How we stand and how we hold ourselves does make a lot of difference in how we look, and it is also associated with a lot of health benefits for our body. Understanding how our posture does to the body would be an excellent start to seek a solution in improving our posture.
How Posture Helps Weight Loss?
There are many simple things that we can do to improve our personality. We can fix ourselves by making our make-up and hair look great and buying nice clothes for us to wear to look good. These are just some things that we can do to make ourselves look good and be accepted.
On the other hand, even if we have the most expensive clothes, the nicest hairdo, the most beautiful shoes or even the most famous make-ups that celebrities use but have a bad posture. Then all of these things are nothing but ordinary things.
Have you ever seen a woman standing straight in a nice restaurant with her clothes so fit in her and walks just like swaying? Her posture makes her stand out from all the rest and makes her look so good. That’s how important is a posture to our body.
Good posture is often associated with many benefits, particularly emotionally and physically. Emotionally, it benefits us by giving us a good effect on our well-being. Take, for example, standing up straight and holding yourself well despite the unfavorable situation encountered. Posture is associated with our emotions because our emotions reflect through our body posture. It is usually seen that a depressed person tends to slump, and their heads are down all the time.
Physically, good posture has a lot of benefits as well. It will make the body stronger and more resistant to injury. More amazingly, it will help us lose weight. However, having a bad posture often leads to many problems in our body, such as chronic backache. It is also associated with headaches and RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury).
Good posture can also help in losing weight for the fact that the muscles are stretched. The act of muscle stretching is already a simple form of exercise and can already burn up calories. Walking with your body straight is the correct way of walking. It adds impact and intensity to walking when we make our bodies straight.
Standing straight will help the body build muscles around the belly and the lower back. It also benefits improving the lower back pain and allows the lungs to expand more and breathe in more oxygen, which helps boost the metabolism. Imagine when you are slumping, you will see the exaggeration of your belly, and if you stand straight, you will see the stomach is also stretched out and tucked in.
Doing exercise with correct posture will be more effective and efficient towards building those muscles. Conclusion: a person can achieve more flexibility with good posture; having more flexibility, we can exercise more efficiently and comfortably. That will also allow us to stay longer and burn more fats. Good posture sounds fantastic, but most of us take this for granted. Hence, starting now, stand up straight and hold your head high.
What If My Back Hurts?
“My back hurts me right here.” Unfortunately, helping with lower back pain is not always that easy. Often, it takes detective work. Usually, the person points to a symptom of lower back pain and not the cause. Our body is highly trained in compensating movement to avoid pain.
If a minor injury occurs and is treated immediately, it is easier to evaluate and manage the cause. As time goes on and the body learns compensatory movement patterns, the detective work begins.
It is said that after an acute injury to the lower back, it should take about three weeks to resolve. The pain can go from subacute to chronic at about six weeks if it is not determined, and it is much more challenging to treat.
Not only does the body learn compensatory movement patterns, but the body then produces more pain receptors. The brain will interpret these pain receptors as increased body pain. It can cause a chronic pain cycle to begin. When this nerve pain cycle begins, even if the mechanical issues of the lower back are corrected, the perception of pain can continue.
Pain can be mechanical, thermogenic, or chemical. Manual therapy and lower back exercises can treat mechanical pain. Thermogenic is related to cold and heat-provoking pain, and chemical pain refers to inflammation. Also, the body releasing chemicals to the brain will continue to make pain receptors. At this point, education to the patient becomes a key component.
Chronic pain causes difficulty in having a good quality of life, and it also can shorten your length of life if not appropriately controlled. It is vital to address lower back pain and other pains to give optimal treatment. When a person is proactive with pain, they usually have better outcomes.
What Are Good Lower Back Exercises?
I have lower back pain! Now, what am I supposed to do? What am I working to achieve with exercises for my lower back pain? One minute I hear stretch, and the next, it’s about strength, but you’re also supposed to be ‘protecting’ your back. Which is it?
What we want to accomplish is mobility with stability. Mobility with stability is the body’s neuromuscular system’s ability to stabilize a joint or a group of joints while allowing movement in other places.
It is measured in either a static or dynamic posture. A static posture for the trunk, for example, is reaching overhead, and the trunk needs to be steady while the arms move to do the task when going overhead. In a relative dynamic posture, like shoveling dirt, the trunk stabilizes while twisting, and the arms do the job.
What about flexibility? Yes, it’s part of the recipe and is measured by the length a muscle can stretch from its origin to connection. And strength? Yes, strength is necessary and calculated by how much weight (including your weight) a body part can move.
Although we need both flexibility and strength, if our body does not learn to stabilize during activities, our body’s natural protective mechanism will not kick in. It can lead to injury and pain of the spine. Once pain sets in, the whole system can “shut off.”
Lower back exercises that focus more on stability with mobility include core stabilization exercises. We want to wake up the “long-lasting” muscle fibers built to hold us in correct alignment. But, sometimes, these “long-lasting” muscles get a little lazy from disuse or “shut off” from pain.
I like to use a specific technique developed by pioneer Physical Therapist Gregg Johnson to “wake up” these stabilizing muscles. In short, you ‘wait out’ the quicker acting ‘phasic’ muscles that start an action, and when they start to shake with fatigue, the “long-lasting” tonic muscles kick in. Re-establishing a stabilizing effect on the core muscles.
So it’s the whole enchilada that adds up to comfort and avoiding re-injury. Thus, it is vital to focus on stabilizing exercises with mobility. Once your core muscles have kicked in and have minimal to no pain, it is also essential to have the flexibility and strength to perform the task at hand.
At the same time, we need to build stamina and endurance to perform our activities safely. A hula hoop is an excellent tool that can provide safe exercises to aid in meeting these goals, and you get to have some fun while you do it.
- Gordon R, Bloxham S. A systematic review of the effects of exercise and physical activity on non-specific chronic low back pain. Healthcare. 2016;4(2):22. doi:10.3390/healthcare4010022
- Lizier D, Perez M, Sakata R. Exercises for treatment of nonspecific low back pain. Brazil J Anesthes. 2012;62(6):838-846. doi:10.1016/S0034-7094(12)70183-6
- Chang W, Lin H, Lai P. Core strength training for patients with chronic low back pain. J Phys Ther Sci. 2015;27(3):619-622. doi:10.1589/jpts.27.619
- Harvard Health Publishing. Daily moves to prevent low back pain. 2013.