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Thursday, December 8, 2016

12 Weeks to New Year: WEEK TEN

WEEK TEN: Correct your posture 10 times per day AND smile.

WHY: Standing up tall makes you feel more in control, more confident and is good for your spinal health. You can instantly feel more energetic. And when YOU feel more confident and in control, you'll make better choices and even LOOK stronger to others.

HOW: This goal has two built-in reminders. It's week TEN and you have TEN fingers. Every time you correct your posture and decide to smile mentally count on your fingers. Or put a ring or loose hairband on your thumb at the beginning of the day. Move it to the next finger each time you correct your posture. You could also paint one of your nails an interesting color to remind you.

Here's the secret to improving your posture: Shhhhhh!

Pull in your bumhole (a.k.a. your anus). I know you think I should have said "pelvic floor" but I'm telling you it's not the same thing. A lot of times it's pushed downward because it's under a lot of pressure from everything inside our body. And after some crazy pressure we put on it (for instance: pregnancies!) it is in a bad habit.

Now try this: pull that bumhole in. Not tighten it, but up and inside your body. That will place your pelvic bone in a more neutral position (instead of swayed backward like most people). Your lower abdominal area will naturally tighten. This pelvic position should cause your gluteal muscles to tighten a bit and your lower back to loosen. This movement will likely engage your central abdominal muscles and engage muscles in your upper back. Push your shoulders back as you lift your chest. It's all connected and it starts at the bottom!

Don't stand like an army sergeant. If you feel this is uncomfortably tense, drop your shoulders. Look at yourself in the mirror. See what I mean?! You look great!

You can use these same cues when you are seated. Don't slump in your chair and constantly lean against the back. Sit tall in your chair. This will also make you look more in control and professional. If you work in an office, ask if your Human Resources office provides an evaluation of your workspace. Your chair, chair height, desk height, and desk tools can make a big difference in your spinal health.

If you are faced with a difficult food choice during the day (or any choice) take a moment to correct your posture.

Here is an interesting TED Talk about how our posture can impact our life. Check it out!

EVEN BETTER: Do plank exercises along with your 12 squats or pushups each morning. AND think of one good thing you did in the last 24 hours.

WEEK ELEVEN will post December 16.

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