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Good News about Good Posture

Posted by on in Health
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posture and aging"Stand up straight!" "Get your shoulders back!" Did you ever hear those words from your parents or a coach? Being conscious of how we carry ourselves is the key to good posture.  However, contrary to popular belief, good posture is more than just pulling your shoulders back and standing up straight. Yes, those are very important factors in having good posture, but having a strong core and lower body strength is equally important.

Our upper body makes up 70% of our total body weight; the remaining 30% is comprised of our core and legs, which supports our upper body. If your core muscles are weak and your legs aren't strong, it is going to be difficult to carry your upper body over time.  

The picture above depicts the typical posture decline. Remembering to actually pull your shoulders back (like you're trying to squeeze your shoulder blades together), standing up tall, pulling in your stomach and looking ahead rather than down at the ground are helpful hints that can help improve your stance. Try walking, or swimming in a pool, or even riding a bike to helpstrengthen your legs.

Core strengthening exercises are important as well. With increased strength, your legs aren't working as hard to support a much heavier upper body. There are many things that happen physically to our bodies with time that we can't control, but lucky for us good posture is something we can work on throughout our lifetime. No one is too young to have bad posture and no one is too old to have good posture!

Contributed by Nancy Whelan, PT ,the West Palm Beach Physical Therapy Center 

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