It's Your Life Summer 2016 - Page 7

SUMMER THE POSTURE POLICE  Joanne Fagerstrom  “Stand up straight!” How many times have you heard those words in your life? Chances are the answer is a lot. Most of us accept that good posture is important, (see “Why it Matters” below), but often we’re more likely to notice someone else’s postural shortcomings than sense our own. Even when we make an adjustment, such as bringing our shoulders further back, typically they drift right back to where they were as soon as we stop paying attention. What’s a well-intentioned person to do? The answer is paradoxically simple and complex, and requires a whole-body approach. Here is a step-by-step guide to improving your posture: Step 1 - The Test Stand against a wall with your heels, buttocks and shoulder blades (or mid back) all touching the wall. If the back of your head touches the wall without straining or tipping your head back, read no further -your posture is great! But for many people, this is not the case. To gauge how far your head is from the wall, place your fingers between the back of your head and the wall. The number of fingers is your measurement. Make a mental note of where you are right now. Step 2 - The “Posture Sequence” Exercise Lie on the floor with your legs st