Why Posture Matters

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By Susan Rappaport

My husband is a Physical Therapist, and from the moment he began talking about posture and alignment, I became fascinated with “posturing” and how we all carry ourselves through our lives.

The conversation started when I began taking spin classes and was experiencing pain in my neck and shoulders. He gave me some advice about being more aligned, balanced, lifted and relaxed, so that I was riding with neutral posture.   After digesting all he said, the pain dissipated. I was so impressed that something as simple as, “holding proper posture,” was so effective, I’ve never been the same.

Now, I watch people in restaurants, walking down the street, on the subway, in gyms… on and on. Not judging, learning. Take a moment now to focus on your posture as you read this article on your mobile device or computer. Eye opening, isn’t it?

I notice posture in the elderly, teens, middle aged, and children. Some are upright, and others have postural issues. Many on their phones and other devices have such a pronounced forward curve in their spine; it resembles the letter “c.” Some people hold their shoulders up by their ears; others carry the weight of the world in their neck. There are people with distinct mid-body curves to the left and/or the right. Some limp, some don’t. Some look like they are in pain and others look fine. There are humps and no humps and then those stuck in a forward bent position, possibly never to be upright again.

I often wonder where things went wrong for them, and if they were cognizant of posture and alignment? If they had known more, might they have chosen to do more, and have been more attentive to their bodies? We must be proactive, or we may find ourselves in much discomfort, or even worse, less mobile with syndromes that have names we can’t even pronounce.

Life spans are increasing and how our body’s function is important and directly correlated to what kind of shape we are in, later in life. While I’m not a doctor, I’ve spent years focusing on postural awareness and creating biomechanically sound fitness classes. I believe alignment should be at the core of EVERY exercise class and it serves us all to be educated on our posture and what goes where, why, and how.

Some questions you can begin to ask yourself:

Overwhelmed? Don’t be. We can absolutely learn to observe ourselves and improve our default posturing when working out, walking, sitting, and using our devices. Developing this type of physical consciousness is achievable.

You can start this awareness with a commitment and promise to show up for yourself, even if briefly, at least every other day. Have a regular; consistent, healthy and smart exercise routine that feels right to you.

Don’t over work, as exercise is more sustainable and valuable if it can meet you where you are and then grow from there. Practice Yoga. Strengthen what is weak. Learn to release needless muscle engagement and tension and use the correct muscles properly. Toss your high heel habit. Sit up tall. Relax your head, neck and shoulders. Breathe deeply. Stretch. Meditate. Foam roll. Buy a better mattress. Get more sleep and explore a healthier sleep position.

If you have pain, stop ignoring it, thinking it’ll go away on its own. See a physical therapist, get exercises and do them daily. If reading is your thing, buy and read books about strengthening the musculoskeletal system. If you learn by doing, find a class, a person, or a place that can help you learn what goes where and why, and go often, because posture matters!

Physical consciousness is an investment in yourself, your quality of life, your future body, and your all-around health and wellbeing. Let this be your wake up call to dial up a better understanding of the workings of you, so you can have a better journey in your body… without any regrets later.

Susan Rappaport is the founder of NuYu Revolution. NuYu is a thoughtful and compassionate exercise studio designed to build solid foundations for a healthy, ongoing relationship with fitness. Organic growth, realistic goals and easefulness keep members committed. The class-only experiences educate students in correct posture, alignment and breathing above intensity, preserving the musculoskeletal system. Offerings include Yoga, Mat Pilates, Posture Cycle®, Cardio, and Mindful Strengthening at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

Their new, stylish 2,500 sq. ft. studio is located on 100th & Broadway

Visit our website: www.nuyurevolution.com

Contact, Jake@NuYuRevolution.com or call (212) 663-1114 to receive information on the Grand Opening promotional offer.

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