
In the meantime, here are 3 additional movement lessons to help you find your way to perfect posture.
1). Hold a tray
Sit or stand with your elbows bent with your forearms at a 90 degree angle with your upper arms and the palms facing toward the ceiling. Pretend that someone places a heavy tray in your hands, causing you to press your shoulder blades firmly to the floor to prevent you from tipping or dropping the tray. Hold for a slow count of 10, remembering to breathe deeply as you hold your tray, and keep your neck relaxed. Repeat 3-5x, 2-3x/day.
2). Chair push ups
Sit on the edge of a firm chair with arm rests. Place your feet flat on the floor and sit with your spine long but relaxed. Place your hands on the armrests, and slowly press your arms down as if you were going to stand up from the chair. The goal isn’t to stand up, but to activate the muscles that stabilize your shoulder blades as well as activate the muscles that support your upper back, shoulders, and postural muscles. Hold for a slow count of 10, remember to breathe and keep your neck relaxed. Repeat 3-5x, 2-3x/day.
3). Doorway stretch
Stand in a doorway and place your forearm along the doorjamb with your elbow bent at a 90 degree angle to your upper arm and your palm facing forward with your fingers extended. Slowly rotate your body away from the doorjamb by moving your feet, (not twisting your body) until you feel a gentle stretch in the front of your shoulder and/or your upper chest. Breathe, relax, and hold for 15-30 seconds. Repeat other side. Do this stretch intermittently during the day, or anytime you feel tight.
All of us are spending way too much time sitting at our desks and on our computers, especially over the past eighteen months, causing us to have slumped shoulders, rounded backs, forward head positions and tight neck and shoulder muscles. The good news is that we can counter the effects of prolonged sitting and computer work by doing these simple exercises and stretches. And that’s just the beginning. As always, feel free to contact me anytime you have questions or want additional information. I’m here to help!
Keep moving, be healthy!
Cheryl Ilov, PT, GCFP