Is Your Posture Aging You?

Is Your Posture Aging You?

Many people refer to posture as “good” or “bad” and mostly relate it to how their body looks.

But how your posture looks is really just the outer layer of what’s actually going on with the function, fitness and health of your ability to move and keep yourself upright.

Posture isn’t bad or good, it’s functional and strong or dysfunctional and causing problems.

According to Joseph Pilates, the spine is the “ridgepole of the body” and is the most important aspect of posture.

“If your spine is inflexible and stiff at 30 you are old, if it is completely flexible at 60 you are young” Joseph Pilates.

The aging process itself certainly does lead to changes in the joints, muscles and connective tissues like ligaments and tendons.

But the biggest contributing factor to how “young” your spine stays as you age, is how effectively you have looked after it throughout your life.

Fitness activities, regular strength training, walking etc., all play a positive role in general health and wellbeing, but don’t specifically address spine strength and flexibility.

In fact, there are many very fit and active people who have postural issues and are constantly in an injury cycle.

Living with chronic, long term pain or postural imbalances that cause stiffness and tightness can eventually take a toll on your spine, leading to a loss of movement capability as you get older.

When the spine losses it’s strength and integrity, it becomes compressed and its shape changes.

Your head can poke forward, the upper back can be over curved, and shoulders curved forward, the lower back can be over curved or any combination of these.

When the spine is compressed, its movement gets “locked”, instead of each part of your spine moving independently, it moves like a block.

As you can imagine, this has a big impact on how you get about during daily activities. Instead of moving lightly, with grace and ease, movement becomes stiff and “clunky” and slows down.

This can also lead to a loss of movement confidence, with a fear of falling or losing balance, with a big impact on quality of life.

Nobody wants to be the “hunched over” older person who needs help getting out of a chair, who can’t walk without aids and has to give up favourite activities.

It really doesn’t take that much effort to have a healthy, fit and “young” posture no matter what age you are.  

Consistency is the key and a little effort every day is incredibly effective at getting and maintaining a healthy spine.

Pilates is the only exercise method that is specifically designed to build spine strength and postural integrity.

And the pilates MAT exercises were designed by Joseph Pilates himself to enable people to build spine strength in their own homes without the use of any equipment.

Thus, enabling them to never get “old”, but to enjoy quality of life for the duration of a lifetime.

So if you want to stay “young”, learn mat pilates and then practice a little every day!

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