I don't think a person exists that grew up without hearing "Sit up straight!" from some well-meaning adult, (most probably Mom). Most of the time, it was coming from someone who undoubtedly was guilty of slouching to some degree.
What exactly is good posture? It is commonly described in the health and fitness world as the position the body is in where it is the most efficient, also known as being in good alignment. To take that a bit further, let's look at the numerous benefits of good posture. Proper alignment can help improve your breathing mechanics, prevent joint stress and pain, decrease injury risk, increase the body's movement efficiency, increase sports performance, and increase a stronger, more confident, and younger appearance.
Most of the time, it is fairly obvious to detect visibly poor posture in a person. The slouched shoulders, head jutting forward, and rounded upper back are easy tips. There are many other clues which are not so obvious to a typical onlooker. More signs of poor alignment are elevated hip or shoulder areas, internal or external rotation of one side of the body, one side of the pelvis tilted forward, back or too high, and fallen arches in the feet.
A skilled fitness professional can help with many of the issues that arise from poor posture during exercise, which can include muscle imbalances, body compensations for muscle tightness or pain, or poor movement patterns or problems during activity.
It is possible to change poor posture habits but it takes consistent and patient effort. Have a fitness expert help you find proper alignment in your body, not only while standing or sitting, but also while moving. Consciously correct your posture throughout the day. Avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time. It takes much more effort to maintain proper posture while sititing than it does while standing. Do some office work standing up.
Remember to strengthen the whole body, not just the areas that appear aesthetically problematic.Strengthen and stretch those important hip muscles. It is usually an area that is commonly weak and tight on individuals which contributes to poor alignment. Keep your abdominal and core area strong with a variety of strengthening exercises, particularly with variations of the plank.
As if the reasons above were not enough, there is a definite mind and body connection that is strengthened with proper alignment. You will feel more energetic, perform better, and just feel better every time you use your body correctly!
For more tips on posture and proper alignment for exercise, go to www.janddfitness.com or visit J and D Fitness Group on Facebook.