“A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind.” Morihei Ueshiba
How Is Your Head
How many of us spend hours working at a computer in a busy week?
- How easy is it to slouch in a chair while watching a movie or even driving?
- Do you stare down in a forward posture while reading your favorite book for what starts as only a few minutes, but that leads to an hour or two?
- What about texting and looking down often while perusing your cellphone?
All of these things can take a toll on your spine and lead to loss of curvature in the neck while causing some drastic health challenges. But, the good news is- being conscious of your posture is the first step to improving it! And, taking breaks to stretch throughout the day is one simple way to improve posture, flexibility and focus, as well as offer support to your hardworking spine!
Your head should be positioned squarely over your shoulders. You should also be conscious of holding a level, forward gaze.
Poorly positioned screens (computers at a desk, smart phones while texting or browsing the web) force your gaze downward for much of the day, pushing your chin to your chest.
Holding this position for long periods of time stretches and weakens the ligaments and muscles in the neck and back. It’s weaknesses like this that open you up to future injuries.
Stressing Your Shoulders
The majority of people let their shoulders roll forward in a slouch which put tension on your neck and upper back. Pulling your shoulder blades back opens your chest and puts the stressed muscles into a relaxed position.
A great visual is to picture a pencil placed behind you between your shoulder blades. Bringing your shoulder blades together to pinch the pencil in place will bring your shoulders into a positive posture.
DID YOU KNOW? For every inch of forward head posture, it can increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 lbs. (That’s an immense amount of additional strain on your system, putting you in an injury-prone state.)
Stretching for Better Posture
Try adding this Penguin Stretch to your daily routine. This stretch is an easy way to reverse the muscle strain that we put on our bodies and give your neck a healthy C curve. This helps to stretch the muscles in the front of your chest and strengthening the muscles in your back.
The Penguin Stretch will help get your body back into motion and motion is key aspect to a healthy and vibrant life. By adding this simple task into your day, you will be well on your way to feeling and importantly, FUNCTIONING better.
Step 1: Take your hands and interlock them behind your back. You want to think about squeezing a pen or a pencil between your shoulder blades, squeezing the spine between your shoulders.
Step 2: Let your head fall completely back, as far as you can.
Step 3: Hold for 15-20 seconds. Repeat 1-2 two times, once an hour.
Remember, head up, stay strong, shoulders back, and be confident to take on whatever your day may bring.