With the holidays here you may find yourself sitting more to reach work deadlines, searching for gifts on the internet, or wrapping your presents.
All these activities can wreak havoc on your muscles, spine, and joints, particularly if you don’t change positions often or your posture is “slouched”. Then you go to rise out of your chair or reach for something across your desk and something doesn’t feel right.
In a slouched posture, you lose muscle activation- particularly of your core, stretch muscles out (making them longer) like in the upper back which can create a hump, and lose mobility and range of motion.
When you stretch muscles out they become weak. Picture the hunchback of Notre Dame, the muscles in the back have been lengthened due to being hunched, so they can no longer support the spine. It’s like an overstretched rubber band. It becomes useless when it no longer has its form from being overly stretched. But when you have one muscle lengthened, its antagonist has to be shortened. So now the muscles in the front of the body, chest area, are shortened.
So what you say? Well a shortened muscle is more active/stronger. If the muscles in the chest are shortened, they pull the body/shoulders forward. Now try to lift the arms and they don’t go far. They feel stuck and it can be painful.
How do you change this? The first step in any change is awareness. You have developed certain habits and they seem natural to you now. So you need to be aware of how you sit and stand to be able to change it.
All posture means is setting your muscles, bones, and joints in alignment to achieve full painfree mobility. In sitting, feel that you are right on top of the sits bones in the buttocks.
In standing, feel equal weight throughout both feet – side to side and front to back – with equal weight between both legs.
Whether in sitting or standing, get 1″ taller towards the ceiling. If you have been sitting, get up at least every 15-20 minutes.
If you find you are stressed, take deep breaths in through the nose expanding your ribs and exhale fully through the mouth releasing the ribs. This activates your core, which in turn will support the spine and release muscle tension.
So take the time to be more aware of your posture and correct it before it becomes a real problem. Need more help in discovering how, click here to schedule a Free 20 minute call to see how we can help you and start you on your journey towards feeling good again!