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BAD POSTURE: how is really killing your health

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Posture is the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting, or lying down. Without posture and the muscles that control it, our bodies would simply fall to the ground. A bad posture is bad news. It’s a reflection of bad grooming.Good posture is the correct alignment of body parts supported by the right amount of muscle tension against gravity. Your posture says a lot about your personality. It’s an insight into how your joints and muscles are working. It is useful to assessing your postural deviations and fixing them appropriately. Slumping your shoulders is not good for your posture. If you don’t stand up straight, no amount of exercise will give you a good physique. Over time, poor posture takes a serious toll on your spine, shoulders, hips, and knees. In fact, it can cause a cascade of structural flaws that lead to back and joint pain, reduced flexibility, and compromised muscles, all of which limit your ability to burn fat and build strength. But you can prevent all these problems by taking  simple precautions to fix your form, soothe your pain, and get your curves moving in the right direction What kind of posture do you have? Do you slouch, stoop or stand straight? Your looks and confidence is directly related to your posture. Having a good posture is crucial. Don’t go about with a hunched back and imbalanced hips, or live with pain because you think it’s normal. Living with bad posture can be dangerous. Chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain, foot, knee, hip, and other pain should not be ignored. By understanding proper posture, postural deviations that determine which corrective exercises will work best to improve your alignment can be determined. Correct alignment and good posture helps prevent pain and injury, and you’ll look and feel a heck of a lot better.. Most postural deviations occur because the muscles that work to hold a joint in place are imbalanced. Generally speaking, one muscle group will be too tight and the opposing muscle group will be too loose or weak. If you have shoulders that hunch forward too far, you are liable to have tight pec muscles that pull the shoulders forward and rotate them in toward the midline of the body. Along with tight pecs with weak back muscles and you have an imbalance that pulls the shoulder girdle away from its ideal position. When imbalances like these occur, overactive muscles compensate for underactive muscles, which causes tension, fatigue, and discomfort. Correcting imbalances is to stretch the overactive muscles and strengthen the underactive muscles. If you haven’t been paying attention to your posture, it’s probably a given that you have no idea how misaligned your body might be. If you’re not sure whether your posture is good or if it needs a little work, now is the best time to find out and correct it. Maintaining good posture Normally, we do not consciously maintain normal posture. Instead, certain muscles do it for us, and we don’t even have to think about it. Several muscle groups, including the hamstrings and large back muscles, are critically important in maintaining good posture. While the ligaments help to hold the skeleton together, these postural muscles, when functioning properly, prevent the forces of gravity from pushing us over forward. Postural muscles also maintain our posture and balance during movement. Why good posture Good posture is essential for good health. Poor posture is formed as a result of bad habits carried out over years and evident in many adults. But only few people have a real grasp of the importance and necessity of good posture. Good posture helps us stand, walk, sit, and lie in positions that place the least strain on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement and weight-bearing activities. Good and correct posture also does the following:

*Helps keep bones and joints in correct alignment so that our muscles are used correctly, decreasing the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in degenerative arthritis and joint pain.

*Reduces the stress on ligaments holding the spinal joints together, minimizing the likelihood of injury.

*Allows muscles to work more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy and, therefore, preventing muscle fatigue.

*Helps prevent muscle strain, overuse disorders, and even back and muscular pain. To maintain proper posture, you need to have adequate muscle flexibility and strength, normal joint motion in the spine and other body regions, as well as efficient postural muscles that are balanced on both sides of the spine. In addition, you must recognize your postural habits at home and in the workplace and work to correct them, if necessary. Consequences of bad posture Poor posture can lead to excessive strain on postural muscles and may even cause them to relax, when held in certain positions for long periods of time. For example, you can typically see this in people who bend forward at the waist for a prolonged time in the workplace. Their postural muscles are more prone to injury and back pain. Causes of bad posture Most commonly, stress, obesity, pregnancy, weak postural muscles, abnormally tight muscles, and high-heeled shoes.  In addition, decreased flexibility, a poor work environment, incorrect working posture, and unhealthy sitting and standing habits can also contribute to poor body positioning. Correcting bad posture Long-standing postural problems will typically take longer to address than short-lived ones, as often the joints have adapted to your long-standing poor posture. Conscious awareness of your own posture and knowing what posture is correct will help you consciously correct yourself. With much practice, the correct posture for standing, sitting, and lying down will gradually replace your old posture. This, in turn, will help you move toward a better and healthier body position. How to assess your posture Wear something form-fitting and have someone take two full-body photos—one from the front, one from the side. Relax your muscles and stand as tall as you can, feet hip-width apart.

* Look at your ear. If it’s in front of the midpoint of your shoulder, your head is too far forward.

* Can you see your shoulder

blade? That means your back is too rounded. * If your hips tilt forward and you have a belly pooch (even if you don’t have an ounce of fat on your body) and your lower spine is arched significantly, this means you have an anterior pelvic tilt.

*Look at your shoulders. One shouldn’t appear higher than the other.

* Check out your kneecaps. Do they point inward, causing your knees to touch when your legs are straightened?

* See if you’re duck-footed. Your toes will point outward more than 10 degrees. How to sit properly Keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest, if they don’t reach the floor. Don’t cross your legs. Your ankles should be in front of your knees. Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat. Your knees should be at or below the level of your hips. Adjust the backrest of your chair to support your low- and mid-back or use a back support. Relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the ground. Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time. How to stand properly Bear your weight primarily on the balls of your feet. Keep your knees slightly bent. Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart. Let your arms hang naturally down the sides of the body. Stand straight and tall with your shoulders pulled backward. Tuck your stomach in. Keep your head level. Your earlobes should be in line with your shoulders. Do not push your head forward, backward, or to the side. Shift your weight from your toes to your heels, or one foot to the other, if you have to stand for a long time. Proper lying position Find the mattress that is right for you. A firm mattress is generally recommended, however some people find that softer mattresses reduce their back pain. Your comfort is important. Sleep with a pillow. Special pillows are available to help with postural problems resulting from a poor sleeping position. Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Sleeping on your side or back is more often helpful for back pain. If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your legs. If you sleep on your back, keep a pillow under your knees. Keep at it and soon you’ll notice some excellent results: You’ll feel better, look better, and lift heavier!


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