Good posture will give you a lift
Good posture helps you look healthy on the outside. The way you sit and stand can help you look younger, leaner, healthier and even more confident. But good posture also benefits your overall health, says Gina Ryan, personal trainer and general manager of the Well for Life Center at Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
“Put it this way,” says Ryan, “Bad posture decreases your lung capacity and can even affect digestion. It also puts abnormal pressure on your spine. This can lead to back pain, neck pain, stiff, tight muscles and other problems.”
Obesity, pregnancy and improperly spaced office equipment, such as desks or computers, can all lead to poor posture. But so can small habits, such as cradling your phone between your head and neck, sitting on a wallet in your back pocket, or hauling a heavy purse on your shoulder.
When it comes to fitness, the term “core” may seem like the latest buzzword. However, having a strong core is anything but trendy. It’s critical to overall fitness.
Think of what a core does for an apple. It basically holds the whole thing together. The same is true with your body. The core, the area between your upper and lower body, holds you upright.
“Some people think a strong core means having a six-pack,” says Ryan. “But your core is really all the muscles in your midsection, not just your abdominals. It includes muscle groups in your lower back, obliques and hips.”
Having a strong core is as much about keeping your back healthy as it is about your abs. When the muscles in your core are weak, other muscles must make up for it. This leaves you prone to injuries. A strong core will help improve balance. It will also help your body move with greater control and efficiency,” says Ryan.
There are a wide variety of core-strengthening exercises. It may be helpful to have a personal trainer walk through a series of core exercises to ensure proper form. As always, talk to your doctor before you start an exercise routine.
SOURCE: American Chiropractic Association, ACAtoday.org