Postural Correction: Are posture exercises enough?
As a postural specialist one of the most common questions that I am asked by patients when they have a postural problem is “Can I do exercises for that?” The answer is almost always YES, but that exercises are not enough to CORRECT the underlying cause of their problem.
Current research demonstrates that we are so sedentary as a society that exercise isn’t enough anymore. If your job requires that you stay seated for about 40 hours per week, and like many other people you enjoy watching television shows or catching up on Facebook after work, then doing a few minutes of exercise each day won’t be enough to make significant changes to your posture. To change your posture, and to have better overall health, it requires a mental and physical shift to mindful and active lifestyle habits.
12 Weeks to Better Posture™ is a postural correction program that emphasizes the three essential components for long-term postural correction: spinal alignment, postural rehabilitation, and posture habit re-education.
Spinal alignment is critical to postural correction. Regardless of how many postural exercises a person does, they simply cannot correct their posture if their spine is out of proper alignment. Postural rehabilitation works in synchrony with proper spinal alignment, because when the spine is in alignment there is improved efficiency of the postural musculature. This is where postural exercises come in. When performing the rehabilitation exercises specified by a postural specialist, it is imperative to keep an aligned posture and rhythmic breathing pattern. Unfortunately, the majority of people do not perform exercises with correct posture, thus limiting their corrective potential.
The final component of the 12 Weeks to Better Posture™ program is posture habit re-education. This component is as equally essential to long-term postural correction as spinal alignment and postural rehabilitation. Posture habit re-education involves mindful living and intentional movements to maintain proper posture throughout the day. In regard to the previous example of the modern day worker who is seated for 40 hours per week, they need to be mindful of their posture during their daily activities. It is not good enough to do a few minutes of postural exercises and then sit in a slumped posture for the remainder of the day. Mindfulness in posture involves recognizing when you tend to have poor posture, then re-educating your physiology to function with better posture in those situations.
Spinal alignment, postural rehabilitation, and posture habit re-education are the fundamental practices for long-term postural correction. Although exercises are beneficial, in this day and age they are not enough. Your posture is a reflection of how you present yourself to the world, there is simply no better time than the present to take control of your posture enhancing your ability to look better, move better, and feel better.