Posture is important.
It is one of the first things I notice about people. It tells me about how they spend most of their time. Their muscle imbalances, their life imbalances, their pain.
If you are like most people when I mentioned posture you straightened up a little. It is unconscious, we know what to do, but don’t think about it most of the time.
When I was young, I went to ballet lessons. The ballet didn’t last, I was always standing on my head, but the posture remained. My ballet teacher was a ballerina and I don’t mean that she considered herself a ballet dancer, she WAS, as in her whole being, a ballerina. She took it seriously and being 6 years old was no excuse for not practicing properly.
Our class of 6-year-olds would stand at the barre and she would poke us (gently most of the time) with a meter stick and say,
“Chin in, head up, shoulders down, stomach in, back flat, look relaxed”
I am forever grateful.
Posture is one of the easiest (and most difficult) things to fix with such a far-reaching impact on our health and physical comfort. Proper posture relieves muscle tension, reduces fatigue and prevents injuries. Proper posture implies self-confidence and strength.
Technology is ruining our posture.
Our obsession with our devices is coming with some painful consequences. It increases the time spent tightening and weakening muscles. It enhances muscle imbalance, which leads to pain, injuries, and unnecessary discomfort. Our devices increase the likelihood of these imbalances and reduce our awareness of our bad posture. When your head is in an extended position you increase it’s weight from about 12 pounds to closer to 42 pounds, that is a lot of extra neck strain.
Neck pain, back pain, muscle weakness, injuries can all be due to poor posture. Although as far as I know, this has not happened, yet. I have no idea who originally came up with this image, but it is a good one.
Technology is changing how we run.
We can now add one more effect of technology on our posture. If you run on a treadmill and watch tv you are changing your gait and setting yourself up for injuries. Research recently published in Gait and Posture proves that runners change their gait when watching tv on a treadmill. This increases the effort of running and the likelihood of injuries. Watching tv while running is less efficient, which may burn more calories, but makes the time on the treadmill even more difficult.
The best running form?
When you run you should be looking ahead, towards where you are running. Arms should be relaxed and be swinging forward from the shoulders, not crossing the midline of the body. Stay relaxed with a slight forward lean and an upright upper body. The face and shoulders should be relaxed, no tension and no hunching forward with the chin parallel to the ground. This prevents wasted energy as well as increases running efficiency and breathing capacity.
Regardless of what you do today think about your posture. It can make all the difference and save you from some unnecessary suffering.
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