When we combine sitting for long periods of time with using technology we often do not have the posture we want.
People often attend Pilates classes for this, but it is also helpful to do a little everyday to help counteract our lifestyles.
1.Relax your shoulders. It might sound counter intuitive, but most people now excessively depress their shoulder blades. You might have heard it as ‘slide your shoulders down to the back pocket of your jeans’ in a Pilates class. We know now this creates a lot of tension in the muscles around your shoulders and can inhibit mobility rather than stabilising the shoulder. Try a roll down when are shoulders blades are ‘melting down’ and try one without and you will notice a much easier movement in your spine.
2. Notice where your hands naturally fall when you are standing. If they are forward of your legs rather than at the seams of your trousers – which is where they will be when you are lying on your back in a class. This means you will probably not be able to get the bottom of your rib cage on the mat and you are lying in ‘Sgt Major’ posture when you are on your back. Have a fidget with ribs and arm position to have a relaxed position on the mat and get more out of the Pilates exercises and they should feel easier.
3. I’m sure you have fabulous posture now as you are sitting reading this. How can you remind yourself to be aware of your posture during your working day? You could set an alarm every hour to remind you to fidget, or maybe when the phone rings or you receive an email.
4.Attending a regular class which has a focus on posture. Pilates is well known for this, but many other classes will include it too. Finding a few exercises you are comfortable to do on your own as little and often is best for progress.
Samantha Valand is the author of “The Menopause Diaries: A practical guide to healthy eating and exercising in your menopausal years”. You can find out more about her book here.