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“Sit up straight!” “Don’t slouch!” I’m sure we’ve all heard those admonishing words more than once from our mother when we were growing up. And most of us would roll our eyes and as soon as mom walked away we’d slump back over in a hunch. Little did you know that she wasn’t just annoyed with how you were standing or sitting, there is a reason behind the madness! In fact she probably wasn’t aware of all the implications of poor posture herself! But somehow, some way your mother always seemed to know best.
What is good posture anyway and why is it so important? Basically posture refers to the body’s alignment and positioning with respect to the ever-present force of gravity. Whether we are standing, sitting or lying down gravity exerts a force on our joints, ligaments and muscles. Good posture entails distributing the force of gravity through our body so no one structure is overstressed.
While I was getting certified as a CPT (certified personal trainer) through ISSA, they often bring up the importance of good posture while exercising and weight training. I learned that posture affects how you walk, run, jump, lift weights and execute other skills. Because of its many benefits, such as ease of movement, good balance of muscle strength and flexibility, proper positioning of the spine and proper functioning of internal organs, your body “feels” good and you therefore feel good!
As if, mom telling us to “straighten up!” wasn’t enough. Here are seven other reasons good posture is important for your health.
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