“Stand up straight!” “Don’t slouch” Turns out my mother was right. Posture is important. Throughout my career as a Physical Therapist and Pilates Teacher, I consistently work to educate and implement the importance of posture as it affects the body as a whole.
Posture refers to the body’s alignment and positioning with respect to the force of gravity. Good posture entails distributing forces through our body so no one structure is over-stressed and helps to prevent injury. Sitting and standing with proper postural alignment will allow one to work more efficiently with less fatigue and strain on the body’s ligaments and muscles and reduces stress and strain on your spine.
Our daily activities can often affect our posture. Certain sitting activities can force poor posture such as driving, computer work, and extended time on our smartphones. As we focus on the activities in front of us we tend to protrude the head and neck forward. The body follows the head thus the shoulders and thoracic spine tend to round forward as well. To overcome these postural influences on our body, it’s important to maintain good muscle flexibility, normal motion in the joints, strong postural muscles including our core, and overall muscle balance.
Pilates is an excellent practice to improve posture. Pilates principles address correct alignment, spinal mobility, strength, and flexibility so muscles are used efficiently and properly to prevent injury and promote improved muscular power. Proper alignment decreases abnormal wearing of joint surfaces thus preventing joint, back, and muscular pain. Proper posture through practice also improves one’s ability to breathe. Improved posture allows for better expansion through inhalation. If you can’t breathe, you can’t function. Good posture and overall postural awareness can improve your health as well as your overall appearance. Pilates is an excellent modality to achieve your wellness goals.