“A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind.” ~ Morihei Ueshiba
Why is good posture so important?
“Because it is a statement of who you are, and it is important to have good posture to express to others and yourself that you are confident and to be respected.
How you present yourself when you walk into a room for the first time can be significantly dependent on the posture that your body displays as you enter, stand and sit in the room. This can make a lasting impression on fellow business associates, employers, and even a possible mate. I am sure that you have heard that first impressions mean everything. Poor posture can make a person appear less confident.” Â Dr. Paul Drew
It’s time to move from slouching to standing tall
When I see a woman with poor posture; Â often with a pouched and protruding belly, looking at the floor . Immediately, I want to adjust her. I want to lift her chin, pull back her rounded shoulders and push in her bulging belly.
Slouching makes a woman appear older than she is (ouch!), gives the impression of low self esteem and poor self- confidence, expresses the likelihood of weak under developed muscles and possibly indicates low bone density in some or all of her bones.Â Poor posture detracts from a woman’s attractiveness (double ouch!) Â Seriously, the sight of a woman with poor posture frustrates me. Â While lunching recently, with a very attractive healthy woman in her late forties, I struggled to be an empathetic listener (one who truly listens without judgement). I didn’t do a good job because I was distracted by her lazy posture. She was a few inches from laying on the table; face to fork eating with her elbows and hands on the table. Yuck! I was hoping she would notice my erect posture and attempt to do the same. Not a chance! She was busy eyeing her plate – never looking me in the eye because she couldn’t. Â And I was busy not listening. Shame on me.
My mother taught me well.
Sit up straight while eating and keep one hand on your lap while chewing your food was my mothers mantra. Good advice after all. Food will move easily through your pipes, therefore eliminating the potential for stomach and digestion related problems.
Not all poor posture is fully correctable.Â Certain medical conditions can cause postural changes and challenges. Whatever the issue, I applaud women who continue the hard work required to improve their condition. Even if this means just keeping their spine from further deterioration and curvature.
This is important -
Too make matters worse we are knee deep in a thoroughly modern epidemic – texting and walking! This only adds to the battle against slouching. Think about it…texting while walking forces our torso to round forward and drop down. Over time this unhealthy posture can create a waterfall of physical problems. Let’s not forget about the high probability of being hit by a biker, a car, and, other pedestrians also texting and walking. Recently, I read about a woman whose purse was easily snatched from her shoulder because she was TEXTING! I’m certain this happens on a regular basis. Have you seen the advertisement: No text is worth dying for! Stand up and start paying attention ladies!
Recognizing postural weaknesses and understanding the importance of good posture is half the battle. You must learn how to achieve and maintain strong and healthy posture.Â Many women are not aware they have slouchy posture. How do you fix something if you don’t know that it’s broken?
How does poor posture happen?
There are many possibilities. The classic common culprit is growing up and never being taught the importance and mechanics of good posture. Growing up as an athlete, I do not recall my teachers or coaches teaching us the importance of good posture. They did not tell us that strong core muscles–hence, good posture–would enhance our athletic performance. Who talked about core muscles 40 years ago? Â Unless you were an aspiring fashion model, probably no one.
My Father was an accomplished athlete. He insisted that strong posture was very intimidating to your opponents. Boy was he right on about that!
My mother and grandmother were unusually obsessed with good posture as well, but for other reasons.Â Good posture meant you were a well-bred lady. This was an expression of elegance. If you walked into a room with beautiful posture, you exuded a powerful and confident presence. This also meant you probably came from a family where good manners and looking your best was emphasized. This was definitely the case in my family. People admire and respect a woman with good posture – sometimes slightly intimidated. The first thing I notice about a woman when she walks into a room is her posture! I continue to be aware of my posture and the posture of everyone around me. Today, things are very different. We are learning to appreciate and understand the impact of strong posture in our lives. Our posture is an expression of who we are as a woman. Strong posture equals a strong woman on many fronts!
With consistent practice you too, will stand tall and look straight ahead – into your future, a healthier future, for sure! If you are always looking down, you will never see the wonderful life ahead of you! Don’t miss it!
How to stand up straight
- Stand evenly balanced on your feet. Feel some weight on the inside edges of your feet. This will help to engage and strengthen your inner thighs and your core muscles. A strong core is essential for good posture.
- Look straight ahead. Imagine your chin resting on a shelf.
- Place your arms by your side with your palms touching your outer thighs. Fingers should be pointing to the floor.
- Imagine that you are suspended from the ceiling by a single plumb line attached to the top of your head. Your joints will automatically stack into perfect natural alignment.
Tis The Season -Do the Bride Walk
I have trained many brides-to-be. Good posture is an absolute requirement as you head down the aisle. Here is how we practice…Back to old school!
- Get your good posture on! Place a book on top of your head. Walk a long hallway several times, with turns. Keep your eyes looking straight ahead!
- Walk up and down your staircase several times with the book still on top of your head.
- Practice pulling out a chair from your table, sitting down, standing back up and pushing your chair back into the table.
- Once you have mastered these exercises, try adding 1 or 2 more books to your stack. You can hold dumbells at your side for a little more core work. I am all about getting as much bang for your buck in as little time possible!
- Have an entire meal with a book or two on top of your head. Remember, NO elbows on the table. Keep your napkin on your lap. Bring your fork all the way up to your mouth. Never your face to the plate. (This is disgusting!)
- Weight training, body weight exercises, flexibility training and core strengthening exercises are a must! “A strong back is a healthy back” and “The power of pushups.”
*A regular diet of Â posture strengthening exercises will improve your self confidence and concentration skills!
Check out this book by Dr.Paul Drew for your Red Carpet Posture!