Thursday, May 16, 2013

Correct Posture

By Nurse Diane

I always shy away from having my picture taken.  I am usually the one taking pictures, so its easy to avoid the camera.  However I recently had a surprise birthday party, and not only were pictures being taken, but also videos!  After looking at these images, I could see my grandmother in me!  I looked like a hunched back old woman.

Nothing will help correct your posture more than seeing yourself in your natural position.  In fact, diabetes suggest having a friend take posture pictures in this manner:
Have a friend take 3 pictures of you: from the front, back, and side.   Stand straight and tall when they take the picture, with what feels like good posture (No looking in a mirror to cheat!).  Print out the pictures, one to a sheet.   Next, put a dot between your feet on the front and back view, and on your ankle on the side view, and then fold each paper in half vertically, neatly at the dot.
FRONT & BACK VIEW: The two halves of your body should be the same.  If your head and/or torso is off to one side, or your arms are hanging differently (one hand is lower or further from the body than the other), your posture is not symmetrical.
SIDE VIEW: The line from your ankle should pass thru your shoulder and ear. If your head is way forward of that line, you may have a posture distortion called Forward Head Posture (FHP).
File your posture picture where you can find it.  Next year take another posture picture to note any changes.
They also suggest several posture correcting exercises such as:
All exercise is not created equal.  Exercising with poor posture can train you to stand and move poorly.  Yoga, Tai-Chi and Pilates are all great for building body awareness and control.  According to Dr. Weiniger, a smart way to exercise efficiently and get the most out of any workout is with a pre-exercise "Posture Break" to set your internal baseline.  Before taking a walk or hitting the gym Dr. Weiniger recommends these posture strengthening exercises:

STORK- Train yourself to stand tall while building good posture by balancing on one foot.  First, stand tall with your best posture, and then keep straight as you lift your thigh so your knee is at hip height.  Keep standing tall for 30 seconds on each side, focusing on keeping your body well aligned.

WALLSTANDBack up to a wall so your heels, buttocks, shoulders and head all lightly touch the wall while you keep everything level, relaxed and aligned-- and take 3 slow breaths, feeling your body's best posture.  Note: If you feel any areas of stress, get your posture checked by a professional.

This is Correct Your Posture Month. If you have back pain,  neck soreness, or other posture problems--- or want to find out how strengthening your posture can improve sports performance (i.e. golf, tennis, baseball) and wellness -- help is available.  Consult a Certified Posture Exercise Professional, chiropractor, physical therapist or massage therapist trained to assess posture and teach individualized exercise routines for pain management and wellness.
(All images from Google) 

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