Today when you find yourself struggling with your posture or wondering if you are getting maximum health benefits from your exercise I want you to ask yourself three questions:
1. Am I in good alignment?
2. Am I breathing?
3. Am I using too much or the right kind of effort for what I am doing?
We have three simple yet, powerful principles we use when teaching our clients about posture, movement, and exercise.
1. Align your joints as best you can to save your joints from unnecessary wear and tear.
2. Breathe three-dimensionally to help support your spine and core.
3. Control the posture or movement using the right amount of muscular effort.
Here are some examples of how you can check if you are following the principles:
When you are sitting rather than lifting your chin or your chest to be 'straight', place your hand on the back of your head underneath the bump of knowledge and 'imagine' your hand is a golf tee and the bump is a golf ball gently sitting on top of it the tee.
If you have been standing for a while, march in place lifting each leg one time, and center your weight through your entire foot on both sides.
Each of these will help put your joints in better alignment.
If you find that you often don't breathe, or breathe often when intensely working on something, then make a point of taking a breathing break. Just 3-5 breaths can help wake you up and tell your brain to breathe. Stand up, and march in place one time. Sit back down perched at the edge of your chair with your feet flat. Place your hands around your midribs and close your eyes. Gently, draw a breath in through your nose and send it out towards your hands. Pause. Exhale, slowly and gently allowing the breath to come out through your nose. Pause. Repeat the cycle for 3-5 breaths.
When you are sitting, standing, or moving, check in with how much effort you are using. More, often, IS NOT better. Sometimes more is just more sucking up your energy that could be used for other activities. When sitting or standing, check in to make sure your glutes, back, and abdominals are relaxed. When doing movements with your arms avoid things like pulling your shoulders down and back.
How do you know if you are doing things 'right'?
See how your body moves after you use these concepts. When you apply these simple principles to everyday activities, your body will start to feel and move better. Consistency is the key like with most things.
We know that this may seem contrary to what you may have learned (us too). However, when our clients and we follow these simple principles there are great sometimes, amazing results.
If you have questions about the principles and how you can best use them in your activities and build upon them, reach out. We can help.