Friday, February 24, 2012

Stand Up For Yourself

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What is your IDEAL POSTURE?
Ideally your spine should look like the letter “S,” where your ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles are all in one line with 3 natural curves of the spine. When standing against a wall, your head, back of your shoulders, backside, and heels should touch the wall. You will notice there are natural curves between the neck and the lower back.
Recognition and Determination
The first step is to recognize that you have poor posture. When sitting, does your back look like the letter “C”? When driving, are your shoulders rolled forward and head tilted? Are you leaning into your right side with your left leg up on the seat? Only through conscious awareness can you change your body. However, it takes everyday determination and discipline to correct and improve your posture. So stay on it! Over time, you will feel the difference.
Sleep On Your Back
For many of us, this is extremely hard to do. But sleeping on your back with a pillow underneath your knees helps to keep the spine in proper alignment. If you must sleep on your side, make sure not to pull your knees all the way into your chest. You should have a slight bend of the knees, and place a pillow in between your knees. Always make sure to have a pillow underneath your head so that it is in the same alignment as your neck. Try to avoid sleeping on your stomach as it can aggravate both the neck and back.
Make eye contact when talking and listening
Making eye contact with a person helps to keep your head up and shoulders back. It’s also great practice for improving self confidence! You deserve to be heard, so focus on the person you’re speaking to.
Conscious Sitting and Standing
At the computer, make sure to sit at the back of the chair so that your backside is touching. Make sure both feet are placed on the floor. Do not cross your legs. Pull your shoulders back and down and make sure your ears are right over your shoulders. Try to avoid sitting for more than 30 minutes. Every half hour, get up, walk around, and then return back to your chair.
When standing, try to keep your weight evenly distributed on both feet, with the weight more on the front of your foot, instead of on the heels. Also try to keep your shoulders back and down and ears over your shoulders. Try to engage your lower abdominals and feel them pull in and up as though they are zippering up your spine.
Be mindful when lifting heavy objects
Most people hinge forward with their legs locked straight when reaching for a heavy object. The best approach is to bend deeply as though you are in a squat position. Keep your chest upright and bend down so much that you can pick up the object using the power of your legs to lift, instead of your back. Always remember to keep your abdominals engaged.
Core Strengthening and Stretching
If you are weak in your abdominals or tight throughout your body, improving your strength and increasing flexibility can help improve posture and relieve back pain.

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