Monday, August 16, 2010

Anti-aging Strategy

We spent yesterday with my mother-in-law. (She is so kind and friendly to all.) We walked with her over to her church bazaar. This was very slow going. I've noticed that she walks very hunched over.

I was reading an article in a chiropractic newsletter about moving, aging and your posture. I thought of my MIL. The article said that with age, your joints stiffen and your muscles get tight. You have to keep on moving as you age to keep moving well as you age. Moving well means smooth,pain free motion. Unbalanced motion and poor posture can stretch your joints and muscles which can lead to injury and premature aging.

The article goes on to say that there is more to good posture than just standing up straight. You need to strengthen your core muscles. They control HOW you balance. If you have weak or poor posture it will only get worse as you age. (My MIL is fairly tall and I think she probably didn't always stand as straight as she could have.) Good posture is associated with good health.

What exactly is good posture? Well,You're supposed to be able to draw a straight line from your head to your toes, meaning that if you stand in profile, it will be straight up and down with no bends anywhere. The torso is supposed to be directly above the hipbones so the shoulders are in line with them. Your head should be in the same line, not tilted back. Usually, people arch their backs too much, which can lead to back and knee problems, so hold your stomach in so that your back is as flat as possible.

Audrey Hepburn was known for her poise and posture. According to her biographer, her grandmother tied her neck to the back of her chair at the table so that she wouldn't slump over her food, but rather put small amounts on her spoon or fork and bring them up to her mouth.

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So what can we do to improve our posture? Exercises and visits to your chiropractor will help. Here are some to try at home.
A good one is to stand with your back and heels against a wall. Lift your shoulders up and roll them back and down to touch the wall, with your head against the wall all the while. I recommend doing this one during television commercials. Large exercise balls are also wonderful to stretch both forward and backward on.

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